The World Summit on Sustainable Development
Second Preparatory Committee (PrepCom-II)
New York, 28 Jan - 8 Feb 2002
 
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Tuesday, 5 February

Delegates met in Plenary in morning, afternoon and night sessions to discuss the Chair's List of Issues and Proposals for Discussion. The PrepCom discussed issues related to health; energy, transport and atmosphere; conservation and management of natural resources; and managing the world's freshwater resources. Photo: PrepCom Vice-Chairs Richard Ballhorn (Canada) and Ihab Gamaleldin (Egypt).

Chair's List of Issues and Proposals for Discussion: Health 

Co-Chair Ihab Gamaleldin, Egypt, chaired the discussion on health.
 

The G-77/China called for reference to financial and technical assistance for developing countries to launch programmes related to health. She also said reference to transboundary air pollution does not belong in the paragraph on respiratory diseases.

Previously, Zimbabwe, on behalf of the G-77/China, started the morning session with several comments on the previous days' debate on non-section C, "Changing unsustainable patterns of consumption and production."

 
Spain, for the EU, expressed support for the Secretary-General's fund to combat HIV/AIDS, and proposed the establishment of other similar funds. He noted the need to address the lack of information on the health impacts of environmental pollution. He stated that closing the poverty gap is the best way to address social differences and health.
 
The US (left, speaking with an NGO) stressed the importance of the connections between health and environment. He said paragraphs that deal with basic barriers to health should be given priority, and highlighted community health and promotion of good governance. He underscored the importance of getting lead out of gasoline, and mentioned the global fund to fight AIDS.
 
John Klink, US State Department Bureau of Population, Migration and Refugees, consulting with an NGO representative.
 
Jamaica said the issues of mental health and contamination from medical waste deserved attention.
 
Ghana stressed the importance of plant-based and traditional medical systems in the health delivery systems of Africa and other developing countries, as well as patent right protection.
 
Canada called for a global health and environment assessment based on existing assessments, as well as the identification of specific capacity development initiatives.
 
Algeria stressed the importance of access to water, particularly for countries facing drought and desertification.
 
Norway called for technical and financial support to implement existing conventions on the environment. He urged a decentralized approach to health, including community empowerment, self- reliance, and promotion of good governance. Photo: Norwegian delegates reading the daily ENB
 
Mexico called for reference to the regional platforms that reflect the considerable amount of work done in the different regions. He said it is important to identify accumulated experience since Rio or else it is irrelevant to identify new tasks.
 

Mauritius reiterated that the lack of infrastructure to manage waste water leads to infectious diseases.

 

The World Health Organization said the issue of lead in gasoline needs to be more addressed in a manner that goes beyond the air pollution impact, and which looks at childhood lead poisoning. Regarding indoor air quality, she said the fuel cycle should be addressed. She said prevention and treatment of childhood pneumonia should be addressed, as well as capacity building and training, and development tools, such as a health impact assessment.
 

The International Labor Organization called for a more coherent and analytical approach to dealing with the social pillar of sustainable development and emphasized employment policies and employment programmes.
 
Tanzania said HIV/AIDS deserved higher profile and called for a multisectoral response to HIV/AIDS, suggesting, inter alia, debt relief for those impacted. More generally, he said the issue of sustainable tourism should be addressed, as it has the potential to bring economic benefits and help with poverty reduction.
 
The Russian Federation supported the establishment of broad-based innovative partnerships, and said the development of education in health care should be reflected.
 
The FAO asked that references be added to a global campaign on fair conditions of employment in agriculture with focus on health, safety and environmental standards, and called for improved poverty mapping and diagnosis by increasing support to existing information systems. The FAO quickly described the Codex Alimentarius.
 
IFAD noted the links between rural and urban poverty, requested that references to the roles of Indigenous Peoples and women in food and nutrition be added, and asked to reinforce the link between food security and desertification.
 
Hungary said the document focused on environmental health, and that a broader approach to health was needed. He underscored that the phasing out of lead in gasoline has already been introduced in the EC region, and that existing programmes should be taken into account.
 

Kyrgyzstan called for reference to countries with economies in transition.

 
Saying that the HIV/AIDS pandemic was a global problem requiring a global programme of action, South Africa proposed a new paragraph on such a programme. Its goals would be to reduce infection rates among 15 to 24 year olds, primarily in most-affected countries, and to ensure access for young men and women to preventative information, treatment and services.
 
Chair's List of Issues and Proposals for Discussion: Energy, transport and protection of the atmosphere
On an initial G-77/China proposal to move some paragraphs to the poverty cluster, Hungary said that the focus should not just be on poor countries. He said mass transportation was important for all countries, and highlighted the transboundary context of the mass transportation, including shipping and train systems.
 
Australia expressed concern that the text was a over-simplification of the energy problem.
 

New Zealand noted a recent WTO report that described energy as the second most distorted sector of the global economy, after agriculture, and called for reforms. He highlighted the changing focus of the petroleum industry towards renewables, and saw in this opportunities for partnerships.

 
Saudi Arabia called for a more balanced text and recalled the difficulty in reaching consensus on energy issues at CSD-9. He said many of the paragraphs go above and beyond anything that has been negotiated. He said there was nothing on, inter alia, industrial development, and on terrestrial resource development and land use.
  
Tuvalu: "There can be no development without an affordable, accessible and efficient supply of energy."
  
Richard Ballhorn, Canada, chaired the discussion on energy, transport and protection of the atmosphere.
 

Mauritius supported financing renewable energy for sustainable development, and said mass transportation was relevant for developed countries as well.

 
Japan suggested a paragraph on the promotion, development and dissemination of environmentally-friendly vehicles in order to promote air quality and tackle climate change.
  
The Russian Federation said that the goal of ratification of the Kyoto Protocol by 2002 to ensure its entry into force prior to the WSSD was unrealistic and not possible.
  
The US called for better articulation and integration of energy in the broader context of development. He stated "the timeframe of technology transfer tethered to the Kyoto Protocol is sub-optimal and not conducive to long-term tech transfer." He qualified the proposal on stabilization of demand as unworkable and as a violation of basic market principles.
  
Samoa, on behalf of AOSIS, thanked the Chair of the G-77/China for her retraction of their re-organization of topics the Group proposed earlier in the day, in which several energy-related paragraphs were moved to other cluster. He said that this reflected the need to treat energy to as a whole, and that it should not been subsumed in any way or relegated to other topics of discussions. He called for reference to mechanisms of Kyoto, especially those relating to assistance and adaptation.
    

Chair's List of Issues and Proposals for Discussion: conservation and management of the natural resource base for development.

On the issue of disaster prevention, Spain, speaking for the EU, said the establishment of an early warning platform under the auspices of the UN as the nucleus for a global early warning network is necessary in order to integrate national, regional and international activities and experiences. He called for, inter alia, utilization of remote sensing techniques and elaboration of indicators for disaster vulnerability.
 
China, speaking for the G-77/China, made a series of preliminary comments on conservation and management of natural resources.
 
Algeria stressed the relationship between climate change and desertification. He said we must insist on the idea of mechanisms to ensure effective implementation of UNCCD in order to restore land for agriculture and address poverty resulting from land degradation. He supported the idea of setting early warning systems, and renewed international efforts for management, conservation and sustainable development of all types of forests.
 
Hungary called for an integrated ecosystem approach. He said organic agriculture might be something to address. He also said that the Summit should also be considered a Summit for the global forests.
 
Maria Luiza Ribeiro Viotti, Brazil, (above right) chaired the discussion on conservation and management of the natural resource base for development. Kiyotaka Akasaka, Japan (above left) chaired the debate on fresh water.
 
Japan supported promoting wider use of satellite technologies, as satellite data is a critical source for mitigating natural disasters. He said one of the biggest constraints to effective conservation and management of natural resources is the lack of scientific knowledge and data. He said global forest monitoring is very important for sustainable development, and introduced the proposal for the Global Observation of Forest Cover Project (GOFC), noting that forest monitoring by satellite was key to improving the capacity of forest management worldwide.
For more information visit the GOFC website: www.gofc.org/gofc/
 
On natural resources, Brazil said it could not accept language on illegal logging, but it would be prepared to discuss illegal trade. He also supported cooperation with indigenous populations and local communities, and an additional paragraph on criteria and indicators.
 
Under natural resources, New Zealand supported the idea of a multilateral liability regime and called attention to the transport of radioactive waste in the Pacific region. He supported the development and operationalization of a vulnerability index, and emphasized that low-lying states will act as a barometer for the rest of the world. He supported calls by Indonesia and Japan to include language on illegal logging. Samoa and Papua New Guinea supported New Zealand's calls for a liability regime and vulnerability indices.
Side Event: "Water: The Key to Sustainable Development"

This side event was organized by the Secretariat of the 3rd World Water Forum.

Ryutaro Hashimoto, National Steering Committee of the 3rd World Water Forum and Former Prime Minister of Japan, spoke on water as key to sustainable development. He announced that the 3rd World Water Forum would be held in Japan from 16-23 March 2003. He noted the importance of governance, movement of funds, and development of abilities to successful water resource management. He emphasized clean water and said that all stakeholders must participate. He also said that a fair price that the poor can afford must be agreed upon. Emphasizing the importance of proper upstream water resource management, he used Afghanistan as an example of a country where little water is being used properly. He said that in helping the country rebuild, agriculture will be important and that proper management must take into account the downstream impact. He said that at the WSSD, water must be taken up appropriately, and that people from outside the water world must understand the issues. Participants then had a brainstorming session on what the most important water messages for WSSD were. Some of the issues raised were:

  • water access, which encompasses equity and justice
  • international environmental governance
  • using the Bonn recommendations for action as a basis for negotiations at the WSSD
  • linking information about water resources
  • integrated water resource management
  • water as a fundamental right and a common good
  • a proposal for an international water monitoring network
  • identifying ways to involve and give younger generations a voice
  • policies and incentives to reduce overuse and exploitation of water resources
  • water as the basis of all life with integral value in and of itself

A Virtual Water Forum (VWF) has been established to discuss water issue at http://www.worldwaterforum.org/vwf - more information also available via e-mail to vwf@water-forum3.com. The VWF is designed to replicate the proceedings of an actual conference.

As a lead-up to the Forum, the "Water Voice" project will be launched to collect grassroots opinions and comments. The goal is to create a database of opinions, comments and ideas. http://www.worldwaterforum.org/voice/

 

Book Signing: "Earth Summit 2002 - A New Deal," and "Multi-Stakeholder Processes for Governance and Sustainability - Beyond Deadlock and Conflict"  

A book signing was held at the UN Bookstore for Earth Summit 2002- A New Deal, edited by Felix Dodds with Toby Middleton, and Multi-Stakeholder Processes for Governance and Sustainability - Beyond Deadlock and Conflict, written by Minu Hemmati. For more informationand to order: visit http://www.earthscan.co.uk and search for the above titles.

Photo below: Minu Hemmati, Felix Dodds and Toby Middleton

 

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