United NationsDepartment of Economic and Social Affairs Sustainable Development

Croatia

Mr. Chairman,
Excellencies,
Distinguished Delegates,
Ladies and Gentlemen,
Croatia has already aligned itself with the statement delivered by Slovenia on behalf of the EU. I would therefore like to limit my remarks to our national policies and share with you our experiences regarding this year?s thematic cluster.
It is my great pleasure and honor to address this year?s CSD High Level Segment. Croatia believes that we can all profit from the exchange of each other?s ideas and opinions. We would like to congratulate the members of the Secretariat for their efforts in elaborating the reports on agriculture, rural development, land management, drought and desertification, and Africa.
Mr. Chairman,
Croatia is a country rich in tradition and natural resources, with a great variety of climate and types of soil, and as such has all the required prerequisites for the successful development of agriculture. That being said though, the expectations of Croatian agricultural producers and consumers are becoming increasingly more rigorous with regard to food safety and agricultural sustainable development.
The global trends towards market liberalization and the reform of agricultural policies in Europe have imposed the need for all-embracing reform of agricultural policy. Non-trade concerns in agriculture (biodiversity, ecological production, environmental protection, food security, energy) have become actual issues in agricultural policy.
As a candidate country for membership in the European Union Croatia has undergone some fundamental reforms in its agricultural and food sectors, with the aim of positively affecting overall policy on rural development. In doing so we believe that we will provide appropriate living and working conditions as well as preserve our natural and cultural heritage. The development of rural areas therefore is encouraged through various government programs.
Some programs are currently being implemented to support the organization of producers into cooperatives and to establish a system of adult education in agriculture, whereas other programs for the preservation of original and protected brands and for marketing preparation of agricultural products have already been established in practice.
Croatia is aware of the importance of inter-linkages between agriculture, land management and a natural resource base, with a focus on water, energy, climate change and biodiversity. We believe that an integrated approach to agriculture production and rural development should be implemented at the national, regional and international levels. I would like also to reiterate here the importance of education for local communities for sustainable development. Knowledge transfer, exchange of experience and information on good practices are key tools for the implementation of the commitments highlighted by the World Summit on Sustainable Development.
Mr. Chairman,
Let me conclude by saying that Croatia shares the concerns expressed on the slowness in dealing with global problems related to guarantees for food safety and the promotion of sustainable development in rural areas. Croatia is ready to actively participate in the development and implementation of agricultural policies and measures regarding agriculture sustainable development.
Croatia supports the role of the CSD in improving dialogue between representatives of UN member countries, international organizations and nongovernmental organizations, and would also add its support to the initiative ?Partnerships for Sustainable Development? in fighting for a better standard of living in rural areas around the world and food for all.
Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
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