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PLENARY

SPECIAL REPRESENTATIVE OF THE SECRETARY-

GENERAL: Rafeeuddin Ahmed emphasized the need for appropriate population policies that allow for the diversification of skills within the economy, without leading to unemployment. Emigration is a drain of social capital invested in training and skill diversification.

ALGERIA: On behalf of the Group of 77, Amb. Ramtane Lamamra noted that along with other constraints, SIDS are heavily dependent on international trade. He stressed that while the draft Programme of Action is a recipe for success, resolution of Chapter XV is an essential element and must be a priority for all countries.

GREECE: Speaking on behalf of the European Union, Yannis Souliotis said the mid-term review of Lom‚ IV will pay attention to SIDS, while priority will continue to be given to the least developed SIDS. He stressed the benefits of regional integration.

CHINA: The representative stressed that while the international community had done much to implement Agenda 21, the agreements on financial resources and technology transfer are incomplete. The Programme of Action should be based on a balance between economic development and environmental protection.

MALAYSIA: The representative stated that Chapter XV is the most important and he called on developed countries to honor their Rio commitments. He stressed the need for South-South cooperation and urged the Conference to protect the rights of owners of biodiversity and to allow benefits to accrue to them.

UNDP: Administrator James Gustave Speth stressed sustainable human development, which is pro-poor, pro-women, pro-jobs and pro-environment. He urged governments to support the 20/20 initiative for a commitment of 20% of national budgets to meet primary needs in return for donor countries' allocation of 20% of ODA for these purposes.

BAHAMAS: Deputy Prime Minister Orville Turnquest stressed that disaster preparedness is essential. Tourism and value added financial services offer many SIDS the prospect of economic success. He stressed the burden created by the drug trade.

WORLD METEOROLOGICAL ORGANIZATION: Secretary-General Obassi presented a case study on natural disasters and sustainable development of small island developing states (A/CONF.167/CRP/4).

JAPAN: The representative called attention to the essential elements of the Programme of Action on human resource development and institutional and administrative capacity and called for coordinated national, regional and international action.

UNEP: Elizabeth Dowdeswell, UN Under-Secretary- General for UNEP and Habitat, said that even if recommendations of this Conference are modest in scope they must demonstrate a capacity to translate words into action. Efficient management of environmental and human resources is necessary.

GRENADA: Phinsley St. Louis, the Minister of Health and Environment, said that low commodity prices have brought instability to the island. Because of limited land size, agriculture diversification is not an option. The international community must help SIDS in their economic restructuring.

CARICOM: Edwin Carrington, Secretary-General of the Caribbean Community, stressed the need for timely implementation of the results of this Conference at the national, regional and international levels. International assistance should not be seen as aid, but rather as a contribution to sustainable development.

ICELAND: Th"rir Ibsen, on behalf of the Nordic Group, said that the Programme of Action should meet specific objectives and focus on practical actions at national, regional and international levels. The Barbados Declaration should be easy to understand, accessible and concise.

MARSHALL ISLANDS: Tom D. Kijiner, Minister for Health and Environment, supported establishment of a permanent mechanism to monitor sustainable development in SIDS and facilitate communication and information exchange.

VENEZUELA: Amb. Amry Touron Lugo said that Agenda 21 is the greatest programme of action adopted by the UN, but it does not have the necessary support to make it a reality. To implement this programme of action for SIDS, new funds and the transfer of environmentally sound technology are important.

TRINIDAD AND TOBAGO: Minister of Consumer Affairs Camille Robinson-Regis called for new and additional financial resources and added that existing levels of funding would be better utilized if fewer projects are funded more effectively, the funding process is more transparent, and programmes of donor agencies avoid duplication.

REPUBLIC OF KOREA: Don Wook Kim said it is not possible for SIDS to achieve sustainable development without external assistance and cooperation. He supported the need for new and innovative funding. The CSD should monitor the implementation of the Programme of Action.

PHILIPPINES: Amb. Jose Guerrero said this Conference should achieve greater respect for the strengths of the islands and international support to develop the national capacities of the islands. The right to development, adequate financing, and technology transfer are all linked to the most important resource -- human beings.

MAURITANIA: Amb. Mohamedou Ould Mohamed said the international economic system is the source of numerous problems, including terms of trade and debt. The fate of youth also lies in the balance. There needs to be an urgent response to poverty, including partnership mechanisms.

UNIFEM: Marjorie Thorpe, Acting Director, said that there is a need to strengthen human capacity. SIDS must reach out as partners, not as paupers, to create a true partnership between North and South. Women must be fully engaged in the process. What is at stake is equity, human dignity, self reliance and sustainable human development.

INTERNATIONAL ORGANIZATION FOR MIGRATION: Demetrio Alvero described a partnership initiative launched by the Government of Jamaica, the EU and the IOM aimed at facilitating the return of qualified Jamaican nationals residing in industrialized countries to fill priority positions of development in Jamaica.

REGIONAL UNION OF GUADELOUPE ASSOCIATIONS FOR HERITAGE AND ENVIRONMENT: Fred Lee stressed the importance of waste management in the Caribbean and urged recycling and rational and effective waste management.

WORLD WIDE FUND FOR NATURE: Joy Hyvarinen hoped that this Conference can bring about some real progress towards ecologically-sound and socially-just development. Unless cross-sectoral issues (finance, trade, technology transfer and institutions) are resolved, agreement on sectoral issues will matter little in the long run.

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