The strengthening of governance institutions at all levels is critical
to achieving agreed goals. At the global level, these include the United
Nations organizations and Bretton Woods institutions, which implement
new or step up ongoing reform efforts. Fresh impetus also boosts existing
multilateral environmental agreements, while existing protocols, such
as those on climate and biosafety, are ratified.
Complementing this drive are efforts at regional level to increase intra-
and inter-regional cooperation mechanisms and make them more efficient.
These efforts are stimulated by a series of regional meetings, drawing
together nation states and regional and subregional entities. The most
conspicuous of these is held in Africa by the newly formed African Union,
which results in the Africa Millennium Charter for Sustainable Development.
Of course, the efforts at both regional and global levels require action
at the national level. Furthermore, intentions expressed at the higher
levels need to be translated into meaningful goals and actions to be implemented
at national and sub-national levels. This requires nations to place greater
faith in - and assign more authority to - ministries focusing on social
and environmental policies.
|'It is understood that significant changes in social and economic
systems will be needed to achieve the targets that have been set,
and that these changes will take time.'
It is understood that significant changes in social and economic systems
will be needed to achieve the targets that have been set and that these
changes will take time. Action is required at many different levels. Certain
areas stand out in which nations must cooperate with one another and with
global institutions. Among them are global environmental issues such as
stratospheric ozone depletion, climate change, biodiversity loss and the
long-range transport of persistent organic pollutants. Perhaps more important
because they lie at the root of these environmental concerns are economic
issues like trade and foreign debt. Technology development and transfer
(particularly in the areas of ICTs, biotechnology and energy use) and
the maintenance of intellectual property rights are also on the joint
agenda. Other issues that demand attention are migration, security and
sharing common resources from, for example, the oceans, the polar regions