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CROSS-SECTORAL ISSUES

Introducing deliberation on cross-sectoral issues, Co-Chair Amorim noted the grim fact that, while much has been said about the increased flow of private financial resources to developing countries, private capital has so far avoided projects with environmental and social benefits. Fiscal and other incentives might be required in countries of origin. He also noted the 30-year low in ODA levels and an NGO proposal for a global forum on finance.

The EU called for increased aid to developing countries and sectors not adequately addressed by private investment and reaffirmed commitment to the ODA target of 0.7% of GNP. He also highlighted GEF replenishment and innovative mechanisms, increased FDI and debt relief and advocated market access for environmentally friendly products from developing countries. COLOMBIA underlined the need to implement all UN programmes, notably those on poverty eradication. He recalled that the Social Summit stressed the human perspective of sustainable development and he called for prioritization of health and food security. Wealth, not poverty, as evidenced in unreasonable patterns of consumption and production, is the ultimate cause of environmental degradation.

UNCTAD notified delegates that its Commission on Trade in Goods and Services, and Commodities’ February 1997 meeting decided to convene two expert meetings, one to examine positive measures in the context of promoting sustainable development and the other the operation of environmental management standards. JAPAN said recipient countries’ efforts to protect the environment deserve ODA support. He also said self-help efforts are the foundation for effective partnerships and called for more attention to the role of information and telecommunications. BOLIVIA noted the outcome of the Summit of the Americas on Sustainable Development and recommended using the priority areas adopted there: health, agriculture, education, forests, cities, water resources, coastal areas, energy and minerals.

NORWAY said UNGASS must set priorities and focus the CSD’s future work on cross- sectoral issues, particularly poverty and unsustainable consumption and production. Economic growth must be supplemented by the redistribution of wealth and fair access to resources. He highlighted the need for new and innovative sources of funding beyond 0.7% of GNP for ODA. He emphasized investment in education for young girls as crucial for a sustainable future. The G-77/CHINA called for: study of FDI and evolution of a globally agreed regime; reduction of unsustainable production and consumption in the North; negotiations for a convention to regulate the environmental impact of multinational corporations; and transfer of environmentally sound technology on non- commercial terms. SWITZERLAND: underscored the crucial role of women in conserving natural resources; called on developing country governments to make available green credit lines and to provide services to create joint ventures; emphasized certification, auditing and ecological accounting to encourage ecologically sustainable production; and suggested that the CSD examine the relationship between WTO rules and trade-related measures of multilateral environmental agreements.

The US said the CSD should focus on cross-sectoral issues not addressed by other intergovernmental processes and proposed three key areas. On financial issues, he highlighted national and local level mobilization. On technology cooperation, he called for involvement of the private sector. On sustainable production and consumption, he proposed consumer education. UNEP will distribute at CSD-5 an update of its survey of information sources on environmentally sustainable technologies. URUGUAY supported education and consciousness raising, and called for information on technologies and their financing.

AUSTRALIA said the quality and effectiveness of financial assistance must be improved and commitments to contribute to the GEF and the Montreal Protocol fund must be met. He called on the CSD to facilitate cooperation between organizations examining the relationship between trade and environment. He supported a core set of indicators and development of a database of innovative instruments to make consumption and production more sustainable.

MEXICO said that the association between demographic growth and consumption levels is not clear given current trends and called for more emphasis on qualitative factors of consumption. He rejected the use of environmental protection arguments as a pretext for protectionist trade measures. He called for efforts to develop and strengthen clean technology centers in developing countries and for concessional and preferential credit for clean technology.

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