- Category: COMMUNITY SERVICE
- Published: Saturday, 22 April 2017 09:29
- Written by Super User
- Hits: 32
TANZANIA SOCIETY FOR THE DEAF
“I am just as deaf as I am blind. The problems of deafness are deeper and more complex, if not more important, then of blindness. Deafness is a much worse misfortune”. - Hellen Keller (1925)
This brief information brochure is intended not only to publicise the good work Tanzania Society for the Deaf (TSD) has been doing to promote the welfare of the deaf people in Tanzania but also to arouse and entice public (both local and foreign) interest and willingness to assist practically in realising this noble cause / goal.
From its inception, TSD vowed to promote the education, employment, welfare and social integration of hearing impaired people of all ages in Tanzania. Equally important was the need to raise public awareness about deafness and the need for deaf children to be sent to schools so that they may be helped to lead a normal of self-reliant life.
In 1970 Dr J K Chande, who was the Founder of the Round Table Movement in Tanganyika retired from the position of the World President of this Movement and of similar organisations affiliated to it under an apex body known as the World Council of Young Men’s Service Clubs. At the time Dr Chande received a number of gifts from members which included a Bankers’ cheque for USD. 2,000.- which he deposited in a separate account with a view to use it for a charitable purpose but preferably for the benefit of the deaf. Following his meeting with President Julius K Nyerere, he held informal meetings with his friends from Dar es Salaam Round Table, Rotary Club of Dar es Salaam and Lions Club of Dar es Salaam which resulted in the establishment of Tanzania Society for the Deaf at a General meeting held on 26th August 1970 with Dr J K Chande as its first Chairman.
The first Treasurer Mr Brendon Grimshaw and the first Chairman of Publicity and Fund Raising Mr Trevor Grundy undertook to promote the new Society.
Following a meeting the Chairman had with President Julius K Nyerere in April 1971, the latter agreed to become the Society’s Patron and support its activities.
The Chairman held discussions with Mr Edward Mwangosi and Mr Hassan both in the Ministry of Labour and Social Welfare with a view to identify the number of deaf children in the Dar es Salaam city and to solicit the Ministry’s support. Following the assignment carried out by Miss Ann Gamwell (now Ann Moriyama), Rehabilitation Officer in the Ministry of Labour and Social Welfare, the Society was advised that there were at least 400 children in the city who will require help. The Society’s Council than decided to establish at least a pre-school unit, if not a full day-primary school, for deaf children.
The Anglican Archbishop of Tanzania, the Late Rev. John Sepeku helped to get for the Society a five acre plot of land on the Kitchwele Estate in the Diocese of Dar es Salaam in Buguruni. Chairman Andy Chande who had by than joined the Rotary Club of Dar es Salaam pursuaded his fellow Rotarian the late Tigger Hastings, of French and Hastings to prepare, on a gratis basis, drawings for the School and assist in supervision of the construction.
A donation of Shs. 30,000/- from President Nyerere and contribution from Round Tablers in Denmark and Sweden as well as a donation of Shs. 14,000/- from the Tanganyika Tea Growers Association resulted in the Society’s Founder and Chairman Andy Chandc to pursuade another Rotarian, late Lashkar Singh Dogra of George Boorer & Son to accept the contract for the construction of the first two classroom unit at a cost of Shs. 120,000/- to be paid as and when the funds would become available. The foundation stone of the School was laid by President Nyerere. The School was ready in 1974.
However, many parents were reluctant to bring their children out of traditional belief that a disabled child was God’s curse and should be hidden away. As a consequence only 7 pupils were enrolled in the first term. Following a meeting which the Founder Chairman Andy Chande had in London with Lady Templer, the Chairperson of the Commonwealth Society for the Deaf, assistance to train two teachers was offered and accepted. The teachers were trained in Manchester and in Ghana. Meanwhile with the assistance of Father Bcrgmann of Deaf - Mute Institute, Tabora and the Ministry of National Education an assessment of pre-school aged children was carried out.
As public awareness grew, and parents began to witness for the themselves the progress, both educational and social, made by their children after attending the school, demand for admission began to rise. In 1992 there were 102 day pupils and 115 boarders between the ages of 4 and 21 and a further 100 names on the waiting list. By 1995, the number of pupils grew to 240 (100 boarders and 140 day) with 140 names on the waiting list.
Deafness in Tanzania
For many years there was a widespread belief in Tanzania that deaf children could not be educated; a belief which was sustained by their failure to acquire normal speech and hence the ability to communicate effectively with other members of the community. Few people recognized that education provides the KEY to normal development through language training, understanding of words and concepts. reading skills, and through sign communication with others suffering the same handicap as well as with hearing people, through lip-reading and acquisition of speech.
As a consequence, many thousand of deaf and hearing-impaired children in Tanzania have been condemned to a life social and cultural isolation.
History of Funding
The five acre land where the school is built as mentioned earlier was donated in 1973 by the ANGLICAN DIOCESE OF DAR ES SALAAM, through the late Arch - Bishop, John Sepeku.
To-date the school has 15 classrooms, 2 dormitories, 2 workshops, a kitchen and a Dining Hall. These buildings have been built and furnished little by little over the past 20 years through local fund raising (Round Table, Lions Club, Rotary, Diplomatic Wives Group, Companies and individuals) and grants from Norwegian Government, OXFAM, BREAD FOR THE WORLD, SCANDNAVIAN ROUND TABLERS, NECTAR SHIPPING AND PROJECTS LIMITED CO. of U.K., BRITISH GOVERNMENT and others.
PARENTS are obliged to make an annual contribution of about Shs. (GBP 40, USD 60) towards the up keep of one child while at school. However in practice, this is often not possible as most of the children come from poor families whose incomes are barely sufficient for one meal a day.
The Tanzanian MINISTRY OF EDUCATION provides teachers who have undergone extra training in the teaching of the Hearing Impaired, and the Society has sent some teachers abroad (Ghana, Kenya, UK etc.) for specialized training.
CARING AND SHARING EAST SUSSEX together with friends from STANTONBURY COMPUS of MILTON KEYNES (who have a longstanding exchange relationship with the Dar es Salaam School for the Deaf) and others, have continued to provide financial grants, materials or personnel to the society. They have paid for school equipment, hearing Aids, batteries and school uniforms for needy children.
In 1984 and 1990, ‘CARING AND SHARING EAST SUSSEX’ provided two school buses to cater for school-children transport needs, from 1992 to 1994 they funded the costs of two qualified VSO volunteers. The highly experienced AUDIOLOGY TECHNICIAN AND ADMINISTRATOR trained the local staff in the testing of hearing, fitting of aids, and maintenance of equipment and reorganized the society’s office and accounting procedures.
TANZANIAN GOVERNMENT DEPARTMENTS (City Council and the Division of Social Welfare) pay the salaries of some of the ancillary staff and contributes approximately TZ Shs. 60,000 ( GBP 61 or USD 98) (19%) per child per year towards day to day costs. However, such government help is being cut due to financial constraints.
The major problem faced by organizations for the Deaf world-wide is the fact that deafness is an unseen disability. Consequently, fund-raising is always a difficult task.
The prevailing economic climate, in which the rate of inflation is high, does not permit one to expect a school for handicapped children to achieve great degree of self-reliance in funding, even though they grow vegetables to supplement the diet and sell some handicrafts.
Inflation has hit everyone in Tanzania and local donations have declined over the years. so much that the children have to do without some basic necessities and on occasions the school has been faced with imminent closure for lack of cash to buy mod.
The massive financial burden of the maintenance and running costs of the school, its buildings and vehicles, must continue to he borne by the TANZANIA SOCIETY FOR THE DEAF which, as a charity, is entirely reliant upon the GENEROSITY OF VOLUNTARY DONORS.
Deafness as a handicap
Those of us who are fortunate enough to have normal hearing may hardly appreciate how important language is to our lives.
However, our lives are made more meaningful by being able to share the experiences of family and friends through everyday conversation.
We exchange information, opinions, thoughts, ideas and feelings through spoken and written language.
Cultural values, religious beliefs and ethnic traditions are passed on to our children through instruction, literature, story-telling, poetry and songs.
IMAGINE, THEN, THE TERRIBLE BURDEN OF ISOLATION WHICH DEAFNESS CAN INFLICT UPON A PERSON.
PLANS FOR THE PRESENT AND FUTURE
1. To ensure that day-to-day costs of the school continue to be met,
2. Hearing Aids wear out and need to be replaced. The society hopes to guarantee long-term revision of these for profoundly deaf, as well as batteries, Ear hare Moulds and other materials needed to maintain the viable AUDIOLOGY SERVICE which has been set up.
3. Many of the school buildings and utilities are in urgent need of repair! replacement to allow the children derive maximum benefit from their attendance at school.
4. The SOCIETY owns a 58-acre land where it plans to train students to be self-sufficient in agriculture, provide food for the school and eventually develop vocational training for those who do not pass the national examinations to enter Secondary or Technical education, at the end of their 10 year primary education. Donors are needed to provide start-up funds for their project. In December 1994, the FRIENDS of the Society from UK donated a four-wheel drive, double cab, pick-up so that the site can he reached in all weather to enable the project to begin
5. A building for staff accommodation is needed to alleviate the stress caused by the poor housing in which the majority of teachers and ancillary staff are currently living. Messrs NECTAR SHIPPING & PROJECT CO. LIMITED of UK has recently donated a sum enabling a start to be made on building teachers’ flats on the school site.
6. A purpose - built accommodation is needed for the NURSERY unit. The unit is at present housed in a temporary office and due to its small size it cannot take all local deaf children needing the facility. The SOCIETY asks for funds to build and equip sustainable accommodation for this infants class.
7. The TANZANIA SOCIETY FOR THE DEAF has had the intention always. wherever possible, of assisting initiatives to open new schools for the deaf, or units attached to normal schools. While at present there are about five schools for the deaf in Tanzania, yet it is estimated that over 7000 deaf children are in need of special education.
Please help us to break down the wall of silence behind which so many deaf children have been placed and are forced to remain.
How you can help
* TZ Shs. 18,000/= (+ approx USD 30, GBP 20)
will feed a child for one month.
* TZ Shs. 15,0001= (+ approx USD 25, GBP 16)
will buy a year’s supply of hearing aid batteries.
* Tz Shs. 30,0001= (+ approx USD 48, GBP 32)
pays one child’s school contribution for one year.
* TZ Shs. 20,000/= (+ appox USD 32, GBP 20)
will buy a school uniform.
* TZ Shs. 100,000/= (+ approx USD 160, GBP 107)
will buy a child a hearing aid.
* TZ Shs. 290,000/= (+ approx USD 468, GBP 310)
will provide a Month’s fuel for the school bus.
Business and trade people may prefer to make a material contribution to the Society’s work, such as food, building materials, school uniforms, fuel for the school bus, donations in kind, or perhaps an outing for the children; all would be most appreciated.
Large donations will enable us to progress beyond the day-to-day runing of the school.
A capital grant could be used to:
• Build teachers houses
• Set up a vocational workshop
• Extend the existing classroom buildings
* At present official rates of exchange
THE GUARDIAN, FRIDAY, DECEMBER 16, 2005 – FEATURE RELEVANT TRAINING FOR ECONOMIC DIPLOMACY
Last month, a workshop was held at Bagamoyo for members of staff serving Tanzania’s embassies abroad. It has now become the task of the Centre For Foreign Relations to instruct embassy personnel in the arts and skills of economic diplomacy, a vital need in a newly globalized world. Sir ANDY CHANDE, known for his managerial skills during Tanzania’s socialism gave the following speech
FOR many years, the sharply defined guideline issued to British Foreign Service Officers is “Britain has no permanent enemies, Britain has no permanent friends but it has permanent interests.”
For a nation, which for years was described as a trading nation, and a nation which dominated the global economy until the end of the Second World War, the ultimate aim inculcated in the minds of a Foreign Service Officer was always economic.
When one looks back into history, one finds that the political and diplomatic influence of the imperial powers came about through economic exploitation, at first through large scale stock companies. Thus, these exploited countries subsequently became dependencies, or colonies.
Examples include the East India Company, the Dutch East India Company, Sir Cecil Rhodes’ acquisition of land prospecting rights for gold and the establishment of the De Beers mining company in 1888.
Even before Tanganyika’ s independence, Mwalimu Nyerere endeavoured to follow Kwame Nkrumah’s vision. Towards that end, he at one time suggested that TANU was ready to delay Tanganyika’ s independence if Britain would consider synchronizing the granting of independence to both Kenya and Uganda.
Over the years, he relentlessly pursued an ideology which was aimed at assisting other colonized countries on the continent to gain freedom and work towards the end of apartheid. The Organisation of African Unity’s Committee to help liberate Africa was based in Dar es Salaam, and our country played a predominant role in advocacy and in providing resources. In the minds of the \party hierarchy economic consideration did not feature at all.
The African continent now consists of 54 independent states. Towards that end, besides the efforts by Tanzania and its ruling party, there was support from the Nordic countries and from a few of the colonial powers. I am not quite sure to what extent Nyerere’s generation, or the present leadership in Africa, appreciate our nation’s contribution nor realize the cost incurred by us, but dear friends, this is history. One sees very little recognition of what Tanzania has done to assist the former colonies and dependencies to achieve freedom.
The Berlin Wall fell 16 years ago and it brought a dynamic change in the international system. The politics of the Cold War was replaced by strategic cooperation, not only between the proponents of different ideologies, but by the countries in the developing world which lost the leverage in terms of security and economic assistance resulting from want of a greater world competition for influence.
At this time I want to think aloud. I wonder if China would havc agreed to fund the construction of TAZARA if the need had arisen now.
All these changes led our government, and indeed the governments of the world, to concentrate on the economic dimensions of diplomacy.
About five years ago, our government enunciated a new Foreign Policy, which although it included the defence of freedom, justice, human rights and democracy as well as promotion of good neighbourly relations, laid a strong emphasis on aiming at economic development through technical assistance and financing, and for the first time with a thrust on trade and investment.
The government now accepts that globalization is here to stay, and in this new world order, it, demands that we and other small and developing countries make a united approach. Hence the need to strengthen the power of regional groupings such as the East African Community, the Southern African Development Community etc. The policy of non-alignment as spearheaded by Nehru, Nasser and Tito is no longer relevant. Instead, the nations have got to work through advocacy of economic diplomacy and promotion of trade and investment.
Besides enhancing the capacities of the Commonwealth organizations which deal with economic matters, we need to explore the resources of the increasing number of NGOs and take full advantage of what they can offer to achieve our objective.
Our Heads og Missions need to earn their keep They have to learn to perform like a Chief Executive of a corporate body. Our missions in major countries must have in their staff competent, experienced people, seconded from the ministries of Trade, Industry and of Tourism. These individuals should be facilitated by an economic division to be created in the Ministry of External Affairs.
Our diplomats should at all times be ready to adapt to the changing circumstances and adopt new ways which should be result-oriented. I wish to re-emphasise herc that economic diplomacy cannot be conducted exclusively by the Ministry of External Affairs. It needs a multiple of inputs from other ministries and from the Tanzania Investment Centre.
In this connection. I would suggest that the salaries of those officers who are seconded, say from the Ministry of Trade, should receive their emoluments from the same ministry.
Let me emphasise that the success of economic diplomacy will be highly influenced and determined to a large extent by the positive developments of the dynamics of the national economy, and hence the role of all the economic ministries and the private sector. The greater understanding of the interface between the public and private sectors is of paramount importance to the graduates of the Centre for Economic Diplomacy.
There is thus a dire need for the students and the newly recruited officers to be seconded to the economic ministries and selected private sector firms for a specific period, as part of practical business exposure and practice. It is in a way to act as a business induction course.
It will be helpful if someone from the College of Business Education, or the Economics Department of the University would give a short explanation as to what makes business tick.
With economic diplomacy in place, we now have a clear vision with a clear mission. But this is not enough. The structure and system of the Ministry must be addressed in order to deliver the intended objective envisaged in the vision and mission. All in all, the new structure and system will in turn be expected to determine what type of skills are needed to have the strategy work and deliver. It is the skills, inevitably, which should ultimately determine the type of staff required during the recruitment exercise, and currently, this is not being done. The same should apply to the structure and staffing of our missions abroad.
Students and friends, in order for our missions to be effective there is a need for all the economic ministries to undergo the same transformation exercise. We must ensure effective forward and background linkages. It is in this regard that focal points should be established in both the economic ministries and chambers of commerce geared towards the implementation of economic diplomacy.
Our External Affairs Ministry and our Missions have to re-invent themselves, and abandon the past “exclusive” or “gate keeper” role. They should concentrate on coordinating and building Tanzania by attracting investment and promoting trade and tourism.
We are still substantially aid dependent. The ruling party and the government must make a deliberate move to create an enabling environment for investors and traders.
One sometimes hears complaints that government is not doing enough, that there is corruption, that there is bureaucracy and that the land laws, and the judicial system need reforming. These issues need to be thoroughly examined and where appropriate addressed.
There are also complaints that sometimes our government is overgenerous to investors quoting an example of the Mining Industry Act. Those who complain do not take into account the spin-off advantage these mines have brought about in infrastructural, social and community development in the areas in which they operate. In any case, the mining legislation is not sacrosanct, and at the appropriate time, changes could be made. For instance, in due course there could be an increase in the percentage of royalty payments.
In order to create wealth and development, governments all over the world have to provide what I would refer to as an attractive “bride”. Understandably the relationship with the bride is bound to change over a period of time.
In future some of you will be heading our missions in London, Washington, Paris, Berlin etc, and I urge you all to have one guiding strategy when performing your duties. No one, and I repeat no one will invest in Tanzania unless he is assured of a reasonable return on his investment, security of his investment, and that his investment will be risk- free, and furthermore that the rule of law will at all times prevail.
I am aware that risk is inherent in all investments but I also know that most investors are quite aware of this, and willing to accept this element of risk provided his other requirements are met.
Our Chambers of Commerce, Trade and Industry should be strengthened, and their representatives and still better the CEOs of large companies, should be invited to join government delegations to selected foreign countries.
To the accompanying businessmen, timely and adequate information should be provided in terms of the objective to be achieved by a visit to a particular country.
The Board of Externul Trade, the Investment Center, and organizations established in foreign countries by Tanzanians, or those interested in developing Tanzania such as the U.K. Tanzania Business Group, should be provided with the utmost support.
We need to enhance export of non-traditional and horticultural products. Larger supermarkets in selected foreign cities should be persuaded to arrange for commercial farmers to produce items such as beans on a contract planting basis. For example, Heinz could be encouraged to select farmers to plant beans on a contract basis.
One problem faced by our diplomatic missions is lack of relevant data and information about the status of our trade and economic performance.
Sensu stricto, on the trade promotion, supply-side, constraints are some of the major obstacles. It makes a mockery of our campaign for market access if the supply - side constraints are not resolved. Thus measure must be undertaken towards addressing this matter.
President Mkapa in his address to the parliament on 12th February 2OO4, emphasised the need to let the world know of our sudcess and our plans and this is precisely what our ambassadors endeavour to do. They should have in the reception area of their offices updated brochures on tourism, carvings, fresh samples of coffee, tea, etc all attractively packaged.
At this time 1 would like to mention the initiative taken by our High Commission in London to address the issue of those farmers and their families who die each year as a direct result of using pesticides. At the same time it has embarked upon helping- with the largest non-food crop, namely cotton. With the collaboration of the Organic Field Farm School, organically produced cotton, beginning with Handeni District, will be cultivated in three other districts which will assist towards poverty reduction and help with social and economic development in these areas.
I commend High Commissioner Hassan Kibelloh for embarking on this project.
I am not in favour of the need for opening a mission, or continuing to have a mission solely for political considerations. Our, government must work on the basis of the bottom line of a balance sheet.
Another area which the External Affairs Ministry should immediately address is the question of the difficulty experienced by Tanzanian businessmen in getting visas. It is a matter of practice and protocol that in issuing visas there should always be. Reciprocity. Our government gives visitors from South Africa a long term multiple entry visas with ease and they even get visas on arrival, whilst, visitors from Tanzania seeking, visas from the South Africa, High Commission have to undergo tremendous inconvenience and provide all kinds of sureties. If Pretoria is not able to play ball then we should be ready to reciprocate accordingly.
One issue that sometimes is brought up is the question, of dual citizenship. Though I am not sure if any tangible benefit would be derived from. granting such status, the government should appoint a committee to examine the need and if necessary to consider whether the nation will in any way gain or lose out by allowing dual citizenship which many countries like India, the UK, the USA, and Pakistan permit.
Officers dealing with economic matters in the Ministry of External Affairs should maintain regular contract with the corporate world both within and outside Tanzania.
Finally, ladies and gentlemen, let me say that implementing what I have suggested does not require any expensive institutional mechanism. What I have said could be achieved with a strategy that can be put in place on a shoestring budget However, one major frontier must be crossed. Change of mindset. The “business as usual,” and “laissez’ faire” attitude must change. All the stakeholders. both in the Ministry, economic Ministries, Chambers of Commerce must develop corporate thinking, or their efforts will be wasted.
Mr. Chairman, Ladies and Gentlemen, let me now conclude. I will he happy to receive any comments or to respond to any question provided. Mr. Chairman, there is adequate time.
SPECIAL ARTICLE – Most pollution caused by North’s consumption
MR. J. K. Chande is an active environmentalist, and currently the Chairman of Rotary International PreservePlanet Earth Committee for continental Europe and Africa. From July Andy, as he is known in Rotary, will serve on a special committee dealing with Rotary and its programme of the future. In May 1991 he organised in Amsterdam, Holland, for Rotary international, a conference on Fauna’s Link to Development.
ENVIRONMENTAL issues do not recognise boundaries, borders in time, space or area of responsibility but for the South the pressing issue is the need to improve living and working conditions of its people by eradicating poverty thus halting environmental degradation. As we progress towards poverty eradication it will be necessary to ensure that improved livelihoods do not undermine or destroy the relevant environment and resource base and to see that the development is enjoyed by the whole population. At the same time changes will be required to be made in lifestyles of the rich, reducing non-sustainable consumption in aiming and opting for lives of sophisticated modesty 80 per cent of the world’s resource and75 per cent population is caused by consumption by only 20 per cent of the world’s population living in industrialised countries. All this will entail basic changes in consumer preferences and practices, the portents of which are already visible in the move towards green consumerism.
Of the roughly 4.2 billion people in the developing world, about 25 per cent live in intolerable poverty, deprived of adequate food, basic education and health care and in many cases their very cultural identity. The burden of poverty and deprivation falls far more heavily on women and children and certain minority and ethnic groups.
Whilst the East-West confrontation is receding North-South differences in income, power and interests are becoming more pronounced and on the economic front the position of the South has weakened. I believe that the environmental crisis provides an ideal opportunity to build a genuine North-South partnership on the basis of saving the planet and humanity. Since both the problems of poverty and ecology, which are inter-linked, are acute needing immediate action, it is time for both North and South to re-think the viability and desirability of existing economic and social models, as well as the state of international relations and cooperation. The challenge of poverty and the challenge of environment are not two different challenges but two facets of the same challenge to which UNCFD has to address itself.
Reduction of poverty will also help in reduction of demographic pressure with its concomitant pressure on environmental resources even though population pressure as such is not a matter of crowding: too many people in too little space. Like rate of growth, population density by itself is not a problem. Japan for example with 320 people per square kilometer of land, is ranked first of 160 countries and on the Human Development Index formulated by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) while Mali, with only 6 people per square kilometer, is 156th. Where people live relative to the resources and resiliency of the ecosystem and the economy is more important than population size or density in determining sustainability. Even sparsely settled areas in much of Africa have difficulty supporting existing populations whose habitable land is scarce and essential resources are lacking.
Therefore for the South to achieve its ultimate aim of sustainable development it requires increased investment, for which domestic and external financial resources are needed. There is an urgent need to reverse the net annual flow of USD 45 billion from South to North in payment of interest charges along. Foreign private investment is an important source of this resource which needs to be supplemented by concessional assistance from me industrialised countries and from IDA. Those industrialised countries who have not reached the UN target of 0.7 per rent in GNP in ODA should take measures to do so as soon as possible. Strengthening the recourses of multilateral development banks including regional development banks will help them to play an increased role in the provision of financial resources as well as in providing assistance in the filed of technology development and capacity building. Agreed contribution to the interim financial mechanism of the Montreal protocol and commitment to provide additional resources for the revised and more transparent global environmental facility as well as appropriate debt swap is needed to help the South in its difficult to achieve development with minimal damage to its environment by strengthening employment and income-generating programmes.
All these would appear to place main responsibility on countries the North. If this is so, it is not because as mentioned earlier their production and consumption patterns have and are causing the biggest damage to the environment but because the countries in the North are better equipped — financially and technologically. Given the political will the North which raised US dollar 125 billion for two months of the Gulf war — can easily rise to the occasion
Earth Charter —- and its idea came from the North, south would want it to be a meaningful one. US dollar 20 million have already been spent on preparatory work for UNCED and if we fail to reach an agreement in Rio it will be a historic opportunity lost to achieve international equity and new form of development which is a shared responsibility of all countries. As said by India’s Minister for Environment and Forestry, Mr. Kamal Nath, ‘‘it is not a question of assistance or raid, but of global Partnership in working towards making our planet healthier, safer and more productive.”
South also expects institutional changes in business and industry. The top 500 companies worldwide control 80 per cent of all foreign investment and in the I980’s controlled 30 per cent of global GDP. Excluding the former Soviet bloc and ownership of minority shareholders in other businesses these 500 companies have over 25 000 affiliations round the world and 40 percent of the world trade takes place within themselves. Because of the position of influence they could take much greater account of environmental impact of their activities which would avoid tragedies such as the one that took place in December 1984 inUnion Carbide’s pesticide plant in Bhopal, India that left 3,500 people dead and 200,000 injured.
Another area which the South expects to be considered is the improvement in trade terms for the South and in that context UNCED has a crucial role to play on trade policies and agreement In relation to the Impact on the environment. Improving the term of trade of developing countries is therefore a critical step toward achieving environmentally sound sustainable development through out the world. At present, developed countries political pressure is being applied to force developing countries to abandon such trade measures. Attention should however focus on how to use such measures to protect the environment of developing countries, and contribute to their sustainable economical development. We cannot accept the consumption in the recently published GATT report on trade and environment that expansion of trade generation of wealth can go on as before if some of this wealth is diverted to rectifying the consequent environmental damage afterwards. A genuine balance therefore must be sought in the GATT negotiations to ensure that any agreements concluded do not generate adverse impacts on the environment of natural resource bases of developing countries. As Maurice Strong, Secretary-General of UNCED said, “The Earth Summit must establish a whole new basis for relations between rich and poor, North and South. Including a concerted attack on poverty as a central priority for the 21st century. This is now as imperative in term of environmental security as it is on moral and humanitarian grounds we owe at least this much to future generations, from whom we have borrowed a fragile planet called Earth.”
We in the South believe that the Summit in Rio will be a historic milestone as Victor Hugo has said, “an invasion of armies car be restricted but not an idea whose time has come.” UNCED will demonstrate ability of the people to work together for their common good in managing our planet into the 21st century. The Summit’s success will be attributed to the fact that everydelegate believes “people come first”