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US Closing Statement To WSSD

US Closing Statement To WSSD

Closing Statement

Paula J. Dobriansky, Under Secretary of State for Global Affairs Closing Statement at the 2002 World Summit on Sustainable Development Johannesburg, South Africa September 4, 2002

Mr. President:

We are now completing a long road, part of a journey that will continue, that has gone through virtually every continent -- from Stockholm, to Rio, to Doha, to Monterrey, to Bali, to Johannesburg.

This journey is appropriate, because what we have approved today is truly a global document. It reflects our common vision to come together in defense of basic principles of assisting our fellow men and women; protecting our earth s natural resources and habitats; upholding human rights, fundamental freedoms and gender equality; and ensuring basic human needs through economic development, or in the visionary words of our South African host: People, Planet and Prosperity.

So far, these are words. Words are good -- actions are better. Only concrete actions can:

* Prevent children from contracting water-borne diseases;

* Allow families to cook meals indoors without risking fatal respiratory illnesses;

* Protect delicate African ecosystems;

* Empower small-hold farmers with the capacity to feed their families; and

* Prevent the transmission of deadly virus to children from HIV+ mothers.

Mr. President, you have brought us to the brink of a new era of sustainable development. The world is in your debt. Let us move now from Rio to Johannesburg to the future. Thank you.


Released on September 4, 2002

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