URUGUAY
 

STATEMENT 

BY

MR. CARLOS CAT
MINISTER OF SOCIAL HOUSING
TERRITORY PLANNING AND ENVIRONMENTAL AFFAIRSGUAY

 TO THE
WORLD SUMMIT ON SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT

Johannesburg, South Africa, 
2nd September 2002.




MISTER PRESIDENT:
IT IS A GREAT HONOUR, AS MINISTER OF ENVIRONMENTAL AFFAIRS, TO PRESIDE THE DELEGATION OF MY COUNTRY AT THIS SUMMIT IN JOHANNESBURG. URUGUAY SHARES THE OBJECTIVES OF THE SUMMIT AND WISHES THAT THESE MAY BE ACHIEVED SUCCESSFULLY.

I WOULD ALSO LIKE TO PRESENT TO THE GOVERNMENT AND THE PEOPLE OF SOUTH AFRICA, OUR PRESIDENT'S GREETINGS, DR. JORGE BATLLE, AS WELL AS OUR GRATEFULNESS FOR YOUR HOSPITALITY.

THE URUGUAYAN DELEGATION HAS GREAT HOPES, IN SPITE OF THE OUTLINED DIFFICULTIES, THAT THE PLAN OF IMPLEMENTATION OF THE AGENDA 21 IS APPROVED, THAT A BRIEF AND CONCISE POLITICAL DECLARATION THAT REAFFIRMS THE PRINCIPLES OF THE RIO SUMMIT IN 1992, ARISES AND THAT THESE DOCUMENTS GUIDE THE FUTURE ENVIRONMENTAL ACTIONS, AS WELL AS DEFINE THE ROUTE TO CONTINUING TO ACHIEVE THE SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT FOR THE NEXT DECADE IN THE MOST AFFECTED ISSUES.
AND THIS, AS A RESULT OF A GLOBAL CONSENSUS AMONG THE COUNTRIES PARTICIPATING IN THIS WORLD SUMMIT, THAT WE ALL RECOGNIZE.

MEMBERS OF DELEGATIONS: WE ARE FACING SERIOUS PROBLEMS THAT HAVE TO BE SOLVED, SUCH AS: THE ERADICATION OF POVERTY, CHANGES OF PRODUCTION AND NON SUSTAINABLE CONSUMPTION, THE PROTECTION AND ADMINISTRATION OF NATURAL RESOURCES AS THE BASE OF ECONOMIC AND SOCIAL DEVELOPMENT, AND THE SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT IN A GLOBALISED WORLD.

THEREFORE, I EXHORT TO THE PRESENT DELEGATIONS, TO PUT NO LIMITS TO THEIR EFFORTS, IN ORDER TO OBTAIN A GENERAL CONSENSUS THAT WILL RESULT IN A BENEFIT FOR ALL.

MR. PRESIDENT: THE ORIENTAL REPUBLIC OF THE URUGUAY HAS WORKED ACTIVELY DURING THE LAST TEN YEARS SINCE RIO-92, CONSOLIDATING ITS POSITION AMONG THE INTERNATIONAL COMMUNITY AND DEMONSTRATING CONSISTENTLY ITS ENVIRONMENTAL VOCATION.

THE CREATION OF THE MINISTRY OF SOCIAL HOUSING, TERRITORY PLANNING AND ENVIRONMENTAL AFFAIRS, ITS DIVERSE TECHNICAL DEPARTMENTS IN CHARGE OF ATTENDING THE DIFFERENT INTERNATIONAL CONVENTIONS; THE EFFICIENT PURSUIT OF OTHER TECHNICAL TOPICS BY THE MINISTRY OF LIVESTOCK, AGRICULTURE AND FISHERIES WITH THE GENERAL COORDINATION OF THE MINISTRY OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS, HAVE ALLOWED URUGUAY TO BE UP TO DATE AND, EVEN AHEAD IN SEVERAL OF THE ENVIRONMENTAL ISSUES.

IN COMPLIANCE WITH RIO-92, URUGUAY HAS SINCE 1994 THE "LAW OF EVALUATION ON ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT" THAT HAS AS PURPOSE, TO CONTROL THE EFFECT ON THE ENVIRONMENT OF NATIONAL ACTIVITIES.
IT HAS ALSO BEEN IMPLEMENTED THE "GENERAL LAW OF ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION" AND THE "LAW OVER PROTECTED NATURAL AREAS." THEREFORE, URUGUAY HAS COMPLIED DUTIFULLY WITH EACH ACQUIRED COMMITMENT, LEGISLATING INTERNALLY WHAT WAS AGREED IN EACH ONE OF THE RATIFIED CONVENTIONS.

A PROJECT FOR AN "AGREEMENT ON MERCOSUR ENVIRONMENT", IS CURRENTLY IN PROCESS OF PARLIAMENTARY APPROVAL. THE SAME HAS FOR PURPOSE THE SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT AND THE PROTECTION OF THE ENVIRONMENT IN THE REGION, BY MEANS OF THE MANAGEMENT OF ECONOMIC, SOCIAL AND ENVIRONMENTAL ELEMENTS, FOR WHICH THE STATES OF MERCOSUR REAFFIRM THE PRECEPTS DRAWN IN AGENDA 21.

MR. PRESIDENT: WE WOULD ALSO LIKE TO MENTION THAT URUGUAY RATIFIED THE KYOTO PROTOCOL ALREADY 19 MONTHS AGO, AND THAT WE ARE PRESENTLY MODIFYING OUR TRADITIONAL ENERGY RESOURCES.

IN THIS SENSE, IT IS IMPORTANT TO HIGHLIGHT THAT URUGUAY ASSIGNS A FUNDAMENTAL IMPORTANCE TO THE "CHEMICAL CHAPTER" OF UNEP, AND THAT IN OUR COUNTRY WAS HELD THE FIRST CONFERENCE OF THE PARTIES (COP 1), OF THE BASEL CONVENTION IN PIRIAPOLIS IN 1992, AND THAT COINCIDENTLY, IN A COMBINED EFFORT BETWEEN URUGUAY AND SWITZERLAND, URUGUAY WILL HOST THE FIRST CONFERENCE OF THE PARTIES OF THE STOCKHOLM CONVENTION, IN A DATE TO BE DETERMINED.

MR. PRESIDENT, IT IS ALSO IMPORTANT TO REMARK THE ACKNOWLEDGMENT OBTAINED BY OUR COUNTRY WITHIN THE MONTREAL PROTOCOL FROM UNEP IN 1996 AND 2000, FOR THE SUCCESS OBTAINED IN THE NATIONAL PROGRAM OF PROTECTION OF THE OZONE LAYER.

Mr. PRESIDENT: IN THE PREPARATORY MEETING OF BALI, IT WAS NOT POSSIBLE TO ACHIEVE CONSENSUS IN SOME PARTS OF THE PLAN OF ACTION, BEING PENDING PRECISELY, THE MOST CONTROVERSIAL TOPICS.
I WOULD LIKE TO STRESS THAT URUGUAY CAME TO THIS MEETING WILLING TO SOLVE PROBLEMS AND TO WORK HARD IN SEARCH OF THE SO DESIRED CONSENSUS, ON A PLAN OF ACTION.

IN THE ISSUE ON TRADE AND ENVIRONMENT, URUGUAY WANTS TO MAKE SURE THAT THE MANDATE OF DOHA IS RESPECTED IN THIS SUMMIT, ACCORDING TO THE OBJECTIVES OF THE W.T.O.

URUGUAY ASPIRES TO AVOID, IN THIS SUMMIT, THE DEVELOPMENT OF THE CONCEPT OF PRECAUTION, WHICH DIRECT OR INDIRECT EFFECT, FURTHER TO ITS PURPOSES, COULD BE NOT OTHER THAN THE INTRODUCTION OF GREATER BARRIERS INTO THE INTERNATIONAL TRADE, AND PARTICULARLY, AGAINST EXPORTS OF DEVELOPING COUNTRIES.

IT IS OF INTEREST AND THE RESPONSIBILITY OF ALL, TO ASSURE THAT BEHIND THE PRINCIPLES AND MEASURES ADOPTED FOR THE PROTECTION OF THE ENVIRONMENT AND THE PROMOTION OF SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT, NEW FORMS OF PROTECTIONISM ARE NOT LEGITIMATED, WHICH WOULD RELAPSE SURELY ONCE AGAIN, ON THE LEAST AFFLUENT COUNTRIES OF THE PLANET, INCREASING ITS POVERTY AND REDUCING ITS POSSIBILITIES OF DEVELOPMENT.

IN ORDER TO AVOID DAMAGES TO IMPORTANT TRADE INTERESTS, THE REFERENCES TO PRECAUTION IN THE PLAN OF IMPLEMENTATION, IF MAINTAINED, SHOULD BE CAREFULLY REWRITTEN.
DURING THE BALI PREPARATORY CONFERENCE, URUGUAY AGREED ON THE INCORPORATION OF A TEXT THAT RECOGNIZES THE NECESSITY TO CONCENTRATE ON TOPICS RELATIVE TO DEVELOPING, SUCH AS MARKET ACCESS, ELIMINATION OF SUBSIDIES AND OF TARIFF AND NON-TARIFFS BARRIERS.
MR. PRESIDENT: URUGUAY EXPECTS FROM THIS SUMMIT THE TRIUMPH OF PRINCIPLES OF TRANSPARENCY AND NON DISCRIMINATION, CRUCIAL FOR THE APPLICATION OF TRADE

MEASURES, USED TOWARDS ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION, IN PARTICULAR THOSE MEASURES AND PRESCRIPTIONS THAT HAVE SIGNIFICANT TRADE EFFECTS, WHICH SHOULD FACILITATE THE ACCESS OF DEVELOPING COUNTRIES TO MARKETS, HARMONIZING ECONOMIC ASPECTS WITH ENVIRONMENTAL AND SOCIAL ONES.

MR. PRESIDENT: THE FUNDS PROVIDED BY THE GEF, OF 2.900 MILLION DOLLARS, GIVEN BY 32 COUNTRIES, WHICH WAS MENTIONED BY THE GENERAL SECRETARY OF THIS SUMMIT, MR. NITIN DESAI, IS CONSIDERED TO BE A VERY POSITIVE SIGN, THAT REVEALS THE COMMITMENT OF THE INTERNATIONAL COMMUNITY.

WITH THIS FUNDS IT WILL BE POSSIBLE TO CONTINUE WORKS IN THE AREAS OF: CLIMATE CHANGE, - WHERE OUR COUNTRY WAS ONE OF THE FIRST TO PRESENT THE INITIAL NATIONAL COMMUNICATION AND CURRENTLY, THE PREPARATION OF THE SECOND COMMUNICATION IS VERY ADVANCED-; BIODIVERSITY, - WHERE A NATIONAL PLAN OF ACTION IS AT WORK -; THE PROTECTION OF INTERNATIONAL WATERS, AND NOW ALSO, DESERTIFICATION AND PERSISTENT ORGANIC POLLUTANTS.

WE RECALL WITH ENORMOUS CONCERN WHAT MR. DESAI POINTED OUT: "WITHIN THE NEXT 25 YEARS THE WORLD POPULATION WILL SUFFER LACK OF WATER, WHILE THE USE OF FOSSIL FUELS AND EMISSIONS OF GREEN HOUSE GASES WILL INCREASE."

THE SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT IS THE NECESSARY TOOL TO ALLOW US A BETTER HANDLING OF OUR GLOBAL RESOURCES.

WE MUST CHANGE HUMAN BEHAVIOUR IN RELATION TO THE ENVIRONMENT, GIVING UP THE CURRENT PRACTICES AND ADOPTING SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT AS A MODEL. IN THIS WAY, WE WILL AVOID PUTTING IN DANGER THE WORLD SECURITY IN MANY PARTS OF THE PLANET. THIS IT IS OUR GREAT CHALLENGE.

MR. PRESIDENT: WE WANT FOR OUR PEOPLE A SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT AS A RESULT OF THE PROTECTION OF THE ENVIRONMENT, THE RECOGNITION OF ALL HUMAN RIGHTS, INCLUDING THE GENDER PERSPECTIVE AND THE NECESSITIES OF OUR VULNERABLE GROUPS, AS WELL AS A BETTER QUALITY OF LIFE, TO BE ACHIEVED IN PEACE AND EQUALITY, BEING OUR RESPONSIBILITY THAT THIS SUMMIT HELPS US TO OBTAIN IT.