The World Summit on Sustainable Development
Second Preparatory Committee (PrepCom-II)
New York, 28 Jan - 8 Feb 2002
 
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Wednesday 30 January

The Multi-Stakeholder Dialogue Segment continued today in parallel sessions. Discussion Group I addressed progress achieved in applying integrated approaches to cross-sectoral objectives of sustainable development. Discussion Group II addressed progress achieved in promoting multi-stakeholder participation in sustainable development institutions and mechanisms. Photo: Bartanova Sayana, Merel Bierkens, and Bremley W. B. Lyngdoh representing the Youth Caucus in Discussion Group I

Multi-Stakeholder Dialogue Discussion Group I:
Progress achieved in applying integrated approaches to cross-sectoral objectives

Rocio Velaudia, speaking on behalf of Indigenous Peoples, emphasized the tradition of sustainable development as a way of life and a shared vision of resource and environmental health. They stressed peace, energy availability, climate change mitigation, and rights, including a commitment to adopt and implement a rights-based approach, as integral to successful sustainable development. They added that full participation by indigenous peoples should be ensured.
  
Youth representatives called for governments to engage youth at all levels of decision-making. They discussed the cross-sectoral issues of: a decent work agenda of the ILO and a declaration on fundamental rights at work; employment initiative recommendations and youth employment policies and programmes; land reform and tenure; cooperation on policies in education for sustainable development at all levels; sustainable production and consumption through awareness campaigns and increased access to landowning; financing for development to meet agreed ODA targets; and elimination of corruption in corporations.
 
In preparing for the WSSD, Haddas Wolde Giorgis and Thais Corall, speaking for women, made the following proposals, inter alia: mainstreaming gender in all sustainable development policies and programmes; women's access to and control over global public goods, specifically land and water; and regarding the UN, developing more specific and cross-sectoral gender-disaggregated reporting systems.
  

Following the presentations by major groups, Sweden, inter alia, supported NGO and youth statements; shared perspectives of local authorities and applauded Local Agenda 21 initiatives; and supported gender analysis to inform planning process.

 

 
Co-Chair Jan Kra
(Czech Republic)

 
 
Co-Chair Diane Quarless (Jamaica)
  
 
An indigenous peoples' representative stressed the need to look at ODA not just in quantity but in quality of projects, and called for a closer look at the issue of financial investment in mining, oil and gas and other industries.
 

Harvey Ruvin, Miami Dade Clerk, US, spoke on behalf of local authorities, noted progress achieved in over 6,000 communities involved in Local Agenda 21 programmes, identified sustainable job creation as key, urged more power and funding for local governments. They said that the challenge is to focus on identifying barriers like perverse CO2 subsidies, and to recognize that sustainable development must include elimination of poverty through a participatory process to enable access to food, water and energy.

 

The ILO stressed social protection measures and capacity building for workers. She discussed engaging in research to provide data to workers that then translates into action for new industries, working with governments to develop realistic pension schemes and reducing exposure to hazardous conditions.

 
Anju Sharna, Center for Science and Environment, speaking on behalf of NGOs highlighted a number of challenges faced in achieving sustainable development: governance based on principles and rights; poverty and impoverishment; finance and technology; production and consumption patterns; water; energy; and agriculture.
  

D. Pillay, International Council of Science, and speaking for the Science and Technology group, prioritized issues of poverty and inequality, and observed that often low-tech options for health and sanitation, agriculture, energy and conflict reduction are successful.

During the ensuing debate, representatives said traditional knowledge has been put on the agenda of the Science and Technology Community, and urged that sustainable capacity building for science and technology, as well as for education, be placed high on the agenda of the Summit.

 

A representative of Business and Industry underscored pioneering efforts to create management systems to encompass all aspects of sustainability. She also said five key areas had contributed to progress in sustainable development: innovation, investment, infrastructure, integrity, and involvement.

In the ensuing debate, business representatives said, poverty alleviation should be the number one priority. The representative stressed the importance of water and access to fresh water for everyone. He said governments should always own and control water, but that businesses could deliver water services, when invited, in partnership with other groups.

 
Josephilda Nhlapoltlope of the Congress of South African Trade Unions, speaking on behalf of trade unions, said the biggest challenges are unemployment and environmental degradation, and stressed the necessity of feedback and monitoring systems and programmes to ensure worker participation.
  

Samoa stressed the importance of the issue of climate change, and noted the need to downscale models and to overcome cost barriers and intensify regional efforts. He agreed with farmers on links of poverty to economic and social conditions, and stressed the relationship of oceans and land.

 
Brazil stressed, inter alia, access to rights, but lamented that improvements in legal frameworks have not yet been seen on the ground.
  

In their introductory remarks, farmers highlighted the need for secure water resources, ownership of research results to meet farmers' needs, market power for farmers, strong partnerships with legislature and policy development. They said that investment in agriculture would give back to the economy, and that responsible resource use would help to achieve social sustainability.

During the ensuing debate, farmers said that they are often held responsible for wasteful resource consumption and asked that science and technology help in this area.

 

During discussion, NGOs proposed redirecting unsustainable perverse subsidies to financing for sustainable development, expressed concern with privatizing the delivery of water services, and supported a legally binding agreement related to the issue of corporate accountability.

  
Germany said the social pillar of sustainable development needs to be strengthened, and highlighted labor standards. He said Germany was preparing guidelines to be ready for the WSSD based on best practices in German industry, and noted monitoring the guidelines was the the trickiest issue. He also called for environmentally and socially responsible investments in developing countries.
  

Vuyiswa Tulelo, African National Congress Youth League, called for concrete proposals and addressed education and the need for partnerships between local governments, business and civil society to create projects that ensure environmental education. She challenged local government structures to come up with local councils between government and business that are more youth-friendly and could teach how to manage training and management of rural areas.

 
  NGO representative Arthur Getz-Escudero, International Partners for Sustainable Agriculture, highlighted Sustainable Agriculture and Rural Development (SARD) best practices and said it was one area with potential for commitment and partnerships.
 

Closing statements:

Local Authorities welcomed further comments and recommendations for improving sustainable development programmes at the local level to achieve objectives.

Women prioritized the need for clear commitment on: NGO proposal on a World Marshall Plan to combat poverty; concrete measures on education and capacity building to enable full participation by women, youth, indigenous people and marginalized sectors of society; more research data and gender-disaggregated data; and coordination within and among sectors for improving best practices, sharing and inter-sector collaboration.

Indigenous Peoples stressed partnerships that are accountable and responsible, and called for the mining industry to include indigenous peoples as stakeholders. She also called for a clear commitment from the science and technology community and others to recognize that the precautionary principle in environment processes should recognize indigenous peoples' values.

NGOs supported: targets and timetables for phasing out subsidies and sustainable energy projects; statements on debt and poverty; regulation of corporate power and the effects of unsustainable development. He stressed that forests were crucial to environmental health and called on all governments to invest in and protect forests; and said the issue of genetic engineering needed to be addressed in the future.

 

Austria expressed support for the women's statement on gender mainstreaming and analysis, and stressed peace building and peace education as essential to sustainable development. 

 
 
Eric Frumin, Union of Needletrades, Industrial and Textile Employees (UNITE), representing Trade Unions, stressed the importance of core labor standards and independent verification of labor standards.
 
South Africa highlighted key changes in international dynamics over the 10 years since Rio, including: increasing levels of poverty and global inequalities, the challenge of conflict and terrorism; changing international economic dynamics; and the end of the Cold War.
  
Hungary noted: emerging commonalities in various sectors; collaborative efforts being made as groups listen to one another; governments' vision of sustainable development; desire for a "new global deal" to come from WSSD; and youth participation as a welcome element of this process.
 

Closing Statements:

Science and Technology said if science and technology is to become a major element of the future, then partnerships and support from governments for global and regional monitoring and assessment research programmes is crucial.

Farmers said participation and collaboration of farmers work better than laws and regulations, and that farmers need a continued relationship with research and consumer sectors. He also said young farmers can involve other youth in farm-to farm programmes.

Trade Unions reiterated that the primary problem is poverty, and that employment based on justice and equity is the surest way to combat poverty.

Business and Industry said the Millennium Declaration is a good starting point for setting defined priorities given scare resources. He noted progress in the partnership agenda but more work needed to be done on ethics, workers' rights, globalization and other social aspects of sustainable development. He said business can improve economic prospects but government and infrastructure must be in place, and called for a common set of objectives to help developing countries. :

Youth recalled five themes as main issues to be tackled by the WSSD: employment, education, consumption and production, finance, and corruption and corporate influence. She supported NGO proposals for: an international energy fund and phasing out of harmful subsidies, plus use of 5% renewable energy by 2010; and a global Marshall Plan from NGOs. She asked business for more transparency in production, and applauded a proposal from the Netherlands to include a youth conference in the upcoming CBD COP.

On behalf of the Nigerian delegation, a representative of Shell Nigeria acknowledged problems with the oil industry, and noted that it had come a long way in the Niger delta region to improve relations with communities and NGOs, support micro-credit, enact ISO 14000 standards, conduct impact assessments, create regulatory frameworks and increase efforts for sustainable energy development.

   

Multi-Stakeholder Dialogue Group 2:
enabling multi-stakeholder participation in sustainable development institutions and mechanisms

Co-Chair Kiyotaka Akasaka explained that the morning session would be dedicated to exploring the question of how to enable multi-stakeholder approaches in sustainable development institutions, at all levels.
 
Adriana Patricia Velenzuela (YAC-UNEP) and Kristen Hite (Sustain-US), on behalf of youth groups, called on all countries to include youth among their delegates. They reiterated an earlier demand for a two-hour time slot in Johannesburg for youth presentations and inputs.
 
Praabha Khosla, WEDO, speaking for women's groups, emphasized the need for good governance and the participation of women in policy-making at all levels, including the UN. She also urged that a feminist perspective be included in disaster evaluation.
 
Joji Carino, Tebba Foundation, speaking for Indigenous Groups, called for adoption of a more flexible accreditation process in order to encourage indigenous groups' participation. She cited the World Commission on Dams and the Arctic Council as progressive examples of stakeholder involvement.  
 
A representative of the Science and Technology Community said that improving efficacy of use is critical, but that nothing can overcome the need for changes in consumption patterns.

 
On behalf of business and industry groups, Jay Hare (International Council on Mining and Metals) stressed equity of opportunity of participation. He stated that Multi-Stakeholder Dialogues must be based on trust, patience and responsible corporate behavior.
Emad Adly, Arab Network for Environment and Development, and Arlene Griffen, DAWN, stated on behalf of NGOs that in order for multi-stakeholder dialogue to be meaningful, there needs to be follow-through into policy making. (note: NGO representatives pictured here are not Adly and Griffen).
   

Stephen Kabuye, Mayor of Entebbe (Uganda) and spokesperson for local authorities, stated that concentration of power in central governments limits the possibility of stakeholder input in decision-making and the ability to make policy initiatives locally relevant.

  
A representative of farmers' groups urged that priority be given to affordable, safe and healthy food, and to ensuring culturally-appropriate subsistence for farmers. Pictured here is G.J. Doornbos, of the International Federation of Agricultural Producers.   
 
 
A representative of trade unions noted that the definition of unfair trading practices does not include violations of workers' rights. She described a "democracy deficit" which is caused by the free reign being given to multinational concerns in Eastern and Central Europe.
 
  
Co-Chair Maria Luiza Viotti (Brazil) outlined proposals made by major groups during their statements and asked all groups to respond to these various proposals during the interactive dialogue.
 

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