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HIGH-LEVEL SEGMENT

The High-Level Segment opened on Wednesday afternoon, 26 April 1995, with over 50 ministers and high-level officials in attendance. CSD Chair Henrique Cavalcanti noted the topics for consideration: financial resources and mechanisms, transfer of environmentally sound technology and capacity-building; consumption and production patterns; sustainable agriculture, rural development and food security; forests; and major groups. He also requested guidance on the CSD work programme for 1995-96.

Nitin Desai, Under-Secretary-General for Policy Coordination and Sustainable Development, reviewed the role and impact of the CSD in catalyzing cross-sectoral policy actions. He also noted the impact of the CSD on the work of the UN system. Funding, regional and global-level implementation, and cooperation with external entities must be addressed.

The following is a summary of the general discussion.

DENMARK: Poul Nielson, Minister for Development, described how the World Summit on Social Development (WSSD) affirmed commitments made in Rio. Denmark advocates: statistical benchmarks to monitor Summit progress; dynamic targets; independent financial resources for the UN system; and follow-up by an independent commission.

PHILIPPINES: Cielito F. Habito, Secretary of Socio-Economic Planning, said the Philippines has entered into debt-for-nature swaps with WWF and Switzerland, and will be sponsoring: an Experts Meeting on Persistent Organic Pollutants, a meeting of sustainable development councils in Asia, and a conference on population, environment and peace.

FRANCE: Michel Barnier, Minister of the Environment, on behalf of the EU, said the EU devoted nearly US$30 billion to ODA in 1993. The UN objective of 0.7% of GNP for ODA remains a valid commitment. Such assistance should be increasingly concentrated on the poorest countries, particularly in Africa.

INDONESIA: Djamaludin Suryohadikusumo, Minister for Forestry, recommended: criteria and indicators for sustainable forest management; further dialogue on trade in forest products and voluntary certification schemes; strengthened international cooperation and mobilization of financial resources; and implementation of existing forestry-related instruments.

RUSSIAN FEDERATION: Danilov Danilyan, Minister for Environmental Protection and Natural Resources, welcomed progress on forests and noted a Belarus proposal for a conference on sustainable development for countries with economies in transition.

NETHERLANDS: Jan Pronk, Minister of Development Cooperation, said poverty eradication should be financed by domestic resource mobilization. Private capital flows are impressive, but are volatile and unevenly distributed. New financial mechanisms are needed.

MOROCCO: Dr. Noureddi Benomar Alami, Minister of the Environment, noted Morocco's recent efforts to: establish an Environment Ministry, a committee to combat desertification, and an environmental information system; implement the polluter-pays principle; and prepare water resources and forest plans.

REPUBLIC OF KOREA: Zoong Wie Kim, Minister of Environment, said his country has been using a Volume-Based Waste Collection Fee System to change consumption patterns and reduce waste. The Republic of Korea has offered to host an international workshop on this issue in September.

AUSTRALIA: John Faulkner, Minister for the Environment, Sport and Territories, welcomed proposals to streamline national reporting, and noted that the CSD's work on agriculture and rural development provides an opportunity to examine agricultural trade reform's contribution to sustainable development.

URUGUAY: Juan Chiruchi, Minister of Housing and Environment, noted Uruguay's advisory technical commission on the environment with the participation of government authorities and civil society. Uruguay is encouraging municipal authorities, local and regional governments to develop local Agenda 21s.

SRI LANKA: Mrs. S. Athulathmudali, Minister of Transport, Environment and Women's Affairs, noted recent initiatives such as: the Clean Air 2000 Action Plan; an Energy Conservation Fund; a forestry master plan; a coastal zone management strategy; and a phase-out of ozone depleting substances by 2004.

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