The Power of Words
By Carolyn Gibson
June 19, 2012
It has been said that the thing that is better than a thousand hollow words, is one word that can bring about change.
I have come to see this as over the past few days at the conference. As of this afternoon at 12:28 the Brazilian document was closed and will now go to Heads of States to negotiate. I wonder though, the power in this document will have. As of now it is 23,913 words. But do those words have any power; are they able to bring about the change that is so desperately needed in our world?
The zero-draft document will be poured over by many eyes and the changing of a single word has the power to change a whole section. I am still not convinced of the power this document will have though. Much of it talks about recognizing the issues. While I do not disagree this is a step that needs to be taken it is frustrating. We don’t need any more recognition. WE NEED ACTION! It is known that our oceans fisheries stocks are being depleted at accelerating rates and that our oceans are acidifying, so lets stop just recognizing them and start taking action towards conservation and sustainable development. The words on that document mean nothing if they cannot bring about change.
I do however know that words have the power to inspire, bring change and move people towards action. I have seen and felt it this week. When Ambassador Ronald Jumeau spoke at our side event his words moved every member of our delegation. I felt inspired to continue on this journey and continue fighting for what I know is necessary.
High level negotiations begin tomorrow. Myself, along with many others at the conference, encourage heads of state to use their words. Use them to take steps towards the conservation of our oceans. Use them to make development and poverty reduction go hand-in-hand. Use them so that future generations may live in a sustainable world.
Use them. Don’t waste them.