KOREA: The afternoon began with a statement by Jai-Chang Lee, Korea's Minister of Environment, who stressed that financing the necessary measures contained in Agenda 21 is first and foremost. The share of the financial burden of Agenda 21-related activities assumed by each country should be proportional to the country's ability to pay and its cumulative contribution to global pollution. Furthermore, the effective implementation of Agenda 21 will require substantial assistance in the form of technology transfer from developed countries. Korea believes that the CSD should have equitable geographical distribution and should resonate with the revitalization and restructuring of the UN system in economic, social and related fields. NGOs also merit a participatory role in the Commission's activities. At home, the Korean government has established a "Ministerial Committee on the Global Environment" which is headed by the Prime Minister. The conclusions of the Committee will be incorporated in the five-year National Economic and Social Development Plan to guide implementation strategies affecting the environment. Korea has also begun to strengthen various environmental regulations and is planning a Northeast Asian Environmental Conference to be held in Seoul next year.
JAPAN: The next speaker was Shozaburo Nakamura, Japan's Minister of State in charge of Global Environmental Problems, who identified the major issues with respect to UNCED follow-up, including: an early and effective ratification of the two conventions; the establishment of a process to review the international implementation of the forest principles; strengthening financial and technical cooperation on forest management; and a convention combatting desertification and drought. On institutional matters, Japan believes that the CSD should have broad representation among Member States and the participation of non-member states, international organizations and, once an appropriate procedure is instituted, NGO involvement should be promoted. The Japanese government is "keenly" interested in the high-level advisory body, which is expected to provide expert advice to the Secretary-General, since Japan proposed such a body. It should consist of a small number of eminent persons and maintain a balance with respect to geographical representation and fields of expertise. On the issue of finance, Nakamura indicated the need to secure appropriate funds for the GEF, once a mechanism that ensures the effective and efficient use of the fund is established. Japan has set the goal of net ODA disbursements in excess of US$50 billion for the five-year period 1988-1992, a 100 percent increase over the previous five years.
MEXICO: The Mexican Minister of Social Development, Luis Donaldo Colosio, stated that the commitments achieved in Rio mark the beginning of a process that calls for all of our energy and our strongest political will to turn a vast development programme into reality. On the issue of new and additional financial resources, the results at Rio were far below expectations. Mexico hopes that the CSD will offer a chance to correct these shortcomings by securing a link between this and all other sources of finance for the execution of Agenda 21. He also stressed the need for the transfer of technology on favorable terms, poverty alleviation and the fact that development and environmental responsibility are two inseparable principles.
BURKINA FASO: Ambassador Gaetan Rimwanguiya Ouedraogo from Burkina Faso, like many other developing countries, emphasized the need for new and additional financial resources, debt relief, transfer of technology and the need for political will on the part of developed countries. On the issue of desertification, he proposed the following: the INC should be open to all UN members and observers; an organizational session and five prepcoms; a bureau with five members; an ad hoc secretariat led by an experienced staff member; and opportunities for relevant NGOs can also help to ensure the success of the Conference. As for the CSD, Burkina Faso supports a Commission of 53 members elected by ECOSOC for three years on the basis of equitable geographic distribution at the highest level; the first session should be held in New York in 1993; and the mission of the CSD should be flexible.
INDIA: Shri Kamal Nath, the Indian Minister for Environment and Forests, stated that the Commission on Sustainable Development should focus primarily on cross-sectoral issues such as the flow of additional financial resources, the modalities for transfer of technology, the development of capabilities, removal of trade imbalances, the reorientation of international institutions, etc. Sectoral programmes, thus, will have to be seen in the context of these cross-sectoral issues. He stressed the importance of ratifying the conventions signed in Rio and then elaborated India's position with regard to the statement of forest principles. Environmental irresponsibility on the part of some has resulted in forests suddenly being viewed as the only lifeline to the future. India does not look upon its forests as mere sinks for toxic emissions. Forests are an issue for global cooperation only insofar as financial, technical and scientific cooperation is concerned. They are not a global issue if this involves international regulation, which is not only unacceptable but also unworkable.
CANADA: The next speaker was Jean Charest, the Canadian Minister of Environment, who said that to implement sustainable development three factors are vital: transparency, accountability and inclusiveness. Canada supports the establishment of the Commission on Sustainable Development and emphasized that it should provide for the active participation of NGOs and other groups. However, the CSD is only one part of the picture. Sustainable development themes and programmes must be integrated into the entire UN system, including an enhanced role for UNEP. After reiterating key points from Canadian Prime Minister Mulroney's address in Rio, Charest stressed the need for immediate follow-up to UNCED's achievements on forests and high seas overfishing. Charest also noted the participation of NGOs on the Canadian delegation to the General Assembly.
FINLAND: Ms. Sirpa Pietikinen, Minister of the Environment of Finland, welcomed the establishment of the CSD but also stressed the importance of: monitoring the provision of new and additional financial resources; linking institutional arrangements with the overall reform of the economic and social sectors of the UN; setting the size of the Commission so as to strike a balance between efficiency and representation; including participation and dialogue with NGOs, scientific and private sectors and financing institutions; and not limiting the functions of the Commission to implementing results of Rio. Finland supports a strong and independent secretariat located in New York. Within the UN system, Finland supports strengthening UNEP to meet the needs of Agenda 21 and emphasizes the crucial role that UNDP must play in organizing UN system support for capacity building in developing countries. On forests, Finland believes that the Principles represent a step towards global cooperation on forests, but now we need to prepare national programs and other related measures to implement these principles. With this in mind, Helsinki will host a conference on forests in June 1993.
BOLIVIA: Ambassador Oscar Serrate-Cuellar, the Bolivian Permanent Representative to the UN, stated that bipolar strategies have given way to a tri-polar economy with a new style of competition, one which brings together a group of seven at the exclusive banquet of development. He mentioned some of the highlights of the Earth Summit but emphasized that the General Assembly must now turn the promises of Rio into concrete commitments and tangible results. With regard to the Commission on Sustainable Development, Bolivia stressed the importance of active participation by the organs, programs and organizations of the UN System, as well as the international financial institutions and NGOs.
SWEDEN: The Swedish Minister of Environment and Natural Resources, Olof Johansson, elaborated a firm and efficient system for Rio follow-up. The components include: (1) the Commission on Sustainable Development, preferably based in New York, meeting at the high official level with proper gender and age balance, and active NGO participation; (2) transfer of financial resources and technology; (3) the involvement of UN agencies and other intergovernmental organizations; and (4) activity on the national and local level, where the global perspective can be translated into practical action. Sweden also listed a number of additional issues that require increased attention by the UN system, including environmental emergencies, the impact of military activity on the environment, the energy sector and chemicals.
AUSTRIA: Ruth Feldgrill-Zankel, the Austrian Federal Minister of Environment, Youth and Family Affairs, commented that Austria has already undertaken a series of decisive steps including: reducing the use of CFCs by almost 90 percent; reducing municipal wastes by 50 percent over the next five years; and preparing a National Environment Plan. Austria also has a vision of a Central Europe without nuclear power. With regard to the CSD, Austria stressed that it should: provide for representation of various parts of the UN system and other international organizations on the basis of procedures for their accreditation and participation used in UNCED; organize itself into segments or sessional committees; include an effective and independent secretariat. Finally, Austria recognized the need for an increase in the transfer of resources to developing countries and has pledged US$38.10 million to the GEF.
BENIN: In the final speech on Monday, Ambassador Rene Valery Mongbe referred to poverty as the most important threat not only to humanity but to the planet. On more specific matters, such as the CSD, he stated the need for equitable geographic representation amongst the membership and that Commission members be elected for three-year terms. He reiterated support for NGO participation on the basis of UNCED procedures. Benin expressed its desire for the first ordinary session to be held at the UN in New York.
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