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III. OBJECTIVES:

Most delegates supported the need for clear and concise objectives. Mali, on behalf of the African Group, suggested seven objectives: preventing and combating drought and desertification; halting land degradation; improving the living conditions of the populations in affected areas; cooperation and partnership; capacity-building; sustainable development; and developing organizational, scientific, technological and financial means.

Belgium, on behalf of the EC, said that the objective should be to address the main causes of desertification and to maximize productivity. Any expansion of the objectives are, in fact, commitments. Germany said that the first of Mali's objectives, preventing and combatting drought and/or desertification with a view to achieving sustainable development, is the most important, followed by a strategy for poverty alleviation.

Egypt stated that the Convention should not focus on technical assistance to developing countries alone, since a number of industrialized countries also suffer from desertification. India said that the objectives should be international and not regional.

Bolivia suggested four objectives: combatting desertification and minimizing the effects of drought; promoting sustainable agriculture in these areas; eliminating poverty and promoting human development; and promoting, mobilizing and intensifying international cooperation. Austria, Iran, Egypt and Finland said that the objectives should be focussed on desertification, not drought. Uganda and the Chair argued that drought and desertification are both part of the mandate for this Conference and should be kept together. [Return to start of article]