B - Second Committee
170. The report of the Second Committee on subject areas 11 and V was considered by the Conference at its 14th, 16th and 18th plenary meetings on 13, 14 and 15 June 1972. The report was introduced by the Rapporteur of the Second Committee, L. J. Mostertman (Netherlands).
ENVIRONMENTAL ASPECTS OF NATURAL RESOURCES MANAGEMENT (SUBJECT AREA 11)
171. The report stated that the Committee had considered the draft recommendations contained in the report on environmental aspects of natural resources management (A/CONF.48/7 and Corr.1) and amendments to them and also a number of new draft recommendations proposed in the Committee. It had taken the
following action with regard to them.
172. It had approved by consensus a new draft recommendation submitted by France, draft recommendations 46, 47, 48, a new draft recommendation submitted
by Nigeria; draft recommendations 66, 67, 81, 82, 83, 84, 95, 96, 97, 107, 108, 109, 110, 111, 112, 113, 114, 115, 116, 117, 118, 119, 120, 131, 132, 133, 134, 135, 204 and 227.
173. It had approved unanimously draft recommendations 203 and 207 and a new draft recommendation proposed by the Federal Republic of Germany.
174. It had approved draft recommendation 86 by 53 votes to none, with 3 abstentions.
175. It had approved draft recommendation 98 by 45 votes to 1, with 1 abstention.
176.It had approved draft recommendation 159 by 43 votes to 2, with 7 abstentions.
177.It had approved draft recommendation 160 by 44 votes to 9, with 2 abstentions.
178.It had approved draft recommendation 175 by 34 votes to 1.
179.It had approved draft recommendation 196 by 41 votes to none, with 3 abstentions.
180.It had approved draft recommendation 201 by 37 votes to 3, with 3 abstentions.
181.In the debate in plenary, the representative of Kenya said that the report contained recommendations that were largely scientific in nature. His delegation believed that environmental policies and programmes must be implemented within the context of development. Consequently, he wished to stress that adequate and trained manpower must be available in the developing countries in order to put the recommendations into effect.
182. The representative of the United States of America explained, in relation to draft recommendation 46, that his delegation did not consider that the position relating to the pricing of agricultural produce was relevant to the main point. There could be no assurance that price stabilization would lead to improved soil regeneration and conservation. He suggested that other international organizations might be more appropriate for dealing with the question of prices for agricultural produce. With regard to recommendation 98 (b), he expressed the concern that Governments, in setting aside ecosystems of international significance, should not devise rules for their use that were inconsistent with international law.
183.All of the draft recommendations that had been approved by consensus or unanimously, with the exception of 46 and 116, were considered together and were adopted.
184. With reference to draft recommendation 46, the representative of India proposed that the following words be inserted after subparagraph (b) (iii):
"Strengthening of existing research centres and, where necessary, establishing new centers with the object of increasing the production from dry farming areas without any undue impairment of the environment".
185.The amendment, which was supported by Australia, Canada, Iran and Kenya, was adopted unanimously.
186. Recommendation 46 as amended was adopted unanimously.
187. The representative of India proposed that the second paragraph and its subparagraph be replaced by a new paragraph reading as follows:
"To provide geographical distribution and access to the developing nations, regional centers should be established in Africa, Asia and Latin America and the existing centres in the developed world should be strengthened."
188. The amendment was adopted.
189. Draft recommendation 116, as amended, was adopted unanimously.
190. Recommendation 86 was adopted by 53 votes to none, with 12 abstentions.
191. Japan explained that while it was favorable to a moratorium on commercial whaling, it had abstained in the vote because the whole question was to be considered by the International Whaling Commission on the basis of available scientific information.
192. Recommendation 98 was adopted by 64 votes to none, with 5 abstentions.
193. The representative of Argentina introduced an amendment to the title of the recommendation, proposing that "an International River basin Commission or other" be added following "the creation of".
194. The amendment was adopted by 16 votes to 8, with 43 abstentions.
195. The representative of Argentina also proposed that the words "In accordance with the Charter of the United Nations and the principles of international law" be inserted at the beginning of paragraph 1.
196. The amendment was adopted by 23 votes to 7, with 36 abstentions.
197. The representative of Kenya proposed that the words "right of permanent sovereignty" be used instead of "sovereign rights" in paragraph 1.
198. The amendment was adopted by 20 votes to 10, with 36 abstentions.
199.In the first subparagraph of the second paragraph the representative of Uganda proposed the insertion of the word "major" before "water resources activities" and the insertion of the phrase "a significant" before "environmental effect", with the word "an" deleted.
200. The amendment was adopted by 29 votes to 13, with 24 abstentions.
201. Two proposals, calling for replacement of the term "hydrological regions" in the last item of the second paragraph, by either "river basins" (Uganda), or "rivers" (Switzerland), were rejected, respectively, by 25 votes to 16, with 29 abstentions, and by 27 votes to 12, with 30 abstentions.
202 Recommendation 159, as amended, was approved by 64 votes to 2, with 8 abstentions.
203. Recommendation 160 was adopted unanimously.
204. Recommendation 175 was adopted unanimously.
205. The representative of Argentina introduced two amendments to the first paragraph of part
(a), one calling for replacement of the words "effects of" by the words 4 1 environmental levels resulting from"; and the other for replacement of the words "the effects of " by the words "those from". In the second paragraph, the representation of Argentina also proposed the insertion of the words "relationships between such levels and" before the words "the effects on weather".
206.The amendments were approved by 59 votes to 3,with 8 abstentions.
207. The representative of Belgium proposed that in the first paragraph, the words: "oxidants, nitrogen oxides (NO,,)" should be added, following the words ,'sulphur dioxide".
208.The amendment was adopted by 64 votes to none, with 6 abstentions.
209. Recommendation 196, as amended, was adopted unanimously.
210. Recommendation 201 was approved by 73 votes to none, with I abstention.
Statements and reservations
21 1. The representative of Argentina stressed that for all those recommendations in which mention was made of studies of ecosystems, work on methodologies should be carried out in those countries where it was considered to be appropriate or which had initiated-or were about to initiate ecological studies related to the question of natural resources, thus making it possible to obtain data likely to be appropriately used in quantitative integrated models. Those methodologies should be developed in accordance with the priorities and capacities of each of the countries or regions concerned. He also pointed out that the object of the Conference was improvement of the environment, and that other methodologies, perhaps less sophisticated but equally useful, should also be used, providing a basis for the sound management of the natural resources of the developing countries.
212.The representative of Japan recorded reservations with regard to recommendation 86, and stated that the implementation of the recommendation should be made on the basis of the available scientific information.
DEVELOPMENT AND ENVIRONMENT (SUBJECT AREA V)
213. The report indicated that the Second Committee
Had considered the draft recommendations contained in the report on development and environment (A/CONF. 48/10) and had taken the following action.
214. It had approved draft recommendations 31, 33, 34 and 38 by consensus.
215. It had approved draft recommendation 32 by 36 votes to 2, with 4 abstentions.
216. It had approved draft recommendation 36 by 57 votes to 1, with I abstention.
217. It had approved draft recommendation 39 by 40 votes to none, with 2 abstentions.
218. It had approved draft recommendation 40 by 30 votes to none, with 8 abstentions.
219.The Committee had recommended all of the draft recommendations to the plenary Conference for adoption.
22. The Conference considered the report of the Second Committee on subject area
1V and took the action indicated below.
221. At the 16th plenary meeting, the representative of Kenya proposed the following amendments to recommendation 3 1.
(a) Reword the preamble to read as follows:
"It is recommended that regional economic commissions and UNESOB, regional and sub regional organizations give full consideration to the following";
(b) Reword the first subparagraph to read as follows:
"Preparation of short- and long-term plans at regional, sub regional and sect oral levels for the study and identification of the major environmental problems faced by the countries of the regions concerned as well as the special problems of the least developed countries of the region and of countries with coastlines and inland lakes and rivers exposed to the risk of marine and other forms of pollution;"
(c) Reword the second subparagraph to read as follows:
"Evaluation of the administrative, technical and legal solutions to various environmental problems in terms of both preventive and remedial measures, taking into account possible alternative and/or multidisciplinary approaches to development;"
Reword the third subparagraph to read as follows:
"Preparation, within the framework of international agreements, of legislative measures designed to protect marine (and fresh-water) fisheries resources within the limits of their national jurisdiction;"
(e) Reword the fourth subparagraph to read as follows:
"Increasing and facilitating, in the context of development and as proposed in the "World Plan of Action for the Application of Science and Technology to Development", the acquisition and distribution of information and experience to member countries---"
(f) Add a new paragraph II reading as follows:
"Encouraging the appropriate agencies and bodies within the United Nations system to assist the developing countries, at their request, in establishing national science, technology and research policies to enable the developing countries to acquire the capacity to identify and combat environmental problems in the early planning and development stages. In this respect, special priority should be accorded to the type of research, technology and science which would help developing countries speed up, without adverse environment effects, the exploration, exploitation, processing and marketing of their natural resources."
222. The representative of France proposed that the beginning of recommendation 31 be amended to read:
"It is recommended that the appropriate regional organizations give full consideration to the following steps:"
223. The French amendment was adopted by 31 votes to 9, with 28 abstentions.
224. The representative of Kenya withdrew his amendment to the preamble.
225. The amendment proposed by Kenya to the first subparagraph was adopted by 35 votes to 1, witti 21 abstentions.
226. The amendment proposed by Kenya to the second subparagraph was adopted by 51 votes to none, with 17 abstentions.
227. The amendment proposed by Kenya to the third subparagraph was adopted by 57 votes to none, with II abstentions.
228. The Kenyan amendment to the fourth subparagraph was adopted by 51 votes to 1, with 19 abstentions.
229. The Kenyan amendment adding a new paragraph II was adopted by 56 votes to none, with II abstentions.
230. Algeria submitted an amendment by which the penultimate subparagraph would be amended to read: assisting developing countries, in cooperation with appropriate international agencies, in promoting elementary education, with emphasis on hygiene, and. in developing and applying suitable methods for improving health, housing, sanitation and water supply, and controlling soil erosion. Emphasis should be placed on techniques promoting the use of local labour and utilizing local materials and local expertise in environmental management."
231. The Algerian amendment was adopted by 68 votes to none, with 2 abstentions.
232. Recommendation 21 as a whole, as amended, was adopted by 77 votes to none, with 2 abstentions.
233. The representative of France proposed the addition of a paragraph at the end of draft recommendation 32 concerning the role of Governments and international organizations in following trends in international trade, reading as follows: the competent international organizations keep a close watch on medium and long term trends in international trade with a view to promoting:
(a) The exchange of environmental protection technologies; and
(b) International trade in natural products and raw materials which can compete with synthetic products that have a greater capacity for pollution."
234. He also introduced oral amendments to his amendment changing the words "the competent international organizations" to read "Governments and the competent international organizations".
235. He further suggested the addition of the words "and take measures" after the words "international trade" in the first paragraph of his amendment. Nigeria, while agreeing with the French amendment as a whole, suggested the replacement of the words "which can compete" by the words "which compete" in subparagraph (b) of the French text. France provided a further explanation on that point. The Republic of Viet-Nam a reed with the Nigerian suggestion that the word "can" be deleted in subparagraph (b) of the French text and also suggested the replacement of the words "raw materials" by the word "commodities".
236. The Nigerian amendment deleting the word "can" in subparagraph (b) of the French amendment was adopted by 48 votes to none, with 26 abstentions.
237. The amendment proposed by the Republic of Viet-Nam was adopted by 15 votes to 2, with 59 abstentions.
238. The French amendment, as a whole, as amended, was adopted by 75 votes to none, with 5 abstentions.
239. Recommendation 32, as amended, was adopted by 72 votes to 1, with 8 abstentions.
240. Algeria proposed the addition of the words "particularly those of developing countries" after the words "threats to exports" in the first paragraph of recommendation 33. The amendment was adopted by 66 votes to none, with 14 abstentions.
241. Recommendation 33, as amended, was adopted by 76 votes to none, with I abstention.
242. Recommendation 34 was adopted without discussion.
243. Zaire proposed an amendment to paragraph 2 replacing the word "regulations" by the word "standards" in the English version. The amendment was adopted by 23 votes to 5, with 49 abstentions.
244. Recommendation 36, as amended, was adopted by 65votes to none, with 8 abstentions.
245. Recommendation 38 was adopted without discussion.
246. Recommendation 39 was adopted by 80 votes to none, with I abstention.
247.Brazil and Sweden introduced an amendment to recommendation 40 calling for the addition of the following sentence, after the words "developing countries":
"Recommendations for national action, proposed by the Secretary-General of the Conference, shall be referred to Governments for their consideration and, when denied appropriate, should be taken into account in the review and appraisal process during the consideration of matters for national action as included in the: International Development Strategy."
248. India suggested the addition of the following sentence at the end of the recommendation:
"It should further be ensured that the preoccupation of developed countries with their own environmental problems should not affect the flow of assistance to developing countries, and that this flow should be adequate to meet the additional environmental requirements of such countries."
249. The United States of America was of the opinion that that point had already been covered in the Third Committee. The Federal republic of Germany agreed that measures to protect the environment should in no way reduce development assistance.
250. The amendment submitted by India was adopted by 55 votes to 7, with 17 abstentions.
251. The amendment submitted by Brazil and Sweden was adopted by 72 votes to 1, with 7 abstentions.
252. Recommendation 40, as a whole, as amended, was adopted by 71 votes to none, with 7 abstentions.
Explanation of votes
253. While endorsing the report of the Second Committee as a whole, the representative of the United States of America felt that he must explain his delegations reservations concerning recommendations 32, 36 and 40. Operative paragraph 2 of recommendation 32 was unacceptable because his delegation was opposed, as a matter of principle, to compensating nations for declines in their export earnings regardless of cause.
His Government was prepared to consider this question, however, in the context of its GATT obligations and in accordance with GATT procedures. Moreover, the United States
Government intended to take all practical steps in implementing its environmental policies to avoid creating new barriers to trade. His delegation considered the proposed studies called for by recommendation 36 unfeasible and of little practical value for policy guidance.
Finally, his delegation had reservations on recommendation 40 because ii contained a provision on aid flows that had been dealt with in another committee of the Conference.
254. The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland had abstained in the vote on recommendation 32 as a whole because it thought that paragraph 2 of the text was not appropriate and that it was unworkable. It had also abstained in the vote on recommendation 40 because it considered the amendment by India too broad.
. 255. While supporting the general principles set forth in recommendation 32,
Switzerland had abstained in the vote on that recommendation.
256.Japan also indicated that it could not associate itself with paragraph 2 of recommendation 32. Moreover, the reference in tfiat paragraph to new contractual and institutional arrangements was not necessary as the current arrangements were sufficient.
257.Italy was of the opinion that recommendations 32 and 36 were not entirely clear.
258. Sweden had abstained in the vote on recommendation 40 for the same reasons as those indicated by the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland.
259. France had voted in favour of recommendation 32, but had reservations concerning the implement ability of the recommendation. The notion of compensation was vague and the concept of "indirect responsibility" difficult to interpret. Many problems raised in the recommendation still needed to be resolved.