The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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We respect cultural diversity and different value systems, as well as the promotion of the interests of indigenous peoples.

We reaffirm that indigenous people and local communities are important for the sustenance of biological diversity and the preservation of indigenous knowledge systems, and must participate in and benefit from the implementation of the Johannesburg commitment.

We reaffirm the continuing relevance of the principle of common but differentiated responsibility.

We welcome the focus of the Johannesburg commitment on the basic requirements of human dignity, access to clean water and sanitation, energy, healthcare, food security and bio-diversity. At the same time, we acknowledge the central importance of technology, education and training and employment creation.

We accept the reality that global society has the means and is endowed with the reso-urces to address the challen-ges of sustainable developm- ent confronting all humanity.

We recognize the need for capacity-building as well as adequate resource and technology transfers to end poverty and underdevelopment.

We commit ourselves to work towards the achievem ent of the time-bound, socio-economic and environmental targets we have agreed.

In this regard, to contribute to the achievement of our development goals and targets, we agree to make determined efforts speedily to achieve the internationally agreed upon targets for Official Development Assistance.

We recognize the critically important role of foreign direct investment in making resources available for the economic growth and developm- ent of developing countries.

We welcome and support the emergence of stronger regional groupings and alliances, such as the New Partnership for Africaís Development, to promote regional co-operation, improve international co-operation and prom- ote sustainable development.

We will continue to pay special attention to the development needs of small island developing states and least developed countries.

We also recognize that the debilitating debt burden carried by least developing countries in particular, developing countries as a whole, as well as middle-income countries, constitutes a major obstacle to sustainable development.

We agree that achieving food security for all human beings is a vital component of the struggle to eradicate poverty and enhance human dignity. We are therefore concerned that not enough has been done to create conditions for the development of sustainable agricultural systems in poor countries.

We agree that an equitable, comprehensive, rule-based and predictable multilateral trading system is an essential means of implementing the Johannesburg commitment.

We agree that water is essential for life. It is the key resource for good health, for irrigating crops, providing hydropower, protecting ecosystems. Adequate supplies of water and sanitation, given rapid rates of urbanization and the needs of the rural poor, are thus central to the achievement of the objective of sustainable development.

We reaffirm the Rio principle that human beings are entitled to healthy and productive lives in harmony with nature. We are therefore concerned that as a result of poverty, underdevelopment, inadequate shelter, adverse environmental conditions, unavailability of affordable medicines and vaccines, and weak health infrastructures, billions of people continue to be exposed to avoidable illnesses and suffer early death, particularly from communicable diseases such as HIV/ AIDS, TB, malaria and a variety of childhood illnesses.

We accept that various energy uses lead to such adverse environmental consequences as desertification, acidification, air pollution and clim-ate change. We therefore commit ourselves to implement all existing international agreements relating to these matters, as well as continue the search for a global long-term commitment to address climate change. In this regard, we recognize the special concerns of small island states.

We commit ourselves to address the energy deficit affecting developing countries.

We agree to protect and restore the integrity of our planetís ecological system, with special emphasis on preserving biological diversity, the natural processes that sustain all life on earth, as well as addressing the pro- cess of desertification. Significant reduction in the rate of current bio-diversity loss at national and global levels is a priority to achieve sustainable livelihoods for all.

We are committed to a reduction of the economic, social, and environmental impact of natural disasters by strengthening international cooperation, deploying sound technologies, and further developing early warning systems.

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