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Joahannesburg Summit 2002
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  FEATURE STORY

Summit Secretary-General Says Completed Negotiations Provide a Solid Foundation For Action

Johannesburg, 2 September— Agreement was reached on the last remaining provisions of the Plan of Implementation for the World Summit on Sustainable Development, concluding negotiations that have taken place over nine months on three continents, and that will guide implementation for actions to achieve sustainable development.

"This Plan of Implementation provides us with everything we need to make sustainable development happen over the next several years," according to Johannesburg Summit Secretary-General Nitin Desai. "The test is whether governments, along with civil society and the private sector, can pursue the commitments that are in the document, and take actions that achieve measurable results."

The negotiated document, which must still be formally adopted by the full plenary, was completed after a debate over a target for promoting renewable energy. The resulting agreement calls for countries to act "with a sense of urgency" to substantially increase the global share of renewable energy sources. It does not set for a specific target. The document also calls for countries to phase out energy subsidies that inhibit sustainable development.

"The issue of a target for renewable energy was a worthwhile goal," Desai said, "but the reality is that with sustained action, we can build up the renewable energy industries to the point where they have the critical mass to compete with fossil fuel-generated energy. We have a commitment to make it happen and now we need the follow-through."

The Plan of Implementation is one of three outcomes of the Summit, along with a Political Declaration and the tangible partnership initiatives already announced.


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24 August 2006