WSSD.INFO NEWS

ISSUE 7

5 - 19 July 2002

 

Compiled by Richard Sherman
 

Edited by Kimo Goree 
 

Published by the International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD)
 

Distributed exclusively to the 2002SUMMIT-L list by IISD Reporting Services
 

For more information on the WSSD, visit IISD's Linkages Portal at http://wssd.info

 

Editor's note: Welcome to the second issue of WSSD.Info News, compiled by Richard Sherman. We hope to provide this service on at least a fortnightly basis from now through the Summit. If you should come across a news article or have a submission for the next issue, please send it directly to Richard. WSSD.Info News is an exclusive publication of IISD for the 2002SUMMIT-L list and should not be reposted or republished to other lists/websites without the permission of IISD (you can write Kimo for permission.) If you have been forwarded this issue and would like to subscribe to 2002SUMMIT-L, please visit http://iisd.ca/scripts/lyris.pl?join=2002summit-l.

 

Funding for the production of WSSD.Info News (part of the IISD Reporting Services annual program) has been provided by The Netherlands Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Government of Canada (through CIDA), the United States (through USAID), the Swiss Agency for Environment, Forests and Landscape (SAEFL), the United Kingdom (through the Department for International Development - DFID), the European Commission (DG-ENV), the Danish Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and the Government of Germany (through German Federal Ministry of Environment - BMU, and the German Federal Ministry of Development Cooperation - BMZ). General Support for the Bulletin during 2002 is provided by the Ministries of Foreign Affairs and Environment of Finland, the Government of Australia, the Ministry of Environment and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Sweden, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade of New Zealand, the Ministries of Foreign Affairs and Environment of Norway, Swan International, and the Japanese Ministry of Environment (through the Institute for Global Environmental Strategies – IGES). If you like WSSD.info News, please thank them for their support.

 

1. ENVOYS FACE MORE MEETINGS TO SALVAGE EARTH SUMMIT (Yahoo News 19 July 2002)

2. DEVELOPING NATIONS SUMMIT URGES U.S. TO HELP (Associated Press 19 July 2002)

3. PLAN TO INCREASE ENVIRONMENTAL AWARENESS USING CULTURE (Jamaica Observer 19 July 2002)

4. DEVELOPMENT-AFRICA: CIVIL SOCIETY PREPARES FOR WORLD SUMMIT (Inter Press Service 18 July 2002)

5. OFFICIALS FROM 27 COUNTRIES REPORT PROGRESS ON RESOLVING KEY ISSUES FOR UPCOMING POVERTY AND ENVIRONMENT SUMMIT (Associated Press 18 July 2002)

6. US INCHING CLOSER TO CONSENSUS ON SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT SUMMIT (allAfrica.com 18 July 2002)

7. PREPARATIONS FOR THE WORLD SUMMIT ON SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT: DANISH EU PRESIDENCY MEETING IN NEW YORK WITH SOUTH AFRICAN MINISTER OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS (Danish Presidency of the EU 18 July 2002)

8. BUSINESS URGED TO TAKE PART IN SUMMIT (Business Day via All Africa 18 July 2002)

9. CASH FOR WSSD CIVIL SOCIETY FROM CANADA (SABC News 18 July 2002)

10. REGIONAL MEETING LOOKS AT PROMOTING SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT (Jordan Times 18 July 2002)

11. SOUTH AFRICA: EARTH SUMMIT AT RISK (AENS 17 July 2002)

12. BRAZIL TO ESTABLISH WORLD'S LARGEST RAINFOREST RESERVE (Agencia EFE S.A.17 July 2002)

13. MORE POVERTY THE ONLY FRUIT AS SA EATS ITSELF (Independent Online 17 July 2002)

14. NGOS TO TAKE LEAD AT UN SUMMIT IN JOHANNESBURG (Taipei Times 17 July 2002)

15. BRITAIN URGES JAPAN TO HELP RESOLVE INDO-PAK. ROW The Hindu 17 July 2002

16. POVERTY TO TOP NAM AGENDA AT UN SUMMIT (The Namibian (Windhoek) via All Africa 17 July 2002)

17. CIVIL SOCIETY PREPARES FOR WSSD (UN Integrated Regional Information Networks via All Africa 17 July 2002)

18. FOREIGN MINISTER SEEKING PRE-WSSD SUMMIT 'CONSENSUS' (All.Africa.com 17 July 2002)

19. DLAMINI-ZUMA TO SEEK RUSSIAN ANALYSIS OF G8 AFRICA PLAN (BuaNews (Pretoria) via All Africa 17 July 2002)

20. STATES MUST SETTLE DIFFERENCES BEFORE UN SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT SUMMIT - ANNAN (United Nations 17 July 2002)

21. WORLD'S LARGEST TENT ERECTED FOR WORLD SUMMIT DELEGATES (SABC News 16 July 2002)

22. INCREASED WASTE OVERSHADOWS RECYCLING SUCCESSES (The Yomiuri Shimbun 16 July 2002)

23. S KOREA ASKS JAPAN TO CUT IMPORT TARIFFS ON 4 PRODUCTS –KYODO (Dow Jones 16 July 2002)

24. COMMERCE'S ALDONAS URGES NEW THINKING ON TRADE (Washington File 16 July 2002)

25. WORLD'S POOREST NATIONS MOSTLY A NO-SHOW AT FIJI SUMMIT (EuBusiness 16 July 2002)

26. UN MAKES FINAL TRY TO SAVE EARTH SUMMIT (The Guardian 15 July 2002)

27. 'POOR PROSPECTS' FOR EARTH SUMMIT (BBC 15 July 2002)

28. BUSH ADMINISTRATION MAY CAUSE FAILURE OF ENVIRONMENTAL SUMMIT (Sierra Club 15 July 2002)

29. AFRICAN JOURNALISM INDABA JOINS WORLD SUMMIT (East Cape News (Grahamstown) via All Africa 15 July 2002)

30. NET USERS SOUND OFF TO EARTH SUMMIT (Ananova 15th July 2002)

31. SWEDISH PRIME MINISTER'S EMPLOYMENT STATEMENTS CONFIRM KEY TRADE UNION PRIORITIES FOR POSITIVE WSSD OUTCOMES (ICFTU/TUAC 14 July 2002)

32. S&T CLIMBING ON MUSLIM COUNTRIES AGENDA (Frontier Post 14 July 2002)

33. POWELL TO GO TO SOUTH AFRICAN MEETING WITH MESSAGE OF HELPING REDUCE POVERTY AND GROW ECONOMIES (Associated Press 12 July 2002)

34. LOBBYING FOR BUSH TO ATTEND THE WORLD SUMMIT (IPS 12 July 2002)

35. LIB-DEMS CALL FOR ADDITIONAL 100,000 SOLAR ROOFS (Edie weekly summaries 12 July 2002)

36. UN STAGES 'RESCUE MISSION' TO HEAL RIFT OVER EARTH SUMMIT (Independent 12 July 2002)

37. DLAMINI-ZUMA TO MEET POWELL ON WSSD (South African Press Association via All Africa 11 July 2002)

38. SUMMIT PARTICIPANTS CAN PAY TO OFFSET EMISSIONS (Environmental News Service 11 July 2002)

39. SCRAMBLE FOR CONSENSUS AS WORLD SUMMIT LOOMS (Cape Argus 11 July 2002)

40. POVERTY, ENVIRONMENTAL ISSUES TO TOP NIGERIA'S AGENDA FOR WSSD: MINISTER (Xinhua News Agency 11 July 2002)

41. ARRANGEMENTS FOR WSSD PLEASING: SHILOWA AND MAYORS (Office of the Premier, Gauteng 11 July 2002)

42. HUMANITY WILL PAY FOR ABUSE OF THE ENVIRONMENT, WARNS (WWF Independent 10 July 2002)

43. UAE TO PUSH FOR ECOLOGY INITIATIVE AT S. AFRICA MEET (Gulf News 10 July 2002)

44. WORLD LEADERS TO ATTEND U.N. SUMMIT (Associated Press 10 July 2002)

45. BEHIND-THE-SCENE EFFORTS SEEK TO BRIDGE DIFFERENCES OVER JOHANNESBURG OUTCOME: SUMMIT SEEN AS VITAL FOR FUTURE OF MULTILATERALISM (United Nations 9 July 2002)

46. SOUTH AFRICA TO CONVENE FRIENDS OF THE CHAIR MEETING TO HELP SPEED AGREEMENT ON JOHANNESBURG OUTCOME (United Nations 9 July 2002)

47. GLOBAL STANDARD SOUGHT FOR ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION (The Yomiuri Shimbun 9 July 2002)

48. NGO DELEGATES TOLD TO PAY UP FOR SUMMIT (Cape Times 8 July 2002)

49. JAPAN, EU AGREE ON CUTTING GREENHOUSE GASSES, DEVELOPMENT AID AT SUMMIT (Associated Press 8 July 2002)

50. JAPAN AND EU DIFFER OVER INTERNATIONAL AID: EU (EU Business 8 July 2002)

51. UN REPORT URGES AFRICA TO PROTECT THE ENVIRONMENT (BuaNews via All Africa 8 July 2002)

52. COMMISSION TO SEEK MORE DEVELOPING COUNTRY LINKS AT SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT SUMMIT (Cordis News 8 July 2002)

53. EARTH 'WILL EXPIRE BY 2050’ (The Observer 7 July 2002)

54. STRENGTHENED NEPAD OFFERS NEW HOPE FOR WSSD SUCCESS (WWF International 5 July 2002)

55. EU AGENDA FOR THE WORLD SUMMIT ON SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT PUBLISHED (European Union 5 July 2002)

56. AFRICAN MINISTERIAL CONFERENCE ON ENVIRONMENT CLOSES IN UGANDA (Xinhua News Agency 5 July 2002)

57. COMMISSION ANNOUNCES NEW CORPORATE SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY STRATEGY TO PROMOTE SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT (EuropaWorld 5 July 2002)

EDITORIALS

58. RESPONSIBILITY VS. ACCOUNTABILITY Counter viewpoint: Joshua Karliner and Kenny Bruno, CorpWatch, San Francisco (International Herald Tribune 10 July 2002)

59. ROUTE TO JOHANNESBURG: RICH NATIONS MUST CARE MORE FOR POOR NATIONS (The Asahi Shimbun 10 July 2002)

SPEECHES

60. WORLD SUMMIT ON SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT A 'TEST FOR MULTILATERALISM AND THE INTERNATIONAL COMMUNITY', SAYS SECRETARY-GENERAL (United Nations 17 July 2002)

61. ADDRESS BY PRESIDENT THABO MBEKI TO THE 3RD SUMMIT OF THE ACP HEADS OF STATE AND GOVERNMENT, NADI FIJI (18 July 2002)

62. OPENING REMARKS BY H.E. DR. PER STIG MØLLER, MINISTER OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS, DENMARK World Summit on Sustainable Development Friends of the Chair, (New York, 17 July 2002)

63. TEN PIECES OF ADVISE TO THE CHAIR FOR THE JOHANNESBURG WSSD Opening remarks by H.E. Hans-Christian Schmidt, Minister for the Environment, Denmark (17 July 2002)

64. MAKING SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT WORK: GOVERNANCE, FINANCE AND PUBLIC-PRIVATE COOPERATION Secretary Colin L. Powell Remarks at State Department Conference, Meridian International Center Washington, DC (12 July 2002)

65. THE EU AGENDA FOR THE WORLD SUMMIT ON SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT (European Union 1 July 2002)

ON THE WEB

66. ENVOYS MAKE HEADWAY AS JOHANNESBURG SUMMIT NEARS (Reuters via Planet Ark 19 July 2002)

http://www.planetark.org/dailynewsstory.cfm/newsid/16937/story.htm 

67. EARTH SUMMIT MAY NOT YIELD CONCRETE PLAN - US AIDE (Reuters via Planet Ark 18 July 2002) http://www.planetark.org/dailynewsstory.cfm/newsid/16920/story.htm 

68. INTERVIEW - SOUTH AFRICA MINISTER VOWS EARTH SUMMIT TO GO AHEAD (Reuters via Planet Ark 17 July 2002)

http://www.planetark.org/dailynewsstory.cfm/newsid/16903/story.htm 

69. EU, US SAY WANT CONCRETE RESULTS AT EARTH SUMMIT (Reuters via Planet Ark 17 July 2002)

http://www.planetark.org/dailynewsstory.cfm/newsid/16897/story.htm 

70. SOUTH AFRICA, UN PRESS FOR EARTH SUMMIT BLUEPRINT (Reuters via Planet Ark 12 July 2002)

http://www.planetark.org/dailynewsstory.cfm/newsid/16829/story.htm 

71. INTERVIEW - EARTH SUMMIT COLLAPSE BETTER THAN TOOTHLESS PACT (Reuters via Planet Ark 12 July 2002)

http://www.planetark.org/dailynewsstory.cfm/newsid/16811/story.htm 

72. ANNAN URGES ACTION FOR EARTH SUMMIT (Reuters via Planet Ark 10 July 2002)

http://www.planetark.org/dailynewsstory.cfm/newsid/16780/story.htm 

73. LIVING STANDARD SEEN SLUMPING AS RESOURCES RUN OUT (Reuters via Planet Ark 10 July 2002)

http://www.planetark.org/dailynewsstory.cfm/newsid/16777/story.htm 

 

GENERAL NEWS

 

1. ENVOYS FACE MORE MEETINGS TO SALVAGE EARTH SUMMIT

Yahoo News

19 July 2002

Internet: http://in.news.yahoo.com/020719/64/1s7gd.html 

JOHANNESBURG - Nations have moved closer to agreement on a plan for eco-friendly development to be adopted at next month's global summit in Johannesburg, and envoys may meet again just before the summit begins, South African officials said on Thursday. "There is talk that smaller meetings will start on August 24. But the official meeting will start as scheduled on August 26," Thandi Davids, spokeswoman for the summit's organizing company, told a media briefing. The World Summit on Sustainable Development, to be held Aug. 26-Sept. 4 in Johannesburg, aims to hammer out a detailed plan for global economic development that preserves the environment while battling hunger and poverty. Envoys from a group of 27 countries narrowed differences on the document on Wednesday at U.N. headquarters in New York after preparatory talks in Bali, Indonesia, in June collapsed. The 27 were invited by South African President Thabo Mbeki. J.J. Tabane, the head of communications in South Africa's environmental affairs and tourism ministry, told Reuters that the New York meeting "had laid the basis for success... opening up a possible early start for negotiators at the summit." U.N. and South African officials said the New York talks made progress on some of the most contentious issues. "There is more hope now than there was at the end of Bali," South African Foreign Minister Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma said in New York. "I do not see major differences in the positions of the delegations. It should not take long to get an agreement in Johannesburg," Dlamini-Zuma said in a statement. The envoys are trying to forge a conference declaration that all 189 U.N. member-nations can agree on. U.N. officials say so far delegations have agreed on about 75 percent of the text.

Parts still under negotiation touch on fundamental issues, such as setting of specific development targets and timetables for achieving them, and the question of how to pay for the programs required to achieve these goals. The Johannesburg summit also aims to lay out a path for achieving the goals set at a U.N. Millennium summit. These include halving world poverty and hunger, achieving universal primary education and halting the spread of AIDS by 2015. Some critics say the summit is trying to solve too many problems at one time -- an almost inevitable recipe for failure. Representatives of the Group of Eight industrialized nations -- Britain, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Russia and the United States -- were among those attending the New York meeting. Also present were Argentina, Brazil, China, Denmark, Egypt, Ghana, India, Indonesia, Jamaica, Jordan, Mexico, Nigeria, Norway, Samoa, Senegal, Spain, Sweden, Uganda and Venezuela.

 

2. DEVELOPING NATIONS SUMMIT URGES U.S. TO HELP

Associated Press

19 July 2002

Internet: http://www.etaiwannews.com/Asia/2002/07/19/1027041835.htm 

The leader of a major group of poor nations yesterday called on the United States to use its wealth and power to fight poverty in developing nations. Meeting at a tropical island resort near the Fijian town of Nadi, the third summit of leaders from the 78-member African Caribbean Pacific group is trying to build a unified front for crucial trade talks with the European Union that begin Sept. 27. ACP member states, which comprise 650 million people, include the world's 40 poorest countries and some of its tiniest and most fragile states. "Our people carry a large part of the world's burdens," said Fiji's Prime Minister Laisenia Qarase, current ACP President. Urging "the riches of the world to be spread with fairness," Qarase pointedly thanked the European Union, Australia and New Zealand for favorable trade deals in which they buy some exports from ACP nations at high prices without ACP nations having to reciprocate. He contrasted their approach with that of the United States, which would not agree to similar trade pacts. "When we look to America we observe the most powerful country on earth at the peak of its influence. With this comes enormous responsibility," Qarase said. "Will America then consider forming the same kind of bonds with our 78 countries that we have with Europe?" Milagros Ortiz Bosch, vice president of the Dominican Republic, urged wealthy nations to consider the ways in which globalization and the push for freer trade are affecting poor nations. But Bosch also reminded the ACP states that they "need to improve their ability to reap the benefits of this trade." Central to the summit and the September trade talks is a bid by ACP members for compensation from the EU when it abolishes favorable import quotas on ACP products such as sugar, rice and bananas. Quotas on bananas will be phased out between 2002 and 2006, and sugar and rice quotas will be phased out from 2006 to 2009. EU Trade Commissioner Pascal Lamy told the leaders that Europe is looking for new types of agreements with ACP members that link trade with aid, but said Brussels would continue to give "generous access" to European markets. ACP Secretary-General Jean Robert Goulongana urged European nations to ratify a 25-year agreement signed with his member states which links trade, human rights and efforts to root out corruption with 13.5 billion euros (US$12.7 billion) in aid over the next five years. The much-needed aid money cannot flow until all European countries have ratified the agreement signed two years ago.

 

3. PLAN TO INCREASE ENVIRONMENTAL AWARENESS USING CULTURE

Jamaica Observer

19 July 2002

Internet: http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/news/html/20020718T180000-0500_29054_OBS_PLAN_TO_INCREASE_ENVIRONMENTAL_AWARENESS_USING_CULTURE.asp 

THE first of two workshops being staged to heighten environmental awareness among Caribbean nationals opened in Kingston Wednesday with environmental professionals and artistes sharing ideas on how to use popular culture as an educational vehicle.

Conference organisers, the Caribbean Regional Environmental Programme (CREP), say they intend to utilise the talents of an estimated 50 artistes from Jamaica, Trinidad and Tobago, Antigua, St Lucia, The Bahamas, Belize, St Kitts, Dominica and Barbados in the programme. Charges like "Culture is mostly a human adaptation to one's natural environment" and "many people are not aware of the social and economic risks involved if the environment is further depleted" were the logic of the day at the Jamaica Conference Centre. Franklin McDonald, guest speaker and executive director of the National Environment and Planning Agency (NEPA), noted the influence and scope that artistes command in the region, and the benefits of using popular culture in conveying the message of environmental organisations. He cited NEPA's own use of local artiste Lovindeer in crafting an environmental song in the past. Yesterday, the artistes were expected to formulate ideas, having heard the environmental experts from the previous day. Presenter Winston Wirht, of Wirht Consultancy Services, challenged the artistes "to show the trap of excessive consumption, which is tied to the ideology of unlimited economic growth as the solution to our problem".

He was alluding to the problems of the region's consumption desires which are beyond the carrying capacity of the environment.

Artistes deemed eligible to produce what is being termed 'envirocultural products' will be granted money to complete their work for release in January 2003. Cathel Healy Sing, CREP programme manager, quelled possible fears of insufficient funds, saying that 600,000 euros was allocated to the artistes and that more cash would be generated from that initial amount. "One needs money to make more money," Sing said. CREP is a programme designed to strengthen regional integration through the awareness of environmental issues in the Caribbean Forum of ACP States (CARIFORUM). It seeks to demonstrate that the region's natural resources and biodiversity can be better protected. CREP was implemented through the Caribbean Conservation Association with a budget of approximately 8,900,000 euros. The conference will continue in Trinidad and Tobago next week and is a forerunner to next month's Environmental World Summit in South Africa where approximately 64,000 international delegates, including over 100 heads of government are expected to gather. Sing said that if the artistes' creativity was stimulated, then the conference would be a success.

 

4. DEVELOPMENT-AFRICA: CIVIL SOCIETY PREPARES FOR WORLD SUMMIT

Inter Press Service

18 July 2002

Internet: http://story.news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story&u=/oneworld/20020718/wl_oneworld/1032_1026994213 

JOHANNESBURG, Jul 17 (IPS) - The Pan African Conference of Civil Society Organizations will be looking for alternatives to the New Partnership for Africa's Development (NEPAD) - a program to kick-start the economic and social development of the continent - during its meeting in Abidjan, Cote d'Ivoire. The conference, which runs from Wednesday to Friday (Jul 17-19), is being held to develop a political declaration and program of action for African civil society organizations, ahead of the World Summit on Sustainable Development (WSSD), scheduled to be held in South Africa in August. The WSSD will look at ways to ease global poverty while protecting the environment and conserving the world's natural resources. African civil society is likely to insist that the WSSD must focus on ways to alleviate poverty on the continent - if it wants to protect the environment, says Nzwana Konco, the Africa Process Manager for the Global Forum - the meeting of international community and non-governmental organizations at the summit. The top issues for African civil society are poverty alleviation, access to water and land for the poor, and the ending of hunger and conflict on the continent. ''We've included protecting the environment and other issues, but they are not as prominent,'' explains Konco. The civil society declaration is also likely to be very critical of NEPAD. African civil society has insisted that they have not been thoroughly consulted about the program. South African President, Thabo Mbeki - one of the driving forces behind NEPAD -- has acknowledge that there could have been better consultation with civil society about the program. However, he has sharply criticized them for not coming-up with practical ideas on how to improve it, or what they will do to develop the continent. Konco says African civil society organizations will be working out practical alternatives at their conference - and these will be ready in time for the WSSD. However, he points out that civil society is more concerned about who will be funding NEPAD. In terms of the program, African countries have to commit themselves to good political and economic governance in return for better trade and aid deals from the developed economies. African civil society fears that this will put the European Union ( news - web sites) (EU) and the United States in a position to use their trade and aid packages to force African governments to adopt conservative economic policies - which normally include cutting spending on social development services. The chances are that the African civil society conference will reject NEPAD - in its present form. Many civil society environmentalists and economists are also concerned that NEPAD is focusing on mega-infrastructure development projects for the continent - often considered bad for the environment and not financially sustainable. Standard Bank chief economist, Iraj Abedian, believes the planned infrastructure is a necessity for economic and social development of Africa. ''Unless Africa can compete in the global economy, there is not going to be any economic growth or social development - and the two cannot be separated,'' he says. He adds that it is inevitable that the development projects must take place on a continent-wide scale. ''Africa was chopped up into countries by colonial powers without any regard to economic considerations. We need to look at the continent and see what makes economic sense - and then development can filter down to smaller regional and district blocs,'' he explains. In the meantime, Mbeki is one of a handful of heads of state that has turned-up for the Third Summit of the African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) Group of States. The ACP is meeting in Fiji from Jul 18 to Jul 19. South Africa sees the ACP Summit as an opportunity to further consolidate the positions of the developing countries on ACP-European Union trade negotiations, the WSSD, NEPAD and the use of subsidies on agricultural products by the EU and the United States. The ACP is important for NEPAD because it includes 48 Sub-Saharan African countries. There are also 16 Caribbean and 15 Pacific States in the grouping. South Africa's foreign economic policy - which includes NEPAD - is attempting to secure access to the markets of wealthy countries for goods and services from the developing world, and boosting trade between ACP, South American and Asian countries.

 

5. OFFICIALS FROM 27 COUNTRIES REPORT PROGRESS ON RESOLVING KEY ISSUES FOR UPCOMING POVERTY AND ENVIRONMENT SUMMIT

Associated Press

18 July 2002

Internet: http://story.news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story&u=/ap/20020718/ap_wo_en_po/un_development_summit_1 

UNITED NATIONS - High-level officials from 27 countries reported Thursday that they made progress in resolving key issues ahead of next month's U.N. summit aimed at cutting poverty and protecting the environment. The most important achievement of Wednesday's day-long meeting "was the conclusion among many delegates that it was possible to reach an agreement on the outstanding issues," said South Africa's U.N. Ambassador Dumisani Kumalo. South African President Thabo Mbeki invited the 27 rich and poor nations to suggest ways to clear up issues unresolved at the last meeting of the commission preparing for the World Summit on Sustainable Development in Johannesburg from Aug. 26 to Sept. 4. The summit is taking place 10 years after the "Earth Summit" in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, first focused global attention on the need to preserve the environment, but it has a broader agenda. U.N. officials expect about 100 world leaders to attend. At the final preparatory meeting in Bali, Indonesia, negotiators from nearly 200 countries reached agreement on 75 percent of the blueprint for the next decade to promote development and preserve the environment - including giving priority to water and sanitation, energy, health, agriculture and biodiversity. But the most difficult issues weren't resolved. The officials at Wednesday's meeting tackled the sticky questions - including whether there should be timetables and targets for action on issues ranging from sanitation to renewable energy and how to address trade, finance, good government and access to technology for developing countries. South Africa's U.N. Mission said in a statement Thursday that the discussions "demonstrated that there was sufficient flexibility in finding consensus on the outstanding differences." There was a consensus that the princples adopted at the Earth Summit should be reaffirmed, and that agreements reached at the World Trade Organization meeting in Doha, Qatar, in November and at the U.N. aid financing conference in Monterrey, Mexico, in March should not be reopened, the statement said. "On certain other issues like targets and timetables, the dialogue helped by narrowing or more clearly defining the differences," the statement said. "On trade and finance issues, there seemed to be a broad measure of agreement and the differences that remain seemed to be capable of resolution." Participants at Wednesday's meeting included representatives from the seven major industrialized nations and Russia, the European Union and countries from Africa, Asia, Latin America and the south Pacific.

 

6. US INCHING CLOSER TO CONSENSUS ON SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT SUMMIT

allAfrica.com

18 July 2002

Internet: http://allafrica.com/stories/200207180784.html 

High-level officials from 27 nations who met in New York Wednesday at the urging of South African president Thabo Mbeki, say outstanding differences between developing nations and the U.S., Canada, Australia and other industrial countries could now be bridged at the upcoming World Summit on Sustainable Development (WSSD). "I left the meeting with the belief that there is no reason to believe we will not be able to finalize the outstanding issues when we get to Johannesburg," South African Environmental Affairs Minister, Valli Moosa, told allAfrica.com. "Of course, keep in mind we were not negotiating [here in New York] and sometimes the devil is in the details." The WSSD will seek ways to reduce global poverty while protecting the environment and conserving the world's natural resources. Anxious to chair a smooth summit, Mbeki fostered creation of this "Friend of the Chair" gathering during the G8 summit in Kananaskis, Canada last month. Developing nations have been pushing for financial specificity on development goals and for discussion on lowering trade barriers to expand market access. Developing nations also want targets established for dealing with sanitation and water. You cannot talk about "sustainable development" without tackling these issues, they say. The U.S. and its allies, however, say this would reopen agreements reached at the World Trade Organization meeting in Doha, Qatar and the summit on financial development held in Monterrey, Mexico. "The US mantra was, 'no new targets'," said one South African official participating in the New York meeting. "We don't want to reopen the Doha consensus, but we do want a reference to this." But both sides agree that "the tone has changed". The recent fourth WSSD "Preparatory Conference" that was held in Bali, Indonesia ended in bitter, unresolved dispute. The New York discussions "were characterized by a constructive attitude and demonstrated that there was sufficient flexibility in finding consensus on the outstanding differences," said South Africa's Permanent Representative to the United Nations, Dumisani Kumalo in a statement, Thursday. "Everybody, those from the developed countries and we, ourselves, was displaying a new spirit of constructiveness which did not exist at Bali," said Valli Moosa. "It doesn't mean people agree, but it is a good sign," he added. The New York meeting reaffirmed the principles of the Earth Summit held in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, a decade ago, and "narrowed" the dialogue on timetables and targets. According to the South African UN Mission in its statement, agreements reached at Doha and Monterrey will not be reopened. "On trade and finance issues, there seemed to be a broad measure of agreement and the differences that remained seemed to be capable of resolution." Meanwhile in Johannesburg the Pan African Conference of Civil Society Organizations has been meeting since Wednesday and says it is looking for alternatives to Nepad which South African President Thabo Mbeki wants adopted as the sustainable development program for Africa. A spokesperson for the group told Inter Press service that it will have a political declaration and program of action ready before the start of the WSSD.

 

7. PREPARATIONS FOR THE WORLD SUMMIT ON SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT: DANISH EU PRESIDENCY MEETING IN NEW YORK WITH SOUTH AFRICAN MINISTER OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS

Danish Presidency of the EU

18 July 2002

Internet: http://www.eu2002.dk/news/news_read.asp?iInformationID=21009 

The Danish Minister for Foreign Affairs, Mr. Per Stig Møller, and the Danish Minister for the Environment, Mr. Hans Christian Schmidt, had an early morning meeting with the South African Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr. Nkosana Dlamini Zuma, in New York on 17 July. The occasion was the meeting the same day of the so-called ”Friends of the Chair” group, which South Africa and the UN Secretary-General, Mr. Kofi Annan, had convened to discuss what further action should be taken to resolve the outstanding issues relating to the World Summit on Sustainable Development, which is due to commence in Johannesburg on 26 August 2002. The message conveyed by the two Danish Ministers to the South African Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr. Zuma, was that they had come to participate in the informal ”Friends of the Chair” meeting, not in order to negotiate the wording of documents, but to assist South Africa in taking the process forward to a successful conclusion in Johannesburg. The Danish Ministers stressed that the EU is well prepared for the Johannesburg Summit and that the EU in general has ambitious goals regarding sustainable development. The Ministers confirmed that the EU stands by the commitments it undertook at the WTO Ministerial Conference in Doha and at the UN Financing for Development Conference in Monterrey.

Viewed from the EU’s perspective, the disagreements relating to the Johannesburg Summit primarily concern those between the USA and the developing countries (G77). On this basis, the Danish Ministers indicated to South Africa that the EU is prepared to assume the role of mediator in relation to the World Summit, provided the EU is requested to do so by the host country and/or G77. South African Minister of Foreign Affairs Zuma reacted positively to the Danish EU Presidency’s offer of support.

 

8. BUSINESS URGED TO TAKE PART IN SUMMIT

Business Day

18 July 2002

Internet: http://library.northernlight.com/FC20020718370000275.html?cb=0&dx=1006&sc=0#doc 

Johannesburg, Jul 18, 2002 (Business Day/All Africa Global Media via COMTEX) -- FAILURE by business to be present in significant numbers at the World Summit on Sustainable Development would render the private sector ineffective and leave it isolated while others took crucial decisions at the summit, Business Co-ordinating Forum chairman Tokyo Sexwale said yesterday. He said although the summit was a gathering of world leaders, business should play an important role. "There have been views that governments alone cannot shoulder the responsibility for ensuring sustainable development. Business, while being part of the problem, is increasingly being seen as part of the solution," Sexwale said. He said business should challenge the world on commitment to openness and good business governance. SA had exceptional opportunities to showcase its products and services, many of which were unique, Sexwale said. The forum consists of representatives from all major business organisations and was established to co-ordinate and promote business initiatives in preparation for the summit. The country would host a business week from August 30 to September 2 as a parallel event to the summit, said Liz Hart, RAI SA project organiser, yesterday. Hart said business week, to be held at Gallagher Estate, had been accredited by the Johannesburg World Summit Company, a government agency organising the United Nations summit. She said business was partnering the summit in creating a path of sustainable growth and development for Africa. Business week would consist of four exhibitions. The exhibitions would explore trade opportunities with foreign countries. In all 24 countries, including SA's biggest trade partners Germany and Britain, would be represented by their foreign trade offices and embassies, Hart said. The exhibition would also promote foreign direct investment in various national and provincial investment agencies. It would also help foreign business explore business links with public-private sector partnerships, such as the Blue IQ. Blue IQ is a public-private initiative to fund and promote strategic investment in Gauteng, which has been allocated R1,7bn by the provincial government. The black economic empowerment exhibition would create a vital platform for black business to show its products and services to business decision makers.

 

9. CASH FOR WSSD CIVIL SOCIETY FROM CANADA

SABC News

18 July 2002

Internet: http://www.sabcnews.com/world/summit/0,1009,38876,00.html 

The Canadian government has donated more than R1,5 million to the World Summit on Sustainable Development (WSSD) Civil Society Secretariat to enable NGOs to build a consensus before the Johannesburg summit. The donation will be used to hold four provincial and one national workshop in South Africa before the WSSD in August. Two sector specific workshops for the youth and indigenous groups will be sponsored, because Canada considers the participation of civil society central to making the summit inclusive and representative. The workshops will enable South African NGOs to play a leading role during the summit on issues such as Agenda 21, Women and Development, Nepad and Globalisation. The donation will strengthen the Secretariat's ability to co-ordinate the involvement of African and International NGOs in the WSSD preparatory processes and to ensure an effective communication strategy to make the voice of civil society heard.

 

10. REGIONAL MEETING LOOKS AT PROMOTING SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT

Jordan Times

18 July 2002

Internet: http://www.jordantimes.com/Thu/homenews/homenews7.htm 

AMMAN (Petra) - Minister of Municipal and Rural Affairs and the Environment Abdul Razzaq Tbeishat on Wednesday opened a regional meeting to discuss environmental and sustainable development issues related to the Arab region with a call on Arab states to respect relevant resolutions passed at recent meetings in Tunisia and Bahrain. During the talks, Arab countries endorsed measures in the fight against poverty, transferring modern technology to their countries and better managing natural resources, said the minister, who deputised for Her Majesty Queen Rania at the opening session. Addressing the delegates representing 14 Arab countries, Tbeishat said Third World countries are focused on improving the living standards of their societies, ensuring sufficient potable water resources and meeting their people's needs for food and medicine. He said the rich industrialised nations, which represent only 20 per cent of the world's population and enjoy 80 per cent of the world's resources, should help poor nations meet people's basic needs. In their two-day meeting, the delegates are scheduled to discuss and prepare a regional paper on the relevant issues to be submitted to the UN-sponsored Earth Summit due to take place in Johannesburg, South Africa next month

 

11. SOUTH AFRICA: EARTH SUMMIT AT RISK

AENS.

17 July 2002

Internet: http://library.northernlight.com/FE20020717720000082.html?cb=0&dx=1006&sc=0#doc 

JOHANNESBURG, Jul 17, 2002 (AENS via COMTEX) -- Concern is mounting over the possible non-attendance of key world leaders at the World Summit on Sustainable Development in Johannesburg next month. The Unites States, Japan, Canada, Australia and New Zealand have yet to commit the attendance of their heads of state, threatening to scupper the credibility of the summit.

The European Commission is the most powerful territorial body to have committed itself to the WSSD to date, saying it viewed the summit in a "very serious light" and would send at least 70 delegates. South African National Assembly environmental affairs and tourism committee chairwoman Gwen Mahlangu told local media this week, however, that the summit's noble goals were at risk unless key industrialised countries committed themselves to attending. "We have very little time at our disposal to bring these important countries on board," she warned. Environmental affairs and tourism director-general Chippy Olver earlier briefed the committee on a contentious presummit conference in Bali that ended in disagreement between the developed northern hemisphere countries and poorer nations of the south over issues of trade and finance. Olver said many heads of state had held back on a final decision. "If we leave industrialised countries out I don't see the summit achieving most of the issues they want to," said Mahlangu. Roughly 90 heads of state have so far given tentative confirmations that they might attend, with only 30 heads of state definitely confirming . President Thabo Mbeki has meanwhile announced a personal initiative to avert the threatened failure of the summit.

 

12. BRAZIL TO ESTABLISH WORLD'S LARGEST RAINFOREST RESERVE

Agencia EFE S.A.

17 July 2002

Internet: http://library.northernlight.com/FC20020717770000149.html?cb=0&dx=1006&sc=0#doc 

Brasilia, Jul 17, 2002 (EFE via COMTEX) -- Brazil is to be home to the world's largest rainforest reserve, comprising an area larger than the total land mass of Belgium, President Fernando Henrique Cardoso said. "Tumucumaque Park represents our commitment to preserve a significant percentage of our territory," Cardoso said Tuesday. Environment Ministry spokespersons said the reserve would occupy almost 3.9 million hectares (9.6 million acres), less than half of 1 percent of Brazil's 850 million hectares (2.1 billion acres) but an area larger than Belgium's 3 million hectares. Tumucumaque Park is to be inaugurated in August in the northern state of Amapa and border French Guyana and Suriname. Cardoso said the creation of the reserve stems from Agenda 21, a set of proposals that emerged from the 1992 Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro The agenda includes measures aimed at countering pollution and at contributing to environmentally sustainable development. Cardoso also said during the ceremony that he would be pleased if every nation were to approve the 1997 Kyoto Protocol on climate change prior to the 2002 U.N. World Summit on Sustainable Development, to be held Aug. 26 to Sept. 4 in Johannesburg. The Kyoto Protocol is a treaty that seeks to reduce the emissions of greenhouse gases blamed for global warming. The United States, the world's top polluter, has refused to sign the measure.

Cardoso also said he hoped the Johannesburg meeting "would not be dominated by the issue of poverty," adding that it was important to also discuss the environment and sustainable development. The president said South America would recommend that 10 percent of the energy used worldwide come from renewable sources, a proposal he said was first floated by Brazil.

 

13. MORE POVERTY THE ONLY FRUIT AS SA EATS ITSELF

Independent Online

17 July 2002

Internet: http://www.itechnology.co.za/index.php?click_id=31&art_id=qw1026913321360B251&set_id=1 

South Africans are devouring forests, grassland, fish and food stocks faster than they are being replaced, says a new report released on Wednesday by the World Wide Fund for Nature and the Endangered Wildlife Trust. The report comes as South Africa is set to host a major global summit on the environment next month and said the country has lost 46 percent of its forests, 62 percent of its grassland, and more than 90 percent of its original mangroves. Almost 10 percent of the country's plant species are threatened with extinction, it added. South Africa is home to 227 mammal, 800 bird and over 23 000 plant species. But the report warned that the impact of high consumption went beyond threats to flora and fauna. "Current water usage by the human population in the Western Cape... will outstrip storage capacity within 30 years," it said. Such scenarios, it said, would impact heavily on the poor and deliver a blow to the fight against poverty. Using an index measured in what the report called global hectares of "biologically productive space" it showed South Africans were consuming natural resources at an average rate of four global hectares per person per year. But biological productive capacity was only 2,4 hectares per capita per year. "This means that South Africa is currently exceeding the available biological capacity by more than 40 percent. We need to reduce this to zero before we can say that we are on a sustainable path of development," it said. The report said "...a doubling of the country's population over the past 30 years has resulted in a halving of the amount of biological resources available per person". The report comes less than six weeks ahead of the UN-sponsored World Summit on Sustainable Development (WSSD), to be held in Johannesburg from August 26 to September 4. Dubbed Earth Summit 2, it is a follow-up to the first mega-environment conference in Rio de Janeiro 10 years ago and hopes to map out concrete strategies to reduce poverty without inflicting irreparable harm to the planet. The sustainable use of natural resources and protection of biodiversity will be high on the summit's agenda.

 

14. NGOS TO TAKE LEAD AT UN SUMMIT IN JOHANNESBURG

Taipei Times

17 July 2002

Internet: http://www.taipeitimes.com/news/2002/07/17/story/0000148555 

STAND-INS: With Taipei excluded, NGOs are preparing to play a leading role at events surrounding the upcoming World Summit on Sustainable Development in South Africa

Aware of the diplomatic difficulties in the way of Taiwan's participation in the UN's World Summit on Sustainable Development (WSSD), being held next month in Johannesburg, South Africa, both non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and the government are groping for a way into one of its parallel events -- the Civil Society Global Forum. The upcoming WSSD, from Aug. 26 to Sept. 4, is to be held on the the 10th anniversary of the 1992 Rio Earth Summit, when the international community adopted Agenda 21, an unprecedented global plan of action for sustainable development. "Taiwan is a UN outsider. ... Let's face it and find a way out."

Lee Chia-lun, project manager of Taiwan Agenda 21Ten years on, the Johannesburg Summit will bring together leaders of nations, industry, NGOs and others to hash out concrete steps and identify quantifiable targets for implementing Agenda 21.

Since Taiwan's government will not be permitted to voice any of its views at the main WSSD conference, activists said, Taiwanese NGOs should try harder to build international connections through unofficial channels. For this reason, Taiwanese activists regard the Civil Society Global Forum, scheduled to run from Aug. 19 to Sept. 4, as an excellent opportunity to publicize Taiwan. The forum is slated to host approximately 60,000 delegates from around the world "The UN should pay more attention to Taiwan's NGOs," said Sam Lin , head of the Ecology Conservation Alliance. "The degree of NGO development in a country reflects its degree of democracy." Since April, dozens of groups, with a diverse variety of missions, have been integrated into a Taiwan NGO delegation named Taiwan Action NGOs (TANGOs), which plans to systematically deliver messages pertaining to Taiwan's efforts in sustainable development at forum. "Taiwan is a UN outsider," said Lee Chia-lun , project manager of Taiwan Agenda 21, a member of the TANGOs. "Let's face it and find a way out." At the forum, according to Lee, TANGOs will establish four stands, where local grassroots activists, ranging from anti-nuclear to forest preservation and endangered species protection, will have multi-media displays with documentation in English. In addition, Lee said, 25 TANGOs delegates would attend events held by influential foreign NGOS such a the US Earth Island Institute, the Global Greens and Friends of Earth. Juju Wang , a sociology professor at National Tsing Hwa University and one of the 25 delegates, said that Taiwan has some distance in promoting sustainable development, such as passing the Environmental Impact Assessment Law. "However, we have to make our voices heard, informing others that Taiwan is pursuing the same goals as they are," Wang said, adding that aggressive participation would eventually pay off for Taiwan in the international community. The TANGOs ideas to publicize Taiwan, however, do not include better ways of raising funds.

Encouraged by the Cabinet's committee for promoting sustainable development, which is run by Minister Without Portfolio Yeh Jiunn-rong the TANGOs listed the government as one of its potential donors in June. In doing so, the TANGOs were acting in accordance with Agenda 21, which mentions that the UN and governments should initiate a process, in consultation with NGOs, to review formal procedures and mechanisms for the involvement of these organizations at all levels, from policy-making and decision-making to implementation. Months of communication resulted in a NT$2.3 million allocation to cover expenses of the activists' trip to South Africa, according to the Environmental Protection Administration (EPA), the secretariat of the government's task force for the WSSD. With the TANGOs struggling to raise funds from the private sector, however, some in the local media wonder whether local NGOs have lost their independence, something essential for any NGO. Tu Wen-ling co-chair of the Taiwan Environmental Action Network, a US-based environmental group composed of Taiwanese overseas students and environmentalists, denied the charges, saying the government's preparation for the WSSD was actually driven by the TANGOs.

"Our `Ten Years On' series of workshops held by the TANGOs is to condense the views of civil society into a basis for people to monitor the government," Tu said. The two-month long "Ten Years On" series launched in June uses Agenda 21 as a basis to review Taiwan's handling of a number of issues over the past decade, including controlling chemical toxicants, water resources management, ecological preservation, the relation between women and the environment, energy policies and the establishment of a new partnership with Aboriginal people. Lai Wei-chieh , secretary-general of the Green Citizens' Action Alliance, a Taipei-based anti-nuclear group and a TANGOs member, said that NGOs are destined to be opposed to much of government policy, regardless of any recent support from Taipei. It is a shame that Taiwan's government rarely considers its diplomatic strategies from the environmental angle, Lai said. "Even now," Lai said, "the government has no strategy for the WSSD."

For NGOs, Lai told the Taipei Times, learning and exchanging experiences with counterparts from other countries is more important. Government officials, however, said the idea of incorporating the strengths of all sectors of civil society into the government deserves encouragement. "There are two kinds of NGOs," said Roam Gwo-dong, Director of the EPA's Science and Technology Consulting Office. "One builds a partnership with the government, while the other refuses to take a cent from the government in order to ensure their independence." Roam stressed that a focus of Agenda 21 is to strengthen the roles of different sectors of the population, including women, children and youth, indigenous people, NGOs, local authorities, workers, business and industry, scientific and technological community, and farmers. Roam said that governmental officials, including former EPA head Chang Lung-sheng would present academic articles at workshops at the forum, in the name of representatives of NGOs. "We officials will also enter the main conference of the WSSD [as representatives of NGOs] to gather information about adopting concrete steps for better implementation of Agenda 21 in Taiwan," Roam said. Eric Liou (secretary-general of the Environmental Quality Protection Foundation which is not a TANGOs member, told the Taipei Times that his group took no money from the government but would work with government officials to raise Taiwan's profile at the main conference of the WSSD.

 

15. BRITAIN URGES JAPAN TO HELP RESOLVE INDO-PAK. ROW

The Hindu

17 July 2002

Internet: http://www.hinduonnet.com/thehindu/holnus/01171810.htm 

Tokyo, July 17. (PTI): Two days before his visit to India, the British Foreign Secretary, Jack Straw, today urged Japan to play a role in international efforts to settle the simmering tension between India and Pakistan. Straw made the call during talks with Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi at the Premier's office in downtown Tokyo, a Japanese Foreign Ministry official said. Straw told Koizumi that international efforts to ease tensions between India and Pakistan had stumbled recently. (Reuters photo shows Jack Straw, left, speaking during a joint news conference with Japanese Foreign Minister Yoriko Kawaguchi.) Koizumi voiced his support for British involvement in the problem, saying Britain has substantial influence on the two rivals, the official said. Straw and Koizumi also discussed global efforts aimed at facilitating sustainable global growth and how to boost Japan- Britain ties. Straw also conveyed the British Prime Minister, Tony Blair's hope that the Japanese leader will attend the World Summit on Sustainable Development in Johannesburg in late August. Koizumi responded that he is now looking into joining the summit, adding he believes it is important to make environmental conservation and development compatible, the official said.

 

16. POVERTY TO TOP NAM AGENDA AT UN SUMMIT

The Namibian (Windhoek) via All Africa

17 July 2002

Internet: http://allafrica.com/stories/200207170259.html 

POVERTY eradication, improved sanitation, land reform, land degradation and employment creation are among the key issues to be tabled for discussion by the Namibian delegation at the United Nations Summit on Sustainable Development. The summit takes place in Johannesburg, South Africa, from August 26 to September 4. Co-ordinator of Namibia's preparatory committee, Anna Matroos, said yesterday that her committee had also developed a national assessment report on challenges in achieving sustainable development. "The report has been finalised and has been submitted to Cabinet," she said. Namibia's slogan for the summit is 'Namibians Acting and Striving with Vision for a Sustainable Future'. Members of Namibia's preparatory committee are drawn from the Desert Research Foundation, which is the secretariat, the Ministry of Environment and Tourism, which is the leading agency, and Namibia Non-governmental Organisation (Nangof). The summit will bring together heads of state, leaders from NGOs, businesses and other major groups to focus the world's attention on actions to achieve sustainable development.

 

17. CIVIL SOCIETY PREPARES FOR WSSD

UN Integrated Regional Information Networks via All Africa

17 July 2002

Internet: http://allafrica.com/stories/200207170639.html 

African civil society groups began a three-day meeting on Wednesday in Abidjan, Cote d'Ivoire, to forge a common agenda for the World Summit on Sustainable Development (WSSD). The summit is to be held from 26 August to 4 September in Johannesburg, South Africa. The Abidjan meeting is also aimed at working out a joint vision of sustainable development in Africa. Organised under the auspices of the African Development Bank, the Network for Environment and Sustainable Development in Africa, and the African Civil Society Steering Committee for WSSD, it plans to examine key themes identified during previous preparatory meetings and conferences. These include ending poverty - considered the greatest challenge facing African governments and worsened by the emergence of HIV/AIDS, the need for African civil society to make inputs into the New Partnership for Africa's Development (NEPAD), governance, the management of natural resources, financing sustainable development, and the relationship between Africa and globalisation. Ivorian Minister for Environment Gilbert Bleu-Laine, who declared the conference open, urged participants to look beyond the immediate objectives and seek "strategies that will help develop other sectors in Africa" in addition to the environment.

 

18. FOREIGN MINISTER SEEKING PRE-WSSD SUMMIT 'CONSENSUS'

All.Africa.com

17 July 2002

Internet: http://allafrica.com/stories/200207170149.html 

Tough, unresolved issues keep the United States, European Union, Canada, Japan and Australia far apart from developing nations, a month before an "Earth Summit" formally called the World Summit on Sustainable Development (WSSD), that will bring some 100 world leaders and 60,000 participants to Johannesburg. South Africa's foreign Minister Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma will chair an "informal" New York meeting of representatives from 25 countries today in an effort to bridge the gap of differences.

Last Friday, she met with U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell, who in a statement said he plans to attend the WSSD and stress partnerships involving governments, civil society and the private sector. "We will also carry the message that sustainable development must begin at home, with sound policies and good governance," said Powell. Today's New York meeting, being held at the request of South African president Thabo Mbeki, grew out of discussions between Mbeki and UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan during the G8 summit in Kananaskis, Canada last month, according to a United Nations press release. It "is part of intensified behind-the-scenes [efforts] aimed at building a framework for finding agreement on the remaining outstanding issues."

According to U.N. Undersecretary-General Nitin Desai the meeting will not be a negotiating session but an effort to come up with an "approach" that will aid negotiations expected to take place at the WSSD in Johannesburg. Mbeki, said the South African Mission to the United Nations in a statement, "remains convinced that a focused political discussion of the outstanding issues could result in an approach that can help expedite the process in Johannesburg." Desai says negotiators from nearly 200 countries have reached agreement on 75 percent of the development blueprint for the next decade - including giving priority to water and sanitation, energy, health, agriculture and biodiversity. But he acknowledges that the most difficult issues remain to be settled:

* Whether there should be timetables and targets for action on issues ranging from providing proper sanitation to increasing the use of renewable energy and phasing out toxic chemicals, and if so, whether they can be linked.

* What action to take on issues such as climate change before there is complete scientific certainty - and should countries have different responsibilities to act on such issues?

* How to tackle the broad issues of trade, finance, good government and access to technology for developing countries

Developing nations want summit agreement on ending unfair trade terms, especially protective agricultural subsidies which many poor nations complain prevent their farmers from selling to the markets of wealthy nations, and an "action plan" tied to a timetable for providing money for development and programs aimed at fighting poverty.

South Africa's Mbeki is pushing for the WSSD to adopt the New Partnership for African Development (Nepad) as the program for sustainable development on the African continent. The U.S. and EU fear this agenda reopens and begins to rework what they consider the broad agreements that have been reached at past meetings such as the World Trade Organization meeting in Doha, Qatar and the summit on financial development held in Monterrey, Mexico. The fourth WSSD "Preparatory Conference" that ended in Bali, Indonesia last week collapsed in disagreement over these issues. "This is a battle," said the chair of that meeting, Indonesian Environment Minister Emil Salim, afterward. "There is still considerable divide between the developing and developed world." South Africa does not want the meeting it will host to collaspe in such disarray. Already some voices are suggesting that if a meaningful response to the concerns of developing nations can't be found, perhaps the WSSD should be called off. "At some point when things are not really moving, it's better to have a failure than a foul compromise," Greenpeace Executive Director, Gerd Leipold told Reuters News Agency on Monday. That is out of the question, said South African Environmental Minister Valli Moosa before flying out to the New York meeting. "Everyone wants this meeting to succeed."

 

19. DLAMINI-ZUMA TO SEEK RUSSIAN ANALYSIS OF G8 AFRICA PLAN

BuaNews (Pretoria) via All Africa

17 July 2002

Internet: http://allafrica.com/stories/200207170440.html 

Foreign affairs minister Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma is expected to jet off to Russia tomorrow, to meet with her counterpart, Igor Ivanov, to get the Federation's interpretation of the Group of Eight (G8)'s Africa Action Plan. The plan is the G8's response to Africa's recovery plan, the New Partnership for Africa's Development (Nepad), to provide with aid, trade opportunities and help to resolve conflicts to African nations that commit themselves to reform. Addressing the media in Pretoria yesterday, foreign affairs deputy minister Aziz Pahad said the Friday meeting was expected to give a broader view of Russia's interpretation of the plan 'not in their capacity as members of the G8 but as an individual country.' Last month, at its 28th meeting in Kananaskis in Canada, the group, which comprises eight of the world's richest nations, earmarked for Africa six billion of the 12 billion dollars they promised all poorer countries, at a conference in Mexico recently. Mr Pahad said Russia's membership to the G8 and its Working Group that focused on Nepad, and President Vladimir Putin's support of the Action Plan, were vital for Africa's development and progress. 'Given Russia's close involvement with these processes, minister Dlamini-Zuma and Dr Ivanov will exchange views on further practical cooperation between Africa and the Russian Federation,' he explained. The minister is currently in New York, US, where she is co-leading together with UN secretary-general Kofi Annan, the discussions aimed at resolving outstanding issues relating to the draft implementation plan of the World Summit on Sustainable Development (WSSD) to be held in Johannesburg next month. During her Russian visit, the minister is also expected to meet with President Putin, where she will convey a personal message from President Thabo Mbeki and also inform him (Putin) of developments in the country, the region and the continent. Dr Dlamini-Zuma and Dr Ivanov will also discuss bilateral, political and multilateral issues. The bilateral talks will encompass political and economic issues whereas multilateral talks will pay more attention to international issues such as the reform of the United Nations, cooperation in conflict resolution and disarmament in Africa, the situation in the Middle East as well as international terrorism. 'Other issues, such as the next meeting of the Intergovernmental Committee on Trade and Economic Cooperation (ITEC) as well as further progress in the field of science and technology, will be discussed,' the deputy minister said.

 

20. STATES MUST SETTLE DIFFERENCES BEFORE UN SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT SUMMIT - ANNAN

United Nations

17 July 2002

Internet: http://www0.un.org/apps/news/story.asp?NewsID=4212&Cr=Johannesburg&Cr1=summit 

17 July - The United Nations Secretary-General, Kofi Annan, today voiced hope that countries could find a way in the weeks remaining before the World Summit on Sustainable Development to resolve differences on outstanding issues in the conference's draft plan of implementation. "Progress since the [1992] Earth Summit has been slower than expected and - more important - slower than what was needed. A setback now would be a tragic missed opportunity," the Secretary-General said in remarks this morning to a meeting of the so-called Friends of the Chair of the preparatory process for the World Summit, which is set to begin on 26 August in Johannesburg. Over the last two years, significant strides have been made in addressing the challenges of development, particularly at the 2000 Millennium Summit, which not only defined the major goals but also galvanized political commitment at the highest level, Mr. Annan told today's meeting, which is being chaired by South African Foreign Minister Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma. "That commitment helped lay the groundwork for successes at Doha and Monterrey," the Secretary-General said, referring to recent international conferences on trade and financing for development. "Johannesburg must maintain this momentum, and show that in the face of a quintessential global challenge - the challenge of raising living standards while protecting the environment - multilateralism works and international cooperation is the way to go." Turning to the impasse over the Johannesburg document, Mr. Annan urged the meeting's participants to reach an understanding on a common approach "to resolving these undoubtedly complex and politically sensitive issues." The Secretary-General said the Summit should seek to implement the existing global consensus on sustainable development, and avoid revising or re-interpreting the principles and agreements of this consensus. In addition, he said efforts to build on the recent achievements in critical areas such as finance, trade and good governance should be "grounded in existing agreement or work that is already in progress in these areas."

Mr. Annan also warned that the Summit should not be sidetracked by talks on issues that were already under discussion by other relevant forums, and urged that a greater focus on specific actions be placed in the five key areas of water and sanitation, energy, health, agriculture and biodiversity.

 

21. WORLD'S LARGEST TENT ERECTED FOR WORLD SUMMIT DELEGATES

SABC News

16 July 2002

Internet: http://www.sabcnews.com/world/summit/0,1009,38709,00.html 

Tensile 1, the world's biggest portable tent, has finally been erected. The giant tent will house exhibitions during the upcoming World Summit on Sustainable Development. It is erected at Ubuntu Village in Rosebank, the recreational hub of the summit. Ubuntu Village will be able to accommodate about 22 000 people, including 170 exhibitors. It will serve as a hub for meetings and conversations on sustainable development. The 10 800 square meter tensile is anchored by 16 poles and its fabric is fully fire resistant. One worry could be the windy and dusty season, but Rudi Enos, the canvas's original designer, has faith in it saying the structure can withstand winds of up to 180 miles per hour. Jowsco satisfied. Meanwhile, the Johannesburg World Summit Company, Jowsco, says it is so far satisfied with the preparations. The village will host a variety of events including the Ubuntu Exhibition, SA Pavilion and Conference Centre. The venue will also be the central transport interchange for participants to the Summit. Renovations are also under way at the Wanderers Complex with maintenance of roads and installation of storm water system. Legislation and best practice standards are also being applied to ensure that all construction and renovations are safe. A comprehensive Environmental Management Plan has also been developed to ensure safety. The massive structure will also house social activities and SABC broadcast facilities.

 

22. INCREASED WASTE OVERSHADOWS RECYCLING SUCCESSES

The Yomiuri Shimbun

16 July 2002

Internet: http://www.yomiuri.co.jp/newse/20020716wo72.htm 

When temperature soars above 30 C, shoppers flock to electrical appliance stores across the nation to buy the latest air conditioners. Advertising copy for many of the air conditioners on display at one store in Tokyo features claims such as "save money on your electricity bill" and "super energy conservation." According to a study conducted by the Energy Conservation Center, Japan, the sales of such energy-efficient air conditioners has seen a sharp increase. Meanwhile, the energy consumption of major appliances such as air conditioners and refrigerators, has reportedly been halved over the past decade.

It seems many households are now seeking to conserve energy. Without doubt, the U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change, adopted at the Earth Summit in 1992, and the Kyoto Protocol of 1997 have helped accelerate such efforts.

Nevertheless, the household energy use throughout the nation increased by 15 percent in the period from 1991 to 2000.

The increase is mainly due to an expansion in the number of households and an increase in the size of many electrical appliances. The average size of refrigerators, for example, has increased from 386 liters to 430 liters over the past 10 years. Another factor has been the spread of information technology, namely a dramatic increase in the use of personal computers and fax machines.

Energy conservation resulting from greater efficiency has been outshadowed by an increase in sales volume and the expansion of appliance sizes. A similar trend has also been observed in the automobile industry. The amount of waste produced by households is also on the rise. "Even now, there is still way too much packaging," said Miho Nemoto, a 28-year-old instructor of a cooking school in Tokyo. Just preparing dinner with ingredients bought at a grocery store now produces enough packaging waste to fill a small plastic bag. In the industrial sector, awareness of the need for energy conservation has also grown. Yet, this increased awareness has also failed to materialize into major reductions in energy consumption. While industrial output has declined, levels of energy consumption remain almost unchanged. This trend indicates that energy consumption per unit of output has actually increased. The amount of investment in energy conservation is about 3 percent of total capital investment.

In Japan, daily life depends heavily on mass production and mass consumption. Society seems unable to rid itself of its 20th-century materialistic values. The action plan adopted at the Earth Summit in 1992 urged developed countries to move away from this cycle of production and consumption, a cycle based on a wasteful use of natural resources. If the environmental measures taken by developing countries are viewed as a temporary stopgap, the measures undertaken by developed countries should be more indicative of humankind's vision of how it will coexist with nature in the 21st century. Are developed countries fulfilling their obligations? Hama Arba Diallo, executive secretary of the U.N. Convention to Combat Desertification said he was not satisfied with their efforts. One reason for the dissatisfaction is their handling of global warming, which he gives an evaluation of about 20 points out of a possible 100. After the Earth Summit, Japan established such laws as the Basic Environment Law and the Basic Law for Establishing a Recycling-Based Society. A government official said Japan had the best legal framework in place for protecting the environment. Several projects have started in the private sector as well. President Naoyuki Akikusa of Fujitsu Ltd. said environmental issues are becoming a major factor in determining whether a company can stay in business. This sentiment appears to have spread throughout the industrial sector as a whole. However, according to Saburo Kato of the Japan Association of Environment and Society for the 21st Century, "While all the accessories are ready, there's no engine" to promote environmental activities. Kato indicated that the pace and diffusion of change remained too slow. Also, Prof. Masaharu Yagishita of Nagoya University said, "Until now, the results of (environmental) measures have not been satisfactory because of an overemphasis on the voluntary nature of such efforts. This is due to a lack of clear vision and specific objectives." The advancement of recycling technology has created the illusion that the problem of waste has sorted itself out, although reality shows that the technology has not been effective in reducing the creation of waste. Yagishita said: "We have to think about what we want the Earth to be like in the future. For this reason, we have to make clear decisions about what should be done now. We are in a situation that calls for strong policies combined with regulation and incentives." These are points that will be central to the success of the Johannesburg Summit.

 

23. S KOREA ASKS JAPAN TO CUT IMPORT TARIFFS ON 4 PRODUCTS -KYODO

Dow Jones

16 July 2002

Internet: http://story.news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story&u=/dowjones/20020717/bs_dowjones
/s_korea_asks_japan_to_cut_import_tariffs_on_4_products__kyodo 

TOKYO -(Dow Jones)- South Korea again asked Tuesday that Japan lower import tariffs and work to eliminate non-tariff barriers on four products so as to make up for its trade deficit with Japan , a Japanese official said, Kyodo News reported. The South Korean government reiterated its request during the one-day high- level economic talks with Japan in Tokyo , saying its trade deficit with Japan remains above the $10 billion mark, the official told reporters, according to Kyodo. Tokyo explained only that a bilateral trade imbalance and the microeconomics of setting or lowering tariffs are different matters, the official said. The four products South Korea mentioned are oil products, leather goods, textiles and foods. South Korea also asked about Japan 's study into whether to impose antidumping customs duties on South Korean-made discontinuous polyester fiber. Tokyo stressed that it will consider the matter based on World Trade Organization rules. Concerning China , which has been experiencing rapid economic growth of late, the Japanese team members said that while there are some domestic views of China as a threat, they see the country's development as an opportunity for Japan , the official said. The South Koreans also said they consider the presence of China - South Korea's No. 3 trading partner after the United States and Japan , and its No. 2 export recipient country following the U.S. - as a chance for South Korea to attain greater economic growth. On the recently launched joint feasibility study over a bilateral free trade agreement, involving government, business and academic representatives, Japan expressed hope it would help reinforce Japan -South Korea ties, boost their economies and contribute to East Asian economic development as a whole. The South Korean delegation said the current atmosphere between the two neighbors, exemplified by the closeness attained following the joint hosting of last month's World Cup soccer finals, is important for moving forward with FTA talks. The two sides agreed to continue cooperating on the regional and international stages, such as in the new round of WTO multilateral trade talks, in the framework of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation forum, and in terms of the World Summit on Sustainable Development slated to open late next month in South Africa. The talks, the fourth such held annually since 1999, were attended by foreign affairs, finance, trade, agricultural and other senior officials from the two countries. Deputy Foreign Minister Shotaro Oshima headed the Japanese team, and Deputy Trade Minister Kim Kwang Dong led the South Korean delegation, Kyodo reported.

 

24. COMMERCE'S ALDONAS URGES NEW THINKING ON TRADE

Washington File

16 July 2002

Internet: http://usinfo.state.gov/cgi-bin/washfile/display.pl?p=/products/washfile/latest&f=02071603.clt&t=/products/washfile/newsitem.shtml 

Washington -- Efforts to expand world trade with developing and transition economies should focus on facilitating lawful commerce within the countries themselves, says U.S. Under Secretary of Commerce for International Trade Grant Aldonas. In brief opening remarks to a July 16 workshop on capacity building for trade, development and the environment, Aldonas noted that these countries generally have enormous "black and gray" markets that eclipse their formal economies, and cited research showing that in some of them as much as 88 percent of commercial activity is conducted informally. "This means that trade isn't going to be the answer" to development, he said. "The ability to exchange legally inside an economy is probably more important." Barriers to internal exchanges often take the form of inadequate – or non-existent -- laws and institutions to protect commercial interests, he indicated. There is a "clear need" for rules and legal systems "so that people can lawfully engage in exchange," Aldonas said. "It all boils down to rights and to the premises that underlie a market economy."

The workshop, co-sponsored by the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace and the United Nations Environment Programme, was designed to evaluate capacity-building services for developing and transition countries in advance of the upcoming World Summit on Sustainable Development (WSSD), scheduled for August in Johannesburg, South Africa. Aldonas said the WSSD would provide an opportunity to build on the growing consensus in favor of trade as a means of spurring development. But he stressed that policy makers should combine discussion of international barriers to trade with analysis of the internal barriers that keep many people outside the formal economy. "If global trade doesn't speak to the five billion [5,000 million] people who live on less than two dollars a day, then we've lost that opportunity," he said.

 

25. WORLD'S POOREST NATIONS MOSTLY A NO-SHOW AT FIJI SUMMIT

EuBusiness

16 July 2002

Internet: http://www.eubusiness.com/cgi-bin/item.cgi?id=86254&d=101&h=240&f=56&dateformat=%o%20%B%20%Y 

NADI, Fiji, July 16 (AFP) - Only 18 leaders of the worlds 78 poorest nations will attend a summit here defining their relations with the European Union (EU), Fiji Foreign Minister Kaliopate Tavola told reporters Tuesday. The summit, which starts on Wednesday, involves the African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) group and its links to the EU, mostly old colonial masters. The Cotonou Agreement, the result of the ACP meeting in Benin in 2000, includes 15.2 billion euros (dollars) in aid and a new trade deal which ultimately will end preferential tariffs many of the ACP countries have with Europe. Tavola said delegations from 62 countries were on the way but only 18 heads of state would attend. "It can change tomorrow... and some one can turn up unannounced," he said.

He said it was expected that many leaders would not be able to attend because the meeting was only just scheduled seven months ago. "In fixing the summit we were aware there would be problems... Eighteen is a good number and the heads of other delegations are ministers, deputy prime ministers, and so we will achieve the objective of the summit." The major item on the agenda is a progress report on a new trading agreement the ACP has to reach with the EU by 2008. The worry for ACP members, particularly the smaller Pacific countries, is that their struggling economies will get lost in globalisation. Tavola said it was clear in a free trade world that most of the ACP countries were being marginalised. He said while the ACP subscribed to liberal world trade, it still wanted to hang on to its preferential access to European markets and that World Trade Organisation rules should reflect that. While he acknowledged that the world was moving towards free trade, he said some countries still needed help to compete in the global market. "The direction it is taking, it is obviously to remove all the barriers, to have freer trade, but the more we have free trade, the more we have trade liberalisation, the more marginalised our economies become," he said.

"Maybe there is a need for preferential markets to prevail, so that those who have been left behind, those that have been marginalised, can catch up with others and be able to trade with others in this competitive world." Fiji has a vested interest in the issue as special market tariffs for its troubled sugar industry which employs 30 percent of the population end in 2008.

Tavola said the key issue was to agree an ACP position that could be taken onto the world stage. "The first focus is to look at the concerns that we encounter and to come up with some positions that the ACP group can take in unity and solidarity so that we can, as a group, become a force to be reckoned with." He said it would take five years of negotiations to reach a new trade agreement. The meeting is being held under the slogan "solidarity in a globalised world" and Tavola agreed it was difficult to appreciate the common ground between members which range from Niue with less than 2,000 people living on a single Pacific island to Nigeria's 127 million people. "We have 27 years of solidarity which we can show as evidence... We have been operating as a group and the group is enlarging. "We have been able to work and maintain our consistency in working with the European Union."

 

26. UN MAKES FINAL TRY TO SAVE EARTH SUMMIT

The Guardian

15 July 2002

Internet: http://www.guardian.co.uk/globalisation/story/0,7369,755366,00.html 

Twenty five countries, including all G8 members, have been asked to meet today in New York in an attempt by the UN to salvage next month's Earth Summit in Johannesburg. Governments were due to reach consensus over a month ago on drafting a detailed plan for global economic development but the final preparatory meeting of the world summit on sustainable development in Bali, Indonesia, broke up in June without agreement in the most contentious areas. These include finance and trade commitments, targets for renewable energy, health, education, a poverty fund and debt reduction With the possibility that UN and world leaders will be condemned at Johannesburg for not commiting themselves to tackling the problems of global poverty and environmental degradation, President Mbeki of South Africa has approached the UN secretary general, Kofi Annan, to help bridge the yawning gaps. The UN was yesterday insisting that the New York meeting, which could run until the summit begins on August 26, did not mean the conference was in crisis. Nitin Desai, UN undersecretary general for economic and social affairs and chair of the Earth summit, said countries had so far agreed on about 75% of the text and predicted that differences could be overcome before the summit began - if delegates showed the necessary will. "I would not describe the conflict as insurmountable," he said. "Bali took the negotiations as far as they could go. The remaining issues require a political resolution". The success of the summit, expected to be the largest ever with more than 60,000 delegates and 100 heads of state, is being seen as a test for the future of multilateral diplomacy. But cynicism amongst international non government groups is high. Gerd Leipold, the head of Greenpeace International, said at the weekend he would prefer to see its collapse rather than a "a pact of toothless promises".

 

27. 'POOR PROSPECTS' FOR EARTH SUMMIT

BBC

15 July 2002

Internet: http://news.bbc.co.uk/hi/english/sci/tech/newsid_2129000/2129583.stm 

The Earth Summit, the World Summit on Sustainable Development (WSSD) in Johannesburg, faces a high risk of failure, according to a leading British environmental thinker. He is Sir Crispin Tickell, former UK ambassador to the United Nations.

Sir Crispin says it is "hard to be optimistic" about what will happen in Johannesburg. Little, he says, will change "unless and until we think differently". Sir Crispin is now director of the Green College Centre for Environmental Policy and Understanding at the University of Oxford. Speaking to the Society for Conservation Biology, he said the summit's agenda, sustainable development, meant "treating the Earth as if we intended to stay". Affecting evolution He said humans were changing the Earth in several ways: by increasing their numbers, through the loss of land quality and the build-up of wastes, by changing atmospheric chemistry, and by continuing to destroy other living species. Coral reefs are being destroyed. He said our destruction of other species had reached "rates comparable to those caused by extraterrestrial impacts in the long-distant past. One in four mammal species, which are key indicators of ecosystem health, are facing a high risk of extinction in the near future. "The future course of evolution will be substantially changed by current human activity. "Bacteria and viruses learn how to react to almost any drug we may throw at them. Humans take 20 years to reproduce. Bacteria do the job in 20 minutes. How we are changing the Earth

We are multiplying "at a giddy rate"

65% of all arable land may have already lost some biological and physical functions

60% or more of world fisheries are judged to be fully exploited or over-fished

27% of coral reefs are thought to have been lost, with another 32% at risk by 2032

Freshwater demand doubles every 21 years

"Nor can we yet assess the effects of the introduction of genetically modified organisms."

Sir Crispin said an occasional visitor from space would find more change in the Earth's surface in the last 200 years than in the preceding 2,000, and more in the last 20 years than in the preceding 200. The need to conserve biodiversity, the Earth's wealth of life, was hard to get across to people. There was an ethical reason to do so, but we seldom realised our vocation to be stewards of the Earth. Sir Crispin quoted the judgement of Professor James Lovelock, that "humans are as qualified to be stewards as goats are to be gardeners". There were strong economic arguments for conservation, from the range of drugs derived from plants to the need to cherish genetic diversity. Ecologically, we relied on forests and vegetation to produce soil, regulate water supplies and recycle waste. But Sir Crispin said inertia was immensely strong, and that was why little would change until we learnt to think differently, and why he was not optimistic about the WSSD. He said: "For change we need three factors: leadership from above, pressure from below, or some exemplary catastrophe. "Do we know where we are going? Not yet: the juggernaut of conventional wisdom rolls on.

"Can we cope with the problems raised by the unstable and unsustainable society we have created for ourselves? My answer is also: not yet."

 

28. BUSH ADMINISTRATION MAY CAUSE FAILURE OF ENVIRONMENTAL SUMMIT

Sierra Club

15 July 2002

Internet: http://www.sierraclub.org/pressroom/ 

Washington, DC -- The Sierra Club today expressed deep concern that the Bush Administration's approach to the upcoming World Summit on Sustainable Development in Johannesburg may seriously undermine the global community's efforts to protect clean air and water, and fight global warming. The Sierra Club is stressing to the Administration that working with other countries at the Johannesburg Summit to hold enormous global corporations accountable for their environmental impact will help protect the

environment both here at home and around the world. "The Administration has consistently blocked attempts to protect the global

environment by promoting plans that benefit large corporations rather than the billions of citizens who have to deal with environmental crises, like dirty water and air, and global climate change," said Sierra Club Director Michael Dorsey, who has represented the Club during the preparatory meetings and will attend the Johannesburg Summit. "People around the

world are seriously concerned that the Bush administration is undermining the World Summit instead of working with other countries to benefit everyone." In 1992, heads of state, including President George H. W. Bush, attended the Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. They were asked to support binding international treaties on forest protection, climate change and

biodiversity protection. President Bush Sr. agreed to the Rio Declaration and its Principles on Sustainable Development "with the goal of establishing a new and equitable global partnership through the creation of new levels of cooperation among States."

A decade later, George W. Bush is attempting to reverse his father's legacy and turn back the clock. Instead of a partnership among nations, he proposes to eliminate oversight of corporations on the 10-year anniversary of the Earth Summit slated to begin in August in South Africa. The President is ignoring in this approach, the very lesson he has just affirmed with regard to domestic corporations for "standards enforced by strict laws and upheld by responsible business leaders." At the final preparatory meeting held in May in Bali, the US government delegation, following the directive of the Bush Administration, repeatedly resisted any serious steps to address a host of global environmental problems, especially global warming. The Administration steadfastly

opposes international efforts to hold multinational corporations accountable for their business practices. The head of the US delegation criticized environmental targets and timetables as "theater" and "fiction" not worthy of serious consideration. Already more than 200 non-governmental organizations have signed a critique of the Johannesburg meeting entitled, "A Disaster in the Making". "What is fiction is not the concept of the global community holding global corporations accountable," said Sierra Club Executive Director Carl Pope, "but the idea that voluntary actions by these corporations will protect the world's citizens from pollution, destruction of their communities and the natural resources upon which they depend." "Unfortunately, this appears to be another attempt by President Bush to withdraw from global cooperation," said Stephen Mills, Director of the Sierra Club's International Program, who will also be attending the summit for the Sierra Club. "Americans want to be part of a country that acts as a responsible neighbor, and they know we need to cooperate with other nations to protect the environment if we expect them to cooperate with us." The Sierra Club will be asking the Administration to promote efforts to shift policy away from an approach that benefits corporations but rarely protects the environment. At the summit, the Sierra Club will be advocating for the Administration to:

• Represent public interests before corporate interests by supporting binding corporate accountability measures, including public release of corporate environmental performance data. The Administration supports voluntary, non-binding environmental agreements that rely on corporations policing themselves.

• Reverse its position that World Trade Organization rules should trump international environmental agreements.

• Seriously address climate change and air pollution: So far the Administration has shown a lack of commitment to curbing climate change and protecting clean air, as evidenced by withdrawal from the Kyoto Protocol on climate change, and domestic efforts to weaken the Clean Air Act.

• Respect the basic human right to clean drinking water - not undermine it by privatizing water services. In March, during its testimony on the Water Investment Act of 2002 the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency stated that the Administration did not support additional funding to help the country's crumbling water systems, but instead believed that privatization is a better solution. The Administration is expected to support a similar position in Johannesburg. As we have just seen with Enron and Global

Crossing, unregulated private companies cannot be relied upon to provide basic public services at a fair and just cost. We should not add drinking water as yet another vital public service that will be open to corporate manipulation and profiteering.

• Protect Agriculture and Biodiversity. The Administration must resist pressure from huge agri-businesses and instead support calls for biosafety in order to prevent the widespread production and use of genetically modified organisms in agriculture.

 

29. AFRICAN JOURNALISM INDABA JOINS WORLD SUMMIT

East Cape News (Grahamstown) via All Africa

15 July 2002

Internet: http://allafrica.com/stories/200207150266.html 

Rhodes University's Highway Africa conference has secured official status as part of the World Summit on Sustainable Development in Johannesburg next month. Highway Africa is a six-year-old annual event focussing on African journalism and Internet, combining high-level discussions and hands-on training. Convened by Rhodes and SABC for 21-23 August, it is sponsored by the Department of Communications and hosted by the National Electronic Media Institute of South Africa. Along with 40 students from Rhodes, about 60 African journalists will stay on after highway African to report on the Summit. Under the theme of "wiring journalism for international development" the three-day programme at Highway African will analyse the role of media in defining the digital divide and how new technology can help journalists bridge it. Topics include the Internet revolution, the role of a free press and making technology affordable to Africa. Workshops will cover internet research skills, web publishing and the use of Geographical Information Systems for reporting on sustainable development. Speakers and delegates have been confirmed from Gambia, Kenya, Nigeria, Ethiopia, the SADC countries and the USA. Highway Africa has won a nomination for the prestigious Tech Awards run by The Tech Museum of Innovation in San Jose, California in the category of using technology to promote equality.

 

30. NET USERS SOUND OFF TO EARTH SUMMIT

Ananova

15th July 2002

Internet: http://www.ananova.com/news/story/sm_628406.html?menu=news.technology 

Thousands of sound messages will be sent to next month's Earth Summit via a new Friends of the Earth audio website.

Radiohead singer Thom Yorke and writer Arundhati Roy will be helping launch radioearthsummit.org.Friends of the Earth has created the site to provide people with the chance to send a noise to the summit in South Africa. It aims to show world leaders that action is needed to protect the environment and people from exploitation by global corporations. The sounds sent to the site will provide a soundscale for Friends of the Earth International's giant art installation outside the Earth Summit. Noises reflecting the situation already on the site include the sound of a mother crying, a scream of frustration, the sounds of clock ticking, a kookaburra calling, a beer bottle opening, the whirr of a chainsaw, a tiger's roar and the sound of silence. Radio Earth Summit will also provide news, features and interviews in the run up to the conference, which takes place in Johannesburg from August 26 to September 4.

Messages so far include a hard-hitting interview with Booker prize-winning author Arundhati Roy, a message of support from Radiohead lead singer Thom Yorke and Ricardo Navarro of Friends of the Earth International talking about the impact of corporations in El Salvador. Noises people have recorded and sent in include the sound of the Sumatran gibbon - under threat from logging activities in Indonesia - and the hissing sound of polluting gas released by petrochemical plants in South Africa.

Liana Stupples of Friends of the Earth said: "We want people to send their messages to world leaders via Radio Earth Summit - but most of all, we want government leaders around the world to listen to what they have to say and take action to protect the planet."

 

31. SWEDISH PRIME MINISTER'S EMPLOYMENT STATEMENTS CONFIRM KEY TRADE UNION PRIORITIES FOR POSITIVE WSSD OUTCOMES

ICFTU/TUAC

14 July 2002

Trade union officials are applauding recent statements by Swedish Prime Minister Göran Persson which reinforce the view that employment and socio-economic security are crucial to the success of the World Summit on Sustainable Development (WSSD) which is due to open in Johannesburg, South Africa at the end of August. Persson made his statements to a "Passing of the Torch" ceremony last 25 June in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, which was held to officially signal the inauguration of the WSSD, after the first Earth Summit in that city ten year ago. The statements focussing on employment issues, were only recently made public, and trade unionists believe they reflect a welcome and growing change in perspective among key players who will be attending the WSSD, including governments. Most notably, Persson highlighted the importance of investments and policies in both the social and environmental arenas, saying that they "offer exceptional opportunities" for ensuring that basic welfare and decent jobs for all is a prerequisite in promoting popular commitment to protection of the environment. "Economically, it helps to build new markets and create jobs," he said. "Socially it brings people in from the margins and politically, it reduces tensions and potential conflicts over resources." Since Rio 1992 trade unions have contended that the lack of just employment transition programmes constitutes an enormous barrier to worker involvement for implementing sustainable development targets, at the workplace level. They say that promoting change in tandem with better employment impact assessments, twinned with programmes for re-employment, training, education and compensation are the only way to secure the willing participation of workers, in the longer term.

Persson also used the opportunity to reinforce a related trade union priority, when he called for stronger organizations and instruments for global governance. "There is a need to establish a better balance between global market forces

and international governance for sustainable development," he said. "The international trade rules within the WTO, multilateral agreements and international conventions in the social area, such as core labour standards, must be mutually supportive."

Trade unions are still assessing gains made at the WSSD Prepcom IV in Bali, Indonesia last May, in which governments agreed on the need to promote decent work and workplace-based partnerships as the key to more complete integration of the social dimension into development decisions. They have called upon the WSSD to strengthen its commitment - in both words and

concrete action - to ensure that employment and social integration become central features of sustainable development, in particular, as it concerns poverty eradication. The world's two leading trade union organisations, the Internationational Confederation of Free Trade Unions (ICFTU), and the Trade Union Advisory Committee to the OECD (TUAC) have called on the governments of both South Africa and Indonesia to strengthen social and employment provisions of the text that will be negotiated at the WSSD in August. In particular, they are seeking improvements in the wording relating to worker participation issues, corporate accountability, roles of governments, and sector linkages to production/consumption patterns. (Copies of suggested amendments available upon request.) Trade unions also believe that the release of the Swedish Prime Minister's statements will lend force to the decision by South African Prime Minister Thabo Mbeki to invite a number of countries to assist him, when he Chairs the World Summit. He has asked 25 countries to serve as 'Friends of the Chair', and invited them to a meeting on July 17 "to find an approach to resolve outstanding differences that stand in the way of a global consensus at the Summit."

Trade unions expect to monitor these meetings closely, and will aim to be in direct contact with the countries involved to lobby for employment and social issues to receive the attention they deserve

 

32. S&T CLIMBING ON MUSLIM COUNTRIES AGENDA

Frontier Post

14 July 2002

Internet: http://frontierpost.com.pk/main.asp?id=19&date1=7/14/2002 

ISLAMABAD: The governments of Islamic countries from Kuala Lumpur to Sarajevo are attaching increasingly high priority to science and technology, recent events suggest. Issues of promoting science and technology-and sustainable development-figured high at the Twenty-Ninth Session of the Islamic Conference of Foreign Ministers (ICFM) late last month. The conference encouraged the leaders of the Islamic states to work for promotion of science of technology for the good of humanity and for the socio-economic development of states. The foreign ministers were apt to reaffirm that science and technology must be shared and harnessed for peaceful purposes. They commended the activities of OIC Committee for Science and Technology (COMSTECH), ISESCO, and the Islamic University of Technology in Dhaka for their efforts in serving the cause of the Islamic Ummah and encouraged support to them. As well, the Khartoum conference stressed the need for cooperation and adoption of effective measures to protect the environment. Protection of environment, the ministers said, is essential for the sustainable development of the Member States. The conference adopted the resolution and the declaration adopted by the First Islamic Conference of Islamic Environment Ministers (ICEM) held in Jeddah on 10-12 June 2002. It urged the members states to take a united stand at the World Summit for Sustainable Development to be held in Johannesburg from 26 August to 4 September, and thanked the government of Saudi Arabia for hosting the first ICEM; and ISESCO for its part in that conference. The conference also agreed to update the memorandum of understanding (MoU) between the OIC and the UN Environment Programme (UNEP).

 

33. POWELL TO GO TO SOUTH AFRICAN MEETING WITH MESSAGE OF HELPING REDUCE POVERTY AND GROW ECONOMIES

Associated Press

12 July 2002

Internet: http://www.boston.com/dailynews/193/economy/Powell_to_go_to_South_African_:.shtml 

WASHINGTON (AP) The United States will emphasize at a U.N. summit next month that it is committed to help reduce poverty and promote economic growth in poor countries, Secretary of State Colin Powell said Friday. If those countries are to grow, however, their governments must rule justly, invest in their people and preserve the environment, the secretary told a State Department-sponsored conference. ''We will ask developing countries to join us in opening their economies and societies to growth, for growth is the key to raising people out of poverty,'' Powell said. Leaders from more than 100 countries are expected Aug. 26 to Sept. 4 at the meeting in Johannesburg, South Africa, sponsored by the United Nations to try to come up with ideas for cutting poverty and protecting the environment. Powell said he plans to attend, but a final decision has not been made on his role there. He met Friday with South Africa's foreign minister, Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, to discuss preparations for the meeting, called the World Summit on Sustainable Development. Powell said such development is a ''compelling moral and humanitarian issue but also a security imperative, because poverty, destruction of the environment and despair are ... an unholy trinity that can destabilize countries and regions.'' He said the United States would stress at the Johannesburg meeting its commitment to helping nations develop. ''We will also carry the message that sustainable development must begin at home, with sound policies and good governance,'' Powell said. In addition, he said, the United States will emphasize partnerships involving governments, civil society and the private sector to mobilize the financial resources needed for development. On the environment, he said the United States would seek concrete action in seven areas essential to development: health, energy, water, agriculture and rural development, education, ocean and coastal management and forests

 

34. LOBBYING FOR BUSH TO ATTEND THE WORLD SUMMIT

IPS

12 July 2002

Internet: http://athena.tbwt.com/content/article.asp?articleid=1166 

JOHANNESBURG - South African Foreign Affairs Minister, Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, who is in Washington this week, is expected to lobby for U.S. President George W. Bush to attend the World Summit on Sustainable Development (WSSD) scheduled for Johannesburg next month. But diplomatic sources in South Africa say it is very doubtful for Bush to attend the summit.

Bush is not considered a great champion of environmental or development issues, and he is not likely to attend a summit that may adopt a programme he will find difficult to support. The attendance of the leaders of the Group of Eight (G-8) wealthy countries is an informal measure of the success of an international summit in some UN circles. If it looks like the WSSD may get bogged in controversy, many key international leaders are likely to simply skip the gathering. It was initially expected that more than 150 heads of state would attend the summit, called to look at how the social and economic conditions of the world's poor could be improved, while at the same time the global environment is protected from the negative effects of development. Now, the UN reportedly only expects about 100 leaders. Dlamini-Zuma and the U.S. Secretary of State, Colin Powell, were expected to meet in Washington, on Friday ''The minister's visit is part of a national effort led by South African President, Thabo Mbeki, to find consensus ahead of the WSSD, to be hosted by South Africa from August 26 this year,'' said Foreign Affairs spokesperson, Ronnie Mamoepa. He added that Dlamini-Zuma has already held meetings with her counterparts in Canada, Denmark and London.

Dlamini-Zuma is a close confidant of Mbeki and her dispatch to build support for the WSSD is one of the first signs that the South African president is turning his attention to the summit. Until now, Mbeki has been focussed on securing African and international support for an economic and social development programme for the continent, and clearing the way for the launch of the new African Union (AU). The African Union was launched in South Africa, this week, and Mbeki elected its first chair.

The last preparatory meeting before the summit - held in Indonesia last month - failed to reach agreement on a ''Draft plan of implementation for the WSSD''. While some South African officials play-up the fact that there are only limited areas of disagreement, the reality is that the sticking points are fundamental to the success of the summit. In a nutshell, there is no agreement on the trade and financing provisions of the plan of action - the so-called ''economic platform'' of the WSSD.

Developing countries insist that the document should not ignore the most important causes of poverty -- among them unfair terms of trade and the lack of market access for agricultural products from poor countries. They also want the action plan tied to a timetable for providing finance for development and poverty alleviation programmes. But the advanced economies argue that ''financing for development'' agreements should not be part of the summit, which should rather focus on environmental and ''good governance'' issues. They are also reluctant to tie promises of development aid to target amounts and a timetable.

As host country, South Africa will have to broker a compromise - preferably ahead of the WSSD. This explains the latest round of meetings by Dlamini-Zuma. As part of the developing world, the country is also pushing for the United States and the European Union (EU) to do more to open their markets to goods and products from Africa, Asia and Latin America.

More specifically, South Africa wants the WSSD to adopt the New Partnership for Africa's Development (NEPAD) as the programme for sustainable development on the continent, and to help generate financing for its projects.

NEPAD is a programme to kick-start the social and economic development on the continent, which has been developed by Mbeki, and other African leaders. In return for building political and economic stability on the continent, African countries are promised better trade and aid deals from the wealthy nations of the world. This week, the African Union as the economic development programme of the continent adopted NEPAD. Dlamini-Zuma would most likely try to convince Powell that by launching the African Union and adopting NEPAD, the continent's leaders have made a practical commitment to political and economic good governance.

In return, the United States and EU should show their support for the African programme, by attending the WSSD and making additional financial commitments to its social and economic development goals. Africa will be a special focus of the WSSD.

There are fears among international environmental and civil society organisations that to secure the participation of the United States and the European Union, South Africa may try to water down the summit plan of action until it is more palatable to the advance economies - but ineffective in alleviating global poverty. The environmental group Greenpeace has reportedly said it will fight any face-saving compromise deal that omits concrete poverty alleviation goals and methods to finance them

 

35. LIB-DEMS CALL FOR ADDITIONAL 100,000 SOLAR ROOFS

Edie weekly summaries

12 July 2002

Internet: http://www.edie.net/gf.cfm?L=left_frame.html&R=http://www.edie.net/news/Archive/5740.cfm 

The Liberal Democrat Party is calling for the Government to be more proactive in promoting renewable energy, calling for 100,000 solar roofs by 2010 as part of the party's Solar Charter, launched on 9 July as part of the Lib-Dems 'environment week'. On the same day, the Lib-Dems also submitted an Early Day Motion in Parliament stating that "this House notes with concern that the UK remains at the bottom of the European league table on the environment". The motion also notes that the Government's 'doing your bit' campaign has been dormant in 2002, despite the forthcoming World Summit on Sustainable Development in Johannesburg this August, which should be encouraging everyone to 'think globally and act locally'. The Motion also urges Parliament and all government departments to 'do their bit' by increasing recycling, use of recycled materials, reduce energy use and sign up to renewable energy supplies. "It is essential that the Government takes more responsibility for Britain's future and moves towards increasing our renewable sources of energy," said Liberal Democrat Shadow Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Secretary Malcolm Bruce at the launch of the Solar Charter. "The Government's target of 10% of electricity to be renewable by 2010 is unambitious and unimpressive." According to Bruce, the Government has set only a very modest target for solar energy - for solar panels on 3,000 domestic roofs and 140 non-domestic roofs in the next three years, with no targets beyond this date. "If the Government does not take the lead and provide incentives for the public to sign up for renewable energy, Britain will lag even further behind environmentally responsible countries such as Denmark, as well as playing reckless games with Britain's future," Bruce.

The Lib-Dems are also calling for a long-term solar strategy for the country, with targets beyond 2010 increased at a rate of 1% per year, up to a target of 50% of energy use by 2050. Noting that the UK is a "classical electricity-profligate country", Jeremy Leggett, Chief Executive of Solar Century, the company that hosted the launch, acknowledged that solar technology has too often been overlooked as a viable renewable option. "But solar PV is uniquely suited to our largely urban, densely populated environment, as well as providing innovative off-grid electricity solutions," said Leggett. "It is the only renewable that is also a building material in its own right, and as such can play a significant role in the regeneration of Britain's town and cities." With regard to other environmental issues, Bruce went on to criticise an apparent lack of interest by the current Government. "Since the general election there have been no government debates on the environment," he said. He also noted that although Prime Minister Tony Blair was the first world leader to agree to go to the Johannesburg Summit, he still has not announced what issues he will be raising there.

"A failure at Johannesburg would generate such a depth of despair among developing nations," which could produce a torrent of economic migrants, explained Bruce. Bruce also announced that he is the first MP to sign up to the Johannesburg Climate Legacy, run on a non-profit basis by the carbon offset company Future Forests. In order to ensure that the Johannesburg Summit does not damage the environment by producing excessive greenhouse gas emissions, the emissions produced by delegate travel and accommodation are being offset by the development of projects that reduce emissions in South Africa. These projects include increasing energy efficiency at Baragwanath Chris Hani Hospital - the largest hospital in the southern hemisphere - which will reduce costs as well as emissions, allowing more money to be spent on treating patients. A second project is the installation of biogas generator digesters for waste in order to produce methane that can be used in cooking, lighting and refrigerators in rural homes in Maphenphetheni, South Africa. The project is calling for individuals and companies to sponsor carbon offsets, at US$10 per tonne of carbon dioxide.

 

36. UN STAGES 'RESCUE MISSION' TO HEAL RIFT OVER EARTH SUMMIT

Independent

12 July 2002

Internet: http://news.independent.co.uk/world/environment/story.jsp?story=314261 

The prospects for embarrassing failure at next month's Earth Summit in Johannesburg will dominate a preparatory meeting at the United Nations next week in which delegates from 25 countries will attempt to forge an agenda for heads of government.

"Basically, this will be a rescue operation for the summit," one Western diplomat conceded yesterday.

The South African hosts are growing increasingly concerned that the meeting will unravel even before it starts, with the possibility that some heads of government will stay away rather than participate in a meeting that threatens to embarrass them.

Billed as the World Summit for Sustainable Development, the meeting is meant to be the largest United Nations gathering in history. It was designed to give new momentum to a process that began with the Rio de Janeiro Earth Summit in 1992.

However, disagreements over proposals to set concrete targets for protecting the environment from the effects of industrial development led to deadlock at a preparatory ministerial meeting in Bali in June. It is those differences that delegates will try to overcome next week. Gerd Leipold, the head of Greenpeace, suggested yesterday that his group would rather see the summit collapse than adopt a compromise text without proper teeth. "At some point when things are not really moving, it's better to have a failure than a foul compromise," he said. Already, the summit is shaping up as yet another showdown between the United States and the rest of the world. While European nations support clear targets to contain the impact of development on the environment, notably global warming, the US is resisting them. It prefers a vaguer formula that would leave it to groups of countries to set their own environmental standards. The White House indicated that it might be five years before the US has completed research into the effects of global warming and finalised a strategy of its own. A senior official also defended the decision by President George Bush to withdraw from the Kyoto Protocol on curbing global warming. James Connaughton, chairman of the White House council on environmental quality, said: "The Kyoto Protocol would have cost our economy up to $400bn [£257bn] and caused the loss of up to 4.9 million jobs." Next week's meeting will involve senior officials, but not ministers, from 25 countries deemed "friends of the chair" by South Africa

 

37. DLAMINI-ZUMA TO MEET POWELL ON WSSD

South African Press Association via All Africa

11 July 2002

Internet: http://allafrica.com/stories/200207120020.html 

Foreign Affairs Minister Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma will meet United States Secretary of State, Colin Powell, in Washington on Friday, to discuss the upcoming Johannesburg summit, her office said on Thursday. "The minister's visit is part of a national effort led by President Thabo Mbeki to find consensus ahead of the World Summit on Sustainable Development (WSSD), to be hosted by South Africa from August 26 to September 4 this year," a statement said. "In this context, the minister has already held meetings with her counterparts in Canada, Denmark and London." Foreign affairs spokesman Ronnie Mamoepa told Sapa the visit was intended to seek agreement on key sticking points that emerged at the final WSSD preparatory conference, held on the Indonesian island of Bali last month. These included matters pertaining to human rights, democracy, agricultural subsidies, market access, and good governance. Mamoepa was reluctant to comment on whether US President George W. Bush would attend the summit himself. However, the subject might also be discussed during her visit. The foreign affairs statement said Dlamini-Zuma would also participate in a conference, "Making Sustainable Development Work: Governance, Finance and Public Private Cooperation", while in the US.

 

38. SUMMIT PARTICIPANTS CAN PAY TO OFFSET EMISSIONS

Environmental News Service

11 July 2002

Internet: http://ens-news.com/ens/jul2002/2002-07-11-19.asp#anchor4 

JOHANNESBURG, South Africa, July 11, 2002 (ENS) - Each of the some 60,000 people expected to attend the World Summit on Sustainable Development taking place in South Africa later this summer will generate greenhouse gas emissions. Transport from their homes to the conference site in Johannesburg, and electricity used to stage the gathering are among the uses of fossil fuels that will emit the gases linked to global warming. South African officials will compensate for these emissions, and conference participants can help. Mary Metcalfe of the MEC Department for Agriculture, Conservation, Environment and Land Affairs, of Gauteng Province, where the conference is taking place, is asking participants to pay for their carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions by joining the Johannesburg Climate Legacy. "I urge all delegates to take responsibility for their own CO2 emissions that will be caused by attending the World Summit on Sustainable Development, by supporting the Johannesburg Climate Legacy Project," she said. "It is one small step towards a sustainable climate and will be an important contribution to innovative alternate energy projects in South Africa." "We are measuring the carbon dioxide emissions of the Summit," she said. "These emissions will be offset through investments in carbon reducing sustainable projects across South Africa. "Companies, individuals, and governments can sponsor this offset by making donations to a dedicated Trust Fund and, in so doing on this world stage, make one of the most important commitments in modern history to a sustainable future." There is a website where delegates can calculate how much CO2 their trip will generate and offset it. $10 will offset one tonne of CO2 emitted by the summit. http://www.climatelegacy.org/ 

 

 

39. SCRAMBLE FOR CONSENSUS AS WORLD SUMMIT LOOMS

Cape Argus

11 July 2002

Internet: http://www.itechnology.co.za/index.php?click_id=13&art_id=ct20020711103018862S530655&set_id=1 

Envoys from 25 nations gather in New York next week in search of an elusive last-minute accord on a global blueprint for sustainable development, South African and United Nations officials said on Wednesday. The July 17 meeting will be chaired by UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan and Foreign Minister Dr Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma. South Africa is hosting the World Summit on Sustainable Development in Johannesburg from August 26 to September 4. Following the collapse of preparatory talks in Bali, Indonesia, in June, agreement has yet to be reached on the summit's main goal - the drafting of a detailed plan for global economic development that preserves and protects the environment while battling hunger and poverty. Nitin Desai, UN under secretary-general for economic and social affairs, said representatives of the UN's 189 member-nations had so far agreed on about 75 percent of the blueprint's text. He predicted differences could be overcome before the summit began if delegates showed the necessary will. "I would not describe the conflict as insurmountable," he said. The group of 25 nations designated by President Thabo Mbeki as "friends of the chair" would be working between now and the summit's start to try to resolve the remaining differences, he added.

Desai was heading to Paris on Wednesday for talks with Environment Affairs Minister Valli Moosa and Emil Salim, the former Indonesian environment minister who chaired the summit's preparatory meeting in Bali. The 25 nations due to attend next week's wider gathering in New York include the Group of Eight industrialised nations - Britain, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Russia and the United States - as well as Argentina, Brazil, China and Denmark. Others due to attend were Egypt, Ghana, India, Indonesia, Jamaica, Jordan, Mexico, Nigeria, Norway, Senegal, Sweden, Uganda and Venezuela

 

40. POVERTY, ENVIRONMENTAL ISSUES TO TOP NIGERIA'S AGENDA FOR WSSD: MINISTER

Xinhua News Agency

11 July 2002

Internet: http://library.northernlight.com/FE20020711690000120.html?cb=0&dx=1006&sc=0#doc 

LAGOS, Jul 11, 2002 (Xinhua via COMTEX) -- Poverty alleviation and environmental issues will top Nigeria's agenda at the World Summit on Sustainable Development (WSSD) scheduled for Aug. 26 to Sept. 4 in South Africa, the News Agency of Nigeria reported on Thursday. The agency quoted Environment Minister Alhaji Kabir Sa'id as saying that the summit will offer Nigeria the opportunity to interact with other nations on how to tackle poverty and environmental issues. As environmental problems are on the increase, the summit will assess the progress and challenges since the last meeting in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil in 1992 the minister said. "We shall look at what has happened and are happening since the last summit and find ways on how to collectively address them," Sa 'id said. He said the summit will work out appropriate measures for a peaceful resolution of the issue arising from the Kyoto agreement, which the United States has refused to endorse. "You can not leave the US out of issues concerning green house gases as they are responsible for 25 percent of the emission, and we shall try to ensure that all parties to the agreement ascent to it," the minister said. The African continent is at the receiving end of such disagreement due to its technical inability to manage such emission, he added.

 

41. ARRANGEMENTS FOR WSSD PLEASING: SHILOWA AND MAYORS

Office of the Premier, Gauteng

11 July 2002

Internet: http://www.gov.za/search97cgi/s97_cgi?action=View&VdkVgwKey=%2E%2E%2Fdata%2Fspeech02%
2F02071209461008%2Etxt&DocOffset=8&DocsFound=6149&Collection=speech02&Collection=speech
01&SortField=TDEDate&SortOrder=desc&ViewTemplate=gov%2Fdocview%2Ehts&SearchUrl=http%3A
%2F%2Fwww%2Egov%2Eza%2Fsearch97cgi%2Fs97%5Fcgi%3Faction%3DSearch%26ResultTemplate%
3Dgov%252Fdefault%252Ehts%26Collection%3Dspeech02%26Collection%3Dspeech01%26SortField%3
DTDEDate%26SortOrder%3Ddesc%26ViewTemplate%3Dgov%252Fdocview%252Ehts%26ResultStart%3D1%26ResultCount%3D25& 

Gauteng Premier Mbhazima Shilowa on Thursday met metropolitan and district municipal mayors in Johannesburg and assessed the province's readiness to host the United Nations' World Summit on Sustainable Development (WSSD) next month.

They expressed satisfaction that Johannesburg World Summit Company had made the necessary arrangements for the gathering that would bring together more than 60 000 delegates to Johannesburg late in August. The meeting noted the economic benefits that would immediately accrue to Gauteng, particularly investment in infrastructure, development of the hospitality and tourism industry and the increased economic activity during this period. It also identified issues that were critical to sustainable development and to the improvement of the quality of life of the poorest people in Gauteng, in particular access to water and sanitation, energy, improved health care and food security. These will be realised as government continues with its programme of sustainable development. The Premier and mayors stressed that the WSSD must also contribute to transformation of trade relations so that the developing world could gain fair access to the markets of rich nations.

Shilowa and mayors welcomed WSSD's contribution towards achieving goals of the Millennium declaration to half the number of the world's poor by 2015. "This must become the target of government at every level, and municipalities have a key role to play," a statement issued after the meeting stressed. The meeting further resolved to create an awareness throughout Gauteng "so that ordinary people in Gauteng can understand the importance of the summit for their own lives, and for the lives of their children".

 

42. HUMANITY WILL PAY FOR ABUSE OF THE ENVIRONMENT, WARNS WWF

Independent

10 July 2002

Internet: http://news.independent.co.uk/world/environment/story.jsp?story=313583 

Future generations can expect to see a severe fall in living standards as humanity begins to pay for its huge environmental "overdraft" with planet Earth, a leading conservation group has claimed. Human development will begin to plummet within 30 years because we are fast running out of space and resources to sustain the turbo-charged lifestyle of the developed world, says WWF International. Unless governments take urgent action to encourage a more sustainable way of life, human welfare will go into drastic decline by 2030 with falls in average life expectancies, lower educational levels and a shrinking economy, the WWF's Living Planet Report 2002 says. Exploitation of the Earth's renewable resources has grown by 80 per cent in the past 40 years and is now 20 per cent higher than the natural capacity of the planet to replenish itself, the report, published yesterday, says. Since the 1980s the use of natural resources has consistently outstripped supply and yet the rate at which resources are being depleted is increasing because more people are chasing a higher standard of living at the expense of environmental degradation. Within 50 years we will be exploiting the renewable resources equivalent to two planet Earths - which is clearly impossible to maintain. Jonathan Loh, the author of the report, said the current rate at which the human population was growing and using natural resources was fundamentally unsustainable and, without further change, a point would come when development would go into reverse. "We do not know exactly what the result will be of running this massive overdraft with the Earth. What is clear, though, is that it would be better to control our own destiny, rather than leave it up to chance," Mr Loh said. According to the report, the Earth has about 11.4 billion hectares of productive space on land and sea, which means about 1.9 hectares for each of the 6 billion people on the planet. Yet the average consumption per head of population is equivalent to about 2.3 hectares per person. This "ecological footprint" varies enormously when differences in lifestyle are taken into account. The typical African, for instance, consumes resources equivalent to 1.4 hectares of land, whereas for the average European it is 5 hectares, rising to 9.6 hectares for the typical American.

Claude Martin, the director general of WWF International, says in the report's foreword that improvements in the quality of life for many people in the world since the Rio Earth Summit of 1992 have exacted an "unacceptable price" from the global ecosystem.

"The past decade has witnessed fires on an unprecedented scale in the tropical forests of Brazil and Indonesia, coral bleaching that has left vast areas of reef in the Caribbean, Indian and Pacific oceans as ghosts of their former selves, the collapse of commercially viable fish stocks in the Atlantic, the ecological devastation of the Black Sea, Aral Sea and Lake Chad, and the continual loss of precious wetland and freshwater ecosystems around the world," Mr Martin said. "By continuing to abuse the biosphere, and through the inequitable sharing of the Earth's resources, we undermine the chances of eradicating poverty, and put the whole of humanity under the threat of global climate change." A spokesman for the WWF said that where once each generation could expect to be financially better off and have a higher standard of living than their parents and grandparents, scientists were now predicting a reversal of fortunes. The report was published 50 days before the start of the World Summit on Sustainable Development, which begins in Johannesburg on 26 August.

 

43. UAE TO PUSH FOR ECOLOGY INITIATIVE AT S. AFRICA MEET

Gulf News

10 July 2002

Internet: http://www.gulf-news.com/Articles/news.asp?ArticleID=57207 

The UAE will push for the enforcement of its landmark global environment initiative at an international conference in Johannesburg this year within a drive to bridge the existing development gap in the world, a top UAE environment official said yesterday. Sheikh Hamdan bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Minister of State for Foreign Affairs and Deputy Chairman of the Environment Research and Wildlife Development Agency (ERWDA), said the Global Environment Data Initiative (GEDI) announced by the UAE this year had already been supported by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP). "We will press for the implementation of this brave initiative at the Johannesburg summit on sustainable development," Sheikh Hamdan told the Lebanese monthly magazine, Al Bia Wal Tenmia (Environment and Development). "ERWDA and UNEP will then work together to find new partners in this initiative, including academic and non-government organisations to put the final touches for an implementation mechanism...a board of directors and a secretariat will also be created." Sheikh Hamdan said the initiative is intended to bridge the large gap in environment information in many countries and upgrade environmental data needed by decision-makers on "national, regional and international levels." "The initiative is aimed at developing and upgrading environment control and surveillance and devising suitable policies in this field in addition to tackling the financial, technical and manpower problems in some countries," he said.

Sheikh Hamdan blamed the lack of accurate environment data for the existing obstacles to sustainable development in several countries, mainly the developing nations. "All social, economic and environment sectors in some countries are suffering because of this." "There has been a gap in environment data gathering between the developing world and industrial countries and the gap has even largely widened...only a few developing nations have managed to develop their data infrastructure and this has created a pressing need for taking measures on the global front to bridge this data gap." Sheikh Hamdan said Arab states need to give more attention to scientific research, particularly in the environmental field to tackle relevant problems. "Research centres in the Arab world are still in their first stages...we need to give more attention to such activities, which receive only two per cent of allocations for scientific and educational research in the Arab world," he said.

 

44. WORLD LEADERS TO ATTEND U.N. SUMMIT

Associated Press

10 July 2002

Internet: http://www.miami.com/mld/miami/news/world/3633161.htm 

UNITED NATIONS (AP) - The United Nations is expecting about 100 world leaders at a summit next month aimed at cutting poverty and protecting the environment - but there's no word yet whether President Bush will attend. Ten years after the Earth Summit in Brazil first focused global attention on the need to preserve the environment, the leaders will gather in Johannesburg, South Africa, from Aug. 26 to Sept. 4 with a much broader agenda. The aim of the World Summit on Sustainable Development is to solidify commitments made in the past year on opening markets to developing countries and increasing financing. Participants are to adopt a program that will achieve concrete results while preserving the environment. U.N. Undersecretary-General Nitin Desai told a news briefing Tuesday that the United Nations is hoping to match the turnout of about 100 presidents and prime ministers at the 1992 Brazil summit. Among those who have accepted invitations to the summit include British Prime Minister Tony Blair, French President Jacques Chirac, Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi, Chinese Premier Zhu Rongji, Mexican President Vicente Fox, Brazilian President Fernando Henrique Cardoso and most African leaders, Desai said. The United States has not yet announced who would head its delegation. The Johannesburg summit is expected to focus on the ambitious goals adopted by world leaders at the U.N. Millennium Summit in September 2000. By 2015, the leaders pledged to halve the number of people living on less than a dollar a day, achieve universal primary education, reduce child mortality, improve maternal health, and start to reverse the HIV/AIDS epidemic. But Johannesburg will also focus on other threats: a third of the world's more than 6 billion people live on less than two dollars a day, use of fossil fuels is rising rapidly, natural resources are being consumed faster than they can be replaced, three-quarters of the world's fishing areas are fished-out, mountain glaciers are slowly melting away, and the world's forests are shrinking. Desai, who is secretary-general of the Johannesburg summit, said negotiators from nearly 200 countries have reached agreement on 75 percent of the development blueprint for the next decade - including giving priority to water and sanitation, energy, health, agriculture and biodiversity. But he said the most difficult issues remain to be settled, including disagreements over requirements for good government in developing countries and whether people should be asked to take action on issues such as climate change before there is complete scientific certainty.

 

45. BEHIND-THE-SCENE EFFORTS SEEK TO BRIDGE DIFFERENCES OVER JOHANNESBURG OUTCOME: SUMMIT SEEN AS VITAL FOR FUTURE OF MULTILATERALISM

United Nations

9 July 2002

Internet: http://www.johannesburgsummit.org/html/whats_new/feature_story16.html 

New York, 9 July-Informal discussions between countries aimed at bridging the remaining differences in the outcome document for the World Summit on Sustainable Development have intensified since the end of the fourth and final preparatory meeting in Bali, Indonesia, and Summit officials are hopeful that the behind-the-scene efforts will pave the way for a successful Summit.

From the Group of Eight meeting near Calgary, Canada, to Rio de Janeiro, where Brazil passed the Earth Summit "torch" to South Africa, to the inaugural meeting of the African Union in Durban, the high-level talks have centered on finding an approach to resolve the remaining outstanding issues, which make up about a quarter of the outcome document.

At South Africa's request, high-level representatives of about 20 countries will meet in New York on 17 July to map out such an approach that will allow negotiators to find common ground on some of the most difficult issues, which include finance and trade issues along with disagreements over setting targets and timetables. The meeting will be led by South African Foreign Minister Dr. Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma and United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan. The meeting in New York will not be a negotiating meeting, as it does not involve the whole membership of the United Nations. Nevertheless the talks can provide the foundation for agreement at the Summit.

Interest is growing among Heads of State, according to Johannesburg Secretary-General Nitin Desai, who added the Summit was "getting some pretty big names. Part of the reason for increase in interest, Desai said, was that the Summit is now seen as a major test for the future of multilaterism. "Johannesburg should not be seen as only the follow-up for the implementation of the Earth Summit-it is also vital for the whole framework of multilateralism."

In addition, Desai said, the Summit should take multilateralism to the "next step" by including all the stakeholders, such as the corporate sector, the NGOs, and the science community to participate in implementation efforts.

According to Desai, many of the concerns of developing countries were "taken on board" at the World Trade Organization meeting in Doha, Qatar, and at the International Conference on Financing for Development in Monterrey, Mexico, where, he said, donor countries announced the largest increase in official development assistance that has ever been seen. And in Africa, Desai said the NEPAD initiative represented a positive step for multilateralism.

"In Johannesburg, we have to consolidate these gains," Desai said. "We have to take multilateralism to the next step. We have to connect the commitments made in Monterrey with the programme areas where the Summit is focusing. The whole climate of multilateralism has changed." "The real test is whether we can convince the world that great world conferences can make a difference on the ground," Desai said.

Most of the text dealing with programme issues, such as water and sanitation, health, energy, agricultural production, and biodiversity, has been agreed upon, Desai said. The outstanding issues involve the differing ways people interpret various concepts from Rio, such as "common but differentiated responsibilities," which acknowledges that countries have different capacities and resources to act, and the precautionary principle, which asks people to take action before the risks are scientifically ascertained.

In addition, there are disagreements on finance and the follow-up of Monterrey, on globalization and trade, good governance, and on targets and timetables. But according to Desai, none of the disagreement is insuperable. Many disagreements, he said, involved the formulation of language and the placement of text.

For example, Desai said, there are competing proposals over whether to raise the share of renewable energy to 5, 10 or 15 per cent over the coming years. "Even if the phrase says 'substantially increase,' it is enough of a mandate to go forward."

 

46. SOUTH AFRICA TO CONVENE FRIENDS OF THE CHAIR MEETING TO HELP SPEED AGREEMENT ON JOHANNESBURG OUTCOME

United Nations

9 July 2002

Internet: http://www.johannesburgsummit.org/html/whats_new/otherstories_friends_of_the_chair.html 

New York, 9 July-South African President Thabo Mbeki has invited 25 countries to serve as "Friends of the Chair" for the World Summit on Sustainable Development in an effort to find an approach that will help resolve the remaining differences and achieve a global consensus at the Summit. The group will hold its first meeting in New York on 17 July.

The South African initiative grew out of discussions between President Mbeki and United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan during the Group of Eight Summit in Kananaskis, Canada last month. According to South African UN Ambassador Dumisani Kumalo, the leaders of the G8 were among the first to accept President Mbeki's invitation.

The 25 countries were selected based on geographical representation as well as "their common interest in the pending issues, and their overall commitment to the success of the Johannesburg Summit," Kumalo said.

South Africa assumed the chairmanship of the Summit after the last preparatory meeting in Bali, Indonesia last month. The Bali meeting concluded with agreements on about three-quarters of the Summit's implementation plan, and the remaining issues, which include some of the most difficult, were left for Johannesburg. The Chairman of the Preparatory Committee for the Summit was Dr. Emil Salim of Indonesia. The 17 July meeting will be led by South African Minister of Foreign Affairs, Dr. Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma, and by the UN Secretary-General. It is South Africa's hope that the meeting will be attended by Ministers or "sherpas" who report directly to the Heads of State and Government of the invited countries.

President Mbeki, according to a press release issued by the South African Mission to the United Nations, "remains convinced that a focused political discussion of the outstanding issues could result in an approach that can help expedite the process in Johannesburg."The Friends of the Chair meeting will not be a negotiating session, which must be open to all Member States. Rather, it provides an opportunity for key players to find an approach or a mechanism that would facilitate the negotiations to be held in Johannesburg. Still to be resolved are issues concerning trade and finance, globalization, setting targets and timetables, and differences over the interpretation of principles adopted at the Earth Summit.

South African representatives noted that the Bali PrepCom was successful in reducing the number of outstanding issues in the implementation plan, and expressed their appreciation for Indonesia's efforts in hosting the meeting.

The countries invited by President Mbeki to serve as Friends of the Chair include Argentina, Brazil, Canada, China, Denmark, Egypt, France, Germany, Ghana, India, Indonesia, Italy, Jamaica, Japan, Jordan, Mexico, Nigeria, Norway, Russian Federation, Senegal, Sweden, Uganda, United Kingdom, United States and Venezuela.

 

47. GLOBAL STANDARD SOUGHT FOR ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION

The Yomiuri Shimbun

9 July 2002

Internet: http://www.yomiuri.co.jp/newse/20020709wo72.htm 

In recent years, the world has seen the spread of economic globalization. The trend promotes free trade and the abolition of regulations that obstruct the operations of multinational companies. Globalization is emerging as a major issue on the agenda of the World Summit on Sustainable Development, to be held in Johannesburg in August. Developing countries believe globalization without consideration for the environment has not only damaged the environment, but also accelerated poverty. The basic rules on globalization are set at meetings of the World Trade Organization. Recently, a controversial provision called the Multilateral Agreement on Investment has attracted widespread public attention because of its possible introduction into WTO rules.

The provision gives priority to the liberalization of trade and investment set by the WTO instead of to environmental policies set by central or regional governments. The provision is based on the North American Free Trade Agreement signed by the United States, Canada and Mexico. Murray Dobbin, a senior official of the Council of Canadians, said people in the three countries know from experience with NAFTA the ways in which the provision could negatively affect human health and local environments.

One example is a dispute between the state of California and Canada-based Methanex Corp., a worldwide distributor of methanol.

In 1999, California Gov. Gray Davis ordered the elimination of a fuel additive known as MTBE from gasoline supplies in the state. The move followed a U.S. Environmental Protection Agency report saying that animal testing had shown the additive to be carcinogenic. Nevertheless, Methanex insisted that there was no sufficient scientific evidence to support the MTBE ban. The company filed a lawsuit based on the investment provisions of NAFTA, seeking 970 million dollars in damages.

Meanwhile, the Canadian government banned the import of another fuel additive known as MMT, on suspicion that it was a neurotoxin. In response, the U.S. manufacturer of the additive, Ethyl Corporation, filed a lawsuit against the Canadian government based on the same NAFTA provisions. In the end, the Canadian government withdrew the ban and paid 13 million dollars to the company in an out-of-court settlement. In Mexico, the construction plan for an industrial waste disposal facility by a U.S. company was interrupted by local governments due to increasing concern over the project's negative impact on the environment. Again, the company filed a lawsuit under the NAFTA provisions and received 16 million dollars in compensation. These examples show that consideration has been given to promotion of free trade before local environments. In the last preparatory meeting for the Johannesburg summit held in Bali in June, some participants pointed to the necessity of creating a standard for preventing damage to the environment at the same time as promoting free trade. However, developed countries said the matter should be discussed at WTO meetings rather than the summit. At the same time, developing countries appeared hesitant to strongly oppose promotion of free trade among developed nations out of fear that too much concern for the environment could interfere with their own economic growth. Caught in the middle of the dispute are ordinary people whose environments are being threatened.

It is likely that economic globalization will continue for some time yet, making it necessary to create a global standard for protecting the environment.

 

48. NGO DELEGATES TOLD TO PAY UP FOR SUMMIT

Cape Times

8 July 2002

Internet: http://www.iol.co.za/index.php?sf=2668&click_id=2762&art_id=ct20020708105944801W231862&set_id=1 

The estimated 45 000 non-governmental delegates to the United Nations' World Summit on Sustainable Development in Johannesburg next month will have to pay a R1 500 registration fee to contribute to the upgrade of the Nasrec conference centre and to cover administration costs. The UN does not charge registration fees for conferences. The charge is being levied by the Civil Society Secretariat, which was set up to facilitate non-governmental participation at the summit. Some NGOs believe the fee will exclude some of the poorer delegates at a conference where one of the main issues is poverty alleviation. The United Nations' official conference venue will be in Sandton, where government delegates from around the world will meet. The expected 45 000 non-governmental delegates will meet at Nasrec. NGOs believe the fee will exclude some. The Civil Society Secretariat evolved out of a mandate given by the UN to the South African NGO Coalition (Sangoco) to facilitate NGO participation at the summit.

Liz McDaid of Earthlife Africa said the effect of the registration fee was likely to be that some delegates from poorer countries, particularly in Africa, would not be able to attend. "It is imperative that representatives of civil society attend the conference. The UN acknowledges that, when it comes to the implementation of sustainable development, governments cannot succeed without civil society's help," McDaid said. Ralph Shepard of Novalis and Globenet 3, an international civil society organisation, said he had heard of several NGO members who would not attend the summit because they were unable to afford the R1 500 registration fee.

 

49. JAPAN, EU AGREE ON CUTTING GREENHOUSE GASSES, DEVELOPMENT AID AT SUMMIT

Associated Press

8 July 2002

Internet: http://story.news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story&u=/ap/20020708/ap_wo_en_po/japan_eu_summit_4 

TOKYO - Japan's Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi and Danish Prime Minister Anders Fogh Rasmussen, representing the European Union agreed Monday to push for greenhouse gas reductions and provide substantial aid to the developing world. The two leaders, joined by European Commission President Romano Prodi, met for several hours in Tokyo Monday afternoon in the 11th annual EU-Japan summit. Koizumi said the talks focused on global warming, international trade and peace in the Middle East and Afghanistan In a joint statement issued after the summit, the two sides stressed their commitment to development aid. "As providers of approximately three-quarters of total funds available for development assistance, we reiterate our commitment to assist the developing countries in the efforts to ensure long-term sustainable development and poverty reduction," it said. Although few specific agreements were made, Fogh Rasmussen, who assumed the EU presidency earlier this month, said the summit was an important chance for the two leaders to meet face-to-face. "All in all, our meeting has reconfirmed the close ties between the European Union and Japan," he said. Aid is a sensitive issue for Tokyo. Japan was for more than a decade the world's largest single donor, but was surpassed last year by the United States as Tokyo tightened its budget and the yen weakened against the dollar. At the annual Group of Eight summit in Canada last month, Koizumi said it would be very difficult for Japan to increase its development aid and stressed seeing the aid which is already provided used effectively. In the statement, the leaders also urged other countries to ratify the Kyoto Protocol an international accord aimed at reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Japan and the European Union back aggressive limits on carbon dioxide emissions, but are at odds with the United States and could be heading for a confrontation at an upcoming global conference on the environment to be held from Aug. 26-Sept. 4 in Johannesburg, South Africa. While in Japan, Fogh Rasmussen was to meet with Danish business leaders and other members of the Danish community here, and hold a separate meeting with Koizumi to discuss bilateral ties. The Japan-EU summit has been held since 1991.

 

50. JAPAN AND EU DIFFER OVER INTERNATIONAL AID: EU

EU Business

8 July 2002

Internet: http://www.eubusiness.com/cgi-bin/item.cgi?id=85476&d=101&h=240&f=56&dateformat=%o%20%B%20%Y 

TOKYO, July 8 (AFP) - Japan and the European Union presented a united front in public following a summit meeting here Monday, but a senior EU source admitted differences had emerged over international aid in the run-up to next month's World Summit on Sustainable Development in Johannesburg. "There are differences over increasing international aid, where we want to be much more generous (than Japan), and over market access for products from developing countries," a European diplomat told AFP.

During a press conference marking the 11th EU-Japan summit, there was complete agreement on all issues, ranging from counter-terrorism post-September 11, to engaging North Korea in dialogue and commitment to increased development aid.

Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi, European Commission President Romano Prodi and Danish Prime Minister Anders Fogh Rasmussen took part in the summit. Denmark currently holds the EU's six-month rotating presidency.

"We recognise that a substantial increase in ODA (official development assistance, the Japanese term for development aid), and other resources will be required if developing countries are to achieve the internationally agreed development goals and objectives," the post-summit joint statement said. The declaration was in stark contrast to Japan's policy of cutting aid spending along with overall government expenditure. Japan's overall ODA budget fell 3.0 percent in the year to March 2002 to 1.015 trillion yen (8.5 billion dollars), while its budget for the year to March 2003 is to dip another 10.3 percent to 910.6 billion yen.

For years, Japan was the world's biggest aid donor in absolute terms, although Denmark, Norway and the Netherlands were all more generous in terms of the proportion of national wealth they give. But Japan has now ceded first place to the United States and could even be overtaken by Germany. The question of improved market access for developing countries, especially in the agricultural sector was still politically sensitive in Japan, the EU diplomat said. "They are afraid that rice from poor countries will invade the Japanese market," where domestically grown rice is many times higher than world prices as the heavily subsidized but uncompetitive industry is protected. During the press conference, Prodi recalled that: "Japan has been among all the developed countries the most helpful for foreign aid and we (Europe and Japan) must go on." "If we want some results (at the Johannesburg summit), we have to stick together - only an agreement between the European Union and Japan can make it possible."

 

51. UN REPORT URGES AFRICA TO PROTECT THE ENVIRONMENT

BuaNews via All Africa

8 July 2002

Internet: http://allafrica.com/stories/200207080570.html 

A groundbreaking report has called on Africa to take urgent action to save its environment and create a path for sustainable development. The African Environment Outlook (AEO) report, released by the Nairobi-based United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) on Thursday, observed that unless urgent action was taken to deliver environmentally-friendly development to millions of Africans, there would be sharp increases in air and water pollution, land degradation, droughts and wildlife losses facing the continent. Such action should, it said, include deeper cuts in the continent's debts burden, a boost in overseas aid, empowering local communities, enforcing environmental agreements and introducing 'green and clean' technologies.

Titled 'Hard Facts, Tough Choices, 30 Years,' the report calls for a grated effort by countries both within and outside Africa to the steer the continent on a prosperous, environmentally sustainable course.

The report said rapid population growth; wars and high levels of national debt, disasters and disease have all taken their toll on the people and the rich natural environment of Africa in the past thirty years. It warned that over the coming three decades new and emerging threats such as climate change, the unchecked spread of alien, introduced species, uncontrolled expansion of cities and pollution from cars and industry, were likely to aggravate levels of poverty, environmental decline and ill-health.

The report was issued to coincide with the two-day African Ministerial Conference on the Environment (AMCEN), which ended on Friday in Uganda, Kampala. Mr Klaus Toepfer, executive director of UNEP said the report 'is pioneering assessment of the state of Africa's environment and will be invaluable for governments on the continent and across the world in prioritising efforts to achieve a new dawn for these lands.' 'It will also be a vital report for nations meeting at the World Summit on Sustainable Development later this year,' he said. The WSSD will be held in Johannesburg from 26 August to 4 September

 

52. COMMISSION TO SEEK MORE DEVELOPING COUNTRY LINKS AT SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT SUMMIT

Cordis News

8 July 2002

Internet: http://www.eubusiness.com/cgi-bin/item.cgi?id=85493&d=101&h=240&f=56&dateformat=%o%20%B%20%Y 

The European Commission will use the World summit on sustainable development (WSSD) to explore ways of increasing the participation of developing country researchers in EU research projects, according to Christian Patermann, Director of the Research DG's 'preserving the ecosystem: research actions for the environment' directorate, speaking at the University of East Anglia, UK, at the beginning of July. The Commission will take a number of 'concrete proposals and projects' to Johannesburg, South Africa for the 'Science forum' meeting organised by the South African government to run in parallel to the main WSSD meeting on 2 and 3 September Mr Patermann highlighted the fact that 'sustainable development' is one of the Commission's thematic priorities in the Sixth Framework programme (FP6), and that FP6 will also operate on a cost sharing basis to researchers from outside the EU.

'This is something of a revolution,' said Mr Patermann. 'It means an enormous leap forward. We will have to do a lot to find the right customers, colleagues and partners.' Mr Patermann said that the Commission is participating in the Science forum to promote the role of science and technology in sustainable development, demonstrate the openness of FP6 and the European research area (ERA) to the rest of the world and to gain an understanding of developing countries' needs in this area.

'We feel that we can offer a lot in these areas, and see important brokerage possibilities with our colleagues in the Third World,' said Mr Patermann. 'We want to bring a variety of very concrete proposals and projects to Johannesburg to show what can be done. In addition, I can be pretty sure that there is also a lot of adaptive innovation in these countries that the 'North' can learn from,' said Mr Patermann. Meanwhile the lack of science in the preparations for the WSSD has been criticised by Jonathon Poritt, chair of the UK Commission on sustainable development. 'Science plays no part in most of the policies being promulgated by the World trade organisation and many national governments,' said Mr Poritt at a briefing on the WSSD in London on 1 July. This point was echoed by Tony Juniper, director designate of Friends of the Earth: 'Science is not what is driving the summit, but rather domestic political issues. There is a disconnection between politics and science,' he said.

 

53. EARTH 'WILL EXPIRE BY 2050'

The Observer

7 July 2002

Internet: http://www.observer.co.uk/international/story/0,6903,750783,00.html 

Earth's population will be forced to colonise two planets within 50 years if natural resources continue to be exploited at the current rate, according to a report out this week. A study by the World Wildlife Fund (WWF), to be released on Tuesday, warns that the human race is plundering the planet at a pace that outstrips its capacity to support life. In a damning condemnation of Western society's high consumption levels, it adds that the extra planets (the equivalent size of Earth) will be required by the year 2050 as existing resources are exhausted. The report, based on scientific data from across the world, reveals that more than a third of the natural world has been destroyed by humans over the past three decades. Using the image of the need for mankind to colonise space as a stark illustration of the problems facing Earth, the report warns that either consumption rates are dramatically and rapidly lowered or the planet will no longer be able to sustain its growing population. Experts say that seas will become emptied of fish while forests - which absorb carbon dioxide emissions - are completely destroyed and freshwater supplies become scarce and polluted. The report offers a vivid warning that either people curb their extravagant lifestyles or risk leaving the onus on scientists to locate another planet that can sustain human life. Since this is unlikely to happen, the only option is to cut consumption now.

Systematic overexploitation of the planet's oceans has meant the North Atlantic's cod stocks have collapsed from an estimated spawning stock of 264,000 tonnes in 1970 to under 60,000 in 1995. The study will also reveal a sharp fall in the planet's ecosystems between 1970 and 2002 with the Earth's forest cover shrinking by about 12 per cent, the ocean's biodiversity by a third and freshwater ecosystems in the region of 55 per cent. The Living Planet report uses an index to illustrate the shocking level of deterioration in the world's forests as well as marine and freshwater ecosystems. Using 1970 as a baseline year and giving it a value of 100, the index has dropped to a new low of around 65 in the space of a single generation. It is not just humans who are at risk. Scientists, who examined data for 350 kinds of mammals, birds, reptiles and fish, also found the numbers of many species have more than halved. Martin Jenkins, senior adviser for the World Conservation Monitoring Centre in Cambridge, which helped compile the report, said: 'It seems things are getting worse faster than possibly ever before. Never has one single species had such an overwhelming influence. We are entering uncharted territory.'

Figures from the centre reveal that black rhino numbers have fallen from 65,000 in 1970 to around 3,100 now. Numbers of African elephants have fallen from around 1.2 million in 1980 to just over half a million while the population of tigers has fallen by 95 per cent during the past century. The UK's birdsong population has also seen a drastic fall with the corn bunting population declining by 92 per cent between 1970 and 2000, the tree sparrow by 90 per cent and the spotted flycatcher by 70 per cent.

Experts, however, say it is difficult to ascertain how many species have vanished for ever because a species has to disappear for 50 years before it can be declared extinct. Attention is now focused on next month's Earth Summit in Johannesburg, the most important environmental negotiations for a decade. However, the talks remain bedevilled with claims that no agreements will be reached and that US President George W. Bush will fail to attend. Matthew Spencer, a spokesman for Greenpeace, said: 'There will have to be concessions from the richer nations to the poorer ones or there will be fireworks.' The preparatory conference for the summit, held in Bali last month, was marred by disputes between developed nations and poorer states and non-governmental organisations (NGOs), despite efforts by British politicians to broker compromises on key issues. America, which sent 300 delegates to the conference, is accused of blocking many of the key initiatives on energy use, biodiversity and corporate responsibility. The WWF report shames the US for placing the greatest pressure on the environment. It found the average US resident consumes almost double the resources as that of a UK citizen and more than 24 times that of some Africans.

Based on factors such as a nation's consumption of grain, fish, wood and fresh water along with its emissions of carbon dioxide from industry and cars, the report provides an ecological 'footprint' for each country by showing how much land is required to support each resident. America's consumption 'footprint' is 12.2 hectares per head of population compared to the UK's 6.29ha while Western Europe as a whole stands at 6.28ha. In Ethiopia the figure is 2ha, falling to just half a hectare for Burundi, the country that consumes least resources.

The report, which will be unveiled in Geneva, warns that the wasteful lifestyles of the rich nations are mainly responsible for the exploitation and depletion of natural wealth. Human consumption has doubled over the last 30 years and continues to accelerate by 1.5 per cent a year.

Now WWF wants world leaders to use its findings to agree on specific actions to curb the population's impact on the planet.

A spokesman for WWF UK, said: 'If all the people consumed natural resources at the same rate as the average US and UK citizen we would require at least two extra planets like Earth.'

The world's ticking timebomb

Marine crisis: North Atlantic cod stocks have collapsed from an estimated 264,000 tonnes in 1970 to under 60,000 in 1995.

Pollution: The United States places the greatest pressure on the environment, with its carbon dioxide emissions and over-consumption. It takes 12.2 hectares of land to support each American citizen and 6.29 for each Briton, while the figure for Burundi is just half a hectare.

Shrinking Forests: Between 1970 and 2002 forest cover has dwindled by 12 per cent.

Endangered wildlife: African elephant numbers have fallen from 1.2 million in 1980 to half a million now. In the UK the songbird population has fallen dramatically, with the corn bunting declining by 92 per cent in the past 30 years.

See also: WWF International - http://www.panda.org 

http://story.news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story&u=/ap/20020709/ap_on_he_me/wwf_global_environment_1 

http://story.news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story&u=/oneworld/20020710/wl_oneworld/1032_1026305542 

 

54. STRENGTHENED NEPAD OFFERS NEW HOPE FOR WSSD SUCCESS

WWF International

5 July 2002

Internet: http://panda.org/news/press/news.cfm?id=3012 

Kampala, Uganda - The New Partnership for Africa's Development (NEPAD) offers one of the last few possibilities for turning around the upcoming World Summit on Sustainable Development (WSSD) to yield real results for people, WWF says.

WWF believes the New African Partnership provides "a good vision and framework" for delivering sustainable development by integrating environmental and economic issues in addressing poverty and other social issues.

The Partnership also provides a basis for developing concrete, time-bound, and measurable action programmes that can finally kick-start the implementation of Agenda 21 and the various conventions initiated at the 1992 Earth Summit.

"We see a lot of potential in NEPAD turning the WSSD into a success. It stands a fairly good chance for international recognition and support if it evolves a solid implementation programme," said WWF Director General, Dr Claude Martin.

Dr Martin, speaking at the 9th session of the African Ministerial Conference on the Environment (AMCEN), asked African governments to show leadership and commitment, unlike some of their counterparts in the North.

"So far the reluctance to commit to action by certain OECD countries has thrown into jeopardy the very essence of multi-lateralism upon which we rely," the WWF Director General commented. "It is essential that the WSSD does not simply end up with declarations and voluntary pledges, but instead concrete commitments with targets and time-frames."

Dr Martin urged African countries to strengthen the NEPAD Environment Initiative by mainstreaming environment issues within all of NEPAD's programmes, from the planning to implementation stages, rather than treating them as isolated sectoral issues.

"The fact that there is no mention of environment in NEPAD's final sections on implementation is a cause for concern. WWF encourages African governments to integrate environmental concerns in all of its programmes and to adopt concrete targets in order to ensure that Africa's growth and development are based on good environmental stewardship," Dr Martin said.

WWF has tabled comprehensive proposals on how to strengthen the NEPAD Environment Initiative before the high-level Ministerial segment of the AMCEN meeting. WWF is further petitioning African governments to make a strong case for the WSSD conference.

 

55. EU AGENDA FOR THE WORLD SUMMIT ON SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT PUBLISHED

European Union

5 July 2002

Internet: http://www.europaworld.org/week89/euagenda5702.htm 

The European Commission has set out the agenda that it intends to pursue at the World Summit on Sustainable Development (WSSD) which begins in Johannesburg at the end of next month. The challenge of the World Summit on Sustainable Development (WSSD), it says, is to deliver on the promises of the Rio Earth Summit and on the Millennium Development goals, in order to eradicate poverty, improve living standards based on sustainable patterns of production and consumption, and to ensure that the benefits of globalisation are shared by all. The EU supports the proposals of the UN Secretary General that the WSSD should make progress in five key areas - water, energy, health, agriculture and bio-diversity. As regards globalisation, finance and trade, the EU wishes to agree on a positive agenda. Important steps to ensure that globalisation benefit all have recently been taken through the Doha Development Agenda and the Monterrey Consensus. "We should now identify ways and means to build upon them: as an example, in Johannesburg, the EU will be putting forward a number of positive and supportive measures on trade and investment, outside the scope of Doha Development Agenda and the Monterrey Consensus, which specifically would contribute to sustainable development in developing countries," it says. The EU is suggesting supportive measures on a wide scale, ranging from the integration of sustainability parameters into regional and bilateral agreements and preferential trade schemes, commitments from all countries to duty- and quota free market access for all products originating in least developed countries, the promotion of markets for organic produce, environmentally friendly products and "fair trade", measures to enhance the transparency of domestic trade procedures, the reform of environmentally harmful subsidies and the further development and support for sustainable impact assessments (SIAs). In addition, the EU is also suggesting a number of actions to enhance the benefits for sustainable development that developing countries can draw from foreign direct investment (FDI), including the promotion of corporate social responsibility and export credits to encourage environmentally and socially sound investment.

"As a major supplier of aid the EU is determined to deliver on commitments made at Monterrey and to work with all partners to ensure a successful outcome at the WSSD," it says.

 

56. AFRICAN MINISTERIAL CONFERENCE ON ENVIRONMENT CLOSES IN UGANDA

Xinhua News Agency

5 July 2002

Internet: http://library.northernlight.com/FE20020705240000026.html?cb=0&dx=1006&sc=0#doc 

KAMPALA, Jul 5, 2002 (Xinhua via COMTEX) -- The ninth session of the African Ministerial Conference on Environment (AMCEN) closed here Friday, with determination to make more efforts on environment issues. In the Kampala Declaration adopted during the two-day meeting, more than 48 environment ministers or their representatives from African countries pledged to commit themselves to make every effort to integrate environment concerns into national pursuit of economic development in Africa. They promised that their respective governments will implement the multilateral environment agreements, and strengthen cooperation with all regional and sub-regional bodies, including external partners to pursue sustainable human, social and economic development that is in harmony with the environment. The ministers agreed that they will transmit to the African Union the decisions taken by this AMCEN session on the revised Algiers Convention, which is a legal basis for environmental protection in Africa.

During the meeting, the participants also endorsed the framework of the action plan for the environment initiative of the New Partnership for Africa's Development (NEPAD). The delegates also endorsed the African common position on the World Summit for Sustainable Development, and agreed to attend the summit, which will be held in South Africa from August 26 to September 5.

Ugandan Minister of Water, Lands and Environment Ruhakana Rugunda was elected new president of the AMCEN at this meeting.

The tenth session of AMCEN will be held in two years, but the location of the meeting is still undecided.

 

57. COMMISSION ANNOUNCES NEW CORPORATE SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY STRATEGY TO PROMOTE SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT

EuropaWorld

5 July 2002

Internet: http://www.europaworld.org/week89/commissionannonces5702.htm 

The European Commission adopted a new strategy on Corporate Social Responsibility ('CSR') this week. This aims to take forward the contribution of business to sustainable development, and calls for a new social and environmental rôle for business in the global economy. The Commission intends to set up a 'European Multi-Stakeholder Forum' for all players social partners, business networks, civil society, consumers and investors to exchange best practice, to establish principles for codes of conduct and to seek consensus on objective evaluation methods and validation tools such as 'social labels'. The strategy seeks to complement existing initiatives by companies themselves and by public organisations such as the OECD and the UN. CSR is defined as voluntary social and environmental practices of business, linked to their core activities, which go beyond companies' existing legal obligations. The strategy will also support CSR in small and medium-size undertakings ('SMEs'), in particular by identifying the business case for CSR and by awareness raising of SMEs. The Commission has an important role to play in CSR, bringing together businesses across Europe to share best practice and to establish common principles for evaluation. Finally, the Commission will work towards building CSR principles into all other EU policies, for example by promoting better understanding of CSR in developing countries. The Commission will publish a report on the work of the European Multi-stakeholder Forum in 2004. Anna Diamantopoulou, Commissioner for employment and social affairs said : "Corporate social responsibility can play an important role in advancing sustainable development. Many businesses have already recognised that CSR can be profitable and CSR schemes have mushroomed. However, the EU can add value in at least two key ways: by helping stakeholders to make CSR more transparent and more credible and by showing that CSR is not just for multinationals : it can benefit smaller businesses too. Corporate social responsibility and corporate governance are two sides of the same coin: 'greenwashing' your social and environmental performance is as bad as 'whitewashing' your profits. CSR is no longer just a job for marketing departments."

Erkki Liikanen, Commissioner for Enterprise and the Information Society said: "Corporate social responsibility has a valuable tradition in Europe. Enterprises of all size-classes now manage it strategically to reach a balance between economic interests, societal expectations and environmental needs. If managed properly, CSR can support the long-term competitiveness of individual enterprises, improve the entrepreneurial climate in society and bring us closer to the strategic goal for the Union of 2010. The Commission's strategy to promote CSR builds on the voluntary nature of these enterprise efforts. The Forum will help to increase the consensus between enterprises and the other stakeholders. This will help businesses to fully reap the benefits from their efforts."

 

EDITORIALS

 

58. RESPONSIBILITY VS. ACCOUNTABILITY

Counter viewpoint: Joshua Karliner and Kenny Bruno, CorpWatch, San Francisco

International Herald Tribune

10 July 2002

Internet: http://www.iht.com/ihtsearch.php?id=64051&owner=(IHT%20/%20EBF)&date=20020710090709 

The world has moved backward on environment and development since Rio. Governments surely bear primary responsibility for this failure. However, global corporations are at the root of many of the most intractable problems and have hamstrung governments preparing for Earth Summit II in Johannesburg, South Africa. The stinging reality is that in the 10 years since Rio, sustainable development has languished on the margins of an international politics dominated by institutions such as the World Trade Organization. This has coincided with the emergence of an age of global "corporate environmentalism" that began in earnest at the first Earth Summit. Governments in Rio embraced big business, allowing corporations to avoid a binding legal framework on their activities, opting instead for a voluntary approach to sustainable development. As a result, the first Earth Summit failed to confront the central corporate role in environment and development problems in any meaningful way. Instead, some of the world's worst corporate polluters were given special access to the Earth Summit process, establishing a trend of UN-corporate collaboration that has intensified since that time. At the core of this issue is a conflict between two approaches to sustainable development. The first approach, favored in the Earth Summit processes, the UN Global Compact and the International Chamber of Commerce, is ''corporate responsibility.'' Corporate responsibility refers to any attempt to get corporations to behave responsibly on a voluntary basis, out of either ethical or bottom-line considerations. The second approach is ''corporate accountability'' (or compliance), which refers to requiring corporations to behave according to societal norms or face consequences.

Corporate responsibility and corporate accountability may be mutually supportive in some circumstances. But in critical moments, the purpose of corporate responsibility is often to avoid accountability mechanisms that would be more difficult for corporations to control. In the Earth Summit negotiations, corporate responsibility has won out. The records of leading corporate environmentalists in the energy, chemicals, agriculture, extractive, technology and transportation sectors over the past decade show that there needs to be more democratic control over corporate activity - not less. Shell, for example, appeared to take its global responsibilities very seriously at the first Earth Summit in 1992. But by the mid-1990s the global oil giant was embroiled in human rights and environmental scandals in the Niger Delta. This controversy continues today in the form of a pending lawsuit in a U.S. federal court concerning the death of Nigerian environmental leader Ken Saro-Wiwa. Shell's high-profile sustainable development advocacy in Rio also evolved into a major environmental public relations campaign on climate change. Yet, despite its recent efforts, as the 21st century begins, Shell remains one of the world's leading climate offenders. Based on an analysis we published in 1999 using data from leading scientific organizations, as well as environmental groups such as Greenpeace and the Natural Resources Defense Council, it is clear that today, oil produced by Shell emits about the same amount of CO as all of Britain. Given Shell's and other self-proclaimed corporate environmentalists' record post-Earth Summit I, it makes their rhetoric ring somewhat hollow on the eve of Earth Summit II. The Enron debacle and all its consequences make it patently obvious that something is terribly wrong with the self-regulatory route (albeit Enron's case is much broader in scope than just environment and development). Voluntary measures, best-practices case studies, wishy-washy partnerships and multistakeholder dialogues are not the solution.

In many respects, the worldwide movement challenging corporate-driven globalization has generated the most clarity on this issue. Part of the vision of this movement is for the UN to become home to a binding legal framework to hold corporations accountable across the globe. In this way, the UN could begin to fulfill its potential to serve as a counterbalance to corporate globalization and help move the world forward toward truly sustainable development.

 

59. ROUTE TO JOHANNESBURG: RICH NATIONS MUST CARE MORE FOR POOR NATIONS.

The Asahi Shimbun

10 July 2002

Internet: http://www.asahi.com/english/op-ed/K2002071100679.html 

World leaders will gather in Johannesburg in late August for the 2002 World Summit on Sustainable Development, or Rio Plus 10, a mammoth global summit on poverty reduction and the environment. It comes just 10 years after the U.N. Conference on Environment and Development, known as the Rio de Janeiro Earth Summit, in June 1992. Those attending the Johannesburg Earth Summit will examine progress under Agenda 21, a comprehensive action program to avert looming environmental and social disaster, as agreed upon in Rio de Janeiro, and try to formulate a new action plan and a political declaration of its objectives.

So far, though, four preparatory meetings for the conference have failed to generate a draft action plan because of the wide disparity between industrial nations and developing nations over economic aid and other issues. The leaders will be going to the South African city uncertain about what will come out of the meeting and its declaration. Discussions in the preparatory meetings have uncovered a strong sense of frustration among developing nations that nothing has really changed in the past decade. The Rio summit addressed ways toward development without harming the environment. While there have been some significant achievements on the environmental front, among them the Kyoto Protocol to curb global warming, economic development in poor countries has been stalled during the past decade, and poverty has been as acute as ever in those countries.

The 2000 U.N. Millennium Summit adopted a poverty-busting action program with the goal of reducing by half in 15 years the number of people scraping by on a meager existence at $1 (120 yen) or less a day. There are 1.2 billion people in the world in that situation. But the World Bank has predicted that developing countries won't be able to secure the level of growth necessary to achieve this target because of slumping commodity prices and other factors. Developing nations of Africa and elsewhere want industrial nations to scrap tariffs on products from the least developed nations to help them expand exports. They also demand a mandate in the new action program that would implement targets set in Agenda 21-aiming for a rise in devekoped countries' official development assistance (ODA) to 0.7 percent of their gross national product.

Leaders of the Group of Eight major powers who held their annual summit last month in Canada decided to commit more than half their new ODA to Africa, but pledged no specific amount of aid. It will undoubtedly be difficult to tackle all these challenges at once. One of the thorniest thickets in trade negotiations before the World Trade Organization is how to avoid having developing nations be at a disadvantage in promoting free trade. Industrial countries must increase ODA by more than three-folds to achieve the target of 0.7 percent of GNP. But it is natural that developing countries are irritated at the lack of progress in programs worked out at summits. It is probably time to consider new ways to raise funds for aid to developing countries outside the ODA framework. One idea that merits serious consideration is the the Tobin tax, a uniform tax on all foreign currency transactions, an idea first proposed in the 1970s by Nobel Prize-winning U.S. economist James Tobin. The approaching Johannesburg summit is expected to produce a special document that describes partnerships and initiatives committed independently by governments and organizations, plus an implementation document based upon accord by all the negotiating countries. The partnerships and initiatives document should be filled with projects intended to improve living conditions of people in developing countries. One such project is the Asia Forest Partnership, in which Japan and Southeast Asian nations work to stop illegal logging, prevent forest fires and restore damaged forest land. This partnership is gaining support from several other nations in the region. In the decade since the Rio Earth Summit, public awareness of environmental problems has grown measurably in Japan. But the problems of development and poverty elsewhere are not drawing much attention. Rio Plus 10 could be a good opportunity for Japanese to learn of the problems of poor, developing countries and people and to start supporting efforts to solve these problems

 

SPEECHES

 

60. WORLD SUMMIT ON SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT A 'TEST FOR MULTILATERALISM AND THE INTERNATIONAL COMMUNITY', SAYS SECRETARY-GENERAL

United Nations

17 July 2002

Internet: http://www.un.org/News/Press/docs/2002/sgsm8307.doc.htm 

Following are Secretary-General Kofi Annan's remarks to the "Friends of the Chair" of the Preparatory Committee of the World Summit on Sustainable Development:

It gives me great pleasure to welcome all of you here to United Nations Headquarters for these crucially important consultations on the Johannesburg Summit. I know you are well aware of the high expectations among the world public that the Summit should be a decisive step forward in the quest for sustainable development. So I hope you come here ready to work hard, as the Minister said, listen to each other's points of view, and find a way to ensure that, when we get to the Summit, your Government is clearly seen to be taking this challenge seriously. Over the last two years, significant strides have been made in addressing the challenges of development. The Millennium Summit not only defined the major goals, but also galvanized political commitment at the highest level. That commitment helped lay the groundwork for successes at Doha and Monterrey. Johannesburg must maintain this momentum and show that in the face of a quintessential global challenge -- the challenge of raising living standards while protecting the environment -- multilateralism works and international cooperation is the way to go. I would like to convey my great appreciation to Dr. Emil Salim of Indonesia for his dedication and outstanding work as Chairman of the Preparatory Committee. A great deal has already been accomplished, in Bali and elsewhere, and that is reflected in the draft plan of implementation.

As you know, negotiations on several critical issues have reached an impasse, and thus require further political engagement and dialogue before the opening of the Summit just six weeks away from now. That is why President Mbeki and I felt the need to bring you together. As "Friends of the Chair", this group is not expected as the Chair to negotiate text on the outstanding issues. Rather, the hope is that you will suggest ways to bridge the gaps on those issues, leaving actual negotiations to the full membership of the United Nations.

Therefore, the purpose of this meeting is twofold.

First is to identify the core remaining issues. It seems that six clusters of issues hold the key to agreement on a plan of implementation: the first, the Rio principles; then finance, including replenishment of the Global Environment Facility (GEF); globalization and trade; good governance; time-bound targets; and technology transfers. South Africa has circulated a paper containing details on each of these.

The second reason we have gathered is to reach an understanding on a common approach to resolving these undoubtedly complex and politically sensitive issues. Allow me to suggest a few points and principles that could help guide your efforts.

First, the Summit should seek to implement the existing global consensus on sustainable development, and avoid revising or reinterpreting the principles and agreements of this consensus.

Second, efforts to build on the recent achievements in critical areas such as finance, trade and good governance should be grounded in existing agreement or work that is already in progress in these areas.

Third, the Summit should not be sidetracked by discussions on issues that are already under discussion by other relevant forums.

Fourth, there should be a greater focus on specific actions in the five key areas of water and sanitation, energy, health, agriculture and biodiversity -- or WEHAB, the acronym that many people are using.

And fifth, States should give us assurances that there will be an adequate replenishment of the GEF.

I believe that flexibility and mutual understanding should be possible for this group of "friends" to find a common approach that can bridge the differences and produce a broad-based agreement. Needless to say, this common approach should be found before the Summit, so that Member States arrive in Johannesburg with a clear idea of how the negotiations can succeed and, in turn, result in the launch of concrete initiatives.

Let me now turn briefly to the political declaration. Dr. Salim has proposed elements, which I am sure will prove very useful as South Africa proceeds with preparation of a draft. That draft will be presented to the Summit for its consideration. I know you share my hope for an inspiring declaration that speaks to the needs of real people. And I know you all join me in thanking Dr. Salim for his contribution.

The United Nations Secretariat, for its part, has begun to develop technical frameworks for partnerships in the five areas, and will, of course, continue to provide all necessary assistance as the Summit approaches. I myself will continue to take every opportunity to speak out on the issues and urge leaders at the highest political levels to attend and give the agenda their strong support.

Johannesburg is a test for multilateralism and for the international community. It is a test for all leaders who profess to care about the well-being of our planet and its people. Johannesburg must send a message of solidarity and concern, and must produce real change, on the ground in people's lives, where it matters most.

Progress since the Earth Summit has been slower than expected and -- more important -- slower than what was needed. A setback now would be a tragic missed opportunity. Your work here can help avert the worst, and restore the hope for the future of all humankind. I wish you all the best in your deliberations.

 

61. ADDRESS BY PRESIDENT THABO MBEKI TO THE 3RD SUMMIT OF THE ACP HEADS OF STATE AND GOVERNMENT, NADI FIJI

18 July 2002

Internet: http://www.dfa.gov.za/docs/mbek187a.htm 

Prime Minister Laisenia Qarase, Vice President of the Dominican Republic, Madame Ortiz Bosch, Your Excellencies, Heads of State and Government, Ministers and Ambassadors; Secretary General of the ACP, Mr Pascal Lamy, Member of the European Commission; Madame Glynis Kinnock, Members of the European Parliament; Distinguished delegates:

We are honoured to bring you the greetings and best wishes of the African Union, which held its first Assembly of Heads of State and Government only last week. We fully support the decision to hold this 3rd Summit of ACP Heads of State and Government under the theme – "ACP solidarity in a globalised world." This theme recognises two critical elements that have to inform the important work we have met to carry out. One of these is the reality that the world is involved in a far-reaching process of globalisation that inevitably draws all our countries into a global village from which we cannot secede. Accordingly, we have no choice but to determine our future within the context of that village. The other is that we enter this village in a disadvantaged position, having to carry the burden of many of the negative consequences of the process of globalisation, which does not benefit all countries and peoples equally. Some of this reality is that of the member states of the ACP, about 60 per cent have each populations that are less than 5 million, with the majority being less than 3 million. The negative impact of the small size of our markets is compounded by the fact of our underdevelopment, both of which underline the extent of our disadvantage relative to the developed countries of the North. As pointed out by the theme of the Summit, for us to succeed in our quest to overcome the imbalance between these countries and ourselves, we have to act together in solidarity, using our combined strength to make our voices heard. These are the sentiments that informed the decisions of the peoples of Africa to form the African Union and to adopt its development programme, the New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD). Our continent has taken this matter seriously on board, that we share a common destiny. Our peoples understand that the development and success of each of our countries depend on the success and development of the rest of our continent. None of us need educating about the fact that our development partner, the European Union, represented here by its distinguished Commissioners, is a very powerful force in the world economy, in global politics and all other areas of human activity. The partnership we seek to build with this community of nations is one whose central goal must surely be the eradication of poverty in our countries and ending our condition of underdevelopment. Together with others in the world, we are convinced that the resources and know how exist within human society to achieve these objectives. Indeed, the determination to attain these goals was stated and agreed specifically at the year 2000 UN Millennium Summit, which set specific time-bound targets. Surely, the negotiations we are about to start with the European Union must be informed by the same focus and intent, to achieve specific time-bound targets with regard to the two central matters of poverty and underdevelopment. By setting these targets, the peoples of the world also made the important statement that it would be unrealistic for us to expect that the market alone would operate in a manner that would produce the results we seek. Conscious, purposeful interventions are therefore required. A critical commitment was also made by those more developed than ourselves, that they would draw on the resources at their disposal to direct them towards the achievement of the kind of goals agreed at the Millennium Summit, acting in a spirit of global human solidarity.

We believe that all these considerations will help to inform our forthcoming negotiations with the European Union.

As developing countries, we have our own duty to determine what we ourselves must do to address the challenges of poverty and underdevelopment that confront us. These are the things that we will bring into the partnership with the European Union and the rest of the developed North, helping to define the relationship with the richer part of our common globe as one of partnership and not dependence. It was these sentiments that drove us on the African continent as we elaborated and adopted the New Partnership for Africa’s Development. First and foremost, this is a partnership among the peoples of Africa. It is a partnership among countries and a partnership between governments, the private sector, the labour unions and civil society.

It represents a commitment to use our own resources to address the challenges of poverty and underdevelopment. As you would expect, NEPAD focuses on the same matters that are central to the agenda of the ACP Group of countries. These include human resource development, with a specific focus on education, health and gender equality, agriculture, diversification of production, increased capital inflows, market access, debt relief, infrastructure, technology and capacity building.

Further to this, it is based on a common resolve to solve the problems and remove the obstacles that have blocked our path to development. Accordingly, we have taken the necessary decisions to act together to create a continent of peace and stability, democracy and human rights, the rule of law and accountable government, and the necessary conditions that will facilitate meaningful economic growth and development. As a token of the seriousness of our intent and to ensure the observance of decisions that we have already taken, we also adopted a declaration covering matters relevant to good political and economic governance. We have agreed on our own African Peer Review Mechanism as an African-owned instrument to assist ourselves as we work together to build the kind of Africa for which the masses of our people throughout the continent yearn.

We have taken all these decisions not because anybody has asked us to. They are the result of our own experience, which has informed us about what we should do and what we should avoid, in our own interest. The decisions we have taken also help us to engage the second element of the New Partnership for Africa’s Development correctly. This is the partnership between Africa and the developed countries of the North. We are determined to rebuild this partnership in a manner not defined by a relationship between donor and recipient, but one driven by the achievement of agreed goals.

We are pleased that the North, including the European Union, the G8 and the Nordic countries, has accepted the priorities set by the African peoples themselves and committed itself to work with us to pursue a programme of action that is made in Africa. We are happy that all sides have also accepted the principle of mutual responsibility and accountability.

We are now faced with the task together to translate these common commitments into a practical set of actions focused on the task of ending poverty and underdevelopment on our continent. We must also make the central point that the intensification and consolidation of the process of African solidarity constitutes an important part of the movement towards greater South-South solidarity, such as represented by this collective of African, Caribbean and Pacific countries. Both the African Union and NEPAD enhance our possibility to pursue this goal with even greater vigour. I have mentioned all these matters because they have a direct bearing on the work we have gathered to carry out during the next two days. I am convinced that the positive developments in Africa, and the involvement of the EU in these processes, will help to enhance the quality of our interaction during the forthcoming negotiations. They certainly increase the capacity of the African continent to act in even greater solidarity with our sister countries of the Pacific and the Caribbean.

Reference has also been made to the fact that in a few weeks the people of the world will gather in Johannesburg at the UN World Summit for Sustainable Development. It is good that this matter features on the agenda and the draft decisions of this important Summit Meeting. I would also like to take this opportunity to thank those ACP Heads of State and Government present here who agreed to work with us as friends of the Chair of the Johannesburg Summit. We value their inputs that will help to define the outcome of that Summit. I trust they will also find time to consult with the regions from which they are drawn, to ensure that the voice of the peoples of the ACP countries is heard clearly in Johannesburg. As the Summit is aware, we have sought to insist that the Johannesburg Summit must both build on the 1992 Rio Earth Summit and Agenda 21, and truly and practically address sustainable development properly understood. In this regard it is important that we reach a common global understanding that sustainable development is made up of a triangle of three spheres of human existence – the social, the economic and the environmental. The Johannesburg Summit must therefore focus on issues of the sustainable social and economic development of the poor of the world, as well as the important issues of the environment that correctly serve on the agenda of this Summit. In addition, we are firmly committed to the view that the World Summit for Sustainable Development should result in a concrete programme backed by the necessary resources, to achieve the objectives that the peoples of the world want to advance within the context of sustainable development. Inevitably therefore, the World Summit, the WSSD, will discuss many of the important matters that are on the agenda of this ACP Summit. Consequently, it is important that as the ACP, we pay the closest attention possible to the WSSD, bearing in mind the disappointing results of the Bali Preparatory Committee meeting. I would urge that all our Heads of State and Government should attend the Summit to give the necessary impetus for an outcome that will address our concerns and interests in a real way.

Necessarily we must also mention the WTO and the Development Round negotiations scheduled to be concluded by the beginning of 2005. We all recognise and welcome the important and positive results we achieved in Doha, arising from the fact that we were able to act together on the basis of a clear set of agreed objectives. We will have to sustain this approach and manner of working as we engage the WTO and other international negotiations, including those with the EU. The Johannesburg Summit will represent the culmination of a number of international conventions of major importance to us as developing countries. These include the Millennium Summit, the Monterrey Summit on Financing for Development, the World Food Summit, the Children’s Summit, the Doha Ministerial Meeting and the recent G8 Summit held in Kananaskis, Canada. Clearly, we should keep close track of all these important meetings and their outcomes to ensure that none of them results in regression in terms of advancing our objectives.

They also demand of us that we should make our inputs into these processes addressing both the framework agreements and the detailed programmes that should characterise the outcomes of these engagements.

It is also clear that where such detailed programmes emerge that seek to address our concerns, we owe it to ourselves to push for the practical implementation of these programmes as speedily as possible. After all, we are the ones that bear the burdens of poverty and underdevelopment. All these matters draw sharp attention to the need for us, collectively, to attend to the central matter of the capacity of our governments and countries successfully to engage in the necessary regional and global dialogue and implementation processes that are an integral part of the process of the growth of the system of global governance.

I am certain that Africa would be very keen to strengthen the partnership within the ACP Group for us to share and build the resources that will help to improve the effectiveness in shaping the global human map. South Africa is also ready to work with our ACP partners to meet this challenge. We are pleased that at the end of this month, South Africa will host the ACP Forum on Research for Sustainable Development. Let us use that opportunity to develop partnership programmes that will provide consistency and certainty on the path we have chosen, to improve the quality of the lives of our people, and to enhance the outcomes out of our interaction with our development partners. I believe that we should also approach the forthcoming negotiations with the EU to elaborate the Economic Partnership Agreements in the context of the Cotonou Agreement, informed by the need to pool our resources, to lend strength to one another by acting in unity and solidarity. Without this, it will be more difficult for us to realise the objectives of poverty eradication, ending underdevelopment and achieving the global integration of our economies.

We have embarked on the journey of sustainable development with determination. The African Union and its regional groupings stand ready to strengthen bridges of co-operation with the Caribbean and Pacific States. We would also be pleased if, as requested by Mozambique and the region of Southern Africa, the next ACP Summit were to be held in Maputo, Mozambique.

On behalf of South Africa I would also like to re-affirm our commitment to share our own experiences in negotiating with the EU. As you will recall we hosted the first ACP Trade Ministers’ Committee meeting in April 2001 and we continue to work closely with the ACP Secretariat in Brussels. We look forward to receiving you in Johannesburg in August and September for the WSSD, where we should further our collective work to provide better lives for our peoples. I am certain that we will ensure that we come to Johannesburg fully prepared to articulate our views in one undivided voice.

I thank you.

 

62. OPENING REMARKS BY H.E. DR. PER STIG MØLLER, MINISTER OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS, DENMARK

World Summit on Sustainable Development Friends of the Chair, New York,

17 July 2002

Internet: http://www.eu2002.dk/news/news_read.asp?iInformationID=21009 

Madame Chairperson, Let me on behalf of the EU thank you for the initiative to convene this “Friends of the Chair” group.

We want to assist you in bringing this process to a successful conclusion in Johannesburg. The EU has, at the level of Heads of State and Heads of Governments as well as at the level of Foreign, Finance, Development and Environment Ministers, positioned itself on issues related to Johannesburg.

We are committed to work towards a comprehensive outcome for the Summit including

- the need for a focused and action oriented plan of implementation with targets and time frames

- a political declaration framing the renewed commitment by world leaders to achieve sustainable development

- and to initiate complementary partnership activities.

We are facing six main challenges in relation to the global dimension of sustainable development:

- to eradicate poverty and to promote social development as well as health

- to make globalisation work for sustainable development

- to introduce sustainable patterns of production and consumption [in order to minimize the resource pressure and preserve our environment]

- to conserve and manage natural and environmental resources in a sustainable way

- to strengthen governance for sustainable development at all levels, in particular international environmental governance and public participation

- to promote capacity building and technical cooperation, in particular in the fields of trade and finance.

We are reacting to the challenges by positive measures and priorities to support action, building on the Doha Development Agenda and Monterey Consensus. Your background paper adequately reflects the major outstanding issues, and I hope that the Presidency and member countries present, during today, without entering into negotiations on texts, can indicate how solutions to these issues may be presented in Johannesburg.

We are preparing specific EU initiatives in the spirit of partnership in the areas of drinking water and sanitation, energy, as well as activities in fields such as trade and development, health and sustainable consumption and production. We are investing considerable resources in these areas of international development cooperation. The EU’s annual budget on water related development amounts to 1,5 billion €. The 2003 budget on energy amounts to 700 million €. In 2002, the EU has set aside up to 120 million € to combat the spread of communicable diseases.

Madam Chairperson, The Summit offers a unique opportunity to achieve ambitious agreements, including clear targets, timetables as well as on specific work programmes. We see the combined outcome of the Doha Development Agenda, the Monterey Consensus, the Johannesburg plan of implementation, the political declaration and the complementary partnership activities as a Global Deal. Thank you, Madam Chairperson.

63. TEN PIECES OF ADVISE TO THE CHAIR FOR THE JOHANNESBURG WSSD

Opening remarks by H.E. Hans-Christian Schmidt, Minister for the Environment, Denmark

17 July 2002

Internet: http://www.eu2002.dk/news/news_read.asp?iInformationID=21009 

 

TEN PIECES OF ADVISE TO THE CHAIR FOR THE JOHANNESBURG WSSD

1) WSSD should reaffirm and deliver on the commitments made at Doha and Monterrey

2) WSSD should recognize and emphasize the Rio principle on common but differentiated responsibilities and the precautionary principle

3) WSSD should deliver on the promises of the Rio Earth Summit and on the Millennium Development goals in order to eradicate poverty based on sustainable patterns of production and consumption

4) WSSD should recognize and build upon the ground that protecting the environment from degradation is an integral part of an effective and lasting reduction of poverty and that the environmental dimension of sustainable development must receive equal attention as the economic and social dimensions

5) WSSD should adopt an action oriented plan of implementation with clear targets and timetables on water and sanitation, energy efficiency and renewable energy, health and biodiversity and natural resources

6) WSSD should decide on a ten years work programme for promoting sustainable production and consumption patterns with the aim of decoupling economic growth from environmental degradation and use of resources and with the industrialized countries taking the lead.

7) WSSD should give strong emphasis to implementation of environmental agreements and to monitoring implementation and enforcement of such agreements

8) WSSD should encourage the implementation of the Rio principle on access to information and of public participation in environmental and sustainable development issues

9) WSSD should encourage the development of partnerships between governments, the private sector and civil society as one supplementary mechanism for implementation of the political goals of the plan of implementation

10) WSSD should conclude a political negotiation of the outstanding issues with the aim of achieving a global deal.

 

64. MAKING SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT WORK: GOVERNANCE, FINANCE AND PUBLIC-PRIVATE COOPERATION

Secretary Colin L. Powell Remarks at State Department Conference, Meridian International Center

Washington, DC

July 12, 2002

Internet: http://www.state.gov/secretary/rm/2002/11822.htm 

Well, thank you very much, Paula, for that warm introduction, and let me also take this opportunity to thank you as well for the superb leadership that you have been giving to this effort, especially as we prepare for next month's World Summit on Sustainable Development in Johannesburg. And I'm very pleased to follow my dear friend and fellow Vietnam vet Chuck Hagel. We are members of a mutual admiration society, and he does an absolutely great job up in the Senate on these kinds of issues. He is as committed as anyone in our Congress to trying to do everything we can to help people in need and to push the whole concept of development for all the peoples of the world. I would like to welcome all the participants who are here today, from the NGO community, the business community, international financial institutions, partner governments and the United States Government as well, and especially the ambassadors who are here representing their countries. And I hope, although I don't see her, that my dear friend and colleague from South Africa, Foreign Minister Zuma, may be somewhere in the audience. And if she is not here at the moment, I'll be seeing her later this afternoon in my office so we can continue our discussion on the run-up to the World Summit on Sustainable Development in South Africa. We are very pleased to be working closely with South Africa in the run-up to the summit. For example, we are providing funding to South Africa for the Enviro-Law Conference, and we are co-sponsoring the Summit Institute for Sustainable Development. And we look forward to working even more closely with Minister Zuma and all of her colleagues in South Africa as we get closer to the summit. I thank Paula for making reference to the fact that this is an important issue for me and for President Bush and for all of us in the Bush Administration. I come to it from a perspective of having been a soldier for many, many years, and in that capacity traveling to many places in the world, fighting in wars where people were suffering, seeing suffering in its many forms. And then after leaving the military, I spent part of my life working with young people who were in need, young people here in the United States, young people who need sustainable development just a few blocks from here. And as rich as we are, as powerful as we are as a nation, we still have pockets of poverty, pockets of people who are living in despair and wondering whether or not their nation cares about them. We have to deal with that.

But in the course of doing that, it brought home to me that these same conditions are even more prevalent around the world, and I have seen it in so many different ways and so many manifestations. And now for the last 18 months as Secretary of State, I have once again not only seen this in my travels around the world, but now I'm in a position to work on it in a more direct and aggressive way. And I want to assure you that I and my colleagues in the Department of State will work hard with our other colleagues in government to do everything we can -- as an administration, as a government, as a nation, and as a people -- to help those in need around the world.

There is a growing consensus on sustainable development, and we could not have achieved this growing consensus that more has to be done without the contributions of the United Nations and its distinguished leader, Secretary General Kofi Annan, and the leadership of Indonesia. Their painstaking efforts have helped us move along the path from the Rio Earth Summit of some years ago through the Bali Prep Com, and now on to Johannesburg and beyond. It's so important for all of you to have made the time to come to this conference, a conference that we titled, "Making Sustainable Development Work." And I'm sure that is what Paula and John Turner are making you do today: work. Work on practical measures to support sustainable development, and to do everything we can to make sure that Johannesburg is a success. The Johannesburg Summit comes barely 20 months after we welcomed in a new century. Despite the stories and images of trouble we read in our newspapers and view on our television screens, we should also at the same time see this as a time of great opportunity, great opportunity to expand peace, to expand prosperity and expand freedom around the globe. Part of my day, no matter what else is going on, whether it's a Middle East problem or a problem in South Asia or some other crisis that intrudes on my morning, part of my day really is set aside every day to think about these opportunities, to think about the good things that are going on in the world, and to think about what more we could do as a nation, as a government, working with our friends to take advantage of these opportunities, the march of democracy, the march of the free enterprise system as systems that work. And how can we do everything possible to expand peace, prosperity and freedom? Because only when we achieve those conditions can we really talk about sustainable growth.

The spread of democracy and market economies, combined with breakthroughs in technology, permit us to dream of a day when, for the first time, for the first time in history, most of humanity may be free, or can be made free, of the ravages of tyranny and poverty.

We live in a century of promise. Our responsibility now is to turn it into a century of hopes fulfilled, a century of sustained development that enriches all our peoples without impoverishing our planet. When we talk of sustainable development, we are talking about the means to unlock human potential through economic development based on sound economic policy, social development based on investment in health and education, and responsible stewardship of the environment that has been entrusted to our care by a benevolent God. Sustainable development is a compelling moral and humanitarian issue. But sustainable development is also a security imperative. Poverty, destruction of the environment and despair are destroyers of people, of societies, of nations, a cause of instability as an unholy trinity that can destabilize countries and destabilize entire regions.

A decade ago, at the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development in Rio, some 172 countries adopted a blueprint to achieve sustainable development worldwide. While there have been ups and downs and progress has been uneven, we have seen real improvements since Rio. For example, over the past decade, the proportion of people in developing countries struggling to make ends meet on less than one dollar a day has dropped from 29 percent to 24 percent. Not nearly enough, but it's a beginning. It's a start. Infant mortality has declined by more than 10 percent, and mortality among children under five is nearly 20 percent lower. Countries that have opened their economies have done better than those who have remained closed. It's as simple as that. A World Bank study found that over the course of the 1990s, the 24 developing countries that increased their global trade and investment the most, those that did the most with respect to increasing global trade and investment, also increased income per person much more than those that did not move in this direction. In those countries, the number of people living on less than one dollar a day dropped by 120 million people between 1993 and 1998.

We have also seen the conclusion and implementation since Rio of important environmental agreements, such as those to reduce substances harmful to the air we breathe and to control the spread of deserts. But while we have progressed along the road to hope, we have far to go in a world where one person in five still suffers in extreme poverty, and where a baby's chances of surviving to adulthood still depend on the accident of where he or she is born. Over the past nine months, a series of major conferences and negotiations have helped to map the way forward. The Doha Development Round of World Trade Organization negotiations, the World Food Summit Review Conference in Rome, and the G-8 Summit in Canada all forged stronger agreement on the path to development. It also proclaimed the Monterrey consensus was an historic affirmation of the need to mobilize all sources of development financing, and the Monterrey consensus also proclaimed the importance of sound policies, good governance at all levels, and the rule of law to sustainable development. As our Peruvian colleague Hernando de Soto has so aptly said, "The hidden architecture of sustainable development is the law." The law. The law. The rule of law that permits wonderful things to happen. The rule of law that permits people to be free and to pursue their God-given destiny, and to reach and to search and to try harder for their country, for their family. The rule of law that attracts investment. The rule of law that makes investment safe. The rule of law that will make sure there is no corruption, that will make sure there is justice in a nation that is trying to develop.

The next stop on this long road is the World Summit in Johannesburg. The United States will be taking three very important messages to Johannesburg. First and foremost, we are totally committed to supporting sustainable development. President Bush left no doubt on this score in his March 14th speech at the Inter-American Development Bank when he stated on behalf of the American people that the advance of development is a central commitment of American foreign policy.

We will also carry the message that sustainable development must begin at home, with sound policies and good governance. Both official assistance and private capital are most effective when they go to governments that rule justly, invest in their people, and encourage economic freedom. Official assistance is important -- there's no doubt about it -- and that is why President Bush announced that his administration will seek congressional approval to increase America's core development assistance by 50 percent over the next three years, resulting in $5 billion annual increase over current levels. And I'm confident we will be able to sell it to our Congress. I have been deeply moved in my 18 months as Secretary of State by the support Congress is giving to this kind of effort. We have some financial and fiscal problems that are on the table. That is always the case. But I have been getting solid support with real growth in my own foreign affairs budget, and now with the Millennium Challenge Account coming along, we will see a major increase in the funds that will be available for this kind of activity.

As Chairman Hubbard of the President's Council on Economic Advisors and Deputy AID Administrator Schieck explained earlier, these additional funds will be used for a special purpose within this Millennium Challenge Account. The new account will fund initiatives to help developing nations with sound policy environments. That means you put in place in these nations at home the right environment so that the money will go to the kind of infrastructure development that will set the stage for takeoff with respect to attracting trade and attracting additional funds of both a private and official nature. A strong commitment to good governance, a strong commitment to the health and education of their people, and economic policies that foster enterprise and foster entrepreneurship. But as important as official assistance is to improving people's lives, the reality is that it is trade and private capital flows that will make the real difference that are more, more, much more significant. Trade dwarfs aid. America alone buys $450 billion in goods from the developing world every year, some eight times the amount that developing countries receive in aid from all sources. Attracting that kind of private money isn't easy. Private capital is a coward, a chicken. It flees from corruption and bad policies. It doesn't want to go where there's a conflict. It doesn't want to go where there is corruption. It doesn't want to go where there is unpredictability. Private capital stays away from ignorance, disease and illiteracy, and it especially stays away from those places where it seems that no one is doing anything about ignorance, disease and illiteracy. And now that we're breaking down trade barriers, now that the Cold War is over and the Iron Curtain, the Bamboo Curtain are all gone, relics of history, capital can go many places without restrictions. And it will go to those places that reflect the right kinds of policies. It will go where it is welcomed. It will go where investors can be confident of a return on the money they have put at risk, usually other people's money. It goes to countries where women can work, where children can read, and where entrepreneurs can dream. But good policies alone are not enough. People must be able to seize the opportunity. So the third message we will take to Johannesburg is that governments, civil society and the private sector must work in partnership to mobilize development resources. We must work together to unleash human productivity, to reduce poverty, to promote healthy environments and foster this kind of sustainable growth. We've got to help young people get the skills they need, the education they need, the motivation they need to take part in a changing economy and a changing political environment in these countries as we move forward. Partnerships are key, and we are already deploying the power of partnerships. For example, the United States and South Africa have initiated the Congo Basin Forest Partnership. This innovative partnership with NGOs, industry and other governments, will help slow and even reverse deforestation in the Congo Basin. The initiative will not only create national parks where none before existed, it will also ensure the livelihoods of those living in and around the forests and strengthen the ability of governments to enforce their forest conservation laws.

Our vision for Johannesburg is to build on these three messages: commitment, good policies, and partnerships. We will build on these three messages by inviting developed and developing nations to join us in opening economies and societies to growth. For growth, growth, growth is the key to raising people out of poverty. We will also invite developed and developing nations to join us in providing freedom, security and hope for present and future generations while providing all our people with the opportunity to live healthy and productive lives. And recognizing that we have only one home, one home -- Planet Earth -- we will invite developed and developing nations to join us in serving as good stewards of our natural resources and our environment. To this end, we will initially work for concrete action in seven areas that we believe are essential to sustainable development: health, energy, water, sustainable agriculture and rural development, education, oceans and coastal management, and forests. We will work to unite governments, the private sector and civil society in partnership to strengthen democratic institutions of governance, open markets, and mobilize and use all development resources more effectively. We are already doing a great deal in all of these areas. The United States has provided half a billion dollars to the Global Fund to fight HIV/AIDS, TB and malaria. We've launched a $500 million Mother-Child HIV/AIDS Prevention Initiative for Africa and the Caribbean, doubled funds for the African Education Initiative for Training and Scholarships, and increased funding for agricultural development assistance programs by some 25 percent. And in our budget request for Fiscal Year 2003, we have asked for $4.5 billion for climate spending, an increase of $700 million over this past year. This request includes funding for basic science, technology research and development, business and agricultural incentives and international activities. President Bush has also taken the lead in increasing the use of grants instead of loans for the poorest countries, especially in assistance from multilateral development banks. This approach, which was endorsed by the recent G-8 Summit, will complement existing initiatives to help alleviate the crushing burden of debt that faces so many highly indebted poor countries.

But in all of these areas, we can and must do more, especially I might highlight, HIV/AIDS, once again brought home to us by the meeting we have been watching on television for the last day or so. So we have established the Global Development Alliance to combine the assets of government, business and civil society to work in partnership on implementing sustainable development programs. And that's where you come in. We need you -- governments, businesses, and the organizations of civil society -- to work in support of these pressing human needs, individually in your daily actions, and together in effective goal-oriented partnerships. Sustainable development, as you all know better than I, is a marathon, not a sprint. It does not follow from a single event like the Johannesburg Summit, important as that meeting may be, but from a sustained global effort by many players working together over a long period of time. Sustainable development requires institutions, policies, people and effective partnerships to carry our common effort beyond Johannesburg and well into the future. I hope you will come away from today's sessions with a deeper appreciation of our commitment to building a world where children can grow up free from hunger, disease, and illiteracy; a world where all men and women can reach their human potential, free from racial or gender discrimination; and a world where all people can enjoy the richness of a diverse and healthy planet. I hope you will come away with a greater understanding of our partnership-based approach to improving the lives of men, women and children in developing countries. And most of all, I hope you will come away with an even stronger commitment to work together with us to help realize the promise of this new century and make it truly a century of hope, a century that will allow us to fulfill the dreams of all of God's children.

Thank you so very much.

 

65. THE EU AGENDA FOR THE WORLD SUMMIT ON SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT

European Union

1 July 2002

Internet: http://europa.eu.int/comm/trade/csc/pr_020702.htm 

The World Summit on Sustainable Development (WSSD) presents both an opportunity and a responsibility for world leaders. The challenge is to deliver on the promises of the Rio Earth Summit and on the Millennium Development goals in order to eradicate poverty, improve living standards based on sustainable patterns of production and consumption and to ensure that the benefits of globalisation are shared by all.

Developed and developing countries share the responsibility for implementing these goals which will require a substantially increased effort, both by countries themselves and by the international community. In the Doha Development Agenda and the Monterrey Consensus a framework was agreed for improving market access, for upgrading multilateral rules to harness globalisation, and for increasing financial assistance for development. The developed countries must now deliver on the commitments they made at Monterrey and the EU, as a major supplier of aid, is fully determined to do so. All WTO members should fully respect the commitments made in Doha, including the Doha timetable, and the EU has been prominent, both in the run up to Doha and in the subsequent negotiations, in driving the process forward. The developing countries must also take their responsibilities by improving internal policies and domestic governance and creating an enabling climate for trade and investment. All countries must work together, recognising their common but differentiated responsibilities, to ensure that growth is decoupled from environmental degradation and that the needs of the present generation are satisfied without destroying the capacity of future generations to cater for their needs.

At their recent meeting in Seville on 21/22 June the EU's Heads of State and Government re-affirmed the EU's commitment to a successful outcome at the WSSD and the EU's willingness to continue playing a leading role in the preparation of the summit with a view to reaching a global deal building upon the successful steps of Monterrey and Doha.

What does the EU want from the WSSD?

The EU wants the WSSD to take - after Doha and Monterrey - further steps towards the implementation of the Millennium Development Goals, and to build upon them in areas such as sanitation and energy. The WSSD should adopt quantifiable targets and timetables for their implementation. There should be mechanisms for monitoring progress towards these targets. One of the implementing mechanisms could be well-developed partnerships between governments, the private sector and civil society. There should however be a clear link between the political goals and the partnerships decided by the WSSD so that everyone can see how the political goals are being achieved. The EU wants the WSSD to send a clear political message on the need to make globalisation more sustainable for all and to agree on measures aimed at promoting this goal.

What is the EU proposing to the WSSD?

The EU supports the proposals of the UN Secretary General that the WSSD should make progress in five key areas - water, energy, health, agriculture and biodiversity. More specifically the EU proposes the following targets and actions, in support of the Millennium Development Goal of halving the number of people living in extreme poverty by 2015:

To halve the number of people without access to clean water and sanitation by 2015. To help deliver this target the EU has developed an EU Water Initiative, which, in partnership with countries and regions, can bring together public and private funds, stakeholders and experts to provide long term, sustainable solutions to problems of water management. Meeting the political goal would make a major contribution to improved health and economic development. The EU has already allocated 1.4 bn Euro for 2003 and is ready to increase this figure for the following years within the context of partners poverty reduction strategies.

To enhance the use of cleaner, more efficient fossil fuel technologies, to improve energy efficiency and to increase the share of renewable energy sources to at least 15% of primary energy supply by 2010.The provision of affordable, sustainable energy services will have a major impact on poverty, health, economic and social development. The WSSD should adopt an action plan to achieve this goal. The EU is preparing an Energy Initiative to develop partnerships with interested developing countries to identify their energy needs and ways to meet these needs, by making use of EU development co-operation programmes as well as through the involvement of financial institutions and the private sector. The EU has already allocated 700 m Euro for 2003 and is ready to increase this figure for the following years within the context of partners poverty reduction strategies.

To combat the spread of communicable diseases and increase investment in health care. The EU will increase the volume of development assistance targeting improved health outcomes over the next five years and has already up to € 120 m available for this purpose for 2002. Within the Doha Development Agenda, WTO members should resolve differences on compulsory licenses and work for pharmaceutical products to be made available to the developing world at the lowest possible prices. The EU invites the international community to join partnerships for research on new generations of products. It will continue to actively participate in the Global Fund to fight HIV/AIDS, malaria and tuberculosis.

To develop a ten-year work programme to accelerate the shift towards sustainable consumption and production. Industrialised countries should take the lead in changing their unsustainable behaviour towards more resource efficient production processes and lifestyles. Life-cycle approaches, Eco-labelling and environmental impact assessments are useful tools in that regard. Appropriate means should be made available to help developing countries to move towards the same objective.

To halt and reverse by 2015 the current loss of natural resources/biodiversity and to manage natural resources in a sustainable and integrated manner. This clear global objective should lead to incentives for local communities, in particular in developing countries, to benefit from the conservation and sustainable use of their rich variety of natural resources. The EU is in the process of reforming its fisheries policy, with the aim of reducing fleets and total catch, and calls on other countries to do the same in order to restore stocks to sustainable levels at the latest by 2015.

To agree on a positive agenda for globalisation, finance and trade. Important steps to ensure that globalisation benefit all have recently been taken through the Doha Development Agenda and the Monterrey Consensus. The achievements of these Conferences should not be put into question in Johannesburg but we should identify ways and means to build upon them. As an example in Johannesburg, the EU is putting forward a number of positive and supportive measures on trade and investment, outside the scope of Doha Development Agenda and the Monterrey Consensus, which specifically would contribute to sustainable development in developing countries.

The EU is suggesting supportive measures on a wide scale ranging from: the integration of sustainability parameters into regional and bilateral agreements and preferential trade schemes, commitments from all countries to duty- and quota free market access for all products originating in least developed countries, the promotion of markets for organic produce, environmentally friendly products and "fair trade", measures to enhance the transparency of domestic trade procedures, the reform of environmentally harmful subsidies and the further development and support for sustainable impact assessments (SIAs). In addition, the EU is suggesting a number of actions to enhance the benefits for sustainable development that developing countries can draw from foreign direct investment (FDI), including the promotion of corporate social responsibility and export credits to encourage environmentally and socially sound investment.

The EU and its Member States have pledged - as a first significant step towards reaching the 0,7% target - to bring the average of ODA/GNI ratio to 0,39% by 2006, which should result in additional annual ODA of about 9 bn Euro as of 2006 and about 22 bn Euro between now and 2006. We have initiated steps to make available the increased ODA announced at the International Conference for Financing for Development and hope that other donors will equally make good on their pledges. We recognise that there is a need to agree on a process through which the follow-up to those pledges can be monitored and evaluated. Recipient and donor countries, as well as international institutions, also have to make a common effort to make ODA more efficient and effective. The EU will intensify its efforts in that regard.

The EU will pursue efforts to restore debt sustainability in the context of the enhanced HIPC initiative, so that developing countries, and especially the poorest ones, can pursue growth and development unconstrained by unsustainable debt dynamics. The EU remains committed to fully fund the HIPC initiative and pursue debt-swaps as appropriate

The EU is ready to engage with all partners in exploring ways, on top of opening markets and increasing the level and effectiveness of ODA, of generating new public and innovative sources of finance for development purposes. A further discussion and exploration of the issue of global public goods will be crucial in that context.

To develop an effective institutional framework for sustainable development at international, regional and national levels. At international level, it is necessary to strengthen the role of ECOSOC in the follow-up to the WSSD, to give more emphasis to implementation issues in the work of the Commission for Sustainable Development (CSD) and to reinforce co-operation on sustainable development between UN bodies, the Bretton Woods institutions and the WTO. The EU also attaches high priority to the establishment and implementation of national strategies for sustainable development, such as poverty reduction strategies, to the implementation of Rio Principle 10 on access to information and to the development of more effective institutional frameworks for sustainable development at regional and sub-regional level.

The EU wishes to work with all partners to ensure a successful outcome at the WSSD. Further details on the EU initiatives mentioned in this note are available by following this link.

 

ON THE WEB

 

66. ENVOYS MAKE HEADWAY AS JOHANNESBURG SUMMIT NEARS (Reuters via Planet Ark 19 July 2002)

http://www.planetark.org/dailynewsstory.cfm/newsid/16937/story.htm 

67. EARTH SUMMIT MAY NOT YIELD CONCRETE PLAN - US AIDE (Reuters via Planet Ark 18 July 2002) http://www.planetark.org/dailynewsstory.cfm/newsid/16920/story.htm 

68. INTERVIEW - SOUTH AFRICA MINISTER VOWS EARTH SUMMIT TO GO AHEAD (Reuters via Planet Ark 17 July 2002)

http://www.planetark.org/dailynewsstory.cfm/newsid/16903/story.htm 

69. EU, US SAY WANT CONCRETE RESULTS AT EARTH SUMMIT (Reuters via Planet Ark 17 July 2002)

http://www.planetark.org/dailynewsstory.cfm/newsid/16897/story.htm 

70. SOUTH AFRICA, UN PRESS FOR EARTH SUMMIT BLUEPRINT (Reuters via Planet Ark 12 July 2002)

http://www.planetark.org/dailynewsstory.cfm/newsid/16829/story.htm 

71. INTERVIEW - EARTH SUMMIT COLLAPSE BETTER THAN TOOTHLESS PACT (Reuters via Planet Ark 12 July 2002)

http://www.planetark.org/dailynewsstory.cfm/newsid/16811/story.htm 

72. ANNAN URGES ACTION FOR EARTH SUMMIT (Reuters via Planet Ark 10 July 2002)

http://www.planetark.org/dailynewsstory.cfm/newsid/16780/story.htm 

73. LIVING STANDARD SEEN SLUMPING AS RESOURCES RUN OUT (Reuters via Planet Ark 10 July 2002)

http://www.planetark.org/dailynewsstory.cfm/newsid/16777/story.htm 




 

 

Return to Johannesburg Summit portal