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UN DESA DSD Sixteenth Session of the Commission on Sustainable Development (CSD-16)
New York | 5-16 May 2008
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Commission on Sustainable Development Commences

The sixteenth session of the Commission on Sustainable Development (CSD-16) convened on Monday, 5 May 2008 at United Nations headquarters in New York. Delegates began considering the thematic cluster for the 2008/2009 implementation cycle - agriculture, rural development, land, drought, desertification and Africa.

In the morning, after electing officers and adopting the agenda and organization of work, delegates heard reports on intersessional activities and made general statements.

In the afternoon, participants began considering the agriculture theme, as well as regional perspectives from Africa and Western Asia.


Monday, 5 May, 2008
Opening


CSD-16 Chair Francis Nhema, Minister of Environment and Tourism (Zimbabwe), urged delegates to address thematic issues in an integrated matter.

Sha Zukang, Under-Secretary-General for Economic and Social Affairs, said the world food crisis threatens to unravel gains and exacerbate poverty and malnutrition.

Christopher Flavin (Worldwatch Institute) discussed the 2008 State of the World report.

Kathleen Abdalla, Officer in Charge (Division for Sustainable Development) presented the Secretary-General's overview of progress towards sustainable development.

John Ashe (Antigua and Barbuda, for the G-77/China) suggested renewed and urgent efforts to enhance the implementation of Agenda 21 and the JPOI.

Marta Hrustel Majcen (Slovenia, for the EU) said the CSD adds value by reviewing and analyzing aspects of sustainable development.

Angus Friday (Grenada, on behalf of AOSIS) said a decrease in ODA levels is affecting SIDS.

Hjálmar Hannesson (Iceland) reported on the High-Level Round Table on International Cooperation for Sustainable Development in Caribbean SIDS, held in March 2008 in Barbados.

Mahe Tupouniua (Tonga, on behalf of the Pacific SIDS) urged development partners to implement commitments in the Monterrey Consensus.

John Matuszak (United States) emphasized scientific research and education, mechanisms to exchange information between scientists and decision makers, and an enabling environment that establishes the tools and incentives to develop markets sustainably.

Hamid Al-Bayati (Iraq, on behalf of the Arab Group) called for new and additional financial resources and removal of restrictions on technology transfer to developing countries.

Fran´┐Żois Pythoud (Switzerland) emphasized the need to enhance the weight of the CSD within the UN institutional framework, and to consolidate its interactions with ECOSOC.
Delegates heard statements from nine representatives of Major Groups, including Tom Goldtooth (Indigenous Peoples), Elisabeth Gauffin (Farmers) and Kristen Sukalac (Business and Industry).
Thematic Discussions: Agriculture

Melanie Suntizo-Sandoval (Guatemala) chaired the discussion.

Djibouti, on behalf of the African Group, drew attention to the commitment of African leaders to allocate funding to agricultural development.

Javad Amin-Mansour (Iran) called for providing special assistance to farmers, and said genetically modified seeds can be harmful.

Barbados, for AOSIS, highlighted the need to recognize the economic and environmental vulnerabilities of SIDS.

Lourdes Cruz (Mexico) highlighted the need to address distribution of incomes.

Scientific and Technological Community highlighted the benefits of improved technology for farmers.

Joanna Hewitt (Australia) announced its contribution of an additional US$30 million to the World Food Programme Emergency Appeal
Regional Discussions: Africa

CSD-16 Chair Francis Nhema (Zimbabwe) chaired the session.

Luc Gnacadja, Executive Secretary, UNCCD, called for more attention to people living in Africa's drylands.

Djamel Echirk (Algeria) urged the designation of 2010-2020 the international decade to fight desertification.

Senegal called for an integrated approach in addressing the underlying causes of poverty and food insecurity in Africa.
Regional Discussions: Western Asia

Abdul Aziz Al-Sharea (Syria) presented an in-depth perspective on drought and desertification in the Arab states.

Saudi Arabia referred to recent initiatives, such as the Riyadh Declaration on an emergency Arab program for food security.

Carol Chouchani Cherfane (Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia) gave a presentation on ongoing initiatives such as employment creation and improved marketing standards for small producers.
Side Events

A lunchtime side event organized by the Maryknoll Sisters presented success stories about sustainable community farming in Zambia, Mexico and Zimbabwe.

UN-HABITAT organized an evening side event on "Gendering Land Tools: From Policy to Practice."

The Baha'i International Community organized an evening side event on "The Ethical Dimensions of Climate Change: Implications for Africa's Rural and Agricultural Development."
Around CSD-16




Links to CSD-16 Information

UN Division for Sustainable Development (DSD) CSD 16 website
CSD 16 Organization of Work (draft proposal)
CSD 16 Documents
DSD SIDS website
CSD 16 Regional Implementation Meetings
Partnerships Fair

Links to IISD RS coverage and resources

Earth Negotiations Bulletin CSD 15 coverage, 30 April-11 May 2007
Earth Negotiations Bulletin CSD 14 coverage, 1-12 May 2006
Earth Negotiations Bulletin CSD 13 coverage, 11-22 April 2005
Earth Negotiations Bulletin CSD coverage
Earth Negotiations Bulletin UN Convention to Combat Desertification coverage
IISD RS coverage of sustainable development meetings
Linkages sustainable development news page
Linkages Update - Newsletter on international sustainable development issues
MEA Bulletin - Newsletter on key MEAs and their secretariats
African Regional Coverage

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