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Deiss calls for global cooperation at earth summit

Joseph Deiss called on the international community to draw up a plan of action ahead of August's earth summit in Johannesburg

(Keystone Archive)

The Swiss foreign minister, Joseph Deiss, has called for international cooperation ahead of August's earth summit in South Africa.

Speaking on Wednesday at a preparatory conference in Bali, Indonesia, Deiss called on delegates gathered from over 110 countries to work together to create a "world of peace".

"It is only through sustainable development that we will be able to create a world of peace and stability where human rights are respected," Deiss said.

Deiss admitted the 1992 earth summit in Rio de Janeiro had failed to achieve its principal objectives.

"We have to recognise that the plan of action adopted in 1992 was more difficult to achieve than we previously thought," he said.

Call for action

The World Summit on Sustainable Development, due to open in August in the South African city of Johannesburg, would be an opportunity to hammer out a "strong action plan with clearly defined objectives and a precise timetable," Deiss added.

"It would not be acceptable to step back, but on the other hand we should not go too far and organise final statements which will not be implemented."

The foreign minister also took the opportunity to articulate his vision of Switzerland's future role on the global stage.

"Switzerland, which will soon be a fully-fledged member of the United Nations, will be looking to strengthen its participation in the international arena," Deiss told conference delegates.

In an earlier interview with swissinfo, Deiss said Switzerland intended to push for a plan of action prior to Johannesburg which would include management of the world's freshwater supplies and a reduction in global poverty.

swissinfo


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