SA will take the lead in having an implementation plan for the UN’s 30-year-old international law of the sea ready for a vote by the UN General Assembly in December.
When adopted, the plan will regulate high seas fishing beyond national jurisdictions – something only a handful of nations have been pushing for until now in terms of the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea concluded in 1982.
This is one of the outcomes of the recent Rio+20 conference on sustainable development in the Brazilian coastal city that was a big success for SA and other developing nations, Water and Environmental Affairs Minister Edna Molewa has told a media briefing.
Another significant outcome for SA is that it will lead UN member states later this year in an attempt to find an equitable and inclusive financing strategy to promote sustainable development, to be considered by the UN General Assembly by 2014.
Molewa said yesterday that a key outcome for SA had been the recognition of green economy policies – which SA has already adopted – as “a viable tool for advancing sustainable development and poverty eradication”.
She agreed that developed nations and some environmental groups had not considered the conference a success. However, SA was “proud” because the outcomes of Rio+20 were in line with its national interests, and because commitments made had advanced the decisions made at the World Summit on Sustainable Development in Joburg in 2002.
The Minister of Women, Children and People with Disabilities, Lulu Xingwana, who was also at Rio, said the “tough and robust” talks had reaffirmed the leadership of women in all aspects of sustainable development, and women and gender issues had been “mainstreamed” throughout the negotiating text. - Cape Argus