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The fifth session of the Conference of the Parties (COP) for the Convention to Combat Desertification

Geneva, Switzerland, 1-12 October 2001

Web Archives (English) |Mon 1 | Tue 2  | Wed 3 | Thu 4 | Fri 5 |
                       | Mon 8| Tue 9 | Wed 10 | Thu 11 | Fri 12 |

Web Archives (Français) |Lun 1 | Mar 2  | Mer 3 | Jeu 4 | | Ven 5 |
         | Lun 8 | Mar 9 | Mer 10 | Jeu 11 | Ven 12 |


Version française: BNT

Monday, 8 October 2001
Delegates met in the morning and afternoon for the High Level Special Segment  to hear statements from the Presidents of Cape Verde and Venezuela, the Prime Ministers of Mozambique, Niger and Benin, and a message from the UN Secretary General, as well as speeches from government ministers, and heads of UN organizations and agencies, multilateral bodies, and regional organizations


Hugo Chavez Frias with the Venezuelan delegation

President Charles Basset (Canada) welcomed dignitaries and delegates to the special high-level Plenary session and urged them to find ways to relieve the suffering of people by positively tackling the nexus of poverty, desertification and land degradation

Charles Basset

Hugo Chavez Frias

Hugo Chavez Frias, President of VENEZUELA, expressed concern at the current military response to the terrorist attacks in the US, and said lasting peace will only be achieved by addressing poverty, inequality and injustice, which he said were the causes of violence. Emphasizing the links between poverty and desertification, he called for global cooperation and new ideas in tackling environmental degradation, and stressed that current neo-liberal models are not the answer. He further proposed cutting global military spending by 50% and using the funds to address poverty and environmental issues. Although desertification does not seriously affect Venezuela, he underscored his country’s commitment to addressing this “international problem” by announcing support for South-South cooperation on desertification-related projects. He also urged industrialized countries to demonstrate an increased commitment to CCD implementation

Listen to the RealAudio

Pedro Verona Rodrigues Pires

President Pedro Verona Rodrigues Pires, Cape Verde, said the success of the CCD depends on political will and a predictable financial mechanism such as the GEF. He stressed the importance of including the participation of all actors and underlined the need for the CCD COP to: establish a follow-up committee to review CCD implementation (CRIC); fund regional coordination units (RCUs); and consider ways to contribute to the WSSD


Pascoal Manuel Mocumbi

Pascoal Manuel Mocumbi, Prime Minister of Mozambique, highlighted the linkages between climate change and desertification, noting that massive flooding in Mozambique had caused soil degradation, destruction of infrastructure and loss of economic growth. Asserting that “combating desertification is combating poverty,” he outlined Mozambique’s Poverty Action Plan for 2001-5, and called on the COP to implement a decision to regularly review CCD implementation at the national level. He urged the GEF to add land degradation and desertification as a focal area, and said it should be designated a CCD financial mechanism

Listen to the RealAudio

Hama Amadou

Hama Amadou, Prime Minister of Niger, highlighted his country’s difficulties in addressing desertification, and called for urgent CCD implementation, particularly stressing the role of the international community in providing technological and financial assistance to Africa. He also expressed support for a CCD subsidiary body to evaluate implementation, an increase in the Secretariat’s budget, and South-South cooperation

Listen to the RealAudio

Dah Ould Abdeljelil

Dah Ould Abdeljelil, Minister Rural Development and Environment, Mauritania,  highlighted national initiatives to combat desertification and said the CCD can be revitalized by, inter alia, providing new and additional resources to the Global Mechanism (GM) and giving support to, and engaging in dialogue with, NGOs

Bruno Amousou

Prime Minister Bruno Amousou, Benin, highlighted the causes, effects and seven-year plan to address desertification in his country, welcomed the GEF gesture to support the CCD, and thanked Venezuela for support, noting that Benin and Venezuela were due to sign a cooperation agreement

Sirgun Mogedal

Sirgun Mogedal, State Secretary, Norway, said poverty is the single greatest threat to sustainable development and emphasized that CCD’s financing was its most critical challenge and the need for strong commitment from the international community to match that shown by developing countries

Listen to the RealAudio

J.M Noirfal

Speaking on behalf of the EU, J.M Noirfal, Belgium, highlighted the need for funding requests to reflect NAPs, the responsibility of developed countries to promote bilateral partnerships, support for a new GEF funding window
Herbert Acquay, speaking for the GEF, highlighted its exploration of designating land degradation as a focal area for funding and accompanying proposal for US$500 million for land degradation activities during the next replenishment period. He highlighted interlinkages with climate change and collaboration with IFAD and other organizations, and encouraged Parties to continue to seek funding from multiple sources

Herbert Acquay

The UNFCCC highlighted the political, ecological, economic, and sociological linkages between the CCD and FCC Conventions, as well as the development of a trilateral arrangement with the CBD

Michael Zammit Cutajar, UNFCCC Executive Secretary

Uwe Werblow

Uwe Werblow, European Commission, indicated the EC's intention to strengthen its participation in various CCD forums and endeavors and drew attention to: required policy action at the national level in affected countries; poverty as a central EC development objective; and EC efforts to address problems causing desertification associated with global trade, aid and investment

Maria Minna

Maria Minna, Canada, highlighted the role of poverty reduction to combat desertification, the importance of partnerships and the need to promote synergies between environmental agreements, and supported using the momentum of the WSSD to build public and political support for sustainable development

Gar Knutson, Canada

Michel Jarraud

Michel Jarraud, WMO, noted its continued actions to, inter alia: advocate for enhanced observation systems, step up agricultural programs for adaptation to climate change, and further enhance climate prediction capabilities. He highlighted the use of science and technology, especially in the development of early warning systems, the importance of sound scientific knowledge, and coordination between conventions

Yucai Li, China, noted that desertification affects 27 percent of its total land area and 400 million people. He reported on recent legislation on sand prevention and control that marks “a milestone” in the country’s efforts, and stressed financial assistance and technology transfer as critical to the effective implementation of the CCD

Yucai Li

Bozo Kovacevic, Croatia, outlined national challenges in addressing land degradation, including the existence of more than one million anti-personnel mines

Bozo Kovacevic

Uschi Eid

Uschi Eid, Germany, emphasized: participatory approaches in CCD implementation; welcomed progress to open a GEF window for the CCD; and expressed hope the CCD would contribute to bridging the global inequalities

Ali Mojtahed Shabestari

Ali Mojtahed Shabestari, Iran, for the G-77/CHINA, expressed satisfaction with the emerging consensus on the establishment of the CRIC. He also called for: the provision of sufficient funding in the CCD�s core budget to cover the functioning of the Regional Coordinating Facilities; action by the GEF to designate land degradation as a focal area; and a decision by this COP inviting the GEF to become the CCD�s financial mechanism

Mukti Shrestha

Mukti Shrestha, Nepal, outlined the country�s national poverty reduction and land degradation initiatives and called for special preferences to the least developed countries in CCD implementation

Francis Nhema, Zimbabwe, highlighted its actions to develop a NAP with wide stakeholder participation and the lack of sufficient funds to successfully realize it, and called on participants to take advantage of COP-5 to share ideas on NAP implementation

Francis Nhema

Participants in the Plenary


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Fifth Session of the COP website
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Provisional list of Official Documents
Report of the Ad Hoc Working Group to COP5
Official Documents of COP4

� 2001, Earth Negotiations Bulletin. All rights reserved.

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