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Poverty

Words worth

Tony Blair, Prime Minister of Britain: "The biggest responsibility falls on the countries with the biggest emmissions" Helmut Kohl, Chancellor of the Federal Republic of Germany, "Global environment protection and sustainable development need a clearly audible voice at the UN... this could lead to a creation of a global umbrella organisation." Poul Nyrup Rasmussen, Prime Minister of Denmark: "We must ensure that poor countries do not become markets for outdated technology or recipients of hazardous waste."

Scapegoat: Third World

The G-7, after the Denver meet (weekend before UNGASS), issued a statement that made it clear that they were not willing to accept their responsibilities, but would blame the developing world for inaction on global warming. 'Action by developed countries alone is not sufficient to meet this goal. Developing countries must also take measurable steps, recognising that their obligations will increase as their economies grow,' it said.

On shaky ground

The Indian delegation had gone unprepared to UNGASS and found themselves at sea over India's position on the forest convention. As negotiations entered into the final phase, The Netherlands co-chair on the forest session had put forward a partisan proposal which effectively included the forest convention into the text. The proposal said "identify... international arrangements and mechanisms, including, legally binding instrument" on forests. The Indian delegation found itself taken off guard with the cleverly manipulated text.

Welcome opposition

The Indian delegation was led by the minister of environment and forests (MEF) Saifuddin Soz. That the Indians had decided to keep a low profile was apparent as the negotiations progressed. The Indian delegation decided to keep silent at the time of important discussions. For most of the times, it sided with the G-77, barring the tricky issue of the forest convention, where the G-77 itself was divided. Indian delegates were rarely seen getting closely involved in most of the ongoing negotiations and chose to remain silent during the heated debate around climate and energy issues.

Full and final settlement?

•By 2002, the formulation and elaboration of national strategies for sustainable development should be completed, and efforts by developing countries to effectively implement national strategies should be supported.

B: High drama

Issue Date: Jul 31, 1997
WITH no clear resolution on the contentious issue of forest convention in the final meeting of intergovernmental panel of forests (IPF) which met in February 1997, it was clear that the Rio + 5 summit of the world leaders would have to confront this proposal, pushed by a large section of the Northern nations. Negotiations on the issue dominated most of the sessions on forests.

C: Green planet

Issue Date: Jul 31, 1997
That the delegates could not agree on the vital portions of the political statement during the fortnight of informal and formal negotiations spoke volumes on the summit’s failures. And being unable to reach an agreement on a political statement which contained 26 paragraphs outlining the programme for further implementation of Agenda 21, the world leaders finally settled for a statement of commitment containing six paragraphs. The statement of commitment reaffirmed the Agenda 21 as a fundamental programme of action for achieving sustainable development.

Summing up poverty

Issue Date: Jul 15, 1997
ENVIRONMENTAL degradation of resource- deficient lands, which are home to more than half the world's population, is a serious concern of the 1997 Human Development Report (HDR) which was released on June 12 by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP). Focusing on poverty, this eighth annual survey has mooted a six-point programme including promotion of political rights for the poor people to eradicate extreme poverty across the globe by early next century. Says UNDP's representative to India, Hans C von Sponeck, "Politics is inseparable from environment and development."

Grim kaleidoscope

Issue Date: Apr 30, 1997
Laying low Seeking out the poorest quarters Where the ragged people go Looking for the places Only they would know... (A song by Paul Simon and Art Garfunkel of the us , quoted in the book)

Double trouble

Issue Date: Apr 15, 1997
Poverty, especially in rural areas, and illiteracy go hand in hand. The majority of the world's poor, about 1 billion of the world's 5.7 billion people, live in rural areas. Of those, 500 million are children. About 40,000 people die every day from hunger-related causes, most in rural areas. About a third of the children of the developing world are failing to complete even four years of education, either because they drop out of school early, or because they never enrol in school at all.
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