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Senator the Hon Robert Hill
Leader of the Government in the Senate
Minister for the Environment
24 June 1997
Federal Environment Minister Robert Hill has urged the international community to take action to achieve sustainable development and to protect the world's threatened environment.
Speaking at the United Nations General Assembly Special Session on the Environment, Senator Hill told world leaders that the time had come to take decisive action to implement the promises and commitments made at the Rio Earth Summit in 1992.
"Five years on from Rio, this Special Session of the UN General Assembly is an opportunity to frankly evaluate how effective we have been in implementing sustainable development principles.
"An honest evaluation of our performance will recognise that, while there have been some successes, progress has been inadequate in some key areas. We have not done enough to alleviate poverty, prevent the loss of the world's forests, protect biodiversity and halt pollution.
"Accordingly, now is the time for decisive action. The emphasis must shift from process to outcome.
"The conceptual framework developed at Rio needs to be translated into practical implementation of sustainable development.
"With this in mind, Australia reaffirms its commitment to the principles established at Rio and signals its continued determination to contribute to the realisation of sustainable development.
"Australia is particularly well-placed to assist with the realisation of sustainable development in the Asia Pacific region."
A copy of Senator Hill's speech to the United Nations General Assembly Special Session on the Environment is attached.
Enquiries: Julie Marks (Senator Hill's office) 06 277 7640 or 0419 693 515
24 June 1997