2002 WORLD SUMMIT ON SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT
9 - 11 July 2001
1. At its Millennium Session in 2001, the United Nations General Assembly agreed to undertake a ten-year review of progress in the implementation of the outcomes of the 1992 United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED). This review will take place at the World Summit on Sustainable Development in South Africa in the year 2002 – the Johannesburg Summit. However, an important challenge is to ensure that the outcome of the Summit is not limited to a review but leads to new visions, commitments, partnerships and plans for practical implementation to make sustainable development real at all levels.
2. As a unique and major feature of the preparations for the 2002 Summit, it was agreed that the main issues for the Summit would arise from participatory national and regional assessments and discussions drawing from all segments of society and regions of the world.
3. The global inter-governmental process, which will involve three preparatory meetings to be held in the first half of 2002, will benefit from Regional Inter-governmental Preparatory meetings (“PrepComs”) to be held in all regions in the second half of 2001. In order to support this process and to take advantage of the views of experts, the United Nations is convening independent Regional Roundtables of eminent persons and leaders of civil society in the five regions of the world.
4. The East Asia and the Pacific Eminent Persons Regional Roundtable was held in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia from 9 to 11 July 2001. This report attempts to capture the key concerns expressed and proposals for action made by the participants. The participants attended in their personal capacities and provided their perspectives on the progress achieved and the obstacles and challenges faced by the region, major constraints on sustainable development as well as proposals for action to address the specific issues identified.
5. The report is intended to help in the preparatory process leading up to the Summit with new ideas, based on the participants’ practical experience and interest in sustainable development, to develop a platform which outlines key policy issues, priorities and follow up actions for the region as well as at the global level.
6. This report will be forwarded to all of the regional and sub-regional PrepComs. It will also be made available to the global preparatory meetings. Furthermore, the Roundtable report will be posted on the Johannesburg Summit web site.
7. The East Asia and the Pacific Roundtable was organised by the Secretariat of the World Summit on Sustainable Development in collaboration with the Government of Malaysia The Roundtable was chaired by Tan Sri Razali Ismail. A full list of participants is attached as an Annex to this report.
8. At the opening of the Roundtable, introductory statements were made by Dato Haji Zainal Dahalan, Deputy Minister of Science, Technology and Environment, on behalf of the Minister for Science, Technology and Environment and Ms. JoAnne DiSano, Director, Division for Sustainable Development, United Nations.
9. The report of the Roundtable will be made available to governments of the region prior to the regional intergovernmental preparatory meeting, which will take place in Cambodia, in November of this year. The Roundtable directed the Chairman to present this report to the regional intergovernmental preparatory meeting, which will take place in Cambodia in November this year and to participate in all segment of this meeting. Participants of the Roundtable were urged to submit the report to their respective constituents. The Secretariat for the 2002 World Summit on Sustainable Development will post the report on its website, which can be accessed at www.johannesburgsummit.org.
A. Characteristics and Challenges of the East Asia and Pacific region
10. The East Asia and Pacific region has special characteristics that affect conditions for implementing sustainable development objectives in the various countries of the region. Prior to the financial crisis in 1997, countries of the region, each in its own way, were attempting to address the challenges of sustainable development. In the aftermath, however many of the issues have re-emerged in more critical form and the capacity of the countries to address these challenges has been diminished.
11. Many issues, in particular environmental issues, faced by the countries of the region are trans-boundary in nature and national actions often have profound regional and global implications. This is particularly true with regard to environmental degradation and resource depletion that has intensified in the region since Rio. There is an urgent need for more accountability among nations in the region to pursue effective measures of regional co-operation.
12. The East Asia-Pacific is among the most diverse regions of the world, and thus faces particular challenges in sustainable development. Although many problems faced by the various countries or sub-regions are similar there are no “one size fits all” solutions.
13. Countries of the region cover the full spectrum of economic development. While in many countries of the region, absolute poverty has decreased, income inequality has increased. According to UNDP’s Human Development Index, the state of social development varies considerably. There is also wide political diversity ranging from authoritarian states to constitutional monarchies, to strong parliamentary systems, and evolving democracies. The region possesses an extremely rich diversity of cultures, being the birthplace of some of the world’s oldest civilizations. The natural environment is the source of life, identity and spiritual values for the East Asia and Pacific region where many people still depend on subsistence living.
14. The increase of militarisation in the form of increased military activities, involvement of the military in civil affairs and unaccountable military budgets continue to escalate in East Asia and the Pacific is a matter of great concern and has led to an increase of small arms trade and military bases being set up in the region. This has negative effects on sustainable development and social welfare.
15. The region’s diversity is particularly evident in its biological resources and, consequent environmental challenges. With countries from small island States to landlocked countries, the region possesses a wide diversity of eco-systems and natural resource endowments, including coastal and marine resources, agriculture and forest-based economies, and rich mineral deposits.
16. Dynamic economic developments in the region in the last two decades have led to rapid urbanization due to high rates of rural/urban migration, with East Asia having several of the world’s mega-cities, with populations exceeding 10 million. Mounting ecological imbalances have resulted in increasing air and water pollution, elimination or pollution of mangroves and wetlands, forest destruction, soil erosion and land degradation, climate change, increasingly prevalent natural and man-made disasters, and problems in water resource and solid waste management.
17. Atmospheric aerosols, produced by the burning of biomass and industrial emissions have reduced crop and ecosystem productivity with consequent impacts on food security and biodiversity. Reduced vegetation cover has affected the amount of rainfall produced by the Asian monsoon with consequent effects on agricultural productivity. At the same time, agricultural development in the river catchments has tended to increase the amount of sediment, nitrogen and phosphorus reaching the region’s coastal zones. These land-based effluents, by stimulating biological activity and changing eco-system processes, have had an impact on the atmosphere and marine systems.
18. In addition, in the past 30 years, East Asia has lost half its forest cover, along with countless unique animal and plant species. Desertification in Mongolia and other countries of the region as well as deforestation in both East Asia and the Pacific are rapidly increasing. A third of the continent’s agricultural land has been degraded. Over-fishing in East Asia and the Pacific has caused a rapid depletion of fish stocks, which not only compromises the natural recovery of such fish stocks, but also causes extreme hardship on small fishing families and coastal people. Indigenous peoples in particular have been further marginalized.
19. Small islands in the region have been particularly vulnerable to natural disasters. Small island states have limited capacity to respond to or recover from natural disasters. While small island states contribute the least to environmental degradation, they are among those nations most threatened by global climactic and environmental changes, such as sea level rise.
20. In the post-Rio period, some countries in the East Asia and the Pacific region have actively responded to the challenge of sustainable development as addressed in Agenda 21 and the other outcomes of Rio. These responses, however, reflected limited progress in sustainable development and in the implementation of Agenda 21.
21. Many nations in the region have established initiatives to increase progress towards sustainable development. These include public policy initiatives such as economic incentives, education, caps on resource consumption, some impressive examples of participatory management, conservation strategies and legislated limits on pollution. In the private sector, voluntary targets for reducing resource consumption are slowly spreading and awareness of environmental issues has increased. About 26 countries have prepared ‘National Agenda 21” or “Green Vision 21” statements. National Councils of Sustainable Development or their equivalents are becoming platforms for dialogue among stakeholders on the planning and implementation of sustainable development. For example in Thailand, the Chulabhorn Research Institute has focused much energy on the improvement of people’s quality of life by protecting the environment. This includes reforestation as well as teaching young people to create “community forests.” The CRI has also established the International Centre for Environmental and Industrial Toxicology (ICEIT). The All-China Women’s Federation has been carrying out a project called “March the Eighth Forestation Project” since 1990.
22. At the regional level, the “Regional Action Programme on Environmentally Sound and Sustainable Development, 1996-2005” specified numerous programme areas, which provided a basis for transforming the principles of sustainable development contained in Agenda 21 into specific action; that would also guide future actions, including improving the urban environment through a network of cities in the region.
23. Corporate social responsibility has increased resulting in an accelerating trend toward “green business” or “green management” including an increase in the number of companies achieving certification under the ISO 14001 standards. Green purchasing both by companies and consumers has increased along with the construction of “zero waste” plants. Investment instruments such as “eco-funds” have also been more widely used within the region.
24. Civil society has emerged as an important factor in promoting sustainable development. Civil society, including non-governmental organizations and other major groups, have been instrumental, albeit unevenly, in challenging development paradigms, creating new knowledge bases and initiating tripartite partnerships with governments and business in pursuit of sustainable development at the local, national and regional levels.
25. While there has been progress, improvement for the region as a whole is not obvious, certainly not readily discernible. State strategies and policies in parts of the region have not been operationalized. Indeed, in some cases sound sustainable development policies have yet to be formulated or implemented. It is a matter of concern that in some parts of East Asia and the Pacific, support for implementing sustainable development policies has slipped, while natural resource depletion and environmental degradation have been allowed to continue to occur. Urgent measures need to be formulated to assist countries to better cope and strengthen commitment to sustainable development.
26. Sustainable development also needs to be based on a sound philosophy that would benefit from being founded on local, spiritual, traditional, indigenous and tribal values and lifestyles. In many countries, these values are under attack by increasing commercialism and consumerism that emphasize personal and individual gratification over community, cultural and environmental values. In this regard, education was seen as particularly important.
27. It is necessary to strengthen a sense of collective ownership and responsibility for the implementation of sustainable development objectives and programmes among stakeholders at the national and local levels. In this regard, the role and commitment of governments to sustainable development remains essential. Governments have to exercise strong leadership in co-ordination of action and encouraging participation and partnerships. Environment and sustainable development issues need to be more effectively taken into account by Ministers of Finance, Trade and Economic Development.
28. Poverty in its various dimensions is an impediment to achieving progress in sustainable development. While economic development is critical to poverty eradication, it is equally essential to guarantee the rights of individuals, families and indigenous communities to economic self-sufficiency. In some countries, rapid economic growth has been accompanied by increased social inequalities and marginalization of disadvantaged groups, resulting in further social conflicts. In some cases, rapid economic growth has failed to take into account eco-system vulnerabilities. Hence, it is essential to integrate economic, social and environmental concerns in policies targeted to poverty eradication, reduction or prevention.
Proposals for Action:
Governments should establish fiscal policies that progressively tax high income groups and finance human resource development and empowerment of the poor, with special emphasis on women, indigenous peoples and other vulnerable groups to improve their access to and ownership of natural resources, enabling them to manage such resources in a sustainable manner and improve access to health care facilities.
Methods should be developed in all countries to examine the sustainability implications of all new legislation before they are enacted and to modify laws, if necessary.
Governments should develop affirmative action policies to provide better access of the poor to land titles and tenure, credits, education and training, and science and technology.
Systems for improved social equity should be established and promoted.
National and regional financial institutions should be encouraged to facilitate access to micro-credit or other micro-financing schemes and other economic opportunities for the poor and in support of small-scale and family businesses, taking into account experiences gained with already existing schemes.
Governments, with the support and active participation of NGOs and other civil society groups should implement on the job training for poor people as an important means to promote economic self-sufficiency.
Policies to eradicate, reduce or prevent poverty should include measures to improve empowerment of women, including measures that promote education, job security, entrepreneurial development and creating employment opportunities for women.
Access of the poor to information and knowledge is essential to achieve a better understanding of the interaction of social, economic and environmental aspects of sustainable development and contributes to people’s empowerment. In this regard, Internet kiosks could be established, where appropriate, in villages, through co-operation between local NGOs, the private sector and governments.
29. It is recognized that globalisation and increasing liberalization through the WTO are a “two-edged sword”, with as many benefits as there are “pains” that have far reaching effects on sustainable development, involving not merely the economic and social aspects of human activity but also cultural, moral, behavioural, technological and environmental consequences that are not readily measurable quantitatively. Moreover, the more visible and recognizable benefits are not equitably distributed among nations and region (certainly Asia & Pacific). The consequential “pains” that have since emerged (and are still emerging) have strong negative and pervasive impact on families, traditional values and cultures, habits, and people’s way of living generally. Studies on such impact in all its facets are few and far between, especially on whether the “twin” economic efficiency and competitiveness rationales behind globalisation are consistent with the growing demand in Asia for a more caring and compassionate world, where decency, civil behaviour and protection of the weak, the disadvantaged and the uncompetitive have a place under a more and more prosperous “sun”. There is an urgent need to engage the surge in globalisation with at least 5 strategic imperatives based on the principles of rationality, readiness, representation, responsibility and self-determination.
Proposals for Action:
UNCED did not have the benefit of engaging the complex dimensions of globalisation (as we know it today) in the context of increased national, regional and international efforts to promote sustainable and environmentally sound development. Globalisation and its impact most certainly deserves a separate heading at the 2002 Summit. The CSD should include this matter high on its Agenda in Johannesburg.
All aspects of the impact of globalisation (warts and all) should be thoroughly examined and studied. Towards this end, the CSD should organize regional Roundtable meetings to exchange information and experiences, monitor progress and impact, as well as promote networking to actively help in this assessment. Best results would come with the broadest participation: government, private business, transnational corporations, NGOs, professionals, experts, women and civil society generally.
New efforts are needed in reshaping globalisation to promote the progress of women in coping with new phenomenon, especially gender equality and justice, and human development generally.
Establish a global agreement, supported by the force of international law, to minimize the transfer between countries of polluting industries and practices and reduce the impact on resource use of free trade and the reduction of trade barriers.
30. The importance of education, training and public awareness for capacity-building, with particular emphasis on the needs and roles of young people, as the successor generation of sustainable development, was stressed. Related to this is the need to have a well-informed media and public communications network that promotes public awareness, informs and educates the public about key sustainable development issues. Further dialogue, research and focus on science and knowledge for sustainable development is particularly important.
Proposals for Action:
The academic institutions of the world should launch a broad-based dialogue on science for sustainable development, with the active participation of scientific institutions of the East Asia and Pacific and other regions of the world to enhance the understanding of the dynamic interactions between nature and society. In this context, a regional symposium on science for sustainable development should be organized.
Custodians of traditional knowledge have much to offer learning about sustainability, but its incorporation into academic research and public policy must be carefully regulated by governments to ensure the interests and intellectual property rights of indigenous peoples.
East Asia and Pacific countries should jointly develop higher education courses and research programmes at the regional level to advance the knowledge of young people on the concept of science for sustainability and its application to the conditions and requirements for sustainable development in the region.
International and national funding schemes should be reformed to better finance interdisciplinary research on science for sustainable development. In this regard, it was suggested to establish partnerships between the private sector and academic institutions, where the private sector would finance scholarships and workshops, while the scientific sector would provide training in science for sustainable development to the private sector.
Countries should actively pursue the integration of the concept of sustainable development in the curricula for primary, secondary and tertiary education to promote more sustainable consumption and life styles and to raise people’s awareness of environmental protection and sustainable development through formal and non-formal education, e.g. school education, tertiary education, popular education, family and community education. In this context, the concept of science for sustainable development should become an integral part of the curricula in schools and institutions for higher education. Indigenous knowledge, values and lifestyles should be part of the science for sustainable development concept.
Awareness-raising campaigns should be launched to mobilize public support for sustainable development actions, including the use of environmentally friendly means of transportation, such as bicycles, as well as planting trees and protecting the environment.
Governments should ensure a free flow of information on sustainable development to the public and the media to contribute to education and awareness raising and facilitate the important functions of the media, in this regard.
The Earth Charter could be a useful means to raise public awareness about sustainable development values and issues.
31. Sustainable development needs adequate financing. UNCED recognised that sustainable development is not simply a matter of environmental protection but has economic, social, cultural and environmental dimensions. As such, some tradeoffs among objectives related to these different dimensions are inevitable. Any tradeoffs are essentially a national matter although for Asia, regional and global priorities do matter. Hence, the need for measured sustainable development strategies to ensure that financial and other resources are directed towards the highest priority among objectives. Sensitivity to regional/global dimensions requires concerted and co-ordinated actions by nations and the provision of adequate global financial transfers, especially from the developed world. While recognizing financial resources as essential for sustainable development, they are on their own not sufficient for achieving it. Without proper policies, consumer and producer behaviour will not shift to more sustainable patterns, and the financing gap will remain wide. Good policies hold the promise of not only being able to mobilise new financial resources but also reducing such a need. Three major sources for sustainable development are relevant : (i) external fund flows (particularly ODA for poor nations), debt relief, foreign private capital flows, and multilateral finance (especially IMF, World Bank and regional development banks); (ii) domestic resource mobilisation through new fiscal resources, public expenditure reforms and redirection of resources for sustainable development; and (iii) promoting innovative financial mechanisms (national, regional and international) for sustainable development, including new international taxes/charges (such as, Tobin tax and international air transport levy), innovative carbon taxes/charges and tradable permits, green funds, sustainable development trust funds and swaps, etc. Unfortunately, progress since UNCED in all these areas have been slow (indeed, too slow) due mainly to the lack of political will to boldly move forward.
Proposals for Action:
Revive the issue of finance for sustainable development as a priority issue of concern at the 2002 Summit, going beyond financing environmental protection and involving programmes that integrate economic, social, cultural and environmental development.
Push for urgent reform of the international monetary architecture, including restructuring the Bretton Woods twins and regional/multilateral financial agencies, especially their programmes and delivery mechanisms.
Assist poor nations (especially the highly indebted poor countries - HIPCs) in particular, and in a positive way engage donor countries in meeting their responsibilities to assist them financially in implementing best practices in sustainable development, especially in eradicating poverty (including leveraging limited ODA resources to maximum effect).
Donor countries are urged to honor their commitment of achieving the ODA target of 0.7 per cent of their GDP as agreed upon by the United Nations.
Preferred financial instruments are those that not only raise revenue, but simultaneously change production and consumptions patterns in ways that promote sustainable development. To be effective, innovative mechanisms should be actively promoted with the bulk of new resources coming from, and invested by, the private sector.
Actively engage the market in a combination of incentive-based policies and targeted technical assistance efforts, based on the “polluter pays principle,” to simultaneously mobilise financial resources, stimulate technological transfer and innovation, and shift production and consumption toward more sustainable patterns.
More support should be given to mobilize financial resources from within the region, for example, through the establishment of a special trust fund or through debt for nature swaps schemes that have already been used in some countries in the region.
Considerable experience and ongoing experimentation with incentive-based financial mechanisms exist in industrialised and developing countries and economies in transition. There is an urgent need to compile and communicate this information more effectively, especially to policymakers and the public, and to enhance national capacities to identify, develop, and implement appropriate incentive-based policies.
The CSD should continue to give high priority in promoting global and regional experts meetings on cross-sectional and sectoral financial issues of Agenda 21. In this context, the CSD should also continue to support the exchange of information of financial mechanisms among interested parties through meetings, publications, networking and the development of electronic databases. The CSD should make a special effort to involve in its activities, and to disseminate information to, representatives of ministries of finance and other ministries concerned with economic management, in order to make them more receptive to the intergrated view of resource mobilisation and policy reform to promote SD, that its Expert Group on Finance has developed in its five regional meetings since 1994.
32. Technology transfer for sustainable development is usually focused on three issues: first, using limited public resources both to support research and development directly, and to leverage private sector investment in environmental technology; second, encouraging the development and transfer of industrial process technologies that increase efficiency in input use and reduce the production of waste products (shifting the focus from end-of-pipe pollution control to pollution prevention); and third, developing new financial incentives to achieve these two goals. From the private sector perspective, the fundamental barriers to the development, transfer and commercialization of environmentally friendly technology include suppliers’ perception of low rates of return and several types of market imperfections, such as: (a) the need for environmental technologies to be tailored for particular uses, making it difficult for potential buyers (particularly for small and medium enterprises) and suppliers to identify each other; (b) the need to ensure technology suppliers adequate returns without unduly restricting access to such technologies; and (c) limited public and private funding constraining development and dissemination of environmentally-sound technologies.
33. As a result, there has been little progress since the Rio Earth Summit in this vital area, which urgently needs a clear and implementable solution.
34. Another emerging issue is the increasing trend for commercialization of technologies for agricultural production and environmental management which for the most part had previously been undertaken under the public domain. Such trend threatens to severely restrict: (a) access to potentially beneficial technologies, and (b) public knowledge on their environmental impacts.
International agencies, financial institutions, governments, the private sector, and NGOs should work together to seek the appropriate balance between ensuring adequate incentives and rewards for the development of environmentally-sound technologies on one hand, and ensuring wide access to such technologies on the other. This should include efforts to develop and implement technical assistance programs that help users and suppliers of technology identify each other, reduce pre-investment costs through technical, financial and legal assistance, and identify and support projects that demonstrate and disseminate environmentally sound technologies in specific sectors.
A more radical and unconventional approach needs to be identified by experts to address the balance between: (a) public and private sector technology generation, and (b) adequate compensation for private sector investments in environmentally sound technologies, and ensuring wide access to such technologies, especially in developing countries and small & medium enterprises.
Private companies that are marketing new technologies in agriculture, such as genetic technology, should be required by governments to bear the costs of independent monitoring of their environmental impacts.
35. To ensure that the needs of the people are truly met, it is essential to involve the public in the entire process of policy development, including planning, implementation and monitoring of sustainable development strategies and action plans. Civil society must be considered active partners of governments in decision-making for sustainable development, even as they retain their essential role of advocacy. The effectiveness of multi-stakeholder dialogues and the readiness of national stakeholders to participate depend on the quality of leadership and direction that governments can provide. There is a need for new governance schemes. In such schemes, governments would retain their essential responsibility for planning, coordinated action, guidance to other stakeholder as well as establishing appropriate legal frameworks. Implementation action would be increasingly delegated to local communities. In this regard, indigenous peoples should be guaranteed the democratic right to be guardians and overseers of their own resources.
Proposals for Action:
Mechanisms should be established as a platform for multi-stakeholder dialogue and public participation on issues of sustainable development. Such mechanisms should also be used to ensure better accountability of all stakeholders with regard to the implementation of commitments made to sustainable development. Where National Councils for Sustainable Development exist, they could be used as mechanisms for multi-stakeholder decision-making.
Voluntary initiatives of the private sector to integrate sustainable development concerns in their business operations need to be encouraged and promoted.
Public participation in regional negotiations should be enhanced, e.g., in regional trade negotiations.
Adequate financial resources and technical assistance should be provided for civil society participation in the implementation of sustainable development projects.
Adopt, support and/or strengthen community-based natural resource management initiatives.
Governments should open up space and encourage opportunities for civil society groups to express diverse, different and opposing views.
36. Greater progress in sustainable development has to be achieved on the basis of well-focused national strategies or their equivalents. Each country needs to identify its own priorities in sustainable development, consistent with the needs of the people, long-term economic development objectives and environmental requirements. In identifying national priorities, it is important to apply a bottom up approach and to involve all national stakeholders to ensure that their interests are met and they are committed to participate in implementing those priorities.
Proposals for Action:
Countries of the regions that have not so far done, should establish national sustainable development strategies or their equivalent, which integrate social, economic and environmental concerns. Such strategies should include tools that facilitate consideration of both strong and weak sustainability.
Countries should develop national indicators of sustainable development to facilitate assessing progress in the implementation of sustainable development objectives identified in their national sustainable development strategies or action plans.
Full efforts should be taken to focus research on the establishment of national accounting systems, acceptable, in general, by every country. Currently, much research on this subject has successfully been done, but no satisfactory results have been achieved. More resources should be allocated to this research and concerted research efforts should be focused.
37. Soil and water resource degradation, conversion of agricultural lands due to population and commercial pressures and increasingly liberalized international trade in agricultural products threaten food security. In this context, there is a need for a collective and multi-lateral approach to food security in the region. While overall food supply is generally adequate within the region, it is often allocated for commercial purposes rather than being available to meet peoples’ basic needs.
Proposals for Action:
Consider establishment of a regional or sub-regional buffer stock scheme for North East Asia, ASEAN and the Pacific region.
Ensure sustained and increased funding for agricultural research and development.
Provide mechanisms for exchange of information on experiences utilizing targeted food subsidies for the poor.
Ensure that specific measures are taken to preserve the existing variety of indigenous seeds and plants.
Governments should ensure the diversity of staple food supplies.
Organic farming should be broadly promoted.
Governments should take effective measures to prevent the dumping of wastes, including nuclear and other toxic wastes in the oceans and seas because such dumping has serious impacts on fish stocks and other marine resources related to food supplies.
38. While population is growing in all parts of the world, it is a particular issue in East Asia and the Pacific region. For several countries, both internal migration, rural to urban, and migration between countries within the region present a range of social and economic problems that are a challenge for countries of the region. These include rapid urbanization, marginalization of indigenous populations, unemployment and related social conflicts and health problems.
Proposals for Action:
There is an urgent need for linking population policies with national sustainable development strategies based on the principles of prior informed consent and the sharing of responsibilities between men and women.
Governments in conjunction with the private sector and civil society should work together to meet the special needs of indigenous peoples, particularly with capacity building efforts, seek to prevent and mediate social conflicts and take pro-active measures to address related social ills.
Regional cooperation mechanisms and agreements need to be established to better regulate issues and problems related to migrant workers as well as the protection of their rights and welfare.
39. A healthy environment is essential to a healthy population and essential for sustainable development. The link between health and environmental degradation is becoming increasingly apparent in all regions of the world. In the East Asia and Pacific region, major water borne diseases such malaria, dengue fever and cholera and infectious diseases such as HIV/AIDS and TB are increasing rapidly along with health problems related to industrial growth and environmental pollution. Waste management is an issue of growing concern throughout the region. Both fish and livestock are threatened by the wide use of antibiotics and growth hormones. In the East Asia and Pacific region, a large proportion of the poor population work in the informal sector without the benefit of health insurance coverage
40. Work place safety and environmental standards are also being compromised by the concessions that governments are frequently required to make to attract national and international private sector investments.
Proposals for Action:
Government sponsored and private health insurance programmes should be extended to the poor and marginalized population groups currently not covered by existing programmes.
Existing health and information programmes by government, the private sector, media and civil society organizations should be expanded to promote safer life styles and behaviors.
In accordance with ILO conventions, government should adopt, implement and monitor legislation governing occupational safety and health.
Governments should ensure respect for workers’ rights to freedom of associations and organizations and to promote the active participation of workers and unions in industrial strategies and policies.
The relationship between human health and environmental degradation should be given special attention.
41. The diversity and richness of the region’s eco-systems were highlighted as being unique. However, many environmental problems that the countries of the region face have regional dimensions and impacts. Hence, in deciding on specific actions at the national level, the regional and global implications have to be carefully assessed so as to avoid that their implementation is not at the detriment of other countries.
Proposals for Action:
Establish a Regional Council for Sustainable Development, which would act as a network for regional co-operation embracing: (a) regional civil society organizations (b) regional institutions, such as the Asian Development Bank, the IMF, the World Bank and UN regional offices, (c) national councils of sustainable development established in countries of the region, (d) regional business associations.
Strengthen existing regional and sub-regional co-operation schemes and mechanisms to promote co-operation on issues of particular concern to the countries of the region, such as sustainable energy development, tourism, management of freshwater and marine resources, air pollution, illegal trade in forest products and logging, the impact of climate change, desertification, and the sustainable use and management of the region’s natural resources and eco-systems.
Strengthen existing and, where appropriate, establish regional information systems to provide information on environmental resources and eco-systems, obsolete technologies, and polluting activities in the region. These information systems could be supplemented by satellite and surface-based integrated monitoring systems. The data collected by these monitoring systems should also be used as inputs to an economic-environmental integration model, which will be developed to facilitate assessment of trends and projections of areas of potential environmental stress.
Strengthen the prohibition and control of drug production, trade and use.
Success stories on sustainable development should be widely shared among countries of the region.
42. The proliferation of small arms, land mines and high tech weaponry and the spread of violence, internal conflicts and piracy are having a detrimental affect on sustainable development in the East Asia and Pacific region. These arms damage the physical and communal environment, destroy families and communities and tear at the very fabric of society. Reduction in overall military expenditures throughout the region would provide substantial financial resources to support and advance sustainable development programmes.
Proposals for Action:
A regional scheme of multi-lateral cooperation, which may include the UN system and ASEAN, is urgently needed to stop the illegal flow of small arms and weaponry, to collect and destroy those arms already in circulation and to redirect military expenditures to more worthwhile sustainable development goals.
Governments should make expenditures for military purposes more transparent.
Governments should ensure that the transport or uranium and nuclear wastes across the oceans and seas do not have detrimental effects on health and the environment. The oceans and seas of the region should not become the dumping grounds for the nuclear and other wastes.
Proposals for Action:
43. Participants stressed the need to identify specific mechanisms that could be used to more effectively implement sustainable development. These included such things as:
Greater use by countries of National Councils of Sustainable Development or similar mechanisms with multi-stakeholder participation and the possibility of setting up a regional forum or council on sustainable development with multi-stakeholder participation that could better focus regional cooperation for sustainable development. In this regard, governments should exercise leadership in co-ordination of action and by encouraging participation and partnerships.
A regional trust fund should be established that could work in conjunction with the proposed regional council. Operations of the trust fund should be fully transparent and work through appropriately qualified non-governmental organizations to promote implementation of Agenda 21.
Workable and practical models of sustainable development are required that respond to country specific needs, particularly on how to integrate issues, based on research, development and traditional knowledge and experience.
National management and auditing systems, such as those used by the private sector, should be developed by governments in consultation with local communities and civil society groups as a means to better manage sustainable development issues.
Agreed mechanisms should be established for NGOs, indigenous peoples and civil society participation in regional and global inter-governmental negotiations, especially in the context of preparations for the World Summit on Sustainable Development.
Establish a regional information network on population, resources and environment with the participation of governments, civil society, academic institutions, the private sector and the media that would facilitate information exchange amongst governments and other stakeholders regarding population, resources and environment.
Agreed mechanisms for monitoring and evaluation of actions taken by governments.
A regional treaty should be established to protect natural resources, with particular emphasis on the prevention of over-fishing.
A regional food security mechanism should be established that could serve to assist countries that experience difficulties in meeting basic food needs.
Micro-credit and suitable finance schemes should be more widely replicated as a means to empower the poor and marginalized.
2002 WORLD SUMMIT ON SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT
REGIONAL ROUNDTABLE FOR EAST ASIA AND THE PACIFIC REGION
Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
9-11 July 2001
Tan Sri Razali Ismail
|Malaysia||President of the fifty-first session of the General Assembly; Chairman of the first session of the CSD; former Malaysian Ambassador and High Commissioner|
|Mr. Oliver AGONCILLO||Philippines||Research Associate, Institute of Philippine Culture; working with the Office of the Presidential Adviser on Indigenous Peoples|
|Mr. Neth BAROM||Cambodia||Vice-Rector, Royal University of Phnom Penh; serves on number of Boards and Working Groups|
|Mr. Dashiin BYAMBASUREN||Mongolia||Professor, Mongolian Academy of Management and Khan Uul University; President, Mongolian Development Foundation|
|Thailand||President, Chulabhorn Research Institute, Mahidol University, Thailand|
|Prof. Ron CROCOMBE||Cook Islands||Professor emeritus at the University of the South Pacific|
|Dr. Cielito F. HABITO||Philippines||Former Secretary of Socio-economic planning, Philippines; Chairman of the sixth session of the CSD|
|Ms Nurul Almy (Emmy) HAFILD||Indonesia||Executive Director of WALHI (NGO umbrella group in Indonesia); environmental activist|
|Prof. D. Nordin HASSAN||Malaysia||
Fellow, Science Academy of Malaysia
|Mr. Edwin T.F. KHEW||Singapore||Executive Director of Vivendi Universal Asia Pacific Pte. Ltd|
|Dr. KWON Tai-joon||Republic of Korea||Professor of Graduate School of Environmental Studies, Seoul National University|
|Ms LI Qiufang||China||Secretary of the Secretariat of the All-China Women’s Federation; Director of the Women’s Studies, Institute of China|
|Dr LIN See-Yan||Malaysia||Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Lin Associates|
|Ms. Motarilavoa Hilda LINI||Vanuatu||Director, Pacific Concerns Resource Center, Fiji|
|Mr. Kazuo MATSUSHITA||Japan||Acting Vice-President of the Institute for Global Environmental Strategies|
|Mr. Enkhasaikhan MENDSAIKHAN||Mongolia||Former Prime Minister; President, Premier International, Inc.|
|Mr. Promboon PANITCHPAKDI||Thailand||Country Representative, CARE International and Deputy Regional Director of Family Planning International Assistance|
|Mr. Govindasamy RAJASEKHARAN||Malaysia||Secretary General, Malaysian Trades Union Council|
|Mr. Agus SARI||Indonesia||President and Director of PELANGI Indonesia, a policy research institute for sustainable development|
|Mr. Mak SITHIRITH||Cambodia||Environment Network Coordinator, NGO Forum on Cambodia|
|Khunying Chodchoi SOPHONPANICH||Thailand||Founder and President, Thai Environmental and Community Development Association; senator in Bangkok.|
|Mr. Joon-yong SUNG||Republic of Korea||
President of LG Institute of Environment, Safety and Health
Mr. Akio TAKAHATA
Editorial Writer, The Mainichi Shimbun
|Ms. Pauline TANGIORA||New Zealand||Long-standing representative of indigenous peoples; campaigner for peace, security and environmental protection|
|Prof. WANG Huijiong||China||Vice-President of Academic Committee of Development Research Center for the State Council|
|Prof. Bob WASSON||Australia||Director, Centre for Resources and Environmental Studies; Australian National University|