United NationsDepartment of Economic and Social Affairs Sustainable Development


Statement at the High Level Segment
Mr. Corrado Clini
Director General
Ministry for the Environment and Territory
April 29, 2004
Mr. Chairman,
Distinguished Delegates,
Partnership initiatives represent a key instrument for stimulating
local businesses and ensuring that the Johannesburg objectives are
achieved by actively involving all the necessary actors within a local
Partnership initiatives make it possible to stimulate private
capital at the national and international levels ; they aid in the
mobilization of financial resources earmarked for the transfer of
environmentally friendly technologies ; and, at the same time, they
help to create local business capacity and facilitate the sharing of
technological know-how .
This is particularly clear in the context of water management,
which represents not only a key factor for economic development
and environmental protection but can also provide immense
opportunities of earning for the industrial system .
As you all know, the potential partnership contributions in this
field were the topic of discussion at the International Forum on
Partnerships for Sustainable Development held last March in Rome .
The Forum highlighted the particularly important role that such
initiatives play in priority areas of development, like basic services
in water management, sanitation, health, energy, and transport .
As far as water and sanitation are concerned, the conclusions of
the Forum emphasize how public-private partnerships, with the
participation of international financial institutions and United
Nations agencies, represent the best instrument for combining
technology and management systems with innovative financial
mechanisms and self-financing.
Within this perspective, Italy promoted programmes for
cooperation and several type II initiatives . Its aim has been to
strengthen local capacities ; to provide support to the decisionmaking
process ; to promote the transfer of environmentally
sustainable technologies and integrated management resources ; to
promote the decentralization of services and the involvement of the
private sector and to facilitate innovative financial tools .
In particular, some of the initiatives promoted by the Italian
Ministry for the Environment and Territory are currently being
implemented in the Mediterranean Region, in Southern
Mesopotamia, in the Balkans, and in China, with the active
involvement of Italian and local private partners .
I would like to recall the following projects :
waste water treatment through the use of solar energy in
the desert zones of Algeria;
supply of drinkable water and water for irrigation in
water purification and recycling in Israel ;
? in Southern Mesopotamia, the "New Eden Project" started
and represents a highly important programme for the
environmental restoration of wetlands and the integrated
management of the Tigris and Euphrates river basins ;
? in the Balkans, we are working for the environmental
restoration of the Neretva River Delta and a rapid
assesment of environmental and health risks in the area ;
? and, lastly, in China, a long-standing project for Italian-
Chinese cooperation includes an initiative for sustainable
agriculture and the qualitative-quantitative protection of
irrigation water as well as the monitoring of inland waters .
At a national level, we are working to create synergies between
competence of both public bodies for water administration and
management and private enterprises operating in the field of water
infrastructures and supply services .
The Johannesburg Summit recognized the crucial role that the
business community must play in partnerships .
The Rome Forum highlighted the importance of partnership
contributions in sustainable development .
It is clear that cooperation among States cannot be bases solely
on the transfer of financial resources . It requires concrete actions and
the integration of public and private initiatives in order to strengthen
business, technology, and finance capacity. In doing so, economic
growth is stimulated in developing countries and countries in
transition, thus guiding them toward sustainability .
Thank you, Mr Chairman