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)
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