Daily report for 28 April 1994

Global Conference on the Sustainable Development of SIDS


ORGANIZATION OF AMERICAN STATES: Assistant Secretary-GeneralChristopher Thomas stressed that no development model should beimposed unilaterally. OAS technical support programmes emphasizeresource management, sustainable tourism and youth employment.

BRAZIL: Amb. Jo"o Carlos Pessoa Fragoso hoped that thespirit of Rio will enlighten deliberations here. New and additionalfinancial resources and the transfer of environmentally soundtechnologies on favorable terms for SIDS are priorities.

LATIN AMERICAN ECONOMIC SYSTEM: Noel Sinclair urged theConference not to forget the plight of Haiti, an island whosedevelopment process is in reverse. Human solidarity must bestrengthened.

SINGAPORE: Amb. Chew Tai Soo said that one of the greatestchallenges for SIDS is transportation and communicationinfrastructure development. At the core is human resourcedevelopment and capacity building.

UGANDA: Anne Mugisha said that if this Conference couldclearly define the means of implementation contained within Agenda21 this would help all developing countries.

ESCAP: Executive-Secretary Rafeeuddin Ahmed noted that manySIDS have been liberalizing their economies, and while most havebalanced budgets, inflation remains high.

JAMAICA: Easton Douglas, Minister of Public Service and theEnvironment, spoke of the economic dependency of many SIDS. SIDSare not mendicants, but States ready for partnership, with strongNGO, academic and civil sectors.

SAMOA: Amb. Tuiloma Neroni Slade said that the Pacific isthe largest tuna fishing area and overfishing has a devastatingeffect on SIDS. He supported establishment of an entity within theUN secretariat to focus on follow-up.

GREENPEACE: Pene Lefale said that SIDS are the mostsensitive barometer of sustainable development. He supportedbanning transboundary movement of wastes, reducing carbon dioxideemissions, and finding new and additional financial resources.

Dr. Vili Fuavao presented a case study on coastal managementin SIDS (A/CONF.167/CRP.5).

FEDERATED STATES OF MICRONESIA: Resio S. Moses, Secretary ofExternal Affairs, said SIDS must work together to identify commonconcerns and discuss the means to address them. This Conference isabout commitment to action, not only of donors but of SIDSthemselves.

SOLOMON ISLANDS: Ezekiel Alebua, Minister for Forests,Environment and Conservation, said the momentum from Rio should notbe sacrificed due to indifference and self interest. He raised theissues of poverty alleviation, transportation of hazardous wastesand sustainable timber harvesting.

ECA: Azm Fazlul Hoque said that of the 52 member countriesof ECA, six are islands and three of these are least developedcountries. ECA helps SIDS address natural disaster reduction andmarine and ocean affairs.

EGYPT: Amr Ramadan said that the ability of SIDS to tackletheir problems is limited. Additional financial resources andinternational support are needed.

SEYCHELLES: Amb. Marc Marengo said his country's developmentplan ensures that both men and women are part of thedecision-making processes. Political commitment, financial andtechnical investment, and promotion of human resources areessential.

AFGHANISTAN: Abdul Rhaim Ghafoorzai said there are two majorproblems in the development planning of SIDS: the lack of adequatecapacity for the design and implementation of policies andstrategies; and a tendency to depend on external consultants.

UNIDO: Gerard Latortue said that UNIDO is willing tocooperate with SIDS on Programme of Action implementation in:sustainable industrial policy; clean and energy savingtechnologies; small scale industries; human resource development;and utilization of marine resources.

MALI: Mahamane Maiga said that there is a need to defineadequate solutions to the problems faced by SIDS. Mali, as alandlocked country, shares with SIDS the high cost of transport andenvironmental vulnerabilities.

ECLAC: Swinburne Gestrade said there is a need for projectsthat are specific and relevant to SIDS, such as access tointernational capital on concessional terms and export compensationschemes.

NAURU: Kinza Clodumar said that SIDS are the curators ofmuch of the world's linguistic heritage and cultural diversity. Henoted that Nauru and Australia will sign an agreement onreparations for mineral exploitation.

AFRICAN DEVELOPMENT BANK: S.A. Olanrewaju said that the Bankis working on a special initiative for the African islandcountries. These islands need to be effectively integrated with oneanother and with the rest of Africa to enhance their development.

COMMISSION DE L'OCEAN INDIEN: Secretary-General J. Bonnelamesaid that the islands in the Indian Ocean are often forgotten. Theproblems facing SIDS cannot be dealt with on the national levelalone.

COSTA RICA: Jos‚ de J. Conejo said that education is a keyfactor in sustainable development. He called for greater financialresources and mechanisms for horizontal transfer of science andtechnology.

SPREP: Vili Fuavao elaborated on the priority issues facingSouth Pacific SIDS, including: climate change and sea-levelrise; energy resources; natural disasters; waste management;coastal and marine resources; capacity building; and environmentalmanagement.

CARIBBEAN DEVELOPMENT BANK: President Sir Neville Nichollssaid that the CDB has provided assistance in strengthening nationalenvironmental management, conference preparations, and NGOparticipation.

WOMEN'S INTERNATIONAL LEAGUE FOR PEACE AND FREEDOM: PaulineTangiora stressed the issues of self-determination, sovereignty,unemployment, education, economic dislocation, abuse of land bydevelopers, intellectual property rights, and militarism.

INTERNATIONAL SOCIAL SERVICE: Joanne Penney deplored theomission of the drug dimension. She noted the effects of drug andalcohol abuse on islanders, the environment and the economy.

PANAFRICAN MOVEMENT: Waldaba Stewart urged that theProgramme of Action encourage the creation of a Technology Bank andPeople's Earth Funds to support island peoples; and the recognitionthat racism and ethnic discrimination hinder sustainabledevelopment.


Although the Main Committee was scheduled to meet at 11:00 am, itdid not convene until after 12:00, as informal consultationscontinued. During the course of the day, the Committee examinedoutstanding issues in the non-paper on Section D of Chapter XV,Institutional Arrangements, Monitoring and Review; the EU proposalson finance; and the non-paper on the rest of Chapter XV.

In paragraph 1 on new financing mechanisms, AOSIS/G-77 wanted toretain reference to a new international funding mechanism, whilemany developed countries felt that this would be counter-productiveand not in the SIDS' interest. In paragraph 2(b), informalconsultations were successful and the new version, as amended,includes a review of implementation of the Programme of Action bythe CSD in 1996, by the special session of the General Assembly(UNGA) in 1997, in conjunction with the overall review of Agenda21, and a full review of the Programme of Action in 1999. In theafternoon, the US removed its reservation on paragraph 2(c), theUNGA's consideration of Conference follow-up.

Paragraph 7 was finally adopted in the afternoon and the lastsentence now reads "to this end, the necessary resources should beprovided, relying on the most efficient and cost-effective use ofresources to fulfill the following functions." In paragraph 15, thereference to both private and public resources remained inbrackets.

In paragraph 17, consultations resulted in removal of the bracketsaround "regional economic integration organizations," which shouldalso take the Programme of Action into account when formulatingpolicy. Agreed language on paragraph 18 now accepts the concept ofautonomy for regional commissions in implementation and that theyact as focal points for the coordination of follow-up. New languagefor paragraph 19 was accepted: "The Secretary-General in his reportto the 49th UN General Assembly, requested in paragraph 12, shouldalso report on progress made in the implementation of otherrecommendations above, including a section on the action taken byregional commissions to implement the Programme of Action,particularly at the sub-regional level."

Paragraph 115, which also addresses institutional arrangements, wasmoved to this section as paragraph 1 bis.

When the negotiations resumed on the new non-paper on Chapter XV,agreement was reached on paragraph 67. The specific reference toChapter 23.2 of Agenda 21 was deleted and a new first sentence wasproposed, with exact language from Chapter 23.1. Agreement wasreached on paragraph 92 on commodity markets. The new languageprovides for better functioning and transparent markets, andassistance to SIDS in their efforts to achieve greaterdiversification of their commodity sectors.

The Chair invited delegations to comment on the EU proposal onfinance. The Chair of the G-77 said that the Programme of Action isalready limited due to SIDS' appreciation of constraints onresources; nevertheless it does reveal a need for new andadditional financial resources. Agenda 21 accepts sharedresponsibility for problems and their causation, yet now SIDS areexpected to bear the bulk of the burden themselves. She criticizedthe reliance on the GEF, which was replenished at the lowestpossible level and whose funds are not available to all SIDS due toper capita income constraints. She also criticized theover-emphasis on the private sector, which is not strong enough insome SIDS to marshal adequate funds. China added its voice to thatof the G-77, stating that the EU proposal was disappointing. The EUstressed again its three-part approach: the better use of existingresources; prioritization of ODA; and the mobilization of new andadditional financial resources. Sweden said that it would like tosee the 0.7% target for ODA included in the text. It was agreedthat the text in A/CONF.167/L.1 would form the basis fornegotiation and that the Chair would conduct informalconsultations.

On paragraph 69, the finance paragraph in the nationalimplementation section, the brackets were removed around the firstsentence. Brackets remained around the second and third sentencesdealing with environmental goals and the reordering of priorities,respectively. In the discussion on paragraph 82, AOSIS asked theauthors of an amendment still in brackets if they were trying toimply that SIDS governments were corrupt and inefficient. The firstset of brackets around the improved access to financial resourceswas removed.

On paragraph 88, concerning finance, one country introduced a newchapeau, which did not cover the key points required by othergroups. There was concern that the Programme of Action should referto the provision of new and additional financial resources, notonly their mobilization, as was the case in Chapter 33.10 of Agenda21. A suggested composite text to cover paragraph 88(b)-(e) wasproposed, based on consultations held at the resumed session of thePrepCom. This was circulated in writing. Other amendments to thetirets were offered. The Chair noted that 88(a) is not bracketed,but that its ideas may appear in a composite text. Consultationswill ensue.

In paragraph 89, the majority wanted reference to the CSD workinggroup deleted. New, more concise language was proposed,highlighting the role that the CSD will play in monitoring andadvancing new and innovative approaches.


Several NGOs have complained that they were not given the floor inPlenary, although they were on the speakers' list. Only when theyremonstrated with the Secretariat were they given a slot at the endof the day. The Secretariat says it could not find the NGOs. NGOsargue they were there. There also appears to be new criteria forspeeches in Plenary -- they should be to the point. The UN hasnever enforced such a rule with vigor before, but on Wednesday the Secretariat removed one speaker from the list as the speech wasdeemed "political" and not to the issues. Broadly applied, thisrule could shorten ECOSOC by one week this July.


PLENARY: The general debate will continue at 10:00 am inConference Room 1. The Plenary will resume at 4:00 pm in informalsession (still in Conference Room 1) to discuss proposals for theBarbados Declaration (A/CONF.167/L.2).

MAIN COMMITTEE: The Main Committee will begin at 10:00 amwith a formal session to allow NGOs to speak. Then, in an informalsession, the Chair will first ask for reports on ongoingconsultations. Next, the Committee will begin consideration of thePreamble. The Chair also intends to consider the remainingbracketed text in Chapters I-XIV before adjourning for the weekend.Conference services have been arranged until 9:00 pm.