Rio de Janeiro — Mozambican President Armando Guebuza will arrive on Tuesday in the Brazilian city Rio de Janeiro to participate alongside other world leaders in the Rio+20 Summit which seeks to find a consensus on policies for sustainable global development.
The Mozambican President is leading a large delegation including senior government members such as Foreign Minister Oldemiro Baloi, Environment Minister Alcinda Abreu and Planning and Development Minister Aiuba Cuereneia. The delegation also includes the country's Ambassador to Brazil, Isaac Murargy, and the Ambassador to the United Nations in New York, Antonio Gumende.
Also attending the summit will be former President Joaquim Chissano and former Prime Minister Luisa Diogo.
Various Mozambican civil society organisations will also be represented. Osvaldo Petersburgo will represent the National Youth Council, whilst journalist Cecilia Dimande is in Rio on behalf of the Children's Environmental Organisation.
The full title of the summit is the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development, but is better known as Rio+20 in recognition of the summit held here twenty years ago which adopted a series of consensual measures aimed at supporting sustainable development whilst protecting the environment.
This week's summit will draw up a balance sheet to gauge whether such measures have been put in place over these two decades.
Critics have argued that environmental destruction has continued in almost all countries since the first Earth Summit back in 1992. However, there has been a huge increase in public awareness of the importance of the environment and laws have been adopted in many countries, including Mozambique, to protect the environment.
One of the most prominent critics is Professor Jeffrey Sachs of Colombia University, who argues that little or nothing practical has been done since 1992.
In an article published this week, he points out that one of the world's pre-eminent scientific publications "Nature" has just issued a scathing report card with "the grades for the implementation of the three great treaties signed at the first Rio Earth Summit in 1992 as follows: Climate Change - F; Biological Diversity - F; and Combating Desertification - F".
Sachs writes that "the agreements that emerged in 1992 at the first Rio summit were good ones: thoughtful, far-sighted, public-spirited, and focused on global priorities. Yet they have not saved us".
Sachs argues that "the most important outcome in Rio, therefore, will not be a new treaty, binding clause, or political commitment. It will be a global call to action. Around the world, the cry is rising to put sustainable development at the centre of global thinking and action, especially to help young people to solve the triple-bottom-line challenge - economic wellbeing, environmental sustainability, and social inclusion - that will define their era. Rio+20 can help them to do it".
Professor Sachs argues that "since politicians follow public opinion rather than lead it, it must be the public itself that demands its own survival, not elected officials who are somehow supposed to save us despite ourselves. There are few heroes in politics; waiting for the politicians would be to wait too long".
Some people claim that the view that the world cannot wait for politicians is supported by the fact that several world leaders are not even attending the summit.
The United States President Barack Obama will not be present at the summit and will be represented by Secretary of State Hilary Clinton. Britain's Prime Minster David Cameron and Germany's Chancellor Angela Merkel will also not be present.