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WSSD Statements: Mexico, Mozambique, Sri Lanka


MEXICO


Statement

by

Vicente Fox Quesada
President of the United Mexican States

at the
World Summit on Sustainable Development

Johannesburg, South Africa
3rd. September 2002.

Distinguished Mister Kofi Annan,
Secretary General of the United Nations;

Distinguished Heads of States and Governments;

Distinguished Ladies and Gentlemen of the delegations participating at this world summit:

Mexico is committed to sustainable development. We can no longer allow ourselves economic growth at the expense of the abuse of the planet's natural resources or from social exclusion. We require development with a human face, based on the fight against poverty and environmental degradation.

Ten years ago, the international community adopted commitments of a global character. The environment and natural resources, however, continue to deteriorate alarmingly, and international cooperation for development has lost ground against the needs of the majority of peoples.

It is time to hasten our steps and to take urgent measures. We must take advantage of the opportunity afforded to us by this Johannesburg Summit, first effort of this millennium to make sustainability a global development model.

Without doubt, global and regional climate changes, the contamination of water and soils, the over exploitation of water and forest resources, desertification and the accelerated loss of our biodiversity, as well as the growing inequalities both inwardly within nations as well as between them, obligate us to give our urgent attention to these problems.

The agreements achieved in Mexico, at the Monterrey Conference celebrated a few months ago, constitute the first step to increase development aid and to advance in the search for new mechanisms to finance sustainable development.

This effort must include our commitment to apply resources efficiently, transparently and accountably. It must also drive our fight to alleviate inequality and poverty in all regions of the globe, especially in the less developed countries. Without doubt, the foreign debt of those countries constitutes one of the biggest impediments in their advance towards sustainable development. We must deal with all these problems jointly, and achieve a new world Alliance in favour of sustainable development.

I have committed myself to establish concrete and verifiable targets for Mexico on matters of sustainability, and for this purpose we have built a system of indicators and instruments that will enable the evaluation of the environmental impact of government policies and programmes and the advancement of Mexico towards the construction of a sustainable society.

For Mexico, the protection of the environment and the defence of natural resources are a matter of national security, because environmental degradation has started to affect our country's potential for progress.

Our commitment is also towards the agenda at a global level. Mexico has ratified the main international instruments regarding the environment and Sustainable Development and we have been the first country in the American continent to ratify the Kyoto Protocol.

Today, having abandoned in the last two years the burning of 70% of natural gas associated with petroleum exploitation, we have avoided emitting 6.3 million tons of carbon dioxide, and substantially reduced methane gas emissions. In this way we contribute, over and above our international obligations, to the reversal of global climate change.

My government has decreed its Exclusive Maritime Economic Zone a Refuge for Whales and Dolphins, converting our country into the most extensive sanctuary in the world for these marvellous marine mammals, protecting them from commercial exploitation and any other activity that may threaten them.

On the subject of biosecurity, the Senate of my country recently ratified the Cartagena Protocol. The government of Mexico works with the Congress to establish national legislation that promotes research and the sustainable use of genetic resources in a safe and responsible manner. This matter is of the greatest importance given that we are a nation where the main source centres for different species of basic grains, plants and animals are situated, which have been the central foundation in the advancement of civilizations in the past, and today sustain modernization and technological advances.

Mexico has driven the creation of the Like-Minded Megadiverse Countries, which has under its jurisdiction more than 70% of the natural richness of the planet. Conscious of our great responsibility towards humankind, we have agreed to commit ourselves with the rest of the nations to redouble our efforts for the conservation of biological diversity, so to significantly reduce the loss of Biodiversity by the year 2010.

As a counterpart to this goal, developed countries must commit themselves to provide new financial and technological resources to developing countries, and to promote, in the context of the Convention on Biological Diversity, an International Regime to develop and protect the equitable distribution of the benefits resulting from the utilization of genetic resources. This will be one of the most important heirlooms of this Summit.

It must be clear to all of us: the only way to protect and save the biological diversity of the world is by directly benefiting the local and indigenous communities that, in spite of inhabiting these areas of great natural resources, are generally the most impoverished and marginalized inhabitants of the planet.

Our commitment must be with them, because these peoples have preserved for thousands of years, for the benefit of the whole of humankind, this great natural and cultural wealth. It is necessary to achieve the just valuation of the traditional knowledge of indigenous peoples, and taken into account in the evaluation and granting of intellectual property rights.

Only in this way we shall achieve the conservation of our natural patrimony within a framework of equity and justice, with an effective battle against poverty and a dignified life of respect and opportunities for our peoples. Only in this way communities will be able to transform themselves into the best allies of conservation and the rational and sustainable use of biological diversity.

To ensure the integrity of sustainable development, we recognize that health is a fundamental component for the eradication of poverty. This is why Mexico commits itself to fight against it. It is necessary to make investment in health a key element for sustainable development, just as it was recognized in the Monterrey Declaration.

Mexico expresses its thanks to the government of South Africa for its hospitality at this Summit, which must convert into actions the good intentions expressed here, just as it was demanded clearly and simply by the girls and boys that in the name of the future of the world participated in yesterday's Inauguration.

Thank you very much.

ENDS

************


MOZAMBIQUE

Statement

by

H. E. Mr. Joaquim Alberto Chissano
President of the Republic of Mozambique

at the
World Summit on Sustainable Development

Johannesburg, South Africa
03 September, 2002

Mr. Chairperson,

The Republic of Mozambique feels honored to be part of this September gathering in which world leaders are set to agree on a framework for global action for sustainable development, through which countries will be pursuing their developing agendas while ensuring a prosperous world for present and future generations.

We are also honored to see a sister Country South Africa, hosting this important World Summit better known as WSSD. As Mozambicans, we have always enjoyed the South African hospitality and we should be remiss if we did not convey our sincere appreciation for the outstanding manner, generosity and graciousness we have been treated this time again since our arrival in Johannesburg.

We further convey our congratulations to you, Mr. Chairman, for the extraordinary manner you have been steering the proceedings of this Summit. We are confident that under your skillful and able leadership our meting will deliver the desired results.

We appreciate the presence of the Secretary-General of the United Nations, a personality that has been working tirelessly for the well being of humanity and for the successful realization of this Summit. We commend his tremendous work to reform the United Nations, so that it can effectively tackle the challenges posed by the new millennium.

Mr. Chairman

Ten years have elapsed since we met in Rio de Janeiro to address the protection of the environment, while ensuring socio-economic development. In that historic meeting we adopted Agenda 21 and the Rio Declaration, two visionary and forward-looking documents that outlined the course of action for that endeavor.

We meet here in Johannesburg for a timely review of the implementation of Rio commitments, addressing new challenges such as globalization as well as looking into practical ways to meet the Millennium Declaration goals.

The reports before us on the implementation of the Rio outcomes are unanimous in noting their rather disappointing implementation, with many commitments agreed upon yet to be met.

The reasons are basically well-known amongst which lack of political will to mobilize and allocate the necessary financial resources for implementation, technological transfer and technical assistance to developing countries, thus neglecting development goals, as well as the widespread poverty in developing countries, particularly LDCs.

As a result, the vision of sustainable development remains elusive and the world continues to be characterized by unsustainable patterns of development that neither protect the environment nor deliver socioeconomic growth and development. On the contrary, poverty, underdevelopment, inequality, pollution, global warming, severe weather, natural disasters and environmental degradation are just a few of the sad features we are faced with.

The Rio process has enabled us to identify the problem and the therapy. The best way to administer such therapy is the implementation We must refrain from any attempt to question the relevance of the Rio commitments the of Agenda 21 and of the principle of common but differentiated responsibility.

Agenda 21 continues to be a very valid strategy for sustainable development, in which environment protection and socio-economic development are presented in a comprehensive and balanced manner. Moreover, the key principle of common but differentiated responsibility at the heart of the Rio commitments remains the cornerstone for international action and partnership towards sustainable development, as it renders the necessary justice and fairness.

Therefore this Summit should establish a framework in which all countries in the world do perform their fair share of responsibility in the implementation of Agenda 21 in both the environment and development aspects. We should come up with new partnerships that entail concrete and innovative forms of assistance to developing countries, particularly the LDCs, to meet their development needs in full compliance with environment protection.

Mr. Chairperson,

Time has now come for the effective implementation of the commitments previously agreed upon, We should use this Summit, to move for more practical steps and transform the commitments made in the past into concrete action plans, and address the global concerns of humanity especially the poor.

Mr. Chairperson,

Africa is pleased and proud to host the WSSD in Johannesburg. Holding the summit in the poorest continent on the globe, we hope, will raise the global awareness over the significance of problems related to poverty, degradation and underdevelopment. African countries quest to implement Rio commitments has been seriously undermined by the widespread poverty on the Continent.

African countries, the majority of which belongs to LDC group of countries have a very weak social and economic structure as well as undeveloped infrastructure, which makes Africa's prospect of joining the global market and reaping the benefits of globalization a remote dream. However, despite their marginalization and underdevelopment, African countries are determined to achieve sustainable development through poverty eradication.

The commitment to solving the continent's problems is unquestionable. Africa believes that improving the life of its people is the primary responsibility of its people, themselves. Therefore Africans are now taking charge of their destiny. This is so, because there is a growing consensus that development cannot be imposed from outside. It should be home-based, owned and directed by the countries themselves, and reflecting the broad needs of their society.

In line with this concept, the New Partnership for African Development, NEPAD, constitutes the African answer to the problems faced by the continent. Based on the principle of national ownership, the NEPAD aims at setting an agenda to renew the continent by capturing national and regional priorities and development plans, through a participatory process and new framework for interaction and partnership with the rest of the world.

By adopting NEPAD, African leaders have produced their own strategy for sustainable development, based on Africa's reality, needs, strength and vision. NEPAD's approach is in line with Agenda 21. It pursues the goal of poverty eradication through economic growth and sustainable development, in which environmental concerns are legitimately addressed.

The success of NEPAD is crucial to the advancement of sustainable development in Africa. However, NEPAD can only be viable if it benefits from a meaningful partnership with the rest of the world. The response that NEPAD has received so far from our development partners is quite encouraging. We can only hope that this trend is strengthened and furthered, through the provision of necessary assistance.

Mr. Chairperson,

Mozambique attaches great importance to the fulfillment of the Rio commitments. In Mozambique the implementation of Agenda 21 was prioritized and integrated in the development programs of the country. We are satisfied that Mozambique has ratified almost all environmental conventions and MEA's related to Rio outcomes and we have engaged in the implementation of our national strategy for Sustainable Development centered on poverty alleviation. Within the framework of the preparations of the Johannesburg Summit, with the active participation of all stakeholders, including the civil society, the private sector and the NGOs, we have prepared a national report on the implementation of Agenda 21 now before the Summit.

On the other hand, Mozambique has produced her own strategy for poverty eradication and sustainable development, known as PARPA for the period 2001-2005. With the incidence of absolute poverty at about 70% of the population, PARPA aims at reducing poverty through rapid, sustained and broad-based economic and social growth and sustainable development.

We express our gratitude to our development partners for significant support rendered to the implementation of our strategy for poverty eradication (PARPA) and we reiterate our resolve to continue combating poverty and pursue sustainable development, with a strong component of environment protection.

Our efforts towards poverty eradication and socio-economic growth and development, have a strong component of environment protection.

Mozambique has enacted the necessary national environment laws and regulations, is vigorously conducting awareness campaigns on sustainable development. Conducting the territorial planning, and, is creating areas for the protection of biodiversity and natural parks, including marine parks like Bazaruto and Quirimba archipelagos. Aimed at protecting the African seas and coastal areas Mozambique has played an important role in hosting the first Pan African Conference on Sustainable Integrated Coastal Management in 1998 which in conjunction with the Cape Town Conference on Cooperation for the Development and Protection of the Marine and Coastal Environment in the Sub-Saharan Africa resulted in the African Process endorsed by the Heads of State as Africa's contribution to face Global Oceans and Coast Challenges.

We recognize that the responsibility of pursuing sustainable development remains with the countries themselves. However, we must realize that poverty eradication and sustainable development will remain distant for poor countries if adequate resources are not provided to them. Their meager resources cannot ensure the fulfillment of an ambitious and long-term process of sustainable development. International assistance is thus critical and irreplaceable.

Mr. Chairperson,

A number of issues including some of those mentioned above are of paramount importance to Mozambique. We would like to underline the following:

In conclusion we would like to underline some of the issues that are of paramount importance to Mozambique:

1. The adoption of a sound political declaration which confirms the validly of Agenda 21 and the principals of Rio Declaration as well as the Millennium Declaration;

2. The approval of an Action Plan with clear timeframe and targets as well monitoring mechanisms. These should be accompanied by financial commitments for their implementation;

3. Globalization and international trade should be oriented to reduce the shortages of the most necessitated people of the world in particular the LDCs;

4. Support NEPAD and the African Process, which is aimed at poverty eradication. Also support the fight against HIV/AIDS and other endemic diseases with a generous financial commitment of the whole international community;

5. Debt relief, particularly for the heavily indebted poor countries in order to allow them to implement their national programs to combat poverty.

Mr. Chairperson,

Mozambique believes in the, economic and social development and the protection of environment, three pillars of Sustainable development. We believe that this summit is the opportunity to deliver to the world those solutions and outcomes that will have direct impact on the life of each individual especially the poor, as well as address global problems.

I thank you Mr. Chairperson.

ENDS

********


SRI LANKA


Statement

by

The Hon. Shivaji Rukman Senanayake
Minister of Environment and Natural Resource

at the
World Summit on Sustainable Development

Johannesburg, South Africa
03 September 2002

Your Excellencies, Distinguished Delegates, Ladies and Gentlemen

At the outset, please allow me to convey to you Mr. Chairman and to this august assembly, the greetings and best wishes from the President, the Prime Minister, and the people of Sri Lanka for the success in the deliberations of this unique gathering of the world summit on sustainable development.

My country, Mr Chairman, has a proud history and an ancient civilisation. In the old agrarian society of Sri Lanka, our forefathers lived in harmony with nature. The unique hydraulic civilisation which flourished in my country for over two thousand five hundred years, bears ample testimony to how our forefathers skillfully utilised ecological balances in the use of the natural resources.

Sustainable development is not new to Sri Lanka. It is deeply rooted in our culture, in our traditions, and in our values. My country has always followed the principle of renouncing extremes, in our development efforts. Our vision of sustainable development is to become an advanced, prosperous, equitable, and environmentally sound nation by following the traditional Sri Lankan way- the middle path.

The Rio Earth Summit not only inspired us to further action, but also fortified and strengthened our determination to adopt time tested principles of sustainable development. Well before the Rio Summit, the concept of protecting the environment was given legal validity in our Constitution of 1978. We enacted national environmental legislation that created an institutional and legal framework for co-ordinating all environmental activities in the country. The national conservation strategy was prepared a few years after. Furthermore, since the Rio Summit, my country has taken many significant steps towards implementing the Agenda 21 in order to meet our national obligations. We have also strived hard to meet our national commitments to the international community on the basis of the Rio principles.

Sri Lanka has ratified all major international conventions and protocols including those on Climate Change, Biodiversity, Basel and Desertification. The Kyoto Protocol also will be acceded to in the near future. We have formulated a new National Environment Policy based on the Rio principles. A new law is being formulated to replace the existing environment legislation and to strengthen the legal framework. We take pride in the fact that policies and programs formulated for environment protection during this period sprang from a visionary political leadership - a process which was facilitated by consensual and bipartisan policy making. Much of these policies were adopted at a time when the country was passing through a difficult period in its development path, including a great deal of social and economic hardships. However we were able to display the courage and determination to confront these issues and it is in this context that the national agenda recognizes national reconciliation, poverty reduction, economic development and environment protection as priority issues.

We also perceive sustainable development as a process through which we could mobilize the active participation of all stakeholders in civil society, government and private sector as key players. We will continue to draw inspiration from the past, to raise awareness on issues and deploy strategies that will facilitate grass root level type involvement in formulating and implementing main stream policies for sustainable development. It is our fervent hope that the above process would facilitate wider participation of the people as stakeholders, and effectively support the development of a local agenda that will enable local communities to become true partners in sustainable development.

We are conscious of the fact that Sri Lanka is an island nation located in the south Asian region -- a region which is home to sixteen percent of the world's population. We are aware that it is our bounden duty to follow a path of regional co-operation. We are also aware that we are members of the global community, bounded by global commitments. As members of the international community, who have come here to find ways and means to prevent this world from following a path that will lead to certain destruction, each one of us has a major role to play nationally, regionally, and globally in contributing towards this global task. In our struggle to save the environment we cannot function as rivals. It is friendship and friendship alone that will help us in our endeavours. For neither the most powerful nor the most humble can survive alone.
I thank you.


ENDS

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