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Special statements

24. The Council was addressed by H.E Gaafar Mohamed Nimeri, President of Sudan H.E Mobutu Sese Seko, President of Zaire, and H.R.H. Prince Claus of the Netherlands. It also heard a statement delivered on behalf of H.M. Sultan Qaboos bin Said of Oman. A message from Crown Prince Hassan of Jordan was circulated.

25. The President of Zaire said that many current environmental problems were due to the lack of a global perspective and intergrated approach. The fundamental question of the extent to which man could modify his environment without danger could be answered only by Governments. Education would play a vital role in arriving at that answer, and considerable work was needed to establish and develop environmental eductation programmes. Furthermore, it wa essential to provide comprehensive legal framework to deal with environmental problems, and the Zairean proposal for a world charter for Nature was desigend to contribute an element of that framework.

26. Prince Claue of the Netherlands pointed out that some of the most urgent and dramatic environmental problems were rooted in a single cause: The gap between needs and resources available in developing countries, particularly the poorest, was steadily widening. Mankind individually and collectively must shoulder responsibility for tackling poverty, or all would suffer the grave consequences of destruction of the environment. The Council should exploit the opportunity offered by the session of a special character to review the role of UNEP in the light of 10 year’s experience and turn it into a prime mover in environmental matterrs, both among Governments and among people.

27. The President of the Sudan called for immediate measures to ensure the conservation and proper use of energy. The use of solar energy, in particular, would held to conserve fossil fuel reserves, lessen pollution, protect the world’s forests and contain migration to the cities by establishing a balance between rural and urban development. He also called upon all political leaders to work towards putting an end to the arms race, which would release scientific knowledge and human energies that could be directed towards ensuring a better life for all based on a healthy environment.

28. The Sultan of Oman said that the most important environmental problems were those relating to the sources of water, energy and food; the development of rutal and urban communities, the limitation of the arms race; and all kinds of environmental pollution, particularly those leading to unfavourable climatic changes and those which might lead to physiological changes in man, animals and plants. It was important to expedite the development of international legistlation for the protection to expedite the development of international legislation for the protection and improvements of the environment, to devise simple models for the protection and improvement of the environment, to devise simple models for environmental impact statements for use in developing countires and simple methods for use by them in evaluating and combating such impact, and to simplify the language used in environmental reports of international organizations and translate the relevant terminology into many languages so as to improve communication amon countries.