Congratulations to you and the distinguished members of the Bureau on your election. My delegation has full confidence in your very able stewardship and we would like to assure you of our support and cooperation on the road to The World Summit on Sustainable Development in Johannesburg 2002.
At the outset my delegation would again like to thank all the members of the United Nations for endorsing South Africa as the host for the 2002 World Summit. My delegation would also like to associate itself fully with the statement made by the distinguished representative from Iran on behalf of the Group of 77 and China.
The Rio Declaration on Environment and Development contains some important. principles to address the key challenge of eradicating extreme poverty .The integrated implementation of sustainable development, which includes the fulfillment of basic l1eeds, sustained economic growth, social progress and environmental protection, is central to addressing this challenge.
However the attainment of this challenge remains distant for many developing countries, especially the least developed. Africa has the highest concentration of low-income countries of the world, is the least developed region, the most affected by the scourge of HIV Aids and disease, hunger and famine among other key challenges. The African leadership has shown readiness to confront these challenges by placing firmly on the agenda the need to unravel the structural impediments that account for the disarticulated integration of Africa in the world system. These programmes articulate the vision for Sustainable Development in the African and broader developing country context. To this end, enhanced new and additional financial resources, trade and economic reform and the transfer of environmentally sound technology, are among a range of necessary enabling tools for developing countries to make significant progress towards sustainable development. However, we believe that tangible progress on sustainable development must be achieved through cooperation and partnerships between the North and the South.
The main objective of the Summit is to reinvigorate the global commitment to sustainable development, and achieve a higher level of partnership including the broader civil society .Therefore, the World Summit must advance and provide practical effect to the objectives of sustainable development. To this end it is imperative that WSSD should not renegotiate Agenda 21. The process of assessment and stocktaking of the implementation of Agenda 21 must be concluded prior to the Summit and provide impetus in setting a forward-looking and results orientated agenda for Johannesburg.
My delegation believes the national and in particular the regional preparatory processes should inform the global inter-governmental process. In accordance with General Assembly Resolution 55/199 the inputs of all relevant international organizations should also inform the inter-governmental process, starting from the first substantive meeting of the Preparatory Committee.
Whilst the Commission for Sustainable Development has proposed a bottom-up approach, it is critical that we give favourable consideration to a parallel process intended to provide leadership and guidance to the WSSD process. The agenda of the Summit must be informed by positions of the political strategic framework of credible regional organizations e.g. the Organization of African Unity. Dedicated UN organs and agencies should provide the necessary support within the framework of established regional preparatory frameworks.
The success of this Summit relies on the effective participation of countries most affected by poverty .Given the capacity constraints of developing countries in multilateral negotiations, it is incumbent on the process to provide critical support towards early formulation of substantive inputs by developing countries. These positions should be coherently communicated in all multilateral fora, particularly in preparatory processes towards the WSSD and other conferences with relevance to sustainable development ( e.g. The Third UN Conference on the Least Developed Countries, the International Conference on Financing for Development, New Trade Round, Replenishment of the GEF, etc ).
the success of the WSSD depends on a realistic timeframe and adequate
spacing of the three substantive meetings of the PrepCom. We invite the
Commission to note that the scheduled dates for the Africa Regional
preparatory meeting coincides with a scheduled UN World Conference
Against Racism in August- September 2001.
We invite all the nations of the world and stakeholders to work towards a global partnership that will amongst others achieve in specific terms the following:
integration of the three pillars of sustainable development
programme of action to operationalise sustainable development
.Concomitant resources and institutional frameworks
It is with keen anticipation that as a people of Africa we stand ready to host you, as we believe that this Summit provides for a unique opportunity for a lasting partnership that could enable us to successfully break out of this cycle of poverty , underdevelopment and marginalisation.