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Kelly should help countries set up green fund

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Senator John Coulter Australian Democrats Leader NEWS R E L E A S E

92/Z3! 30 April 1992

Kelly should help countries set up green fund

The Leader of the Australian Democrats Senator John Coulter today criticised the Minister for Environment Ros Kelly for her failure to support developing countries in their attempt to set up a global fund for environmental protection.

Fifty third world countries in the 30-point Kuala Lumpur Declaration want developed nations to make substantial contributions to a fund for environmental projects.

Senator Coulter said a new fund was essential to ensure rich countries provided assistance above Official Development Assistance (ODA) targets to poor countries to help them obtain environmentally sound technology.

"A new fund is needed to assist developing countries to achieve Agenda 21, the major action statement which will come out of the Earth Summit," Senator Coulter said.

Under present arrangements environmental assistance from rich countries to poor was disadvantaging the poor due to their enormous debt repayments.

"This situation is totally unacceptable. If the global challenges of development and environmental protection are to be met rich countries must back up their rhetoric with firm and equitable financial commitments," Senator Coulter said.

He also said in light o f the undemocratic structure of the World Bank (which disburses payments) and its abysmal failure on environmental protection new mechanisms were needed to distribute the fund.

"A new mechanism should be established which has a democratic system of representation and decision-making. It should be organised around a one country, one vote principle and should include non-government participation," Senator Coulter said.

Contact: Senator Coulter or Jenni Mack 06 277 3646