His Excellency Adnan Khozam
Head of the Syrian Arab Republic

at the 
World Summit on Sustainable Development

Johannesburg, South Africa
3 September 2002

Mr. President
Your Majesties and Excellencies 
Ladies and Gentlemen

              One of the reasons behind optimism is meeting with you , in this important summit held under the framework of the United Nations, the first international reference and the biggest voluntary global partnership , to review what has been achieved in the past ten years. It is to affirm , too, our determination to pursue the twenty first century agenda and to develop instruments and means to reach out to the common targets.

             Basic considerations of sustainable development, in Syria, constitute an integral part of the Syrian government plan, in its economic, social and environmental sides. It streams out its way to practical implementation in the plans of various ministries with involvement of public organization and unions, private and public sectors as well as non-governmental societies.

             Syria has bilateral and multilateral agreements , in the field of environment , with many countries and it is signatory to many international agreements about environment including the Non Navigational use of International waterways treaties. We call, from this platform, on non-party states to accede to this treaty.

             Important stages in the fields of health, education, agriculture, irrigation, food security and in addressing the issues of sanitation and drinkable water have been fulfilled in Syria. While there are some ambitious, developmental, rural programs and for combating unemployment through reliance on domestic resources as well as in co-operation with Arab, regional and international organizations and institutions. But for an acceleration in our steps at a sustainable development stage we call upon the international community to assist in addressing the difficulties and the challenges that face our country and our region on this track through the provision of the following:

1- The implementation of the United Nations' resolutions related to ending for an occupation and the withdrawal of Israel from the Syrian Golan 
    and the remaining part of the southern Lebanon and the attainment of the legitimate rights of the Palestinian Arab people.

2- The rejection of threat of aggression, interference in the domestic affairs of the States , the definition of the notion of terrorism and the 
    differentiation between terrorism and the legitimate resistance of occupation in accordance with the United Nations Charter.

3- Prevention of possession and use of nuclear and other weapons of mass destruction and declaring the Middle-East a free-of-nuclear weapons 
     region. While it should be noted that all the states in the region signed the Nuclear Weapons Ban Treaty except Israel which refuses to have its 
     nuclear compounds under international supervision.

Ladies and Gentlemen

We affirm our commitment with all the faithful to Rio's summit principles within a framework of co-operation and responsibility, in a climate of solidarity and integration and with a determination ruled by the spirit of wisdom. So that responsibilities will be proportionate with level of development and with the financial potentials of each country, its role in the world economy, the extent of its benefits from the national resources and its contribution to the depletion and deterioration of these resources.

         In order to attain that, the international community is required to define the role of the United Nations and to establish a fair system of trade which enables the poor countries to benefit from the economic and scientific development data and to use its findings in the sustainable development. It is required to remove barriers for the accessibility of developing countries products to the markets of the developed ones. In order to achieve this the international community is required to secure the necessary resources for the promotion of sustainable development, fighting poverty and facing the common global challenges.

         Finally , we extend our thanks and gratitude to all those who participated in the organization of this summit particularly the Republic of South Africa for its leadership and its people, for their generous hospitality. We wish this summit to be an important station in achieving mankind aspirations in a world of peace , security, stability, justice and prosperity.