Summary report, 19–24 November 1993

UN General Assembly Discussions on UNCED Follow-up

The Second Committee of the 48th session of the UN General Assemblyconsidered the implementation of the decisions and recommendationsof the UN Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED) andother environmental matters on Friday, 19 November, Tuesday, 23November and Wednesday, 24 November 1993.

During the three days of debate, most delegates seemed pleased withthe progress made so far in UNCED follow-up, but expressed concernthat the implementation of Agenda 21 has not been as successful asmany had hoped. Delegates were heartened by the positive outcome ofthe first session of the Commission on Sustainable Development(CSD), yet fear that it could become bogged down by its ownbureaucracy, unless there is more innovative thinking. Mostgovernments attach great importance to the CSD's establishment oftwo ad hoc intersessional working groups on financial resources andtechnology transfer.

All governments supported the post-UNCED conferences andnegotiations in the form of the Global Conference on theSustainable Development of Small Island Developing States(GCSDSIDS), the UN Conference on Straddling Fish Stocks and HighlyMigratory Fish Stocks, and the Intergovernmental NegotiatingCommittee for the elaboration of an international convention toCombat Desertification in those Countries experiencing seriousdrought and/or desertification, particularly in Africa (INCD).Recommendations to hold a resumed session of the SIDS PrepCom inMarch 1994 were largely supported. Delegates also agreed that therewas a need to hold two additional sessions of the fisheriesconference. The draft resolution submitted to the General Assemblyby the INCD was also supported. This resolution would extend themandate of the INCD until January 1995. The Convention and theinstrument for Africa would still be completed by June 1994, butone additional session would be held after adopting the Conventionand before January 1995 to review progress on the negotiation ofother regional instruments and to prepare for the first Conferenceof Parties.

There was also much discussion on the preparations for the SecondUnited Nations Conference on Human Settlements (Habitat II) and thestatus of the Commission on Human Settlements. Most governmentssupported the work of the Habitat II PrepCom and are working toachieve shelter for all by the year 2000. There was a difference ofopinion, however, on the need for an executive director forHabitat. Currently, Elizabeth Dowdeswell is serving as both theexecutive director of UNEP and Habitat.


Under-Secretary-General for Policy Coordination and SustainableDevelopment Nitin Desai opened Friday morning's debate witha summary of UNCED follow-up activities. With regard to theCommission on Sustainable Development (CSD), Desai commented on thesuccess of its first session, the participation of ministers in thehigh level segment, and the establishment of two working groups onfinance and technology transfer that will meet early in 1994. TheCSD expects member States to: keep it informed on activities;adequately consider non-State actors regarding policyimplementation; honor commitments made in Rio; and ensure Agenda 21follow-up in all intergovernmental bodies. He stressed theimportance of inter-agency cooperation and collaboration. Withregard to the Conference on the Sustainable Development of SmallIsland Developing States, Desai noted that great progress has beenmade in this crucial element to UNCED follow-up. He urged allgovernments to participate and contribute to the voluntary fund.With regard to the negotiations to elaborate an internationalConvention to combat desertification and drought, Desai noted thatthis is the first UNCED-mandated legal instrument to be negotiated.On the Climate Change Convention, Desai said that it is likely thatthe first Conference of Parties will meet in early 1995 and Germanyhas offered to host it. Until then, he urged governments to reviewmechanisms for implementation of the Convention, the need tostrengthen the Convention in light of new scientific evidence andfinancial mechanisms.

Elizabeth Dowdeswell, the Under-Secretary-General for the United Nations Environment Programme and the United Nations Centrefor Human Settlements (Habitat), encouraged a greater concentrationof meetings on environmental and human settlements to be held atthe UN in Nairobi. She pointed out that the 17th session of theUNEP Governing Council focused on UNCED follow-up. It highlightedthe importance of according a high priority to activities that givedirect or indirect support to developing countries and decided togive greater emphasis to fresh water resources, terrestrialeco-systems, oceans, all kinds of seas, coastal areas,environmental health, human settlements, toxic chemicals and wastemanagement and capacity building. The Governing Council decided tomake the Earthwatch Programme a more efficient instrument forenvironmental sensing. Other responses to Agenda 21 include:formulating a possible international legal instrument on priorinformed consent procedure contained in the amended LondonGuidelines for the exchange of information on chemicals ininternational trade; an expanded programme on capacity building;supporting the implementation of international and regionalconventions; supporting the desertification negotiations and workon poverty alleviation and clean drinking water. UNEP will be anequal partner in the GEF and will develop its role to ensure thatactivities financed by GEF will be in keeping with UNEP's work inthe UN system. UNEP needs to initiate action in the followingareas: restructure and reorient programmes to align them with thenew directions provided by UNCED; strengthen the operationalcapacity of Regional Offices; and reassess its coordinating role.

Jean-Pierre Levy, Director of Ocean Affairs and the Law ofthe Sea, presented the reports on pelagic driftnet fishing and thereport on the two sessions of the Conference on Straddling FishStocks and Highly Migratory Fish Stocks. He noted that theConference results should be within the context of the Law of Sea.The Law of the Sea has just received its 60th ratification on 16November 1993 and will enter into force on 16 November 1994. Aftersummarizing the programme of work during the substantive session ofthe Conference on Straddling Fish Stocks and Highly Migratory FishStocks, which took place in July 1993, Levy noted that theConference asked the General Assembly to approve continuation ofits work in 1994. Two more meetings have been requested. He also commented that the Secretariat has not received any contributionsto the voluntary fund for participation of developing countries atthe next session.

Amb. Bo Kjell‚n, Chair of the Intergovernmental NegotiatingCommittee for the elaboration of an International Convention tocombat Desertification in those countries experiencing seriousdrought and/or desertification, particularly in Africa (INCD), gavea brief description of the first sessions of the Committee andtheir results, some specific comments on the draft resolutionbefore the Second Committee and a presentation of the final phaseof negotiation. The preliminary text of the Convention has beenprepared by the Secretariat and is now being circulated. Inparallel with the substantive discussions in the working groups,there were consultations on a number of procedural issues relatedto the structure of the negotiation, in particular concerningregional instruments. The INCD drafted a resolution to be presentedto the General Assembly for adoption. This resolution urges theINCD to complete its work by June 1994, but requests one additionalsession after the conclusion of the Convention. This follows thesame pattern as that adopted for the Climate Change Convention. Thedraft resolution also urges governments to contribute to thevoluntary funds.


On behalf of the 130 members of the Group of 77,Colombia said that the readiness of the developing countries toachieve the objectives of environmental protection will beeffective only if resolute and effective policies are promoted,aimed at resolving the problems of world poverty, finding asolution to the situation of external indebtedness of the countriesaffected by that scourge and removing other external obstacles thatimpede economic reactivation. The results of the CSD are just thefirst step. The intersessional Working Groups need to have anagenda of themes that include the review of financial requirementsand the policy framework for their effective mobilization as wellas the requisite actions needed for removing the barriers thatinterfere with the transfer of technology. With regard torestructuring of the GEF, priorities for the use of resourcesshould clearly take account of the needs of developing countriesand the policies of the pertinent UN bodies. The G-77 is alsointerested in promoting a wide dissemination of the Rio Declarationon Environment and Development and will table a draft resolution inthis regard. He also highlighted the importance of fullyimplementing the prohibitions concerning the commercialization ofhazardous wastes originating in industrialized countries anddestined for developing countries. The G-77 supports the work ofthe INCD, the Small Island Developing States Conference, andHabitat II. He closed by reiterating the concern that the Centre onHuman Settlements should be maintained as an independent andseparate unit and an Executive Director should be appointed.


On behalf of the 130 members of the Group of 77,Colombia said that the readiness of the developing countries toachieve the objectives of environmental protection will beeffective only if resolute and effective policies are promoted,aimed at resolving the problems of world poverty, finding asolution to the situation of external indebtedness of the countriesaffected by that scourge and removing other external obstacles thatimpede economic reactivation. The results of the CSD are just thefirst step. The intersessional Working Groups need to have anagenda of themes that include the review of financial requirementsand the policy framework for their effective mobilization as wellas the requisite actions needed for removing the barriers thatinterfere with the transfer of technology. With regard torestructuring of the GEF, priorities for the use of resourcesshould clearly take account of the needs of developing countriesand the policies of the pertinent UN bodies. The G-77 is alsointerested in promoting a wide dissemination of the Rio Declarationon Environment and Development and will table a draft resolution inthis regard. He also highlighted the importance of fullyimplementing the prohibitions concerning the commercialization ofhazardous wastes originating in industrialized countries anddestined for developing countries. The G-77 supports the work ofthe INCD, the Small Island Developing States Conference, andHabitat II. He closed by reiterating the concern that the Centre onHuman Settlements should be maintained as an independent andseparate unit and an Executive Director should be appointed.


On behalf of the European Union, Belgium urged thatthe CSD intersessional working groups should focus on technicalaspects, not policy. The INCD was given a clear mandate and shouldproduce a convention of universal application, with specificattention to Africa. The Conference on the Sustainable Developmentof Small Island Developing States should not renegotiate Agenda 21.The chapter on finance should be drafted in a balanced manner andthe document should place more emphasis on cross-sectoral issues.He urged that the time allotted to the future work programme beused for real negotiation. The draft of the Barbados Declaration,a work method and agenda are essential for compromise on the futurework programme. On the Conference on Straddling Fish Stocks andHighly Migratory Fish Stocks, the solution must be based oncooperation and the rights of all States within and outside theirexclusive economic zones. The EU believes that UNEP and Habitatshould be merged under the same director, as this arrangement hasbeen working well.


On behalf of Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia,Costa Rica, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico,Nicaragua, Paraguay, Peru, Uruguay and Venezuela, Chile said thatthe creation of the two CSD working groups on technology transferand finance has generated new expectations for a solution to theseserious problems. Overcoming these obstacles is a prerequisite forthe implementation of all of the agreements reached in Rio andsustainable development. Chile also supported the multi-yearprogramme of work and the proposed government-hosted informalmeetings on certain themes to be considered by the CSD. Chileoffered support for the Conference on the Sustainable Developmentof Small Island Developing States, the Conference on StraddlingFish Stocks and Highly Migratory Fish Stocks and Habitat II.Regarding the INCD, Chile reiterated the fact that Latin America isalso affected by desertification and the Convention should addressthe interests and realities in all countries affected. Chile saidthat although much more remains to be done in GEF restructuring,they are confident that the results will meet the expectations ofthe international community.


On behalf of the Association of Small Island States(AOSIS), Amb. Robert Van Lierop focussed on the Conference on theSustainable Development of Small Island Developing States. AOSISstrongly supports the resumption of the PrepCom and assured otherdelegates that the resumed session should start where the Septembersession left off -- no formal debates or speeches. The objectivewould be to clear up as much of the outstanding issues as possibleprior to the Barbados Conference. In addition, they want to beginwork on the Barbados Declaration and incorporate views of therecently held World Coast Conference into the final document. Healso added that AOSIS members would like to have informalconsultations with interested delegations to accelerate the work ofthe PrepCom.


Amb. Ernst Sucharipa stated that during thissession of the General Assembly, the decisions of the CSD to createad hoc working groups on finance and technology questions will haveto be given their budgetary grounding. Great care should be takento avoid a restating of generalities or a partial re-negotiation ofAgenda 21 and to ensure that these ad hoc groups really add valueto the deliberations and recommendations of the CSD. He announcedthat the Austrian Government will host a national preparatorymeeting on Cluster D (Structures of Decision Making). From 14-16April 1994, Austria will organize a symposium on "SustainableDevelopment and International Law." Regarding the Climate ChangeINC, Austria hopes that governments will accept Germany's offer tohost the first Conference of Parties from 28 March - 7 April 1995,as well as the dates proposed for another three meetings of theINC. As far as the preparatory process for the Conference on theSustainable Development of Small Island Developing States isconcerned, further work must be done on Chapter XV,"Implementation, Monitoring and Review" and the BarbadosDeclaration. Austria supports the proposal for a resumed session ofthe PrepCom. Austria also urged the UN Secretariat to use recycledpaper for the production of its reports.


Amb. Colin Keating reaffirmed New Zealand'sstrong support for a global moratorium on driftnet fishing andcalled on the States concerned to take urgent steps to implementthe moratorium and to provide full details to the Secretary-Generalon any alleged incidents of driftnet fishing. For the CSD, thechallenge is to strike the right balance between keeping thepolitical spotlight on environment and development issues, andgoing about the nuts and bolts work of implementation of Agenda 21.To ensure that the CSD does not go the way of some other UNorganizations and become bogged down in bureaucracy, New Zealandbelieves there is room to improve the current guidelines fornational reporting. New Zealand supports the proposal to convene aresumed PrepCom for the Conference on Sustainable Development ofSmall Island Developing States.


M. E. Kokeev stated that the CSD shouldbecome not only a political forum for strengthening North-South andEast-West partnership but also to prepare specific recommendationsfor countries and international organizations on the basis ofanalysis of main trends, problems and experience accumulated in thefield of sustainable development as well as a dialogue with allparticipants, including NGOs. It is also important that there beimprovement of structures for coordination among all elements ofthe UN system. The Russian Federation, on behalf of theCommonwealth of Independent States, is submitting a draftresolution on strengthening ecological monitoring from space as oneof the key components of the implementation of the UNCED decisions.The draft resolution is aimed at initiating a dialogue at thissession of the General Assembly and its progressive development inthe future.


Marjorie Ulloa noted the positive results obtainedduring the first session of the Conference on Straddling FishStocks and Highly Migratory Fish Stocks. She hopes that thepositive atmosphere will be maintained in future sessions and thatthe Conference will clearly establish the rights and obligations ofStates. The existence of universal norms will strengthen the actionof regional and subregional organizations on these issues. Withregard to human settlements, she said that the general objective isto improve the quality of life and this should be based ontechnological cooperation between public and private sectors. Sheurged governments to work together to prepare for Habitat II.


Sirpa Pietikäinen, the Minister of the Environmentof Finland, was encouraged by the first meeting of the CSD in June.The Secretariat needs bold and innovative working methods to enablethe CSD to draw necessary political conclusions. She suggested thatthe high level segment should focus on a few major political issueson the agenda of the session. They could even consider thepossibility of informal gatherings between ministers, in connectionwith the high level segment, to facilitate issues. One majorpolitical issue at the next session will be how to changeproduction and consumption patterns, and another will concerninternational trade. She stressed the importance of theinterrelationship of international economy, trade and environment,which will be considered by the CSD at its next meeting. Sheexpressed satisfaction that the GEF negotiations are in the finalstage and noted that a positive outcome of the GEF restructuringand replenishment negotiations would constitute a major achievementin international environmental cooperation and provide a solidfinancial basis for the implementation of the Conventions onclimate change and biodiversity. A positive experience from the GEFnegotiations would also have a breakthrough effect on the ECOSOCreform process. Finally, she stressed the importance of sustainablemanagement of forests and noted that Finland hosted a MinisterialConference on the Protection of Forests in Europe last June. Thefollow-up to this conference will be an important contribution tothe CSD.


Prof. Sam K. Ongeri highlighted a number of actionsthat the Kenyan Government has taken in the past year to implementthe decisions and recommendations of UNCED. He welcomed theestablishment of the CSD, but noted that the proposed liaisonoffice in Nairobi has not yet been established. With regard toUNEP, he urged that the strengthening of regional offices shouldnot result in the weakening of UNEP's headquarters in Nairobi.Furthermore, there is a need to rationalize the programming ofenvironment-related meetings with a view to ensuring that as manyof them as possible are held in Nairobi to minimize staff movement,save on costs, and ensure maximum efficiency in the Secretariat. Ashost country, Kenya has allocated an additional 40 acres of land tothe UN to construct new offices and other facilities in Nairobi.The Government has also extended 360 telephone lines, additionalfax and telex lines to improve communications. With regard to theINCD, Kenya supports the extension of the deadline to allow forincorporation of other regional protocols. Kenya is committed tothe implementation of the Global Strategy for Shelter to the Year2000 and is implementing national programmes targeted at theachievement of shelter goals. Kenya is also participating activelyas a member of the bureau for Habitat II. Kenya is of the view thatHabitat and UNEP have two distinct mandates which should not bemerged in terms of management or programme delivery. Thus, the postof Executive Director for Habitat should not be abolished.


Samuel Nyambi, Acting Director of the United NationsSudano Sahelian Office, said that resources allocated to combattingdesertification have continued to decrease over the last few yearsin spite of renewed attention to the problem, the expectationsgenerated at Rio, and the negotiation of the Convention. Whilepursuing the elaboration of the desertification Convention, it isurgent that funding is also made available for the implementationof the six programme areas of Chapter 12 of Agenda 21. To beeffective, the desertification Convention should mobilize adequatehuman and financial resources and serve as an instrument forfostering greater national, regional and international commitment,actions and cooperation. UNSO is supporting the participation of 22Sudano-Sahelian countries in the negotiations, providing technicaland substantive reports to the African countries, and assisting theSecretariat.


Mr. G. Ozolins of the World Health Organization saidthat WHO has taken various steps to see that its programmes areresponsive to UNCED and Agenda 21. A new global strategy for healthand environment was formulated and subsequently endorsed by theWorld Health Assembly in May 1993. While WHO's traditional concernfor environmental health in rural areas will remain a primary themein its new Plan of Action to implement the Strategy, specialemphasis will be placed on urban areas where the population andenvironmental problems are increasing at an alarming rate. WHO haslaunched a new initiative to support the work in countries toensure that health and environment considerations are incorporatedinto national plans for sustainable development. In relation todecisions on environmentally-sound management of toxic chemicals,the International Programme on Chemical Safety of WHO, ILO and UNEPhas broadened its objectives to respond to the requests addressedby UNCED, in particular in capacity-building. Preparations are alsowell under way for convening the International Conference onChemical Safety, which is scheduled for April 1994 in Stockholm.


Although the creation of the CSD, the INCD,the conferences on small island developing States and straddlingand highly migratory fish stocks are a start, these actions do notaddress all concerns. There is a need to adopt an action-orientedinstrument for desertification. The GEF should be one of thefunding mechanisms for the desertification Convention. In general,although promises have been made regarding financial resources andthe transfer of technology, there has been little progress.Hopefully, the CSD intersessional groups will make concreteproposals on these issues.


Corinne Tomkinson said that the second session ofthe CSD will be the first real test of its capacity to fulfill itschallenging mandate. Australia is concerned that the currentguidelines for the preparation of national reports may be sodifficult as to discourage Governments. The CSD should considerways to simplify the guidelines for national reports and facilitatetheir voluntary preparation. Australia is committed to the successof the Conference on the Sustainable Development of Small IslandDeveloping States, encouraged other governments to consider thebenefit of high-level political attendance in Barbados, and tosupport the AOSIS proposal for a one-week resumed session of thePrepCom to address outstanding issues. Australia also supports thedraft resolution to extend the mandate of the INCD until January1995, on the clear understanding that it will not prejudge thecontent of the Convention itself. Australia also supports thecontinued work of the Conference on Straddling Fish Stocks andHighly Migratory Fish Stocks, remains opposed to large-scaledriftnet fishing on the high seas, and supports the review ofUNEP's regional and liaison offices.


On behalf of Algeria, Libya, Mauritania andMorocco, Tunisia stressed the crucial importance to internationalcooperation to seek solutions to global and transboundaryenvironmental problems. He commented on a number of joint Maghrebactions, including a strategy against desertification, review ofthe Green Dam project, combatting soil erosion, a freshwater supplyplan, and the Maghreb Charter for the Environment. One cannotconceal the interdependence of desertification and drought. Thisphenomenon is a global environmental problem, similar to ozonedepletion and climate change. The Convention should arouse the samedegree of interest as those signed in Rio. He invited theindustrialized countries to review their position on financialresources as the gravity and scope of desertification are such thatthey have to rely on new and additional financial resources. ThePlan of Action to Combat Desertification is a dead letter due tolack of funding. With regard to the Climate Change Convention, henoted the need for shared but differentiated responsibilities andsaid that a list of all greenhouse gases should be submitted to thefirst session of the Conference of Parties. With regard to theConference on Straddling Fish Stocks and Highly Migratory FishStocks, the Maghreb States support a regional approach, thestrengthening of regional and subregional agencies, and the needfor new and additional financial resources. The final document musttake into account all regional specificities.


The representative from Niger commented that UNCEDhas allowed the international community to determine the worldwidenature of desertification and drought and welcomed the decision tonegotiate a convention to address this problem. Since 1992, donorcontributions to UNSO have diminished and Niger hopes this will berevised and UNSO will be able to strengthen human resources andfulfill its mandate. However, unless financial mechanisms are setup for implementation of the desertification Convention, theactivity will be fruitless.


Amb. Dr. Stanley Kalpage said that humansettlements is, and should be, one of the first priorities in thedevelopment agenda of all developing countries. He supported theCentre for Human Settlements and said that it has a crucial role toplay in supporting national governments to become effectivefacilitators in the field of housing. He supported the Commissionon Human Settlements' recommendation that UNEP and Habitat "be keptunder distinct senior management in accordance with the specificnature and activities of the two bodies." The challenge before theinternational community in the area of human settlementsnecessitates the appointment of the Executive Director of Habitatwithout further delay.


Marjan Cencen said that the transition to aparliamentary democracy and market economy is calling also forthorough legislative reform of the environmental protection laws innew democracies. The competitiveness of the Slovenian economy willbe protected by the ban on the import of polluting technologies toSlovenia. This year the Slovenian Parliament has passed anEnvironmental Protection Act and cooperation of NGOs is beingsought in the implementation of Agenda 21. Slovenia needsinternational financial assistance in the environmental field forbusiness and environmental investments or restructuring; steeringthe economy in an environmentally-sound direction; and transferringof appropriate technology and management practices. Within the UN,efforts have to be made for the appropriate division of labor withregard to environmental issues. The document that would result fromthese efforts could be submitted to the CSD for comment and toECOSOC for approval.


The representative from Israel said that thesolutions to environment and development must be concerned withtechnology and industry. Nearly every problem has a technologicaland scientific solution. Regional cooperation is important and theMediterranean Action Plan is an excellent example. The firstsession of the CSD emphasized transfer of technology to enhance thecapacity of developing countries and Israel supports the CSDintersessional meetings. Israel's research and development has beendirected to returning deserts to productive, fruit-bearing soil.Israel's National Desert Research Institute at Ben GurionUniversity is engaged in this activity and Israel invites allcountries to participate in this venture, especially its neighbors,as there is a need for practical solutions to desertification. Thecentral role of the CSD should be an inter-governmental forum forexchange of information. This week in Cairo, an environmentalworking group within the peace process declared 1994 as the Year ofthe Environment in the Middle East.


Jean Syrogianis Camara of the Food and AgricultureOrganization first spoke on desertification and the INCD. Thecauses of desertification most often result from poverty anddemographic pressures. FAO has been engaged in a process ofreexamining its programmes in light of UNCED. They areconcentrating on development planning; the preparation ofcross-sectoral plans and programmes on food security, forests andfisheries; popular participation in human resources development;and the transformation of production systems. The FAO is alsoactive in supporting the INCD negotiations. With regard to theConference on the Sustainable Development of Small IslandDeveloping States, the FAO has provided substantial inputs to theSecretariat, participated in the two regional technical meetings,and has prepared specific action proposals that would take intoconsideration the vital role of the agriculture, forestry andfisheries sectors. Regarding the Conference on Straddling FishStocks and Highly Migratory Fish Stocks and marine livingresources, the FAO is engaged in the elaboration of anInternational Code of Conduct for Responsible Fisheries and hascontributed to the Conference in a scientific and technicalcapacity.


The representative from Poland said that the resultsof UNCED have provided the international community with a frameworkand now we have to ensure that action follows. The CSD needs toensure better integration of environment and development concerns.Poland supports a Nordic proposal made at ECOSOC to devote theCSD's high level segment to the interrelationship betweenenvironment and economy. Unsustainable lifestyles, strengtheningcoordination among relevant UN agencies, and trade and theenvironment deserve more attention. The basic challenge is toachieve greater country and regional cooperation. He stressed theimportance of the expert meetings as there has been little progressin implementing the Rio commitments due to lack of adequatefinancing.


The representative from the Maldives said that theConference on the Sustainable Development of Small IslandDeveloping States (SIDS) is the first opportunity to address theseissues at the international level and the Maldives attaches a highpriority to its success. The constraints to sustainable developmentare well-documented -- a narrow resource base, limited humanresources, distances, the availability of resource information,transboundary issues like climate change, sea level rise, trade andpolitical stability. Financing of Agenda 21 is a concern and if theworld community can mobilize trillions of dollars for defense, thenecessary resources should be able to be mobilized for moreconstructive processes. The Maldives is encouraged by the progressmade so far by the PrepCom for the SIDS Conference and supports theneed for a resumption of the PrepCom. Moreover, it is not prematureto start addressing the post-Conference process. There is a needfor a mechanism to monitor implementation and a Secretariat in theUN with the necessary expertise could provide an effective facilityfor this purpose.


Amb. Tmas . Tmasson reminded delegates that thesuccess of the CSD will not only depend upon the CSD itself but theactive work of each and every country in implementing the resultsof UNCED. Innovative financing should become a central strategictheme of the upcoming CSD working group meeting on finance. Otherissues of importance are the growing emphasis on the developmentand transfer of environmentally sound technologies, improving thelink between technology transfer and capacity building, andincreased South-South cooperation for improving the adaptation ofimported technologies and enhancing the use and development ofindigenous, local and traditional knowledge. Addressing theinterface of trade, environment and development is yet anotherissue of international significance. Fruitful internationalenvironmental collaboration also requires solid regional andinstitutional support. The Nordics also support the work of theConference on Straddling and Highly Migratory Fish Stocks, theConference on the Sustainable Development of Small IslandDeveloping States, the national and regional implementation of theForest Principles, the INCD and Habitat II. He noted that last Maythe UNEP Governing Council accepted the offer of the US to host inthe fall of 1995 an Intergovernmental Conference on the Protectionof the Marine Environment from Land-based Activities. Iceland hasoffered to host the final preparatory meeting for this conferencein the spring of 1995. Finally, the Nordics feel that the effect ofmilitary activities on the environment has not received sufficientattention and underline the importance of getting an overview ofactivities in this field.


Amb. Razali Ismail noted that the response to theimplementation of Agenda 21 has fallen significantly short ofexpectations and requirements. While the first session of the CSDwas positive, there is still a lot of work required to ensure acomprehensive and meaningful implementation of Agenda 21. The mostoutstanding development at the CSD session was the establishment ofthe Ad Hoc Working Groups on Finance and Technology and theMalaysian delegation hopes they will be successful and providepositive contributions to the work of the CSD in these areas. Thediscussion on the financial implications of the meetings of the AdHoc Working Groups will be taken up by the Fifth Committee shortlyand Malaysia looks forward to their early endorsement. Inpreparation for the next session of the CSD, Razali underlined theneed for the enhanced support of delegations in discharging hisduties.


Prof. Dr. Klaus T”pfer, German Federal Minister forthe Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety, statedthat Agenda 21 must become an integral structural element in boththe Agenda for Development and the Agenda for Peace. The CSD mustfurther the coordination within the UN system in the field ofenvironment and development. The ad hoc working groups on financeand technology, as well as other government initiatives, mustprovide a basis for clear political decisions at the second CSDmeeting. With regard to the Climate Change Convention, Germany willhost the first Conference of Parties in March-April 1995 in Berlin.He stressed the importance of the Conference on the SustainableDevelopment of Small Island Developing States and the Conference onStraddling and Highly Migratory Fish Stocks. With regard to theINCD, apart from the global geographical significance ofdesertification, particular attention must be directed at theAfrican countries.

In order to react adequately to the global environmental problemsfaced today, it is essential that there be a deep-seated ecologicalstructural change in economies and societies, Topfer continued.Important elements include an ecologically oriented nationalaccount, environmentally friendly technology, and strengthening ofcapacity building. With regard to implementing the forestprinciples, at the second CSD meeting participants must agree on anadequate mechanism to ensure an efficient treatment of the topic in1995. He also supported the GEF restructuring, the need to open upmarkets, and the importance of environment and trade.


On behalf of the 12 member States of the CaribbeanCommunity, Amb. E. Besley Maycock supported the INCD. Althoughthousands of miles of ocean separate Africa and the Caribbean, aconstant reminder of desertification reaches the Caribbean everysummer when airborne clouds of Sahara dust bring a haze to theskies and deposit new and frequently destructive microbialparticles on crops. Caricom supports the request to hold oneadditional session after the adoption of the Convention in order toreview the situation pending entry into force. Caricom is pleasedto see the level of interest in support for the Conference on theSustainable Development of Small Island Developing States and hopesthis translates into the highest possible level of participation atthe Conference itself. Although much work was done at the PrepComin September, many challenges in the document remain to beresolved. In addition, informal contacts will shortly begin on thepossible Declaration of Barbados. This will allow for a preliminaryexchange of views to facilitate the actual negotiations of the textat the Conference itself. Caricom urged that the General Assemblydecide to convene a resumed session of the PrepCom from 7-11 March1994.


The representative from Kuwait cited the manyeffects of the Gulf War on the air, land and marine environment ofthe Persian Gulf region. It will require many years or decades ofhard work to restore the environment. UNEP reasserted the need todetermine the long-term effects on the region and to mobilize thenecessary resources to do this. Kuwait commended UNEP on taking acoordinating role on this important issue.


Archbishop Renato R. Martino noted thatsubstantial progress has been made on the post-UNCED initiatives.With regard to the Conference on the Sustainable Development ofSmall Island Developing States (SIDS), the Holy See continues tostress the need for due consideration of the ethical dimensions ofproblems affecting developing countries and SIDS. The Holy Seereminds all States of the fundamental primacy of the human personwhen they consider environment and development issues. He stressedthe need to change consumption patterns and lifestyles, readjusteconomic systems and maintain the correct emphasis on the humanperson.


Arthur Campeau, Canada's Ambassador for Environmentand Sustainable Development, noted the extraordinary achievement ofthe upcoming entry into force of the Convention on BiologicalDiversity on 29 December 1993. With regard to the CSD, he commentedon the importance of setting up national sustainable developmentplans and strategies. Specific to this, Canada hosted anOECD-sponsored workshop in October on national plans forsustainable development. Over 70 representatives from OECD andnon-OECD countries attended. Canada supports the CSD's multi-yearthematic programme of work, the role of the high level advisoryboard and the interagency committee for sustainable development(IACSD). The success of the CSD depends in part on implementationof Agenda 21 at the national and local levels. He urged that theCSD remain transparent and inclusive, establish and strengthenconstructive partnerships and use roundtable discussions totransfer policies into actions. The CSD must continue to preservethe Spirit of Rio and resist falling into the trap of becomingoverly institutionalized and bureaucratic.


The representative from Benin noted that his countryhas acceded to the Vienna Convention and the Montreal Protocol(ozone) and will ratify the Basel Convention, the BamakoConvention, the Climate Change Convention and the BiodiversityConvention in early 1994. The Plan of Action to CombatDesertification has fallen short of all hopes in theSudano-Sahelian region and there is a need for more funds so thatthe UN Sudano-Sahelian Office can carry out its UNCED expandedmandate. He is concerned with trends in the GEF as the restructuredGEF must finance projects to combat desertification and drought.Benin supports the draft resolution submitted by the INCDrequesting an additional session to be held after adoption of theConvention and prior to its entry into force.


Amb. Annette des Iles spoke on behalfof the 12 member States of the Caribbean Community with regard tothe Conference on Straddling Fish Stocks and Highly Migratory FishStocks. Notwithstanding the broad provisions for cooperation in theUN Convention on the Law of the Sea, high seas fishing has becomeone of the most pressing marine environmental issues on theinternational agenda as excessive fishing on a global scalethreatens the sustainability of many fisheries. In the Caribbeanartisanal fishing is a way of life and the fisheries industry is animportant sub-sector in the region's economies. Caricom wasencouraged by the progress made during the first substantivesession of the Conference, including agreement to work within theframework of the Law of the Sea, to harmonize management regimesinside and outside areas of national jurisdiction, and to embracethe emerging regional and sub-regional approaches to cooperation inthe management of marine resources. There can be no effectiveglobal network to preserve fisheries resources without the fullparticipation of developing countries, however, a substantialenhancement of the capacity of many developing countries isrequired to achieve this goal. Caricom supports the convening oftwo additional sessions of the Conference in 1994 and urged thatappropriate steps be taken to encourage all fishing States andcoastal States to participate in the Conference.


On behalf of the Central American States, Amb.Erich Vilchez Asher expressed concern that there are not sufficientresources allocated to the GEF and Capacity 21 and urged theadoption of bolder more flexible funds. He welcomed the entry intoforce of the Biodiversity Convention and said that the CentralAmerican countries will participate in the Conference of Partiesafter ratification. He mentioned a number of areas where theCentral American States are cooperating on environment anddevelopment issues. Thanks to regional cooperation, there is now aCentral American Commission on Environment and Development, theenvironmental dimension is being integrated into national andregional planning processes, and all countries now haveenvironmental protection laws or bills under discussion. InNovember 1992, the Central American presidents signed a regionalagreement on the transboundary movement of hazardous wastes and inOctober 1993 a regional forest protection policy was agreed to. Hehopes that Habitat II will address the relationship betweenexternal debt, environmental protection and poverty. He alsowelcomed Malaysia's proposal to establish an inter-governmentalgroup on forests.


Andrew Steer, Deputy Director of the EnvironmentDepartment, said that the World Bank's environmental activities --which involve policy dialogue, lending, technical assistance,research, and aid coordination -- have four objectives: assistingmember countries in setting priorities, building institutions andimplementing programmes for sound environmental stewardship;ensuring that potential adverse environmental impacts fromBank-financed projects are addressed; assisting member countries inbuilding on the synergies among poverty reduction, economicefficiency, and environmental protection; and addressing globalenvironmental challenges through participation in the GEF. Thereare now more than 100 Bank-financed environmental or forestryprojects under implementation in 50 countries, representing Bankcommitments of some US$5 billion and total investments of almostUS$13 billion. Internally, the Bank now has about 200 full-timeenvironmental specialists -- an increase of about 25 since a yearago and a sharp contrast to the five environmental specialists atthe Bank in the mid-1980s.


The representative from the MarshallIslands noted the good turnout of Pacific delegations to theConference on Straddling and Highly Migratory Fish Stocks andsupports the decision to have two further meetings in 1994. Henoted that the dates suggested at the time were not ideal for hisdelegation, but they went along with consensus, even though theywould have difficulties with scheduling clashes, particularly withthe International Conference on Population and Development PrepComIII. It is also regrettable that there is now a clash with areligious holiday of some delegates. He hopes that the new datesthat have been negotiated informally can be firmly agreed on but issorry to see that once again smaller delegations are put in aposition where they have to choose where to participate fully. Inthe future they would like to see more flexibility on the part oflarger delegations so that scheduling clashes do not occur. He alsostressed the importance of the Conference on the SustainableDevelopment of Small Island Developing States and supported aresumed session of the PrepCom that will start with negotiationsimmediately so as to finish the action plan and begin work on theBarbados Declaration. He asked delegates to support the two draftresolutions on these Conferences and to contribute to the voluntaryfunds.


The observer from Switzerland said that thequality of the CSD must be maintained and strengthened. There is aneed for a better political platform for the high-level segment.General statements should be banned, the role of the Chair isfundamental, and a final statement should be maintained, even ifthere is divergence of opinions. He stressed the need to coordinatedifferent sectoral issues, the need for composite sustainabledevelopment indicators, and suggested that peer reviews in regionalad hoc groupings may assist the work of the CSD. Thedesertification negotiations are of particular importance toSwitzerland, as this is the first legally-binding convention to benegotiated since Rio. The Convention and the instrument for Africashould be completed in June and should be followed by otherregional instruments. The prompt start idea should be examinedagain when the Convention is further developed. Switzerland doesnot think that the Convention should be financed by a new window inthe GEF as this should be considered only after the restructuringprocess is complete. Switzerland has supported the INCD byproviding a member of the Secretariat, contributing to thevoluntary fund, providing free office space to the Secretariat inGeneva and training negotiators.


Cui Tiankai urged developed countries to fulfilltheir commitment and take practical actions by strengthening ODA,creating a favorable international economic environment for theeconomic growth of the developing countries, providing them withnew and additional financial resources for environmental protectionand transferring environmentally-sound technologies on favorableterms. China welcomes the CSD's decision to establish twointersessional working groups on finance and technology and hopesthey conduct in-depth studies on the developing countries' needsfor funds and technology. He called on the parties concerned withthe GEF to take a forward-looking approach in restructuring. Chinasupports the proposal for a resumed PrepCom for the Conference onthe Sustainable Development of Small Island Developing States. Withregard to the INCD, developed countries should provide new andadditional financial resources to help the developing countries tocarry out their obligations under the Convention. As long as allparties take a positive, flexible and practical approach, agreementcan be reached before June 1994. On the Conference on Straddlingand Highly Migratory Fish Stocks, countries concerned shouldparticipate on an equal footing and negotiate in good faith withinthe framework of General Assembly resolution 47/192 and the Law ofthe Sea. The outcome should take into account the special needs ofdeveloping countries, encouraging them to take part in fishingactivities on high seas without any discrimination.


Mehir Ashraf of the UN Educational, Scientific andCultural Organization said that successful follow-up to UNCEDdepends on national action. UNESCO has given priority action toactivities concerned with the implementation of the relevantchapters of Agenda 21 and is reorienting existing programmes. Fourinter-sectoral initiatives have been launched by UNESCO onsustainable development, biological diversity, capacity building,and environment and development information. As part of UNCEDfollow-up, the IACSD has assigned UNESCO the role of "task manager"for ensuring coordination within the UN on two chapters of Agenda21: science and education. UNESCO has established focal points withNGOs and other organizations for facilitating contacts and exchangeof information in the implementation of the "environmentaleducation" elements of Agenda 21.


The representative of Qatar said that despite thecomplexity of sustainable development, there is hope that thisobjective will be achieved. There is greater world-wide attentionto sustainable development and proof can be found in theenvironmental conventions and protocols that have entered intoforce and the negotiations currently underway. He highlighted theawareness in Qatar on environmental issues since the Gulf War andQatar is now considering acceding to a number of environmentalconventions. With regard to the INCD, he noted that good progresshas been made so far and he hopes that the Committee will carry outits mandate.


The representative from Mexico said that theenvironment should not be given sectoral treatment but should beviewed in light of developing planning. The CSD should be a placefor political dialogue. The intersessional working groups shouldhelp solve the problems of technology transfer and financialresources and identify solutions involving the GEF and the BrettonWoods institutions. Mexico welcomes the progress made so far in theINCD and noted that this Convention is important to Latin Americaas many countries in the region suffer from desertification. Shestressed the need to focus on the global nature of desertification.Mexico also supports the Conference on the Sustainable Developmentof Small Island Developing States and the Conference on Straddlingand Highly Migratory Fish Stocks.


Amb. Byung Yong Soh noted the progressmade so far in implementing Agenda 21 and with the will ofgovernments and the cooperation of the international community, thegoals and objectives set by UNCED can be achieved. With regard tothe Conference on the Sustainable Development of Small IslandDeveloping States, only parts of the text were agreed upon at thePrepCom and future deliberations should focus on the most crucialthemes, such as preservation of precious resources unique to SIDSand their capacity building. The final document of the Conferenceshould be based on Agenda 21 and be completed at the upcomingresumed session of the PrepCom. At the INCD, intensive discussionson the meaning of desertification, drought and drylands, type ofregional instruments, financial resources and mechanisms andtransfer of technology should be held in the future sessions. Thefinancial mechanism should be developed with respect to its abilityto effectively mobilize and utilize the resources. The GEF may bea possible operator of the financial mechanism on an interim basisuntil the Convention enters into force. Regarding the Conference onStraddling Fish Stocks and Highly Migratory Fish Stocks, the issueshould be considered within the framework of the Law of the SeaConvention. Truly effective conservation measures can be achievedthrough regional or sub-regional organizations based uponcooperation from all participants of both coastal and distantfishing countries. Regulation of large-scale pelagic drift-nettingshould be undertaken by regional fisheries bodies and not by largeinternational organizations. Korea hopes the Conference completesits work before the 49th session of the General Assembly anddischarges its mandate of formulating appropriate recommendations,apart from legally-binding instruments.


The Ambassador from Bangladesh stated thatalthough progress has been made in the year and a half since Rio,this is not the case regarding finance and technology transfer. Hehopes that the CSD's intersessional working groups will besuccessful in this regard. The GEF will be effective only if it ismore democratic and transparent. With regard to the Conference onthe Sustainable Development of Small Island Developing States,Bangladesh shares many of the same concerns as SIDS as it is alow-lying, coastal State. Bangladesh also attaches great importanceto the INCD. There is a need to take steps to address sharedresources and these concerns should be reflected and adapted tomeet the needs of each region. Bangladesh also supports Habitat IIand will try to provide shelter to all by the year 2000, althoughthere are numerous constraints. The efforts of developing countriesin this regard should be supplemented by new and additionalfinancial resources.


The representative from Bahrain said that the EarthSummit reaffirmed the value of UNEP and Bahrain reasserts theimportance of UNEP. Over the last 12 years the Persian Gulf regionhas faced many environmental problems due to two wars. Protectionof marine life and desalination plants from oil pollution hasbecome a major issue. Bahrain called on UNEP to reassess thelong-term environmental consequences of the Gulf War and otherregional problems. With regard to the Conference on the SustainableDevelopment of Small Island Developing States, Bahrain noted withsatisfaction the progress made so far and hopes that the resumedPrepCom will lay down the foundations for the Conference. It iscrucial to better meet the needs of the peoples of these countries.


Ngurah Swetja said that the particular challengeof the CSD is to give practical expression to the pledges andcommitments made in Rio. He stressed the need for new andadditional financial resources and the transfer of environmentallysound technology for developing countries to implement Agenda 21.He welcomed the CSD's decision to establish two ad hoc workinggroups on these issues. The role of the UN system is also importantin Agenda 21 implementation and to this end coordination andcooperation among UN agencies and organizations is of criticalimportance. Indonesia supports the Conference on the SustainableDevelopment of Small Island Developing States and believes that aresumed PrepCom is necessary to allow governments sufficient timeto work on the plan of action and the Barbados Declaration. TheINCD is also important as this will be the first environmentalconvention to be negotiated after Rio. The task of the INCD is notonly to achieve agreement on a set of practices and conditions sothat the utilization of drylands does not lead to degradation, butalso to develop and strengthen integrated development programmes totackle the socio-economic causes of desertification. Indonesia alsosupports the proposal to convene two additional sessions of theConference on Straddling and Highly Migratory Fish Stocks. He alsostressed the need to ensure the full participation of all countriesin UNCED follow-up activities and urged that conflicting schedulingof meetings be avoided.


The representative from Madagascar said thatwithin the CSD the execution of the multi-year thematic programmeof work is crucial and the complexity of environment anddevelopment problems demands an integrated approach. The problem offinancing sustainable development activities is the key to thesuccess of Agenda 21 and Madagascar regrets the "wait and see"attitude of many developed countries. Madagascar welcomed theestablishment of the two CSD ad hoc intersessional working groupson technology transfer and finance and counts on them to come upwith action-oriented policy initiatives. Partnership is essentialin implementing Agenda 21. Madagascar hopes that the spirit ofpolitical commitment shown at the first session of the CSD ispreserved.


The representative from Algeria said thatdesertification affects more than 100 countries and is not uniqueto one continent, but is singularly tragic in Africa. Despite theenormous efforts of Africa, the 1977 Plan of Action to CombatDesertification (PACD) has not had significant results due to alack of resources and two major droughts. With regard to the INCD,Algeria's position is that the problem is global and the Conventionshould not be second-rate. The Convention should be given the samepriority and attention as climate change and biodiversity. TheConvention should have practical modalities and the other regionalinstruments should be negotiated only after June 1994. An interimmechanism should be set up and a prompt start should be endorsed bythe General Assembly. Algeria is concerned about the financialresources for the Convention. Some countries only want to useexisting resources, yet this is why the PACD failed. A special fundshould be established. Algeria hopes that the General Assemblyadopts the draft resolution without further negotiation and urgedgovernments to contribute to the INCD's voluntary fund to enablethe participation of developing countries. Algeria also announcedthat it is willing to host an INCD Bureau meeting in the Sahara aswell as an African preparatory meeting in early January 1994, justprior to the third session of the INCD.


The representative from Japan cited five prioritiesfor international cooperation. First, Japan attaches greatimportance to enhancement of the international legal framework forthe preservation of the global environment. As proof of itscommitment, Japan has ratified the Climate Change and BiodiversityConventions. Second, Japan is committed to increasing itsenvironment-related official development assistance (ODA) tocooperate with developing countries in their self-help efforts toachieve sustainable development. Third, in its environment-relatedODA, Japan attaches importance to enhancing the capacity ofdeveloping countries to deal with environmental problems and tofacilitating the transfer of environmentally sound technologies ithas developed and expertise it has accumulated. Fourth, Japan hascontributed positively to the enhancement of the financialmechanisms in this area, particularly the GEF. Finally, Japan isbecoming more conscious of the importance of the global environmentand must modify lifestyles accordingly.


Amb. Raul Estrada Oyuela stressed the importanceof financial resources and technology transfer in theimplementation of Agenda 21 by developing countries. Argentinasupports the INCD and the need to negotiate instruments that takeinto consideration the needs of different regions. The Conferenceon Straddling and Highly Migratory Fish Stocks should be consistentwith the Law of the Sea. Estrada also supported the Conference onthe Sustainable Development of Small Island Developing States. Withregard to the CSD, the work programme for next year is offundamental importance. The problem of hazardous wastes must beconsidered in the context of the Basel Convention, which is stillawaiting ratification by a number of developed countries. Waterissues are also of prime importance. The restructuring of the GEFis in progress and Argentina hopes for a successful outcome inCartagena next month. However, the amount of funds pledged for therestructured GEF is now less than was announced in Beijing lastspring. The Climate Change Convention has been ratified by 42countries and only needs 8 more ratifications to enter into force.Argentina will ratify it in a few weeks. The first meeting of theConference of Parties will meet in March in 1995 and the G-77 willpresent to the General Assembly a draft resolution to this effect.


Amb. Akmaral Kh. Arystanbekova highlighted anumber of environmental disasters in Kazakhstan, including therapidly shrinking Aral Sea, the ugly aftermath of the humanactivity at the Semipalatinsk Nuclear Testing Ground (where 466nuclear tests have been carried out from 1949-1989), and theflooding of the Caspian Sea. Problems of desertification,industrial pollution, management of hazardous wastes, recycling,water usage, and sewage treatment are also familiar in Kazakhstan.Kazakhstan welcomes the intention of UNEP to play a greatercoordinating role in the UN system on environmental matters, theimplementation of Agenda 21 and the restructured GEF. She invitedUNEP's Regional Offices for West Asia and Asia and the Pacific, inclose cooperation with Economic and Social Commission for Asia andthe Pacific and other international organizations, to search foroptimum ways to address the urgent environmental needs of Asiancountries with economies in transition.


Frederick E. Mallya supported the view that theCSD should take a leading role in addressing issues related topoverty alleviation, unsustainable production and consumptionpatterns and lifestyles, and debt in relation to sustainabledevelopment. He welcomed the decisions by governments to hostintersessional meetings that are expected to contribute to the workof the CSD and hopes that developing countries will be assisted sothey can participate in these meetings. Tanzania is satisfied withthe progress achieved so far in the negotiations for thedesertification Convention, hopes that the Convention and aninstrument for Africa will be finalized by June 1994, and urges theSecond Committee to adopt the draft decision submitted by the INCD.Tanzania supports the adoption of a procedural resolution that willconvene two further sessions of the Conference on Straddling andHighly Migratory Fish Stocks in 1994. He also supports the AOSISproposal for a one-week resumed session of the PrepCom for theConference on the Sustainable Development on Small IslandDeveloping States. Tanzania is preparing for Habitat II and expectsto implement the recommendations of the Global Strategy for Shelterto the Year 2000. Finally, Tanzania believes that Habitat and UNEPhave two distinct mandates which justifies that appointment of theExecutive Director of Habitat without further delay.


New Zealand, on behalf of the ninemembers of the South Pacific Forum that are also members of theUnited Nations (Australia, Fiji, Marshall Islands, Micronesia, NewZealand, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, Solomon Islands, and Vanuatu),supported both the Conference on the Sustainable Development andthe Conference on Straddling and Highly Migratory Fish Stocks. Withregard to the latter, the South Pacific Forum welcomes theconvening of two more sessions to make tangible progress onproblems facing the sustainable use and conservation of fisheriesresources. They support all efforts to bring coastal States anddistant water fishing nations to a closer understanding of theresponsible conservation of such resources. Since the globalmoratorium on driftnet fishing went into effect on 31 December1992, there have been no allegations of renewed driftnet activityin the South Pacific. Yet, the South Pacific Forum remainsconcerned about reports of ongoing driftnet activities in otherregions, such as the Mediterranean and the North Atlantic.


The representative from Estonia said that hisGovernment is beginning to explore policies to implement Agenda 21and is ready to ratify the Climate Change and BiodiversityConventions. However, even once a State accedes to a Convention, itis often difficult to implement it without assistance. Estoniasupports the GEF restructuring and thinks that the constituencyproposal is a good one. A positive outcome from the GEFrestructuring would assist the CSD in its work and may also assistECOSOC in its mandate. The Conference on Straddling and HighlyMigratory Fish Stocks is important to Estonia and called on allStates to reach a political agreement on the establishment ofappropriate conservation measures.


The representative from Belarus reaffirmed thecommitments made in Rio, however, due to the military conversionprocess, migration and population growth, Belarus cannot developwith expediency. Belarus has ratified the Biodiversity Conventionand has plans to ratify the Climate Change Convention. He citedthree priorities: achieving greater balance of interests of allStates in the UN; the influence of UN reforms on sustainabledevelopment; and addressing unresolved organizational matters, suchas the venue for the second session of the CSD. While Belarus isflexible on this matter, it supports holding the second CSD inGeneva. The CSD needs to better address the environmental problemsof countries in transition. The CSD should also be the main bodydealing with Agenda 21 implementation and duplication of efforts byUNEP and the CSD should be eliminated.


The representative from Turkey said that theestablishment of the CSD is a major step forward and the GEF willbe a primary means of discharging obligations. Turkey is pleasedwith the outcome of the first two sessions of the INCD and hasgiven a high priority to combatting desertification and drought.Turkey is confident that the Convention will be adopted by June1994. Turkey is also committed to Habitat II, which it will host.Preparations are underway in Istanbul for the 1996 Conference. Hestressed the importance of dealing with the problems caused by thetrend of urban agglomeration.


The delegate from Oman stressed the interrelationshipbetween environment and development and the fact that theachievement of development goals should not be at the expense ofthe environment and environmental protection should not hinderdevelopment. Environmental protection is an internationalnecessity. All States and intergovernmental organizations shouldtake the necessary steps to preserve the marine environment. Thereis a need for greater awareness campaigns to educate the publicthrough the media about the problems facing the marine environment.Oman is carrying out programmes and legislation to protect theenvironment, including a full integrated programme on environmentalprotection for coastal areas and the protection of endangeredspecies.


Maotoanong L. Sebina noted that Botswana isaffected by drought and desertification and related social andeconomic consequences. Over the past decade Botswana has beenexperiencing the most severe drought, which has resulted in thedecline of borehole yields, deterioration in water quality and foodshortages. Botswana has been involved in the regional programmesunder the auspices of the UN and Southern African DevelopmentCommunity designed to combat drought and desertification. However,without sufficient financial and other resources these programmescannot be effectively implemented. Botswana appealed to theinternational community to accord high priority to programmes tocombat desertification. Botswana has also participated in the INCDand hopes that the Convention will encourage the internationalcommunity to cover all the major aspects and establish crediblemechanisms for combatting desertification and drought.


The representative said that although Cambodia hasjust been through more than 20 years of war, they are aware of theneed for common solutions to global problems. The effects of warhave caused enormous damage to the environment. The mainenvironmental problems include desertification, drought, flooding,soil erosion, air and water pollution. Before 1969 forests covered73% of Cambodia; today it is at 35-40%. The solution to environmentand development problems requires international cooperation basedon the sovereign rights of nations. However, no country can exploitits natural resources to the detriment of a neighboring country.Cambodia hopes for financial assistance in achieving economic andpolitical stability and social progress.


Andr s Lakatos said that the UN must develop moreefficient cooperation and coordination among various organs andprogrammes and realize the goals accepted by UNCED. Progress sinceRio has been limited and more has to be done to translate theConference's commitments toward the developing countries andcountries with economies in transition into action, particularlyregarding the provision of new and additional financial resourcesto implement Agenda 21. The implementation of Agenda 21 in Hungaryis dependent on the socioeconomic problems of the country, thetransition to a market economy, and accumulated environmentalproblems. The actual implementation of objectives set by UNCEDdepends to a large extent on national initiatives and readiness toincorporate the principles of sustainable development in nationalprogrammes.


Eshagh al-Habib said that while Iran is satisfied withthe work of the first session of the CSD, it will not be possibleto arrive at successful implementation of Agenda 21 unlesspractical measures are taken on such critical issues as theprovision of financial resources, technology transfer, and changesin patterns of consumption. Without sustained economic growth anddevelopment in developing countries, chances for the South to maketangible contributions to the international crusade for protectionof the environment are slim. Two courses of action are essential:working on specific, actual costs and financial terms for transferof environmentally-sound technology; and reform of patentprotection and intellectual property rights, with the view toassure access to and transfer of environmentally-sound technologyto developing countries. In this connection, the work of the two adhoc working groups established by the CSD is very important, as isthe restructuring of the GEF. Iran also hopes that theinternational community will contribute to the INCD negotiationsand find the financial and technological means to ensure theimplementation of the Convention.


B.K. Handique said that developing countries areconcerned that even while environment is getting the priority andattention it deserves, adequate efforts are not forthcoming totranslate these concerns into challenges that are effectivelytackled. There are no increments in flows of developmentalassistance nor mechanisms for facilitating the transfer ofenvironmentally sound technology. Diversion of existing resourceshas also taken place. On the positive side, there has been a fairamount of activity on the institutional level to translate severalof the commitments and agreements at Rio into reality. Indiawelcomes the establishment of the ad hoc intersessional workinggroups on finance and technology transfer. India supports the INCDas desertification is a problem that threatens the future of theentire planet. India accepts having a regional instrument forAfrica ahead of instruments for the other regions that suffer fromdesertification. More work is needed on the Convention onBiological Diversity to ensure resources for the activitiesemerging from the Convention, the identification of fullincremental costs, and working out an effective financialstructure. India also hopes that the GEF restructuring willconclude successfully in Cartagena and be assured of adequateresources.


Erwin Ortiz Gandarillas appealed to theinternational community and the developed countries to honor thecommitments they made in Rio. There is a need to reject the statusquo and reverse the current process of unfair economic and socialdisparities that exist. He hopes that the Spirit of Rio, asdemonstrated by the participation of major groups and NGOs,democracy, transparency and the placement of the human being at thecenter of development, will prevail. However, Bolivia feels thatthe international community is departing from the Spirit of Rio andadopting business as usual. Developing countries are still payingfor the effects of debt, structural adjustment, and unfair terms oftrade. The establishment of the CSD and the creation of the twointersessional working groups on finance and technology are movesin the right direction. Bolivia also supports the GEFrestructuring, the Conference on Straddling and Highly MigratoryFish Stocks and the Conference on the Sustainable Development ofSmall Island Developing States. The INCD is of crucial importanceas desertification affects the core of underdevelopment.


Amb. Victor Marrero welcomed efforts underwayin the UN Inter-Agency Committee on Sustainable Development todevelop a coherent scheme for the implementation of Agenda 21within the UN system. At home, the US has created the President'sCouncil on Sustainable Development, is making efforts to increaseenergy efficiency, preparing a forest policy, and promotingsustainable development in government procurement practices. Lastweek, the US and Colombia co-hosted a meeting on environmentallysound technologies. It was hoped that a review of specific "realworld" examples of technology cooperation would result in a moreeffective and realistic consideration of this complex issue in thefuture. The US will host a conference on land-based sources ofmarine pollution in 1995. The US also supports the Conference onthe Sustainable Development of Small Island Developing States, hastaken measures to prevent large-scale pelagic driftnet fishing, andis committed to: reducing greenhouse gas emissions to their 1990levels by the year 2000; implementing the Biodiversity Convention;participating in the INCD; restructuring the GEF; and facilitatinggreater technology cooperation.


Berhanu Kebede noted that the magnitude anddevelopment of the problems of desertification and drought isalarming in Ethiopia. Over 73% of Ethiopia's land is affected bydrought and desertification. The proportion of land with forestcover has diminished from 40% at the turn of the century to about3% at the present time. It was because of environmental degradationand man-made disaster that hundreds and thousands of Ethiopianperished and over a million were displaced. Thus, the TransitionalGovernment put human centered and sustainable development in thecenter of its economic policy. Drought and environmentaldegradation is a major development bottleneck that must beaddressed urgently. Ethiopia appealed to all States to support thework of the INCD and suggested that the following issues be givenspecial emphasis in finalizing the Convention: clear recognition ofthe interwoven nature of drought and desertification; recognitionof the Convention as an indispensable framework for globalenvironmental protection and sustainable development; strengtheningnational, sub-regional and regional capacities through literacy andpublic awareness campaigns and training; effective support of theneeds and efforts of special groups, such as women, youth andchildren; and eradication of poverty.


The representative from Bulgaria said thatsustainable development is not possible without an end to armedconflict and the restructuring of the world economy. The countriesin transition to a market economy feel that their specific problemsshould not be ignored and they are ready to participate in furtherdiscussions on this subject. The efforts of the internationalcommunity need to be adapted to new realities. The responsibilitiesof UNCED follow-up lie with national governments that shouldformulate national environmental strategies. Bulgaria isimplementing a programme for environmental protection of the BlackSea. Bulgaria supports the GEF restructuring and commends theinitial commitments made by some countries. The transfer ofenvironmentally-sound technology, capacity building and investmentare closely linked to financial resources and are also of keyimportance.


Adhemar Bahadian noted the landmark set by UNCED indemocratizing international relations and strengtheningmultilateralism and that the "Spirit of Rio" should be kept alive.He called the creation of the two CSD working groups crucial foreffective implementation of Agenda 21, noting their role inproviding a political framework. Informal meetings on CSD topicsmay offer a supplementary contribution but only within the domainof the CSD will it be possible to achieve recommendations with fullparticipation. Brazil expects the establishment of a legallybinding instrument to prevent the depletion of straddling andhighly migratory fish stocks. He stressed the importance of accessto environmentally sound technology, restating Brazil's proposalthat the CSD working group on technology prepare a catalog ofexisting public domain technologies for the sectoral clusters to beconsidered by the CSD in 1994.


The representative from Mali welcomed theestablishment of the CSD and other post-UNCED institutions. He alsowelcomed UNEP and UNSO's efforts to implement the Plan of Action toCombat Desertification, but noted that there is a need for new andadditional resources in this area. Mali welcomes the establishmentof the INCD and welcomes the participation of intergovernmentalorganizations and NGOs. However, the Convention is not an end untoitself. It is essential that there is also a focus onimplementation. Mali is aware that development can only be achievedin a healthy environment, but the struggle against desertificationis subsumed in the struggle to develop. At the local level, Malihas participated in a case study as part of the INCD process andwill submit the results in the coming days. Mali also is in theprocess of ratifying both the Climate Change and BiodiversityConventions and welcomes the General Assembly resolution on locustinfestation.


Jorge Custodio Santos said that for Cape Verdesustainable development is at the root of its development policy.The INCD should consider the vulnerable situation of Africa withoutlosing sight of the political horizon while tackling the technicalissues in negotiating the Convention. LDCs should participate inthe GEF decision-making process and programmes to combatdesertification should be financed through the GEF. The seriousnessof the problems faced by SIDS is reflected in the progress made inthe preparations for the Barbados Conference. Cape Verde supportsa resumed PrepCom. He noted the positive developments in theConference on Straddling and Highly Migratory Fish Stocks andcalled for a timely response on the issues of mechanisms forinternational cooperation, flag State responsibility, port Stateenforcement and compatibility and coherence between national andinternational conservation measures for the same stocks.


Renagi R. Lohia spoke exclusively on theGlobal Conference on the Sustainable Development of Small IslandDeveloping States and Conference on Straddling and Highly MigratoryFish Stocks. He called the Barbados Conference the first test forthe international community in implementing the Rio agreements andappealed for a resumed PrepCom. He commended the efforts of UNagencies for the Conference. Papua New Guinea is tightly monitoringfishing licenses within its EEZ and is committed to achieving theobjective of adopting conservation and management measures toprotect living marine resources in the high seas. There is need forfisheries reform and ecologically sound conservation within EEZsand on the high seas. Options for a legally and politically bindingoutcome of the fisheries Conference include a global treaty, aprotocol to UNCLOS, and/or regulations or norms of conductimplementing UNCLOS once it enters into force. What is needed ispolitical will to accept, implement and be bound by agreements inthe high seas regime.


Amb. Jamsheed K.A. Marker noted that the extremelybusy calendar of activities over the past year and for the nextyear reflects the multifarious commitments made by theinternational community at Rio. The documents approved at Rioconstitute an important advance towards a global recognition of thetwin imperatives of development with equity and development withoutdamage to the environment. The follow-up to Rio must fully imbibethese two principles. The international community must ensure thatthe experience of inequality in the evolution of internationaleconomic relations should not be repeated in the promotion of thenew partnership for sustainable development. At its next session,the CSD must review the issue of unsustainable patterns ofconsumption and lifestyles in developed countries and solicitconcrete, quantitative and qualitative commitments from thedeveloped countries. Specific policies must also be formulated fora conducive international economic environment, including access ofdeveloping country exports to the markets of the developedcountries.


The Italian delegate spoke on the issue of humansettlements, which receives comparatively little attention. Italyhas contributed to the Voluntary Fund for Habitat II and hassupported upgrading informal urban settlements, particularlythrough the work of Italian NGOs. Italy has coordinated theUrbanization Working Group of the Water Supply and SanitationCollaborative Council that has identified the need to betterunderstand the urban informal sector and mechanisms for the costrecovery and economic sustainability of services. Italy has decidedto support Habitat's "Settlements Upgrading Programme."


Professor Bedrich Moldan noted theappreciation by other delegates for the work of the CSD. Herecognized the difficulty in assessing performance and progresstowards sustainable development due to the lack of adequateindicators. These would provide a reliable and unambiguousmeasurement of progress towards sustainability. These indicatorsshould be developed to meet the needs of all constituencies. NGOsnot only have the right to information, but the provision ofadequate information to them is a prerequisite to any real progresstoward sustainability.


The representative from the Organization of AfricanUnity said that his organization is very active in Agenda 21implementation of issues of importance to Africa. The OAU isparticularly involved with the INCD and the Conference on theSustainable Development of Small Island Developing States. Withregard to the latter, the OAU urges the UN to intensify its effortsto tackle the sustainable development of SIDS and hopes that theaction programme is well elaborated. The OAU welcomes the GEFrestructuring exercise as the success of programmes has to do withthe provision of adequate funding.