Division For Sustainable Development
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Johannesburg Plan of Implementation 

IX. Other regional initiatives

72. Important initiatives have been developed within other United Nations regions and regional, subregional and transregional forums to promote sustainable development. The international community welcomes these efforts and the results already achieved, calls for actions at all levels for their further development, while encouraging interregional, intraregional and international cooperation in this respect, and expresses its support for their further development and implementation by the countries of the regions.

A. Sustainable development in Latin America and the Caribbean

73. The Initiative of Latin America and the Caribbean on Sustainable Development is an undertaking by the leaders of that region that, building on the Platform for Action on the Road to Johannesburg, 2002,36 which was approved in Rio de Janeiro in October 2001, recognizes the importance of regional actions towards sustainable development and takes into account the region's singularities, shared visions and cultural diversity. It is targeted towards the adoption of concrete actions in different areas of sustainable development, such as biodiversity, water resources, vulnerabilities and sustainable cities, social aspects, including health and poverty, economic aspects, including energy, and institutional arrangements, including capacity-building, indicators and participation of civil society, taking into account ethics for sustainable development.

74. The Initiative envisages the development of actions among countries in the region that may foster South-South cooperation and may count with the support of groups of countries, as well as multilateral and regional organizations, including financial institutions. As a framework for cooperation, the Initiative is open to partnerships with governments and all major groups.

B. Sustainable development in Asia and the Pacific

75. Bearing in mind the target of halving the number of people who live in poverty by the year 2015, as provided in the Millennium Declaration, the Phnom Penh Regional Platform on Sustainable Development for Asia and the Pacific 37recognized that the region contains over half of the world's population and the largest number of the world's people living in poverty. Hence, sustainable development in the region is critical to achieving sustainable development at the global level. 

76. The Regional Platform identified seven initiatives for follow-up action: capacity-building for sustainable development; poverty reduction for sustainable development; cleaner production and sustainable energy; land management and biodiversity conservation; protection and management of and access to freshwater resources; oceans, coastal and marine resources and sustainable development of small island developing States; and action on atmosphere and climate change. Follow-up actions of these initiatives will be taken through national strategies and relevant regional and subregional initiatives, such as the Regional Action Programme for Environmentally Sound and Sustainable Development and the Kitakyushu Initiative for a Clean Environment, adopted at the Fourth Ministerial Conference on Environment and Development in Asia and the Pacific organized by the Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific.

C. Sustainable development in the West Asia region

77. The West Asia region is known for its scarce water and limited fertile land resources. The region has made progress to a more knowledge-based production of higher value-added commodities.
78. The regional preparatory meeting endorsed the following priorities: poverty alleviation, relief of debt burden; and sustainable management of natural resources, including, inter alia, integrated water resources management, implementation of programmes to combat desertification, integrated coastal zone management and land and water pollution control.

D. Sustainable development in the Economic Commission for Europe region

79. The Economic Commission for Europe regional ministerial meeting for the World Summit on Sustainable Development recognized that the region has a major role to play and responsibilities in global efforts to achieve sustainable development by concrete actions. The region recognized that different levels of economic development in countries of the region may require the application of different approaches and mechanisms to implement Agenda 21. In order to address the three pillars of sustainable development in a mutually reinforcing way, the region identified its priority actions for sustainable development for the Economic Commission for Europe region in its Ministerial Statement to the Summit. 

80. In furtherance of the region's commitment to sustainable development, there are ongoing efforts at the regional, subregional and transregional levels, including, inter alia, the Environment for Europe process; the fifth Economic Commission for Europe ministerial conference, to be held in Kiev in May 2003; the development of an environmental strategy for the 12 countries of Eastern Europe; the Caucasus and Central Asia; the Central Asian Agenda 21; work of the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development on sustainable development, the European Union sustainable development strategy; and regional and subregional conventions and processes relevant to sustainable development, including, inter alia, the Convention on Access to Information, Public Participation in Decision-Making and Access to Justice in Environmental Matters (Aarhus Convention), the Alpine Convention, the North American Commission for Environmental Cooperation, the International Boundary Waters Treaty Act, the Iqaluit Declaration of the Arctic Council, the Baltic Agenda 21 and the Mediterranean Agenda 21.

36  E/CN.17/2002/PC.2/5/Add.2.

37 E/CN.17/2002/PC.2/8.


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15 December 2004