30 August 2002
Sustainable Development Summit Focuses on Importance of Regional Organizations in Summit Follow-Up
(Received from a UN Information Officer.)
JOHANNESBURG, 29 August -- The importance of regional arrangements and cooperation in the implementation and follow-up of the outcome of the World Summit on Sustainable Development was the focus of an interactive discussion held this morning.
As noted by the former Administrator of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and moderator of the discussion, Gustave Speth, the regional level was becoming increasingly important, as there were many things that could not be done at the global level and could not be done well enough at the national level. The United Nations regional commissions, with their proven analytical capacity, had an important role to play in the implementation and follow-up of the Summit.
Action at the regional level, stated the Executive Secretary of the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC), Jose Antonio Ocampo, was the bridge between national realities and global priorities. Regional action played such a critical role because the actors involved in global processes occupied highly unequal positions. Hence, in political terms, regional action allowed the voice of smaller countries to be heard within the global order.
The important role of the regional commissions was also emphasized by Kim Hak-Sen, Executive Secretary, Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP), who noted that with their multi-sectoral expertise, regional commissions were strategically placed to promote regional and subregional cooperation, enhance capacity-building and awareness, and render technical assistance. They also contributed to cost-effective solutions and avoided unnecessary duplication of efforts.
Environmental degradation, unequal access to markets, poverty eradication and peace and security could be examined only within the context of international relations coupled with regional and subregional level action, added Mervat Tallawy, Executive Secretary of the Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia (ESCWA). Regional implementation provided a forum for the promotion of regional integration into wider development efforts, the best way regions could together and independently face the challenges of globalization.
Participants emphasized the importance of regional initiatives and strategies for development. Among the regional initiatives highlighted was the New Partnership for Africa's Development (NEPAD), which South Africa's Vice-Minister for Foreign Affairs believed was a prerequisite for sustainable development on the African continent. Among its important features, he said, was the fact that it focused on African ownership and leadership, that it would be financed primarily through African resources, and, above all, that it fostered partnership between Africa and the rest of the world.
For a land-locked country and one with an economy in transition, regional cooperation offered assistance to respond to the challenges of globalization, stated Azerbaijan's representative. It also provided avenues for the use of the limited resources of the countries in the region and the integration of those countries into the global economy. He appealed to the international donor community to be more attentive and responsive to the regional context.
While expressing appreciation for the efforts of regional organizations, the Minister of Finance and Planning of Tuvalu said that it was important to review and assess their direct impact on the lives of people. Some of the regional organizations seemed to have their own agendas. It was necessary to ensure that they truly were agents for sustainable development and that the post-Johannesburg benefits flowed down to those on the ground.
This morning's interactive session followed a series of "partnership plenaries" focusing on priority areas identified by the Secretary-General as key for progress at the Summit -- water, energy, health, agricultural production and biodiversity. The international community has gathered in Johannesburg, South Africa, to build a commitment to better implement Agenda 21, the roadmap for achieving sustainable development adopted at the 1992 United Nations Conference on Environment and Development -- the Earth Summit -- held in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
Presentations were made by the Executive Secretaries of the five United Nations regional commissions on the following themes associated with sustainable development: poverty eradication; financing; natural resources; integrating environment and sustainable development in decision-making; and trade, investment and globalization in the context of sustainable development.
The Executive Secretary of the Economic Commission for Europe, Brigitta Schmognerova, and the Executive Secretary of the Economic Commission for Africa, K.Y. Amoako, also made presentations. Also on the panel were representatives of United Nations specialized agencies, regional organizations and development banks, and business.
The government ministers and representatives of Denmark (speaking on behalf of the European Union), Indonesia, Romania, Tajikistan, Azerbaijan, Israel, Uganda, Croatia, Switzerland, Argentina, the Palestinian Authority and the Council of Europe also spoke.
The Summit will meet again today at 3 p.m. to hear statements by non-State entities.
Panel on Regional Implementation
Moderator GUSTAVE SPETH, former Administrator of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and now a professor at Yale University, said the discussion would focus on regional implementation of the Summit's outcome. The regional level was becoming increasingly important. There were many things that could not be done at the global level, and could not be done well enough at the national level. The world was brimming over with regional organizations and arrangements. Among the most important were the five United Nations regional commissions, who must have an important role in the implementation and follow-up to the Summit. They had a proven analytical capacity and had played an important role in the past.
Presenting the theme "Integrating environment and sustainable development into decision-making", BRIGITTA SCHMOGNEROVA, Executive Secretary of the Economic Commission for Europe (ECE), said that strengthening the institutional framework for sustainable development at the regional level had been recognized in the preparatory process. Governments should make commitments to integrate sustainable development into their policies and plans. The regional commissions had a role to play at both the regional and national levels.
Among the activities of the ECE, she said, was the regional preparatory meeting for the Summit, held in Geneva in September 2001. There was also an ongoing programme known as "Environment for Europe", as well as an initiative known as "Transport, Environment and Health". Another role for the commissions was to promote cross-sectoral cooperation by introducing cross-sectoral initiatives, such as the one on transport, environment and health. It was important to promote public participation in decision-making. The commissions also had a role to play in monitoring and assessment in the field of environment. There was also an increasing role for the commissions in developing various partnerships. It was important to try to implement a sustainable development approach in the decision-making process. Regional commissions should integrate all three pillars of sustainable development in its activities.
JOSE ANTONIO OCAMPO, Executive Secretary of the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC), addressed matters related to "financing for sustainable development". He said the during the run-up to the Summit, countries of the Latin American and Caribbean region had engaged in an unprecedented series of national, regional and subregional consultations that had highlighted the unique and essential nature of the relationships that existed among and between world and regional institutions. Indeed, regional-level action was the bridge between national realities and global priorities.
Another reason why regional action played such a crucial role was that the actors involved in global processes occupied such highly unequal positions. Therefore, in political terms, action at the regional level allowed the voice of smaller countries to be heard within the global order. Furthermore, the world's growing interdependence meant that, in many cases, the arena for effective, autonomous public action was shifting from the national to the regional or subregional level. The most important implication of those factors was that the provision of global public goods, as well as wider international cooperation, must be channeled through a network of world and regional institutions.
He said that regional cooperation would be a key element in reversing all the trends being discussed at the Summit, including such issues as unequal distribution of development opportunities, the unsustainable nature of prevailing production and consumption patterns and the inadequate role of developing countries within the global institutional structure. He said that his region had the most comprehensive network of regional multilateral banks in the world. That network should play a more effective role in providing intermediation services for the range of financial mechanisms that would be developed to meet the challenges of sustainable development.
"Natural resource and sustainable development" was the issue taken up by KIM HAK-SEN, Executive Secretary, Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP). He said management of natural resources and ecosystems required capacity-building through catalytic regional initiatives and support for transboundary natural resource management. In the implementation process, regional institutions would have an important role to play. The regional commissions, with their multi-sectoral expertise, were strategically placed to promote regional and subregional cooperation, enhance capacity-building and awareness, and render technical assistance.
The root causes for the erosion of the natural resource base and degradation emanated from interrelated factors, he said. Ecological poverty resulted in economic and social poverty. The greed of the rich and the need of the poor contributed equally to natural resource degradation. The perceived inequitable international economic order also accentuated the problem. Integrated strategies that reduced poverty, curbed the existing production and consumption patterns and reformed the global economic system could stem the root causes.
The equitable use of transboundary natural resources highlighted the need for decision-making processes at the subregional levels, in order to promote ecologically sustainable as well as socially acceptable development, he said. Regional and subregional collaboration was also necessary to promote cost-effective solutions and avoid unnecessary duplication of efforts. The regional commissions were already actively involved in forging partnerships. They were prepared to take the regional initiative for the development of robust and lasting partnerships with various stakeholders and major groups, such as international and regional organizations, national councils for sustainable development, non-governmental and civil society organizations, private sector and professions associations and trade unions.
Addressing "Poverty eradication and sustainable development", K.Y. AMOAKO, Executive Secretary of the Economic Commission for Africa (ECA), said that sustainable development focused on the quality of life for present and future generations. The stakes were highest for Africa at the Summit, because its sustainability issues were more acute than for other parts of the world. Africa's per capita income was $330 and 300 million people lived in extreme poverty today. On the social front, only half of Africa's countries were on track to achieving universal education by 2015. Needless to say, the HIV/AIDS scourge was making things considerably worse.
The theme poverty eradication and sustainable development implied broad-based economic and social transformation, he said. The key to realizing that sustainability was harnessing the potential of individuals and their communities. For that to happen, it was necessary to have guaranteed timely and predictable long-term resources flows. Much remained to be done. Rich countries must implement the key agreements reached in recent years, including the Kyoto Protocol, and move beyond current levels of debt relief.
At the same time, aid alone could not finance Africa's development, he said. Africa also needed to take up its financial responsibility by attracting greater finance flows. He stressed that combating ill health, tackling food security and addressing environmental stress should be key objectives for poverty reduction in the continent. Modern technology was also indispensable in that connection. The ECA had just released a report on harnessing technology for sustainable development, in which it argued that harnessing new technologies could assist Africa to move towards sustainable development. It cautioned, however, that expected benefits could only be effective if key challenges were addressed, including the extent to which the technologies were relevant to Africa.
Addressing "trade, investment and globalization in the context of sustainable development", MERVAT TALLAWY, Executive Secretary of the Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia (ESCWA), said the goals and targets set for Agenda 21 and emerging issues identified at preparatory meetings during the run-up to the Summit focused on global priorities, explicitly avoiding regional and national mechanisms. Subsequently, those targets had become, in the main, too broad for countries to navigate and implement individually, particularly in the globalized world of today. Such issues as environmental degradation, unequal access to markets, poverty eradication and peace and security could be examined only within the context of international relations coupled with regional and subregional action.
She went on to say that regional implementation bridged the gap between national and global approaches to sustainable development. It also provided a forum for the promotion of regional integration into wider development efforts, which was the best way regions could, together and independently, face the challenges of globalization. One of the major areas of concern for ESCWA member countries had been the need to achieve peace and security in the region. Embargoes, political sanctions and general market instability also continued to be a concern. For its part ESCWA had carried out various activities prior to the Doha conference and had elaborated an agreement on international trade and transport facilitation.
She said that trade investment and globalization could be made conducive to sustainable development only if the international community changed its way of thinking -- trade schemes must be promoted which improved the well-being of the people. They must be made free of obstacles that prevented developing countries from reaching the marketplace or which exacerbated inequities in the pricing of raw materials and goods. She added that it appeared that the requests of multinational and transnational companies seemed to be more readily addressed than the concerns of developing countries. The challenge before the international community was to reconcile the result of the conference with the outcome of other multilateral negotiations in order to ensure sustainable development for all.
Before giving the floor to the next round of regional presentations, the moderator of the panel, Mr. SPETH, gave panelists the opportunity to ask questions.
JOCELYN DAW, WEDO, asked how "on the button" the people at the regional and subregional level were.
The Minister of Environment of Croatia said that, although the countries of Central and Eastern Europe were developing countries, they were different from other developing countries, as their economies were in transition. All activities of Central European countries were concentrated on the accession process to the European Union, which was defining conditions. He then gave examples of projects in his region involving United Nations agencies.
The Minister of the Environment of Zambia added that the real focus of the Summit was the collective attention to the issue of poverty as the biggest cause of lack of sustainable development. Unless poverty was fought, sustainable development would not be achieved.
MOSTAFA TOLBA, International Centre for Environment and Development, asked what the role of the regional commissions in the follow-up of the Summit's outcome would be.
GABRIELLA BATTAINE-GRAGONI, Council of Europe, said her organization was committed to respect for human rights, rule of law and pluralistic democracy. It approached sustainable development in terms of creating societies in which every individual could fully enjoy his or her human, social and political rights. Sustainable development meant empowering individuals to shape their own lives, including the right to education, health, decent and fulfilling work, housing and social protection. Human rights and sustainable development were inextricably linked. Poverty and exclusion destroyed the social fabric of societies, endangering the most immediate of the ecosystems: communities. The only viable strategy for sustainable future was to build inclusive and cohesive societies, based on human rights, non-discrimination, transparency and ensuring universal access to social rights and services.
Director of UNDP-Asian and Pacific, HAFIZ PASHA, said the themes for the Summit had emerged from the priorities formulated in the regional preparatory committees. There was a focus on: provision of regional public goods, including cross-country infrastructure; management of transboundary issues, such as trafficking; regional advocacy; and sharing experience. In the area of poverty eradication and sustainable development, several initiatives were under way to support the Millennium Goals, including regional poverty monitoring. Among other initiatives he mentioned was a programme for the decentralization of micro-credit and a gender-empowerment programme.
JOHN FORGACH, President of A2R Fundos Ambientais -- a private bank -- said that the private sector believed in the need to focus, because without focus, "you lose money". As opposed to 10 years ago, big companies were becoming more concerned about issues such as environmental degradation, climate change and poverty eradication as serous obstacles to making profits. If the issue of profits was not addressed, it would not be possible to have financial sustainability. He was heartened to note that a sustainable agriculture initiative had been taken up by the two largest food companies in the world. For the private sector, the risks associated with doing business on a "dirty" planet were no longer acceptable.
ADEL EL-BELTAGY, Director of the International Centre for Agricultural Research in the Dry Areas, said his organization focused 80 per cent of its efforts on North Africa and Central and Western Asia, regions in which conflicts related to resources could be seen. Could knowledge and scientific innovations make a difference? he asked. They could when combined with political will and policy actions for sustainable development. It was necessary to be concerned with "environmental poverty". He hoped more efforts would be put on technology and greater support given to capacity-building. Regional efforts in that regard were crucial.
Mr. TOLBA, International Centre for Environment and Development, said that Africa was among the poorest areas of the world. No one had raised how to handle that problem. The New Partnership for Africa's Development (NEPAD) was not the first time there was a plan of action to uplift Africa. What happened with past action plans for Africa's development? The major question to be addressed was how to deal with the poor people of the world.
The moderator then opened the floor for interventions from delegations. All the speakers highlighted the importance of regional initiatives and strategies for development. A particular focus was placed on cooperation in regional environmental, agricultural and ecological issues.
The President of the Forum of Environmental Ministers of Latin America and the Caribbean, the first speaker, said the Latin American regional initiative specifically stressed the importance of regional and subregional action on sustainable development issues. It also sought to give and to give practical effect to the work of the Summit. The people and countries of the region considered the Summit an opportunity to assess the progress in implementation of the principles outlined in Agenda 21, as well as a historic opportunity to identify the roots of the economic, environmental and social problems that were hindering sustainable development in the South.
The Vice Minister for Foreign Affairs of South Africa focused on the NEPAD initiative, which he believed was a prerequisite for sustainable development on the African continent. He stressed several important features of NEPAD, including the fact that it focused on African ownership and leadership, that it would be financed primarily through African resources, and that, above all, it would foster partnership between Africa and the rest of the world. He said Africa would continue to hold up NEPAD as a development model for other regions of the world.
The representative of Denmark, speaking on behalf of the European Union, said that increasingly, economic, social and environmental matters -- particularly those related to water, energy, carbon dioxide emissions and transport -- transcended national boundaries. Over the last two or three decades, the Union had gained economic and political experience with regional and subregional cooperation in such issues. He said the Union attached great significance to the NEPAD initiative, which was worthy of wider consideration by other regional organizations. The European Union particularly appreciated the intention to use that initiative as a platform for peer review at the regional level.
The Deputy Minister for Regional Cooperation of Israel said regionalism was a relatively new concept in the Middle East. Indeed, years of conflict had prevented any meaningful regional dialogue on many of the issues before the Summit today. Therefore, great effort must be extended to not only achieve peace and stability, but to rehabilitate and enhance regional cooperative structures before serious talk on regional environmental management issues could be comprehensively addressed. He highlighted several initiatives under way which carried the seeds for future cooperation on regional environmental management. Those included programmes in the fields of oceanography and fishing, cross-boundary development, as well as joint Jordanian-Israeli efforts to map and monitor coral reefs, and projects in cooperation with Egypt and Jordan to protect the Red Sea.
After those brief interventions, several panellists made relevant comments. Ms. CHLABADZE, Minister of Environment of Georgia, said she was speaking on behalf of 12 regional ministers of environment of the former Soviet Union who had together launched a strategy calling for all countries to join cooperative ecological partnerships. The first of those partnership initiatives were under development.
She said it was important that the regional initiatives mentioned by delegations had all emphasized partnerships. Indeed, ecological partnerships between East and West could become landmark developments in the environmental processes of the world. She added that by addressing environmental issues only at the regional level "we will only be treading water". Such issues must be dealt with at national, regional, as well as global levels, in order to be successful.
The Minister of Environment of Uganda said a ministerial conference on the environment had been put together to address issues of the environment in all Africa and to draw up a plan for the environment sector of NEPAD. One of the biggest problems in Africa was the disaster of climate change. Droughts and floods actually destroyed all the results of international support. Implementation of the Kyoto Protocol should be a key element of the Summit's outcome.
The representative of the Environmental Authority of the Palestinian Authority, asked how the world could survive without agriculture and how agriculture could survive without water and land. Preserving those two resources must be a priority. Sustainable development could not be attained without peace and stability and the absence of occupation. Turning to remarks by the representative of Israel, he said that the regional initiatives mentioned by him lacked sincerity. He invited the representative to visit the occupied territories to see the damage done by Israeli tanks and bulldozers and by buried hazardous waste. Issues not mentioned during the discussion were regional cooperation regarding disposal of industrial and municipal waste, which could affect the quality of water and soil, and eliminating weapons of mass destruction in all regions of the world.
The Minister of Environment of Croatia said his country was focused on waste management and wastewater treatment facilities, and mentioned several examples. His country was also very much interested in regional cooperation of the countries of the Donau river basin.
The Minister of the Environment of Switzerland said his country had launched the partnership of sustainable development in mountainous regions. In his own country, a regional programme had been launched, called Jura 21, to include communities in local development. He stressed that the current Summit must be a summit of actions, and not words. Rio had been the Summit of the Earth. He hoped Johannesburg 2002 would become the Summit of the Field, as work in the field was necessary.
The representative of Indonesia said she hoped ESCAP could establish mechanisms to bring together the regional stakeholders to help in sustainable development and in implementation of the outcomes.
The representative of the Andean Development Corporation, a non-governmental organization, said that his organization was the main source of medium-term financing for development in his region. That made it easier to move forward with independent strategies, which was key to making progress. The unique experiences of regional organizations, such as his, showed that commitments entered into at the Summit and other conferences could be implemented.
The representative of Romania said that the Summit represented both an opportunity and a responsibility for the development and implementation of the commitments assumed in Rio. The last decade had illustrated the large discrepancy between commitments and achievements. The international community must continue to act strongly for the implementation of Agenda 21. In addition to global partnerships, it was necessary to support regional and subregional partnerships, which could assist to resolving problems at the regional level.
Tajikistan's representative spoke about subregional partnerships entered into among the States of Central Asia, which had witnessed unprecedented natural disasters. In 1995, the heads of State of those countries set up an inter-State commission on the stable development of the States in the region and launched several initiatives. Efforts to address issues of environment and health had showed that a sectoral and short-term approach did not work. What was needed was a multi-sectoral and long-term approach for successfully tackling problems. He proposed that a new economic mechanism be introduced to write off debts and exchange best practices. Ecologic planning and the strengthening of human rights and the legal framework for the environment were part of the subregional initiatives for stable development.
The Minister of Finance and Planning of Tuvalu said that important to review and assess the impact of the regional organizations on the direct lives of the population. While he supported the need for a regional approach, it was important to establish a framework that would ensure that the benefits post-Johannesburg would flow to the people on the ground. Some of the regional organizations seemed to have their own agendas. It was necessary to ensure that they truly were agents for sustainable development. He drew attention to the need to engage the expertise of indigenous people in the work of the regional organizations.
The representative of Azerbaijan said that for his country, a land-locked country and one with an economy in transition, regional cooperation offered assistance to respond to the challenges of globalization. It also provided avenues for the use of the limited resources of the countries in the region and the integration of those countries into the global economy. Regional cooperation constituted one of the most important pillars of his country's development. His country was involved in actively promoting and developing regional programmes in such areas as transport. The most important challenge in the region was conflict, which not only harmed people and the environment, but also distorted decision-making and diverted resources.
The Director of Environmental Development of the League of Arab States said the League aimed to enhance cooperation between its Member States in all fields, as well as to promote cooperation with all relevant United Nations bodies and ESCWA. The economic, social and environmental advances made by many of the States members included increased per capita income, improved health services, increased literacy rates and increased participation of women.
Despite those positive efforts and results, true sustainable development in the region faced many challenges, foremost among them lack of peace and stability, continued foreign occupation, limited arable land and degradation of water resources. To deal with those challenges, the League had developed an initiative to promote sustainable development in the region to be implemented with cooperation of all partners at all levels, with particular input from civil society.
The Secretary of Environment and Sustainable Development of Argentina said effective results depended on a strong level of multilateralism, as well as the recognition of global and regional structures. The Latin American and Caribbean initiative for sustainable development contained many elements that would inform the work of the Summit and promote development in the region and beyond.
When panellists again took the floor to comment on the concerns of delegations, ABDLAI JANNEH, Associate Administrator of the UNDP and the agency's regional director for Africa, endorsed the panellists' support for improvements in people's future and overall quality of life. The scale of that challenge was greater in Africa than anywhere else, he added. If current trends continued, Africa would be the only region that would definitely not meet the Millennium Development Goal of halving poverty by 2015. All the news was not bad, he said, as there had been improvements in peaceful transition and enhanced agricultural practices. Still, the region continued to experience too many armed conflicts and deepening poverty. But there was hope, when countries like Mozambique and Uganda could grow, despite limited markets.
RICARDO SANCHEZ of UNEP said sustainable development required cooperation, and highlighted broad cooperative efforts under way in the Latin American and Caribbean, spearheaded by the Inter-agency Technical Committee, UNDP, the World Bank and others. There would also be heightened efforts to ensure initiatives were promoted at the subregional level, primarily in cooperation with the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) and the Andean region group.
Ms. DAW said sustainable development could only be achieved when women had the power to negotiate goals with their vision and in light of women's overarching concerns. WEDO had come up with a plan for "Women and a Healthy Planet for 2015" in the line with the Millennium Development Goals. Finally, she put all he panellists and Summit participants on notice that women from her organization and around the world would be approaching them to insist that they stood by the words that had been spoken and commitments that had been made in Johannesburg. Those women would also insist that that they would be actively involved in the decisions that affected their own lives, as well as those of their children and grandchildren, and would take specific steeps to arrest the deterioration of the poor.
Mr. MAIAVA, Pacific Forum Secretariat, reacted to the description that the Pacific region was a doughnut with the Pacific Islands as a hole. Those small island States, however, contained important regional organizations and groupings working in a whole range of areas. The challenges faces by small island developing States could be explained in terms of the need for the international community to recognize their unique situation. He appreciated the Summit's focus on oceans, given the fact that the group could offer some effective management models that could be emulated.
MICHAEL GUCOVSKY, UNDP Latin America and Caribbean region, said the recent discussions had demonstrated the invaluable assets of the regional commissions. UNDP's regional sustainable development network and technical capabilities were providing the commissions with a supportive structure to help in implementing the Johannesburg outcomes. He looked forward to continuing the teamwork with the regional commissions in helping the countries move forward with their sustainable development agendas.
The representative of United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) said his organization had five regional offices. The global environmental outlook was entirely based on regional cooperation. Regional delivery was an essential part of UNEP's work.
ROLF ZELIUS, Asian Development Bank, said his experience in the preparatory process had taught him that that sustainable development planning was still centred around environmental issues. The regional development banks had an important role to play in urging country ministers to take responsibility for sustainable development. There was a need to strengthen the way in which the development banks could integrate for environmental considerations and governance issues. Regarding the issue of sustainable financing, he said there was a need for countries to reform their own budgets to better reflect sustainable development and to create incentives for behavioral changes.
MEHBOOB ELAHI, South Asia Cooperative Environment Programme, said the best way to support follow-up actions was to support the performance of indigenous governance institutions.
AYAD ALTAAI, Environmental Data Initiative, pointed to the serious problem of the quality of data throughout the world. The Initiative hoped to breach the data gap between developed and developing countries in environment data. That would enable the global community to monitor the follow-up of the Millennium Goals and Agenda 21. Recently, the Initiative had entered in a partnership with UNEP.
In concluding remarks, Mr. AMOAKO, said the regional commissions could play a critical role in the implementation of this Summit's outcomes. One aspect of that role could lie in monitoring at the regional level.
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