A - First Committee
The report of the First Committee on subject areas I and IV was considered by the Conference at its 14th and 15th plenary meetings, on 13 and 14 June 1972. The report was introduced by the Rapporteur of the First Committee, Simon Bedaya-Ngaro (Central African Republic).
PLANNING AND MANAGEMENT OF HUMAN SETTLEMENTS FOR ENVIRONMENTAL QUALITY (SUBJECT AREA 1)
The report indicated that the Committee had considered the draft recommendations for international action contained in the report on planning and management of human settlements for environmental quality (A/CONF.48/6) and had taken the following action with regard to them.
83. It had approved without objection the following draft recommendations as amended in the Committee: 136, 137, 138, and 140, 141, 144, 148, 150.
84. The voting on other recommendations had been as follows:
Recommendation 149 had been approved by 35 votes to 1, with 13 abstentions.
Recommendation 152, as amended, had been approved by 41 votes to 2, with 3 abstentions.
Recommendation 153, as amended, had been approved by 47 votes to 1, with I abstention.
Recommendation 154 had been approved by 55 votes to none, with I abstention.
New recommendation 155, as amended, had been approved by 23 votes to 17, with 12 abstentions.
1 In the debate in committee and in plenary, the draft recommendations were identified by the numbers of the paragraphs in which they appeared in the basic Conference document for the subject area concerned. New draft recommendations were identified by additional numbers in the same series or by letters added to the numbers of the original draft recommendations contained in the Conference document. For the correspondence between the numbers of the recommendations as adopted by the Conference and the numbers as they appear in the final version given in this repot. see annex V.
New recommendation 156, as amended, had been approved by 34 votes to none, with 9 abstentions.
New recommendation 157, as amended, and been approved by 45 votes to none, with 4 abstentions.
New recommendation 158 had been approved by 27 votes to 12, with 16 abstentions.
New recommendation 159 had been approved by 24 votes to 19 with 9 abstentions.
85. The Committee had also decided by consensus to refer to the plenary Conference the following text submitted by India and the Libyan Arab Republic:
"It is further recommended that the Governments and the Secretary-General take immediate steps towards the establishment of an international fund or a financial institution whose primary operative objectives will be to assist in strengthening of national programmes in this field through the provision of seed capital and the extension of the necessary technical assistance to enable an effective mobilization of domestic resources for housing and the environmental improvement of human settlements."
86. The Conference in plenary considered together all of the texts of the draft recommendations approved by the First Committee.
Recommendations 136, 137, 138, 140, 141, 144, 146, 148, 149, 152, 153, 154, 155
87. Switzerland stated that development projects should include an economic and social cost-benefit analysis. That was particularly relevant to recommendation 155.
88.The United States of America supported all of the original recommendations contained in A/CONF.48/6 as well as the new recommendations 154, 155, 156, 157 and 158. Concerning recommendation 159, the United States of America opposed the establishment of sub regional centers, on the grounds that such action was premature. It attached importance to the amendment by India and the Libyan Arab Republic but opposed it because he thought that more preparation was necessary and that there would be a risk of confusion with the establishment of the proposed Environment Fund.
89. The Conference adopted the following recommendations without objection: 136, 137, 138, 140, 141, 144, 146, 148, 149, 152, 153 and 154.
90. With reference to recommendation 155, the Central African Republic considered that family planning and the demographic explosion were concepts on which the Conference should not take a position. It was in favor of retaining the recommendation with the following amendments: the replacement of the words "family planning" by the words "family health" in the first sentence and the deletion of the last phrase of the second sentence, after the words "human reproduction".
91. France was of the opinion that a distinction should be made between the conditions in over-populated countries and those in under-populated countries. It proposed that the words "population explosion" in the second sentence be replaced by the words "over-population and under-population".
92. Ecuador considered that the 1974 Population Conference was the proper forum for discussion of those problems. Ecuador supported the first part of the amendment proposed by the Central African Republic.
93. Argentina considered the recommendation premature. It proposed the deletion of the recommendation and requested a roll-call vote on it.
94. In the opinion of Dahomey, the population explosion was not a universal problem; in Africa, population density was still weak. Dahomey supported the amendment proposed by the Central African
95. Uganda considered recommendation 155 to be among the most important recommendations of the Conference. As population was the essential resource, population increase should be planned accordingly. Uganda supported the recommendation as it stood.
96. Romania supported the first sentence of the recommendation, but urged the deletion of the second sentence.
97. Ethiopia was opposed to the recommendation. It considered that recommendation 154 contained all appropriate action concerning population. It supported Argentina in requesting the deletion of the recommendation
98. In the opinion of Pakistan, human reproduction meant physic-pathological phenomena, which in fact, increased population. The amendment proposed by the Central African Republic was not acceptable, as the sentence would then mean that an increase in the population was wanted. The recommendation was one of the most important of the Conference, and should be retained.
99. India supported retention of the recommendation, as population increase was a major source of economic problems. Research on the population explosion was important for all countries. Under-populated countries might have to face those problems in the future, and could profit from that research.
100. Belgium supported the first sentence of the recommendation. Concerning the second sentence, it supported the French amendment but also suggested the deletion of the words "in the field of human reproduction".
101. The representative of the Holy See stated that the relationship between excess of population and environmental deterioration had not yet been clearly elucidated. For instance, the first countries to suffer from environ- mental degradation had problems of over-population. He supported the Argentine amendment and expressed interest in the Belgian amendment.
102. The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland stated that the 1974 Population Conference would deal with the problem. In the recommendation, the World Health Organization was requested to give advice on family planning on request and to undertake more research. The United Kingdom wished to retain the first sentence; concerning the second sentence, it agreed with the amendment proposed by the Central African Republic.
103. Norway stated that the text was in conformity with scientific evidence.
104. Nigeria expressed strong support for the recommendation.
105. The Argentine ai-nendi-nent calling for deletion of recommendation 155 was put to the vote by roll call.
106. The amendment was rejected by 45 votes to 12, with 20 abstentions. The voting was as follows:
In favour : Argentina, Brazil, Burundi, Ecuador, Ethiopia, Holy See, Ireland, Portugal, Romania, Spain, Venezuela and Zaire.
Against: Australia, Bahrain, Belgium, Canada, Ceylon, Den-ark, Dominican Republic, Federal Republic of Germany, Fiji, Finland, Ghana, Iceland, India, Indonesia, Iran, Israel, Jamaica, Japan, Kenya, Liberia, Luxembourg, Madagascar, Malaysia, Mauritius, Morocco, Netherlands, New Zealand, Nigeria, Norway, Pakistan, Republic of Korea, Republic of Viet-Nam, San Marino, Senegal, Singapore, South Africa, Swaziland, Sweden, Switzerland, Thailand, Uganda, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, United States of America, Yugoslavia, Zambia.
Abstentions: Algeria, Austria, Central African Republic, Chile, Dahomey, France, Greece, Iraq, Italy, Ivory Coast, Libyan Arab Republic, Liechtenstein, Mexico, Monaco, Philippines, Sudan, Syrian Arab Republic, Togo, Trinidad and Tobago and Turkey.
107. The amendment proposed by the Central African Republic calling for the replacement of the words "family planning" by the words "family health" was rejected by 41 votes to 28, with 7 abstentions.
108. The amendment proposed by Romania calling for deletion of the second sentence of the recommendation was rejected by 50 votes to 16, with 9 abstentions.
109. The amendment proposed by Belgium calling for replacement of the words after "reproduction", in the second sentence, by the words "so as to avoid serious repercussions on human environment of over-population and under-population" was rejected by 34 votes to 32, with 1 abstentions.
I10. The amendment proposed by the Central African Republic calling for deletion of the words after "human reproduction" was rejected by 40 votes to 23, with 8 abstentions.
111. The amendment proposed by France, by which the words "population explosion" would be replaced by the words "over-population", was rejected by 28 votes to 22, with 24 abstentions.
112. The Conference adopted recommendation 155 by 55 votes to 18, with 4 abstentions.
113. The Holy See explained that it had abstained on the Belgian amendment because the World Health Organization was already intensifying its genetic research.
114. Kenya proposed the addition of the work periodicity and intensity of the" in the last item of the first paragraph of recommendation 150, after the words "research on the".
115. The Conference adopted, by 32 votes to 3, with 4 abstentions, an amendment by Kenya calling for the insertion of the word "over-all" after the words "assess the" in the first item of the first paragraph.
116. The Conference adopted, by 62 votes to none, with 18 abstentions, the Kenya amendment calling for the addition of the words "periodicity and intensity of the".
117. The Conference adopted recommendation 150, as amended, by 84 votes to none, with I abstention.
118. The recommendation was adopted without dissent.
119. Uganda proposed the following amendments to recommendation 157: (1) replacement of the word "limitations" by the word "standards"; (2) deletion of the word "large" in the last phrase; (3) replacement of the word "applied" by the words "recommended for application".
120. The Netherlands proposed that the words "large price increase or" be deleted.
121. The Conference adopted by 47 votes to 7, with 26 abstentions, the amendment proposed by Uganda replacing the word "limitations" by "standards".
122. The Conference rejected, by 22 votes to 21, with 26 abstentions, the amendment proposed by Uganda replacing the word "applied" by the words "recommended for application".
123. The amendment proposed by the Netherlands, to delete the words "large price increase or", received 32 votes in favour and 24 against, with 17 abstentions, and was thus rejected as it did not obtain the required two- thirds' majority.
124. The Conference rejected, by 38 votes to 14, with 25 abstentions, the amendment proposed by Uganda deleting the word "large".
125. The Conference adopted recommendation 157, as amended, by 73 votes to none, with 11 abstentions.
126. The Conference adopted recommendation 158 without dissent.
127. The Conference adopted recommendation 159 by 70 votes to 10, with 6 abstentions. View recommendation proposed by India and the Lib an Arab Republic
128. With reference to the text submitted by India and the Libyan Arab Republic, India stated that the proposal for an international fund to improve the quality of human settlements reflected the fact that the basic environmental problem in developing countries was poverty. The most important objective of the Conference was to give hope to two thirds of humanity through environmental programmes. The need of developing countries was not expertise but resources, and the Conference should offer solutions, not diagnoses. Three weeks before the Conference, the Economic and Social Council had referred the question of the creation of a human settlements fund to the conference. The terms of reference of the environmental fund did not even mention encouragement of national programmes. A multicurrency fund for human settlements would open a new era of international cooperation.
129. Canada reminded the Conference that it had voted in the Committee for recommendations 157 and 158, and that it had supported and amended recommendation 137. It could not support the amendment by India and the Libyan Arab Republic as it had no mandate to support a separate fund in addition to the environmental fund. Canada, was, however, always ready to consider new forms of aid for progress oriented towards action.
130. The Philippines supported the joint amendment. The urgent need was for seed capital. The International Bank for Reconstruction and Development extended long-term loans only to "sites and services" projects.
The proposal for a new international fund had two aspects: the provision of long-term loans to developing countries as seed capital; and the provision of technical assistance in funding so that the developing countries could efficiently use those loans for housing. The fund should be in addition to the environmental fund.
131. The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland endorsed the principles of the Conference document on human settlements (A/CONF.48/6) but said that it would vote against the amendment. Housing problems could be solved only through genuine economic development, and international aid should be directed towards the promotion of such development. The United Kingdom re rejected that sectoral approach, especially at a time when the United Nations Development Programme, through its country programming procedure, could now give high priority to the requests of individual countries.
133. Italy said that it would not support a new fund. It proposed the following as an amendment to the text:
"It is further recommended that the Secretary General undertake, in consultation with the United Nations specialized agencies, international financial institutions and the Committee on Housing, Building and Planning of the United Nations Economic and Social Council, an exhaustive review of international financing arrangements with, as its primary objective, the strengthening of national programmes in this field through the provision of seed capital and the extension of the necessary technical assistance to permit effective mobilization of domestic resources for housing and the environmental improvement of human settlements, taking account of development priorities of the developing countries."
133. Sweden stressed that it was much in sympathy with the objectives behind the amendment submitted by India and the Libyan Arab Republic but that it would vote against the text proposed. The existing organs should be used. The creation of a new fund for human settlements might have negative consequences.
134. The Central African Republic said that recommendations 158 and 159 contained a description of a programme but that no means were given. The text given in the joint amendment provided the means. A special programme on human settlements had to have high priority.
135. Kenya strongly supported the joint amendment. The developed countries must listen to the arguments of the developing countries. Developing countries must not follow the priorities of developed countries. The gap in understanding between developed and developing countries must be filled.
136. Jamaica strongly supported the text set forth in the joint amendment.
137. Uganda stated that the problem of human settlements had not received sufficient priority at the Conference. In Uganda the need to organize human settlements was paramount, while the available resources were wholly inadequate. It strongly supported the proposed fund.
138. Senegal supported the proposal made by India and the Libyan Arab Republic. If the proposal was rejected, some funds within the environmental fund should be earmarked for human settlements.
139. The text proposed by India and the Libyan Arab Republic was adopted by a roll-call vote of 50 to 15, with 13 abstentions. The voting was as follows:
In favor: Afghanistan, Algeria, Bahrein, Botswana, Brazil, Burundi, Central African Republic, Ceylon, Chile, Dahomey, Ecuador, Egypt, Ethiopia, Fiji, Finland, Gabon, Ghana, Guyana, Iceland, India, Indonesia, Iran, Iraq, Israel, Jamaica, Kenya, Kuwait, Lebanon, Liberia, Libya, Arab Republic, Madagascar, Malaysia, Mauritius, Mexico, Morocco, Nigeria, Peru, Philippines, Republic of Viet-Nam, Romania, San Marino, Senegal, Singapore, Sudan, Swaziland, Syrian Arab Republic, Thailand, Togo, Trinidad and Tobago, Tunisia, Turkey, Uganda, United Arab Emirates, United Republic of Tanzania, Venezuela, Yugoslavia, Zaire, Zambia.
Against: Australia, Canada, Denmark, Federal Republic of Germany, France, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Monaco, Sweden, Switzerland, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, United States of America.
Abstentions : Argentina, Austria, Belgium, Dominican Republic, Greece, Holy See, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Portugal, Republic of Korea, South Africa, Spain.
140. Australia stressed that although it had voted against the proposal. Because it was not convinced of the need for a new fund, it fully supported the principle of the need to plan human settlements. It drew attention to its own work in that field, and referred to the positive spirit with which the Conference had approached the subject.
141. Kenya emphasized that the text adopted would put to the test the principle of international cooperation and show whether there were two earths, the developing and the developed, or only one.
142. View of the decision of the plenary Conference, the alternative text proposed by Italy was not put to the vote.
EDUCATIONAL, INFORMATIONAL, SOCIAL AND CULTURAL ASPECTS OF ENVIRONMENTAL ISSUES (SUBJECT AREA IV)
143. The report stated that the First Committee had considered the recommendations for international action contained in the report on educational, informational, social and cultural aspects of environmental issues (A/CONF.48/9), as well as a large number of amendments and proposals for new recommendations submitted in committee.
144. It had approved the following recommendations, as amended, without objection and had recommended them to the Conference for adoption: II 1, 1 14, 115, 116, 119, 120, 124, 125, 126, 137.
145. The first Committee had also referred to the plenary Conference the text of a draft resolution submitted by Japan and Senegal proposing a world environment day, which the Committee had approved by acclamation.
Action on draft recommendations
146. The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland stressed in the plenary meeting, as it had done in the Committee, its particular interest in the proposed international referral service for environment information and offered London as a place for the expert meeting referred to in draft
India stated that the existence of surplus computer facilities in a country should not be the basis for locating the referral service there. A developing country with the necessary infrastructure should be seriously considered.
147. The Federal Republic of Germany suggested that the Convention on the Conservation of Wetlands of International Importance, referred to in draft recommendation 125, should be studied further. The representative of Iran explained that UNESCO had accepted to serve as depositary and that the Convention would soon be opened for signature in Iran.
148. Recommendation Ill was adopted without objection.
Concerning recommendation 114, Italy introduced an amendment calling for the insertion of the words: "and activities including those concerning the economic, sociological and tourism sectors" after the word "disciplines" in the fourth item of the second Paragraph.
150. The Conference adopted the amendment by 30 votes to 12, with 29 abstentions. It then adopted recommendation 114, as amended, by 76 votes to none, with 2 abstentions.
Recommendations 115,116,119 and 120. 151. The Conference adopted recommendations 115,116, 119 and 120 without amendments.
152. With reference to recommendation 124, Ecuador stated that it was opposed to mentioning, "present, conventions in the text. It wished to dea7l only with "future" conventions.
153. The Conference adopted recommendation 124 by 74 votes to 1, with 2 abstentions.
Recommendation 125 and 126
154. The Conference adopted recommendations 125 and 126 without amendments.
155. In recommendation 137 the representative of Romania proposed the insertion of the word "also" after the words "taking into account". The amendment received 18 votes in favor and 16 against, with 41 abstentions, and was thus rejected as it did not obtain the required two-thirds' majority.
156. The Conference adopted recommendation 137 by 78 votes to none, with I abstention.
Action on the Draft Resolution
157. The Conference considered the draft resolution on International Environment Day submitted by the Committee. As one of the sponsors of the draft resolution in the Committee, Senegal proposed that the name "International Environment Day' should be changed to "World Environment Day" and that certain drafting changes be introduced in the last paragraph of the draft resolution.
158. The representative of Ethiopia supported the proposal for the establishment of a Day but suggested that a more appropriate date for the celebration of the International Environment Day might be the date of the conclusion of the Conference, 16 June.
159. The representative of Japan said that he could accept the Ethiopian proposal. He asked that the draft resolution be adopted by the Conference by acclamation.
160. While supporting the spirit of the draft resolution, New Zealand considered that there should be some flexibility to allow countries to arrange suitable activities at times other than the official date proposed: in New Zealand, 5 June was mid-winter; 6 June was the Queen's Birthday; and a whole week was already dedicated to earth conservation in August. It therefore proposed that the words "appropriate to their situation and..." be inserted in the operative paragraph of the draft resolution, after the words "world-wide activities".
161 Singapore had no objection to the substance of the proposal but found that the operative paragraph was somewhat ambiguous. What should be stressed on Environment Day was the reaffirmation by Governments of their concern for environmental activities. It suggested that the words "related to" be replaced by, reaffirming their concern for" in the operative paragraph
162. Senegal agreed with Singapore that some redrafting of the operative paragraph was necessary. What was important was the establishment of a worldwide day relating to the environment.
163. India considered the New Zealand objections irrelevant. There should be a single day observed not only by the United Nations system and Governments but by all people everywhere.
164. Libya favored 16 June since it was the results of the Conference that were important, not it’s beginning.
165. The representative of Kenya stressed that the idea of a commemorative day should be agreed on in principle before the date was discussed.
166. The amendment proposed by New Zealand was rejected by 26 votes to 16, with 35 abstentions.
167.The amendment proposed by Singapore was adopted by 57 votes to 3, with 23 abstentions.
168. The amendment proposed by Ethiopia received 35 votes in favor and 22 against, with 24 abstentions, and was thus rejected as it aid not obtain the required two-thirds' majority.
169. The draft resolution, as amended, was adopted by acclamation. For the text of the resolution see chapter IV.