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FINANCIAL COMMITMENTS, FLOWS AND ARRANGEMENTS

Algeria stated that easing the debt burden will have an important effect on Agenda 21; GEF restructuring must lead to greater democratization and substantial growth of resources; and implementation of the desertification convention is the highest priority. Denmark, on behalf of the EC, mentioned that the EC has pledged 3 billion ECU for early implementation of Agenda 21 and there has been no cut in EC aid this year. He supported the idea of regional expert meetings on the basis of sectoral clusters to ensure constructive dialogue on financing and praised OECD's announcement that it is ready to assist the CSD. Morocco said that the prospects for financing Agenda 21 are not encouraging. Although there is greater direct foreign investment, 70% involves Latin America and East Asia. The high level advisory body should be able to provide views to the Secretary General on financial needs, rather than establishing working groups that will further burden delegations.

Norway, on behalf of the Nordic countries, mentioned that in the last year average ODA flows have dropped from 0.35% to 0.33% of GNP. The Nordics supported the Secretariat's proposal for a classification scheme of financial flows and stressed the need for greater coordination with other UN and financial institutions. He restated the Nordic proposal made in Rio for a package approach to financial resources. Colombia, on behalf of the G-77, said that the CSD should be the focal point to make recommendations to the GA on finance and regularly assess the effect of various financial mechanisms. The G-77 has not reached consensus on the establishment of ad hoc groups to address these issues, but he warned against the proliferation of working groups.

France encouraged the Secretariat to actively seek financial information and draw up statistical indicators so that it can assess financial flows in an objective manner. He said that there is a need to "deglobalize" Agenda 21 as much as possible. China outlined the lack of progress on funding and the dim prospects for developing countries. The CSD bears special responsibility for reviewing funding objectives and targets, expediting funding, ensuring that financial institutions report regularly on Agenda 21 implementation and considering reports of developed countries on financial commitments. New Zealand called for clear measurements of financial flows and their impact on sustainable development. Ad hoc groups on financial flows require detailed consideration to ensure that they do not duplicate or produce information that is otherwise available.

Germany underlined five initiatives: replenishment of GEF; contribution to the Earth Increment; orientation of German development assistance to meet the aims of Agenda 21; debt relief; and support for Capacity 21. Burkina Faso stated that the question of debt is of great concern as it takes funds from projects. He urged the Secretariat to include a desirable solution to debt in its next report. Japan said that environmental aid in 1993 amounted to US$2.4 billion and Japan will give $2.6 billion to IDA. Japan can support ad hoc groups, yet the mandate and function should be discussed and agreed upon by the CSD.

The Maori National Congress stressed the need to incorporate the participation of indigenous peoples in the work of the UN. He said that they were looking to the CSD to provide leadership and create a consultation mechanism as mandated by Rio, the General Assembly and ECOSOC. The Philippines urged for a revision of the attitudes of the Breton Woods Institutions toward human development goals; reorientation of development projects; participation of NGOS in funding; and helping the developing world achieve substantive gains through trade. India supported a thematic rather than regional structure for working groups.

Hungary said that GEF restructuring should achieve a balance between donors and recipients and that there is a need to develop criteria for assistance in proportion to economic production and need. The US said that USAID has adopted sustainable development as its key objective and currently has an environmental assistance portfolio of US$3.3 billion. The US has pledged $3.7 billion to IDA. Although concerned about the proliferation of working groups, she supported roundtable discussions with technical experts. The UK described reorientation of domestic policies that will increase the effectiveness of aid, the benefits of increased trade once the Uruguay Round is complete, and the critical need for debt relief.

Singapore commented that all available funding mechanisms should be used in Agenda 21 implementation; GEF restructuring must continue until Chapter 33's goals are met; the CSD must provide the political impetus for greater financial resources and note gaps in existing financial mechanisms; and there should be an improved multilateral trading system. The Russian Federation stressed the need to find a universally acceptable agreement that will meet the needs of transition economies and that the GEF will still have to establish interaction with transition economies. The Republic of Korea said that it has provided about US$4 billion in ODA, funding 14 projects in 11 countries and has pledged to the IDA replenishment. The purpose of the ad hoc groups must be well delineated.

The Netherlands said that their offer to increase ODA by 0.1% of GNP still stands if other donors take similar steps. He said that a large part of the costs of Agenda 21 can be internalized with the polluter-pays principle. Mexico urged the need to fund institutions like UNEP that have demonstrated their usefulness. If working groups are established, they need a precise mandate, funding and broad participation. Australia said that the CSD should find ways for existing financial resources to achieve more. Ad hoc groups would optimize the efficiency of the CSD, but intersessional meetings increase the workload and should be properly focussed. Cuba said the report for the next session should include debt and trade as well as information from private sources and NGOs.

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