US Closing Statement To WSSD
Paula J. Dobriansky, Under Secretary of State for Global Affairs Closing Statement at the 2002 World Summit on
Sustainable Development Johannesburg, South Africa September 4, 2002
We are now completing a long road, part of a journey that will continue, that has gone through virtually every
continent -- from Stockholm, to Rio, to Doha, to Monterrey, to Bali, to Johannesburg.
This journey is appropriate, because what we have approved today is truly a global document. It reflects our common
vision to come together in defense of basic principles of assisting our fellow men and women; protecting our earth s
natural resources and habitats; upholding human rights, fundamental freedoms and gender equality; and ensuring basic
human needs through economic development, or in the visionary words of our South African host: People, Planet and
So far, these are words. Words are good -- actions are better. Only concrete actions can:
* Prevent children from contracting water-borne diseases;
* Allow families to cook meals indoors without risking fatal respiratory illnesses;
* Protect delicate African ecosystems;
* Empower small-hold farmers with the capacity to feed their families; and
* Prevent the transmission of deadly virus to children from HIV+ mothers.
Mr. President, you have brought us to the brink of a new era of sustainable development. The world is in your debt. Let
us move now from Rio to Johannesburg to the future. Thank you.
Released on September 4, 2002