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HIGH-LEVEL SEGMENT

INDONESIA: Minister of State for Environment Sarwono Kusumaatmadja stated that the recognition of the sovereign rights of states should be upheld and this includes forests. He shared the view of other ministers that the preparation for the CSD should take place well in advance of the meetings. He supported the idea of small ad-hoc working groups of experts and eminent persons to identify relevant issues and draw out plans of action.

SRI LANKA: Minister of Environment and Parliamentary Affairs Wimal Wickremasinghe thought that the method of establishing technology centers should be discussed. Domestic initiatives are needed to tackle issues of poverty, population, and consumption patterns.Enhanced environmental education and awareness is important and green auditing must be developed.

CANADA: Minister of State for the Environment Mary Collins stressed three themes: the CSD should be an inclusive political forum; it must emphasize the importance of national plans for sustainability; and it needs to look at innovative mechanisms in preparation for the next CSD session. She suggested that next year the ministers should sit around a table and talk face-to-face. She mentioned that the IISD in Winnipeg is establishing an informal forum on environment and trade as a contribution to the CSD's work. She also announced the establishment of a Centre for Sustainable Cities in Vancouver.

VENEZUELA: Vice-Minister for Foreign Affairs Fernando Gerbasi supported Canada's call for the various actors in the process to have the opportunity to participate in the CSD. Governments need to find the machinery to promote their participation in the CSD. He agreed with Germany on the importance of thematic meetings. UNCTAD and GATT should ensure that ecology is not used for protectionism.

MOROCCO: Amb. Ahmed Snoussi mentioned that despite some positive events related to finance and debt, commitments are still below hopes raised in Rio. He reiterated Morocco's pledge in Rio to host a high-level meeting to deal with freshwater and hopes that this will be a valuable contribution to the second session of the CSD.

PHILIPPINES: Congressman Miguel Romero said that a viable debt relief management program is beneficial for all countries. An Earth Increment is needed in IDA. Some countries do not have enough reserves to buy goods and services under the environmental terms discussed today.

SWEDEN: Minister of the Environment and Natural Resources Olof Johansson said that the essence of the CSD is to give political guidance and have open discussion. He supported the INCD process and confirmed Sweden's offer to host a forum on risk assessment and management of chemicals in April 1994. Environmental security should be part of our concept of security. An "Agenda for Development" is needed as a second pillar in long-term UN action for world peace. He supported Germany, Italy and Canada in the establishment of an independent commission on forests.

EUROPEAN COMMUNITY: Juan Prat from the Commission of the European Communities, agreed with India, the Netherlands and US Vice President Al Gore who said that concrete steps should be taken in the intersessional period to move projects forward. The essential question for developing countries is trade liberalization. Trade and environment should be mutually supportive in terms of sustainable development.

POLAND: Under-Secretary of State Michal Wilczynski offered his country's experience as a model in decentralizing implementation of Agenda 21. He supported regional cooperation noting the Baltic Sea rescue plan and regretted that intersessional activities were not going to be organized regionally. Attention should be paid to innovative forms of financing, such as debt swaps, and reporting should achieve comparability and include regional initiatives.

WOMEN'S CAUCUS: Kwardua Vanderpuye said that poor and illiterate women were the caretakers of food crops and medicinal plants, the preservers of biodiversity, and carried knowledge through millennia. New York should be the seat of the CSD to ensure maximum participation of NGOs as experts.

SWITZERLAND: Federal Councillor Ruth Dreifuss said that the environmental aspects of trade should be considered and that change will come through both official aid and ensuring good conditions for adequate private investment. Priority should be given to revitalizing existing institutions and that UN restructuring is important. Reports to the CSD should be standardized with a verification machinery based on a transparent peer review system, perhaps in a regional framework. She said that Switzerland favors doubling the size of the GEF with institutional reform for greater participation of southern countries.

GABON: The representative said that responsibility of implementation of the Rio decisions is primarily at the national level. Africa is ready to contribute active participation and solidarity in implementing sustainable development. Any policy imposing special standards and norms on tropical forests and products derived from them would be an impediment to the developing world.

BULGARIA: Deputy Minister of the Environment Jordan Uzunov said that the countries with economies in transition should find consideration in the work of the CSD. He suggested that the CSD look at mechanisms for tackling environmental accidents and situations. He stressed that technology transfer and capacity building are important for overall development.

VANUATU: Amb. Robert Van Lierop agreed with India on the interrelationship of global benefits and local environmental impacts. Like Australia, he said that this is a political process and that we should look for political definitions of terms such as global benefits. For small island developing states, the CSD actually is an environmental security council.

DENMARK: Minister for Development Helle Degn, speaking on behalf of the EC environment and cooperation ministers, announced an additional 120 million ECU for implementation of Agenda 21 and new operational strategies to include a policy dialogue with recipient countries for channeling funds to the poorest group. She announced that Denmark offered to host an intersessional meeting on health.

SAUDI ARABIA: President of the Meteorology and Environmental Protection Administration Abdul ar Al-Gain said indicators of the environment are going from bad to worse. Environmental concepts are only beginning in the South and sustainable development should be stressed as mutually supportive for both environment and development. An action plan for each issue, especially technology transfer and capacity building, should be developed.

ALGERIA: Rabah Hadid, the Deputy Permanent Representative to the UN, associated his remarks with Colombia and Tunisia on common initiatives being taken in the field of the environment. The success of the CSD depends on factors such as: the initiation of a genuine North-South partnership; new and additional financial resources for the South; and availability and accessibility of environmentally sound technology.

MALTA: Parliamentary Secretary for the Environment Stanley Zammit stated that the ministers should shoulder the brunt, but share the burden with other ministers. He spoke of Malta's plans for an environmental directorate. He stressed the role of regional action, noting the Mediterranean Action Plan and plans to incorporate Agenda 21 into the Barcelona Convention.

BARBADOS: Minister of State L.V.H. Lewis said that the CSD depends on comprehensive input on actions and constraints at the national level. He called for regional and sub-regional consultations as a compliment to national reports. He noted the Global Conference on the Sustainable Development of Small Island Developing States as one concrete example of UNCED follow-up.

UNITED KINGDOM: Secretary of State for the Environment John Gummer said that as environmental concerns slip down the political agenda things are less "scare-driven." The CSD's concerns are broader than each minister's portfolio. He stressed national stewardship for the environment, and the value of both sharing national reports and working parties. He warned that instead of speaking in a private language, the CSD should use ordinary speech that communicates a passionate desire.

HUNGARY: Minister for Environment and Regional Policy J nos Gyurk� stressed the need to strengthen bilateral and multilateral agreements, new financing mechanisms, transfer of environmentally sound technology and the necessary legal framework. Agenda 21 cannot be seen in isolation, but is dependent on complex economic factors.

URUGUAY: Amb. Ramiro Piriz-Ballon spoke about his country's public outreach following Rio. Funds to implement Agenda 21 should be based on the principle of shared but differentiated responsibility. A new economic panorama to ensure the sustainability of development is needed.

CZECH REPUBLIC: First Deputy Minister of the Environment Vladim�r Novotny welcomed the CSD as a way to introduce Agenda 21 into practical life. He highlighted Czech progress on environmental issues and said that they are focussing on energy conservation, clean air, freshwater protection and chemical management.

PAKISTAN: Amb. Munir Akram identified five areas in which cooperation or lack of it determines the sustainable development of all countries: financial flows, trade, technology flows, consumption patterns and population. Economic and human development, as well as environmental protection, are elements of sustainable development. He thought that the unilateral actions of countries hosting sectoral meetings should not determine the CSD's programme of work.

BENIN: Amb. Ren‚ Val‚ry Mongbe stressed the importance of combatting poverty. He hoped that the international community will contribute to the drafting of the convention to combat desertification and will find the financial and technological means to ensure its implementation. He welcomed the French and Dutch proposals to hold intersessional meetings. He mentioned that Benin is establishing a national Commission on Sustainable Development.

UNITED STATES: The Hon. Timothy E. Wirth said that President Clinton has added four new elements to US global policy: democracy, environment, population and sustainable development. He said that the US wants to join in partnership with other countries in a strong intersessional effort and to confirm this commitment he announced that the US is joining with Colombia to contribute to preparation for the intersessional working group on technology transfer, cooperation and capacity building. COLOMBIA responded that this is the best possible way to implement the Spirit of Rio and enthusiastically welcomed the new North-South spirit and partnership for sustainable development.

CHILE: Minister for Natural Resources Luis Alvarado mentioned Chile's awareness of the Rio commitments, passion in dealing with these issues, and realism in facing environmental problems. He expressed solidarity with the countries in transition. The CSD is primarily a political body and should lay the groundwork for political consensus.

MALAWI: Minister for Forestry and Natural Resources E.Y. Sambo listed problems that Malawi is facing, including trade imbalance, poverty, hunger, disease and drought. Malawi is preparing a national environmental plan.

FRANCE: Minstre de l'Environnement Michel Barnier said work should be done on the basis of comparable data. Therefore, we need additional statistical tools and environmental accounting. He agreed with Switzerland on the need for indicators. He announced that France will host a roundtable on water and health.

INDIGENOUS PEOPLES' CAUCUS: Victoria Tauli-Corpuz stressed three issues of specific importance to indigenous peoples: biodiversity, biotechnology and intellectual property rights. She proposed that the UN system and governments provide mechanisms so that indigenous peoples can share their views with others on these issues. She called for a halt to the Human Genome Diversity Project that has a pending patent application for 2500 human genes.

JAPAN: Deputy Director-General of the UN Bureau, Mr. Kawai, stressed the importance of capacity-building. Human resource development is the key for effective environmental policies. Regional cooperation is important. He also announced that Japan's cabinet will be taking a decision shortly on the Funds for Development initiative.

NAMIBIA: Minister of Wildlife, Conservation and Tourism Niko Bessinger supported Germany's idea that the CSD should become highly political and Canada's idea to change the format of the meeting so ministers can sit around a table and pursue dialogue. The CSD needs discussion and exchange of ideas, otherwise the meeting will be reduced to the bureaucratic level.

ZIMBABWE: Minister of Environment and Tourism Herbert M. Murerwa said: the main dimensions of sustainable development are poverty, population growth, and consumption patterns. He welcomed intersessional meetings. Better access to information on policies and strategies is needed, and the CSD should explore ways for bilateral cooperation.

At the end of the session, Razali distributed a Chair's Summary. This 3-page document was not intended to be a negotiated decision but rather a summary of the major points of the 2-day High-Level Segment. After Razali read out the text, a number of delegates took the floor to endorse the summary and congratulate the Chair, the Bureau and the Secretariat on a job well-done. The common thread in the closing remarks was that the High-Level Segment had given direction and political impetus to the CSD.

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