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Annan boosts preparations for upcoming development summit

Annan boosts preparations for upcoming development summit

United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan has asked Dutch Environment Minister Jan Pronk to serve as his Special Envoy for an upcoming global conference on sustainable development.

Mr. Pronk will meet with political leaders at the highest levels to assess their views on the goals for the World Summit on Sustainable Development, according to a statement released at UN Headquarters in New York. The conference, scheduled for 2 to 11 September 2002 in Johannesburg, South Africa, is a 10-year follow-up to the 1992 UN Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED).

"The Johannesburg Summit is an opportunity to address, at the highest level, the concerns about globalization - particularly its social, economic and environmental impact - which have been in the forefront of public debate over the past year," the statement said. "These issues call for a new spirit of solidarity and collective determination to act."

UN Under-Secretary-General Nitin Desai of the Department of Economic and Social Affairs (DESA) will serve as Secretary-General of the forum.

Mr. Annan also established a high-level Advisory Panel of distinguished people with various fields of expertise, to discuss new approaches for reaching the goals of sustainable development. Besides providing advice to the Secretary-General, the members of the Panel will seek to raise awareness of sustainable development issues and the goals of the Summit within their own individual spheres of influence and expertise.

Prominent ethnologist Jane Goodall heads the list of personalities on the panel, drawn from a range of areas including present and former senior government officials, educators and heads of non-governmental organizations.

The other members are: Kamla Chowdhry of India; Severn Cullis-Suzuki of Canada; Viktor Danilov-Danilyan of Russia; Jocelyn Dow of Guyana; Yolanda Kakabadse of Ecuador; Lydia Mkhubu of Swaziland; Hisashi Owada of Japan; Geping Qu, of China; Moeen Qureshi of Pakistan; Joseph Warioba Nyalali, former Prime Minister of Tanzania and Ernst Ulrich von Weizsäcker of Germany.