Countries take action on international treaties during justconcluded UN summit

During the 10-day World Summit on Sustainable Development, which sought to revitalize the fight against global poverty while preserving the environment, 48 countries and one international organization signed, ratified or acceded to 39 international accords. The event encouraged countries to take action on treaties dealing with subjects ranging from the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions to hazardous chemicals and pesticides and the illicit manufacturing of firearms. The actual signings and deposit of instruments took place at UN Headquarters in New York and were announced afterwards at the Johannesburg Summit. On Tuesday, Premier Zhu Rongji told the Summit that China had ratified the Kyoto Protocol. China’s strategy of sustainable development had now run through all aspects of its economic and social development efforts, he said, and as the world’s largest developing country and a major player in environmental protection, China was an important force in international environment cooperation. As for other key countries’ participation in the accord, Mikhail Kaysanov, Chairman of the Government of the Russian Federation, said his country had signed the Kyoto Protocol and was preparing for its ratification, which, he hoped, would take place in the near future. Moscow would also host a world conference on climate change in 2003. Prime Minister Jean Chrétien added that Canada was finalizing a plan to achieve the objectives of the Kyoto Protocol and Parliament would be asked to vote on its ratification before the end of the year. The accord establishes quantified commitments to reduce the release of these gases, requiring that from 2008 to 2012, worldwide emissions be cut by 5 per cent compared with 1990 levels. To enter into force, the Kyoto Protocol will need to be ratified by at least 55 States parties to the Framework Convention on Climate Change, including specified industrialized countries representing at least 55 per cent of the total 1990 carbon dioxide emissions from this group.