The World Summit on Sustainable Development
Second Preparatory Committee (PrepCom-II)
New York, 28 Jan - 8 Feb 2002
 
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Friday, 1 February

Throughout the day and into the evening, general debate continued with statements by delegations on the main themes of the Report of the Secretary-General, with the participation of representatives from international organizations and major groups. Photo: Tuiloma Neroni Slade, Samoa, intervenes on behalf of the Alliance of Small Island States (AOSIS)

Statements by delegations on the main themes of the Report of the Secretary-general

Sichan Siv, United States, said that, in the US, "coalitions of the willing"-between government at all levels, NGOs, business, indigenous groups, and other stakeholders-is the most effective way to pursue sustainable development. Regarding the Secretary-General's report, he, inter alia: called for inclusion of issues related to national and local issues of governance; supported calls by other countries to focus more on oceans and the marine environment; and said each theme should address science, education and capacity building.
 
Sergei Ling, Belarus, recalled the devastating effects of the Chernobyl disaster, and said prevention of reoccurrence of similar catastrophes is vital, and proposed further strengthening the mechanisms of international cooperation in addressing environmental disasters.

 

Tuiloma Neroni Slade, Samoa, intervenes on behalf of the Alliance of Small Island States (AOSIS), noted the major risk that climate change represents to SIDS, and stated, "climate change is not of our doing, and we look to the international community for action." He expressed dismay that some industrial countries seem indifferent to the fact that lives are at risk because of unsustainable energy consumption in the North - consumption he qualified as an addiction. He called for innovative use of debt, notably debt swaps, to finance economic development and environmental protection.
 
Gunnar H. Lindeman, Norway, stressed focusing on health, and said links between environmental health and poverty should be further explained. In this context, he said the global chemical agenda should be given higher prominence, and air pollution addressed more systemically. He said the Secretary-General's report on "Oceans" focuses one-sidedly on protection and conservation, and said that fisheries and other marine industries represent an important but somewhat underutilized source of income for coastal population of developing countries. He noted that Norway plans to increase their ODA to 1% of GDP. He also said the role of women and of indigenous peoples and local communities should be given higher prominence.
  
Lamuel A. Stanislaus, Grenada, on behalf of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM), stressed the theme of "Partnership" in the WSSD, and highlighted areas of particular concern to SIDS. He supported. inter alia, inclusion of "Oceans and Seas" and "SIDS" as priority areas; a special fund for the mitigation and rehabilitation of SIDS following natural disasters; a global sustainable energy programme; and specially earmarked revolving financial mechanisms to revitalize rural productive capacity.
 
Bob F. Jalang'o, Kenya, called for strengthening UNEP. Regarding ongoing discussion on international environmental governance, he said the interlinkages between environmental governance and MEAs should be rationalized to avoid duplication and conflict. He supported elevating Habitat to a UN programme and called for strengthening the crucial role of local authorities and their partners in implementing sustainable urbanization.
   
Timothy Wirth, United Nations Foundation, said the Foundation was established with a $1 billion donation from Ted Turner and represents the classic public-private partnership. He noted the Foundation's focus on biodiversity and climate change and how they impact conditions of poverty, and highlighted related programmes: the International Coral Reef Action Network with SIDS and UNEP; a polio eradication programme particularly focused on Africa; and the World Heritage Programme, series of private partnerships working with UNESCO. He also mentioned a grant to DESA for communications to promote Southern NGO participation in the Summit and, and the Equator initiative with UNDP. He hoped the WSSD would look at programmes related to sustainable energy, and access to energy in new and more sustainable forms, and said the planets are lined up to address the nexus of energy, climate change and poverty.
 
Professor Celso Lafer, Minister of Foreign Relations, Brazil, said the Summit will test the capacity of multilateral action to serve as an effective instrument for promoting development. He underscored improved market access for developing countries, particularly liberalization of agriculture markets, and said the Kyoto Protocol must be put into force. He suggested that finance and technology transfer be treated as cross-sectoral issues in discussing the clusters outlined in the Secretary-General's paper.
 
Mushanana L. Nchunga, Botswana, hoped to emerge from WSSD with concrete, predictable and time-bound financial commitments to facilitate the implementation of MEAs, in particular the CCD, and said the GEF should be further aligned with the CCD's implementation schedules. He also hoped the WSSD would strongly affirm that combating HIV/AIDS and other diseases such as malaria is a key component of sustainable development.
 
Amraiya Naidu, Fiji, supported, inter alia: placing oceans as a stand-alone issue in the WSSD agenda; finalizing the Global Code of Ethics for Tourism; recognizing social equity for all, including women, youth and children; a commitment to convene a ten-year review conference on the Global Programme of Action for SIDS; and establishment of information and communications technology mechanisms to cost effectively connect SIDS with the rest of the world.
 
Hasmy Agam, Malaysia, said the essential task of Johannesburg is to explore the basis for a renewed global "deal," which can underpin all other commitments. He looked forward to the strengthening of a sustainable development architecture and said the CSD should be strengthened and serve as a guiding force in initiating improvements in international relations and in translating commitments into actions. He said the key to a successful outcome is the provision for the effect and efficient means of implementation.
 
Shen Guofang, China, stated that a concrete plan of action must be put in place and said such a plan should include elements related to, inter alia: fundamental principles established at Rio, such as common, but differentiated responsibilities; global partnership; a favorable external environment; improved means of implementation; and including the creativity of major groups.
  
Earl S. Huntley, Saint Lucia, said that globalization and trade liberalization are limiting the achievement of sustainable development for most SIDS. He called for an appropriate institutional arrangement between the UN and the WTO, urged going beyond a voluntary code of conduct for businesses, and called for monitoring of compliance under the auspices of the UN.
Bedrich Moldan, the Czech Republic, stressed that "development" and "sustainable development" are the same. He highlighted the following issues as being of of particular concern: governance; areas such as biodiversity, freshwater management, and energy, as they touch equally upon all three pillars of sustainable development; and capacity building, as well as the role of science, education and awareness raising. He supported the idea of a "global deal."
 
Nicolas Rivas, Colombia, commented on four aspects which he believes should be carefully examined: illicit crops; local communities and indigenous peoples; education for sustainable development; and trade and environment. He highlighted the First Regional Workshop on "Car-less Days for Mayors in Latin America" in collaboration with the Division of Sustainable Development will be held from 6-8 February, and will demonstrate how Bogotá is committed to the concept of sustainable urban transport.
 
  South Africa said: the structural imbalances in economic power relations between the North and the South need to be redressed; social development programmes must address, inter alia, access to safe water, sanitation and energy for the poor, increased food security, universal literacy, and a global attack on HIV/AIDS; and the environment agenda must focus on the environmental right of the poor. She said a successful outcome of the WSSD will include a "global deal," a concrete Programme of Action; and a range of specific sectoral agreements, partnerships and action. She reiterated the Summit's slogan: People, Planet and Prosperity.
 
Heherson T. Alvarez, the Philippines, supported the proposal that vital sustainable development technologies be made more accessible to developing countries at lower costs and through improved mechanisms. He said migration still lacks the attention it deserves, highlighting the issues of brain drain, the growing feminization of migration, and migrants' workers rights. He hoped the WSSD will consider migration and development.

 

Peter Stenlund, Finland, on behalf of the Arctic Council, noted that the Council represents a unique forum for partnership between national governments and indigenous peoples in the Arctic. He noted clusters identified in the Secretary-General's paper of particular importance to the Council, including: promoting health; access to energy; sustainable management of ecosystems and biodiversity; and international governance.
 
Mario Aleman, Ecuador, said cooperation or the "flowing" of resources for development, must not be conditioned by the establishment of environmental standards not applicable to all countries. He said it was valuable to count on instruments such as bio-trade projects, and swaps for nature or for social projects, as well as scientific and recreational biotourism. He highlighted that Ecuador is considered first in the world when it comes to biodiversity density.
 

Ian Johnson, World Bank, stated that while macro-economic stability is not sufficient to ensure development, it is however one of its preconditions. Noting that "the era of fragmentation is over," he put forth several conditions that must be met to achieve sustainable development - among them: increasing ODA, addressing trade barriers (such as the one billion dollars a day the OECD countries use to protect their agricultural sectors), and debt relief as embodied in the Highly Indebted Poor Countries (HIPC) debt-relief initiative.

 
  The International Monetary Fund (IMF) highlighted aspects brought up in preparation for the Financing for Development conference relevant to the WSSD. He said development strategies need to be country owned and ODA needs to increase.
 
Lyonpo Om Pradhan, Bhutan, recalled that this is the International Year of the Mountains and highlighted the importance of mountain ecosystems to the global environment and sustainable development. He supported giving greater prominence to sustainable mountain development in a future programme of action. He said Bhutan has largely avoided the great temptation to undermine its environment and forests for the sake of development and unsustainable consumption patterns, and has chosen not to make environment a hostage to development.
 
Stephanie Firestone, Israel, commended the Secretary-General's report for giving special attention to Africa, and for addressing sustainable production and consumption patterns, in which, she said the advertising industry and the media should be made major partners.
 
Irene Freudenshuss-Reichl, UNIDO, noted industries role as a major force for development and potentially for environmental degradation. She highlighted initiatives in the areas of technology transfer, energy and solid waste that UNIDO will undertake for Johannesburg
 
Ositadinma Anaedu, Nigeria, supported strengthening UNEP in the context of international environmental governance, with due respect to the mandates of MEAs, but at the same time, said that an institutional arrangement for governance of sustainable development with the capacity to facilitate WSSD outcomes. He stressed the need to clearly identify the role and status of UNDP in the overall governance of sustainable development.
 
The Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/UNAIDS said that since Rio, the HIV/AIDS pandemic has progressed to become the most devastating disease humankind has ever face, sparing no country, group or social class. He said new strategies and actions to be elaborated at WSSD for the further implementation of Agenda 21 should take into account the following elements: HIV/AIDS should be an integral part of all national poverty reduction strategies, and sustainable development and economic growth strategies; a multisectoral response to HIV/AIDS/ conserving scarce human resources; sustaining and strengthening debt relief efforts; increased international assistance and solidarity; and building partnerships in response to HIV/AIDS.
 

Over the weekend, Chair Salim will prepare a list of issues raised during the week, and it will be made available at 5pm on Sunday, 3 February, and will be posted on Official WSSD website at http://www.johannesburgsummit.org. Two interactive dialogue sessions will begin on Monday.

 
Side-event: National Strategies for Sustainable Development - Seizing Opportunities and Meeting Challenges
 
This side-event convened participants at PrepCom-II to discuss:
   - recent progress in identifying key principles and mechanisms for developing and implementing a national strategy for sustainable development
   - the opportunities and challenges of such a strategy, and the roles that governments, the private sector and civil society can play in its development and implementation
   - how to best advance debate and action on strategies in the WSSD process and beyond.

Adrian Davis, Department for International Development (DFID), UK, highlighted the outcomes from the International Forum on National Sustainable Development Strategies, help in Accra, Ghana, in December of 2001. The characteristics identified at the forum were:
   - integration of economic, social and environmental objectives, and a balance across sectors, territory and generations
   - broad participation and effective partnerships
   - country ownership and commitment
   - developing capacity and an enabling environment
   - focus on the outcomes and means of implementation
He said that a broader international endorsement of the characteristics of sustainability identified in Accra was required on the part of all actors, and that these characteristics constitute best practices that are applicable to fields other than just sustainable development.


As part of his presentation, Barry Dalal-Clayton, International Institute for Environment and Development (IIED), highlighted the following evolution in perception of sustainable since UNCED:

From..
... to:
From single master plan for SD Set of coordinated mechanisms & processes (building on and harmonizing existing frameworks)
One off initiatives Continuous process (monitoring, learning and improving)
State responsibility Societal responsibility
Narrow participation Multi-stakeholder
Fixed ideas and solutions Adaptive systems (continuously improving governance - coherence between responses to challenges)
Centralized and controlled decision-making Sharing ideas, negotiations, and cooperation
Focus on outputs Focus on outcomes (impacts)
Sector-based planning Integrated panning
Externally driven (in developing countries) Country-driven

He then went on to describe elements of a system for developing and implementing sustainable development strategies, that should encourage and facilitate the building of consensus in a society about vision, goals and objectives. For more information on this system, and other aspects of national strategies for sustainable development, please visit http://www.nssd.net

Minendra Rijal, Sustainable Development Agenda for Nepal, Government of Nepal, focused his presentation on how to get national sustainable development strategies accepted by broader groups in a society. He noted that sustainable development's holistic approach is attractive because it does not compartmentalize problems, but can be problematic as well since some might see it as attempting to do too much. He urged donors involved in poverty alleviation projects to consider the poverty-environment nexus in their planning.

The ensuing discussion touched on: how to ensure that strategies survive change of governments; the need for a national dialogue on sustainable development strategies to achieve ownership; the need for national strategic dialogues; the inclusion of ethics into sustainable development strategy; the lack of financing for implementation; how to implement these guidelines into the work of NGOs; and the view that Northern development strategies need to change at least as much as those of the South.

The event was co-hosted by UNDP, DFID, DESA and IIED, and was moderated by Al Binger, Centre for Environment and Development, University of West Indies.

 

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