South Africa Sees Progress on Summit Logistics and Negotiations
4 FebruaryThere 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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Department of Economic and
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24 August 2006