IT HAPPENS ONLY IN INDIA,
GREAT JOB MR. PARMAR
it is good to eat as many as vegetables and fruits (totally vegetarian), but my aurvedic doctor asked me to stop eating every...
Emil Salim, chair of the global preparatory committee for the World Summit on Sustainable Development (wssd) and former Indonesian environment minister has urged India's Prime Minister, Atal Bihari Vajpayee, to lead the delegation of the developing world in Johannesburg. He has, meanwhile, exhorted countries not to bow to the internal politics of the us and seriously address the issues of poverty, unsustainable patterns of production and consumption, and the degenerating ecosystem.
At the recently concluded public discussion organised by the Centre for Science and Environment (cse), Salim criticised the unwillingness of the developed countries to commit to any firm targets to deal with world poverty.
The recently concluded preparatory committee meeting for wssd at Bali, Indonesia, was marked by widespread disagreement among various governments. A similar disaster is apprehended at wssd. According to Salim, five contentious issues that can decide the fate of the summit are: pressing governments to commit to concrete time-schedules, globalisation, trade, finance and the principle of common but differentiated responsibilities. He pointed out that though the negotiating text for the summit is long on words, it is short on deadlines.
This time too world trade remains heavily biased in favour of industrialised countries. Despite promises to reduce farm subsidies in the Doha and Qatar meetings of the World Trade Organisation (wto), the us announced massive agricultural subsidies for its farmers in April this year to please them before mid-term polls, scheduled to be held in November, 2002.
Despite Salim's pleas for Indian leadership, it is unlikely that Vajpayee will attend the wssd. The final decision may, however, hinge on whether Chinese premier Zhu Rongji decides to go. Salim said that the involvement of Asia in the summit has been so far particularly disappointing. While several European, African and Latin American leaders have resolved to attend the summit, there has been a poor response from Asia. The world is also waiting to see whether us President George Bush, who has come under considerable global censure for his anti-environment policies, will attend the meet.
Reminiscing about his role as the head of the Indian delegation to the 1992 summit, former Union environment minister Kamal Nath noted that while it was the height of multilateralism at that time, now unilateralism from one of the richest and most polluting countries of the world is at its peak. This does not augur well for a meeting that is touted by many as the last chance to save the world.