TECHNOLOGICAL PROGRESS, ADEQUATE FINANCING
Summit Plenary Hears from Wide Range of Agencies, Organizations
(Received from a UN Information Officer.)
JOHANNESBURG, 30 August -- Technological progress, human resources and the provision of adequate financing were all hailed as crucial elements for the implementation of sustainable development initiatives this afternoon, as the World Summit on Sustainable Development concluded its plenary session set aside for statements from agencies and organizations.
The debate was held ahead of the Summit's high-level segment next week, when more than 100 world leaders will gather to build a commitment to better implement Agenda 21, the road map for achieving sustainable development adopted at the 1992 United Nations Conference on Environment and Development -- the Earth Summit -- held in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
Highlighting the crucial role of industry -- the main source, user and diffuser of technology -- the Director-General of the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO), Carlos Magarinos, said the rapid development of knowledge, the potential for innovation and technological progress allowed for hope in working towards sustainable development. "We are not condemned to address tomorrow's problems with today's means", he said.
The most critical condition for successful implementation of sustainable development policies, stressed the Rector of the United Nations University, Hans Van Ginkel, was the requisite human and institutional infrastructure. Only then could developing countries reap the benefits associated with improved market access, modified trade rules and increased financial flows. "Sadly, we are far from having in place even the minimal human and institutional infrastructures to secure these benefits", he said.
Rubens Ricupero, Secretary-General, United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), said that the Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro had reached a compromise, based on a deal where developing countries would do their best to improve their environment in exchange for the support of adequate finance, technology and open markets of developed countries. Ten years later, that deal had fallen short. Although the blame must be shared, most of it went to the countries that had not provided the finance, technology and open markets they promised. To give priority to implementation, the spirit of the deal should be resurrected and a real partnership between developing and developed countries should be established.
Also this afternoon, the Summit heard the representatives of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and the International Energy Agency highlighting the continued importance of fossil fuels in meeting global energy needs.
OPEC Secretary-General Alvaro Silva-Calderon said that the successful development of new technology would ensure that fossil fuels, including oil, were entirely compatible with sustained growth. While renewables would be an increasing part of the energy mix in the future, the continued development of clean fossil fuels would be, in most cases, more feasible than costly alternatives.
While renewable energy promised many benefits, added Robert Priddle, the International Energy Agency's Executive Director, renewables alone did not offer a path to a sustainable future. Economic development and poverty eradication depended on secure, affordable energy supplies, which would come in many forms. Fossil fuels, though environmentally challenged, could meet the criteria of security and affordability.
In organization matters, the Summit approved the request of two non-governmental organizations, the Permanent Interstate Committee for Drought Control in the Sahel and the Central Asia Regional Cooperation, to attend the Summit.
Statements were also made by the representatives of the Food and Agriculture Organization, the International Organization for Migration, the International Atomic Energy Agency, the Commonwealth Secretariat, the Association of South-East Asian Nations (ASEAN), the League of Arab States, the United Nations Office for Drug Control and Crime Prevention, the Sovereign Military Order of Malta and the Organization of the Islamic Conference.
The representatives of the World Federation of Engineering Organization, the Pacific Islands Forum, the Secretary-General's Panel for the Summit, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR)-South Africa and the Convention on Migratory Species also spoke, as did the Special Rapporteur on Adequate Housing and representatives of the African Development Bank, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, the Inter-American Development Bank and the Asian Development Bank.
In addition, representatives of the following organizations also addressed the meeting: Common Fund for Commodities; Wise Integrated Social and Environmental Activities; Mexican Youth Council for Sustainable Development; Wiltern Labor and Community Strategy Center; Business Action for Sustainable Development; the African Timber Organization; Partners in Population and Development; Kenya National Farmers' Union; Committee on Earth Observation Satellites; Pacific Centre for Environment and Sustainable Development; Centre for Applied Bioscience International; and International Union of Local Authorities.
The Summit will begin its high-level debate at 9 a.m. Monday, 2 September.
CARLOS MAGARINOS, Director-General of the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO), said that the challenge of sustainable development required reconciling economic growth with social justice and the carrying capacity of ecosystems. It also required reconciling those competing concerns in such a way that intergenerational equity was achieved, so that future generations could also satisfy their developmental needs on a livable earth.
The rapid development of knowledge, the capacity of the human mind to innovate and the progress of technology allowed for hope in addressing the challenges of sustainability, he said. "We are not condemned to address tomorrow's problems with today's means", he said. Today's accelerated technological progress made the role of industry for achieving sustainable economic and social development and for fighting poverty and marginalization even more important. Industry was the main source, the user and diffuser of technology. For developing countries, industry was a powerful engine of economic growth and structural transformation.
UNIDO's main initiatives for the Summit focused on technology cooperation, access to energy, water, cleaner production and corporate social responsibility, he said. In all five areas, its goal was to enhance the capabilities of developing countries to manage technology, to increase the productivity of their industries through innovation, and to acquire a fairer share of the earth's wealth for their people.
JACQUES DIOUF, Director-General, Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), said the mandate of the organization, namely to promote sustainable agriculture and ensure food security, was at the core of efforts to achieve sustainability at national and local levels. The organization was also encouraging the sustainable and participatory use of forests and was establishing a model code for forestry work. It had also launched several initiatives for the sustainable use and protection of mountainous regions, ahead of the International Year of Mountains.
He said that one of the specific outcomes of FAO's efforts had been the elaboration of the International Treaty on Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture. They had also led the development of a code of conduct for proper fishing. He emphasized that the FAO's principle set of programmes, aimed at ensuring food security and combating hunger, would require an additional $8 billion for both developed and developing countries next year. Those programmes would not only provide much-needed food resources for the poor, but would also produce annual benefits of $120 million per year to benefit the wider world economy. The FAO would continue to promote rural sustainable agricultural development and the sustainable use of mountainous regions, with the hope of attaining the goals set by Agenda 21, as well as meeting the targets set in the Millennium Declaration.
NDIORO NDIAYE, Deputy Director-General, International Organization for Migration (IOM), said driven by poor economic, political, educational and health conditions in their countries, many citizens of the least developed countries had looked elsewhere for a better quality of life. International migration, affecting some 150 million people worldwide, was the base beneath the prosperity of some leading Western countries. An upsurge in acts of terrorism and economic crises were again fuelling the temptation to become closed and inward-looking. The IOM drew the attention to the political and economic risk of strategies that excessively limited opportunities for legal migration and added momentum to irregular migration. Developed countries were also witnessing population trends that obliged them to turn to qualified foreign labour.
She said while professional mobility could only be encouraged, it would nonetheless be judicious to avoid reproducing a more subtle form of the plunder of human resources witnessed over past centuries. One of the fundamental prerequisites for development could not be fulfilled if migration was tantamount to the sapping of resources from the poorest countries. Utilizing the resources of migrants in the diaspora under development aid programmes offered numerous advantages for sustainable development. The range of skills of migrants in the diaspora covered fields of specialization urgently needed by the countries of origin. The IOM had promoted the Migration for Development programme, promoting physical mobility and computer-based exchanges.
She said migration flows were a significant component of sustainable development, albeit misunderstood or underestimated. Proper integration of migrants would not be achieved if the mentality of the ghetto prevailed. It was only real cooperation between sending and receiving countries, through co-development programmes in the traditional areas of emigration, that could change sometimes-explosive situations. She urged that migration, whose transversal dimension was obvious, be no longer addressed strictly from the viewpoint of control and repression, but be really incorporated into sustainable development by drawing on the skills and resources of the diaspora, in a framework of mobility and exchange.
WERNER BURKART, Deputy Director General, International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), said the Agency was often recognized for its role in nuclear safety and power, in the verification of international safeguards agreements, but was lesser known for its major contribution to the aims of the Summit through its programmes in food and agriculture, human health, water resources and protection of the environment.
He said many countries had benefited from applying nuclear techniques to improve water and nutrient use by plants, for effective diagnosing of livestock diseases and treating food to improve its safety and maintain its quality, among other things. Nuclear medicine techniques were valuable in the diagnosis and treatment of numerous diseases. Access to safe and affordable freshwater was vital for health, food production and development. The Agency lead in the field of isotope hydrology, a technique that assisted countries in assessing and tracking the origin, renewal and pollution of freshwater resources.
Transfer of technology was a priority for the Agency, he said. Its main vehicle for assisting its member States was its technical cooperation programme. Partnership was the basic approach followed by the Agency in all its activities, through many regional projects, research programmes and promotion of networks of excellence.
HANS VAN GINKEL, Rector, United Nations University, said that to be truly effective, the most critical condition for successful implementation of policies to promote sustainable development was the requisite human and institutional infrastructure. Only with those in place could developing countries take advantage of the benefits that might come in the form of improved market access, modified trade rules and increased financial flows. "Sadly, we are far from having in place even the minimal human and institutional infrastructures to secure these benefits."
Desperately needed at the local, regional and global levels was coordinated action to train and educate the vast number of students, teachers, government officials and others that comprised the key actors in the severely "time-bound" race for sustainable development. The University devoted a substantial part of its resources to the subject of strengthening the institutional framework for sustainable development. "Sustainable development was not a one-day tutorial", he said.
Integrating sustainable development into the curriculum at all education levels and sectors, he said, was needed to ensure that students, from primary to post-secondary, were aware of its imperatives and respected its principles and values. In addition, policies to build human and institutional capacity must be complemented with the right population policies. "The road from Rio to Johannesburg runs through Cairo."
HALIMA MAMULA, Executive Director, Wise Integrated Social and Environmental Activities, said throughout the process that had brought her organization to Johannesburg, she had been concerned about the "backward progress" of the negotiations, particularly regarding matters related to women. In fact, women were seeing the advances that had been achieved in the decade since Rio eroded or even reversed, as issues such as gender equity and equality, and gender mainstreaming were still considered as peripheral to many world governments.
She, therefore, called on world governments to take up a proactive slate of initiatives with the protection and promotion of women's rights at its centre. She particularly stressed the need for governments to recommit to meeting the prescribed .7 per cent official development assistance (ODA), as well as to seriously consider canceling the crippling debt burden of developing countries. She urged cooperation with the International Criminal Court in order to ensure the prosecution of crimes against humanity, including sex crimes and all forms of violence against women. Governments must also guarantee equitable representation in decision-making processes at all levels.
She said that governments must also guarantee primary education for women by 2005. They must also get serious about poverty eradication by getting behind initiatives that put people before profit. It was also up to governments to reform international finance and trade institution so that they could fulfil the obligations to which they had agreed during the 1990s. Her organization and the women's caucus urgently called on governments to change the course of the Summit's negotiations, so that a sound and healthy environment could be obtained for all.
RUBENS RICUPERO, Secretary-General, United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), said 10 years ago, the Finance Committee of the Rio Conference had managed to reach a compromise, based on a deal where developing countries would do their best to improve their environment in exchange for support of adequate finance, technology and open markets of developed countries.
Ten years later, the only conclusion was that the deal had fallen short, he said. Although the blame must be shared, most of it went to the countries that had not provided the finance, technology and open markets promised. He hoped this time that situation would not be repeated. In giving priority to implementation, the spirit of the deal should be resurrected and a real partnership between developing and developed countries should be established. That partnership should include the private sector, although he warned about conflicts of interest in the private-sector partnerships. For a good partnership, a good government was needed to state the rules and to enforce those rules, he said.
CHANEL BOUCHER, Vice-President, African Development Bank, said that more than any other region, Africa faced the most daunting challenges in achieving sustainable development. The uniqueness of the African situation was being increasingly acknowledged by the international community. Meeting the Millennium Development Goals required increased and sustained growth. Fortunately, the establishment of the African Union demonstrated a renewed political will among African leaders.
Many African countries since Rio had made meaningful progress in advancing Agenda 21, he noted. The Bank had actively promoted sustainable development through financing development projects. It was actively renewing and reformulating its sustainable development policies to take into account new policies and trends. With the convergence of global issues, it was necessary to forge a new international partnership with common approaches.
The Bank supported the New Partnership for Africa's Development (NEPAD) and welcomed the enthusiastic endorsement it had received from the international community. NEPAD made a convincing case for a new development paradigm based on national ownership. More than half of Africa's people did not have access to clean water and safe sanitation. Therefore, the Bank focused on joint efforts to develop integrated water management policies and played a leading role in establishing the Africa Water Task Force. He called on the international community to recognize that promoting the sustainable livelihoods in poorer countries was in the best interest of the richer countries.
JANET STRACHAN, speaking on behalf of Don Mackinnon, Secretary-General, Commonwealth Secretariat, said as the Commonwealth accounted for almost a third of the world's population, its policy makers had an important contribution to make. A deep commitment to long-term partnerships would be essential, based on equity, and collaborations that showed a spirit of generosity. One of the great assets of the Commonwealth in the pursuit of sustainable development was its diversity, and the equal participation of its member States. It was also a network of local governments, business, and professions and civil society organizations. Those would be a valuable asset in implementing the Summit outcomes.
To strengthen effective dialogue on priorities in sustainable development, the Commonwealth was strengthening national human rights institutions and democratic processes and was firmly committed to a rights-based approach. The Summit must support the efforts of small States and least developed countries, in particular the NEPAD. For small States, the critical need was to recognize and address their vulnerability. That would require appropriate policies on trade, investment and sustainable environmental management. Progress in addressing climate change was important to both small States and least developed countries.
She said strong political will was needed in order to ensure a sustainable future for everyone on the planet. In particular, developing countries must have greater access to markets in the industrialized world. More effort must be made to diversify developing countries' exports, and there must be a firm and time-bound commitment to phase out the massive agricultural subsidies in industrial countries. To preach trade liberalization while maintaining such perverse subsidies was not tenable.
LINABEL SEGOVIA. Mexican Youth Council for Sustainable Development, said the agreements achieved in Rio had been a first step towards sustainable development and the principles enshrined in Agenda 21 had been envisioned as a road map for further action, in that regard. Sadly, not much progress had been made in the past decade. Therefore, youth councils had taken it upon themselves to ensure that the commitments entered into in Johannesburg would not be even weaker than those that had emerged from Rio.
While the challenges before world governments appeared daunting, real progress in many areas was within reach. She called on the negotiating bodies to refocus their efforts and ensure that the Summit's outcome moved the wide international community away from a decades' worth of inertia and towards concrete action for the future. At the global level, youth called for compliance will all provisions of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the ratification of the Convention on the Rights of the Child. Youth also called on governments to increase the level of ODA in order to correct past regional inequities.
She said that youth also demanded that consumption levels in the developed world be changed. She called on the United Nations to promote and monitor transparent business and marketing practices for multinational and transnational corporations. She also called for the establishment of an international court with jurisdiction over transnational corporations. She called for broad ratification of the Kyoto Protocol and urged developed countries to halt subsidies, because they hurt more than helped small farmers, particularly those in the developing world. Today's youth called for full implementation of Agenda 21 and for integration of youth in decision-making processes.
ALVARO SILVA-CALDERON, Secretary-General, Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries, said that energy remained one of the key elements for developing countries to realize their growth potential. Yet, worldwide, 2 billion people had no access to modern forms of energy. For too long, communities across the globe had to rely on traditional forms of energy, which might be polluting, inefficient and posed threats to their health. Those communities had the same right as consumers in richer parts of the world to cleaner, more efficient forms of energy, which would support them on the path to sustainable development.
In the next 20 years, energy demands in developing countries would grow at three to four times the rate as that of industrialized countries, if present, pre-Johannesburg trends continued. That highlighted an urgent need to expand energy infrastructure and international investment in those countries. Oil and gas, with their abundant resource base, would be crucial in meeting the global energy needs and challenges for achieving sustainable development.
Advances in technology continued to make oil a cleaner fuel, while the impressive environmental credentials of gas were obvious, he said. The successful development of carbon dioxide sequestration technology would ensure that fossil fuels, including oil, were entirely compatible with sustained growth. While renewables would be an increasing part of the energy mix in the future, the continued development of clean fossil fuels would be, in most cases, more feasible than costly alternatives. Clean fossil fuels would provide a clear and easy path for the world's poorest countries to take on their road to growth.
ALISTAIR CLARK, representative of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, said the Bank, which fostered the transition to democracy and market economy in Central and Eastern Europe, had just marked its first year of operation when the Rio Summit was convened. The Bank's main role of investing in enterprises that would build the economies of those countries was subject to regular reviews of trends in democracy and market reform. It also worked to engender sustainable development in its 27 countries of operation. Since 1991, the Bank had invested some 20 billion euros, which had generated nearly 60 billion euros in further financing to support privatization.
He said the Bank had also provided loans or equity start-up costs for new companies. Even with those initiatives under way, the Bank was aware that financial investment could make important contributions beyond mobilizing private financing. Investments, he said, could provide a climate that attracted more investors and promoted long-term sustainability for many small business or local organizations. Further, nurturing small businesses to create jobs and provide services to populations encouraged entrepreneurial spirit, which in turn built pressure for transparency.
He went on to say that many of the Bank's investments integrated energy efficiency components into new investments, or improvements for existing projects. He added that a particularly nefarious legacy of an unsustainable past in the Central European region and elsewhere was nuclear insecurity. The Bank managed a Nuclear Safety Account to ensure the safety or decommissioning of ageing nuclear installations, including building safety structures around the Chernobyl nuclear plant in Ukraine. The Bank would continue to promote sustainability in the coming decade by working closely with international financial institutions and governments. Its role of supporting market economies must be complemented by others with different expertise, however, to ensure education, improved health and cushioning the social effects of the difficult economic choices made by governments.
RAMAN LETCHUMANAN, Assistant Director, Environment Association of South-East Asian Nations (ASEAN), said the prospect for a sustainable future had become bleak. Ten years since Rio had taught the lesson that the environment did not take care of itself. Human over-consumption and production, growing population and unsound practices were some of the factors that had contributed to the decline and should be addressed in a holistic manner.
In the early 1990s, ASEAN had experienced rapid economic growth, resulting in reduced poverty levels. The financial crisis of 1997 to 1998 reversed that trend, resulting in increasing poverty and social unrest. That crisis was compounded by serious forest fires that drove away tourists. He said for resolutions and plans of action to be implemented, finance, technology transfer and political will were required. The haves and the polluters should look at it as a "win-win" situation. This Summit must produce a plan of implementation with targets and timetables, he said.
FATMA SALAH EL DIN EL MALLAH, Director of the Department of Environment and Sustainable Development, League of Arab States, began by recalling the Beirut Declaration, adopted in March, in which Arab leaders affirmed their commitment to work with the leaders of the developed and developing countries to achieve sustainable development in the framework of common but differentiated responsibilities.
She then highlighted the Arab Initiative for Sustainable Development, which aimed at addressing the challenges faced by the Arab countries to achieve sustainable development. The Initiative covered the following areas: peace and security; institutional frameworks; poverty alleviation; population and health; education, awareness, scientific research and technology transfer; resources management; production and consumption; and globalization, trade and investment.
The implementation of Agenda 21 programmes and partnership initiatives, she said, required the provision of the necessary and adequate funding, particularly through increasing the resources of the Global Environment Facility (GEF) and in accordance with the results of the Monterrey Conference. She urged the developed countries and the international donor community to fulfil their obligations and commitments to increase ODA.
ERIC MANN, Director, Wiltern Labor and Community Strategy Center, said he had come today to express the non-governmental organizations' frustration and a profound rejection of the predetermined outcome of the Summit. What had become clear was that Rio was an illusion -- perhaps even a trick. Some in the international community had said there had been a "crisis of implementation" during the last decade. What was that but a code for indifference that had led to failure? It appeared that every single one of the development issues on the international agenda over the past decade had been seriously eroded.
He said that when he asked himself about the reasons for such inertia and outright indifference towards implementation of the Rio Declaration and Agenda 21, he realized that perhaps it was because of the "US" in JUSCANZ -- the United States. It was disheartening that his country had so much influence within the United Nations, but used its position as the one world super-Power to fashion toothless neo-liberal policies. He said that, in the case of the current negotiations, the United States influence had resulted in a draft outcome document that was not only neo-liberal, but incoherent, and based on deregulation, voluntary compliance and the myth of partnerships.
He recalled that his organization had been present at last year's World Conference against Racism in Durban and had arrived in Johannesburg for the present Summit on Sustainable Development only to be stunned that he had yet to hear any mention of the discussions in Durban. How could sustainable development be discussed without a challenge to racism, which was rooted in percepts of colonialism? He repudiated the current trend that painted non-governmental organizations as worthless or even "evil". They spoke for their communities, he said, and they had come to Johannesburg to work with world leaders. But those leaders should not be surprised if they experienced what some called "social unrest", but what civil society called principled protest.
ANTONIO MARIA COSTA, Executive Director, United Nations Office for Drug Control and Crime Prevention, said globalization could, apart from positive developments, provide an opportunity for the elements of "uncivil society" to act in ways that threatened peace and progress. Those activities were neither controllable nor solvable by governments acting alone. Organized crime engaged in large-scale money laundering, trafficking in people and smuggling of drugs and arms, with illegal profits as high as three to four per cent of global gross domestic product (GDP) annually. It also exploited hundreds of thousands of persons who were trafficked each year across international borders, mainly women and children. The combination of international terrorism and organized crime threatened peace and security. It often prolonged humanitarian crises and always rendered development unsustainable.
The Office had developed practical assistance to countries in building their capacity to fight local and cross-border narcotics trafficking and crime, he said. That experience was now being utilized to fight the trafficking of persons. It was also important for fighting terrorists. The Office was not a development programme. Rather, it was committed to strengthening the "software" aspects of development: good governance, honest and open markets, absence of corruption, human safety, and the rule of law. It was helping States to strike back at drug traffickers, organized criminal groups and corrupt officials. NEPAD had underlined that re-launching economic growth and reducing poverty were more likely to succeed if the appropriate context was created. In helping NEPAD, his Office was active in building the capacity for legal frameworks and maintaining law and order, stopping the proliferation of small arms, tackling corruption and initiating judicial reform.
He believed there could not be sustainable development unless concerns of crime, narcotics, terrorism and trafficking in human beings were also addressed. The organization aimed to be proactive and constructive. It could provide the vital ingredients for sustainability -- namely enabling the civil aspects of society to prevail, and neutralizing the uncivil elements.
ROBERT PRIDDLE, Executive Director, International Energy Agency, said that there could be no sustainable economic development without a secure, affordable supply of energy, in a form which avoided unacceptable environmental damage. While renewable energy promised many benefits, renewables alone did not offer a path to a sustainable future. Economic development and poverty eradication depended on secure, affordable energy supplies, which would come in many forms.
Fossil fuels, he continued, though environmentally challenged, could meet the criteria of security and affordability. Technology, driven by the right incentives, offered possible answers to the environmental problems -- clean-coal technology and technologies to safely capture and store carbon. The right mix of fuels must be determined by economic criteria, taking full account of costs and benefits not yet fully reflected in market prices. Access to energy services was clearly an essential part of alleviating poverty and promoting economic and social welfare.
CARLOS JARQUE, Manager, Department of Sustainable Development, Inter-American Development Bank, said during the past decade, many positive changes had occurred in his region. Policy reforms had contributed to greater macroeconomic stability, a resurgence in economic growth and an increase in foreign trade and investment. Democratic regimes had been consolidated and human rights were more widely respected. However, the region still faced tremendous challenges. The recovery of growth in per capita income had only reached an average of 1.5 per cent. Social inequality remained very high, and volatility in economic growth and erratic capital flows had recently affected various countries.
In the last decade, the Bank had become the largest development lender in the region and a major catalyst in mobilizing resources for sustainable development. Its operations covered the entire spectrum of economic and social development, with an emphasis on programmes that benefited low-income populations. Faced with the current crisis, the Bank had singled out poverty reduction and promotion of social equity on the one hand, and environmentally sustainable economic growth on the other, as the two overarching objectives. The Bank would, among other things, support investments in human capital, promote efficient mobilization of financial resources, and continue to support the region's countries to develop and implement actions that addressed the multiple causes and faces of poverty.
The Bank would give priority to programmes that addressed the challenges of the Millennium Development Goals, he said. The Bank would also assist in initiatives that combated exclusion and discrimination by implementing a new action plan that included women and indigenous peoples. Priority would also be given to support of social protection systems aimed at reducing the poors' vulnerability to economic shocks and natural disasters. During the past decade, the Bank had contributed substantially to the establishment of legislative and institutional frameworks for more effective regulation and management of the environment and would continue to do so.
REUEL KHOZA, Chairman of ESKOM, speaking on behalf of Business Action for Sustainable Development, said that no single entity could achieve the objectives of sustainable development alone. Business looked to governments to lead with a strong "Type 1" agreement. While business was willing to participate in partnership-implementation mechanisms within the framework of those agreements, he stressed that Type 1 agreement should facilitate partnerships and not impose conditions so onerous as to make them ineffective.
Also, business was in favour of openness and transparency - setting clear targets and with appropriate reporting on the economic, social and environmental aspects of sustainable development in their operations, he said. With respect to investment, business encouraged the creation of national enabling environments conducive to investment in sustainability programmes. In particular, there were major opportunities for business, aid agencies and governments to benefit from the leverage of ODA and foreign direct investment.
Business, he continued, recognized that the challenges faced required a very different approach to that historically adopted. Enhanced levels of innovation and technological development were required to make the quantum leap from the current situation to a truly sustainable future. Business had made major strides in recent years in adding shareholder value through investments in sustainable development.
Rev. Father GERARD T. LAGLEDER, of the Sovereign Military Order of Malta, said all were seeking the best possible solutions for sustainable development. At the same time, sustainable development must not be considered an independent aim to be viewed in isolation. Rather it must always focus on the human person. Human development must be the Summit's first concern, in order to develop the human family. And that process would only be sustainable through a holistic approach, developing the whole person -- body, mind and soul.
He said, however, that a perfectly educated brain in a healthy body might become a threat to humankind if it was not part of a morally and spiritually well-balanced personality. There were developments under way within the scientific community which were degrading the sacrosanct nature of human life, particularly with the ever-increasing practice of abortion and euthanasia in many countries. He considered a life "degraded" if it was generated, harvested or abused, or where life, not meeting certain criteria, was disposed of in the trash bin of gene technology.
Where development was not based on a morally sound foundation, and where it was not embedded in synergy with the Creator, technological process might be led astray and the overall aims of development might be jeopardized. He said that if development wanted to be sustainable, it must develop the human person towards respect for life, maturity, responsibility and care, or in religious terms, towards faith, peace and love.
SADDEDINE TAIB, Director of Cabinet, Organization of Islamic Conference, said his organization had convened a ministerial conference on the environment and its correlations with development in June. It stressed that Islam held a principled and unequivocal position on ecology and ecological balance. That position had been formulated 14 centuries ago on the basis that natural resources were limited. Thus, the use and exploitation of natural resources must be approached with the appropriate methodology in order not to deplete or harm nature in any way that was detrimental to the interests of future generations.
What was needed now, he said, was for the advanced and third world countries to sacrifice certain development programmes for the sake of preserving ecological balance and keeping the environment safe for future generations. The starting position of developing countries could not possibly be placed on a par with that of the advanced countries. Justice required that major rectifications be introduced in the equation through concessions on the part of the party to gain most. One had to wonder whether it was reasonable to equate destroying the environment in order to preserve a consumptive and extravagant society with polluting the environment in order to earn a living and assure survival. A special and clear responsibility should be placed on the advanced countries.
In order for globalization to become sustainable and compatible with sustainable development, it must be anchored in the values of justice, solidarity and global interdependence. Financial institutions must play an effective role by adopting homogeneous and integrated policies in such fields as agriculture, industrial development, technology, investment, trade, and finance.
ROLF W. BOEHNKE, Managing Director of the Common Fund for Commodities, said that while the three pillars of sustainable development were closely intertwined, the economic pillar appeared to be the most fundamental one. Without a firm economic base it would be difficult, if not impossible, to provide the health and educational services people could rightly expect to receive. Out of the 2.5 billion people engaged in agriculture in the developing world, about 1 billion derived a significant proportion of their income from the production of export commodities, such as coffee, cotton, cocoa and bananas.
Primary commodity production and exports were particularly important for employment, incomes and government revenues of the least developed countries. Commodities also formed the economic backbone for large sections of the populations in other developing countries and countries with economies in transition. There was a close link between commodity dependence and extreme poverty. To stimulate sustainable economic growth, measures needed to be taken to unlock the potential, which was embedded in the natural endowment of the commodity-dependent countries, so as to turn a perceived disadvantage into an important growth factor.
JOSE MEDEM, President, World Federation of Engineering Organizations, said scientists and engineers were committed to sustainable development through knowledge and technology generation and diffusion. Addressing the basic needs in the areas of water, food, health, housing and energy consisted essentially in the application of appropriate technologies.
He went on to say that countries in both the developed and developing world contributed significantly to global risks, such as climate change, ozone depletion, degradation of biological resources and loss or deterioration of arable land. The unsustainable production and consumption patterns of the developed world were largely responsible for the present condition of the Earth. Unfortunately, that same intensive model of economic development was viewed by many in the developing world as the path to prosperity. Improving the economic well-being of lesser developed countries and reducing poverty of the third world was a prerequisite for creating a stable sustainable world.
He said that urgent action was required to reverse unsustainable production and consumption patterns by the adoption of appropriate and environmentally sound technology. To that end, scientists and engineers must be focused on affordability and accessibility, as much as on developing cutting-edge innovations. The conditions of the poor could only be improved by using low-cost local materials, renewable energy and local fabrication. In order to strengthen the capability of developing countries to produce, adapt to and use new knowledge and technologies, the international community must improve the dissemination of information through networks and partnerships.
JOSEPHINE MOYO, Partners in Population and Development, said her organization was an intergovernmental alliance of 19 developing countries, with the mission to expand and improve South-South collaboration in the field of family planning and reproductive health. The partner countries had begun to face sustainability challenges caused by general population growth, diseases of poverty, financial deprivation, inadequate access to family planning, and such diseases as tuberculosis, malaria and HIV/AIDS.
The overall strategy of her organization was to build the capacity of both individuals and institutions in developing countries through the development of tools for documentation of local experiences, research, technical assistance, training programmes, establishing networks, social mobilization and policy dialogue, she said. Leadership development, relevant to population and reproductive health programmes, was gaining momentum in Partner countries and other developing countries. Fellowship programmes had been promoted to enhance individual skills. She said Partners called upon the international community to particularly address and endorse the plight of poor countries in their lack of access to essential health commodities. It also called on the Summit to include population and reproductive health in the plan of implementation.
IOSEFA MAIAVA, Deputy Secretary General, Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat, said the overarching issue faced by Pacific islands today was globalization. Globalization provided opportunities for the Pacific islands, but it had also brought or accelerated some negative trends, including deteriorating terms of trade. Other current concerns of Pacific islands included environmental degradation and resource depletion; high population growth rates; socio-economic inequalities and poverty; health problems; poor governance; transnational organized crime; climate change, climate variability and sea-level rise; and transportation of nuclear radioactive materials.
Sovereignty implied the provision of a range of public goods and services, he said. To the extent that there were indivisibilities in the provision of those, for the Pacific islands the fixed costs must be spread among a relatively small population and economic base. Add to that the fact of isolation from the main markets and from each other, their dispersal over the vast Pacific Ocean, and their extreme vulnerability to natural and human-made disasters, they continued to call for special and differentiated treatment for small and vulnerable island economies, and for common and differentiated responsibilities for all.
The inclusion of a special chapter on small island developing States, and the emphasis placed on oceans in the draft summit plan of action, was a cause for celebration, he said. It was also a cause of hope for greater future recognition of the special challenges faced by small island economies in a vast and sometimes turbulent oceanic region.
JOSEPH WARIOBA, on behalf of the Secretary-General's Advisory Panel for the World Summit on Sustainable Development, said Rio had raised the hope that the world would move closer to a more peaceful and sustainable future. But, in the decade since that important conference, difficulties had emerged surrounding efforts to realize the principles enshrined in Agenda 21. Indeed, if poverty, destruction of the environment and violence continued to grow despite technological advances, economic growth and social advancement, it was clear that more concerted efforts were needed to achieve broad sustainable development.
The Panel believed that the Earth Charter could contribute to laying a more concrete foundation on which the international community's sustainable development efforts could be built. He said that spirituality, particularly the notion of promoting inner peace, as well as peace with the environment and ecosystems in which we lived, would also be required in order to find the road to sustainability. The Panel hoped that Johannesburg would produce clear, time-bound targets for the attainment of commitments already made, in order to bridge the gap between poor and rich and developed and developing countries.
He urged the negotiating bodies to recognize the need to ensure capacity- and institution-building, reform of the world trade system, as well as the real need to commit the required resources that would allow poor countries to realize the decisions that would be reached. The Panel believed the challenge in Johannesburg was not simply reaching agreement on another plan of action. The real challenge was reaching agreement on something the world would recognize as a major step towards the implementation of the international goals set so far. Anything less than that would mean that the same issues hindering progress today -- at Rio +10 -- would also cast a shadow over "Johannesburg +10".
BEMMA DONKOH, Representative of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR)-South Africa, said sustainable development was an issue central to the UNHCR, as it sought solutions to the tragic situations of millions of the world's refugees. The issues of the Summit -- water, health, sanitation and energy -- were of utmost relevance to refugees, as well as to the local populations hosting them. Sustainable development could not be achieved without the active involvement of the very people for whom the programmes were designed. However, refugees could easily be dismissed as an issue peripheral to development. The reality was that sustainable development would be very difficult to achieve if the productive capacities of huge refugee populations were ignored.
She said refugees must not just be seen as beneficiaries of humanitarian aid, but as potential contributors to sustainable development, both in their countries of asylum and upon their return home. The tragedy of forced human displacement must not be compounded by further damage inflicted on the environment of those countries that so generously gave a home to the refugees. Environmental management was, therefore, a policy priority at UNHCR, based on the principles of Rio.
UNHCR urged governments to look afresh at the many occasions for development presented during refugee-related programmes, to recognize refugees as "agents of development" rather than a burden or threat. Many good opportunities had been wasted by inappropriate policies and legislation, depriving regions and countries of important opportunities for their own development. Those obstacles must be removed, she said.
MERCY KARANJA, Chief Executive Officer, Kenya National Farmers' Union, said that the farmers at the Summit had been excited by the commitments heard so far, including those to ensure access to water and conserve biodiversity. They were glad that the international community was talking no longer of political will, but of action. One could not proceed with development without food security, she noted. Therefore, farmers should be included in many of the partnerships spoken about during the past week. Women farmers, more specifically, were the custodians of natural resources and biodiversity.
As such, she continued, they must be included in the management of the biodiversity in their regions and included in partnership initiatives. Among the problems they faced was lack of access to markets. To overcome their constraints, farmers needed to be mobilized and organized. She called for clear support programmes for farmers and financial support for rural infrastructure. She emphasized that the international community could not continue to talk about livelihoods with the continued dumping resulting from the subsidizing of farmers in the North. She called for an end to such subsidies and for forming new partnerships to forge ahead with the agreements reached.
JOSE ACHACHE, Chairman, Committee on Earth Observation Satellites, said full knowledge of the state and changing nature of our planet were essential if any real decisions on sustainable development were going to be made. It was up to the international community, particularly intergovernmental bodies, to support agencies that provided that knowledge. Technical support for Earth and information satellites should be considered an integral part of national development plans.
At the same time, he said, space agencies and observatories worldwide should continue to provide the information they received on request and free of charge. Such crucial information should not be monopolized by one nation -- it must be made available to all. He urged the Summit to consider including language in the outcome document which reaffirmed the need for high quality and timely global information that could contribute to protection of the environment.
MILOON KOTHARI, Special Rapporteur on Adequate Housing, Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, said the issue of housing could not be separated from other issues related to sustainable development. A decade after Rio, 600 million urban dwellers lived in inadequate housing with inadequate provision of water, sanitation and garbage collection. So did 1 billion people living in rural areas. Globalization policies had accelerated the trends towards privatization of essential services such as water, often at the expense of the poor, and particularly of women. Faced with the scale of the problem, only a human rights paradigm could offer solutions and changes to attain sustainable development. .
The right to adequate housing needed to be recognized as a crucial entitlement on the road to achieving sustainable development, including environmental security, he continued. That recognition was essential, since the realization of the right to adequate housing lost its meaning unless processes were put in place that ensured that people and communities could live in an environment that was free from pollution of air, water and the food chain, he said.
He urged the retention of all paragraphs in the outcome documents that referred to human rights. The documents needed to ensure the consistency of national laws and policies within international and regional human rights and multilateral environmental agreements. Seen from the viewpoint of the landless and the homeless, the struggle for a secure place to live was inseparable from the struggle to live in a safe environment.
RAJESH CHANDRA, Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Pacific Centre for Environment and Sustainable Development, said that the Centre was part of the University of the South Pacific, the largest educational and research institution in the Pacific Islands. The Pacific Island region comprised some of the most isolated, resource-poor, and economically and ecologically vulnerable nations on Earth. He was pleased that the international community had recognized the small island developing States as a group needing special assistance and treatment.
As had been stressed throughout the Summit, education, training and research constituted perhaps the most important foundation for sustainable development, he said. As such, it must be given the highest priority. As a further recognition of education, training and research needs for sustainable development, the University had embarked on the establishment of centres of excellence in selected areas and would welcome partnerships.
The University, he said, strongly believed that good governance lay at the heart of sustainable development. Without transparent, accountable and participatory governance, and the strengthening of the required institutions, sustainable development, including poverty alleviation, would be problematic, if not impossible. The University was committed to the region's efforts to improve governance at all levels through new and innovative academic programmes, research, consultancy and community research. It had recently established the Pacific Institute of Advanced Studies in Development and Governance, and a postgraduate programme in governance.
DOUGLAS HYKLE, Deputy Executive Secretary, Convention on the Conservation of Migratory Species of Wild Animals, said the implications of the loss of species, and the valuable ecosystem goods and services they provided, was alarming. The insidious damage being done to biodiversity undermined the sustainability of life on the planet. Direct uses, such as hunting and fishing, of migratory species -- 8,000 to 10,000 species of wild animals whose life cycles were characterized by migration -- were considerable. Indirect uses, such as those based on ecotourism, yielded benefits in the billions of dollars to both developing and developing countries.
Clearly, that special component of biodiversity had significant economic benefit to local, regional and even global economies, he said. The depletion of migratory species through over-exploitation could put entire industries at risk. On the other hand, if managed wisely, those resources could contribute to sustainable development and, in marginal areas, might represent the difference between basic survival and a more secure standard of living. Management plans must be developed to better regulate, harvest, protect and restore critical habitats and coordinate management interventions between countries. In oceans, fishing practices must be employed that were more selective and less destructive.
He said that some species, already spiraling towards extinction, could withstand little, if any, additional human exploitation. Creating real opportunities to pursue alternative livelihoods by those having an impact on that resource would reduce the immediate pressures on vulnerable species. Translating into reality the implementation plan's ideals of stakeholder empowerment and involvement in decision-making was critical in that respect. No doubt, some at the Summit would consider conservation of migratory species to "pale" in comparison to the complex issues being discussed here, but the quiet extinction of a species was an absolutely irreversible process.
ROLF ZELIUS, Deputy Director-General, Asian Development Bank, said poverty reduction was the Bank's overarching objective. It would achieve that objective through extensive pro-poor programmes and community loan and investment schemes. The Bank would also focus on environmental interventions for poverty reduction, namely in natural resource management in urban areas. It would also work to strengthen financial regulatory frameworks in the region. It would make special efforts to protect life-support systems, particularly since the regions recent experience with "brown clouds" highlighted the clear linkages between global, regional and national environmental problems.
The Bank would also foster partnerships and continue to be actively engaged with ASEAN and member countries and others in efforts to tap into local expertise of financial and economic issues, he said. The Bank was also building a broad coalition of partners to offset regional financial difficulties. He added that, after Rio the myriad multilateral financial arrangements and strategies that were developed did not adequately stimulate local investment or address the poverty and environment nexus. It was clear that any such initiatives emerging from Johannesburg should focus on the issue of poverty and environment.
DENNIS RANGI, Director for Africa, Centre for Applied Bioscience International, calling the organization a "new breed of international not-for-profit" group, said that everyone had a role to play and no one had a monopoly on the way forward. The organization believed that the focus for the future should be on the resource-poor farmer. Poverty alleviation could not otherwise be addressed. Within the global framework of international competitive pressures, overreliance on pesticides and other expensive inputs in agriculture and trends towards large-scale monocultures was displacing the small-holder and subsistence farmer.
He said the group's partner governments, non-governmental organizations, and multinational corporations were working together to achieve their agendas, which met the needs and aspirations of the resource-poor and biodiversity sustainable imperatives. Loss of natural environments and biodiversity threatened food production and the supply of raw materials that sustained livelihoods. But, understanding of biodiversity had confined itself to endangered animal and plant species. All biodiversity relied on microorganisms in soils and plants. Those also held the keys to advances in medicine, agriculture and industry. The sustainable use of microbial biodiversity, in systems under change and threat, must be the next frontier.
ALLAN LLOYD, President, World Associations of Cities and Local Authorities Coordination, said this afternoon, a Local Government Declaration had been agreed upon, which had the support of local governments around the world. Global issues addressed by the Summit must be addressed at the local level. The issues of water, energy, public health and protecting biodiversity were of daily concern to local governments. His organization was committed to good governance at the local level -- strong, effective and transparent local governments that worked closely with their communities and other partners, paying special attention to the needs of the weakest in the communities.
He said the global and the local were not two separate realities. They were two sides of the same coin. His organization expressed, therefore, full support for the Millennium Goals. It also called for increased aid for development and for more debt cancellation for the poorest countries. More resources needed to be directed to local government, so that they could play their role in full. He recognized that in many countries, the role and capacity of local government needed to be improved. City-to-city cooperation was a vital tool to help in achieving that. Capacity-building required long-term commitment and support from national governments and the international community.
His organization regretted that, so far, the references in the Summit's outcome documents to the role of local government were very limited. He urged that the Summit's political declaration would recognize that role in a positive way. Local action, undertaken in solidarity and partnership, could move the world, he said, and he submitted the Local Government Declaration to the Summit.
HENRI DJOMBO, President of the African Timber Organization, said tropical African forests, together with the Amazon, made up the major virgin forests. Both those regions were under increasing pressure, because of rapid population growth and a shortage of arable land. He added that Africa considered its forests to be a major economic resource, in that they provided a living for people in rural communities, were home to a huge reservoir of biodiversity and acted as a major "carbon sink" for the planet. Forestry was one of the key sectors for development and poverty alleviation in Africa. The challenge was how to balance galloping population growth and endemic poverty against the need to protect the environment and preserve natural resources, he said.
Africa was attempting to address that challenge by ensuring that forest-preservation initiatives were integrated in plans for broader development. Those plans were based not only on timber as a resource material, but also advocating decentralized forest management at village and local levels. Forest taxation systems had also been reformed and now promoted local processing of timber products, among other things. Long-term survival of forests was key. His organization hoped that the efforts made by African countries would receive the support of the wider international community, so that the benefits to be gained through improved forestry management techniques could be put to better use.
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