H. E. Mr. Joaquim Alberto Chissano 
President of the Republic of Mozambique

at the
World Summit on Sustainable Development

Johannesburg, South Africa
03 September, 2002

Mr. Chairperson,

The Republic of Mozambique feels honored to be part of this September gathering in which world leaders are set to agree on a framework for global action for sustainable development, through which countries will be pursuing their developing agendas while ensuring a prosperous world for present and future generations.

We are also honored to see a sister Country South Africa, hosting this important World Summit better known as WSSD. As Mozambicans, we have always enjoyed the South African hospitality and we should be remiss if we did not convey our sincere appreciation for the outstanding manner, generosity and graciousness we have been treated this time again since our arrival in Johannesburg.

We further convey our congratulations to you, Mr. Chairman, for the extraordinary manner you have been steering the proceedings of this Summit. We are confident that under your skillful and able leadership our meting will deliver the desired results.

We appreciate the presence of the Secretary-General of the United Nations, a personality that has been working tirelessly for the well being of humanity and for the successful realization of this Summit. We commend his tremendous work to reform the United Nations, so that it can effectively tackle the challenges posed by the new millennium.

Mr. Chairman

Ten years have elapsed since we met in Rio de Janeiro to address the protection of the environment, while ensuring socio-economic development. In that historic meeting we adopted Agenda 21 and the Rio Declaration, two visionary and forward-looking documents that outlined the course of action for that endeavor.

We meet here in Johannesburg for a timely review of the implementation of Rio commitments, addressing new challenges such as globalization as well as looking into practical ways to meet the Millennium Declaration goals.

The reports before us on the implementation of the Rio outcomes are unanimous in noting their rather disappointing implementation, with many commitments agreed upon yet to be met.

The reasons are basically well-known amongst which lack of political will to mobilize and allocate the necessary financial resources for implementation, technological transfer and technical assistance to developing countries, thus neglecting development goals, as well as the widespread poverty in developing countries, particularly LDCs.

As a result, the vision of sustainable development remains elusive and the world continues to be characterized by unsustainable patterns of development that neither protect the environment nor deliver socioeconomic growth and development. On the contrary, poverty, underdevelopment, inequality, pollution, global warming, severe weather, natural disasters and environmental degradation are just a few of the sad features we are faced with.

The Rio process has enabled us to identify the problem and the therapy. The best way to administer such therapy is the implementation We must refrain from any attempt to question the relevance of the Rio commitments the of Agenda 21 and of the principle of common but differentiated responsibility.

Agenda 21 continues to be a very valid strategy for sustainable development, in which environment protection and socio-economic development are presented in a comprehensive and balanced manner. Moreover, the key principle of common but differentiated responsibility at the heart of the Rio commitments remains the cornerstone for international action and partnership towards sustainable development, as it renders the necessary justice and fairness.

Therefore this Summit should establish a framework in which all countries in the world do perform their fair share of responsibility in the implementation of Agenda 21 in both the environment and development aspects. We should come up with new partnerships that entail concrete and innovative forms of assistance to developing countries, particularly the LDCs, to meet their development needs in full compliance with environment protection.

Mr. Chairperson,

Time has now come for the effective implementation of the commitments previously agreed upon, We should use this Summit, to move for more practical steps and transform the commitments made in the past into concrete action plans, and address the global concerns of humanity especially the poor.

Mr. Chairperson,

Africa is pleased and proud to host the WSSD in Johannesburg. Holding the summit in the poorest continent on the globe, we hope, will raise the global awareness over the significance of problems related to poverty, degradation and underdevelopment. African countries quest to implement Rio commitments has been seriously undermined by the widespread poverty on the Continent.

African countries, the majority of which belongs to LDC group of countries have a very weak social and economic structure as well as undeveloped infrastructure, which makes Africa's prospect of joining the global market and reaping the benefits of globalization a remote dream. However, despite their marginalization and underdevelopment, African countries are determined to achieve sustainable development through poverty eradication.

The commitment to solving the continent's problems is unquestionable. Africa believes that improving the life of its people is the primary responsibility of its people, themselves. Therefore Africans are now taking charge of their destiny. This is so, because there is a growing consensus that development cannot be imposed from outside. It should be home-based, owned and directed by the countries themselves, and reflecting the broad needs of their society.

In line with this concept, the New Partnership for African Development, NEPAD, constitutes the African answer to the problems faced by the continent. Based on the principle of national ownership, the NEPAD aims at setting an agenda to renew the continent by capturing national and regional priorities and development plans, through a participatory process and new framework for interaction and partnership with the rest of the world.

By adopting NEPAD, African leaders have produced their own strategy for sustainable development, based on Africa's reality, needs, strength and vision. NEPAD's approach is in line with Agenda 21. It pursues the goal of poverty eradication through economic growth and sustainable development, in which environmental concerns are legitimately addressed.

The success of NEPAD is crucial to the advancement of sustainable development in Africa. However, NEPAD can only be viable if it benefits from a meaningful partnership with the rest of the world. The response that NEPAD has received so far from our development partners is quite encouraging. We can only hope that this trend is strengthened and furthered, through the provision of necessary assistance.

Mr. Chairperson,

Mozambique attaches great importance to the fulfillment of the Rio commitments. In Mozambique the implementation of Agenda 21 was prioritized and integrated in the development programs of the country. We are satisfied that Mozambique has ratified almost all environmental conventions and MEA's related to Rio outcomes and we have engaged in the implementation of our national strategy for Sustainable Development centered on poverty alleviation. Within the framework of the preparations of the Johannesburg Summit, with the active participation of all stakeholders, including the civil society, the private sector and the NGOs, we have prepared a national report on the implementation of Agenda 21 now before the Summit.

On the other hand, Mozambique has produced her own strategy for poverty eradication and sustainable development, known as PARPA for the period 2001-2005. With the incidence of absolute poverty at about 70% of the population, PARPA aims at reducing poverty through rapid, sustained and broad-based economic and social growth and sustainable development.

We express our gratitude to our development partners for significant support rendered to the implementation of our strategy for poverty eradication (PARPA) and we reiterate our resolve to continue combating poverty and pursue sustainable development, with a strong component of environment protection.

Our efforts towards poverty eradication and socio-economic growth and development, have a strong component of environment protection.

Mozambique has enacted the necessary national environment laws and regulations, is vigorously conducting awareness campaigns on sustainable development. Conducting the territorial planning, and, is creating areas for the protection of biodiversity and natural parks, including marine parks like Bazaruto and Quirimba archipelagos. Aimed at protecting the African seas and coastal areas Mozambique has played an important role in hosting the first Pan African Conference on Sustainable Integrated Coastal Management in 1998 which in conjunction with the Cape Town Conference on Cooperation for the Development and Protection of the Marine and Coastal Environment in the Sub-Saharan Africa resulted in the African Process endorsed by the Heads of State as Africa's contribution to face Global Oceans and Coast Challenges.

We recognize that the responsibility of pursuing sustainable development remains with the countries themselves. However, we must realize that poverty eradication and sustainable development will remain distant for poor countries if adequate resources are not provided to them. Their meager resources cannot ensure the fulfillment of an ambitious and long-term process of sustainable development. International assistance is thus critical and irreplaceable.

Mr. Chairperson,

A number of issues including some of those mentioned above are of paramount importance to Mozambique. We would like to underline the following:

In conclusion we would like to underline some of the issues that are of paramount importance to Mozambique:

1. The adoption of a sound political declaration which confirms the validly of Agenda 21 and the principals of Rio Declaration as well as the Millennium Declaration;

2. The approval of an Action Plan with clear timeframe and targets as well monitoring mechanisms. These should be accompanied by financial commitments for their implementation;

3. Globalization and international trade should be oriented to reduce the shortages of the most necessitated people of the world in particular the LDCs;

4. Support NEPAD and the African Process, which is aimed at poverty eradication. Also support the fight against HIV/AIDS and other endemic diseases with a generous financial commitment of the whole international community;

5. Debt relief, particularly for the heavily indebted poor countries in order to allow them to implement their national programs to combat poverty.

Mr. Chairperson,

Mozambique believes in the, economic and social development and the protection of environment, three pillars of Sustainable development. We believe that this summit is the opportunity to deliver to the world those solutions and outcomes that will have direct impact on the life of each individual especially the poor, as well as address global problems.

I thank you Mr. Chairperson.