Summary report, 2–6 November 1992

UN General Assembly Debate on UNCED Issues Related

Editors' Note: This is the first of three issues of the "EarthNegotiations Bulletin" that will be published during the course ofthe UN General Assembly's negotiations on UNCED-related issues andfollow-up. The second issue will be published in mid-November andthe final issue will be published at the conclusion of the 47thGeneral Assembly in December.

Five months after the conclusion of the United Nations Conferenceon Environment and Development (UNCED) in Rio de Janeiro, the UNGeneral Assembly met this week to review the accomplishments of theConference and to embark on the follow-up process. Initially, onlytwo days were scheduled for formal discussions on this issue,however, as the speakers' list continued to grow it soon becameapparent that the debate would last through the week. Following theconclusion of the general debate, an open-ended working group underthe chairmanship of Malaysian Ambassador Razali Ismail will beginthe challenging task of negotiating a number of resolutions onUNCED follow-up. These include the resolutions establishing thehigh-level Commission on Sustainable Development, theIntergovernmental Negotiating Committee to elaborate a frameworkconvention to combat desertification and drought, a conference onthe sustainable development of small island states and a conferenceon high seas fisheries.

The following is a summary of the highlights of the GeneralAssembly debate.


Editors' Note: This is the first of three issues of the "EarthNegotiations Bulletin" that will be published during the course ofthe UN General Assembly's negotiations on UNCED-related issues andfollow-up. The second issue will be published in mid-November andthe final issue will be published at the conclusion of the 47thGeneral Assembly in December.

Five months after the conclusion of the United Nations Conferenceon Environment and Development (UNCED) in Rio de Janeiro, the UNGeneral Assembly met this week to review the accomplishments of theConference and to embark on the follow-up process. Initially, onlytwo days were scheduled for formal discussions on this issue,however, as the speakers' list continued to grow it soon becameapparent that the debate would last through the week. Following theconclusion of the general debate, an open-ended working group underthe chairmanship of Malaysian Ambassador Razali Ismail will beginthe challenging task of negotiating a number of resolutions onUNCED follow-up. These include the resolutions establishing thehigh-level Commission on Sustainable Development, theIntergovernmental Negotiating Committee to elaborate a frameworkconvention to combat desertification and drought, a conference onthe sustainable development of small island states and a conferenceon high seas fisheries.

The following is a summary of the highlights of the GeneralAssembly debate.


The General Assembly began its examination of Agenda Item 79,"Report of the United Nations Conference on Environment andDevelopment," on Monday, 2 November, with a statement by UNSecretary-General Boutros Boutros-Ghali. The challenge after Rio,stated the Secretary-General, is to maintain the momentum ofcommitment to sustainable development, to transform it intopolicies and practice, and to give it effective and coordinatedinstitutional support. Boutros-Ghali highlighted the need forreform and restructuring within the UN system as a whole, andwithin the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) in particular. Heexpressed hope that the proposed Commission on SustainableDevelopment (CSD) would bolster ECOSOC's efforts to promotecoherence and coordination. He went on to elaborate three clustersof economic, social and environmental functions for the UNHeadquarters in New York: (1) coordination and substantive supportfor ECOSOC and the CSD; (2) data collection, methodology, policyanalysis and the articulation of development perspectives; and (3)technical cooperation. He also stressed that it is time to breathenew life into the regional commissions and improve UN performancein the field, including the establishment of a "RegionalCoordinator" position in each country to coordinate all UNprogrammes.

As far as the Commission on Sustainable Development is concerned,Boutros-Ghali made a number of concrete suggestions on its functionand structure. The Commission must be organized so as to attractmaximum ministerial attendance. It should define and refine thestrategies and policies needed to foster sustainable development;and it will monitor and promote financial flows. He also mentionedthe need to work with non-governmental constituencies. Finally, heannounced the formation of an Inter-Agency Commission onSustainable Development, to be set up by the AdministrativeCommittee on Coordination (ACC) to coordinate cooperation among allagencies and programmes in the UN system.

The next speaker was Algerian Foreign Minister Lakhdar Brahimi whoserved as the Rapporteur-General during the Earth Summit. In hisreview of the documents adopted in Rio, he said that the RioDeclaration served to build upon the principles contained in theStockholm Declaration and to prepare the ground for an EarthCharter that might be adopted on the occasion of the UN's 50thanniversary. For Agenda 21 to be effective, it must be translatedinto effective action. Therefore, the real challenge of Rio liesbefore us. We have a special responsibility to finish the job begunat Rio. Priorities should be given to mobilize new and additionalresources and the proposal for a pledging conference. He closed bypresenting the report of the Conference to the General Assembly.

BRAZIL: The Brazilian Minister of External Relations,Fernando Henrique Cardoso, spoke next on behalf of the hostcountry. In his speech, Cardoso stressed the importance of puttingAgenda 21 into effect in its entirety, at the local, national,regional and universal levels. To this end, he pointed out the needfor new and additional financial resources, transfer of technology,and the creation of the Commission on Sustainable Development.However, he said, the establishment of the Commission should notlead to the elimination of other bodies in the UN system that havetheir own specific and complementary mandates. In closing, heannounced that Brazil has made the offer to host an internationalresearch centre on sustainable development and that the firstmeasures for its establishment have already been taken.

UNITED KINGDOM: David MacLean, the British Minister of Statefor Environment and Countryside presented a statement on behalf ofthe European Community. "Unless we proceed rapidly to theimplementation of the progress we made in Rio, the hours we spenton negotiation will all be for naught." He went on to state theprogress made within the EC towards implementation of thecommitments made in Rio. At the European Council in Lisbon afterthe Earth Summit, the EC members committed to an eight-point plan,including: stabilizing CO2 emissions at the 1990 level by the year2000; ratification of the Climate Change Convention by the end of1993; early ratification of the Convention on Biological Diversity;preparation of national biodiversity strategies; an internationalreview process for the statement on forest principles by the CSD;and EC support for the establishment of an IntergovernmentalNegotiating Committee for a convention on combattingdesertification and drought.

On the CSD, the EC supports a Commission with the followingfeatures: highly qualified and competent Secretariat; open to newideas and able to provide for the effective and enhancedparticipation of NGOs and other relevant organizations; andorganized to avoid sterile and repetitive debates that have toofrequently characterized ECOSOC bodies. Finally, the EC suggeststhat the proposed High Level Advisory Body be merged with theexisting Committee for Development Planning.

On the issue of finance, MacLean reiterated that the EC willstrengthen assistance to developing countries in the area ofsustainable development and increase funding for Agenda 21. The ECis also committed to IDA replenishment to promote sustainabledevelopment and will continue to give consideration to an EarthIncrement to the 10th IDA replenishment.

PAKISTAN: The next speaker was Akram Zaki, the PakistaniSecretary-General for Foreign Affairs who spoke on behalf of theGroup of 77. While Zaki said that the members of the G-77 haveaccepted the commitments flowing from the Rio Summit, they regretthat the commitment by the developed countries has not been at asimilar level as they are preoccupied with immediate political,economic and social problems. He stressed that the G-77 is firmlyof the view that the provision of adequate new and additionalfinancing is an essential condition for the implementation ofAgenda 21 as it is obvious that the financing requirements farexceed resources that can be mobilized by developing countries.

On the Commission on Sustainable Development, Zaki announced thatthe G-77 has circulated a document on the structure and tasks ofthe Commission, in particular that the Commission regularly reviewand monitor activities on finance and ensure an effective linkbetween the ability and maximization of new additional financialresources. He also drew attention to the establishment of anIntergovernmental Negotiating Committee to formulate a Conventionto Combat Desertification and the proposal that a Global Conferenceon the Sustainable Development of Small Island Developing States beheld in June 1993. He closed by stressing the importance ofremoving tariff and non-tariff barriers to exports from developingcountries to industrialized countries, the need for debt relief andthe need to speedily conclude the Uruguay Round of GATTnegotiations.

UNITED STATES: William Reilly, Administrator of the USEnvironmental Protection Agency, stated that the 47th session ofthe UN General Assembly is the first major test of the obligationsof Rio. The US looks forward to substantial progress on:desertification; high seas fisheries; sustainable development ofsmall island states; and the creation of the CSD. Reilly stressedthat the machinery for the implementation of Agenda 21 must be partof the overall UN reform. The US believes that the Commissionshould review the following: the progress of nations inimplementing Agenda 21 and dealing with other related issues, suchas poverty; subsidies for unsustainable development; and thesustainability of major development projects of the World Bank andregional development banks. The Commission must ensure that NGOsare involved in an appropriate way as valuable partners. Onfinance, Reilly said that in 1993, ODA will grow to US$11 billion(an increase of four percent). In addition, US funding for UNEP,UNDP and the Montreal Protocol Fund will also increase, inconjunction with an increase in total US contributions tomultilateral development banks.

GERMANY: The final speech of the morning was delivered byKlaus T”pfer, the German Federal Minister for the Environment,Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety, who stressed that there isa need for a strengthened, internationally coordinatedenvironmental and development competence and that UNEP and UNDPmust be geared towards these new challenges. The Commission onSustainable Development should act as a coordinating link betweenall members of the UN family, national governments and NGOs. T”pferannounced that Germany's priorities include:

  • Immediate ratification and prompt start of the Conventions;
  • Implementation and further development of the Forest Principles;
  • New forms of international economic relations, including successful conclusion of the Uruguay Round of GATT;
  • New economic behavior and new living patterns;
  • Combatting poverty;
  • A responsible population policy;
  • Technological cooperation, the spreading of knowledge and capacity building, including support to UNDP's Capacity 21 programme;
  • Financial questions, including the tripling of the volume of the GEF combined with a fair burden sharing, debt relief and the IDA-10 replenishment;
  • Reorientation of development aid to ultimately promote self-reliance; and
  • Recognizing environmental destruction as a threat to peace and a threat to mankind.


KOREA: The afternoon began with a statement by Jai-ChangLee, Korea's Minister of Environment, who stressed that financingthe necessary measures contained in Agenda 21 is first andforemost. The share of the financial burden of Agenda 21-relatedactivities assumed by each country should be proportional to thecountry's ability to pay and its cumulative contribution to globalpollution. Furthermore, the effective implementation of Agenda 21will require substantial assistance in the form of technologytransfer from developed countries. Korea believes that the CSDshould have equitable geographical distribution and should resonatewith the revitalization and restructuring of the UN system ineconomic, social and related fields. NGOs also merit aparticipatory role in the Commission's activities. At home, theKorean government has established a "Ministerial Committee on theGlobal Environment" which is headed by the Prime Minister. Theconclusions of the Committee will be incorporated in the five-yearNational Economic and Social Development Plan to guideimplementation strategies affecting the environment. Korea has alsobegun to strengthen various environmental regulations and isplanning a Northeast Asian Environmental Conference to be held inSeoul next year.

JAPAN: The next speaker was Shozaburo Nakamura, Japan'sMinister of State in charge of Global Environmental Problems, whoidentified the major issues with respect to UNCED follow-up,including: an early and effective ratification of the twoconventions; the establishment of a process to review theinternational implementation of the forest principles;strengthening financial and technical cooperation on forestmanagement; and a convention combatting desertification anddrought. On institutional matters, Japan believes that the CSDshould have broad representation among Member States and theparticipation of non-member states, international organizationsand, once an appropriate procedure is instituted, NGO involvementshould be promoted. The Japanese government is "keenly" interestedin the high-level advisory body, which is expected to provideexpert advice to the Secretary-General, since Japan proposed sucha body. It should consist of a small number of eminent persons andmaintain a balance with respect to geographical representation andfields of expertise. On the issue of finance, Nakamura indicatedthe need to secure appropriate funds for the GEF, once a mechanismthat ensures the effective and efficient use of the fund isestablished. Japan has set the goal of net ODA disbursements inexcess of US$50 billion for the five-year period 1988-1992, a 100percent increase over the previous five years.

MEXICO: The Mexican Minister of Social Development, LuisDonaldo Colosio, stated that the commitments achieved in Rio markthe beginning of a process that calls for all of our energy and ourstrongest political will to turn a vast development programme intoreality. On the issue of new and additional financial resources,the results at Rio were far below expectations. Mexico hopes thatthe CSD will offer a chance to correct these shortcomings bysecuring a link between this and all other sources of finance forthe execution of Agenda 21. He also stressed the need for thetransfer of technology on favorable terms, poverty alleviation andthe fact that development and environmental responsibility are twoinseparable principles.

BURKINA FASO: Ambassador Gaetan Rimwanguiya Ouedraogo fromBurkina Faso, like many other developing countries, emphasized theneed for new and additional financial resources, debt relief,transfer of technology and the need for political will on the partof developed countries. On the issue of desertification, heproposed the following: the INC should be open to all UN membersand observers; an organizational session and five prepcoms; abureau with five members; an ad hoc secretariat led by anexperienced staff member; and opportunities for relevant NGOs canalso help to ensure the success of the Conference. As for the CSD,Burkina Faso supports a Commission of 53 members elected by ECOSOCfor three years on the basis of equitable geographic distributionat the highest level; the first session should be held in New Yorkin 1993; and the mission of the CSD should be flexible.

INDIA: Shri Kamal Nath, the Indian Minister for Environmentand Forests, stated that the Commission on Sustainable Developmentshould focus primarily on cross-sectoral issues such as the flow ofadditional financial resources, the modalities for transfer oftechnology, the development of capabilities, removal of tradeimbalances, the reorientation of international institutions, etc.Sectoral programmes, thus, will have to be seen in the context ofthese cross-sectoral issues. He stressed the importance ofratifying the conventions signed in Rio and then elaborated India'sposition with regard to the statement of forest principles.Environmental irresponsibility on the part of some has resulted inforests suddenly being viewed as the only lifeline to the future.India does not look upon its forests as mere sinks for toxicemissions. Forests are an issue for global cooperation onlyinsofar as financial, technical and scientific cooperation isconcerned. They are not a global issue if this involvesinternational regulation, which is not only unacceptable but alsounworkable.

CANADA: The next speaker was Jean Charest, the CanadianMinister of Environment, who said that to implement sustainabledevelopment three factors are vital: transparency, accountabilityand inclusiveness. Canada supports the establishment of theCommission on Sustainable Development and emphasized that it shouldprovide for the active participation of NGOs and other groups.However, the CSD is only one part of the picture. Sustainabledevelopment themes and programmes must be integrated into theentire UN system, including an enhanced role for UNEP. Afterreiterating key points from Canadian Prime Minister Mulroney'saddress in Rio, Charest stressed the need for immediate follow-upto UNCED's achievements on forests and high seas overfishing.Charest also noted the participation of NGOs on the Canadiandelegation to the General Assembly.

FINLAND: Ms. Sirpa Pietik„inen, Minister of the Environmentof Finland, welcomed the establishment of the CSD but also stressedthe importance of: monitoring the provision of new and additionalfinancial resources; linking institutional arrangements with theoverall reform of the economic and social sectors of the UN;setting the size of the Commission so as to strike a balancebetween efficiency and representation; including participation anddialogue with NGOs, scientific and private sectors and financinginstitutions; and not limiting the functions of the Commission toimplementing results of Rio. Finland supports a strong andindependent secretariat located in New York. Within the UN system,Finland supports strengthening UNEP to meet the needs of Agenda 21and emphasizes the crucial role that UNDP must play in organizingUN system support for capacity building in developing countries. Onforests, Finland believes that the Principles represent a steptowards global cooperation on forests, but now we need to preparenational programs and other related measures to implement theseprinciples. With this in mind, Helsinki will host a conference onforests in June 1993.

BOLIVIA: Ambassador Oscar Serrate-Cuellar, the BolivianPermanent Representative to the UN, stated that bipolar strategieshave given way to a tri-polar economy with a new style ofcompetition, one which brings together a group of seven at theexclusive banquet of development. He mentioned some of thehighlights of the Earth Summit but emphasized that the GeneralAssembly must now turn the promises of Rio into concretecommitments and tangible results. With regard to the Commission onSustainable Development, Bolivia stressed the importance of activeparticipation by the organs, programs and organizations of the UNSystem, as well as the international financial institutions andNGOs.

SWEDEN: The Swedish Minister of Environment and NaturalResources, Olof Johansson, elaborated a firm and efficient systemfor Rio follow-up. The components include: (1) the Commission onSustainable Development, preferably based in New York, meeting atthe high official level with proper gender and age balance, andactive NGO participation; (2) transfer of financial resources andtechnology; (3) the involvement of UN agencies and otherintergovernmental organizations; and (4) activity on the nationaland local level, where the global perspective can be translatedinto practical action. Sweden also listed a number of additionalissues that require increased attention by the UN system, includingenvironmental emergencies, the impact of military activity on theenvironment, the energy sector and chemicals.

AUSTRIA: Ruth Feldgrill-Zankel, the Austrian FederalMinister of Environment, Youth and Family Affairs, commented thatAustria has already undertaken a series of decisive stepsincluding: reducing the use of CFCs by almost 90 percent; reducingmunicipal wastes by 50 percent over the next five years; andpreparing a National Environment Plan. Austria also has a vision ofa Central Europe without nuclear power. With regard to the CSD,Austria stressed that it should: provide for representation ofvarious parts of the UN system and other internationalorganizations on the basis of procedures for their accreditationand participation used in UNCED; organize itself into segments orsessional committees; include an effective and independentsecretariat. Finally, Austria recognized the need for an increasein the transfer of resources to developing countries and haspledged US$38.10 million to the GEF.

BENIN: In the final speech on Monday, Ambassador Rene ValeryMongbe referred to poverty as the most important threat not only tohumanity but to the planet. On more specific matters, such as theCSD, he stated the need for equitable geographic representationamongst the membership and that Commission members be elected forthree-year terms. He reiterated support for NGO participation onthe basis of UNCED procedures. Benin expressed its desire for thefirst ordinary session to be held at the UN in New York.


ALGERIA: Tuesday morning opened with an intervention byLakhdar Brahimi, the Algerian Minister of Foreign Affairs, speakingon behalf of the Maghreb Union. The countries of the Maghreb Unionhave established a working group to focus on a number of issues,including: development of a strategy to combat desertification;establishment of an African network to exchange information ondesertification and soil erosion; and evaluation of the state ofthe environment in North Africa. With regard to the proposedconvention to combat desertification, Algeria is prepared to host,in the heart of the Sahara, a meeting of the bureau of the INC whenit becomes operational.

THE NETHERLANDS: Mr. Hans Alders, Minister ofHousing, Physical Planning and the Environment stated that UNCEDsuccessfully put sustainable development on the political agenda.At home, the Netherlands is assessing its own domestic policies anddetermining where more needs to be done, including changingconsumption patterns. Alders also stated that there is a need formore binding agreements on forests. On the CSD, he stated that theCommission should be high level; its composition should strike acareful balance between effectiveness and involvement; and itsSecretariat should be located in New York so as to be close to theUN Secretary-General. Finally, he stated that the Netherlands willhonor financial commitments made in Rio.

FRANCE: In the briefest speech of the morning, Jean-BernardMerimee, France's permanent representative to the UN, touched on afew issues regarding UNCED follow-up. The CSD should be aprivileged forum for follow-up. It will be up to countries todevelop specific proposals and ECOSOC's Consultative Committee onDevelopment Planning provides a good basis. France reiteratedsupport for a convention to combat desertification; achieving thetarget of 0.7 percent of GNP for ODA by the year 2000; increasingthe amount of ODA to Fr.43 billion and providing an additionalFr.1.2 billion for technology transfer, institutional support andpoverty eradication.

NORWAY: The Norwegian State Secretary for Foreign Affairs,Jan Egeland, stated that only national implementation will revealthe success of UNCED or not. Norway had hoped for strongerprinciples in the Rio Declaration and, therefore, supports furtherdevelopment of an Earth Charter by 1995. Egeland restated thefinancial package that the Nordic countries presented during theUNCED process, which included the following elements:industrialized countries must meet ODA targets by 2000; developedcountries must meet incremental costs in addressing globalproblems; and financial contributions must be based on fair burdensharing. Norway's ODA levels already exceed 1 percent of GNP andNorway continues to press for significant IDA replenishment. Norwaymaintains that the Commission must: meet for an annual session oftwo-three weeks, include a high-level segment with ministerialparticipation; have a multi-year work program; and have anindependent Secretariat reporting directly to the UNSecretary-General. NGO involvement must be safeguarded andstrengthened in the UNCED follow-up as well as within the UN systemas a whole.

ROMANIA: The Ambassador from Romania stated that his countrywill play an active part to fulfill objectives of UNCED at theregional, national and international levels. Romania also attachesa great importance to the Commission on Sustainable Development andwill cooperate with other countries to prepare the draftresolution.

COLOMBIA: Luis Fernando Jaramillo, the Colombianrepresentative to the UN, stated that countries must adjust theirinstitutions and their national policies to consider environmentalprotection as a primary focus. In a comment about the UNSecretary-General's speech the previous day, Jaramillo said that itis not prudent to prejudge the work of governments who are workingout the modalities of UN reform. Reform of the UN Secretariat willdepend on member states who will have the final say. He also statedthat the Commission on Sustainable Development has two main roles:to evaluate Agenda 21 follow-up at the governmental level and tocoordinate the follow-up within the UN system. Restating a commontheme throughout the UNCED process, Jaramillo said that developingcountries are prepared to rationalize our growth if developedcountries are willing to provide necessary financing andtechnology.

VENEZUELA: The Venezuelan representative to the UN,Ambassador Diego Arria, said that the Commission represents theinstitutionalization of the Earth Summit as a forum to reconcileinterests. Citing a paper prepared by the United NationsAssociation of the USA, he mentioned that the CSD should beflexible enough to adapt to emerging changes. Developed countrieshave no choice but to transfer the necessary resources, otherwisethe result will be political and ecological suicide.

IRAN: Iranian Ambassador Javad Zarif advocated that the CSDbe located at the UN headquarters in New York, unless any volunteerhost country is ready to bear the costs of facilitating theparticipation of small states during the Commission'sdeliberations. Zarif also urged developed countries to make initialfinancial commitments towards the implementation of Agenda 21during this General Assembly session. Furthermore, he advocatedreform of patent protection and intellectual property rights, withthe view to ensure access to and transfer of environmentally-soundtechnology. Finally, he supported the drafting of an internationalconvention on desertification.

THAILAND: Ambassador Nitya Pibulsonggram commented that atthe national level, Thailand has made sustainable development thecentral goal of her development path. Thailand's Seventh NationalDevelopment Plan (1992-1996) has shifted its focus towards incomedistribution, rural development, human resources development,enhancing the quality of life and the protection of theenvironment. Thailand supports, in principle, the initiatives putforward by the Group of 77 on the CSD's composition, functions andfrequency of meetings, and emphasized the view that any post-UNCEDinstitutional arrangement be consistent with the efforts to reformthe UN in the economic, social and related fields.

BANGLADESH: The Permanent Representative of Bangladesh tothe UN, Humayun Kabir, emphasized that developing countries willrequire financial assistance to meet their obligations under UNCED.Moreover, developing countries should play a role in governance ofinternational financial institutions. Existing financialinstitutions should be revamped to undertake expandedresponsibilities. He also mentioned that the concept of a peacedividend must survive UNCED.

CHINA: In the final speech of the morning, ChineseAmbassador Li Daoyu stated that in the UNCED follow-up process, weshould not only base our actions on Agenda 21 but also follow theRio Declaration for guidance. He also warned that concern with theenvironmental question should not distract the attention or divertthe resources of the UN and other international organizations fromtheir traditional areas of concern, especially those related toeconomic and social development of developing countries.


MALAYSIA: Tuesday afternoon opened with a statement byMalaysian Ambassador Razali Ismail. "Even as we extol theaccomplishments of UNCED", he said, "we cannot blur over theshortcomings". Razali went on to describe the Convention on ClimateChange as disappointingly weak, revealing political timidity and anabsence of resolve on the part of industrialized countries. Razalifurther charged that key issues of financial resources andtechnology had not been adequately addressed. Moreover, there wasneither a clear response to issues of global warming, dumping ofhazardous waste in developing countries, consumption patterns inthe developed countries nor nuclear-related issues. Since UNCED washardly forthcoming in addressing the inequalities of theinternational economic structures, follow-up must examine issuessuch as the reversal of South-North outflow of resources, improvingthe South's terms of trade and reduction of the debt burden. Razalialso criticized the absence of leadership from the North and notedhow differences of views among developed countries had resulted inthe lack of clear direction from that group. Razali also addressedimplementation of Agenda 21, capacity building, financialresources, restructuring of the GEF, technology transfer, and theCommission on Sustainable Development.

INDONESIA: Ambassador Nugroho Wisnumurti of Indonesia statedthat the CSD should not only act as a follow-up for Rio but alsoprovide full coordination for all UN bodies in the implementationof Agenda 21. He expressed disappointment with the lack of progressin the implementation of the 1977 UN Plan of Action to CombatDesertification, which is largely due to inadequate financialresources. At the same time, he is pleased that the UNCED processincreased the level of global awareness on this important issue. Healso placed emphasis on the problems of small island developingcountries.

NEW ZEALAND: New Zealand's Permanent Representative to theUN, Terence O'Brien, attached importance to such CSD attributes aswidespread participation, impartial assessment, transparency,equity and accountability. If the consensus reached at Rio is notto slip away, he said, it is imperative that the full compliment ofcountries, NGOs and other social groups who contributed to theUNCED process stay fully engaged. With this in mind, New Zealandwants to ensure that clear guidelines are developed for theeffective participation of NGOs and other major groups in the workof the CSD. He also said that the perceived "neutrality" of the CSDwill be critical to the effective discharge of CSD reviewfunctions.

GABON: The Ambassador from Gabon, Denis Dangue Rewaka,stated that the success of Agenda 21 depends on both commitment bygovernments and the provision of new and additional resources.Before the Earth Summit, Gabon established a policy for themanagement and conservation of forest resources including:reforestation of an indigenous species; agro-forestry; and theconservation and rational use of natural forest ecosystems. Gabonsupports the proposals of the Secretary-General on the CSD andintends to participate actively in the work of the Commission.

THE UKRAINE: Ukrainian Ambassador Victor Batiouk said thatRio cannot be judged solely on financial aspects, but that thesuccess of the conference is proved by the process of generalunderstanding on sustainable development. The Ukraine supports thecreation of an institution like a Court of Environmental Justice.Furthermore, he added that the structure of UN bodies that dealwith environment and development is outdated. He suggested that theUN Security Council devote one session each year to environmentalinstability as a threat to peace and security. On the issue offinancial resources, the Ukraine supports the conversion ofmilitary resources for ecological purposes.

CUBA: The Cuban Ambassador stated that patterns ofconsumption and production of the opulent societies are the basiccause of environmental degradation. There is a need to break downthe strong resistance displayed by developed countries at Rio. Thebiggest danger now is losing the social pressure and politicalimpetus. Cuba's position on the CSD is reflected in the G-77position paper. Cuba attached specific importance to broad andequitable representation on the Commission. In the discussions oflocation of the Commission, it was urged that consideration must betaken of the special needs and considerations of small countries.Cuba also attached importance to convening a conference onsustainable development of small island states.

SINGAPORE: Ambassador Chew Tai Soo from the Republic ofSingapore identified three factors essential for the effectiveimplementation of Agenda 21: financial resources, the existence ofan appropriate plan of action and strategy for sustainabledevelopment at the national level and an effective institutionalframework at the international level. Singapore has formulated a"Green Plan" that charts the strategic directions for environmentand development policies for the next decade. Singapore believesthat the establishment of the CSD will be one of the most importantdecisions to be made by the General Assembly and endorses theposition paper put forward by the G-77. The location of theSecretariat should be guided by the basic principle that it shouldbe accessible to all states, in particular the smaller developingcountries.

GUYANA: The next speaker was Ambassador S.R. Insanally ofGuyana on behalf of the twelve member states of the CaribbeanCommunity (CARICOM). The CARICOM states agree with the structureproposed by the G-77 but put emphasis on the need for genderbalance in the Commission; locating it in New York to achievemaximum participation of developing countries; and that during thefirst two-three years, the Commission should meet at least twice ayear. CARICOM has a particular interest in convening a globalconference on small island states in Barbados in 1993 and urgedfull support. CARICOM also believes that the GEF should berestructured to be universal in membership with broader and moreequitable representation and more accessible to the needs of smallisland and low lying states. CARICOM also called for transparencyand accountability in its operations.

ZAMBIA: The Permanent Representative from Zambia expresseda number of concerns including: preferential technical transfer todeveloping countries; education and training; trade policies thatgenerate incentives for environmentally sound technologies;incentives to promote private sector investment; and the importanceof not undermining sovereignty as, for example, in the trade intropical timber.

TANZANIA: Tanzanian Ambassador Anthony B. Nyakyi stressedthe importance of implementing Agenda 21 in its entirety. However,it appears as if the square brackets placed around the means ofimplementation during the preparatory process were not yet removedby the Conference. The principle of common but differentiatedresponsibilities agreed at the Conference has not been translatedby States into a concrete resolve to play their part. Regarding themodalities for the establishment of the CSD, Tanzania believes thatmembership should take account of the great importance attached toits mandate and the unprecedented interest its work has aroused inthe UN. There is also an obligation to ensure a realistic genderbalance on the Commission. Furthermore, the CSD should encouragethe participation of NGO's, including industry, the business andscientific communities, according to the rules and proceduresadopted during the UNCED process.

UGANDA: Ambassador Perezi K. Kamunanwire stated that theconcept of sustainable development can only start from theapplication of sustainable agricultural productivity. Humanresource capabilities necessary for implementation of sustainabledevelopment programmes must be one of the top priorities. If thegoals of Agenda 21 are to be met, the GEF must be restructured tomeet both the requirement of Agenda 21 and the format ofrepresentation. Financial resources for Agenda 21 should bereleased from: (1) cancellation of all official bilateral debt; (2)cancellation of all commercial debts procured under arrangements ofimport-export guarantees; and (3) with the support of the donorcountries, cancellation of all debt owed to multilateral financialinstitutions.

RUSSIAN FEDERATION: Mikhail Kokeyev stated that the resultsof Rio are viewed with different degrees of optimism from differentcountries. While the text of the Rio Declaration has not beenpolished due to lack of time, work may be continued to complete itfor the 50th anniversary of the UN. The Commission on SustainableDevelopment, once established, may want to take a decision to putthe work of the Environmental Center for Urgent Assistance on apermanent basis. Russia has demonstrated its readiness to bolsterthe concept and practices of sustainable development by publishinga "National Report on the condition of the environment of theRussian Federation in 1991" and the development of relevant laws.

ISRAEL: Ambassador Israel Eliashiv stated that Israel isespecially sensitive to the fragility of the environment anddevelopment because Israel's rebirth is a continuous ecologicaldrama. There are few examples in the literatures of nationalmovements of such compassion for a suffering landscape. As part ofthe international effort to protect the environment, a group ofover 100 Israeli companies are engaged in extensive research todevelop sophisticated and innovative export-oriented technologies,including: noise-reduction from jet planes, anti-pollution measuresagainst chemical gases and biological pollutants and convertingcrop spraying into benign materials. Israel is also engaged inresearch and development of arid zones and the conversion of thedesert into a productive environment.


MONGOLIA: The Permanent Representative from Mongoliasupported the views of the Secretary-General on the formation ofthe CSD, as they lay down a sound basis for constructivedeliberations and early action. The membership of the Commissionshould be at a high level and be determined on the basis ofequitable geographic distribution. To ensure that all views aretaken into account, non-member states should participate asobservers and NGOs and private institutions should contribute tothe work of the Commission as envisaged in Agenda 21. The CSD willprovide a crucial forum for ongoing North-South dialogue on theseissues and will be the most effective mechanism to assuresustainable development. He echoed the statements of manydeveloping countries on the need for new and additional financialresources and the restructuring of the GEF.

DJIBOUTI: The representative from Djibouti stated that thestruggle against environmental degradation is a struggle forsurvival in Africa. Djibouti welcomes the report of theSecretary-General on the CSD and feels strongly that the momentumof Rio ought to be retained. At the center of the Commission is theneed for new and additional financial resources. Without commitmentto resources, the implementation of Agenda 21 will be seriouslycompromised. The question is not whether we can afford to do itbut whether we can afford not to do it.

MYANMAR: The representative from Myanmar, Kyaw Tint Swe, puta special emphasis on the CSD. It should be a functional commissionof ECOSOC with a limited size to ensure efficiency, but largeenough to have equitable geographic representation. TheCommission's functions should be well-defined, including monitoringprogress in the implementation of Agenda 21 and activities relatedto the integration of environment and development; commitments offinancial resources and technology transfer; interactive relationswith the international financial institutions and the efficientcoordination of the agencies and organs of the UN system forimplementation. Other areas of importance include: establishmentof the INC for desertification; programmes at the national level toalleviate poverty and employ sustainable agriculture practices; andsustainable management of forests.

PHILIPPINES: Under-Secretary of Foreign Affairs Tomas R.Padilla stressed a number of points agreed upon in Rio, including:the right to development and the human face of development; thecategorical imperative of international cooperation; financing ofAgenda 21; transfer of technology and institutional coordination.However, all programs and projects described in Agenda 21 will cometo naught without adequate funding. In addition to restructuringthe GEF, developing countries must be relieved of their debt burdenand must be granted higher levels of ODA.

GUATEMALA: On behalf of Costa Rica, Panama, Honduras and ElSalvador, the Permanent Representative of Guatemala stated that theCSD must ensure equitable geographic representation, includingdirect participation of Central American states. He said that it isessential to formulate adequate economic policies for developingcountries while respecting their cultural orientations. Hementioned a number of ways in which the Central American stateshave worked together, including a Central American convention onbiodiversity and an agreement halting transboundary movement ofhazardous waste. He stressed the need to strengthencapacity-building in developing countries; to ensure free access tomarkets by the elimination of protectionist measures; and tofacilitate close cooperation between developing countries.

TOGO: Ambassador Biova-Soumi Pennanech mentioned that Riocreated new channels of communication between the private andpublic sector and heightened public awareness. He urged the donorcommunity to release the necessary resources to serve the commoninterest. He highlighted the scope and seriousness of drought anddesertification and stressed the urgency of elaborating aconvention within 18 months. He further stated that the CSD has asubstantial role to play in UNCED follow-up and restated many ofthe positions already elaborated by other members of the G-77.

AUSTRALIA: Mr. Richard Butler, AM stated that Australiaintends to continue assisting developing countries to build human,institutional and technological capacities for implementation forthe UNCED outcomes. The Australian ODA programme already places astrong emphasis on poverty alleviation, training and populationissues as well as implementation of sustainable land and marineresource use. Australia is also committed to the provision of newand additional financial resources for developing countries to beprovided through the GEF and through bilateral, regional and globalcooperation programs. He attached great importance to thesubmission of reports by national governments on their plans forsustainable development and any difficulties they encounter inimplementing such plans.

MALTA: The representative from Malta said that his countrysupports a number of elements in the Secretary-General's reportincluding: involvement of NGOs, business and industry to ensurethat needs of the global community are considered and convening aspecial session of the General Assembly to take place no later than1997 to review progress. He emphasized that UNCED follow-uprequires many other decisions on related conferences.

HUNGARY: In his statement, Ambassador Andre Erdos stressedthe tragic environmental legacy of the former regimes of thepost-Communist countries, including the Gabcikovo-Nagymaros BarrageSystem on the Danube River. Due to the severeness of the ecologicaldanger that the completion of the project would pose, the Hungariangovernment was left with no option but to terminate the 1977 treatybetween Czechoslovakia and Hungary that set the joint terms for theproject's construction. He criticized Czechoslovakia for continuingwith the implementation of this project. On other matters, he saidthat an institutionalized form of communication between governmentand society should be established, including full access toinformation and a systematic and legalized role for the NGOs.

SRI LANKA: The representative from Sri Lanka said thatcooperation among states to promote an effective economic systemcannot be over-estimated. He stressed: the need to complete theUruguay Round of GATT; the need for new and additional resources;effective financial mechanisms to facilitate the flow of resources;the importance of restructuring the GEF; the need to include womenin the implementation of sustainable development; support for theestablishment of the CSD; the establishment of an INC for aframework convention to combat desertification; and the conferenceon sustainable development of small island developing countries inJune 1993.

SENEGAL: The representative from Senegal emphasized theimportance of combatting desertification. He also insisted thatdeveloped countries prove their political will by fulfilling theirfinancial commitments enunciated in Chapter 33 of Agenda 21.Furthermore, the GEF should be restructured to be more democraticand transparent.

SWITZERLAND: Philippe Roch, Director of the Federal Officefor the Environment, Forests and Countryside, expressed greatinterest in the Commission on Sustainable Development. He said thatthere should be broad and universal participation of UN members andspecialized agencies; observers should be able to fully participateand NGOs should also be involved to ensure their activeparticipation in the Commission. He announced the formal offer ofthe Swiss Government to host the CSD in Geneva and offered to makethe infra-structure available to ensure that developing countriescould participate in the Commission. The Swiss Government will alsomake available necessary resources for travel and submit a moredetailed proposal on this matter to the G-77 next week.

Finally, just as the General Assembly was about to adjourn for theday, Czechoslovakia requested the floor to respond to Hungary'sallegations over the Gabcikovo-Nagymaros Project. Ambassador EduardKukan explained that the project was jointly decided byCzechoslovakia and Hungary and that one of the main motives of theproject has always been flood protection. In May, 1989, without anyconsultation with Czechoslovakia, Hungary suspended all work on theHungarian half of the project, ignoring all damage claims byCzechoslovakia for breach of contract. He explained that theenvironmental impacts of the project were evaluated by severalexpert commissions and measures were taken to mitigate theenvironmental impacts of the dam. At this stage, it is technicallyimpossible to restore the original productive part of theterritory. He closed by expressing the desire of his government toresolve the issue through meaningful negotiations.


BULGARIA: Ambassador Slavi Pashovsky attached particularimportance to the agreement on the establishment of the CSD. TheCommission should have a strong mandate and assume a dynamic rolein identifying priorities and emerging issues related tosustainable development. The Commission should provide for theactive involvement of UN agencies, international financialorganizations, other relevant intergovernmental organizations andNGOs. As a country undergoing a process of transition to a marketeconomy, Bulgaria is particularly interested in the transfer ofenvironmentally safe technologies and financial resources.Pashovsky expressed Bulgaria's interest in contributing to theinternational efforts in Europe to protect the environment.

POLAND: Dr. Zbigniew M. Wlosowicz, the Polish Charg‚d'Affaires, stated that this session of the General Assemblyprovides a perfect opportunity to prevent the spirit of Rio fromfading away. The CSD, he said, should be an effective and efficientbody ready to take decisions, elaborate policy guidelines, and dealwith questions of financial resources. He advocated that theCommission meet at the ministerial level and highlighted thespecial role to be played by NGOs and the international financialinstitutions. He expressed support for the two conventions (climatechange and biodiversity) and the statement on forest principlessigned in Rio and said that he hoped that the conventions continueto evolve and that negotiations begin in the future on a globalforest convention.

BELARUS: Ambassador Gennadiy Buravkin stated that havingexperienced one of the biggest technogenic disasters of thetwentieth century -- Chernobyl -- Belarus will work further in theinternational arena to ensure that the choice is made in favor ofthe well-being of our common home -- the Earth. Buravkin then wenton to outline some of his government's priorities: (1) preventunnecessary competition between the "transition" countries ofEastern Europe and the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) andthe developing countries with regard to international aid andspecial technical assistance from the industrialized states; (2)intensify and better coordinate activity of the European regionalecological security structures as the necessary prerequisite forsustainable development; (3) coordinate activities of environmentalagencies within the CIS; (4) encourage the participation of NGOs inthe elaboration and implementation of sustainable development; and(5) facilitate new partnerships in the market-oriented world.

URUGUAY: Dr. Miguel Langon, Special Representative of theNational Commission for the Environment, expressed concern that theRio Conference did not end with the adoption of more concrete andeffective commitments. At home, Uruguay is actively preparing anational environmental code that will embrace the principlesembodied in Agenda 21. Within the UN, Uruguay believes that anecessary prerequisite for peace, security and development is thetotal preservation of the environment. He then proposed the timelydrafting and approval of an international environment code andproceeded to outline Uruguay's draft proposal for such a code to beconsidered by the General Assembly. The draft contains a preambleand 13 chapters, ranging from the consecration of the basicprinciples that should govern a code of this nature, to theprovision for harmonized systems of international organization.

YEMEN: Ambassador Ahmad Al-Haddad stated that the productsof Rio recognize that there is a collective responsibility toprotect the Earth. He supported the statements made by theSecretary-General both in Rio and during this General Assemblydebate. The CSD must coordinate all the activities in the UN systemthat deal with environment and development. Given the multiplicityof tasks to be carried out, developing countries need support tostrengthen their infrastructures so they can protect theenvironment.

EGYPT: The representative from Egypt, Dawlat Hassan, saidthat UNCED may not have succeeded as much as its supporters wouldhave liked, but was more successful than its detractors hadforecasted. There is a need for more investment by the developedNorth since the developing countries need the necessary incentivesto redirect resources toward the implementation of the programmesin Agenda 21. She expressed hope that the negotiations for aconvention to combat desertification would receive the sameattention as did the climate change negotiations. She alsoelaborated a number of programmes being implemented in Egypt tocombat air pollution, preserve fresh water resources, deal withpopulation growth and other environmental issues.

SAUDI ARABIA: The representative of Saudi Arabia, AhmedBiari, discussed the environmental protection measures undertakenby the Saudi petroleum industry to limit air pollution and otherdetrimental environmental effects. He also described a number ofenvironmental policies and initiatives in the Kingdom and theserious environmental effects of the Gulf War.

ESTONIA: Speaking on behalf of Latvia and Lithuania,Ambassador Ernst Jaakson stated that the Baltic states havecompleted studies of their environmental problems except in theareas currently controlled by the Russian Army, where access islimited and the environmental consequences of fifty years ofoccupation are unknown. The Baltic states are looking at futuresteps toward sustainable development including legislated policiesand governmental action regarding national compliance andenforcement of existing environmental conventions. He said that itis to UNCED's credit that Agenda 21 explicitly recognized the roleof markets and competition among firms as the prime means throughwhich sustainable development will take place.

SIERRA LEONE: The representative from Sierra Leone said thatthe economic implications of Agenda 21 are immense. There is a needfor global partnership with the industrialized world, based onequity, to implement Agenda 21. He stressed the need for new andadditional financial resources, transfer of technology and capacitybuilding. In view of the vulnerability of African countries todesertification, he urged that the work of the INC on a conventionto combat desertification begin as soon as possible. He supportedthe establishment of the CSD and reiterated the views of manydelegations as to its function and composition.

GAMBIA: In his review of UNCED's accomplishments, therepresentative from Gambia expressed hope that the Climate ChangeConvention will eventually include measures to decrease emissionsof specific greenhouse gases. The heavy debt burden, lack of foodsecurity, weak and unsustainable economic growth, low standard ofliving, and a rise in unemployment comprise major constraints toachieving sustainable development. He highlighted the need for aconvention to combat drought and desertification and expressed hopethat the restructuring of the GEF will include drought anddesertification as a fifth programme area.

PALESTINE: Dr. M. Nasser Al-Kidwa, the permanent Palestinianobserver, gave the final statement of the morning. He advocated theestablishment of the CSD and stressed that one of its prioritiesshould be to monitor financial and technological flows todeveloping countries. He reminded delegates that sustainabledevelopment is only a privilege of independent nations, for peopleliving under illegal, foreign occupation are totally helpless withregard to the control and conservation of their own environment. Hethen restated principle 23 of the Rio Declaration that refers tothe environment and natural resources of people under oppression,domination and occupation.


CHILE: The afternoon's session opened with a statement fromthe representative of Chile who commented on the widespreadinterest in the Earth Summit, demonstrated, in part, by the largenumber of NGOs who participated in the UNCED process. Countriesmust adjust national policies to the needs of the environment andthis cannot happen without the provision of the necessaryfinancing. Chile believes that establishing the CSD on the rightlines will, to a large extent, determine what targets can be set ormet. The CSD can also help to strengthen the work of ECOSOC. Therelationship between the Commission and the GEF may well bedecisive in the successful implementation of Agenda 21. He stressedthat NGOs, who contributed to the success of UNCED, should beeffectively involved in the work of the Commission.

ETHIOPIA: The representative from Ethiopia advocated theinvolvement of women, youth and all sectors of society in theimplementation of sustainable development programmes. He stressedthe special situation and the needs of the least developed and mostvulnerable countries, especially those experiencing heavy debtburdens and increasing poverty. All creditors should be urged toprovide debt relief for the least developed countries to supporttheir sustainable development efforts. He also emphasized theimportance of negotiating a convention to combat desertification,as this is a serious problem in Ethiopia.

CONGO: The representative from the Congo commented that themajor question today is the follow-up to Rio: how to translate thediplomatic achievements into actions that will save the planet. Hestressed that the industrialized countries must meet the financialcommitments that they made in Rio. There is a need for imaginationin developing creative solutions to alleviate developing countrydebt, a major handicap to sustainable development. It is time forthe international community to draft a legal instrument tocoordinate the campaign against desertification. On the CSD, headvocated a strong secretariat that would build on the experiencegained in the UNCED process.

DENMARK: Danish Ambassador T. Mailand-Christensen commentedthat the products of Rio are far from the end results -- they areonly the first steps. He called upon all countries to ratify thetwo conventions (climate change and biodiversity) by the end of1993. He also attached great importance to forests anddesertification. On the issue of financial resources, Denmark hasgradually increased its own ODA level which is presently at onepercent of GNP and is ready to provide a three-fold increase of GEFresources and a substantial replenishment of IDA-10 with an "EarthIncrement". On the CSD, he called for a strong, highly qualifiedSecretariat, a future-oriented mandate, participation by all partsof the UN system, and the active involvement of NGOs.

UNITED ARAB EMIRATES: The permanent representative from theUAE stressed that it is important to recognize the sovereign rightsof states over their natural resources. He expressed hope that theestablishment of the Commission would be based on equitablegeographic distribution. The developing countries will not be ableto play a complete role in the field of sustainable developmentwithout technology transfer and financial resources from developedcountries. The UAE supports the elaboration of a conventioncombatting desertification and drought. He also highlighted thefragile environment of the Arabian Gulf and the consequences of theGulf War.

KENYA: William P. Mayaka, Deputy Secretary from the KenyanMinistry of Environment and Natural Resources, supported theposition of the G-77 on the establishment of the CSD and reiteratedsome of these points. He highlighted the need for an enhanced andstrengthened role for UNEP and its Governing Council and urged thatmeasures be taken to provide it with the resources it needs anddeserves. Kenya also attached great importance to the work of theUN Centre for Human Settlements (Habitat) and the preparation forthe Second UN Conference on Human Settlements to be held in 1996.He repeated the need for new and additional financial resources andtransfer of technology. With regard to the convention to combatdesertification and drought, Mayaka advocated the full utilizationof UNEP's experience in this area during the course of thenegotiations.

CZECHOSLOVAKIA: Ambassador Bedrich Moldan emphasized thedual role of the Commission on Sustainable Development: toimplement Agenda 21 and to coordinate relevant activities withinthe UN system. He elaborated a number of recommendations on thestructure and function of the Commission, including: (1) directconnections to the General Assembly on certain issues; (2)membership distributed geographically in a manner similar toECOSOC; (3) a clear mandate; (4) gaining on the experience of thevery successful UNCED Secretariat; (5) differentiated assistance tocountries or groups of countries; and (6) the creation of NationalFocal Points for the implementation of Agenda 21 and for generalcontact with the Commission. Moldan also mentioned the importanceof including the expertise provided by NGOs, the Bretton WoodsInstitutions and relevant UN agencies in the work of theCommission.

COTE D'IVOIRE: Patrice K. Anoh, the Charg‚ d'Affaires fromCote D'Ivoire stressed that threats to his country's environmentcome from the unsuccessful earnings of agricultural products forexport; coping with debt payments; and importing energy at a veryhigh cost. These problems would be solved if agricultural productswere purchased on the international market at fair prices. For hiscountry, the Rio Conference will only have meaning if it isfollowed by a "post-Rio" process. His government believes that theGEF is one of the indispensable financing mechanisms for developingcountries if its structure is reformed to ensure more democracy andtransparency. Furthermore, the CSD must be an appropriate supportstructure that will not replace other multilateral and bilateralstructures.

SPAIN: The permanent representative from Spain stated that,among other things, the participants of the Ibero-AmericanConference held in Madrid in July agreed to take every step toensure that the implementation of Agenda 21 will be successful. Thetwo conventions signed in Rio have already been forwarded to theSpanish parliament for ratification. Immediately after Rio, theNational Climate Commission was set up to advise the government onclimate change policies. In Rio, Spain proposed the city of Sevilleas the seat of the Secretariat of the Biodiversity Convention. TheSpanish Government has also offered to host the first meeting ofIntergovernmental Committee of the Biodiversity Convention in thefall of 1993 and will make a substantial financial contributiontowards this meeting.

JORDAN: The representative from Jordan said that effectiveeco-diplomacy is needed to enhance global cooperation tosuccessfully implement Agenda 21. He elaborated on a few issues ofimportance to his country, including: population growth; finance,poverty alleviation and the need to increase national wealth; andinstitutionalizing the outcome of the Rio Summit. He stated thatJordan has its own set of socio-economic problems, includingdesertification and population growth, but has been able toallocate resources to the education of rural populations. Jordanhas also been able to work with NGOs to increase public awareness.

NIGERIA: Nigerian Ambassador Ibrahim Gambari stressed themutually reinforcing nature of environment and development. Nigeriahas taken the necessary steps for speedy ratification of theBiodiversity and Climate Change Conventions and advocatedratification by all countries. Nigeria has also approved thestrengthening of the Federal Environmental Protection Agency toenable it to coordinate Nigeria's programme on sustainabledevelopment. He supported the Secretary-General's recommendationson the establishment of the CSD, but drew attention to the need toenhance and strengthen the future work of UNEP and UNDP. He alsoadvocated that UNEP be designated as the Secretariat of the INC tocombat desertification. Gambari also called on both developed anddeveloping countries to provide the much needed financial supportto assist the speedy implementation of UNDP's Capacity 21initiative.

FIJI: Ambassador Manasa K. Seniloli mentioned that Fiji hasformulated a draft National Environmental Strategy and that theMinistry of the Environment is now in the process of incorporatingthe views and comments that have been received from a widecross-section of the community. The CSD should not only review theprogress achieved in implementing Agenda 21, but adjust and updateAgenda 21 in light of any new developments. He stressed theimportance that the oceans programme of Agenda 21 has for Fiji andhighlighted the need to convene global conferences on thesustainable development of small island developing states and highseas fisheries. Seniloli also pointed out the problems with thedumping of toxic, hazardous and other wastes. Finally, he advocatedfurther elaboration of the Climate Change Convention before it istoo late.


CAMEROON: The representative from Cameroon stated that theCSD should: consist of member states elected for three-year terms,assuring equitable geographic representation; including theparticipation of observers and NGOs; and to have an independentSecretariat. He also expressed hope that Maurice Strong would headthis Secretariat. Ensuring effective follow-up to Rio meansarranging for the transfer of financial and technologicalresources. He reaffirmed Cameroon's support for the convening of apledging conference, perhaps even at this General Assembly session.He expressed hope that the desertification negotiations would getunderway soon. On the issue of forests, Cameroon feels that aninternational instrument could be created to safeguard everyone'sinterests.

ICELAND: The representative from Iceland commented that theend of the Cold War has created new opportunities in the field ofeconomic, political and environmental cooperation. Theinternational political climate is good for the reduction ofmilitary expenditures, including in developing countries, and theseresources should be diverted to other uses. Iceland has initiatedthe legal process to ratify the conventions on climate change andbiodiversity. He supported the restructuring of both ECOSOC and theGEF. Iceland places special emphasis on the marine environment andthe unsustainable harvest of high-seas fisheries and expressedsupport for the inter-governmental conferences on straddling andhighly migratory fish stocks and land-based sources of marinepollution.

NEPAL: The representative from Nepal opened his statement bysaying that environmental degradation poses an equal threat to thenuclear threat during the Cold War. He warned that consumption bydeveloped countries poses a greater threat to the world environmentthan poverty does. The CSD is going to be an important UN body and,thus, should be as widely representative a body as possible. Inaddition to monitoring programmes under Agenda 21, the CSD shouldconstantly review funding mechanisms. On this note, Nepal urgeddeveloped countries to reach the target of 0.7 percent of GNP forODA. At home, Nepal has begun the process of ratifying theconventions on climate change and biodiversity and has begun areview of its own environment and development programmes.

BOTSWANA: The permanent representative from Botswana openedby stating that two-thirds of Botswana's land is covered by desert.Southern Africa is currently facing a devastating drought. Heexpressed his thanks to the developed countries that are supportingthe establishment of an INC to elaborate a framework convention tocombat desertification and drought. Botswana expressed full supportfor the G-77 position paper on the CSD. He said that all countriesmust honor their commitment to implement Agenda 21. Botswana hasput together a national conservation strategy that is deeply rootedin the principles of the Rio Declaration.

VANUATU: Ambassador Robert F. Van Lierop, on behalf of theAssociation of Small Island States (AOSIS), said that one of themost significant aspects of Rio was that the concerns of smallisland states were an integral part of the process. AOSIS believesthat the UNCED process benefitted substantially from theparticipation of NGOs and their continued engagement in post-UNCEDinstitutional arrangements should be ensured. On the CSD, AOSISbelieves that: the Commission should meet once a year at theministerial level; the Commission and its Secretariat should belocated in New York, where most countries are represented; and theCommission should not be subverted or emasculated in any fashion.AOSIS is pleased by the positive reactions on the proposal toconvene a conference on the sustainable development of small islandstates. He also warned of the dangers posed by climate change andsea level rise.

SLOVENIA: Dr. Danilo Trk, the Permanent Representative ofSlovenia stated that in October the Government of Sloveniasubmitted to Parliament a draft law on protection of environmentwhich is designed to support the concept of sustainable developmentin the process of economic and social transformation. Sloveniasupports the creation of the CSD and emphasized the Commissionshould: be organized to provide an effective and business-likeprocess of discussion; ensure effective participation of NGOs; findthe most appropriate way to ensure the meaningful participation ofinternational financial institutions; and be independent of otherUN organs.

ECUADOR: The representative of Ecuador stated thatinterdependence highlights our commitment to protect theenvironment. Sufficient financial and technical resources must beprovided to undo the ecological damage that has been done and toensure sustainable development. Ecuador, on behalf of the eightmember nations of the Treaty on Amazon Cooperation, has proposed afund to balance the conservation of the Amazon ecosystem betweenthe needs of the Amazon states and those of the internationalcommunity. Ecuador supports the establishment of the CSD andsupports the participation of NGOs.

GHANA: The Ambassador from Ghana stated that the creation ofthe CSD is a matter of fundamental and essential importance. Itshould have broad representation and adequate and distinctSecretarial support services. Drought and desertification hasaggravated social strife and economic difficulties in many Africancountries. Therefore, Ghana supports the preparation of aconvention to combat drought and desertification. She highlightedthe role of women in sustainable development and hopes that thismomentum will be reinforced in the decision-making process and theimplementation of Agenda 21 programmes. She appealed to developedcountries to achieve 0.7 percent of GNP for ODA and supported theuse of the peace dividend toward meeting this goal.

KAZAKHSTAN: The representative from Kazakhstan highlightedthe problem of water in Central Asia, which could, in time, becomethe source of serious differences in the heart of this ancientcontinent. Kazahkstan is experiencing ecological disastersfirsthand, including: the drying up of the Aral Sea, soil loss andeffects of nuclear testing by the former Soviet regime. Sheexpressed support for the CSD and endorsed the report of theSecretary-General.

ZIMBABWE: The representative from Zimbabwe pointed out thatthe purpose of Agenda 21 is to form a global partnership insustainable development. Whether this global partnership works isdependent upon the political will to implement the Agenda 21 actionplan and setting up adequate mechanisms to follow-up the actionplan. On institutional arrangements, Zimbabwe largely agrees withthe Secretary-General's proposals.

HOLY SEE: The final statement was from the observer from theHoly See, Archbishop Renato R. Martino. He expressed hope thatUNCED succeeded in awakening and directing the commitment ofgovernments, organizations and individuals. He believes that theethical and spiritual dimensions of all national and internationalprogrammes to achieve sustainable development be given dueconsideration.