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WSSD Statements: Norway, Ireland, Bosnia




Kjell Magne Bondevik
Prime Minister

at the
World Summit on Sustainable Development

Johannesburg, South Africa
3 September 2002

Mr. Chairman,

I can think of no better place to hold a summit on sustainable development than South Africa. Once more South Africa's able leadership has set an example.

We are here in Johannesburg to claim justice, justice for the world's poor, justice for future generations. Justice is what sustainable development is all about.

That is why poverty eradication is imperative.

That is why environmental commitments are essential.

To do justice to the poor, we need economic development. To do justice to future generations, development must be sustainable.
The UN Conference on Environment and Development in Rio made a difference. We have made progress since then. We have agreed to new commitments.

Yet, we lag far behind. It is up to us, developing and developed countries alike to act, and act in partnership.

We came to Johannesburg with three aims:

We should not walk back,

We should deliver more,

We must make a difference.

We have not walked back. We have reaffirmed our commitment to the Rio principles and agreements. We have not walked back on the Millennium Development Goals. We have reaffirmed our commitment to Doha and to Monterrey.

Johannesburg has delivered on goals and targets, on water and sanitation, on biodiversity, on chemicals. Johannesburg has turned the ODA-pledges of Monterrey into commitments. Yet, there is a long way to go.

Every year close to three and a half million people, most of them helpless children, die from water-related diseases.

This is unacceptable. And it is preventable.

Hundreds of millions have insufficient access to energy. Changing this is vital to poverty reduction and sustainable development. Here, renewables are also important.

Persistent organic pollutants create severe problems for the environment and human health. They spread globally, and threaten fragile Arctic areas, its peoples and its nature.

This is unacceptable. And it is preventable.

The poor depend directly upon natural resources - for food and shelter. There can be no poverty eradication without addressing degradation of water resources, forests, soils and biodiversity. We must break the vicious cycle.

That is why we have to make a difference.

Empowered people make a difference. Investment in human resources is fundamental. Respect for human rights is key. Empowerment of women is vital. The rights of indigenous peoples must be respected. Sustainable development is to empower poor people. To this end, good governance, human rights and accountability is essential.

In this context Norway strongly supports the work under way to ensure better accountability and greater transparency in the payment and management of revenues from extractive industries. An international code of conduct is one effective instrument.

Without better policies and greater financial resources, we cannot make a difference. Here, national governments have a major responsibility.
Industrialised nations must support these efforts by making urgent progress on the 0.7 per cent ODA target.

We need to deliver more. Norway has drawn up an action plan for fighting poverty in the South towards 2015. We are making concrete efforts in areas such as trade, investment and debt relief. We have eliminated tariffs and quotas on all goods from the poorest countries. We intend to increase development assistance to 1 per cent of GDP by 2005.

Secretary General Kofi Annan has challenged us to do more on water, energy, health, agriculture, and biodiversity. More than a quarter of our development assistance already goes to these areas. I am pleased to announce that my government is pledging an additional 50 million US dollars (375 million NOK) in following up the Johannesburgcommitments.

Mr. Chairman,

Climate change is the greatest environmental challenge facing humanity. The evidence of global warming caused by human activity is stronger than ever. The climate is changing, and we are to blame.

What would be the only natural reaction? Simply, take action. Russia has today announced that they will ratify the Kyoto Protocol. I welcome this. It means that the Kyoto Protocol will enter into force soon. I strongly urge other countries to follow suit and ratify. We must also prepare for more ambitious international commitments after 2012.

As prime minister of Norway I want to declare Norway's readiness to join forces with EU and other countries in creating a coalition for increased use of renewable energy globally. With the text now agreed in this area in the Plan of Implementation, such an alliance is more important than ever.

We also need to act at home. Norway will do so on the basis of an Action Plan for sustainable development after Johannesburg. We will build on our National Strategy and follow up Agenda 21 and this Summit's Plan of Implementation.

Mr. Chairman,

The follow-up of Johannesburg must be monitored. We need strong multilateral institutions that can monitor progress and act on our behalf for the sake of our common future. The role of the UN in the work for sustainable development must be strengthened.

Mr. Chairman,

We have to correct the injustices of our time, injustice towards the world's poor, injustice towards our grandchildren. As we leave Johannesburg, we will be held accountable. Together we have to make the difference. This is what political leadership is all about.

Thank you.






Mr. Bertie Ahern T.D.
Prime Minister of Ireland

to the Plenary Session of the World Summit on Sustainable Development

Johannesburg, South Africa
3 September 2002

Mr. President, Distinguished Delegates,

May I first thank the President and Government of South Africa for their outstanding work in hosting and chairing this major event.

What we seek to achieve in Johannesburg is profoundly important to the world community. What we conclude here does matter and can make a vital difference. There is an enormous responsibility on all of us to play our part to the fullest both at national and international level.

Mr President,

At the time of Rio ten years ago, there was a serious food crisis in southern Africa. A potentially devastating famine in the region was only narrowly averted.

Ten years later, southern Africa is, once again, threatened with famine.

We are acutely conscious of the depth of human suffering, and the threat of famine, in the immediate neighborhood. The food security crisis in southern Africa is a very visible failure of sustainable development. My Government has allocated emergency funding amounting to almost 8 million Euro in response to the humanitarian needs of the region.

The present crisis is even more serious, as the countries exposed to severe food shortages are also bearing the brunt of the HIV/AIDS epidemic. Our commitments must be grounded in the reality that for millions of poor people, particularly in Africa, the fundamental basis for sustainable development - a healthy life - has disappeared.

Recurring, serious food crises and the unchecked spread of deadly infectious diseases call in question the progress on sustainable development since Rio.

The threat to the environment continues to grow and economic growth has not been decoupled from environmental degradation. Unsustainable patterns of production and consumption persist in the developed world.

An environment that is compromised affects us all. But the poor are most vulnerable
and least equipped to adapt to environmental change.

Mr. President,

Our Summit should focus on a number of over-riding priorities. I want to stress the following:

The Millennium Development Goals must be at the core of our efforts here. Poverty reduction through sustainable development is what Johannesburg is about. I welcome the Summit's focus on poverty eradication.
We must move forward on the basis of partnership. Partnership across society in support of sustainable development has been fundamental to Ireland's economic and social progress in the 1990s. Looking outwards, our programme of development assistance is based on genuine partnerships with the developing countries.
The benefits of globalisation can best be shared through common commitment to sustainable production and consumption. I therefore strongly support the intended ten year framework of programmes to accelerate progress in this area.
Significantly increased Overseas Development Assistance is essential to meet our Goals. The decline in global ODA in the 1990s is shameful, indefensible and inconsistent with the commitments given at Rio. I re-iterate Ireland's absolute commitment to achieving, by 2007, the UN target of spending 0.7% of GNP on Overseas Development Assistance. Our aid budget has increased this year by 100 million Euro, more than the value of our entire aid programme a few years ago. Further significant increases will be provided for over the next few years to enable the UN target to be met, as promised, by 2007.
We must work hard for a timely and successful outcome to the Doha Development Round of trade negotiations and the creation of a fair world trade order. We need to deliver on our promises made at Doha.
We must do more, much more, to alleviate the debt burden on poor, heavily indebted countries. Ireland supports, in principle, the cancellation of their debts. We see debt cancellation as an important contribution by donors in support of the New Partnership for Africa's Development and its commitments to democracy, the rule of law, the fight against corruption and the protection of human rights.
We must spend all development resources as effectively as possible. All official development assistance should be completely untied from national commercial interests. None of Ireland's ODA is tied and this will remain the case as our programme of development assistance expands.
I also strongly support increased spending on support for health systems, on research into the diseases of the poor, particularly HIV/AIDS, and on agricultural research aimed at food security, livestock, agro-forestry and water management.
We must bring new technologies into development. Ireland will make its expertise in e-government and e-learning available to our developing country partners. We will also work with the private sector and international agencies to develop standards of best practice in the use of IT in development.

Mr President,

On a national level Ireland has experienced rapid economic growth from the mid-1990s. We are working towards a fairer and more inclusive society sharing the gains we have made; and levels of consistent poverty have declined.

We attach high priority to environmental management and protection. Despite rapid economic development, our economy is now more environmentally efficient than it was ten years ago.

We are gearing up to meet our Kyoto commitment and prepare for the tougher action that is necessary to tackle climate change.

We remain adamantly opposed to nuclear energy and any expansion of the nuclear industry which in our view have no role in the pursuit of sustainable development.

Mr. President,

10 years ago Rio provided us with a vision of sustainable development: our task is to realise that vision.

What we need now, and need urgently, is action.

Johannesburg must initiate the decade of action on sustainable development. We must pick up the pace and act with political vision.

As I said at the outset Johannesburg does matter.

It matters for the many, many millions who are poor and starving.

It matters for our children and for future generations.

Let us not fail in this historic task.






H.E. Dr. Dragan Mikerevic
Prime Minister of Bosnia and Herzegovina

at the
World Summit on Sustainable Development

Johannesburg, South Africa
3 September 2002

Heads of States,
Ladies and Gentlemen

In 1992, when the historic Conference was taking place in Rio, a tragic conflict started in Bosnia and Herzegovina, a conflict that not only prevented us from taking part in the work of the conference but also, during more than three years, caused huge human casualties and material destruction that practically held up the general development and BiH participation in international development processes.

After signing the Dayton Peace Agreement in 1995, great efforts have been invested into reconstruction and rehabilitation with a view of building a modem country of Bosnia and Herzegovina. Thanks to international support, for which we are very grateful, we have managed to reconstruct an important part of infrastructure and settlements, but we are still facing a serious work on democratic processes development, further organization of the country and stimulating its development.

Due to three events citizens of BiH as well as businessmen have not got enough knowledge about the idea of sustainable development. It is only that the preparation of this conference Rio + 10 has contributed, though the national assessment of the sustainable development in BiH and the held workshops and meetings, to speak about the sustainable development more loudly. These activities were followed by the establishment of the Steering Committee for sustainable development at the beginning of this year, made up of state administration representatives, businessmen, scientists, non governmental organizations and the others concerned. Bosnia and Herzegovina is doing now some serious catch-up with the rest of the world.

One of the main BiH Foreign Policy priorities is the complete inclusion into the European integration processes with the final goal of the accession to the European Union. Efforts have been continuously invested into harmonization of the legal system with the European standards and ratification of major international environment agreements as well as their active implementation. In the year 2000 BiH accomplished the ratification of the Convention on Climate Changes. Recently, we have sent the instruments of accession for the Convention on Biological Diversity and the Convention on Land Desertification to the BiH UN Mission in New York. The procedure of accession and ratification of the Kyoto Protocol is to follow in BiH. Many threats are our common threats - that represents an unavoidable effect of globalization - and can only be effectively dealt with by the concerted efforts. It is the responsibility of every country to devote itself to eradication of poverty and sustainable development. However, it is important to say that rich countries should take the leading role in sustainable development progress. It is the responsibility of the international community to meet the goals of the Millennium Declaration and expectation that the OECD States shall provide 0,70% of GNP for the support of the undeveloped.

Poorer countries are doing their best in a very difficult situation. They may succeed only if the rich countries seriously support market liberalization that includes reforms or cancellation of certain forms of subventions and to contribute to the decrease of global pollution (specially in regard to air pollution and Kyoto Convention).

Sustainable development is closely linked to the emergence of the private entrepreneurship and access to markets, education, health protection as well as to the natural resources management. Bosnia and Herzegovina strives to reach the balance between the three elements of sustainable development: economy, social goals and the environmental protection. Less developed countries face a number of problems which they try to solve by unification of a) internal stability/good governance, b) creation of appropriate environment to secure the balanced and fair sharing of the benefits of globalization, c) international cooperation.

Bosnia and Herzegovina experiences the deep social and economic transition. Many countries, due to the inaction of the existing systems (organizational, technological) hardly accept the new forms of development. BiH is in a situation in which many events have lead to the need of more significant changes of those systems, so that BiH is in a way predisposed and takes advantage in regard to the sustainable development, advantage that should be used.

Bosnia and Herzegovina is a small country which however may play an important role in Europe in the sphere of biodiversity, it is rich in water resources, and it has a highly qualified population. Iits efforts towards EU integration, and its huge human potential, will signify that it will have a role to play that will be more important than the size of the country or the quantity of the population could indicate.


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