United Nations


General Assembly

26 June 1997

                          IMPLEMENTATION OF AGENDA 21

          Letter dated 25 June 1997 from the Permanent Representative
          of South Africa to the United Nations addressed to the     

     In its capacity as Chairman of the States members of the Southern
African Development Community (SADC), South Africa has the honour to
request that the attached declaration be circulated as a document of
the nineteenth special session of the General Assembly under agenda
item 8.

     This declaration by the Ministers of SADC attending the nineteenth
special session of the General Assembly represents a contribution
towards the overall review and assessment of the implementation of
Agenda 21, particularly as this relates to the 12 States members of

     The States constituting the membership of SADC are:  Angola,
Botswana, Lesotho, Malawi, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia, South
Africa, Swaziland, the United Republic of Tanzania, Zambia and

                                               (Signed)  Khiphusizi J. JELE   
                                                      Permanent Representative


       Declaration by the Ministers of the Southern African Development 
       Community attending the nineteenth special session of the General
              Assembly, held in New York from 23 to 27 June 1997

     We, the Ministers of the Southern African Development Community
attending the nineteenth special session of the General Assembly,

     Recalling the United Nations Conference on Environment and
Development, held at Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, in 1992,

     Reiterating that the eradication of poverty in our member States
and efforts to halt environmental degradation are of paramount

     Concerned about the increasing degradation of the global
environment as a result of unsustainable production and consumption
patterns as well as lifestyles,

     Concerned about atmospheric pollution and its impact on the global
environment, natural resources, human health and small island
developing States,

     Recognizing the need to integrate social and economic development
and environmental protection in all decision-making to ensure a better
quality of life for present and future generations,

     Noting the progress achieved in the framework of recent major
United Nations conferences to promote international cooperation and
consensus on development and through the provisions in the Convention
on Biological Diversity, the United Nations Framework Convention on
Climate Change and the United Nations Convention to Combat
Desertification in Those Countries Experiencing Serious Drought and/or
Desertification, Particularly in Africa,

     Acknowledging the work of the Commission on Sustainable
Development and its Intergovernmental Panel on Forests, the United
Nations Environment Programme and the Global Environment Facility and
other financial mechanisms,

     Recognizing that global partnership and international cooperation
for development are essential in achieving sustainable development,
particularly through the creation of a more favourable international
economic environment, and that North-South and South-South transfer of
environmentally sound technologies is essential for sustainable
development, and recognizing also that the fulfilment of the
commitment to transfer to developing countries substantial new and
additional financial resources to meet their sustainable development
requirements has not materialized,

     Concerned that while the principle of common but differentiated
responsibilities for global environmental degradation has been
accepted by all, the progress in the implementation of the commitments
voluntarily undertaken at Rio de Janeiro by all countries has been

     Recognizing that while the responsibility for the implementation
of Agenda 21 rests with national Governments, the efforts of
developing countries have been hampered by the absence of adequate
support and assistance from the international community,

     Recognizing that loss of productivity in our drylands, with its
resulting poverty and underdevelopment, continues to impact upon the
poorest people in our region,

     Concerned that the unsustainable exploitation of marine resources
in the oceans of the developed countries is obliging them to seek
exploitation rights in the waters of the South Atlantic and Indian

     Recognizing that water is southern Africa's most limiting natural


     -   Resolve to strive to eradicate poverty as an indispensable
         condition for sustainable development;

     -   State that the eradication of poverty, supported by greater
         equity in income distribution and human resource development,
         remain major challenges, especially in our member States;

     -   Believe that solving the basic needs of the poor,
         particularly food security and energy needs, would reduce
         problems such as deforestation and land degradation and would
         relieve pressure on water resources;

     -   Urge that the special situation and needs of the member
         States should be given special priority;

     -   Are convinced of the importance of pursuing policies of
         sustainable development and of managing the natural resource
         base in a sustainable manner;

     -   Call upon the developed countries to address urgently the
         environmental degradation caused by their unsustainable
         production and consumption patterns;

     -   Urge the developed countries to meet their commitments to
         reduce their greenhouse gas emissions below the 1990 level by
         2005 and to reach agreement on legally binding instruments at
         the third session of the Conference of the Parties to the
         United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, to be
         held at Kyoto, Japan, and to assist the small island
         developing States in implementing their action plans;

     -   Emphasize that North-South technology transfer and
         cooperation to our region should be analysed and increased,
         and stress that South-South technology transfer and
         cooperation should be promoted;

     -   Urge the developed countries to provide additional and
         predictable financial resources to meet their commitments
         under Agenda 21 and to achieve the target of 0.7 per cent
         gross national product as official development assistance
         immediately, and also to ensure that within that target
         0.15 per cent of gross national product is earmarked for the
         least developed countries, and welcome the foreign direct
         investment from the private and public sectors in our region;

     -   State that the period of five years since the 1992 Conference
         at Rio de Janeiro has indicated progress in some areas, but
         also recognize that implementation remains a great problem,
         especially in Africa.  We reiterate the need for enhanced
         resources and capacity-building programmes by the United
         Nations system to contribute effectively to the
         implementation of Agenda 21;

     -   Reiterate our commitment to combat desertification at local,
         national and regional levels, and urge the international
         community to attach similar importance and urgency to the
         implementation of the United Nations Convention to Combat
         Desertification in Those Countries Experiencing Serious
         Drought and/or Desertification, Particularly in Africa as to
         the other recent United Nations conventions;

     -   Call upon the international community to support the region
         in the development and implementation of sustainable water
         management systems for the benefit of the member States;

     -   Urge the international community to assist member States in
         the management of marine ecosystems and the protection of
         marine resources against over-exploitation;

     -   As members of the Southern African Development Community
         therefore rededicate our commitment to the Rio Declaration on
         Environment and Development and the provisions of Agenda 21.



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