PAPUA NEW GUINEA
 

STATEMENT

BY

THE RIGHT HONOURABLE SIR RABBIE L NAMLIU KCMG 
MP SPECIAL ENVOY OF THE PRIME 
MINISTER AND MINISTER FOR FOREIGN AFFAIRS & IMMIGRATION

AT THE

WORLD SUMMIT ON SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT 

JOHANNESBURG, SOUTH AFRICA,
03 SEPTEMBER 2002






YOUR EXCELLENCY, MR THABO MBEKI, PRESIDENT OF THE REPUBLIC OF SOUTH AFRICA;

DISTINGUISHED HEADS OF STATE AND GOVERNMENT;

DISTINGUISHED SECRETARY-GENERAL OF THE UNITED NATIONS MR KOFI ANNAN;

IT IS A PRIVELEGE TO BE ABLE TO SPEAK TO THIS HISTORIC GATHERING WHICH OFFERS THE NATIONS OF THE WORLD A UNIQUE OPPORTUNITY TO MAKE A REAL AND WHOLLY BENEFICIAL IMPACT ON THE FUTURE LIVING STANDARDS OF OUR PEOPLE, ON OVERCOMING THE TRAGEDY OF POVERTY, AND ON THE USE OF THE EARTH'S RESOURCES IN A WAY THAT IS RESPONSIBLE AND SUSTAINABLE FOR AS FAR AS WE CAN SEE INTO THE FUTURE.

WE MUST BUILD ON THE GREAT PROMISE OF THE RIO SUMMIT TEN YEARS AGO, AND WE MUST DO SO IN A SPIRIT OF GOODWILL, AND A COMMON COMMITMENT TO SHARING THE TASK OF ACHIEVING AND MAINTAINING SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT.

WE MUST NOT ONLY RENEW THE WORTHY GOALS OF THE RIO EARTH SUMMIT, WE MUST ALSO AGREE TO A COMMON COMMITMENT TO A CONCERTED, ACHIEVABLE, AND RESPONSIBLE JOHANNESBURG PLAN OF ACTION DEVELOPED, PERHAPS PAINSTAKINGLY, IN THE PROCEEDINGS SO FAR.

THERE CAN SURELY BE NO MORE WORTHY OBJECTIVE THAN THE PRESERVATION, AND SOUND MANAGEMENT, OF HUMANITY'S COMMON HERITAGE - THE PLANET EARTH- FOR OUR OWN PEOPLE, FOR FUTURE GENERATIONS, AND FOR THE ANIMAL AND PLANT LIFE WHICH SHARE THE EARTH'S FINITE RESOURCES.

MR PRESIDENT,

PAPUA NEW GUINEA EARNESTLY CHALLENGE THE LEADERS OF THE WORLD HERE GATHERED, AND THE COMMUNITY'S STAKEHOLDERS WHO ARE GATHERED WITH US, TO ENSURE THAT THE PROMISES WE MAKE HERE DO NOT SUFFER THE SAME DISAPPOINTING FATE AS THE BROKEN PROMISES AND COMMITMENTS OF THE RIO EARTH SUMMIT.

THE DECISIONS, AND DECLARATIONS, MADE HERE THIS WEEK MAY WELL DETERMINE WHETHER WE CAN EXIST, AND DEVELOP, OUR PLANET IN A WAY THAT IS GENUINELY SUSTAINABLE AND TRULY EQUITABLE. THAT IS EASY TO SAY - IT WILL BE MUCH, MUCH HARDER TO DELIVER

OVER THE LAST DECADE, AT VARIOUS SUMMITS AND OTHER GATHERINGS HELD UNDER THE GENUINE AND DEDICATED SPONSORSHIP OF THE UNITED NATIONS, THERE HAS BEEN TOO MUCH RHETORIC, AND NOT ENOUGH GENUINE COMMITMENT, ESPECIALLY WHEN IT COMES TO ASSISITING THE POOREST OF THE POOR IN THE DEVELOPING WORLD, ACHIEVE EVEN THE MOST BASIC OF LIVING STANDARDS AND OPPORTUNITY.

A COMMITMENT MADE HERE MUST BE REGARDED AS A PROMISE TO BE FULLFILLED, AND NOTHING LESS. AND THE COMMITMENT WE MUST ALL MAKE TODAY IS TO WORK TOGETHER TO ERADICATE POVERTY TO TIC GREATEST EXTENT POSSIBLE, AND TO ENHANCE LIVING STANDARDS AND OPPORTUNITY BASED ON SUSTAINABLE PATTERNS OF BOTH PRODUCTION AND CONSUMPTION SO THAT THE BENEFITS OF GLOBALISATION, MODERN SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY, ARE SHARED IN A FAIR AND EQUITABLE WAY.

IT HARDLY NEEDS TO BE SAID THAT THE OUTCOME OF THIS SUMMIT NEEDS TO BE TOTALLY PEOPLE-CENTRED. THE PROGRAM OF ACTION MUST REFLECT A "PEOPLE FIRST AND FOREMOST" APPROACH WITHOUT PREJUDICE AGAINST COLOUR, CREED, RELIGION, OR GENDER, OR THE DEVELOPED OR DEVELOPING STATUS OF EACH COUNTRY.

PAPUA NEW GUINEA WARMLY WELCOMES THE DOHA WTO DEVELOPMENT AGENDA, AND THE MONTERREY CONSENSUS, AS OFFERING USEFUL FRAMEWORK FOR THE DEVELOPMENT OF CO-OPERATION BETWEEN THE DEVELOPED AND THE DEVELOPING COUNTRIES FOR IMPROVING MARKET ACCESS, AS WELL AS IMPROVING MULTILATERAL RULES TO HARNESS THE BENEFITS OF GLOBALISATION.

THIS SURELY REQUIRES ALL STAKEHOLDERS, ESPECIALLY THE LEADERS OF GOVERNMENT, TO TAKE A DIRECT AND PERSONAL INTEREST IN ACTUALLY DELIVERING ON THE WORTHY COMMITMENTS THAT WILL BE MADE IN OUR DECLARATION.

MY COUNTRY BELIEVES THAT IF WE ARE TO DELIVER ON THE PROMISES BEING MADE HERE ALL NATIONS MUST RECOGNISE AND BUILD ON OUR COMMON CONCERNS AND INTERESTS, AND OVERCOME OUR DIFFERENCES, SO THAT WE CAN IMPLEMENT THE COMMITMENTS WITHIN OUR NATIONAL CAPACITY TO DO SO.

MY GOVERNMENT FULLY RECOGNISES THAT INDIVIDUAL COUNTRIES, AND GOVERNMENTS, MUST HAVE PRIMARY RESPONSIBILITY FOR SOCIAL AND ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT BUT THERE MUST BE A COMMON COMMITMENT TO ACHIEVE AND MAINTAIN AN ENVIRONMENTALLY SUSTAINABLE BALANCE IN THE DEVELOPMENT AND UTILISATION OF THE RESOURCES OF THE EARTH.

SINCE THE RIO SUMMIT, WE HAVE PUT IN PLACE RELEVANT, ECONOMICALLY RESPONSIBLE LAWS, AND WE HAVE RATIFIED THE RELEVANT MULTILATERAL ENVIRONMENTAL CONVENTIONS (MEA'S) WHICH AROSE FROM THE RIO COMMITMENTS.

PAPUA NEW GUINEA WILL SEEK RESPONSIBLY TO CONTINUE TO OBSERVE THE RIO COMMITMENTS, AND THE CONVENTIONS WHICH FOLLOWED THOSE COMMITMENTS.

PAPUA NEW GUINEA, AND OUR SISTER COUNTRIES OF THE PACIFIC ISLANDS FORUM, EARNESTLY APPEAL TO ALL MAJOR EMITTERS OF POISONOUS GASES INTO THE EARTH'S STRATOSPHERE, TO MAKE SUBSTANTIAL AND EARLY CONTRIBUTIONS TOWARDS GLOBAL EFFORTS TO ADDRESS THE DEVASTING, AND ESCALATING, IMPACT OF CLIMATE CHANGE.

WE APPEAL TO ALL COUNTRIES WHO HAVE YET TO RATIFY THE KYOTO PROTOCOL, TO DO SO, AND TO DO SO IN A SPIRIT OF COMMON COMMITMENT TO REDUCING THE IMPACTS OF CLIMATE CHANGE, RISING SEA LEVELS AND THE GROWING INCIDENCE OF ENVIRONMENTALLY INDUCED CALAMITIES.

THE PACIFIC ISLAND FORUM LEADERS RECENTLY CALLED ON ALL PARTIES TO THE UNITED NATIONS FRAMEWORK CONVENTION ON CLIMATE CHANGE TO RATIFY THE KYOTO PROTOCOL WHICH THE LEADERS BELIEVE IS A SIGNIFICANT FIRST STEP FORWARD ON P. PATH TO ENSURING EFFECTIVE GLOBAL ACTION TO COMBAT CLIMATE CHANGE. TO GIVE WEIGHT AND SUBSTANCE TO THE JOHANNESBURG COMMITMENT, PAPUA NEW GUINEA ENDORSES THE PROPOSAL BY THE SECRETARY GENERAL OF THE UNITED NATIONS THAT THE SUMMIT SHOULD SEEK TO ACHIEVE PROGRESS IN FIVE KEY AREAS - WATER, ENERGY, HEALTH, AGRICULTURE AND BIODIVERSITY.

IF WE ACT TOGETHER, IN A SPIRIT OF GOODWILL, IN THESE AREAS THEN THIS SUMMIT WILL MAKE A REAL AND LASTING IMPACT ON THE LIVES OF THE PEOPLE WE REPRESENT AND OF GENERATIONS TO COME.

PAPUA NEW GUINEA'S OWN NATIONAL ASSESMENT REPORT REFLECTS A COMMITMENT TO SOME OF THE AREAS THE SECRETARY GENERAL HAS PROPOSED.

MR PRESIDENT,

ON BEHALF OF THE PRIME MINISTER OF PAPUA NEW GUINEA, THE RIGHT HONOURABLE SIR MICHAEL SOMARE, AND OUR GOVERNMENT, AND OUR PEOPLE, I BRING WARM GREETINGS TO THE SUMIVIIT, AND GENUINE GOOD WISHES FOR THE SUCCESS OF OUR DELIBERATIONS, AND A COMMITMENT TO IMPLEMENTING THE COMMITMENTS WE WILL MAKE.

I CONCLUDE BY JOINING PREVIOUS SPEAKERS IN EXPRESSING MY DELEGATION'S MOST SINCERE GRATITUDE TO THE GOVERNMENT AND PEOPLE OF SOUTH AFRICA, AND IN PARTICULAR, THE CITY OF JOHANNESBURG, FOR THE WARM AND GENEROUS HOSPITALITY EXTENDED TO ME AND MY DELEGATION.
 

THANK YOU.