Daily report for 5 May 1994
Global Conference on the Sustainable Development of SIDS
Barbados Prime Minister Erskine Sandiford opened the High-LevelSegment and said that after discussing and sharing theirexperiences, States must forge a new partnership for sustainabledevelopment based on collaboration, cooperation, and companionship.He called for an end to the old concept of foreign aid, whichshould be replaced with equity and mutual respect and common, butdifferentiated, responsibilities. Rafeeuddin Ahmed then delivereda message on behalf of UN Secretary-General Boutros Boutros-Ghaliin which he highlighted the importance of the Programme of Actionand the Barbados Declaration. He said that as much determinationshould be given to the implementation as was given to drafting.
TRINIDAD AND TOBAGO: Prime Minister Dr. Patrick Manning saidthat international cooperation may be increased through transfer oftechnology, easing of the debt burden and trade liberalization. Hecalled for rapid implementation of the relevant conventions thatcan further the sustainable development of SIDS.
CHINA: Liu Chengguo, Deputy Minister of Agriculture, saidthat no country alone can achieve prosperity, and the newpartnership should be based on mutual respect and equality so thatSIDS can further improve their capacity to protect their ownenvironments.
UNITED STATES: Under Secretary of State Timothy Wirth saidthat even if carbon dioxide emissions are reduced theirconcentration will continue to rise and therefore discussion shouldfocus on the alleviation of the effects of sea-level rise. Hehighlighted marine pollution and asked that all concernedparticipate in a coral reef initiative.
ICELAND: Dr. Ossur Skarphedinsson, Minister for theEnvironment, on behalf of the Nordic Countries, said that 80% ofmarine pollution comes from land based sources and he urged thedelegates to act. He also stressed the importance of the ban ontransportation of toxic and hazardous wastes from OECD to non-OECDcountries.
BAHAMAS: Prime Minister Hubert A. Ingraham said that richnations must assist SIDS with funding and implementation of Agenda21 and the new Programme of Action. He expressed hope that theinternational community will take decisive steps to support theHaitian people.
AUSTRALIA: Gordon Niel Bilney, Minister for Pacific Islandsand Development Cooperation, lamented the exploitation of thenatural and mineral resources of many Pacific islands byunscrupulous foreign companies. He noted that improvement in thestatus of women is essential for population policies to beeffective in SIDS.
MARSHALL ISLANDS: The representative of the Minister ofForeign Affairs asked how his country could maintain a strong voiceat the UN if it disappeared due to sea level rise. He urgedindustrialized countries to strengthen the Climate ChangeConvention.
NAURU: President Bernard Dowiyogo said that sustainabledevelopment is a concept that islanders have always understood. Hecalled for the elimination of poverty as a prerequisite forsustainable development, the improvement of the quality of familyplanning services, and the effective implementation of the MontrealProtocol.
CYPRUS: Alecos Michaelides, Minister of Foreign Affairs,said that sustainable development can only be achieved within thecontext of a secure environment, free of territorial claims,foreign aggression and the accompanying economic and environmentaldestruction.
VANUATU: Prime Minister Maxime Carlot Korman said thatdevelopment can only be truly sustainable if all the recipientshave been involved in all stages of the process. Then answers willbe brought to the problems of today without compromising theconditions of future generations.
CUBA: President Fidel Castro Ruz spoke of the havoc wreakedon the developing world by consumer societies of the North, whichdepend on growth, fueled by the natural wealth of the South, forsurvival. Sustainable development is impossible withoutredistribution of wealth within and between countries. If thepeoples of the South have to die then so be it, but they will diefighting, not as slaves, fighting for truth and for the right oftheir children to live.
PAPUA NEW GUINEA: Governor General Sir Wiwa Korowi said thatno island can achieve sustainable development alone. Without accessto necessary resources and technology, SIDS will not be able tofulfill their part of the commitments made in Rio. He also stressedthe need for the South Pacific to be given a place on the GEFboard.
VENEZUELA: Dr. Miguel Angel Burelli, Minister of ForeignAffairs, said that the international social justice that emerged inRio acknowledged shared but differentiated responsibilities betweendeveloped countries and SIDS.
JAMAICA: Easton Douglas, Minister of the Public Service andEnvironment, said that the issue of sustainable development is ofglobal magnitude going beyond beaches and coral reefs, since whatis at stake is the survival of a large part of the family ofhumankind.
MAURITIUS: Bashir Khodabux, Minister of Environment andQuality of Life, spoke of the essential role women play insustainable development. He stressed the need for partnershipwithin and among regions and appealed to UNEP to link with theIndian Ocean Commission to implement regional seas programmes andother initiatives.
KIRIBATI: President Teatao Teannaki stressed thedifficulties in communicating between islands within Kiribati andwith the rest of the world. He noted that many consultants havesaid that there is no economic future for SIDS, but the people haveno option but to go forward.
UNITED KINGDOM: The Earl of Arran, Department of theEnvironment, noted the significant bilateral and multilateralassistance provided by the UK to SIDS. He said that a new fund forSIDS would only be of use if there was new money. Instead, SIDSshould get a larger share of existing aid money.
BRAZIL: Henrique Brandao Cavalcanti, Minister for theEnvironment and the Amazon, spoke of the relationships understoodin Rio between development, environment and human well-being. Sincethen, Brazil has worked hard to ensure the institutional follow-upof UNCED.
MALDIVES: Ismail Shafeeu, Minister of Planning, HumanResources and Environment, said that the Maldives faced all theconstraints outlined by this Conference and welcomed the attentionit brings to the plight of SIDS. He called for a global monitoringnetwork to allow SIDS to better understand the effects of climatechange.
MICRONESIA: President Bailey Olter said that today's themeis partnership -- not the traditional donor-recipient relationship-- but people working together in a common enterprise to implementthe Rio agreements.
TONGA: Prime Minister Baron Vaea said that we have becomewiser and, therefore, accept that development is not concerned onlywith rapid economic growth, but also with using environmentalresources in a more frugal manner.
ST. KITTS AND NEVIS: Prime Minister Dr. Kennedy A. Simmondssaid that we have been wasting time talking about sustainabledevelopment if the developed countries do not come up with new andadditional financial resources.
FIJI: Lt. Col. Jonetani Kaukimoce, Minister for Housing,Urban Development and Environment, said that while UNCED urgedglobal and regional cooperation, momentum is being lost as Statescompete for funding. He stressed the importance of protecting therights of indigenous people.
MALAYSIA: Datuk Law Hieng Ding, Minister of Science,Technology and Environment, highlighted the ecological disastersfaced by SIDS from climate change and sea level rise. He called forpartnership on the basis of common, but differentiated,responsibilities and mentioned that Malaysia is providing trainingfor SIDS.
GERMANY: Professor Dr. Klaus Tpfer, Federal Minister forthe Environment, spoke first on behalf of the European Union. Hepointed out that in 1991 the EU provided US$1.03 billion inmultilateral and bilateral assistance to SIDS (30% of totalassistance from all donors). Secondly, on behalf of Germany, hesaid that his candidacy for the Chair of the CSD indicates howseriously Germany takes this process. He stressed the ClimateChange Convention; the fight against the illegal hazardous wastesmafia; and the need to change production and consumption patterns.
SOLOMON ISLANDS: Ezekiel Alebua, Minister of Forests,Environment and Conservation, said that his country has produced anational environmental management strategy. He mentioned humanbeings at the center of sustainable development, gender equity andthe role of women.
INDONESIA: Sarwono Kusumaatmadja, Minister for Environment,said that at Rio overconsumption and poverty were seen as pushingthe world to the brink of disaster. International cooperation isneeded for the implementation of Agenda 21.
SEYCHELLES: Danielle de St. Jorre, Minister of ForeignAffairs, Planning and Environment, the only woman speaker,highlighted issues of critical importance, including tourism,transportation, trade and human resources development.
SAMOA: Faasootauloa Pati, Minister for Lands, Surveys andEnvironment, said sustainable development involves NGOs, localcommunities, women and youth. SIDS are innocent victims of climatechange and should have increased access to resources andtechnology.
CANADA: Clifford Lincoln, Parliamentary Secretary to theMinister for the Environment, raised the issues of the right todetermine family size, changing patterns of production andconsumption, biodiversity, climate change, forestry, straddling andhighly migratory fish stocks, and the involvement of indigenouspeople.
REPUBLIC OF KOREA: Song Young Shik, Special Envoy of thePresident, noted that the objectives of development are fullemployment, equitable social progress, natural resource managementand environmental protection. To achieve this for SIDS the worldneeds a guiding vision, a programme and mechanisms attuned to theirneeds.
SAINT LUCIA: Prime Minister John Compton said that thisConference provides the basis for North-South and South-Southcooperation. Economic activities require the intense use of landresources and, at times, one must be a magician on a small islandto meet competing needs.
At 11:30 Wednesday night, delegates reached agreement on the draftBarbados Declaration in an informal session of the Plenary. Thedraft Declaration, which is expected to be adopted by theConference on Friday, contains a preamble that reaffirms theprinciples and commitments to sustainable development embodied inthe Rio agreements and recognizes that this Conference translatesAgenda 21 into specific policies, actions and measures to be takenat the national, regional and international levels. In Part One,the Declaration affirms the importance of: human resources andcultural heritage; gender equity; the role of women and other majorgroups, including children, youth and indigenous people; thesovereign right of SIDS over their own natural resources;vulnerability to natural and environmental disasters; climatechange and sea level rise; limited freshwater resources; specialsituation and needs of the least developed SIDS; economicvulnerability; capacity building; constraints to sustainabledevelopment; and partnership between Governments, IGOs, NGOs andother major groups in implementing Agenda 21 and this Programme ofAction. In Part Two, the Declaration declares the importance ofnational, regional and international implementation, including thereduction and elimination of unsustainable patterns of consumptionand production, and the provision of effective means for theimplementation of the Programme of Action, including adequate,predictable, new and additional financial resources.
IN THE CORRIDORS
The warmth of the welcome for Fidel Castro was met with a coldblast from the security guards on the balcony -- dragging oneparticipant out, and injuring her in the process, on suspicion ofholding a placard that said "Viva Cuba!" A full apology wasoffered later by UN Security, and accepted by the NGOs. One NGO hadhis pass rescinded, but Security has failed to identify the otheroffending placard holders. One can only imagine what the reactionwould have been to a protest!
THINGS TO LOOK FOR TODAY
HIGH-LEVEL SEGMENT: The High-Level Segment will resume at9:30 am. The remaining speakers are Japan, New Zealand, Colombia,St Vincent and the Grenadines, Cook Islands, Guyana, Niue,Pakistan, India, Belize and Haiti. It is hoped that the High-LevelSegment will end between 11:00 and 11:30 when the Round Table willbegin. The Round Table meeting of Heads of State and Government andMinisterial participants will continue until 1:00 pm.
PLENARY: At 4:00 pm the final meeting of the Plenary willtake place. The Inter-American Development Bank will conclude thegeneral debate. The President of the Conference will report on theresults of the Round Table. The Plenary will then move to adopt theBarbados Declaration, the Programme of Action and the ConferenceReport. With an expected round of thanks and praise, the Conferencewill come to a close.