Daily report for 2 May 1994
Global Conference on the Sustainable Development of SIDS
The Plenary elected the remaining Vice President from the EasternEuropean Group, Croatia. It was announced that Germany had resignedas Vice President and that the WEOG had nominated Italy in itsplace. The election of Rapporteur- General was postponed.
NEPAL: Lila Sharma said that Nepal shares SIDS' commitmentto preserving the environment, protecting its unique heritage anddeveloping human resources.
MADAGASCAR: Andrei Rasolo stressed the role of women,without whose involvement sustainable development is impossible.
COLOMBIA: Amb. Reno Lung said that there is increasedpressure on the international community to deliver new andadditional financial resources and technology transfer.
PAKISTAN: Tehmina Janjua said that the Programme of Actionshould include realistically achievable measures backed bypolitical will and clearly identifiable follow-up mechanismsthrough the CSD and the UN secretariat. The Barbados Declarationshould be a reflection of principles.
THAILAND: Manop Mekprayoonthong noted that this Conferenceis a first test of the international community since Agenda 21.Thailand will be a more active partner in development cooperationin the Asia/Pacific region.
FAO: On behalf of Director-General Jacques Diouf, therepresentative said not enough attention has been paid to foodsecurity and the rural sector.
UNESCO: On behalf of Director-General Federico Mayor, Dr.Gisbert Glaser stressed sustainable human development and highereducation systems in SIDS. UNESCO has established a focal point forSIDS within its secretariat.
US VIRGIN ISLANDS: Carlyle Corbin applauded UN member Statesfor their responsiveness to the needs of non-independent countries,and allowing them to participate as observers. Poverty alleviationhas to be a central tenet of sustainable development.
UNCTAD: Hama Arba Diallo, on behalf of the Director-General,said UNCTAD has been the focal point for SIDS since their needswere first raised. He also mentioned a number of problems andvulnerabilities faced by SIDS.
EQUATORIAL GUINEA: Hilario Torres said that his country wasrecently subject to a wave of storms with untold human sufferingand material damage. Equatorial Guinea has recently established aministry for women, who are central to sustainable development.
BRUNEI DARUSSALAM: Amb. Pergiran Momin noted that with along coastline many of the problems of Brunei are shared with SIDS.
SUDAN: Ahmed Yousif Mohamed hoped that the Conference wouldproduce an ambitious Programme of Action as a prelude for otherinternational efforts to assist developing countries.
WFUNA: Leonard Hill of the UNA of Barbados drew attention tothe role played by the Bretton Woods Institutions and theinternational trading system.
CONSERVATION INTERNATIONAL: Stan Malone called attention tothe commitments made to partnership with NGOs in Agenda 21, thesafeguard of traditional knowledge, and the establishment of a SIDSintellectual property center.
ARUBA: Cornelius Wilson said that SIDS are marine entitieswith small terrestrial components, and they are custodians for themarine environment.
TONGA: Sione Tongilava said that the environment Bible waswritten in Stockholm and re-translated in Rio. The Bible says thatit is better to give than to receive; thus, the rich pollutersshould give more to SIDS than greenhouse gases.
COMOROS: Sittou Raghadat Mohamed, Minister of SocialAffairs, Population, Employment and Work, called for: support forher government's sustainable development plans; change inmacro-economic factors that affect SIDS' economies; increased ODA;and preferential trade.
ANTIGUA AND BARBUDA: Amb. Lionel Hurst said thatunwillingness to fulfill the commitments made at UNCED andresistance to implementing the provisions of Agenda 21 aretantamount to condemning our planet to a very nasty, short andbrutish future.
CYPRUS: Costas Petrides, Minister of Agriculture, NaturalResources and Environment, said that in the quest forsustainability, efforts should concentrate on debt reduction andaccess to technology.
RUSSIAN FEDERATION: Amb. Arnold Kalinin said that it is veryimportant to reach practical results that will reflect the will ofthe international community in concrete action.
HUNGARY: Dr. Andras Lakatos said that the Conference mustshow that the post-Cold War period created not only new problemsand contradictions, but also opened up new possibilities forinternational cooperation.
BAHRAIN: Amb. Muhammad Abdul Ghaffar said that sustainabledevelopment is a process of change that takes into account presentand future generations, with human beings at the center of thedevelopment process.
NAMIBIA: Amb. Tunguru Huaraka said that SIDS are at thefrontline in the battle against environmental degradation. Theother frontline is held by desert and/or drought strickendeveloping States.
TUNISIA: Ghazi Jomaa highlighted the progress that hasalready been achieved in the negotiation of the Programme ofAction. He added that agreement was still to be achieved on theissue of financial resources and mechanisms.
BURUNDI: Melchiade Bukuru said that support for SIDS needsto be more consistent and more systematic.
ACCT: Maurice Portiche said that the community offrancophone countries now participates more actively in globalconferences such as this one.
INTERNATIONAL MARITIME ORGANIZATION: Mr. Khalimonov saidthat the IMO is directly involved with maritime safety andprevention of marine pollution in SIDS.
BARBADOS ENVIRONMENTAL ASSOCIATION: The representativecalled on governments to encourage NGO participation in theimplementation of the Programme of Action, restructure military andsocial budgets, and lift the trade blockade of Cuba.
UNEP: Peter Schroeder said that "the sun never sets on theUNEP Regional Seas Programmes." Integrated Coastal Management isvery complex and hard to achieve but comprehensive islandmanagement could be a first step.
BARBADOS: Harcourt Lewis, Minister of the Environment,Housing and Lands, said that SIDS have limited options that areopen to them. In the final analysis, their people are theirgreatest resource.
The contact group to elaborate a Barbados Declaration met all dayMonday. Over the weekend, the Chair, Amb. Besley Maycock, took itupon himself to prepare a revised draft. Other delegations had alsobeen busy making their own revisions. After a discussion on whetherNGOs may observe the proceedings, the group worked laboriouslyparagraph-by-paragraph. At times, the debate bordered on thefarcical as points scored in the Preamble, and lost, were replayedin the Declaration. In the afternoon, the group averaged oneparagraph an hour. At the conclusion of the days work at 7:30 pm,one delegation introduced a new non-paper as a possible structureof the Declaration.
The Main Committee met in the morning to review the status of alloutstanding issues in the Programme of Action.
PREAMBLE: Consultations are still in progress on: paragraphs5 and 6 (responsibility of SIDS for the marine environment);paragraph 15 (financing of the Programme of Action); and paragraph16 (the special needs of the least developed SIDS).
III. MANAGEMENT OF WASTES: Paragraph 22 still containsbrackets around reference to transboundary movement of hazardousand toxic wastes.
IV. COASTAL AND MARINE RESOURCES: Agreement was reached onparagraph C(v), which now reads: "Use the relevant results of theWorld Coast Conference of November 1993 as well as of the ongoingwork within UNEP's Regional Seas Programme to assist small islanddeveloping States with the development and implementation ofintegrated coastal zone management plans, to improve internationalcoordination in that field, and to develop strategies to preventfurther marine and coastal degradation." The long paragraph thatfollows in A/CONF.167/L.1 is now divided into two sub-paragraphs(vi) and (vii).
V. FRESHWATER RESOURCES: Australia's proposal for paragraph27 on groundwater resources is still being considered by AOSIS.
VII. ENERGY RESOURCES: Delegates reached agreement onparagraph A(ii), which reads: "Promote the efficient use of energyand the development of environmentally sound sources of energy andenergy efficient technologies, paying special attention to thepossibilities of using, where appropriate, economic instruments andincentive structures and the increasing economic possibilities ofrenewable sources of energy."
IX. BIODIVERSITY RESOURCES: Paragraph A(vii) on intellectualproperty rights is still under negotiation.
XII. TRANSPORT AND COMMUNICATION: Consultations are stillunderway on paragraph C(v) on the lowering of internationaltelecommunication costs to SIDS.
XIV. HUMAN RESOURCE DEVELOPMENT: Consultations are stillunderway on paragraph 58, which references population-relatedpolicies.
XV. IMPLEMENTATION, MONITORING AND REVIEW: Paragraphs 71 and95, which address technology, are still under negotiation.Agreement has been tentatively reached on paragraph 91, which nowreads: "Given the limited possibilities of generating local valueadded, deriving from their small market size, narrow resource base,and limited production of inputs, special efforts are needed toassist SIDS to increase their production and exports. Towards thisobjective, special consideration should be given, whereappropriate, to the local value added criteria applied to theexports of SIDS."
In the afternoon, delegates reviewed a non-paper prepared byVice-Chair Takao Shibata, based on consultations to consideradditional proposals for inclusion in Chapters II-XIV. Thenon-paper contained nearly 50 proposals. Some of the moresubstantive additions included: reference to the InternationalDecade for Natural Disaster Reduction in Chapter III; reference tothe International Ministerial Conference on Drinking Water andEnvironmental Sanitation (the Netherlands, 1994) in Chapter V;reference to the Conference of Small Island Countries onSustainable Development and Environment in Agriculture, Forestryand Fisheries (Barbados, 1992) in Chapter VI; reference toeffective and efficient ways of utilizing, disposing, recycling andreducing the by-products of waste of energy production in ChapterVII; the involvement of NGOs, women, indigenous people and othermajor groups in the conservation and sustainable use ofbiodiversity in Chapter IX; and references to drug abuse control inChapter XIV.
Three of these new proposals were placed in brackets. The first,which is a new sub-paragraph A(viii) in Chapter III, refers to theformulation and enforcement of laws or regulations that ban theimportation of hazardous wastes from OECD to non-OECD countries.During the discussion, AOSIS/G-77 replaced the word "importation"with "exportation." The entire sub-paragraph is bracketed. InChapter VIII, a new sub-paragraph C(iii) "promotes closercooperation to improve national and international measures tocombat illicit drug trafficking and money laundering." AOSIS/G-77thought that reference to money laundering should be deleted fromthe paragraph. Finally, in paragraph 61 A(iii), there was aproposal to add "options" after reference to "family planning."Since several delegates questioned this proposal, there will befurther consultations.
IN THE CORRIDORS
Observers expressed both bemusement and frustration with thearduous negotiations on the Barbados Declaration. The intended"reader friendly" document seems to be buried deeper and deeperbeneath evocations of the Gaia-like quality of islanders, eulogiesto the pearl fishers and constant reiteration of thevulnerabilities of SIDS. While some would rather scrap theDeclaration, citing the Preamble as a better text at the moment,others seem resigned to continue.
THINGS TO LOOK FOR TODAY
MAIN COMMITTEE: When the Main Committee convenes at 10:00am, the Chair will receive progress reports on all of theoutstanding paragraphs in the Programme of Action. The day'sschedule depends on the progress made in the Chair'sinformal-informal consultations on finance last night, as well asthe consultations on the other outstanding paragraphs.
BARBADOS DECLARATION: The informal consultations on theBarbados Declaration will continue this morning at 10:00 withparagraph 19.
BIODIVERSITY AND CLIMATE CHANGE FORUM: Angela Cropper,Executive Secretary of the Interim Secretariat for the Conventionon Biological Diversity, will give a presentation today inConference Room 3 at 1:00 pm, with a repeat performance inConference Room 4 at 4:00 pm.