Global Environment

National Action Plan for Agenda 21 -Chap. 38

[Agenda 21] National Action Plan for Agenda 21

Chapter 38 INTERNATIONAL INSTITUTIONAL ARRANGEMENTS

A-C) General Assembly, Economic and Social Council, Commission on Sustainable Development

The true assessment of the UN Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED) depends on how steadily the results of the conference are to be implemented, and thus the way that the follow-up of the UNCED is conducted in the international community is an important agenda. The role that the United Nations plays in this field is extremely great, and the deliberation conducted at three United Nations fora, i.e., the General Assembly, the Economic and Social Council and the Commission on Sustainable Development, are considered to be central activities within the United Nations system for following up the UNCED. Japan will actively participate in the three above-mentioned fora as a member state, bearing in mind the following points:

(1)
The tasks of the Economic and Social Council which are provided for in the Charter of the United Nations, particularly its function of coordinating such programs of the U.N. as the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), and such commissions of U.N. as the Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP) and the Economic Commission for Europe (ECE), as well as such specialized organizations of the U.N. as the FAO, are extremely important, and with sufficient consideration given to the competence of the CSD in the follow-up activities of the UNCED, it will be necessary to construct an effective system, avoiding duplication of competences.
(2)
The recently established CSD should play a central role as an intergovernmental body in making a series of international efforts toward the UN Special General Assembly on Environment, which was to be held by 1997 to follow up on the UNCED.
(3)
As Agenda 21 covers a wide range of themes that require deliberation, it is difficult to take up all of these items every year. From such a perspective, Japan highly values the adoption of the work plan for annual thematic clusters at the first meeting of the CSD held in June 1992, in which all forty chapters of Agenda 21 were categorized in clusters. It will be important to efficiently and effectively review the priorities of each field in the CSD, and Japan believes that, while maintaining a good balance with cross-sector fields and individual environmental fields (water and air pollution etc.), deliberation should be conducted with due consideration given to the long-term schedules of CSD meetings.

D-G) The Secretary-General, High-Level Inter-Agency Coordination Mechanism, High-Level Advisory Body, Secretariat Support Structure

Japan welcomes the establishment of the United Nations Secretariat for Policy Coordination and Sustainable Development (PCSD) holding the function of secretariat for inter-governmental fora which are closely related to Agenda 21, including the 2nd and 3rd Committees of the General Assembly, the Economic and Social Council and the Commission on Sustainable Development. Japan also welcomes the establishment of the High-level Advisory Board (HLAB) in July 1993 as an advisory body to the Secretary-General, in which eminent persons discuss how international society as a whole should deal with problems of the environment and development from a broad viewpoint.

Taking the below-mentioned standpoint into consideration, Japan will actively participate in the planning of deliberations of the United Nations.

(1)
It is indispensable for the PCSD to maintain close cooperation with the Information and Policy Analysis Division, which is in charge of the area of information, and with the Development Assistance Division, which is in charge of development work, in promoting activities in the United Nations for the realization of sustainable development. Japan urges the UN secretariat to make efforts for the realization of the system which enables such cooperation
(2)
In order to effectively input the results of discussions by the HLAB for the realization of sustainable development, Japan recognizes the importance of consideration of the effective use of these results.

38- H-K) Organs, Programmes and Organizations of the United Nations System

So that the United Nations system can efficiently and effectively deal with environmental problems, it is essential that there be close coordination and communication maintained on a global as well as regional level between various organs.

Based on this recognition, the standpoint of Japan is as follows.

(1)
So that the United Nations system can efficiently and effectively implement Agenda 21, sufficient utilization of the coordinating functions centering on the Economic and Social Council is necessary.
(2)
As the role played by the UNEP, which is the coordinating organ of the United Nations system in the field of the environment, is important, Japan will continue to provide it with assistance.
(3)
The Administrative Committee on Co-ordination (ACC), the purpose of which is to coordinate the business activities of the various bodies made up of the heads of the various United Nations organs, should play a big role in this area. Japan highly appreciates the fact that the IACSD was recently established in order to conduct the follow-up activities of the UNCED.
(4)
It will be extremely important to the implementation of Agenda 21 for the United Nations to conduct close exchange of opinions with international financial institutions, including the World Bank and the Asian Development Bank, and to promote a sufficient level of mutual understanding with these institutions.

Also essential for the steady implementation of Agenda 21 are efforts on national and regional levels. Giving due consideration to such recognition, in addition to making efforts to implement the various results of the UNCED, Japan will also promote cooperation on the regional level, utilizing such frameworks as that of the Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP).

38-L) Non-Governmental Organizations

It can still be vividly recalled that more than 1,400 non-governmental organizations (NGOs) attended and actively participated in the UNCED. The cooperation of citizens on the grassroots level is essential in the realization of sustainable development.

Based on this recognition, Japan's standpoint is as follows:

(1)
In accordance with a decision of the Economic and Social Council, based on a recommendation of the Secretary-General, it was agreed that NGOs could be represented in the CSD, and Japan hails the fact that NGOs positively contributed to the discussions conducted during the first substantial meeting of CSD. Japan reaffirms the importance of "the continued active and effective participation of NGOs, the scientific community and the private sector, as well as local groups and communities" (5. Chapter 38 Agenda 21).
(2)
At the Economic and Social Council in 1993, NGOs were encouraged to develop a network and contribute to the activities carried out by the CSD, and based on this it is expected that NGOs will efficiently and effectively contribute to the activities of the CSD.

Ministry of the Environment Government of Japan

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