Permanent Mission of the Czech Republic to the UN in New York

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Second Committee of the 51st General Assembly

Talking points of Ms. Jana Bulenova, Representative of the Czech RepublicNew York, October 16, 1996 Talking points of Ms. Jana Bulenova, Representative of the Czech Republic Mr. Chairman, I take this opportunity to congratulate you as well as other members of bureau on your election.

  • Talking points of Ms. Jana Bulenova, Representative of the Czech Republic
    New York, October 16, 1996

Talking points of Ms. Jana Bulenova, Representative of the Czech Republic

Mr. Chairman,

I take this opportunity to congratulate you as well as other members of bureau on your election. We associate ourselves with the statement of the European Union as presented here on Monday by the Irish Presidency. We share its opinion that United Nations is uniquelly placed to advance international cooperation in the economic and social fields. Let me present some additional comments.

The world of today is increasingly complex and difficult to cope with. We can see a number of achievements of global significance. Nevertheless, parcial achievements are sometimes outweighted by lasting problems. There is certain political and economic instability related also to the growing tendency toward nationalization and isolation of some countries. Additionally, positive challenge created by the post-cold-war situation and newly differentiating world has not been effectively taken up yet.

The international multilateral fora are best suited to tackle at problems and possible impacts of globalization and liberalization vis-a-vis developed and developing countries as well. On the other hand, paradoxicaly, these institutions suffer from lack of credibility, attractivity, financial discipline and financial resources. The question is how to strengthen in particular the confidence in the UN system and how to reaffirm its global policy guidance role. The answer depends not only on the UN system adjustments, but on the effort and attitudes of all member countries.

New adequate solutions will not be simple. For better response to the challenges before us, we should focus on the following areas:

- Restructuring the UN financial resources and improving UN operations efficiency

- Creating international legal framework for economic cooperation including economic security

- Strengthening multilateral system - we hope in success of the Singapore conference of WTO. Improvement of market access for developing countries, regional cooperation as a contribution to global integration process will be among the most important agenda items of the conference.

- Finding new forms of cooperation among developed and developing countries. One example of positive approach to problems of the least developed countries has been very recently given by IMF and EBRD through establishing a special half-billion USD fund to facilitate writting-off of their debts. The assistance for capacity building, good governance, better access to markets and institutional reforms is also supportive for integration of these countries into world economy. We think that other initiatives like those for Africa (poverty eradication, NADAF etc.) are positive, however, they may bring only temporary assistance to the countries concerned.

Mr. Chairman,

We welcome the GA resolution 50/227. It is a major step in the right direction as regards the UN reform in economic and social sphere. The Czech Republic as one of the reform-minded UN members participates actively in its implementation. There are recent promising signals as for implementing and furthering the reform processes stipulated by resolution 50/227. Streamlining the hierarchy of the UN bodies in economic and social area, increasing the ECOSOC deliberation efficiency and re-mapping of ECOSOC, second and third committee agenda items are urgent tasks in front of us. We believe firmly that these goals can be achieved and the commencement of our deliberation on Monday is a positive signal. Good experience with the C.2 programme of work including panel discussions etc. should be utilized for preparation of the ECOSOC substantive session for the next year.

The Czech Republic strongly supports and hopes in vigorous implementation of the GA resolution 50/120 on triennial policy review. Simplification and harmonization of procedures and documentation, as well as monitoring and evaluation, is a very important integral part of the UN reform effort.

We greatly appreciate the effort being currently taken by the UNDP Regional Bureau for Europe and CIS to establish a new, more effectively functioning mechanisms of cooperation and to bring its services closer to the region. The Czech government will welcome signs of more flexible approach within the limited resources of UNDP. We hope that this arrangement will help to improve also regional projects. With progress seen in this area, the Czech government is increasingly interested in extending its support to for intra-regional development cooperation within our region, as well as in promoting inter-regional exchange of ideas and experience in the area of technical cooperation.

Mr. Chairman,

The Czech Republic monitors closely progress in the area of sustainable development and welcomes the outcome of the last session of the CSD. The session became another proof of the viability of this important body, which suceeded in attracting representative participation not only from governments, but also from business, NGOs and other groups. Since the initial meeting of the Commission in 1993 we have seen systematic penetration of sustainable development concept into agendas of UN bodies and specialized agencies, as well as other multilateral organizations. We can record progress in implementation in number of areas of Agenda 21, particularly in areas covered by new global treaties (climate change, biodiversity, desertification). We are pleased with increased attention given to production and consumption patterns or to issues of education for sustainable development. We also praise the establishment of the Intergovernmental Panel on Forests.

On the other hand, we share the concern of number of states as regards other areas of UNCED follow-up and the CSD's mission. Despite a considerable efforts, the Commission was not able to balance views and to catalyze a decisive action of international community not only on financial resources, but also in other "cross-sectoral issues" like transfer of environmentally sound technologies (EST), economic instruments for sustainable development, or relation between international trade and the environment. All these issues deserve further attention.

The Czech Republic is of the opinion that the mandate of the Commission is best fulfilled when the emphasis in its work is on "cross-sectoral issues", i.e. in areas where environmental (sustainable development) concerns interfere with interests of other sectors. This include the above mentioned themes as well as, for instance, issues related to energy or transport. The issue of sustainable patterns of production and consumption increasingly prooves to be an umbrella concept for addressing number of relevant themes. In the area of capacity building, the promotion of education for sustainable development is of a paramount concern. In any case, the future CSD should minimize frustration related to the growing observance of the CSD as "just recycling" number of issues.

To increase efficiency and streamlining of UN operations, the Czech Republic supports closer institutional relationship and convergence among the CSD, the Committee on New and Renewable Sources of Energy and Energy for Development, the Committee on Natural Resources, and the Commission on Science and Technology for Development.

The main task before us is preparation of the Special Session of the UNGA in 1997, devoted to an overall review and appraisal of the implementation of Agenda 21. This session is expected to evaluate the UNCED follow-up and, above all, to give a new impetus for this process and for the idea of sustainable development. The Czech Republic would welcome the following priority themes for the Special Session: sustainable patterns of production and consumption (probably as an umbrella concept), institutional issues, energy and transport, trade and environment or economic instruments. Generally, we welcome the shift of priorities towards the so called "driving forces" (as outlined e.g. in the document E/CN.17/1996/25). The Speciall Session should also address issues like forest management, freshwater and others, including education for sustainable development.