What's not in is more important
What will UNCED discuss?
Theoretically, everything. But it will focus on:
Long-term issues like global warming.
National resources in the South like tropical rain forests and conservation of biological resources.
Mechanisms to transfer aid to the South.
Quantum of aid that the South should get to avoid exacerbating global environmental damage and reduce domestic environmental problems.
Global institutions needed to manage and monitor global environmental changes.
What will UNCED gloss over?
A lot, especially everything which relates to the immediate needs of the South.
International financial mechanisms like debt payments and declining terms of trade which drain US$300400 billion every year and reduce the South's ability to manage its economy and environment.
Poverty and the needs of the world's poor, who ultimately pay the ecological costs of the consumption of the rich.
Rights of all human beings to their immediate environ- ment and the global environment.
New levers of power to create a worldwide democratic system of checks and balances.
Control of overconsumption.
The North-South stand-off
A strong northern threat: If the South does not accept environmental discipline, as defined by the North, all available levers of economic power - aid, trade and debt - will be used against it.
A weak and wimpish Southern threat: We will not par- ticipate in the negotiations if our sovereignty is not respected.