Second Committee Speeches & Interventions

Statement by Ambassador Aizaz Ahmad Chaudhry, Deputy Permanent Representative of Pakistan to the United Nations on Agenda Item 52: Sustainable Development (November 2, 2005)

Mr. Chairman,

My delegation associates itself with the statement made by the Representative of Jamaica on behalf of G-77 and China.

2. In 1992, we adopted Agenda 21 and committed to eliminate poverty through sustainable development. That resolve has been reiterated ever since. As we entered the new millennium, the international community set itself time-bound targets of Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). A decade after the Rio Conference, the World Summit on Sustainable Development took stock of our failures and successes. The Johannesburg Plan of Implementation demonstrated our renewed resolve to address the challenges of poverty and under- development by forging global partnerships.

3. However, thirteen years since Rio and scores of international conferences in between, the dark shadows of poverty, disease, under-development and environmental degradation continue to defy our endeavors. Not only that the situation has not changed, in many cases it has deteriorated. This is disappointing.

4. Globalization, Mr. Chairman, seems to have accentuated economic asymmetries. However, it has also brought into sharp focus the close relationships between trade, finance, and technology, and sustainable development. Today, in this inter-linked and inter-dependent world, the need for integration of the three components of sustainable development – economic growth, social development and environmental protection- as mutually reinforcing pillars of sustainable development, is felt more than ever.

5. It is indeed encouraging that at the 2005 World Summit last September, the world leaders expressed unequivocal determination to ensure full and timely realization of the internationally agreed development goals by undertaking “concrete actions and measures at all levels”.

6. In follow up to the World Summit, we need to move expeditiously to realize the implementation of internationally agreed development goals, including those relating to the three pillars of sustainable development.

Mr. Chairman,

7. We thank the Secretary-General for his reports on Agenda item 52 and its sub items. Pakistan fully supports the Secretary General’s call on the donor governments and international financial institutions to provide funding support to developing countries in key policy options and practical measures as identified by CSD-13.

8. Pakistan attaches high importance to the second implementation cycle of the CSD focusing on “Energy, Climate Change, Industrial Development, and Air Pollution/atmosphere”. Energy is of critical significance to development. Expanding economies and rapid population growth have already burdened the resources of energy. Adaptation and development of alternate sources of energy are therefore essential. Equally important is the need for investment in the field of renewable energy resources.

Mr. Chairman,

9. There is a clear relationship between disasters, rehabilitation and development. Natural disasters severely affect hard-earned developmental gains in developing countries. The link between poverty and environmental degradation turns natural hazards into disasters. Many disasters reflect the underlying crisis in development facing developing countries. Sustainable development is, therefore, essential for better preparedness in dealing with natural disasters.

10. For its part, the United Nations can play a crucial role in mobilizing and assisting with relief and rehabilitation efforts. In order to ensure smooth transition from relief to rehabilitation and development, humanitarian assistance should be provided in a manner that supports and facilitates long term development.

11. In this regard, we welcome Secretary General’s report on sub item “c” on International Strategy for Disaster reduction (ISDR). We concur with his call that the world community urgently needs to join forces to break the vicious relationship between poverty, environmental degradation and natural disasters. I would also like to recall here the decision of the World Summit 2005 relating to the full implementation of the Hyogo Declaration and Hyogo Framework of Action 2005-2015 and the commitments related to assistance for developing countries in the post-disaster recovery and rehabilitation processes. We support strengthening of regional mechanisms for collaboration and networking in support of national and local efforts to reduce disaster risk, as recommended by the Secretary General. We also stress the need for strengthening and promoting global mechanisms to develop capacities and establish early warning systems.

12. The unprecedented scale of death and destruction in Pakistan in the wake of earthquake on October 8, 2005, has highlighted the need for a permanent mechanism at the international level, guided by the UN, which is able to respond quickly to such catastrophes and to engage the international community for a well planned reconstruction strategy. This need was also underscored recently by the world leaders in the September Summit and reflected in the Outcome Document.

Mr. Chairman,

13. The UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCC) has reached near universality and the Kyoto Protocol has been ratified by 152 states, Pakistan being one of them. We are encouraged by references in the Summit Outcome calling for assistance to developing countries to integrate goals into their sustainable development strategies. Changing unsustainable patterns of production and consumption, particularly in the developed world and provision of support particularly in the areas of capacity building and technology transfer to developing countries remains crucial to efforts for the protection of environment. In this regard we call for coordinated efforts by UN agencies to implement the ‘Bali Strategic Plan for Capacity Building and Technology Support’ at the earliest.

14. Pakistan has taken significant measures in this regard. Pakistan Environmental Protection Act, in force since 1997, has led to building of capacity of environmental protection agencies. Pakistan’s National Conservation Strategy (NCS) has helped strengthen environmental institutions. In partnership with UNDP, the government of Pakistan is implementing the National Environmental Action Plan. It aims to achieve economic growth without causing damage to the environment. Pakistan is also promoting renewable forms of energy, winds, solar and bio-gas, so as to increase its share in total power generation to at least 10% by 2015.

15. Pakistan is fully committed to the implementation of Agenda 21, the Johannesburg Plan of Implementation, and other internationally agreed developmental goals, including the MDGs. Together with our partners in the international community, the civil society and other stakeholders; we shall continue our march to the realization of the agreed goals.

I thank you, Mr. Chairman.

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