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Ted Turner, the head of Turner Broadcasting System (TBS) has approved a proposal for the coverage of major United Nations Conferences, beginning with the Global Conference for the Sustainable Development of Small Island Developing States. The idea is to treat all major UN conferences not as isolated events but as part of a wider continuum stretching from the 1992 Earth Summit, through the 1995 Social Summit, to the 50th Anniversary of the United Nations. TBS/CNN has committed to producing TV coverage of the SIDS Conference, including the production of full-length documentaries and the production of short items on small island States by TBS affiliate stations worldwide for inclusion in broadcasts immediately prior to and during the Conference. This is not an exclusive arrangement with TBS/CNN, rather it is hoped that this development will encourage other international media houses to follow suit.


The Second Committee of the 48th session of the UN General Assembly considered the implementation of the decisions and recommendations of the UN Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED) and other environmental matters on Friday, 19 November, Tuesday, 23 November and Wednesday, 24 November 1993. During the three days of debate, all governments supported the post-UNCED conferences and negotiations, including the Global Conference on the Sustainable Development of Small Island Developing States. Most delegates who intervened on this subject, including Austria, Bahrain, Canada, China, Indonesia, the Marshall Islands, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea and Tanzania, supported recommendations to hold a resumed session of the PrepCom in March 1994.

The highlights of the debate on the Conference included the following statements. Belgium, on behalf of the European Union, said the Conference on the Sustainable Development of Small Island Developing States should not renegotiate Agenda 21. The chapter on finance should be drafted in a balanced manner and the document should place more emphasis on cross-sectoral issues. He urged that the time allotted to the future work programme be used for real negotiation. The draft of the Barbados Declaration, a work method and agenda are essential for compromise on the future work programme. [Return to start of article]