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GENERAL DEBATE

President Fernando Henrique Cardoso of BRAZIL highlighted the importance of action on forests, climate change, oceans and unsustainable patterns of consumption and production. He announced that Brazil was joining with Singapore, South Africa and Germany to help move implementation of Agenda 21 forward. President Robert Gabriel Mugabe of ZIMBABWE informed governments of the world solar programme for 1996- 2005 adopted by the UNESCO World Solar Summit, hosted by Zimbabwe. He reiterated the need for developed countries to meet targets for ODA, and described the GEF as a failure. He called for an empirical study of the consequences of globalization and liberalization for developing countries. Prime Minister Ryutaro Hashimoto of JAPAN highlighted the importance of combating climate change, and called on countries to commit to reducing GHGs. He informed the Plenary about the Japanese “green technology and green aid” initiative to provide technology and aid to developing countries in the area of climate change. He noted that Japan had surpassed its target for environment-related ODA. President Benjamin William Mhkapa of TANZANIA, on behalf of the G-77/CHINA, pointed out that the decline in ODA since Rio undermined the ability of developing countries to implement Agenda 21. He noted that while foreign direct investment was important for developing countries, it could not be relied upon to fulfill the goals of Agenda 21. Similarly, technology transfer could not be achieved through the market or the private sector alone, but required public funds.

Prime Minister Wim Kok of the NETHERLANDS, on behalf of the EU, called for negotiations on a forest convention, adding that they would provide money for this undertaking, and for support to the global mechanism to implement the Convention to Combat Desertification (CCD). He insisted on fair burden sharing by traditional ODA providers and those newly able to provide assistance. Jos� Maria Aznar, President of SPAIN, noted the need for an international economic environment, including trade policy, that favors sustainable development. He said educating young people was the best tool and stressed sustainable tourism. Tony Blair, Prime Minister of the UK, said he would increase development assistance for forestry management and would encourage all local authorities in the UK to adopt Local Agenda 21s.

Helmut Kohl, Chancellor of GERMANY, called for: the industrial countries to adopt the EU-proposed cut of 15% of GHGs by 2010; internationally binding protection for forests; and a global umbrella organization for environmental issues. Jacques Chirac, President of FRANCE, hoped GEF contributors, at their September meeting in Paris, would agree to a fair replenishment. He proposed to host a conference for all actors in water management policy making to contribute to the action plan he said the CSD should adopt at its next session. PERUVIAN Vice-President Ricardo M�rquez discussed national initiatives, including the “Peruvian Agenda” and a reforestation project. He expressed concern that the declining ODA trend may become a permanent feature of globalization.

Nursultan Nazarbaev, President of KAZAKSTAN, called for the rejection of attempts to achieve economic growth at all costs. He proposed an international fund to rehabilitate populations affected by nuclear testing. Prime Minister Romano Prodi of ITALY called on developing countries to follow development paths that did not repeat the mistakes made by the industrialized world. He highlighted the need to agree to realistic, quantifiable, and legally binding targets at Kyoto, as well as the need to set up an INC for forests. President Carlos Saul Menem of ARGENTINA highlighted the critical need for freshwater management and noted the importance of private capital to redress water problems. Preservation of marine biodiversity remained crucial. He also noted that financial mechanisms, which could periodically be reviewed to reassess priorities, were needed.

Speeches continued in the Plenary during the afternoon.

Editor’s Note: The Earth Negotiations Bulletin will follow negotiations on the draft outcome. Plenary statements are posted on the Internet at <<gopher://gopher.un.org:70/11/ga/docs/S-19/ statements/gov.>>

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