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19 MAY 2011
At UN Meeting on Sustainable Development:PHL HIGHLIGHTS NEED FOR CHEMICAL REGULATORY SYSTEM; UNVEILS VISION FOR PEOPLE-ORIENTED TRANSPORT SYSTEM
19 May 2011 United Nations, New York The Honorable Margarita Songco, Deputy Director General of the National Economic and Development Authority, delivers the Philippine country statement at the High-Level Segment of the 19 th Session of the United Nations Commission on Sustainable Development (CSD) which concluded last week here. The CSD was established by the UN General Assembly in December 1992 to ensure effective follow-up of United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED), also known as the Earth Summit. The Philippines is currently a Member State of the CSD, an inter-governmental body composed of 53 members elected by the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) from among the Member States of the United Nations and its specialized agencies.
19 May 2011 United Nations, New York Stressing its commitment to operationalize sustainable development in the country and the important links between development, the environment and public health and welfare, the Philippines highlighted the need for establishing a new national infrastructure for chemicals regulation and management and also unveiled an ambitious vision for a people-oriented transportation system.
Speaking at the 19 th session of the United Nations Commission on Sustainable Development (CSD), National Economic and Development Authority Deputy Director General Margarita Songco said that the “chemical sector plays a vital role in carrying out various social and economic activities worldwide. However, with irresponsible use and management, chemicals can also pose unreasonable threats to human health and the environment.”
Deputy Director General Songco stressed “the importance of establishing a new national infrastructure for chemicals regulation and management that will strengthen chemicals information system, capacity building, including training and education, and enhancing the monitoring of chemicals to ensure good risk management decisions.”
“We believe that such a plan should place a high consideration to public health and the environment, particularly for vulnerable populations,” added Songco.
Songco also pointed out the need for to strengthen the Philippines’ chemical emergency preparedness, risk prevention and response mechanisms and underscored that the importance of “international cooperation to improve research and development initiatives, capacity building and technology transfer and ensure adequate financing to ensure effective implementation.”
On the issue of mining, Songco said that “For the Philippines, it is imperative that mining abides by the principles of sustainable development and must be in harmony with policies on conservation, protection and rehabilitation of environment and natural resources” and that “Institutional and legal frameworks of the industry for the governance, as well as investment in mineral resources and the extractive sectors in the country should be enhanced.”
Underscoring the importance of Adequate and efficient transport systems in reducing poverty, Songco unveiled an ambitious integrated transport program for the county.
“For the next six years, the Philippines is envisioning an integrated transport system that is people-oriented and environmentally sustainable, espousing a shift from the use of fossil fuel to renewable energy sources and the provision of non-motorized transport facilities taking into consideration the vulnerable groups in the transport designs and systems.”
Towards this end, “Infrastructure development, funding, partnerships and capacity building of national and local institutions and stakeholders are important to improve the multimodal transport system in the country,” said Songco.
In concluding her address, stressed once again the critical need for an enabling international environment to achieve the goals of CSD. Songco said “No country will be able to achieve any thematic goals alone. Developing countries, such as the Philippines, will need a supportive international environment that will promote capacity building, partnerships, technology transfer, access and sharing of knowledge, innovative financing mechanisms, public-private partnerships for financing infrastructure and technology and an equitable multilateral trading system. It is clear that sustainable development will require no less than enhanced, and even innovative partnerships and collaborations that truly respond to the needs of developing countries.END
Reference:Robert E.A. Borje
Philippine Mission to the United Nations
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