Six African Heads of States and Governments adopt a Landmark Declaration to Boost Technology Support and Capacity Building on the Environment
Khartoum/Nairobi, 24 January 2006- The Heads of States and governments of six African countries have adopted the January 2006 Declaration on the implementation in Africa of the Bali Strategic Plan for Technology Support and Capacity Building in the field of the environment, as an expression of their political commitment to promoting technology support and capacity building measures and issues in their countries and in Africa.
Presidents Blaise Compaoré of Burkina Faso, Mwai Kibaki of Kenya, Dr. Yahya Jammeh, of The Gambia, together with Mr. Bethuel Pakalitha Mosisili, Prime Minister of the Kingdom of Lesotho, Mr. Bernard Makuza, Prime Minister of Rwanda and Mr. Mohamed Ghannouchi, Prime Minister of Tunisia consulted in the margin of the 6th Assembly of the African Union, currently taking place in Khartoum, Sudan, to assess the Implementation of the Bali Strategic Plan for Technology Support and Capacity Building in Africa.
This plan is an inter-governmentally agreed approach to strengthen technology support and capacity-building in developing countries, as well as countries with economies in transition. It reflects and echoes to regional and sub-regional initiatives such as the African Union’s New Partnership for Africa’s Development and the African Ministerial Conference on the Environment.
The Heads of States and governments highlighted the importance of technology support and capacity building and needs of the region as a priority in line with major AU decision in relation with the Action Plan for the Environment Initiative of the New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD) with its capacity building component.
They expressed their appreciation for the work of UNEP and UNDP in response to repeated request for support by the African Ministerial Conference on the Environment for technology support and capacity building in the field of the environment.
President Yahya A.J.J. Jammeh, who launched this pilot process in the margins of the 2005 World Summit held in September in New York, and who is personally spearheading this process in Africa, commended the commitment made to the Bali process by the leaders of the pilot countries. He said “My engagement reflects my deep conviction that we in Africa will never be able to move ahead if we do not enhance the management of our natural resources. Obviously, the availability of the necessary capacity is a requirement for achieving this goal”.
As a starting point, the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) has initiated the piloting of the implementation of the Bali Process in these six African countries.
Klaus Toepfer, Executive Director of UNEP said “This plan is a new mechanism in which UNEP can, for the first time, respond directly to the individual needs of developing country governments. Bali is not an end in itself but a new beginning. We must learn, step by step, by doing. UNEP, in close collaboration with the United Nations Development Programme and other UN partners is stepping up efforts to secure backing from the international community needed to support the Bali process.”
“We are opening a new chapter in sustainable development, where the sustainable management of environmental services becomes a more central part of economic development. African Heads of States and Governments are part of this new direction and this new dawn. When the book is finally written, when all the chapters of this new beginning are set down, I am sure that current and future generations will read it avidly as key turning point in African affairs.” He added.
Note to Editors
The Bali Strategic Plan for Technology Support and Capacity Building was initially adopted by the 23rd Session of the Governing Council/Global Ministerial Environment Forum of UNEP in February 2005 as an inter-governmentally agreed framework for strengthening the capacity of governments in developing countries and countries with economies in transition to coherently address their needs, priorities and obligations in the field of the environment.
The Heads of State and Government consultation was preceded by a meeting on 22 January 2006 of Ministers in charge of environment from the six countries.
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