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HIGH-LEVEL SEGMENT

Delegates offered a range of ideas during the High-Level Segment. SWEDEN highlighted local initiatives, the Factor-10 productivity initiative and sectoral integration as key to implementation. The UK said governments must measure implementation. ARGENTINA stressed the need to incorporate environmental costs in resource pricing, notably water and energy. WEDO said the issues of nuclear materials, arms, war, energy and environmental health are interlinked.

ARGENTINA called for an early meeting of UNEP’s new intergovernmental body and preparation of guidelines. The UK and GERMANY said governments must make the new governance structure work. SWEDEN called for a revitalized UNEP. The US supported the new UNEP mandate, but expressed “guarded optimism.”

Regarding consumption and production patterns, COLOMBIA expressed concern that the gap between extremes of wealth and poverty continues to widen and that not all nations place the same effort in modifying consumption patterns. The EU called for a new initiative on eco-efficiency to address unsustainable production and consumption patterns.

Regarding financial issues, the G-77/CHINA called on developed countries to reaffirm their commitment to reach the 0.7% target by 2000 at UNGASS. Supported by the THIRD WORLD NETWORK, he cautioned against the assumption that FDI can substitute for ODA and stressed the need to ensure that FDI reaches marginalized and least developed countries and is invested on a long-term basis. He called for a multilateral regime for FDI to assist in the pursuit of environmentally sustainable development. MOROCCO called for new and additional resources, noted falling ODA rates and said private sector resources only assist some countries and do not advance sustainable development goals. The US said the CSD should make clear to the private sector that investment must aim for sustainable development while encouraging sustainable capital investment.

JAPAN stated that developing countries should bear the primary responsibility for their own development with the assistance of developed countries. The THIRD WORLD NETWORK said the WTO is the “antithesis” of sustainable development and global partnership. He stated that the CSD must reassert the primacy of global partnership and the right to development, should set up a mechanism to channel globalization towards sustainability, and should press to make the WTO more transparent and accountable.

GERMANY said UNGASS must produce a clear political signal for an adequate replenishment of the GEF. COLOMBIA noted that GEF resources have been transferred from other aid programmes and sources and are not new and additional.

Regarding technology transfer, the G-77/CHINA said there has been too much emphasis on the rights and protection of IPR holders since UNCED. He called for the initiation of publicly funded projects, particularly regional technology centers, and the creation of a clearinghouse for ESTs. The REPUBLIC OF KOREA offered to fund a feasibility study on the transfer of publicly-owned technology.

On atmosphere, ZIMBABWE called on all ministers present to attend the high-level segment of FCCC COP-3. The EU and JAPAN stressed the importance of reaching agreement on legally-binding commitments for greenhouse gas (GHG) reductions at COP-3. The EU proposed a 15% reduction by 2010 and urged other industrial countries to commit to similar targets. Beyond this target, GERMANY advocated a 10% reduction by 2005 as a “realistic, achievable and urgently needed” target. The US said UNGASS should call for realistic, achievable and legally-binding emissions targets for developed nations, including maximum flexibility in reaching targets and the participation of all countries. The UK called for a North-South partnership of self interest, pointing out that developing countries will be the least able to combat the effects of climate change. POLAND recounted national efforts, which have led to reductions in particle and GHG emissions.

On freshwater, the EU proposed a global water initiative to ensure access to safe drinking water and sanitation for all within ten years. FRANCE called for action to address potential conflicts between countries over emerging water-sharing issues.

On energy, the EU called for a common strategy for a sustainable energy future. The US said the CSD should lead an effort within the UN system to develop a programme of action for sustainable energy use.

Regarding forests, PORTUGAL, FRANCE and GREECE advocated the establishment of an Intergovernmental Negotiating Committee (INC) to initiate a global forest convention. JAPAN emphasized the need for a framework to follow up on the results of the IPF, but expressed skepticism regarding the usefulness of establishing an INC at this time. The US did not support a convention, but focused on improving national government accountability, building local and national capacity for sustainable forest management and promoting responsible private sector activities through voluntary codes of conduct.

On oceans, PORTUGAL underlined the importance of creating a code of conduct for coastal zones and advocated increased support for ocean research. JAPAN called for measures to prevent oil spills and for greater scientific knowledge for marine conservation measures. The UK called for confirmation of the CSD as the central coordinating body on ocean issues and said fisheries discussions must address more than the allocation of an increasingly scarce resource. GREECE stressed the issues of coastal management and marine pollution and highlighted their connection to sustainable tourism.

Regarding toxic wastes, the UKRAINE underlined the seriousness of the problem of nuclear safety, storage, transportation, transboundary movements and burial of radioactive wastes. The REPUBLIC OF KOREA expressed concern at the transfer of radioactive wastes from the Taiwan Power Company to the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea.

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