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Joahannesburg Summit 2002
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South Africa Sees Progress on Summit Logistics and Negotiations

4 February–There are indications that as many as 65,000 people may attend the World Summit on Sustainable Development in Johannesburg this August, and South Africa says it is ready.

Preparations are well underway, Crispian Olver, Director General of the South African Department of Environmental Affairs and Tourism, reported at a press conference. All the logistical plans for security and accommodations, zoning and transport have been completed, he said. South Africa is now in the process of finalizing the budget for the Summit itself and for the many parallel events. The total budget is 550 million Rand, or about US$47 million, of which one third is for security.

With over half the budget already raised from the national treasury and donors, Olver said there were "reasonably good prospects" for raising the remainder. He expects to raise additional funds from country donors, private corporations and foundations.

Olver also sees the process of work toward a worthwhile outcome in Johannesburg as moving forward, toward a consensus that will produce action. "There has been quite good progress," he said. "It gives me a lot of hope."

"We see the outcome of Johannesburg as quite concrete," he added. The view of South Africa is that the Summit would "roll out fairly substantive programmes around energy, around water, and around poverty eradication. For us this is real. This is about real development issues."

"We see Johannesburg as the most effective point in the international calendar for the next decade to mobilize resources. It's too early to see whether we are going to be successful, but I think everyone knows that a successful outcome has got to have those kinds of resources on the table," Olver said. While new resources from official development assistance were needed from developed countries, he said, developing countries had to learn to leverage these resources to attract private investment flows.

South Africa was promoting the idea of a Global Deal for Johannesburg, Olver explained. While various groups are using other terms, such as global partnership or package of agreements, he said, "we like the term 'deal' because it captures what's on the table."

Johannesburg, he felt, must help structure a high-level political deal between the governments of the North and South, business and other stakeholders. Stressing the need to develop a concrete programme of action, he said the Summit must set targets and figure out ways to achieve them. Other agreements that are needed, he added, concern the transfer of technology and increased assistance, which should be accompanied by proper safeguards such as reporting, monitoring and accountability.



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24 August 2006