Sumario: August 25, 2002: European Union: Promising start of World Summit negotiations (Johannesburg)
The European Union (EU) has come to Johannesburg to make an important contribution to ensuring tangible results at the World Summit. The EU is more optimistic about the World Summit on Sustainable Development after nearly two days of pre-negotiations in Johannesburg. The pre-meetings have started to discuss the draft Plan of Implementation and have been able to achieve consensus on a number of issues relating to important environmental problems.
Danish State Secretary Carsten Staur of the EU Presidency said: "The atmosphere is very constructive. The Union is positive to the new texts that have been put forward as a basis for negotiations in the areas of financing, globalisation and trade, which are more advanced than the texts from the preparation meetings in Bali in June. The EU, the developing countries in the G77 group, Japan and the United States have been active players in these efforts and the EU hopes the Summit will to proceed on this basis".
European Commission Environment Director-General Catherine Day said: "The start of the World Summit has been promising and the EU is optimistic about obtaining a Plan of Implementation that would be satisfactory to the Union by the end of the Summit. However, there are still areas where a lot of work has to be done. The Union believes that a way of showing real commitment is to set quantifiable targets, implementation timetables and monitoring mechanisms in the Plan of Implementation."
EU pushes for targets, timetables and monitoring
The EU supports the UN Secretary General, Kofi Annan´s, proposal that the World Summit should make progress in five key areas water, energy, health, agriculture and biodiversity. The EU is, therefore, proposing a number of targets and actions in specific areas, in support of the Millennium Declaration Goals of halving the number of people living in extreme poverty by 2015.
The Union wants the Summit to take further steps towards the implementation of the Millennium Development Goals, and to build upon them in crucial areas such as water, sanitation and energy. One of the means to implement the objectives of the Plan of Action could be well-developed partnerships between governments, the privates sector and civil society.
The EU also wants the Summit to send a clear political message on the need to make globalisation more sustainable for all and to agree on measures aimed at promoting this goal.