The Johannesburg conference, WSSD 2002
World Summit on Sustainable Development
The global conference on sustainable development continued
on the path taken by Rio92 – to let the market take care of
the problems. The conference happened during the years when the
rich countries tried in every way to lock in the development in market
terms via the WTO. However, this encountered opposition from the
South – as it did at the same time at WTO meetings –;
for example, the host Thabo Mbeki launched the concept of ”global
apartheid” as a term for the system, a concept that was widely
used at the conference.
However, an agreement on water and sewerage
The Johannesburg Conference was also a decisive step
in breaking with paralyzing consensus among popular movements and
NGOs. A movement
for justice and against privatization began to take shape during
the summit with the help of demonstrations against privatizations
and other neoliberal tricks, as well as an alternative conference
that was 35 km away from the official one. The official conference
met with widespread criticism from far more than the Justice
and Anti-Privatization Alliance for its subordination to development
issues under the WTO's market gospel.
Meanwhile, the Johannesburg
Conference launched a wave of anti-privatization movements within
South Africa that has continued since.
A comprehensive collection of documents is available
on the Global Policy Forum website
Bond: WSSD both attacks and abets "global apartheid"
Death: Troubles at the top: South African protests and the 2002