- The Washington Times - Thursday, August 22, 2002

The United States will resist any renegotiation of trade and aid deals reached earlier this year when developed and developing countries meet at a U.N. summit in South Africa next week.
Senior Bush administration officials said yesterday that difficult compromises hammered out at the World Trade Organization meeting in Doha, Qatar, and the development aid summit in Monterrey, Mexico, should be preserved.
With the Johannesburg summit's final declaration still the subject of intense negotiations, some developing countries and nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) have pressed for new targets and aid commitments from the world's richest countries.
"We believe Doha and Monterrey achieved a real consensus. We don't want to see that rewritten in Johannesburg," said a senior State Department official, briefing reporters yesterday on background.
Secretary of State Colin L. Powell will head the U.S. delegation to the conference, whose overarching theme is global sustainable development. Mr. Powell will also make brief stops in Angola and Gabon before returning home early next month.
The U.S. delegation figures to be the target of sharp criticism in Johannesburg, organized as a 10-year follow-up to the Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro. Environmental, human rights and anti-globalization groups have already denounced President Bush's decision not to attend the summit, where at least 60 world leaders are expected to appear.
South African organizers have already instituted intensive security measures, and a pre-summit gathering of development NGOs yesterday accused the government of preparing a "Disneyland" conference in which "the only blacks are servants."
In advance of the Johannesburg summit, administration officials have been briefing Congress this week on a package of aid programs for African and Caribbean nations worth nearly $4.5 billion.
In addition to some $3.3 billion over two years for AIDS and other infectious diseases, the package asks for new money in the fiscal 2004 budget for safe drinking water, agricultural aid, rural electricity programs and support for forest-preservation efforts in the Congo River basin.
Separately, the European Union yesterday issued a call for governments to make binding commitments in support of the summit's goals on sustainable development and environmental protection.
Said Danish Foreign Minister Per Stig Moeller, whose country currently holds the European Union's rotating presidency: "We need to be ready to set timetables and benchmarks so that we can measure the results of our efforts."
The European Union has been sharply critical of the Bush administration's opposition to the Kyoto accord on global climate change, and some Democrats on Capitol Hill who were briefed on the U.S. summit package also called the U.S. position on climate change inadequate.
"It's testimony to the administration's inaction on global warming that they have to hold a briefing to reveal their smoke and mirrors nonagenda on the most pressing environmental issue facing the world today," said Sen. John Kerry, Massachusetts Democrat.
But State Department officials said yesterday they were focused on results at the summit.

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