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Joahannesburg Summit 2002
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Secretary-General Calls on World Leaders to Signal Commitment to Sustainable Development by Attending Johannesburg Summit

New York, 8 August— With less than a month before the start of the World Summit on Sustainable Development, United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan has sent world leaders a letter strongly encouraging their active participation at the Summit in Johannesburg.

"Your presence would send a strong message of global solidarity and signal commitment at the highest level to a sustainable future for all," the Secretary-General wrote.

More than 100 world leaders have already indicated that they will attend the Summit, which Mr. Annan said will be an opportunity to reinvigorate a global commitment to sustainable development and to maintain the positive momentum generated at the World Trade Organization meeting in Doha, Qatar, and the UN's International Conference on Financing for Development in Monterrey, Mexico.

The Summit will take place from 26 August to 4 September, with the world leaders assembling in Johannesburg for the last three days, from 2-4 September.

The world leaders are expected to adopt a political declaration, that, Mr. Annan said, should be visionary and sets out the international community's commitment to protect the planet and promote the well-being of its people." It is also expected that many Heads of State and Government will announce specific initiatives to promote sustainable development during the Summit.

Calling the progress in implementing the outcomes of the 1992 Earth Summit "slower than desired," Mr. Annan wrote, "I think you will agree that stronger and more vigorous action is needed, which is why the Johannesburg Summit is of critical importance."

The Secretary-General acknowledged that more work was needed to resolve several issues on the draft Plan of Implementation remaining from the last preparatory meeting, but said that a 17 July meeting in New York was constructive and positive, and that "a broad measure of agreement was reached on several of these issues." He added that some differences remained but "there was renewed confidence and optimism that they would be overcome."

About three-quarters of the Plan of Implementation have been agreed to in negotiations so far, but the remaining issues are considered critical to achieving the consensus on the Plan. These issues include questions relating to trade and finance, globalization and good governance.



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24 August 2006