ENB:05:50 [Next] . [Previous] . [Contents]

PLENARY

Adam Vai Delaney (Papua New Guinea) chaired a discussion on Item 6 (oceans and atmosphere) in the afternoon. Amb. Bo Kjellen (Sweden), Chair of the International Negotiating Committee on Desertification (INCD), reported on progress within the framework of the UN Convention to Combat Desertification. In October, 115 countries had signed; there are now 29 ratifications. The Convention will enter into force before the end of the year followed by a first Conference of the Parties (COP) in the second half of 1997. Two sessions of INCD have considered COP preparations and elaboration of the Convention.

On the atmosphere, the EU emphasized: international agreements; the precautionary approach; and policy instruments, including reduced subsidies. Regarding oceans, he advocated: the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS); the Washington GPA; SIDS; and the Global Ocean Observing System (GOOS). The US called for reduced bycatch and regular review of progress. Regarding the atmosphere, he emphasized: monitoring, especially of POPs; the FCCC; urban air pollution; the Montreal Protocol; and transboundary air pollution. The EUROPEAN COMMISSION emphasized legal instruments and cooperation with regional fisheries management organizations. CANADA recognized the CSD’s role in identifying critical areas, but emphasized that it does not have a direct role in implementation of international agreements. He highlighted the Arctic Environmental Protection Strategy.

INDIA said developing countries require multilateral assistance, and adequate emphasis should be given to data on the high seas. MOROCCO described recommendations from the Marakkesh Symposium on electrification. BRAZIL stressed the impact of sewage on coasts. PAPUA NEW GUINEA, chair of the South Pacific Forum, expressed concern that the report of the Ad Hoc intersessional group tried to reopen and renegotiate some fisheries issues. IRAN said the report did not reflect the views of all participants in the deliberations. The PHILIPPINES recommended that the CSD encourage technology transfer to contribute to the mitigation of climate change.

SAUDI ARABIA expressed concern about selective interpretation of the IPCC, noting that there is still uncertainty over natural climate cycles. COLOMBIA highlighted strategies for integrated coastal zone management (ICZM) and pollution from transborder toxic waste shipping. Regarding atmosphere, he highlighted urban air pollution and reduced transportation demand, requiring technology transfer and financial support. VENEZUELA stated that: the CSD should not duplicate other fora; the report neglects some air pollution sources; and there is a need for more information on climate change.

The REPUBLIC OF KOREA said the Washington GPA poses particular challenges for coastal activities in developing countries. SWITZERLAND noted that cost effective measures to mitigate climate change were available. AUSTRALIA noted difficulties with the report in the sections on fisheries and institutions. NEW ZEALAND urged all states to sign and ratify the UN Agreement on Straddling and Highly Migratory Fish Stocks (Fish Stocks Agreement). He cautioned against revisiting issues.

PORTUGAL identified the following priorities: ICZM; living marine resources; straddling and highly migratory fish stocks; the GOOS; and institutional relations. THAILAND highlighted living marine resources, including endangered species and an action plan for restoration, as well as sewage treatment capacity. He emphasized the difficulty in reducing bycatch, asking States to refrain from unilateral trade action. He outlined a commitment to the FCCC, including mass transit and demand side energy efficiency.

[Return to start of article]