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HIGH-LEVEL SEGMENT

CSD Chair Razali Ismail opened the high-level segment by stating the need to provide the political impetus to propel Rio forward. He noted the achievements of the CSD at this session and said that it must not only monitor but serve as a mechanism for problem solving. He encouraged ministers to establish a dialogue at this meeting and to give the CSD clear guidance for its future work. Under-Secretary-General Nitin Desai said that while the task in Rio was policy development, the CSD's focus is policy implementation. Poverty, population growth and consumption patterns are the core issues where we must direct our work. Agenda 21 must be implemented at the national level. The Secretariat will support the Bureau in guiding the intersessional process.

INDIA: Minister for Environment and Forests Kamal Nath said that Rio was the start of the process, but some vital issues must still be addressed. UNCED initiated a process of interaction among states best characterized by interdependence, but we lack the courage to act. The role of the Commission should be to integrate finance, trade, technology, environment and development as well to examine ways UN agencies can get "maximum mileage" out of existing financial resources and improved coordination.

DENMARK: Minister for Environment Svend Auken stressed that the CSD should be a political forum to give urgency to decisions on the environment, where progress is depressingly slow. He said that we need to tell each other the truth -- things are getting worse. Denmark is expanding ODA to 1.5% of GNP. Social security should be a priority.

AUSTRALIA: Minister for the Environment, Sport and Territories Ros Kelly said that there is a growing sense of disillusionment in the community outside this room that the political imperatives of Rio have been submerged in rhetoric. The CSD must point out that we are all committed to implementing Agenda 21 domestically and regionally. She urged the need to develop trust and an understanding to talk freely about problems. To make this a success ministers, NGOs, women and every layer of government must remain involved.

FRANCE: Ministre de l'Environnement Michel Barnier emphasized that the CSD must let the press and the public know that these meetings are doing some good. He called for better functioning of existing institutions and mentioned the negotiations towards a convention on desertification. In support of India, he said that France would host a meeting in 1994 on water quality and public health.

GERMANY: Federal Minister for Environment, Nature, Conservation and Nuclear Safety Klaus T”pfer said that for the CSD to be effective and to attract ministers, it must have a political profile and accomplish more than just the redrafting of Agenda 21. He recommended that member states sponsor intersessional meetings to address the clusters to be discussed by the CSD each year, in conjunction with the relevant cross-sectoral issues. He said that if environment and development policies are not linked with economic policy, nothing will change.

EGYPT: Mostapha Tolba agreed with Germany that the CSD must have a political profile and with Australia that the meetings must have concrete actions. He called for more information on natural resource flows and yardsticks for the meaning of poverty. He said that the types of technology needed must be identified and water should be discussed.

MEXICO: Subsecretario de Relaciones Exteriores Andr‚s Rozental suggested that to facilitate dialogue, participants in the next high-level segment should sit around a table. He said that the CSD needs to examine the clusters from a multi-disciplinary approach, such as the relationship between freshwater, finance, technology, trade and potential international conflict. The proposed thematic conferences should be meetings of experts who would present their findings to the CSD as a plan of action.

UNITED STATES: Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Carol Browner said that much has been accomplished since Rio. She said that achieving sustainable development requires changes in the way that governments, NGOs and the private sector relate. She recalled Gore's speech and the US commitment to long-term change, particularly in the way we think about economic growth. She ensured the developing world that the US was listening, particularly on capacity building and resource mobilization.

FRIENDS OF THE EARTH: Chee Yoke Ling said one of the most important outcomes of UNCED is the opening up of the UN system to NGOs. She said that finance and economic ministers also need to attend the CSD as sustainable development encompasses these issues. Key issues for the CSD are: biotechnology and intellectual property rights; importation of toxic wastes; and integrating social equity and environmental concerns in the Bretton Woods institutions.

NETHERLANDS: Minister of Housing, Physical Planning and the Environment Hans Alders stressed the Dutch commitment to national Agenda 21 implementation. He said there needs to be a national discussion on changing production and consumption patterns. He announced a conference on drinking water in the Netherlands in early 1994 and hoped the CSD would use the input.

JAPAN: Parliamentary Vice Minister Kei Ooma said that each nation needs to follow-up UNCED and report to the CSD Secretariat. The CSD must maintain close contact and coordination with relevant UN organizations to ensure effective UNCED follow-up and to be a forum for collective dialogue on the promotion of sustainable development.

RUSSIAN FEDERATION: Minister of Environment and Natural Resources Victor I. Danilov-Danilyan confirmed Russian commitment to Rio and the CSD and acknowledged a great gap between Russian desires for national sustainable development and the slow progress to date. He noted the transboundary nature of problems and the global benefits of assistance for national action.

AUSTRIA: Federal Minister for the Environment, Youth and Family Maria Rauch-Kallat agreed with Australia on the important role of women and NGOs in implementing Agenda 21 and echoed Germany's call for a high political profile for the CSD. She said that the CSD must address changing consumption patterns, forests and nuclear energy.

TUNISIA: Ministre de l'Environnement et de l'Am‚nagement du Territoire Mohamed Mehdi Mlika called on donor countries to honor their commitments. He noted two aspects that are vital for sustainable development: the recycling of public debt for environmental projects and accessible technology transfer. He noted Tunisia's efforts to set up a regional "technology bridge" and called for concrete action on national responsibilities.

At the end of the morning session Desai mentioned some of the themes that emerged: the primary purpose of the CSD is to give policy direction; a sense of disquiet that the momentum of Rio has been lost; specific suggestions on preparations for the next CSD session, including country-hosted intersessional meetings; and tackling the issue of consumption patterns.

ICELAND: Minister for the Environment Ossur Skarphedinsson said the work of NGOs and major groups in the CSD's work is very important. He supported Australia and Austria's emphasis on the role of women and Germany's comment on the world-wide recession. Employment and environmental sustainability go hand in hand, and consumption patterns and sustainable lifestyles must figure highly in the CSD's work.

ITALY: Minister for the Environment Valdo Spini mentioned that developing countries must not repeat the industrialized world's pattern of environmental depletion. The CSD must see a rebellion of environmental ministers against political inaction. Cooperation with Eastern Europe is essential, and he agreed with Germany that country- hosted thematic meetings will help facilitate the CSD's work.

KENYA: Minister for Environment and Natural Resources J. Sambu said that developing countries need new and additional financial resources to implement Agenda 21. Poverty is linked to the debt problem and is both a cause and effect of environmental degradation. Restructuring of GEF must give greater empowerment to the South.

MALAYSIA: Minister of Science, Technology and Environment Hieng Ding Law associated himself with India who spoke on the concerns of developing countries. He supported the idea of country-hosted meetings on the clusters and said Malaysia would sponsor such a meeting. He mentioned the need for countries to emphasize their domestic resources, manage their own forests, and address trade and financial issues.

CHINA: Amb. Li Zhaoxing said the CSD should examine both sectoral and cross-sectoral issues, especially transfer of technology and finance. The CSD should be action-oriented and efficient. He mentioned that China has started to draw up its own Agenda 21.

COLOMBIA: Chairman of the National Institute of Natural Resources Rodriguez agreed with India that there must be a link between global, national, and local environmental issues. He associated himself with the G-77 and China regarding the importance of technology transfer. He lamented the little progress that had been achieved on operationalizing agreements for developing countries.

BRAZIL: Amb. Ronaldo Mota Sardenberg said the CSD should take up each theme, including forests, in the order agreed upon in the programme of work. He stressed the importance of dialogue and interaction with NGOs and other major groups, participation of experts nominated by governments to work on finance and technology transfer, and CSD reliance on the best input and expertise possible.

NORWAY: Minister of Environment Thorbj"rn Berntsen identified environment and development as existential survival issues, stressing the need for global partnership. Industrialized countries must commit to ODA targets, new resources, debt reduction, fair trade, and predictable and monitored resource flows. He proposed that the CSD focus on links between production and consumption patterns and the environment and noted Norway's follow-up to UNCED, including a workshop on environmentally friendly technology.

BELGIUM: Ministre de la Sant‚ publique, de l'Environnement et de l'Int‚gration sociale Magda De Galan stressed the need for global partnerships and coordination of UNCED follow-up at the local level. There is a need to address the linkage between employment and the environment, and the ILO is the most appropriate forum in which to do this.

REPUBLIC OF KOREA: Minister of Environment San-Sung Whang said sustainable development requires political awareness of governments and people. Clean technology is the key to sustainable development, and sustainable development is primary to national goals. She said that the CSD has a crucial role to play in monitoring financial mobilization and welcomed the establishment of the intersessional working groups.

FINLAND: Minister of Environment Sirpa Pietikainen said there is a need to set concrete policy goals for the work of the CSD and to have an open dialogue among decision-makers. She welcomed the establishment of intersessional working groups. New concepts of production and consumption patterns should be based in nature-oriented economies.

CUBA: Presidenta de la Comisi�n Nacional de Protecci�n del Medio Ambiente y los Recursos Naturales Rosa Elena Sime�n Negr�n said the countries of the South have a more uncertain future today than in Rio. There is concern over continued exchange of technology in the North and to the countries with economies in transition. Patterns of production and consumption are causes of impoverishment.

SINGAPORE: Minister of the Environment Ahmed Mattar agreed with Australia and Germany that ministers should attend the CSD. Responsibility for implementation of Agenda 21 begins at the national level. Governments should work closely with citizens and the private sector, both North-South and South-South partnerships are important, and technology transfer is a key component.

ANTIGUA AND BARBUDA: Minister of Economic Development, Tourism and Industry Rodney Williams said the special problems of small island states must be discussed in international fora. Measures taken to address global environmental degradation must be on a local and regional basis. He welcomed the role of NGOs, women and other major groups in the achievement of sustainable development.

SOUTH-SOUTH CAUCUS: A representative of this NGO caucus said that political determination can be expressed by an increase of NGOs on official delegations. The Southern NGOs insist on the term "technology sharing," because there is an enormous amount of technology in the South. Issues of gender, trade, and militarism draw resources away from sustainable development.

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