Doc. 10525

26 April 2005

The environment and the United Nations Millennium Development Goals

Motion for a resolution

presented by Mr Schmied and others

This motion has not been discussed in the Assembly and commits only the members who have signed it

1.       In September 2000, United Nations member states unanimously adopted the Millennium Declaration, which gives clear directions for adapting the UN to the 21st century and making globalization fully inclusive and equitable. The eight Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) are part of the road map to implement the Millennium Declaration in addressing the world’s most important development challenges by 2015, including the critical link between poverty and environment.

2.       Goal 7 focuses on the need to “Ensure environmental sustainability” and includes specific targets related to the integration of sustainable development principles into country policies and programmes; the need to reverse the loss of environmental resources, and to improve access to safe drinking water and basic sanitation.

3.       A clean and safe environment is also a necessary condition to achieve many of the other seven MDGs, particularly those related to improving human health and eradicating poverty and hunger. Therefore the environment is one of the pillars on which many of the Goals will stand or fall.

4.       The Millennium Ecosystem Assessment, a four-year ecological survey compiled by 1,300 scientists in 95 countries, has recently been published to support work on the MDGs. According to the study, some 60 per cent of ecosystem elements supporting life on Earth, such as fresh water, clean air or a relatively stable climate, are being degraded or used unsustainably and the situation could become significantly worse during the first half of this century. Changes in ecosystems such as deforestation influence the abundance of human pathogens such as malaria and cholera, as well as the risk of emergence of new diseases,

5.       Council of Europe member countries are directly affected by the MDGs. They all committed themselves to achieving these objectives and need to tailor the MDGs to their national circumstances, building them into their national sustainable development strategies and policies. Therefore, Member countries need to place environmental sustainability at the heart of their development policies and programmes. They also need to give priority to achieving the goal of improving water quality in Europe and providing adequate access to clean drinking water and sanitation for all.

6.       On 14-16 September 2005, a High-Level Millennium Review Summit will be held at UN Headquarters to take stock and assess worldwide progress in meeting the Millennium Development Goals. The Assembly should send a strong signal to this Summit regarding its firm commitment to accelerate progress on ensuring environmental sustainability, and addressing poverty and environment, in Europe and worldwide.

Signed (see overleaf)

Signed 1:

SCHMIED, Walter, Switzerland, LDR

ANTTILA, Sirkka-Liisa, Finland, LDR

COSARCIUC, Valeriu, Moldova, LDR

COŞKUNOĞLU, Osman, Turkey, SOC

de PUIG, Lluís Maria, Spain, SOC

DEDJA, Taulant, Albania, SOC

GUBERT, Renzo, Italy, EPP/CD

ILAŞCU, Ilie, Romania, NR

KUŽVART, Miloš, Czech Republic, SOC

LENGAGNE, Guy, France, SOC

OHLSSON, Carina, Sweden, SOC

PLATVOET, Leo, Netherlands, UEL

PUCHE, Gabino, Spain, EPP/CD

TXUEKA, Iñaki, Spain, LDR

1        SOC: Socialist Group

      EPP/CD: Group of the European People’s Party

      LDR : Liberal, Democratic and Reformers’ Group

      EDG: European Democratic Group

      UEL: Group of the Unified European Left

      NR: not registered in a group