Building Participation of Youth at The People’s Summit Building Participation of Youth at The People’s Summit


Youth movements, organizations and network from around the world


Since 1972, the UN Earth Summits are held every 10 years. The most important one took place at Rio de Janeiro, in 1992 where hundreds of state leaders and over 1500 NGOs for the first time defined the fundamental guidelines for a sustainable and fair management of our planet. Thanks to this cornerstone event, the concept of sustainable development has gained major prominence all over the world.


Nowadays, the term has become widely used: in politics, business, and everyday life. But while discourse on the environment has changed, our economic system, which is at the core of environmental problems, has not. What can be observed is that processes of degradation and destruction of our biosphere have not been inverted – ecosystems keep weakening, natural resources keep being overexploited, biodiversity keeps diminishing, soils keep deteriorating, and pollution and the temperature of our planet keep rising. Whilst the living conditions of large pans of the world populations keep deteriorating and social and economic inequalities rising, people are gradually disempowered through the ongoing erosion of democracy and people’s rights by private economic interests.


Twenty years after the Rio 1992, the same town hosts the next Earth Summit, also called UN Conference on Sustainable Development Rio+20, from 20th to 22nd of June 2012. World leaders will meet to evaluate the last twenty years of sustainable development policies. Unquestionably, the active participation of citizens and social movements in international politics is needed as never before, in order to discuss and render visible the alternatives emerging from civil society as well as to remind international leaders about the urgency of making ambitious decisions that can cope with the environmental and social challenges at stake. Therefore, international civil society meets in parallel to the official summit at the People’s Summit at Rio+20 for Social and Environmental Justice, from 15th to 23rd of June 2012.


The crisis that we experience locally and globally is fundamentally a generational crisis as the ruthless exploitation of nature by humans directly affects the ability of future generations to live in dignity. This makes the socio-ecological question a matter of utmost importance for youth. It is also the reason why contemporary youth is confronting the challenge to find its place in a society in which human rights, including rights to life-essential elements like earth, water, communication, knowledge, education, and culture are subject to the private liberties of big corporations.


Youth is aware of this historic moment that calls for the building of sustainable, fair, and democratic societies and the search for other means of struggle and resistance. Occupy, Indignados and the Arab Spring are renewing these hopes and struggles around the world. We are not at dooms-day.


It is necessary to build the conditions for the mobilization and participation of youth in the People’s Summit at Rio+20. We, young people that are part of the Civil Society Facilitating Committee for Rio+20, propose to set up an open process allowing the involvement of youth around the world in the building of the International Youth Camp at the People’s Summit in Rio de Janeiro. This idea emerged at the Thematic Social Forum in January 2012, at Porto Alegre, Brazil, where youth movements, networks, and organizations set up a permanent process allowing active involvement and participation of the international youth in the People’s Summit.


The meeting « Building participation of youth in the People’s Summit » calls on youth around the world to seize this opportunity and to assume an active role in the process of building the People’s Summit and the transition of societies towards a just and sustainable future.


Twenty years after the successful Earth Summit at Rio de Janeiro, we come back to the place where everything started, in order to reassert our aspirations and to maintain the momentum of our struggles. We, young people, united in our cultural and social diversity, have the power to raise our voices against false solutions and show that “another future is possible” – and necessary! We are looking forward to meeting you at the event “Building participation of youth in the People’s Summit” that will happen on 13th, 14th and 15th of April 2012 in Brazil, at Rio de Janeiro. Non-Brazilian youth networks, movements, and organizations that cannot be physically present at the event, will have two ways to feed the event:

  • by handing in their wishes and proposals by mail (deadline and form will be announced soon);
  • by participating at sessions of the event that will be livestreamed per internet. Youth from around the world will thus have the opportunity to interact directly with us and participate in the discussion.


Participants take charge of their travel costs. Concrete infos on the location, accommodation, food, deadlines and formal requirements of the proposals will be announced soon on the People’s Summit website.


Get in touch with us:


Youth Group of the Civil Society Facilitating Committee for Rio+20 (juventudes(at)


Youth organizations that are members of the Facilitating Committee of Civil Society for the People’s Summit:

Details of the initiative
Joined documents