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HIGH-LEVEL SEGMENT

The High-Level Segment began on Wednesday, 1 May 1996. During the two-and-a-half- day segment, delegates heard statements from over 50 ministers and high-level officials. CSD Chair Rumen Gechev suggested that delegates discuss the role of the private sector in sustainable development, and that the CSD focus on implementing sustainable development in economic sectors, such as agriculture and forestry. Nitin Desai, Under Secretary- General of the DPCSD, said that a real challenge is bringing sustainability into decisions made by finance ministries. Mohamed El-Ashry, Chair of the GEF, noted that in 1997 the GEF assembly will review its operations and policies. Negotiations on the next replenishment will also begin.

ZIMBABWE: Chen Chimutengwende, Minister of Environment and Tourism, supported a dialogue regarding the role of international trade in the promotion of sustainable development, and noted that the question of resources polarizes debates.

EUROPEAN UNION: Paolo Barbatta, Minister of Environment and Public Works, Italy, said that the mandate for the Special Session should be to maintain the CSD as a strategic forum for policy dialogue and coordination.

POLAND: Stanislaw Zelichowski, Minister of the Conservation of Nature, Natural Resources and Forests, proposed that the Special Session discuss national reports, strengthening institutional processes, education and technology transfer.

BOLIVIA: Moises Jarmusz-Levy, Minister of Sustainable Development, noted national activities, including giving decision making authority to the people. He called for practical decisions and commitment at the highest level.

REPUBLIC OF KOREA: Jong-Taeck Chung, Minister of Environment, noted national efforts to become a model environmental nation in the 21st century, and called attention to the transboundary air pollution situation in Northeast Asia.

RUSSIAN FEDERATION: Victor Danilov-Danilyan, Minister for Environmental Protection, called for work on flexible sustainable development indicators before the 1997 Special Session.

AUSTRIA: Martin Bartenstein, Federal Minister for Environment, Youth and Family Affairs, said that Austria attributes high priority to the role that international law should play in an integrated approach to environment and development.

IRAN: Hadi Manafi, Vice President, identified issues the Special Session should address, including: the provision of financial resources and EST transfer; the eradication of poverty; internal migration and refugees; and the impacts of violence and aggression.

FRANCE: Corinne Lepage, Minister of Environment, stated that the Rio process should not be allowed to slip into a comfortable regime. The CSD should be a place to challenge ideas.

COLOMBIA: JosÚ Mogelan, Minister of Environment, stressed the need to find constructive ways to relate trade to sustainable development.

THE NETHERLANDS: D.K.J. Tommel, State Secretary for Housing, Spatial Planning and Environment, recommended that the CSD establish a special task force to formulate recommendations and guidelines for sustainable industrial development.

HUNGARY: Katalin Szili, Vice-Chair of the Hungarian CSD, stated that Hungary is integrating environmental considerations into all relevant sectoral policies.

THE PHILIPPINES: Cielito Habito, Secretary of Socio-Economic Planning, stated that they have developed a multi-stakeholder council, and proposed establishing an intergovernmental task force on the transfer and exchange of ESTs.

INTERNATIONAL COLLECTIVE IN SUPPORT OF FISHWORKERS: Sebastian Mathew, speaking on behalf of 25 NGOs, urged governments to ensure that artisanal fisheries and dependent coastal communities are not adversely affected by aquaculture development or operations.

CHINA: Amb. Qin Huasun stated that the Special Session should push for an early fulfillment of the UNCED commitments.

GERMANY: Angela Merkel, Federal Minister for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety, called for recognition that environmental security contributes to stability and peace, and for reinforcing the partnership initiated in Rio at the highest political level.

CANADA: Sergio Marchi, Minister for Environment, asked how the CSD’s work could be strengthened and whether the CSD is sustainable. He proposed a youth co-Chair at CSD-5 and a UN-sponsored award for local level initiatives, called “New Futures 21.”

FINLAND: Sirkka Hautojarvi, Secretary-General, Ministry of Environment, called for the Special Session to: assess successes and failures; agree on future political priorities and a new five-year work programme; and strengthen public visibility of the CSD and participation of major groups.

GHANA: Christina Amoako-Nuama, Minister for Environment, Science and Technology, noted that a fundamental component of Ghana’s approach to environmental management is establishing inter-sectoral bodies to promote implementation in various economic sectors.

ICELAND: Gudmundur Bjarnason, Minister for the Environment, suggested that the Special Session identify a few issues of major international concern, such as consumption patterns and the relationship between sustainable development and the eradication of poverty.

EUROPEAN COMMUNITY: Ritt Bjerregaard, Commissioner for the Environment, Nuclear Safety and Civil Protection, noted the importance of the Second Assessment Report of the IPCC, called on the CSD to raise international awareness regarding unsustainable use of the sea, and identified EC activities regarding SIDS, aid and trade.

SWITZERLAND: Federal Councillor Ruth Dreifuss, Minister of the Interior, said the CSD should give a clear political message to the Ministerial Conference of the WTO in December. A mechanism to prevent potential conflicts over trade and MEAs is needed.

MEXICO: Julia Carabias Lillo, Minister of Environment, Natural Resources and Fisheries, said the CSD must build the level of consensus, and called for management of fisheries resources using international cooperative machinery.

UNITED KINGDOM: John Gummer, Secretary of State for the Environment, noted that too many subjects are not discussed in a spirit of wanting to push the agenda forward, but in fear of going beyond where we have gone elsewhere. The UN should ensure that environmental and sustainable development concerns are taken into account in decisions taken across the UN system, and UNEP should act as a catalyst and concentrate on influencing others.

MALAYSIA: Dato’ Law Hieng Ding, Minister of Science, Technology and Environment, called on the private sector to finance sustainable development and emphasized that ODA still has an important role to play. He also called for the implementation of oceans agreements, asked what action has been taken regarding Antarctica, and stated that linkages between environment and trade should be discussed openly.

SWEDEN: Anna Lindh, Minister of the Environment, said the Special Session will be decisive on: fresh water; a legally binding POPs agreement; and forests. A new concept of global security is needed.

BARBADOS: Elizabeth Thompson, Minister for Health and Environment, said there is a need for a legal instrument with timetables to address climate change.

SLOVAKIA: Jozef Zlocha, Minister of Environment, noted national activities, including a new act on nature and landscape protection, forest-related activities, and production and use of unleaded gasoline. He supported the CSD as a multi-disciplinary representative of development in the framework of the UN.

COSTA RICA: RenÚ Castro Salazar, Minister of Environment and Energy, noted activities related to the 25% of his country’s territory dedicated to biodiversity conservation. He supported a proposed International Court of the Environment. On behalf of the G-77/CHINA, he noted that “new and additional” financial resources have not been provided to developing countries, and stressed the need for a mobilization of political will on this issue and transfer of ESTs.

BELARUS: Uladzimir Garkun, Vice Prime Minister, said Chernobyl was one of the stimuli which led to UNCED.

ARGENTINA: Maria Julia Alsogaray, Secretary of Natural Resources and Human Environment, observed problems of stagnation and the emergence of “feudal systems” within the UN. In the World Food Summit preparations there is a clear problem of defining responsibility and jurisdiction regarding the Biodiversity Convention.

CUBA: Rosa Elena Simeon Negrin, Minister of Science, Technology and Environment, noted governments’ responsibility to draft and implement policies of an environmental nature, which cannot be guided by the laws of markets or financed solely by private capital. The first environmental achievement in Cuba was to eradicate extreme poverty and illiteracy.

SENEGAL: M. Baye NDoye, Directeur de Cabinet du ministre de l’Environnement et de la Protection de la Nature du Senegal, noted that extreme poverty and natural phenomena such as drought are obstacles that will impede sustainable development. He called on developed countries to continue to support developing countries.

UNITED STATES: Timothy Wirth, Under-Secretary of State for Global Affairs, highlighted recommendations that the CSD: focus more on cross-cutting issues; address the increased role of international financial institutions; and might be recast as a main committee of ECOSOC.

THAILAND: Kasem Snidvongs, Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Science, Technology and Environment, said his government is drafting laws to implement the Biodiversity Convention. Integrated and inter-sectoral approaches can help achieve targets.

WORLD METEOROLOGICAL ORGANIZATION: G.O.P. Obasi, Secretary- General, called for improved provision of meteorological, hydrological and agro- meteorological information, the promotion of coordinated regional and subregional programmes, and the promotion of a dialogue with private enterprise.

HIGH-LEVEL ADVISORY BOARD ON SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT: Emil Salim, Vice-Chair, stated that the Board concluded that the issue of transportation and energy is not adequately addressed by existing fora in the UN system and that no real progress is being made toward limiting the consumption of natural resources.

NORWAY: Bernt Bull, State Secretary of the Ministry of Environment, highlighted three priorities for the Special Session: sustainable consumption and production patterns; the fight against poverty; and a more equitable distribution of wealth within and between countries and groups. He also expressed concern for Arctic ecology.

DENMARK: Poul Nielson, Minister for Development Cooperation, noted that a precondition for achieving sustainable development is the eradication of absolute poverty on a global scale, and called for action on debt relief.

AUSTRALIA: Ian Campbell, Minister for Environment, stated that the CSD should not renegotiate decisions that have been concluded in the post-UNCED period, especially with respect to fisheries and climate change. He noted the establishment of a Natural Heritage Trust, to be funded through the partial sale of the government-owned telecommunications utility.

UKRAINE: Anatoliy Dembitski, Deputy Chief of Division of Environmental Protection, called for the development of sustainable development indicators and noted efforts to address problems related to the Chernobyl accident.

BRAZIL: Aspasia Camargo, Vice-Minister of Environment, Water Resources and the Legal Amazon, suggested that the CSD should be strengthened, stated that little has been achieved in changing life styles and conspicuous consumption, and noted a national mechanism called the “Green Protocol” to provide public credit to environmentally- friendly enterprises.

SOUTH AFRICA: Minister B. Holomisa stated that the CSD should guard against the duplication of effort and use existing institutions more effectively. He called for aid to help communities and countries develop sustainable use practices.

UNEP: Elizabeth Dowdeswell, Executive Director, outlined UNEP’s four focus areas: wise management of natural resources; sustainable production and consumption; human health and well-being; and globalization. She highlighted the role of education and public awareness in achieving a sustainable future.

PERU: Patricia Iturregui, Executive Committee, National Council of the Environment, noted that the executive body of Peru’s environmental authority includes members of the private sector and seeks the views of NGOs. She stressed the need for the CSD to address patterns of consumption and production, the link between poverty and sustainable development, and international trade.

BULGARIA: Videlov Mityo, Vice Minister of Territorial Development and Construction, highlighted win-win situations with private industry. He outlined: economic instruments and tax reform; removal of environmentally-damaging subsidies; and participation of major groups.

JAPAN: Sukio Iwatare, Minister of State and Director-General of the Environment Agency, supported: the FCCC; the Washington GPA; and changing production and consumption patterns through national initiatives on recycling, greening government and biodiversity conservation.

BAHAMAS: Lynn Pyfrom Holowesko, Ambassador of the Environment, noted national activities, including the establishment of an environmental court. She suggested that the CSD address fresh water resources.

OECD: Makoto Taniguchi, Deputy Secretary-General, stated that the promotion of sustainable development is part of the original mandate of the OECD, and noted the OECD’s contribution to UNCED and a study on the interlinkages between national economies.

INDIA: Nirmal Andrews, Joint Secretary, Ministry of Environment, said the international flow of private capital will remain very limited. He called for the CSD to include cross-cutting issues incorporating economic and social aspects.

INDONESIA: Amb. Isslamet Poernomo said ODA has decreased and little progress has been made in transfer of ESTs. There is a growing tendency to use environmental factors as protectionist barriers.

GUYANA: Amb. F.R. Insanally described a national biodiversity project that is at risk of failing without international financial assistance, and the lessons of a 1995 cyanide spill from a mining company reservoir.

MOROCCO: Amb. Ahmed Snoussi noted that ODA flows to developing countries remain below targeted levels, and suggested sensitizing public opinion to the importance of these flows.

BELGIUM: Amb. Alex Reyn proposed that CSD and ILO cooperate on the issue of job creation through sustainable development strategies. He expressed hope that the alliance with youth would continue.

VENEZUELA: Beatrix Pineda, General Director, Human Resources Development and International Affairs, said Venezuela’s national environmental regulatory framework, which consults with the private sector and NGOs, has served as a regional model. She called for improved knowledge about natural, social and economic impacts of mitigation measures.

EGYPT: Amb. Nabil Elaraby raised concerns regarding the status of sustainable development activities in Africa on the multilateral level. The UN Economic Commission on Africa initiated the first regional conference on sustainable development in March 1996, which addressed food security, population, environment and human settlements.

PAKISTAN: Amb. Ahmad Kamal stated that sustainable development is overshadowed by poverty, underdevelopment, debt and “broader issues of social justice.” He advocated education on environment and sustainable development.

ENDA-THIRD WORLD: Magdi Ibrahim, Moroccan Coordinator for ENDA-Third World, emphasized that poverty aggravated by debt burdens hamper sustainable development in Africa.

WOMEN’S ENVIRONMENT AND DEVELOPMENT ORGANIZATION (WEDO): Bella Abzug, on behalf of WEDO and the Women’s Caucus, stated that the narrow pursuit of economic growth benefiting elites and military dominance is at the core of the global environmental crisis. Global poverty and inequality are increasing, and women, the principal caretakers of the environment, and children are affected disproportionately. She called for “gender-balanced representation.”

IUCN: The representative described plans for the first World Conservation Congress in Montreal in October 1996. He hoped the WTO Committee on Trade and Environment will have a substantial work programme on its mandate to show at the Ministerial Conference in December 1996. Implementation of Agenda 21 must be owned and guided by stakeholders engaging a bottom-up process.

SIDS NGOS: The representative said the CSD should recognize the importance of the International Year of Indigenous People and organize a day to highlight their concerns regarding implementation of Agenda 21. He addressed: climate change; unfettered free trade; unchecked activities of shipping; destruction of coral reefs; and financial assistance to implement Agenda 21. He called on the UN to deal with the problems of the remaining colonies.

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