A team of civil society representatives, under the leadership of Dr. Arjun Karki, President of Rural Reconstruction Nepal (RRN), handed over a memorandum entitled “Defending Sustainable Development Agenda in Nepal: Civil Society Concerns” to Mr Deependra Kshetry, Hon’ble Vice-Chair of the National Planning Commission (NPC) in the context of the upcoming United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development, popularly known as the Rio+20 Summit scheduled on 20-22 June 2012 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

In Nepal, peace and political stability as a prerequisite to sustainable development, poverty eradication, food, water and energy security, human rights and social justice, was the unanimous message that resulted out of the series of interactive civil society consultations led by RRN at sub-national and national levels.

The memorandum, based on the outcomes of the consultations, contains 19 different urgent calls to action to the Government of Nepal and the global Rio+20 process, demanding pro-people and pro-poor sustainable development agenda within the broader framework of human rights. It further demands that the Rio+20 Summit adopts a people-centric development framework instead of the current profit-driven, market-led, capital-centric development framework that undermines human rights and social justice.

Mr. Kshetry, accepting the memorandum, expressed that “this memorandum will be useful for the government to chart out its strategy towards sustainable development in the country” and committed to further present the same to PM Baburam Bhattarai.

RRN led and co-ordinated the sub-national consultations in Morang, Chitwan, Banke, Kaski followed by the national consultation which was held on 3 June 2012 in Kathmandu in collaboration with the NPC and the International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD). More than 100 participants representing major federations such as the NGO Federation, community forest users groups, women’s movements, trade unions, peasant movements, drinking water users groups, indigenous communities, Dalit rights defenders, sexual minorities, actively voiced their concerns during the half-day civil society consultation.