CHILE: The afternoon's session opened with a statement from the representative of Chile who commented on the widespread interest in the Earth Summit, demonstrated, in part, by the large number of NGOs who participated in the UNCED process. Countries must adjust national policies to the needs of the environment and this cannot happen without the provision of the necessary financing. Chile believes that establishing the CSD on the right lines will, to a large extent, determine what targets can be set or met. The CSD can also help to strengthen the work of ECOSOC. The relationship between the Commission and the GEF may well be decisive in the successful implementation of Agenda 21. He stressed that NGOs, who contributed to the success of UNCED, should be effectively involved in the work of the Commission.
ETHIOPIA: The representative from Ethiopia advocated the involvement of women, youth and all sectors of society in the implementation of sustainable development programmes. He stressed the special situation and the needs of the least developed and most vulnerable countries, especially those experiencing heavy debt burdens and increasing poverty. All creditors should be urged to provide debt relief for the least developed countries to support their sustainable development efforts. He also emphasized the importance of negotiating a convention to combat desertification, as this is a serious problem in Ethiopia.
CONGO: The representative from the Congo commented that the major question today is the follow-up to Rio: how to translate the diplomatic achievements into actions that will save the planet. He stressed that the industrialized countries must meet the financial commitments that they made in Rio. There is a need for imagination in developing creative solutions to alleviate developing country debt, a major handicap to sustainable development. It is time for the international community to draft a legal instrument to coordinate the campaign against desertification. On the CSD, he advocated a strong secretariat that would build on the experience gained in the UNCED process.
DENMARK: Danish Ambassador T. Mailand-Christensen commented that the products of Rio are far from the end results -- they are only the first steps. He called upon all countries to ratify the two conventions (climate change and biodiversity) by the end of 1993. He also attached great importance to forests and desertification. On the issue of financial resources, Denmark has gradually increased its own ODA level which is presently at one percent of GNP and is ready to provide a three-fold increase of GEF resources and a substantial replenishment of IDA-10 with an "Earth Increment". On the CSD, he called for a strong, highly qualified Secretariat, a future-oriented mandate, participation by all parts of the UN system, and the active involvement of NGOs.
UNITED ARAB EMIRATES: The permanent representative from the UAE stressed that it is important to recognize the sovereign rights of states over their natural resources. He expressed hope that the establishment of the Commission would be based on equitable geographic distribution. The developing countries will not be able to play a complete role in the field of sustainable development without technology transfer and financial resources from developed countries. The UAE supports the elaboration of a convention combatting desertification and drought. He also highlighted the fragile environment of the Arabian Gulf and the consequences of the Gulf War.
KENYA: William P. Mayaka, Deputy Secretary from the Kenyan Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources, supported the position of the G-77 on the establishment of the CSD and reiterated some of these points. He highlighted the need for an enhanced and strengthened role for UNEP and its Governing Council and urged that measures be taken to provide it with the resources it needs and deserves. Kenya also attached great importance to the work of the UN Centre for Human Settlements (Habitat) and the preparation for the Second UN Conference on Human Settlements to be held in 1996. He repeated the need for new and additional financial resources and transfer of technology. With regard to the convention to combat desertification and drought, Mayaka advocated the full utilization of UNEP's experience in this area during the course of the negotiations.
CZECHOSLOVAKIA: Ambassador Bedrich Moldan emphasized the dual role of the Commission on Sustainable Development: to implement Agenda 21 and to coordinate relevant activities within the UN system. He elaborated a number of recommendations on the structure and function of the Commission, including: (1) direct connections to the General Assembly on certain issues; (2) membership distributed geographically in a manner similar to ECOSOC; (3) a clear mandate; (4) gaining on the experience of the very successful UNCED Secretariat; (5) differentiated assistance to countries or groups of countries; and (6) the creation of National Focal Points for the implementation of Agenda 21 and for general contact with the Commission. Moldan also mentioned the importance of including the expertise provided by NGOs, the Bretton Woods Institutions and relevant UN agencies in the work of the Commission.
COTE D'IVOIRE: Patrice K. Anoh, the Charg d'Affaires from Cote D'Ivoire stressed that threats to his country's environment come from the unsuccessful earnings of agricultural products for export; coping with debt payments; and importing energy at a very high cost. These problems would be solved if agricultural products were purchased on the international market at fair prices. For his country, the Rio Conference will only have meaning if it is followed by a "post-Rio" process. His government believes that the GEF is one of the indispensable financing mechanisms for developing countries if its structure is reformed to ensure more democracy and transparency. Furthermore, the CSD must be an appropriate support structure that will not replace other multilateral and bilateral structures.
SPAIN: The permanent representative from Spain stated that, among other things, the participants of the Ibero-American Conference held in Madrid in July agreed to take every step to ensure that the implementation of Agenda 21 will be successful. The two conventions signed in Rio have already been forwarded to the Spanish parliament for ratification. Immediately after Rio, the National Climate Commission was set up to advise the government on climate change policies. In Rio, Spain proposed the city of Seville as the seat of the Secretariat of the Biodiversity Convention. The Spanish Government has also offered to host the first meeting of Intergovernmental Committee of the Biodiversity Convention in the fall of 1993 and will make a substantial financial contribution towards this meeting.
JORDAN: The representative from Jordan said that effective eco-diplomacy is needed to enhance global cooperation to successfully implement Agenda 21. He elaborated on a few issues of importance to his country, including: population growth; finance, poverty alleviation and the need to increase national wealth; and institutionalizing the outcome of the Rio Summit. He stated that Jordan has its own set of socio-economic problems, including desertification and population growth, but has been able to allocate resources to the education of rural populations. Jordan has also been able to work with NGOs to increase public awareness.
NIGERIA: Nigerian Ambassador Ibrahim Gambari stressed the mutually reinforcing nature of environment and development. Nigeria has taken the necessary steps for speedy ratification of the Biodiversity and Climate Change Conventions and advocated ratification by all countries. Nigeria has also approved the strengthening of the Federal Environmental Protection Agency to enable it to coordinate Nigeria's programme on sustainable development. He supported the Secretary-General's recommendations on the establishment of the CSD, but drew attention to the need to enhance and strengthen the future work of UNEP and UNDP. He also advocated that UNEP be designated as the Secretariat of the INC to combat desertification. Gambari also called on both developed and developing countries to provide the much needed financial support to assist the speedy implementation of UNDP's Capacity 21 initiative.
FIJI: Ambassador Manasa K. Seniloli mentioned that Fiji has formulated a draft National Environmental Strategy and that the Ministry of the Environment is now in the process of incorporating the views and comments that have been received from a wide cross-section of the community. The CSD should not only review the progress achieved in implementing Agenda 21, but adjust and update Agenda 21 in light of any new developments. He stressed the importance that the oceans programme of Agenda 21 has for Fiji and highlighted the need to convene global conferences on the sustainable development of small island developing states and high seas fisheries. Seniloli also pointed out the problems with the dumping of toxic, hazardous and other wastes. Finally, he advocated further elaboration of the Climate Change Convention before it is too late.
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