28 AUGUST 2002

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Maltese delegation joins Sustainable Development Summit

Yesterday saw the addition of the Maltese Delegation to the already 13,000-strong summit for Sustainable Development.

For the next week, the Maltese Delegates will be working with other government delegates, NGOs, and business leaders to reach an agreement for action on a wide range of issues each with the common aim of improving peoples lives while protecting the environment.

"Summits like these provide an opportunity for international exchange of views" said Mr. Joseph Cole, Malta’s representative from the Ministry for Foreign Affairs.

The Maltese delegation in fact expects to be working with the Alliance of Small Island States (AOSIS), as well as with other EU Accession Countries in what is called the "Central Group", besides attending the main scheduled meetings of the World Summit. Negotiations at the summit will focus on two main documents: The Plan of Implementation and the Political Declaration. "Malta will be negotiating as part of the Central Group in the formulation of the Plan of Implementation", explained Dr Simone Borg, from the Ministry for Home Affairs and the Environment. Good governance will be the subject of another session for negotiations in which Malta will participate today. The Maltese Delegation will also be participating at a meeting organised by the European Union for Mediterranean Countries. The aim is to exchange views on the state of negotiations, positions and other relevant key issues.

There will also be opportunities for the Maltese delegation to join in the several side events taking place at the summit. Type II partnerships, will be discussed today, including Malta’s proposal on Sustainability Tools for Small Islands States, which has been accepted by the United Nations. Malta will take part in Multi-stake holder dialogues through the Maltese representative for non-governmental organisations, Mr. Vince Attard.

The conference had opened on Monday with a call for governments to agree on a set of practical measures. South Africa President Thabo Mbeki said "The peoples of the world, expect that this World Summit will live up to its promise of being a fitting culmination to a decade of hope, by adopting a practical programme for the translation of the dream of sustainable development into reality and bringing into being a new global society that is caring and humane."

The conference held in Rio 10 years ago provided the general direction for sustainable development, but there is still a global need to move to concrete action. In what may be seen as an effort to avoid typical summit speeches, plenary sessions featured a moderated dialogue among experts, governments and representatives of major groups. The first of six plenary sessions were held on the issues of water, energy, health, agriculture and biodiversity. Agriculture and Cross Sectoral Issues will be discussed in Plenary sessions today.

The MP George Pullicino, as well as the advisor to the Maltese government, Michael Zammit Cutajar, will be joining the delegation as of today.


Copyright © Network Publications Malta.
Editor: Saviour Balzan
The Business Times, Network House, Vjal ir-Rihan San Gwann SGN 07, Malta
Tel: (356) 21382741-3, 21382745-6 | Fax: (356) 21385075 | e-mail: editorial@networkpublications.com.mt