I have the honour to speak on behalf of the European Union. The Central and Eastern European Countries associated with the European Union – Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, and the associated countries Cyprus and Malta, align themselves with this statement.
Draft resolution L.67, just adopted by the Committee, contains a provision, which require an explanation of the position of the European Union.
The European Union wishes to reflect in the records of this meeting that it considers operative paragraph 2 of the resolution and its footnote in no way to imply that decision 23, taken by the Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity at its sixth session does not stand.
Furthermore, the European Union wishes to state that it agrees with the interpretation of consensus of the Legal Counsel of the United Nations, contained in his letter dated 17 June 2002 and accepts his conclusion that the decision may stand as adopted.
Also, the European Union wishes to record that in its view the provisions contained in operative paragraph 2 and its footnote are without prejudice to the agenda of the seventh session of the Conference of the Parties to the Convention.
Finally, the European Union considers the decision of the World Summit on Sustainable Development and the Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity at its sixth session as representing overall balanced packages. These decisions will form the basis for further work on biological diversity. In particular, the European Union remains committed to the promotion of the wide implementation and further development of the ecosystem approach and will pursue it actively at the next Conference of Parties.
Thank you, Mr. Chairman.