Skip to main content
CNN.com /TRANSCRIPTS

CNN TV
EDITIONS





CNN LIVE EVENT/SPECIAL

Colin Powell Speaks at Earth Summit

Aired September 4, 2002 - 05:17   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


CAROL COSTELLO, CNN ANCHOR: We must break away because Colin Powell is speaking at the Earth Summit in Johannesburg.
We want to go there live to listen to his remarks.

COLIN POWELL, SECRETARY OF STATE: South Africa's remarkable journey over the past dozen years inspires us, even as it reminds us that the best formula for development is freedom. I would like to join others in thanking President Mbeke and the government of South Africa for the masterful job they have done in organizing and hosting this meeting.

We also owe a great debt to U.N. Secretary General Kofi Annan, our summit secretary general Mr. Nitan Dasai (ph) and Dr. Emeul Salim (ph) of Indonesia.

Ladies and gentlemen, President Bush and the American people have an enduring commitment to sustainable development. The American soul has always harbored a deep desire to help people build better lives for themselves and for their children. We have always understood that our own well-being depends on the well-being of our fellow inhabitants of this planet earth.

Perhaps President Bush expressed the American passion best when he asserted that, "Including all the world's poor in an expanding circle of development is a great moral challenge."

The facts scream out to us. In developing countries, nearly one in four still ekes out a bare existence on a dollar a day or even less. Entire generations are at risk from HIV/AIDS and other infectious diseases. Drought, wasteful land use and economic mismanagement threaten to create famine. In one country in this region, Zimbabwe, the lack of respect for human rights and the rule of law has exacerbated these factors to push millions of people forward toward the brink of starvation.

(SPEECH INTERRUPTED BY PROTESTERS)

POWELL: In the face of famine...

(SPEECH INTERRUPTED BY PROTESTERS)

POWELL: In the face of famine, several governments in South Africa...

(SPEECH INTERRUPTED BY PROTESTERS)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Order, please.

(SPEECH INTERRUPTED BY PROTESTERS)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Order.

(SPEECH INTERRUPTED BY PROTESTERS)

POWELL: Thank you very much. I have now heard you. I ask that you hear me.

(SPEECH INTERRUPTED BY PROTESTERS)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Please, if you don't stop making that kind of behavior, we won't be able to continue with our meeting. Please, can we continue with our meeting?

POWELL: In the face of famine, several governments in Southern Africa have prevented critical U.S. food assistance from being distributed to the hungry by rejecting biotech corn, which has been eaten safely around the world since 1995.

(SPEECH INTERRUPTED BY PROTESTERS)

POWELL: Disregard for the environment...

(SPEECH INTERRUPTED BY PROTESTERS)

POWELL: Disregard for the environment threatens the world's natural resources and all who depend on them for food, fuel, shelter and livelihood. Our challenge, then, is to widen the circle of development and include those who are left out. Here in Johannesburg, we have recommitted ourselves to achieving by 2015 the development goals set forth in the Millennium Declaration. We further dedicated ourselves to improve sanitation, rejuvenate fisheries, promote biodiversity and encourage renewable energy.

We have reaffirmed the principle...

(SPEECH INTERRUPTED BY PROTESTERS)

POWELL: We have reaffirmed the principle that sound...

(SPEECH INTERRUPTED BY PROTESTERS)

POWELL: We have reaffirmed the principle that sound economic management, investment in people and responsible stewardship of our environment are crucial for development. We have insisted that women act as planners, implementers and beneficiaries for all of our initiatives.

Johannesburg is an important milestone on the road from Doja and Monterey to the future. Last March, world leaders at the Monterey summit on financing for development pledged themselves to provide new resources for development and to adopt the policies needed to ensure that these resources are well used. In Monterey, President Bush underscored the link between good governance, good policies and human well-being when he put forward his concept of the millennium challenge account. This new type of assistance will go only to developing nations that are governed wisely and fairly, are strongly committed to investing in health and education and which follow sound economic policies that encourage entrepreneurs and that spur growth.

Under this initiative, President Bush will be seeking from the American Congress $5 billion additional a year and we will get to that level within three years. And it will represent a 50 percent increase over the $10 billion in assistance we now provide every single year.

And developing countries are stepping up to this challenge. For example, the new partnership for Africa's development, NEPAD, is a welcome pledge by African leaders to the people of Africa, to promote peace, to promote security and to promote people-oriented development.

Official development aid alone is not enough. Countries must also be able to attract the trade and investment that account for 80 percent of the money that is available for development. The needs of developing countries have been placed for the first time at the heart of the world trade talks in the Doha development round. As President Bush has stated, trade is the engine of development.

The United States will work with our partners for an agreement to spread the benefits of freer trade as widely as possible. Already, the United States has announced proposals to slash barriers to global trade in agricultural products.

This summit has cemented a new vision of sustainable development. The Johannesburg plan of action consolidates our work plans into one common agenda that includes our best thinking on sustainable development. Plans are good, but actions can put clean water in the mouths of thirsty young girls and boys, prevent the transmission of a deadly virus from mother to child and preserve the biodiversity of a fragile African ecosystem.

The United States is taking action to meet environmental challenges, including global climate change. We are committed...

(SPEECH INTERRUPTED BY PROTESTERS)

POWELL: We are committed...

(SPEECH INTERRUPTED BY PROTESTERS)

POWELL: We are committed -- we are committed not just to rhetoric and to various goals, we are committed to a billion dollar program to develop and deploy advanced technologies to mitigate greenhouse gas emissions. President Bush is also helping to create effective partnerships to unleash the talents and resources of developed and developing countries, civil society and the private sector.

For example, our South African housing initiative will help private contractors build 90,000 houses for a half million people over the next five years. We have unveiled at this conference four new signature partnerships in water, energy, agriculture and forest. These programs will expand access to clean water and affordable energy. They will reduce pollution...

(SPEECH INTERRUPTED BY PROTESTERS)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Misbehavior is totally unacceptable.

POWELL: ... provide jobs and improve food supplies for millions of people in need. We have also reaffirmed President Bush's commitment to fighting HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria. Our support for the Global Fund and the International Mother and Child HIV Prevention Initiative, will combat the devastation wrought by infectious diseases. We invite other countries to join in these partnerships and in the 15 other partnerships that we have brought to the table.

Good governance and practical partnerships works together. President Bush and I want to work now to achieve the goals we have all so proudly proclaimed at this conference.

Ladies and gentlemen, my African ancestors would understand what brought us here to Johannesburg. They would have called it ubuntu, the name so aptly given to the site of the exhibition taking place during this conference. Ubuntu is something you understand with your heart more than your head. It's the idea that we are all on this planet and all in this life together.

Ubuntu means that when one of us is hungry, all of us are hungry, all of us are suffering. When one of us despairs, all must look to others for hope. We have plans to end the despair and offer hope. Now is the time to put those plans into action and to expand the circle of development to all of god's children.

Thank you very much.

COSTELLO: Colin Powell wrapping up his remarks at the Earth Summit.

As you can see, he had somewhat of a rough time, with boos from the crowd, especially when he made comments on Zimbabwe and on the global climate change and what the United States plans to do about it.

We're going to have much more on this conference, but we're going to take a break right now. We're going to go live back to Johannesburg. You stick around.

TO ORDER A VIDEO OF THIS TRANSCRIPT, PLEASE CALL 800-CNN-NEWS OR USE OUR SECURE ONLINE ORDER FORM LOCATED AT www.fdch.com





 
 
 
 


 Search   

Back to the top