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FINANCIAL RESOURCES AND MECHANISMS

Joke Waller Hunter opened the discussion by presenting the Secretariat"s ideas on how the report to the CSD on financial resources and mechanisms should be structured. It should include: the international policy environment and financial flows; national policies and mobilization of financial resources; innovative financial mechanisms and policies for sustainable development; financing for sectoral issues; and financing for cross-sectoral issues.

Ian Johnson from the GEF Secretariat gave a brief update on the status of the GEF. There are currently 100 projects that have been approved during the pilot phase and are up and running at a cost of US$680 million. The GEF has now been restructured and replenished with over US$2 billion for the next three years. In 1995, the GEF will fund projects for a total of US$300-340 million. The GEF must now ensure that the operational and strategic modalities are in place and that a broad range of actors can get access to funding. The GEF also has to work closely with the Climate Change, Biodiversity and Desertification Conventions to ensure that the GEF adheres to the relevant programme priorities. They are also focusing on how to leverage the GEF up rather than just dividing the pie. They are examining how to generate additional resources through innovative means.

Malaysia announced the second meeting on financial issues of Agenda 21 in Kuala Lumpur (see Things To Look For). The Czech Republic announced an upcoming Workshop on Economic Instruments for Sustainable Development (see Things To Look For). Algeria, on behalf of the G-77, pointed out that the forthcoming report to be submitted to the CSD should include a detailed account of the national policies of developed countries after the Rio Conference with regard to mobilization of financial resources, external debt and ODA levels. The G-77 wants to see clearly what the situation is since Rio " what steps have been taken by the relevant parties, and the recommendations the Secretariat can make to further mobilize resources. The G-77 does not want a descriptive report that echoes Agenda 21 or General Assembly resolutions.

INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE ON OPERATIONALIZING ECONOMICS OF SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT: Sixty participants attended this Conference, which was held in Manila, The Philippines from 28-30 July 1994. The Conference was divided into four workshops: finance, trade, technology and natural resources. Participants advocated the strong position that there should be no substitution of capital for natural resources. Another issue addressed was the importance of efficient use of resources and maximization of productivity. The question of alternative social organization was also brought up in the context of better organizing communities to address aspects of sustainability. International financial institutions can play an important role in delivering financial resources that would enable these communities to mobilize world class technologies and implement projects. The Conference also expressed fundamental concern with regard to mainstream economics, social equity and integrity, and efficiency in resource allocation.

TOKYO CONFERENCE ON GLOBAL ENVIRONMENTAL ACTION: This Conference, which was organized by parliamentarians, took place in Tokyo from 24-26 October 1994. The 20 participants included Maurice Strong, Robert McNamara, Emil Salim, Nafis Sadik and Elizabeth Dowdeswell. The Conference was convened to strengthen the Rio momentum and provide new directions on four critical issues: population and environment; trade and environment; financing and financial mechanisms; and private sector partnerships. Participants welcomed the ICPD Programme of Action and called for immediate implementation. Participants stressed the importance of involving the private sector in government- sponsored environmental initiatives. They proposed convening a Global Partnership Summit in 1997, prior to the special session of the General Assembly. On trade and environment, the participants recognized the view that environmental protection and trade liberalization can be mutually reinforcing. Environmental preservation should not provide a cover for protectionism. On financial mechanisms, they recognized that the financing presently available is inadequate and appealed to donors to fulfill their Rio commitments.

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