ALGERIA: Tuesday morning opened with an intervention by Lakhdar Brahimi, the Algerian Minister of Foreign Affairs, speaking on behalf of the Maghreb Union. The countries of the Maghreb Union have established a working group to focus on a number of issues, including: development of a strategy to combat desertification; establishment of an African network to exchange information on desertification and soil erosion; and evaluation of the state of the environment in North Africa. With regard to the proposed convention to combat desertification, Algeria is prepared to host, in the heart of the Sahara, a meeting of the bureau of the INC when it becomes operational.
THE NETHERLANDS: Mr. Hans Alders, Minister of Housing, Physical Planning and the Environment stated that UNCED successfully put sustainable development on the political agenda. At home, the Netherlands is assessing its own domestic policies and determining where more needs to be done, including changing consumption patterns. Alders also stated that there is a need for more binding agreements on forests. On the CSD, he stated that the Commission should be high level; its composition should strike a careful balance between effectiveness and involvement; and its Secretariat should be located in New York so as to be close to the UN Secretary-General. Finally, he stated that the Netherlands will honor financial commitments made in Rio.
FRANCE: In the briefest speech of the morning, Jean-Bernard Merimee, France's permanent representative to the UN, touched on a few issues regarding UNCED follow-up. The CSD should be a privileged forum for follow-up. It will be up to countries to develop specific proposals and ECOSOC's Consultative Committee on Development Planning provides a good basis. France reiterated support for a convention to combat desertification; achieving the target of 0.7 percent of GNP for ODA by the year 2000; increasing the amount of ODA to Fr.43 billion and providing an additional Fr.1.2 billion for technology transfer, institutional support and poverty eradication.
NORWAY: The Norwegian State Secretary for Foreign Affairs, Jan Egeland, stated that only national implementation will reveal the success of UNCED or not. Norway had hoped for stronger principles in the Rio Declaration and, therefore, supports further development of an Earth Charter by 1995. Egeland restated the financial package that the Nordic countries presented during the UNCED process, which included the following elements: industrialized countries must meet ODA targets by 2000; developed countries must meet incremental costs in addressing global problems; and financial contributions must be based on fair burden sharing. Norway's ODA levels already exceed 1 percent of GNP and Norway continues to press for significant IDA replenishment. Norway maintains that the Commission must: meet for an annual session of two-three weeks, include a high-level segment with ministerial participation; have a multi-year work program; and have an independent Secretariat reporting directly to the UN Secretary-General. NGO involvement must be safeguarded and strengthened in the UNCED follow-up as well as within the UN system as a whole.
ROMANIA: The Ambassador from Romania stated that his country will play an active part to fulfill objectives of UNCED at the regional, national and international levels. Romania also attaches a great importance to the Commission on Sustainable Development and will cooperate with other countries to prepare the draft resolution.
COLOMBIA: Luis Fernando Jaramillo, the Colombian representative to the UN, stated that countries must adjust their institutions and their national policies to consider environmental protection as a primary focus. In a comment about the UN Secretary-General's speech the previous day, Jaramillo said that it is not prudent to prejudge the work of governments who are working out the modalities of UN reform. Reform of the UN Secretariat will depend on member states who will have the final say. He also stated that the Commission on Sustainable Development has two main roles: to evaluate Agenda 21 follow-up at the governmental level and to coordinate the follow-up within the UN system. Restating a common theme throughout the UNCED process, Jaramillo said that developing countries are prepared to rationalize our growth if developed countries are willing to provide necessary financing and technology.
VENEZUELA: The Venezuelan representative to the UN, Ambassador Diego Arria, said that the Commission represents the institutionalization of the Earth Summit as a forum to reconcile interests. Citing a paper prepared by the United Nations Association of the USA, he mentioned that the CSD should be flexible enough to adapt to emerging changes. Developed countries have no choice but to transfer the necessary resources, otherwise the result will be political and ecological suicide.
IRAN: Iranian Ambassador Javad Zarif advocated that the CSD be located at the UN headquarters in New York, unless any volunteer host country is ready to bear the costs of facilitating the participation of small states during the Commission's deliberations. Zarif also urged developed countries to make initial financial commitments towards the implementation of Agenda 21 during this General Assembly session. Furthermore, he advocated reform of patent protection and intellectual property rights, with the view to ensure access to and transfer of environmentally-sound technology. Finally, he supported the drafting of an international convention on desertification.
THAILAND: Ambassador Nitya Pibulsonggram commented that at the national level, Thailand has made sustainable development the central goal of her development path. Thailand's Seventh National Development Plan (1992-1996) has shifted its focus towards income distribution, rural development, human resources development, enhancing the quality of life and the protection of the environment. Thailand supports, in principle, the initiatives put forward by the Group of 77 on the CSD's composition, functions and frequency of meetings, and emphasized the view that any post-UNCED institutional arrangement be consistent with the efforts to reform the UN in the economic, social and related fields.
BANGLADESH: The Permanent Representative of Bangladesh to the UN, Humayun Kabir, emphasized that developing countries will require financial assistance to meet their obligations under UNCED. Moreover, developing countries should play a role in governance of international financial institutions. Existing financial institutions should be revamped to undertake expanded responsibilities. He also mentioned that the concept of a peace dividend must survive UNCED.
CHINA: In the final speech of the morning, Chinese Ambassador Li Daoyu stated that in the UNCED follow-up process, we should not only base our actions on Agenda 21 but also follow the Rio Declaration for guidance. He also warned that concern with the environmental question should not distract the attention or divert the resources of the UN and other international organizations from their traditional areas of concern, especially those related to economic and social development of developing countries.
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