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Concrete steps towards a joint
Speech by President Leonid Kuchma of Ukraine at the plenary session
World Summit on Sustainable Development

Dear Mr. President, Dear Mr. Secretary General
United Nations, Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen,

First would like to thank the organizers of the World Summit on
sustainable development for the hospitality, preparation and conduct of this major
Forum for the new millennium. I should also point out key
role of the United Nations. If ten years ago to "Summit
Planet Earth ", in Rio de Janeiro, the international community has made the procedure
agenda on sustainable development, the objective of this gathering in Johannesburg
see converting the strategy into reality.

Unfortunately, for decades has been achieved only modest progress in some
issues, while the situation in most areas is not only not improved, but
by contrast, has substantially worse. No statement, no action plan, which would
substantial and vibrant they are, can not watering thirsty,
feed the hungry, heal the sick. This case-specific actions of governments,
public and business institutions, all of us.

Most of the problems facing humanity in its roots are
handmade nature. So it would be futile to hope that they disappear
themselves, without human intervention. I am convinced that practical efforts to
poverty eradication, changing patterns of production and consumption, solving
Water and sanitation, biodiversity conservation should be based on
accountability and transparency of actions of each participant in the process of
sustainable development.

Ukraine considers such a course of action naturally and without alternative.

Based on the higher interests of the Ukrainian people and the international
community, my state, during its relatively short history,
knowingly and voluntarily made two unprecedented steps.

After independence, Ukraine, having the third power
nuclear weapons in the world, voluntarily gave up these weapons,
setting an example to follow. In today's world a lot of money
spent on military objectives. Even a small percentage of funds
reduce these costs to achieve the goals of sustainable development,
would result a substantial improvement in the overall situation. Unfortunately, this
example is not reflected in the actions of other countries.

The second step - closing the Chernobyl nuclear power plant, despite the energy crisis,
that went down in history "the world largest scale and most frightening for
consequences of Chernobyl disaster.

Taking this a difficult decision, we were guided by a firm intention to do
Ukraine's commitments to the world, to defend our choice towards sustainable
development of a nuclear threat to defend the next generation Ukrainian
people and all humanity. Many promises of aid at that time have
Ukraine. But in practice most of them have remained just promises.

In Ukraine, deeply aware of the need to create conditions for
balancing the interests of society and opportunities of nature,
socio-economic development and the environment. It is on these postulates
based concept is supported by the Government of Ukraine's transition to sustainable
development upon which soon will develop a National
strategy.

It is obvious that the primary responsibility for the success of national
sustainable development strategies are the same country. However, I would like
emphasize the importance of support in this area by the international community
efforts of the least developed countries and developing countries and countries with
transition.

The process of implementation of the principles of harmonious development and growth promotion
countries to sustainable development would be much faster if not for the existence of some
financial problems in this way. I mean first of all questions
indebtedness of developing countries and countries with economies in transition.
We need innovative mechanisms for addressing this issue, and one of
mechanisms such innovative and promising, is the process of enrollment
costs of sustainable development in the repayment of their foreign
debt. That is the way creditor countries could effectively
promote enhanced economic growth and environmental protection.

Our experience of the transition gives the full right to consider each
country - rich or poor - each governmental or nongovernmental organization
corporation or company is able to make at least one, if only a small but
real step towards sustainable development. Then every time our
common way to this goal will become another step shorter.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Environmental disaster in its devastating consequences - not less, if
no greater threat to humanity than war and terrorism.

Sure: just as the world community is united in the fight against
international terrorism, it should unite for the preservation and protection
environment, accelerating economic and social growth. Only
principles of solidarity of the world we can overcome challenges
facing today.

I think that should be possible to use the experience of advanced countries in
this area on which under UN auspices to develop guidelines
good governance for sustainable development.

Ladies and gentlemen,

Ten years after Rio the world figured out how to deal with difficult environmental,
economic and social challenges. However, we further realized that
implementation of sustainable development - in the vital interests of everyone.

In the middle of last century, our outstanding compatriot, the founder of
on the biosphere, Vladimir Vernadsky, warned: "... to the individual
opens great future if she understands this and will not be
use his mind and his work on self-destruction. "

We are getting hard and continuous work. However, an objective that we want is worth
tireless efforts, Ukraine, in close cooperation with the international community
ready to do everything possible to achieve it.

Thank you.