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Motivational Words for Delegates – Chile Regional Convention

Motivational Words for Delegates

THE SPEECH HAS BEEN EXPRESSED BY LIC. EUREN CUEVAS MEDINA, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR OF INSAPROMA AND ALSO REPRESENTATIVE OF THE PUBLIC IN THE PRESENCE OF 23 GOVERNMENTS THAT ARE DISCUSSING THE REGIONAL CONVENTION IN SANTIAGO DE CHILE

Good morning, distinguished delegates.

We members of the public want to acknowledge the progress made in the discussion of the regional instrument to this day, however we are highly concerned about the turn of the negotiations yesterday. The governments present here are not taking up the challenge with the ambition to respond effectively to the needs of the region that presents many serious situations such as attacks and murders on a daily basis against environmental defenders and indigenous leaders.

We must remind the distinguished delegates of the countries involved and responsible for this process, that 24 years ago in Rio 92, a moral commitment was made when Principle 10 was approved, to guarantee access to information, public participation and justice Environmental and made clear at that time that the best way to manage the environment and natural resources is with the participation of all, however what we observed yesterday was to turn-back the process 24 years. The region, the world that observes us, does not conceive that governments after 4 or 5 years of discussion of a regional instrument like this, are not able to make the leap from moral commitment to legal commitment, the region will not forgive governments here-present that the invested resources of their taxes for this process, be used to repeat the same story of Rio 92, a moral commitment, which was what happened yesterday, and locally legal measures have been taken in this regard, such as creation of laws on access to information, participation and access to justice, that is why we do not understand the attitude of two or three governments in this room, to focus on protecting companies and their information over access rights to information and human rights.

We want to emphasize the fundamental importance of being committed to integrating society as a whole in environmental decision making that affects it in environmental matters, leaving the participation or the delivery of information to the will of the decision makers. Otherwise this collective, regional and autonomous effort will have been a resounding failure and you and we will be co-responsible.

Repeated references to legislation or national capacities in the text contradict the intention to build an ambitious international standard in the Regional Agreement. In addition, the change in paragraph formulations that contemplated direct obligations by paragraphs in which states have no greater obligation undermines the ambitious spirit that this negotiation is supposed to lead.

The process has already begun to strengthen the institutional capacities of the states in the region as well as civil society organizations. These capabilities will continue to strengthen and therefore there is no reason to delay progress in negotiations or to bet on low and superfluous standards that will not effectively contribute to the correct implementation of access rights in our countries.

We want and demand a regional instrument that is capable of reducing environmental conflicts, increasing sustainable development and ensuring peace in the region, and this is only possible with a strong regional agreement where there are clear commitments to participate and legitimize environmental processes.

Thank you very much.

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