Summit Renews Commitment to Cleaner,
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Address by Prime
Minister Jean Chrétien
World Summit on Sustainable Development
Johannesburg, South Africa
This Summit marks a critical milestone.
The community of nations has come to Johannesburg to
achieve a global consensus on the concrete steps we
must take together to fulfill our most fundamental shared
duty: creating a cleaner and healthier world for our
children and for generations to come.
Since the publication in 1987 of Our
Common Future, the concept of sustainable development
has moved from elite discussion to the centre of the
international agenda. The speed of this shift reflects
the fact that, in essence, sustainable development is
about the very destiny of our planet.
It reflects a rising global awareness
that clean air, clean water and safe food are universal
needs. And that wise environmental stewardship is a
Canadians are a pragmatic people. We
believe that it is not just admirable goals that will
ensure a better world for our children. It is concrete
results. We prefer action to rhetoric. For us, achieving
sustainable development is about partnerships. Partnerships
in which no single sector of society has a monopoly
on virtue, wisdom or creativity.
That is why I am pleased to see the
many concrete action plans and innovative partnerships
emerging from this Summit. This reflects the direction
we are moving in Canada.
Canadians at all levels -- federal,
provincial and municipal governments, the private sector
and universities -- are investing in the new ideas and
solutions of the future. From fuel cells driven by hydrogen,
to 21st century waste management, Canada is, today,
creating the sustainable technologies of tomorrow.
Community groups are working with businesses
in ways that were beyond imagination not long ago. Aboriginal
people, with their special relationship to the land,
enrich our understanding of the environment.
Canada also believes that peoples across
the planet must be inspired to see their stake in a
better future. They must have real hope for a better
life. In this regard, we must acknowledge that, as much
as sound environmental practices, peace and security,
good governance, respect for human rights and the rule
of law are also pre-conditions for a sustainable future.
That is why at this year's Summit in
Canada, G-8 countries committed themselves to a new
partnership with Africa. As part of this partnership,
and within our fiscal framework Canada, has committed
$6 billion in new and existing resources over five years
to establish the preconditions for sustainable development
in Africa. We also intend to double our development
assistance from current levels by 2010. And we have
announced at this conference that we will more than
double our annual contribution to the UNEP Environment
Developing countries will not be able
to rise out of poverty if they are not allowed broader
access to world markets. As of January 1st 2003, Canada
will eliminate tariffs and quotas on almost all products
from the least developed countries. Agricultural subsidies
in rich nations remain a fundamental obstacle. And we
call on developed nations to make the elimination of
such subsidies a top priority
Supporting global bio-diversity requires
the conservation of unique biological areas and the
protection of clean water, of species and their habitat.
As a sign of the commitment of Canada to such wise stewardship,
I am announcing today that we will complete our national
park system over the next few years.
Extreme weather events around the world
have underscored the reality of climate change as well
as the imperative for global action, an imperative that
is strongly felt by Canadians.
On the basis of extensive and ongoing
consultations with other levels of government and stakeholders,
we are finalizing a plan of implementation that will
permit us to achieve the objectives of the Kyoto Accord.
When the consultations have concluded, and before the
end of the year, the Canadian Parliament will be asked
to vote on the ratification of the Kyoto Accord.
Ladies and gentlemen, the Johannesburg
agenda has been large and complex. Much has been accomplished.
But let us leave here clear in the knowledge that there
is still much work left to do. And renewed in our resolve
to get it done.