United Nations


General Assembly

11 June 1997


   Letter dated 9 June 1997 from the Permanent Representative
   of Zimbabwe to the United Nations addressed to the        

    I have the honour to transmit herewith the outcome of the World
Solar Summit, held at Harare in September 1996, for use as a document
of the nineteenth special session of the General Assembly for the
purpose of an overall review and appraisal of the implementation of
Agenda 21.

    I should be grateful if you would have the text of the present
letter and its annex distributed as a document of the nineteenth
special session of the General Assembly under item 8 of the
provisional agenda.

                              (Signed)  Machivenyika T. MAPURANGA
                                        Permanent Representative 


                       WORLD SOLAR SUMMIT

            WORLD SOLAR PROGRAMME 1996- 2005: An Outline


This outline of the proposed World Solar Programme 1996-2005 (WSP) to
be launched at the World Solar Summit on 16-17 September 1996 in
Harare, Zimbabwe is an attempt to briefly state the most salient
features of the WSP and its determining activity, the World Solar
Summit Process.

The WSP is an open-ended attempt through broad partnership and
co-operation of governments and organizations to promote the adoption
and wider utilization of renewable energy sources. This will be
achieved through the setting of agreed targets, appropriate standards,
cooperation mechanisms, incentives and pooling of resources. The major
benefits to be derived from the WSP include the enhancement of the
quality of life of large numbers of people, particularly in the rural
areas, and the creation of additional employment through the
development of new enterprises. The WSP is a response to the challenge
posed by the Earth Summit which requires all countries to institute
appropriate measures for reducing pollution by introducing clean
technology - hence, the WSP will set us off on the 'solar highway'
leading to sustainable development.

The WSP will evolve over the decade 1996-2005 through the development
and implementation of high-priority national, regional and global
projects, under the leadership and guidance of the World Solar


Rapid political, social and economic changes are taking place
everywhere, bringing both hope and despair to individuals in different
parts of the world. As far as energy is concerned, the world today
seems to have been polarized. The 75% of humanity living in the
developing countries account for only 25% of global energy
consumption. More than one billion people in the developing countries
have no source of energy available to them other than the traditional
ones (fuelwood and other forms of biomass). More than two billion
people in these countries have no access to electricity. It was in its
endeavour to take up the challenge of providing these people with
their basic minimum energy needs that UNESCO, in a broad-based
partnership with the United Nations and its Specialized Agencies,
international organizations and concerned governmental and
non-governmental organizations, launched in 1993 a global initiative:
a three-year long communication process known as the World Solar
Summit Process (WSSP). The objectives of the WSSP were to enhance the
global understanding of the role that renewable energies can play in
providing clean energies to billions of people in far and remote areas
of the developing countries of the world, creating new employment
opportunities, improving health services, contributing
to the preservation of the environment and, in addition, developing
and reinforcing the spirit of international co-operation through
inter-regional communication and exchange of expertise and
technologies. The World Solar Programme 1996-2005 (WSP) is envisaged
as an instrument to attain the objectives of the World Solar Summit


The WSP finds its roots in the high-level regional consultations that
were undertaken throughout the world during the last three years. The
Programme is conceive`d as a necessary global commitment and a major
co-ordinated effort of the various national and international actors
to develop and implement 300-odd top-priority renewable energy
projects of national, regional and international value within a
10-year period in order to demonstrate the technical feasibility,
economic viability and social and political acceptability of solar
energy. This Programme should be seen as a challenging joint effort
involving governments, major international organizations and funding
institutions, non-governmental organizations, industries, scientific
and research institutions, universities, etc. to promote the
development and deployment of renewable energy.


The aims and objectives of the World Solar Programme 1996-2005 are to:

- enhance the understanding of the role that renewable energy sources
can play in the preservation of the environment, provision of energy
services, particularly for rural and remote areas, creation of
employment and improvement in the socio-economic conditions of the
rural people, particularly of women in the developing countries of the
world, and the fostering of increased energy independence;

- develop a favourable political, social and economic climate in
favour of renewable energies by demonstrating the economic viability
and social acceptability of such projects;

- promote and harmonize co-operation in education, training and
research as well as in the transfer of research disclosures to
industry at the regional, interregional and international levels;

- strengthen the commitment from the international community,
especially multilateral and bilateral donors as well as the national
commitment from each country; and

- reinforce local technological and entrepreneurial capacity-building
and encourage the creation of small-scale financing and delivery


The Programme includes projects of varying degrees of geographical
limits and accruing values. There are projects which have been
identified by various national governments themselves as being of the
highest priority. Such projects, known as the High-priority National
Projects, will not only be of benefit to the concerned countries but
will also provide valuable information to other countries.

Other projects of regional value have been identified during the
various regional consultations that took place in different parts of
the world during the last three years. These projects have been termed
High-priority Regional Projects, the benefits of which will accrue to
the entire region.

Finally, there are global projects of universal value, identified and
endorsed during the regional ministerial-level and high-level expert
meetings, as well as during the meetings of the Regional Solar
Councils, organized since 1993 within the framework of the World Solar
Summit Process. A short summary of each of these projects is presented

* Rural Electrification.  In the rural and/or remote areas of the world,
more than 400 million households do not have access to electricity.

* Global Education and Training Programme.  Its objective is to
effectively disseminate the information and provide appropriate
training for engineers, technicians and users of solar energy
technology as well as decision makers, businessmen and industrialists.

* Water Desalination and Purification.  The objective of this project
is to initiate the implementation of a world water desalination
programme designed to establish new ways of supplying drinkable water
to rural areas, using renewable energies.

* Information and Communication.  The objectives are: to provide the
necessary information, both to the decision-maker and to the public at
large, in order to sensitize them on the potential of renewable
energies; and to provide professional know-how and expertise sharing
with regard to renewable energy technologies and systems.

* Industrial Policy, Market Penetration and Technology Transfer.  The
aims are: to set regulations for the integration of renewable energies
in common planning procedures and project development; to establish
new information channels to disseminate the appropriate technologies
to target groups of professionals and marketers; to set up mechanisms
to facilitate North-South and South-South technology-sharing
initiatives at the regional and local levels; and to support the
market with strong research and development efforts to investigate
innovative concepts and stimulate the take-up of new technologies in
the market based on the feedback from the market's end users.


The WSP envisages the accomplishment of its objectives by mobilizing a
concerted global effort with the continued co-operation and
commitment of various governments, international organizations,
bilateral and multilateral funding institutions, non-governmental
organizations, the private sector, research organizations and
universities etc. As the programme aims at implementing the
high-priority projects of national and regional importance submitted
by various governments, it attaches a strategic importance to
continued inter- and intra-governmental support and to the
mobilization of the private sector.


Various regional consultations on this issue have revealed that in
some countries today, budgetary provision already exists in the areas
of research, education, training and development on renewable
energies. However, it has become increasingly evident that for the
development of renewable energies, the funding windows from government
and private sources as well as financial and developmental
institutions should be augmented. Furthermore, innovative new
financing opportunities, including microfinancing and the need to
attract private capital to supplement the insufficient public
resources, should be created. It is expected that national
governments, as well as international and regional development and
finance banks, will accord high priority to finance renewable energy
projects identified in the WSP.


The detailed methodology for the implementation of the Programme will
be finalized after the latter is formally launched at the World Solar
Summit. Under the overall guidance of the World Solar Commission, the
programme will be given a definite structure within a period of nine
months after the Summit through intensive deliberations and
appropriate negotiations, it being understood that the Programme is
open-ended, i.e. that new projects can be included during the decade
that it will cover.

The World Solar Programme 1990-2005 will be implemented having
recourse as much as possible to partnership arrangements and using
existing structures extensively. At the international level, the
various organizations and institutions should be responsible for the
execution of projects within their respective spheres of competence.
The same will be true at the regional level, where the regional solar
councils created at the regional preparatory meetings for the World
Solar Summit Process should play a co-ordinating and monitoring role.

While UNESCO is prepared to continue to furnish the Secretariat of the
World Solar Commission, a substantial increase in the participation of
all main actors at the international intergovernmental level will be
necessary to ensure the successful completion and implementation of
the World Solar Programme 1996-2005.

                           WORLD SOLAR SUMMIT 

                           HARARE DECLARATION

We, the Heads of State and Government, gathered or officially
represented in Harare on the occasion of the World Solar Summit,
following the invitation by the Government of Zimbabwe and at the
initiative of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural
Organization, in collaboration with international organizations and
institutions, in order to launch a programme for global solar
activities to be known as the World Solar Programme 1996-2005,

    1.  recognize the significance of the role that solar and other
sources of renewable energy such as wind, geothermal, hydro, biomass and
ocean, as well as energy efficiency, should play in the provision of energy
services and in the sustainable use of environmental resources for the
well-being of humanity;

    2.  reiterate our support for the principles and actions for the
promotion of energy systems for sustainable development recommended by the
United Nations Conference on Environment and Development, held on 3-14 June
1992 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, in particular the Rio Declaration on
Environment and Development, Agenda 21, as well as the commitments
made in the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change;

    3.  recognize that the provision of sufficient energy services at
affordable prices and the adoption of energy conservation measures are
essential for the progress of all countries, developed and developing alike,
to meet current and expanding needs in ways which minimize environmental
degradation and risks, as well as to realize the full potential of renewable
energy sources;

    4.  recognize that there is a need to increase substantially
access to energy in developing countries, and that the provision of
adequate energy services can improve living conditions, alleviate poverty,
improve health and education, promote small-scale enterprises and create other
income-generating activities especially in rural and isolated areas, thereby
reducing rural to urban migration;

    5.  recognize that the role of solar energy in each country needs
to be integrated and specified in its national energy policy;

    6.  recognize that the development, deployment and widespread
utilization of solar energy face difficulties, particularly with regard to
their management, maintenance and financing as well as to the availability and
accessibility of relevant data, information, education, training and

    7.  recognize that increased use of solar energy can reduce
environmental degradation caused by adverse human activities such as
industrial pollution and deforestation, and that it is the responsibility of
governments and all sectors of civil society to work together to find lasting
solutions to problems threatening the sustainable development of humanity;

    8.  emphasize that the management of atmospheric emissions of
greenhouse and other gases and substances will increasingly require efficient
and environmentally sound energy systems, including solar energy ones;

    9.  recognize the important role that relevant non-governmental
organizations play in the development and deployment of solar energy;

   10.  recognize that women have an important role to play in the
promotion of solar energy, and that they would benefit significantly
from its use;

   11. are convinced that sustainable development and utilization of
solar energy would be enhanced by local and national capacity
building, policy reform and technology sharing among nations, with
emphasis on coherent efforts towards technology acquisition and
development in the developing countries.

We therefore,

12. commit ourselves to work towards the wider use of solar energy to
enhance the economic and social development of all people; support and
promotion of these efforts should be very important goals of our
governments, the international community and all sectors of society,
especially with respect to people living in isolated and
underdeveloped rural and island communities;

13. commit ourselves to work towards policies and effective mechanisms
that will speed up and facilitate the use of solar energy avoiding
duplication and administrative delays, and the encouragement of
international co-operation, including participation in regional and
international bodies, scientific and technical organizations;

14. commit ourselves to work towards the greater use of solar energy
through the provision of adequate technical assistance and funding,
the full utilization of existing international funds, and the
facilitation of increased participation by both public and private

In pursuit of these objectives we:

15. call on all nations to join in the development and implementation
of the World Solar Programme 1996-2005;

16. invite the World Solar Commission to continue to provide
high-level leadership and guidance to achieve the objectives of the
Summit, and UNESCO to continue to play a leading role in the
development of the World Solar Programme 1996-2005, in close
co-operation with relevant international organizations,

17. invite the Secretary-General and Heads of Specialized Agencies and
Programmes of the United Nations, as well as national governments,
intergovernmental and non-governmental organizations, academic and
research institutions and the private sector, to join in the
implementation of the World Solar Programme 1996-2005.

HARARE, 17 September 1996


This document has been posted online by the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs (DESA). Reproduction and dissemination of the document - in electronic and/or printed format - is encouraged, provided acknowledgement is made of the role of the United Nations in making it available.

Date last posted: 15 January 2000 16:15:30
Comments and suggestions: esa@un.org