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Lobsters, Caviar and Brandy at Summit on Starvation
Posted: Tuesday, August 27, 2002

World Summit 2002

By Neil Syson,

THE sickening champagne and caviar lifestyle being enjoyed by Earth Summit delegates was exposed yesterday.

They are gorging on mountains of lobster, oysters and fillet steak at the Johannesburg conference aimed at ending FAMINE.

As the summit began yesterday, desperate kids in nearby shanty towns queued for water at standpipes.

Bigwig politicians among the 60,000 delegates, including Deputy PM John Prescott, also get vintage bubbly and brandy.

Taxpayers are footing the 500,000 bill for the 70-strong British party. Friends of the Earth called the extravagance "deplorable".

The head chef of the swanky hotel hosting Earth Summit bigwigs described the mountains of posh food he is laying on for their pleasure. MORE...

Humiliation for Powell at earth summit

September 04, 2002, Guardian UK

Jeers for the US
Delegates jeer and unfurl a banner during US secretary of
state Colin Powell's speech to the earth summit.

Discord dominates world summit

BBC August 30, 2002

Several campaign groups, including Greenpeace and Oxfam, have pulled out of negotiations, saying that agreements reached on aspects of trade and globalisation were watered down to such an extent they were practically worthless.

"What we fear is that the World Trade Organisation agenda seems to be overriding the objectives of sustainable development," said Meena Raman of Third World Network. MORE

Residents of summit city call for help

by John Vidal, Guardian UK, August 30, 2002

Bertie Malasi, Ivy Nuvuno, Ethel Dyie, Agnes Ngwane and Johannes Madisha sit in the courtyard of the large community centre at the heart of Alexandra township. The five pensioners are well aware of the summit being held just a mile away from their homes.

"Tell the leaders we are old and suffering," says Ivy. "Life is too bad. People have no houses. They live and die in their shacks". MORE

Summit for nothing

by Jennie Bristow, August 29, 2002,

Flicking across the internet in search of some intelligent commentary on the World Summit on Sustainable Development (WSSD) currently running in Johannesburg, I stumbled across a 'child's perspective', displayed on the homepage of the BBC News website. 'You can't stop poverty by drinking champagne' read the headline, above an article by an 11-year-old. MORE

Small producers tell of their struggle to compete

by John Vidal, August 28, 2002, Guardian UK

Tell Samuel Togo that northern governments subsidise their farmers by 230bn a year and the small farmer from Sirar in the north of Tanzania looks askance. He earns a few hundred pounds a year, and all the west has done for him, he says, is to stop him exporting his crops, and to try to sell him new seeds that don't work very well, and fertilisers and pesticides that he becomes dependent on. MORE...

What do we really want?

by George Monbiot, August 27, 2002, Guardian.UK

There is scarcely a discussion of climate change on the radio or television that does not involve a "climate sceptic" - someone who believes there is no problem. This would be unexceptionable if the media always promoted dissent: if, for example, someone was brought in to attack capitalism every time the economy was discussed. But the coverage the anti-environmentalists receive suggests that the dissent that reinforces an underlying orthodoxy is welcome while that which challenges it is not. Whatever the explanation may be, the airtime their views receive is out of all proportion to the scientific support they muster. MORE

Big Business Accused of Hijacking Earth Summit

by Alister Doyle, Reuters, August 27, 2002, via

JOHANNESBURG - Activists accused big business on Tuesday of hijacking the Earth Summit from its goal of curbing poverty without damaging the planet.

"The agenda has been taken over by the United States and the European Union in trade liberalization," she said, as activists complained about limited access to the main summit venue.

Delegates from poor nations at the summit, which focused on environmentally friendly agriculture on Tuesday, say the United States is leading resistance to their calls for more aid and new timetables to meet goals of halving poverty and hunger by 2015. MORE...

Rich World's Farm Subsidies Destroy Lives

The billion-dollars-a-day subsidies that have turned farmers in the rich world into behemoths is helping to cripple their counterparts in developing countries, food experts warned at the Earth Summit.

One of the fathers of the so-called Green Revolution, whose bounty has saved hundreds of millions of lives, M.S. Swaminathan, told delegates that the farming world was being dangerously polarized into two cultures.

The first, in North America and Western Europe, was "largely one of agribusiness" with access to lavish subsidies, technology and capital; the other, in Asia, Africa and Latin America, was small-scale personal farms. MORE

Main development from WTO talks is a fine line in hypocrisy

by Kevin Watkins, Monday August 26, 2002, Guardian UK

Last November, trade ministers from Europe and the United States experienced a rare consensus. In Doha, Qatar, they solemnly pledged to make the current bout of World Trade Organisation negotiations a "development round".

The development of poor countries? Try again. This is a trade round geared towards the development of rich country self-interest and corporate profit - and it will reinforce a pattern of globalisation that is perpetuating mass poverty and extreme inequality. MORE...

The World Summit on sustainable development

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