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Common Themes of the Summit
by Mandy P
The World Summit on Sustainable Development

Johannesburg, South Africa •• Sept. 3, 2002 •• SolarQuest® iNet News Service •• As we are all now aware Secretary-General Koffi Anan had laid out a number of issues that he felt were important for the Summit to centre around, these issues were represented by the acronym WEHAB which stands for Water, Energy, Health, Agriculture and Biodiversity. All of which are vital to the continued functioning of both our planet and the people that inhabit it.

Stemming from these 5 aspects that need to be focused on to achieve sustainability, there are a number of sub-issues that arose. The largest of these issues were poverty eradication and free trade. At the general assembly it was noted by a vast majority of world leaders that it is these two areas that the greatest impact needs to be made and it is through dedication to the areas laid out in WEHAB that a difference will be seen.

A number of the more developed nations including France, Germany and the U.K. have all made promises to increase aid to developing nation in an attempt to make a dent in the enormous ditch that can be used to represent the poverty experienced in these areas. If they are true to their word we might see Africa and other less developed areas getting the kick-start needed to find their feet.

There were also promises made to reduce trade tariffs or to eliminate them entirely, thus decreasing the historical disadvantage that Africa has found itself trying to deal with over the last couple of years. Opening up the markets were themes central to the plans of Mr Romano Prodi of the European Community and the Right Honourable Jean Chretien, the Prime Minister of Canada. But once again it was Tony Blair who left us with a sense of the strength of his commitment when he brought across the idea that leveling the playing field and increasing aid to those who need it, is not charity and should not be done with reluctance as it should be seen as an investment in the combined futures of the world.

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