Now we must turn WSSD agreement into concrete results
Sumario: September 4, 2002: European Union: Now we must turn World Summit agreement into concrete results (Johannesburg)
The European Union (EU) today welcomed the results of the World Sustainable Development Summit (WSSD) in Johannesburg as a success and underlined Europe's determination to lead the way in turning the Summit's action plan into concrete results on the ground.
Danish Prime Minister and EU President Anders Fogh Rasmussen said: "I believe we can be satisfied with the result. We have agreed an action plan and a set of principles for sustainable development. We have concluded a global deal and partnership recommending free trade and increased market access, increased development assistance, a commitment to good governance and commitments to a better environment. The EU has played a leading role in this."
European Commission President Romano Prodi said: "We came to Johannesburg to launch a North-South pact which also encompasses the results of the Doha and Monterrey conferences. I welcome this relaunch of multilateralism which puts sustainable development firmly on the global agenda. Naturally we cannot be happy with everything we achieved but the results take us in the right direction. Reaching agreement is important but without implementation it means nothing. The EU will take the
lead in implementing the outcome of Johannesburg because we are strongly committed to fighting poverty through trade and aid while protecting the environment. We owe it to the world to deliver."
The EU has consistently worked for an ambitious, realistic, action-orientated outcome with clear, measurable and time-bound targets directed to achieving the Millennium Development Goals. The key targets include the following:
- Halving by 2015 the number of people lacking access to basic sanitation, complementing the Millennium Development Goal of halving the number of people without access to fresh water by the same date.
- A commitment to minimize the harmful effects on human health and the environment from the production and use of all chemicals by 2020.
- A commitment to halt the decline in fish stocks and restore them to sustainable levels no later than 2015.
- A commitment by all parties to halt the loss of biodiversity by 2010.
- A commitment to set up a 10-year framework for programmes on sustainable consumption and production.
The Summit also agreed to increase urgently and substantially the global share of renewable energy sources.
In support of the Summit's goals, the EU has launched major partnership initiatives to bring clean water, sanitation and clean energy to people in developing countries. Yesterday it also launched a coalition of like-minded countries committed to increasing their use of renewable energies through quantified, time-bound targets.
President Prodi said this 'coalition of the willing'
would create a strong force to go beyond the summit agreement on renewable energy. The EU welcomed the summit's acknowledgement that good governance is essential for sustainable development. Experience has shown that lack of democracy, openness and respect for human rights contributes to keeping countries in poverty.
Climate change again played a prominent role in the summit with China, South Africa and Poland announcing their ratification of the Kyoto Protocol. There were also strong signals from Canada that it would ratify before the end of the year. Following an appeal by President Prodi to President Putin for Russia to ratify the Protocol so that it can enter into force, the Russia government made a positive statement about its ongoing ratification process.
Mr Rasmussen said: "The 1990s was the decade of mega-summits. We should make the next 10 years the decade of action. We must secure effective implementation through an effective monitoring mechanism. We should ask the UN General Assembly to monitor implementation of the Johannesburg targets and the Johannesburg agenda. We have the goals - now the promises must be kept. We want results."
- Ref: EC02-185EN
- Fuente UE: Comisión Europea
- Foro NU: Otros
- Fecha: 4/9/2002
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