Thirteenth Session of the Commission on Sustainable Development (CSD-13)
11-22 April 2005 | United Nations Headquarters, New York

 Earth Negotiations Bulletin - ENB

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Summary

CSD-13's organization of work can be divided into four parts:

  • 11-12 April: Regional perspectives

  • 12-14 April: Interactive discussions

  • 15-19 April: Negotiations on the Chair’s draft elements

  • 20-22 April: High Level Segment

CSD-13 is expected to produce:

  • Negotiated policy decisions on practical measures and options to expedite implementation;

  • A summary of: the regional perspective sessions; policy options and practical measures; interactive discussions with major groups; the High-level Segment; the Partnerships Fair; and the Learning Centre; and

  • Voluntary commitments to mobilize further action by implementation actors to be posted on the CSD website.

Visit the Earth Negotiations Bulletin's coverage of the CSD-13 Intergovernmental Preparatory Meeting


Highlights from Monday, 11 April

The thirteenth session of the UN Commission on Sustainable Development (CSD-13) opened on Monday morning at UN headquarters in New York . The session began with opening statements from key officials and the adoption of the agenda and organization of work. Delegates were also briefed on relevant intersessional meetings and discussed the Chair's text from the recent Intergovernmental Preparatory Meeting (IPM). On Monday afternoon, regional perspectives on water, sanitation and human settlements were presented and discussed.

   
Anna Tibajuka, Executive Director, UN Habitat, Anwarul Chowdhury, UN Under Secretary General and High Representative for High Representative for the Least Developed Countries, Landlocked Developing Countries and Small Island Developing States, Jose Antonio Ocampo, UN Under Secretary General for Economic and Social Affairs, and CSD 13 Chair John Ashe, Antigua and Barbuda
   
   

CSD Chair John Ashe (right) reflected on the review of water, sanitation and human settlements conducted at CSD-12, and its conclusion that current efforts are not sufficient to achieve the targets set out under the Johannesburg Plan of Implementation (JPOI) and relevant Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). He highlighted poverty and lack of resources and capacity as major obstacles in delivering these targets. He also drew attention to the Chair's text and “matrix” of issues developed at the IPM. He explained that the challenge now is to agree on measures to expedite progress on targets, and said his vision for CSD-13 was that it would take decisions that would have a positive impact, including on resources. He reminded delegates that CSD-13 would set a precedent for future CSDs and other processes, and highlighted the important role of Major Groups.

Under Secretary General José Antonio Ocampo (center) reminded delegates that the task facing CSD-13 is to agree on policies and practical measures that countries can adopt on drinking water, sanitation, and slum dwellers, noting that CSD-13's outcome will provide a litmus test of the international political will. Campo highlighted, inter alia , how the target of improving the lives of 100 million slum dwellers by 2020 is not ambitious enough, and stressed the need to address local authorities' lack of fiscal resources and capacities.

   

Anwarul Chowdhury, UN High Representative for the Least Developed Countries, Landlocked Developing Countries, and Small Island Developing States, noted that these countries are recognized by the UN as the most disadvantaged and vulnerable groups. He urged delegates to address LDCs' and SIDS' needs, while expressing disappointment that those needs are not appropriately reflected in the matrix of the Chair's IPM summary. Chowdhury called for a shift from a needs-based approach to a rights-based approach and suggested that the Global Environment Facility (GEF) be encouraged to increase funding for water and sanitation.

   
   

Yoshitaka Murata, Minister of State for Disaster Management, Japan, highlighted the results of the World Conference on Disaster Reduction, held in January 2005. He pointed to the linkages between the conference outcomes and the three themes of CSD-13, citing rapid urbanization as a new risk factor.

Dumisani S. Kumalo, Permanent Representative to the UN, South Africa, reported on the Africa Ministerial Conference on Housing and Urban Development (AMCHUD, held in January/February, 2005, which adopted the Durban Declaration and the Enhanced Framework of Implementation, which promotes collective approaches to urban development issues including access to land, mobilization of domestic funding resources, the importance of external assistance and debt elimination, the need for capacity building, and the strengthening financial sectors responsive to national needs and priorities.

Anna Tibajuka, Executive Director of UN-HABITAT, reported on the deliberations of its 20th Governing Council, held from 4-8 April, 2005, and suggested that CSD-13 follow an integrated approach in addressing the three themes on its agenda. She also suggested establishing a new target of halving the number of slum dwellers by 2020.

 
   

Elisabeth Colotte, Luxemburg, speaking on behalf of the EU (left), discussed the need to: associate actors with actions; promote the JPOI's importance in the development agenda; improve interagency and donor coordination; and adopt monitoring and follow-up mechanisms.

Safford Neil, Permanent Representative to the UN, Jamaica, speaking for the G-77/China (right), the need for, inter alia, focused and action-oriented outcomes, better examination of the themes' interlinkages and the resulting financial implications, public education, integration of the themes into national plans and appropriate follow-up.

   
   
Jose Antonio Ocampo, with John Ashe (left) and Enele Sopoaga, Permanent Representative to the UN, Tuvalu (right), briefed delegates on the International Meeting to Review the Implementation of the Programme of Action for the Sustainable Development of Small Island Developing States (SIDS), held in Mauritius (January 2005).

Regional Perspectives
 
 
CSD Vice-Chairs' Khaled Elbakly (Egypt) and Dagmara Berbalk (Germany)
 
 

Josue Dioue, UN Economic Commission for Africa (ECA) (left), discussed the African Ministers' Council on Water (AMCOW) and outcomes of the Pan African Implementation and Partnership Conference on Water, held in December, 2003, in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. He discussed the need for a flexible integrated settlements approach that balances rural and urban needs, suggesting inclusion of implementation status on future CSD agendas.

UNDP (center) highlighted Africa 's minimal water supply and sanitation coverage, noting the difficulties of addressing this in post-conflict societies and given the HIV epidemic. and Shehu Yahaya, African Development Bank.

Shehu Yahaya, African Development Bank (right), discussed its Rural Water Supply and Sanitation Initiative, stressing the importance of water and sanitation in achieving the MDGs in Africa.

 

Razina Bigrami, UNDP's Regional Office for the Asia Pacific Region (left)

A representative from the ESCAP (right) reviewed the Asia-Pacific's growing water problems resulting from expanding needs in agriculture, industry, and urbanization. She noted that ESCAP has also encouraged increased exchanges of experience, regional cooperation and integrated approaches to human settlements planning.

 

 

Oscar Hernandez, UNDP's Regional Bureau of Arab States, highlighted increasing water stresses in the Arab world and steps taken to mainstream water issues in national strategies

Hosny Khordagui, ESCWA (right), highlighted the value of confidence building measures on transboundary water issues. On sanitation, he noted the need to strengthen capacity for monitoring and enforcement, while on human settlement issues he emphasized the importance of improved housing and services, tenure and greater security for the poor, partnerships and appropriate financial mechanisms.

 
  Joseluis Samaniego, Director of Sustainable Development and Human Settlements, ECLAC, noted the region's improved economic conditions, high levels of water supply, and 75% urban population. He outlined some emerging instruments, such as methane capturing from residual waters, financing systems and urban property regimes.

UNDP's Regional Bureau for Latin America and the Caribbean underscored, inter alia : problems with rural water sanitation in the region; noted the importance of its collaboration with the GEF; highlighted the need to adapt to the increasing effects of climate change; and stressed the need for political awareness raising, scientific studies, capacity building, and the strengthening of institutions.

 
Kaj Barlund, UN Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE), drew attention to the numerous transboundary water areas in Europe and the issues of equitable use and resource distribution that they raise. He stressed the value of IWRM and the role of water and sanitation in combating poverty. Regarding human settlements, he highlighted problems in central and eastern Europe, noting some deterioration in existing housing stocks.

Side Event: Making Every Drop Count: Five keys to more and better financing for the water and sanitation MDGs
Sponsored by Wateraid (www.wateraid.org), Tearfund (www.tearfund.org) and Water Supply and Sanitation Collaborative Council (www.wsscc.org)

 
 
George Bagamuhunda, Water and Sanitation Network, Uganda, Francea Schwartz, Environment Ministry, Germany, Gourisankar Ghosh, WSSCC, Andy Atkins, Tearfund, Adam Mbaye, Senegal, David Redhouse, Water Aid, and Naomi Foxwood Wateraid
 
David Redhouse, Water Aid,

Miscellaneous Photos
 
 


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