3rd Plenary Meeting of General Assembly: 19th Special Session - Part 1

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24-Jun-1997 01:57:47
The nineteenth special session of the General Assembly met this morning to continue its general debate. The session was convened to review and appraise implementation of Agenda 21, the programme of action adopted by the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED), which was held in Rio de Janeiro in June 1992.

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Special Session on 'Agenda 21' Proposals Hears Statements From Leaders of 20 Nations; Agency Representatives Also Speak

Although the concept of sustainable development has now been accepted worldwide, efforts of developing countries to implement Agenda 21 have continued to be hampered by lack of resources, the special session of the General Assembly heard this morning as it continued its general debate. Several speakers pointed out that the conquest of poverty and preservation of the environment must be the concern of all nations, as well as every level of society, if success were to be achieved.

Speakers called for a re-awakening of the spirit of the Rio Conference of 1992, arguing that although some progress had been made, environmental conditions had continued to deteriorate globally. There was general consent that environmental degradation by any member of the international community was a threat to all. Environmental security, it was contended, was as important as economic security. Addressing the special session this morning were the President of Ukraine; the President of Botswana; the President of Maldives; the Crown Prince of Monaco; the Prime Minister of Canada; the President of Suriname; the Acting Prime Minister of Lithuania; the Prime Minister of Slovenia; the Prime Minister of Iceland; the President of Costa Rica; the President of Guatemala; and the President of Bolivia.

Also speaking were the Minister for the Environment of Mozambique; the Minister for the Environment of New Zealand; the Minister for the Environment and Housing of Jamaica; the Foreign Minister of Myanmar; the Foreign Minister of Belarus; and the Deputy Minister for Environment, Planning and Public Works of Greece. The President of the National Assembly of Cuba, the Federal Chancellor of the Swiss Federation, and the President of the European Commission also made statements.

The Director-General of the International Atomic Energy Agency and a representative of Survival International, speaking on behalf of the Indigenous People's Major Group, also spoke.

The special session will meet at 3 p.m. today to continue its general debate on the implementation of Agenda 21.

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