Dáil Éireann - Volume 567 - 29 May, 2003
Written Answers. - Sustainable Development.
Mr. S. Ryan Mr. S. Ryan
96. Mr. S. Ryan asked the Minister for Foreign Affairs the proportion of the commitments made at the Johannesburg conference which have been pledged, committed, and delivered; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [14767/03]
Mr. Cowen Mr. Cowen
Minister for Foreign Affairs (Mr. Cowen): The World Summit on Sustainable Development held in Johannesburg, South Africa, in September 2002, built on the Millennium Summit held in New York two years earlier. It focused on the achievement of the eight millennium development goals. They deal with fundamental development issues such as poverty eradication, health, education, maternal mortality, HIV-AIDS and international partnership. The 190 countries that took part in the Johannesburg Summit reconfirmed their commitment to the achievement of these goals by 2015, with particular reference to water, energy, health, agriculture and biodiversity.
The promotion of poverty eradication through sustainable development was at the heart of the summit's work. It was the first to treat all aspects of sustainable development – economic, social and environmental – in a coherent and integrated way. It also agreed a number of additional commitments including the goal of universal access to sanitation by 2015.
Progress in relation to the commitments made at Johannesburg will be measured in terms of progress towards the achievement of the MDGs and other targets agreed at the summit. In 2005 the UN Secretary General will present the first comprehensive global report on progress towards the MDGs since their adoption at the summit in 2000. The report, which will be prepared in collaboration with the World Bank, the IMF and the WTO, will give the international community a clear picture of how the commitments made at the Millennium Summit, and at the succeeding conferences including Johannesburg, have contributed to eradicating poverty. Already there is evidence emerging from World Bank and UN studies indicating that many countries in sub-Saharan Africa are falling behind in their efforts to reach the goals.
The 11th session of the UN Commission on Sustainable Development was a functional commission set up to ensure effective implementation of the commitments made at the 1992 Rio Earth Summit and also at Johannesburg. Earlier this month it met in New York, at ministerial level, and adopted a multi-year programme of work for the period 2004-17. The Irish delegation at the meeting was headed by my colleague, Deputy Cullen, Minister for the Environment and Local Government.
Ireland remains committed to supporting the work of the Commission in the coming years and to working with the international community to ensure that the Johannesburg plan of implementation remains high on the international agenda.
Recently the EU Commission issued a communication proposing the establishment of an EU water fund to move forward the EU's water initiative announced at Johannesburg. The fund will be directed towards the achievement of the MDGs and the additional targets agreed at Johannesburg. The Commission has proposed that the water fund should be funded by unspent European Development Fund resources of €1 billion. The Commission's communication has been warmly received by member states. It is expected that the Council will take a formal decision on the establishment of the fund in the near future.
Question No. 97 answered with Question No. 54.
Dáil Éireann 567 Written Answers. Sustainable Development.