The Goals of the Summit

Mail & Guardian (Johannesburg)
August 23, 2002
Posted to the web August 22, 2002

Heads of state and government will be asked to endorse two documents -- a political declaration and a plan of action. Both are still being negotiated -- this is what the World Summit is all about.

The following is the draft political declaration, presented by the chairperson of the World Summit, Emil Samil:

1. We, the heads of state or government, assembled at the World Summit on Sustainable Development in Johannesburg, South Africa, from September 2 to 4 2002 reaffirm our commitment to the achievement of sustainable development, as outlined by the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development held in Rio, Brazil, 10 years ago.

We are convinced that urgent and renewed efforts are required to be undertaken by all countries in a spirit of international solidarity in order to achieve sustainable development.

2. We reaffirm the principles and purposes of the UN Charter and the values contained in the UN Millennium Declaration. We also reaffirm our commitment to uphold the Rio principles and to fully implement Agenda 21 and to achieve the internationally agreed development goals, including those contained in the Millennium Declaration and in the outcomes of the major UN conferences and international agreements held since 1992.

3. We recognise that poverty eradication, changing unsustainable patterns of production and consumption and protecting and managing the natural resource base of economic and social development are overarching objectives of, and essential requirements for, sustainable development.

4. We firmly believe that peace and sustainable development are indivisible and mutually reinforcing.

5. We respect cultural diversity and various value systems. We recognise the importance of initiatives such as the dialogue among civilisations for promoting peaceful co-existence and better understanding of diverse cultures.

6. We reaffirm our pledge to place particular focus on, and give priority attention to, the fight against the worldwide conditions that pose severe threats to sustainable development. Among these conditions are: poverty; unsustainable patterns of consumption and production; environmental degradation; chronic hunger; foreign occupation; armed conflicts; illicit drug problems; organised crime; terrorism; intolerance; and endemic, communicable and chronic diseases, in particular HIV/Aids, malaria and tuberculosis.

7. We recognise that globalisation has added a new dimension to the pursuit of sustainable development. While it offers new opportunities for sustainable development, the benefits and costs of globalisation are very unevenly distributed. Hence, the continuing relevance of the principle of common but differentiated responsibility. We commit ourselves to making globalisation equitable and inclusive. To this end, we will take concrete measures to create an enabling environment, promote good governance at all levels, including democratic values and the rule of law, and encourage corporate accountability and enhance international cooperation.

8. We commit ourselves to the strengthening of multilateralism and the UN leadership role as the most universal and most representative organisation in the world in promoting sustainable development. We will undertake concrete measures to enhance coherence and consistency across various policy areas, including in the UN system.

9. We welcome the emergence of stronger regional groupings and alliances to promote sustainable development, and encourage further regional cooperation to promote sustainable development, including through the UN regional commissions. We extend our fullest support to the New Partnership for Africa's Development.

10. We acknowledge that the achievement of sustainability presents particular challenges to developing countries, particularly the least-developed countries and small island developing states as well as countries with economies in transition, and commit ourselves to undertaking renewed efforts to promote international cooperation for the advancement of sustainability by providing means of implementation, including finance, environmentally sound technologies and support for capacity building. To this end, we are determined to make concrete efforts towards the target of 0,7% of gross national product (GNP) of developed countries as official development assistance to developing countries, and 0,15% to 0,20% of GNP to least-developed countries and to the adequate replenishment of the global environment facility.

11. Recalling the mandate for the new trade round agreed at Doha, we underline the need to ensure that further trade liberalisation should contribute to sustainable development, lead to better access for developing countries to world markets and reduction or elimination of trade distorting subsidies.

12. Recalling the Monterrey consensus and commitments to finance development, we urge that the increased levels of finance should contribute to the realisation of the goals of sustainable development, particularly to the implementation of Agenda 21 and to the specific programme priorities identified in the implementation document, including poverty eradication, changing unsustainable consumption and production patterns, water and sanitation, energy, health, agriculture and biodiversity.

13. We recognise the urgent need for ratifying and fully implementing environmental and sustainable development conventions and their protocols.

14. Sustainable development requires long-term perspective and broad-based participation in policy formulation and decision-making. We will ensure wide consultations with all stakeholders, and seek to make decisions based on long-term considerations.

15. We welcome the diverse range of new partnership activities involving all relevant actors that have been brought forward to the summit to positively contribute to the achievement of sustainable development, and encourage that these activities should continue.

16. We acknowledge that sustainability needs the active participation of women and men on equal terms, and that further measures are still required to secure for women the right to equal access and provision of their basic needs and to sustainable livelihoods.

17. We commit ourselves to actions at all levels that are required to save our planet, promote human development and achieve universal prosperity. To this end, we fully endorse the Implementation Plan and express our resolve to fully implement it.

18. We express our deepest gratitude to the people and the government of South Africa for their generous hospitality and excellent arrangements made for the World Summit on Sustainable Development.