8th Plenary Meeting of General Assembly: 19th Special Session; Earth Summit - Part 1

Preview Language:   English
26-Jun-1997 02:05:00
The General Assembly's special session on the implementation of the recommendations from the 1992 conference in Rio de Janeiro on environment and development resumed this afternoon. The five-day session, in which many world leaders have taken part, ends tomorrow.

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United States President among Speakers as Special Session Continues Review of Rio Conference Recommendations on Environment and Development

Human beings are changing the global climate, producing concentrations of greenhouse gases at their highest levels in 200,000 years, President William Clinton of the United States told the General Assembly this evening, as the Assembly continued its special session reviewing the recommendations of the 1992 Rio Conference on environment and development. He said that if current trends continue, global sea levels will rise by two feet in the next century, flooding 9,000 square miles of coastal areas in the United States, 17 per cent of Bangladesh, and wiping island groups such as the Maldives off the map. Climate changes would also disrupt agriculture, cause drought and cause 50 million additional cases of malaria per year. Also this afternoon, the Assembly was told that political crises and military action often have negative impacts on the environment. The destruction of civilian infrastructure in Iraq had led to rising rates of infant mortality; the occupation of Arab lands by Israel had included the seizure of freshwater resources; in Sierra Leone, civil war had ravaged the environment, and the political uprising in Albania had allowed a rise in criminality and the abuse of forestry resources. In Libya, land-mines planted when foreign Powers used the territory as an arena for war a generation ago still prevented agricultural development. Peace and political stability were integral components of sustainable development, the Assembly was told. Taking part in the general debate this afternoon were the President of the United States; the Deputy Prime Minister of the Czech Republic; the Vice- Minister of the Presidency of Panama; the Deputy Prime Minister of Iraq; the Deputy Prime Minister of Croatia; the Minister for Foreign Affairs of Kenya; the Minister for Foreign Affairs of Albania; the Minister of Agriculture of Qatar; the representatives of Syria, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan and Andorra. There were also statements from representatives of Libya, the Democratic People's Republic of Korea, Sudan, Azerbaijan, Tajikistan and the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, the Director-General of the Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO); the President of the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD); and representatives of the World Sustainable Agricultural Association and of Peace Child International.

The Assembly will continue its general debate at 10 a.m. tomorrow, 27 June.

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