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PLENARY

In one of its more eclectic sessions, the Plenary heard reports from representatives of the NGO Islands Forum, adopted the report of the Credentials Committee (A/CONF.167/7), reopened the General Debate to hear two statements, and heard the presentation of a case study on early warning systems.

NGO FORUM: Calvin Howell, on behalf of the Caribbean Conservation Association, said that it is important that governments, in partnership with NGOs, commit to the implementation of Chapter 27 of Agenda 21. He expressed hope that at the end of the process there would be no need to retain the brackets around the word "action."

VILLAGE OF HOPE: Colin Hudson reported on the Village of Hope, which contains more than 300 significant exhibits. 23,000 school children and more than 12,000 adults have visited. There is now a proposal to make the Village of Hope a permanent exhibition and other delegates have expressed interest in establishing Villages of Hope in their own countries.

SUSTECH '94: Bobby Khan, Barbados Manufacturing Association, said 14 island States and 50 small businesses from islands participated in SUSTECH '94. NGOs and the private sector must be involved in building models for sustainable development in SIDS.

BARBADOS ENVIRONMENTAL ASSOCIATION: Gordon Bispham said that the NGO Forum should be part of all UN Conferences. There is a need to coordinate, facilitate, communicate and allow new thinking and imaginative initiatives.

PAN-AFRICAN MOVEMENT: Dr. Pauulu Kamarakafego said sustainable development must be rooted in sustainable livelihoods and sustainable human development. The rights of indigenous people of SIDS must be respected. There is also a need to ensure access to credit and capital.

NGO ACTION PLAN: The NGOs then presented their Action Plan, which was summarized by Dr. Caroline Sinavaiana (Pacific Concerns Resource Centre), Dr. Pynee Chellapernal (Centre for Documentation, Research and Training on the South West Indian Ocean), Joan French (Caribbean Policy Development Centre), and Waldaba Stewart (Pan-African Movement).

The Preamble highlights: the vulnerabilities of SIDS; population; colonialism and militarism; terms of trade and aid; the strengths of small size; the requirements of sustainable development; and putting people at the centre of development. The Action Plan contains a series of 81 recommendations for action by governments and 23 recommendations for action by NGOs and indigenous people. The NGOs and indigenous peoples also adopted a resolution that establishes the International Network of SIDS NGOs and Indigenous Peoples (INSNI).

Gloria Goffe spoke on behalf of peoples with disabilities. She presented a series of recommendations, including: people with disabilities should have equal rights guaranteed by the Constitution; barriers to equality must be removed; and people with disabilities must be consulted on matters concerning their needs.

Damodar Penton, Pan-African Movement, who spoke on behalf of youth, called for reallocation of military budgets to social services and the environment, an end to the economic blockade of Cuba and debt forgiveness for SIDS.

From atop a chair, Enoch Astapha spoke on behalf of the youth under age 14. Since young people make up a large population in developing islands they should be given a responsibility in local government. He called for an end to the dumping of wastes in rivers, seas, lakes and other waters and a halt to deforestation and reckless land use. He called on Heads of Government to give a global gift to the children of the world by universal ratification of the Convention on the Rights of the Child.

Audrey Roberts, Development Alternatives with Women for a New Era, presented the resolution by the Women's Caucus, which included: creation of an enabling environment for women's participation in implementing the Programme of Action; respecting the right of all colonized people for independence; and access to training, information and sustainable development technology for women.

Desrey Fox, Barbados Environmental Association, spoke on behalf of indigenous people, who did not participate adequately at this Conference. Indigenous people need to participate in all processes related to sustainable development, which is their life. She called for the guarantee of intellectual and cultural property rights of indigenous peoples and demanded the right to self-determination.

INTERNATIONAL TELECOMMUNICATIONS UNION: Philip Cross said that a programme of action for the Caribbean was adopted in April 1992, which includes upgrading telecommunications legislation, development of telecommunications policies, human resources development, and satisfying vital communication needs such as news networks, video services and disaster preparedness.

UNITED NATIONS UNIVERSITY: Amb. Lucille Mair (Jamaica), Chair of the UNU Governing Council, elaborated on the UNU's work on the environment, under its Sustaining Global Life Support Systems programme, implementation of Agenda 21, preparation of a textbook on environmental economics, and international environmental law.

Amb. Gerhard Henze (Germany) introduced a case study on the early warning capabilities of the Caribbean Meteorological Organization and the Caribbean Disaster Emergency Response Agency (A/CONF.167/CRP.7). John Scott, Center for Public Service Communications, then presented the details of this case study.

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