Browse Topics

Services

Programs

World Summit on Sustainable Development
Environment Takes Backseat to Problems of the Poorest Nations

audio icon For All Things Considered, NPR's Richard Harris reports on Secretary of State Colin Powell's reception at the World Summit. Sept. 4, 2002.

audio icon For All Things Considered, NPR's John Nielsen reports on a move that sets a new standard in African conservation. Sept. 4, 2002.

U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell
U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell addresses delegates at the World Summit in Johannesburg, Sept. 4, 2002.
Copyright 2002 Reuters Limited


Environmentalists hold a protest banner, which reads Betrayed by governments, during  Powell's speech.
Environmentalists shouted "Shame on Bush" and held a protest banner, which reads "Betrayed by governments", during Powell's speech.
Copyright 2002 Reuters Limited



French protesters demonstrate against the selling-off of the world to big business in Johannesburg. The city is host to the U.N. World Summit on Sustainable Development.
Copyright 2002 Reuters Limited



Global issues of hunger and health, such as developing improved strains of rice and providing better access to AIDS treatments -- are expected to dominate the World Summit on Sustainable Development.
Copyright 2002 Reuters Limited


Sept. 5, 2002 -- The U.N. Summit on Sustainable Development has drawn to a close, with delegates from 190 nations agreeing to an ambitious plan to help the world’s poorest residents.

The document includes targets for poverty eradication and sets a goal of providing clean water by 2015 to half of the billion people worldwide who lack it. The plan also calls for providing adequate sanitation, restoring depleted fish stocks and improving the environment, particularly for children.

The action plan is not legally binding, and nations have not provided the level of funding they pledged 10 years ago at the Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell met with a chilly reception during his appearance at the summit Wednesday. Powell was interrupted several times as he spoke about the U.S. environmental record and its efforts to help developing countries. At least two people were removed by security.

The United States has been criticized at the summit for resisting targets to increase the use of renewable energy sources, and for President Bush's decision not to attend the summit.

Powell defended the U.S. positions on the conference and overseas aid assistance, saying providing aid must go hand and hand with building multi-faceted partnerships. After his speech, Powell cited as a model a new initiative to protect the forests of central Africa. The new national park system in Gabon relies on aid from the United States, and was brought about through planning by conservation groups, African governments and even trade associations. Read about that project.

NPR Coverage

audio icon For Morning Edition, NPR's Richard Harris reports on Secretary of State Colin Powell's reception at the World Summit. Sept. 4, 2002.

audio icon British Prime Minister Tony Blair and German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder speak at the World Summit. For Morning Edition, NPR's Richard Harris reports on developments at the conference, including agreements made on trade and climate change. Sept. 2, 2002.

audio icon For Weekend Edition Sunday, NPR's Richard Harris talks with Liane Hansen about President Bush's decision not to attend the summit, but to send Secretary of State Colin Powell. Sept. 1, 2002.

audio icon For Weekend Edition Saturday, NPR's Martin Kaste reports from the Brazilian Amazon about how the country's government is protecting its potential biological and genetic wealth. Aug. 31, 2002.

audio icon Talk of the Nation takes a closer look at one of the summit's goals: increasing access to fresh water for the more than one billion people who lack a fresh water supply. Aug. 30, 2002.

audio icon The U.S. pledges millions of dollars to help improve living conditions in the developing world. Critics say the projects fall short of the needs of the world's poor. For All Things Considered, NPR's Richard Harris reports. Aug. 29, 2002.

audio icon For All Things Considered, NPR's Richard Harris reports from Johannesburg on a group trying to protect the world's fish stocks. Aug. 28, 2002.

audio icon For Morning Edition, NPR's Richard Harris reports from Johannesburg on how farm subsidies and food tariffs are contributing to world hunger. Aug. 28, 2002.

audio icon For All Things Considered, NPR's Gerry Hadden reports from Port-au-Prince. The residents of Haiti have cut down almost all that country's trees for fuel. The government can't supply gas and electricity to rural areas and is not doing much to save the trees that remain. Aug. 27, 2002.

audio icon For All Things Considered, NPR's Richard Harris reports from Johannesburg on the first day of the summit. South African president Thabo Mbeke kicked off the proceedings by comparing rich and poor nations as another form of apartheid. Aug. 26, 2002.

audio icon For Morning Edition, NPR's Richard Harris discusses the opening of the conference. Aug. 26, 2002.

audio icon For Weekend Edition Sunday, Susan Chisholm reports on sustainable forestry efforts by U.S. timber companies. Aug. 25, 2002.

audio icon Weekend Edition host Liane Hansen talks with New York Times reporter Rachel Swarns. Aug. 25, 2002.

audio icon For All Things Considered, NPR's Richard Harris reports on who is attending the conference and what they expect to accomplish. Aug. 24, 2002.

audio iconFor All Things Considered, NPR's Richard Harris reports on delegates' arrival at the conference. Aug. 23, 2002.

audio icon U.N. World Summit Secretary General Nitin Desai joins Talk of the Nation for a discussion on the upcoming conference. Aug. 22, 2002.

audio icon For Morning Edition, NPR's Christopher Joyce reports on "ecological economists," the professionals who calculate the pricetag of nature. Their profile is growing as the global summit on sustainable development nears. Aug. 16, 2002.

Online Discussion

Post your thoughts or questions on the World Summit and issues of sustainable development at NPR's discussion board.






   
   
   
null