Rio+20 Reflections from Gorbachev

gorbachev_green_cross_picPresident Mikhail Gorbachev, founder of Green Cross International, published a piece on the upcoming UN Earth Summit. An excerpt is below, followed by a link to the full piece on the Green Cross website. "They say if you want make God laugh share your plans. I planned to come to Rio+20, but my 81st birthday has had unwelcome toll on my plans.

2012 will inevitably be a year of reflection. Those of us who are concerned for the future of our Earth and its inhabitants must do all we can to ensure it is also a year of action, and one that marks the end of a period of apathy and shortsightedness.

Overcoming such lack of vision was what brought us to Rio 20 years ago for the first Earth Summit on Environment and Development. But that event's tangible results, and those of the many subsequent conferences here and around the world since, have fallen far short of what is needed to steer our world onto a sustainable path.

Looking back to 1992, when I switched the focus of my activities from national politics to international development and the environment, the situation was very different. During and just after the Rio Earth Summit, there was an overwhelming air of enthusiasm and hope for the  future. It was a time of optimism and, in retrospect, innocence, as everyone celebrated the end of the Cold War.

Then, incredible social and political changes that were deemed impossible just a few years earlier were, in fact, implemented. This was no accident. In order to unleash these energies on both sides we had to overcome the strong opposition of the existent power structures that blocked the way ahead. But the changes resonated the hopes of the time and leaders had the courage to respond to the call...." Read full article.