CAMEROON: The representative from Cameroon stated that the CSD should: consist of member states elected for three-year terms, assuring equitable geographic representation; including the participation of observers and NGOs; and to have an independent Secretariat. He also expressed hope that Maurice Strong would head this Secretariat. Ensuring effective follow-up to Rio means arranging for the transfer of financial and technological resources. He reaffirmed Cameroon's support for the convening of a pledging conference, perhaps even at this General Assembly session. He expressed hope that the desertification negotiations would get underway soon. On the issue of forests, Cameroon feels that an international instrument could be created to safeguard everyone's interests.
ICELAND: The representative from Iceland commented that the end of the Cold War has created new opportunities in the field of economic, political and environmental cooperation. The international political climate is good for the reduction of military expenditures, including in developing countries, and these resources should be diverted to other uses. Iceland has initiated the legal process to ratify the conventions on climate change and biodiversity. He supported the restructuring of both ECOSOC and the GEF. Iceland places special emphasis on the marine environment and the unsustainable harvest of high-seas fisheries and expressed support for the inter-governmental conferences on straddling and highly migratory fish stocks and land-based sources of marine pollution.
NEPAL: The representative from Nepal opened his statement by saying that environmental degradation poses an equal threat to the nuclear threat during the Cold War. He warned that consumption by developed countries poses a greater threat to the world environment than poverty does. The CSD is going to be an important UN body and, thus, should be as widely representative a body as possible. In addition to monitoring programmes under Agenda 21, the CSD should constantly review funding mechanisms. On this note, Nepal urged developed countries to reach the target of 0.7 percent of GNP for ODA. At home, Nepal has begun the process of ratifying the conventions on climate change and biodiversity and has begun a review of its own environment and development programmes.
BOTSWANA: The permanent representative from Botswana opened by stating that two-thirds of Botswana's land is covered by desert. Southern Africa is currently facing a devastating drought. He expressed his thanks to the developed countries that are supporting the establishment of an INC to elaborate a framework convention to combat desertification and drought. Botswana expressed full support for the G-77 position paper on the CSD. He said that all countries must honor their commitment to implement Agenda 21. Botswana has put together a national conservation strategy that is deeply rooted in the principles of the Rio Declaration.
VANUATU: Ambassador Robert F. Van Lierop, on behalf of the Association of Small Island States (AOSIS), said that one of the most significant aspects of Rio was that the concerns of small island states were an integral part of the process. AOSIS believes that the UNCED process benefitted substantially from the participation of NGOs and their continued engagement in post-UNCED institutional arrangements should be ensured. On the CSD, AOSIS believes that: the Commission should meet once a year at the ministerial level; the Commission and its Secretariat should be located in New York, where most countries are represented; and the Commission should not be subverted or emasculated in any fashion. AOSIS is pleased by the positive reactions on the proposal to convene a conference on the sustainable development of small island states. He also warned of the dangers posed by climate change and sea level rise.
SLOVENIA: Dr. Danilo Trk, the Permanent Representative of Slovenia stated that in October the Government of Slovenia submitted to Parliament a draft law on protection of environment which is designed to support the concept of sustainable development in the process of economic and social transformation. Slovenia supports the creation of the CSD and emphasized the Commission should: be organized to provide an effective and business-like process of discussion; ensure effective participation of NGOs; find the most appropriate way to ensure the meaningful participation of international financial institutions; and be independent of other UN organs.
ECUADOR: The representative of Ecuador stated that interdependence highlights our commitment to protect the environment. Sufficient financial and technical resources must be provided to undo the ecological damage that has been done and to ensure sustainable development. Ecuador, on behalf of the eight member nations of the Treaty on Amazon Cooperation, has proposed a fund to balance the conservation of the Amazon ecosystem between the needs of the Amazon states and those of the international community. Ecuador supports the establishment of the CSD and supports the participation of NGOs.
GHANA: The Ambassador from Ghana stated that the creation of the CSD is a matter of fundamental and essential importance. It should have broad representation and adequate and distinct Secretarial support services. Drought and desertification has aggravated social strife and economic difficulties in many African countries. Therefore, Ghana supports the preparation of a convention to combat drought and desertification. She highlighted the role of women in sustainable development and hopes that this momentum will be reinforced in the decision-making process and the implementation of Agenda 21 programmes. She appealed to developed countries to achieve 0.7 percent of GNP for ODA and supported the use of the peace dividend toward meeting this goal.
KAZAKHSTAN: The representative from Kazakhstan highlighted the problem of water in Central Asia, which could, in time, become the source of serious differences in the heart of this ancient continent. Kazahkstan is experiencing ecological disasters firsthand, including: the drying up of the Aral Sea, soil loss and effects of nuclear testing by the former Soviet regime. She expressed support for the CSD and endorsed the report of the Secretary-General.
ZIMBABWE: The representative from Zimbabwe pointed out that the purpose of Agenda 21 is to form a global partnership in sustainable development. Whether this global partnership works is dependent upon the political will to implement the Agenda 21 action plan and setting up adequate mechanisms to follow-up the action plan. On institutional arrangements, Zimbabwe largely agrees with the Secretary-General's proposals.
HOLY SEE: The final statement was from the observer from the Holy See, Archbishop Renato R. Martino. He expressed hope that UNCED succeeded in awakening and directing the commitment of governments, organizations and individuals. He believes that the ethical and spiritual dimensions of all national and international programmes to achieve sustainable development be given due consideration.
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