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DEPARTMENT OF STATE PUBLICATION 8657
Washington, D.C. 20402 - Price 65 cents
SUMMARY AND RECOMMENDATIONS
Stockholm is the world community's first comprehensive attempt to respond to the awesome global environmental degradation we face. This challenge, like most that modern man has confronted, has caught us almost totally unaware. Just as wars have found us ill-equipped to cope with development of new methods of mass destruction, modern technology, the darling of Western civilization, is now under increasing attack for its detrimental side-effects on the environment. Computer simulations predict a rapid decline in the world's standard of living, if not an end to human existence as we know it. Energy demands rise while the world's finite resources approach exhaustion—some within our lifetime. Pollution threatens to make the common resources—air, water and land-unusable for future generations. These newly recognized crises compound the suffering of two-thirds of the world's population condemned to poverty, inadequate housing, disease, and malnutrition.
While these problems are viewed as almost insurmountable by many, we do not share their pessimism. We are encouraged by the actions of the United States and the world community in preparation for the Stockholm Conference. We believe that these actions evidence a growing change in values and priorities indeed a change in our perception of ourselves in relation to the global environment.
We must see ourselves not only as victims of environmental degradation but as environmental aggressors and change our patterns of consumption and production accordingly.
We must accept the responsibility of stewardship for the resources of the earth.
We must channel the growth of technology to produce not further environmental problems but new solutions.
We must help end the deprivation of peoples in the world.
Those of us in the developed world should set an example by putting our own environmental house in order while learning from others
that different patterns of growth from ours may improve the quality of life without environmental degradation.
Finally, it is most critical that we back these resolves by actions in the United Nations and nationally which transcend political, cultural and social differences among persons and nations.
As the first major step toward these goals, over 130 nations will meet in Stockholm on June 5, 1972, to convene the United Nations Conference on Human Environment. The recognition by all nations, regardless of stage of development or form of government—that man's survival ultimately depends on each nation's acceptance of responsibility for the global environment will be the most significant aspect of this Conference.
In setting a broad prospectus for action, as opposed to more rhetoric, Maurice Strong, the Secretary-General of the Conference, has made numerous recommendations for action at Stockholm, most of which the Secretary's Advisory Committee supports. In addition to our responses to these recommendations, we suggest various paths of action—for Stockholm and beyond-on the social, cultural, political, and economic aspects of the environmental crisis. The Committee recommends as matters for special attention:
1. That the United States do all it can to assure that there be universal and full participation of nations in the Stockholm Conference and the actions that flow from it. The environmental crisis is universal and should elicit a universal response. It would be most regrettable if all nations, especially the industrialized nations of the Socialist bloc, do not attend due to political issues (chapter VI, Advisory Committee Recommendation 7.);
2. That the environmental ethic which underlies the proposed Declaration on the Human Environment be adopted in clear and strong terms as a first priority. Recognition and acceptance of an environmental ethic to serve as a guide to national and international actions will be a major thrust of the entire Conference on the Human Environment. All participating nations must accept their responsibility to refrain from actions detrimental to the environment and to support actions that will restore and maintain the environment;
3. That a strong, high-level environmental office in the United Nations be created together with a United Nations Intergovernmental Body which will be a subsidiary of the General Assembly (chapter VI, Advisory Committee Recommendation 1; chapter III, Recommendation 1);
4. That a United Nations Voluntary Fund for the Environment be created with a minimum annual budget of $100 million to be derived from contributions of member states based on an energy consumption formula (chapter VI, Advisory Committee Recommendation 2);
5. That a Division of Human Settlements be created under the Intergovernmental Body for the Environment to operate on a minimum annual budget of $50 million (chapter I, Advisory Committee Recommendations 1 and 2);
6. That methods be developed to resolve conflicts between nationstates on issues of environmental degradation (chapter VI, Advisory Committee Recommendation 8);
7. That international environmental impact statements be made and filed with the United Nations Environmental Office by nations, international development agencies, and multinational corporations (chapter VI, Advisory Committee Recommendation 6; chapter V, Advisory Committee Recommendation 1);
8. That a United Nations Report on the State of the World Environment be prepared periodically and issued by the Secretary-General of the United Nations (chapter 6, Advisory Committee Recommendation 1, chapter III, Advisory Committee Recommendation 3);
9. That a global monitoring and surveillance network be developed to provide current information on the spread of pollution and the utilization of natural resources (chapter III, Advisory Committee Recommendation 1A);
10. That a standard-setting capability be established in the United Nations environmental office (chapter III, Advisory Committee Recommendation 1F);
11. That all developed nations strive to meet the foreign assistance goal of 1 percent of GNP and that, in addition, bilateral and multilateral development aid be increased to include the costs of incorporating environmentally sound processes and products in the efforts to raise the standard of living for peoples of the world (chapter V, Advisory Committee Recommendation 4);
12. That an international effort be undertaken to assist all nations in evaluating the impact of population and its growth on the quality of human life, spreading knowledge of present population control methods, and sponsoring research into new methods. We do not recommend any particular population policy. Rather, we propose the goal of an informed free choice by the nations of the world (chapter 1, Advisory Committee Recommendation IB3);
13. That a Governmental system be established to regulate consumption of national nonrenewable resources and a similar mechanism applicable to natural resources under international jurisdiction be considered (chapter II, Advisory Committee Recommendation 1);
14. That interdisciplinary scientific advice regarding the environment be institutionalized on an international basis (chapter VI, Advisory Committee Recommendation 1).