RESOURCE-E.GIF (6856 bytes)
CSD-7
THE SEVENTH SESSION OF THE UN COMMISSION ON SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT

Briefing for Thursday, 29 April

RUSSIAN FEDERATION MAY FORCE A VOTE ON BALKANS "ENVIRONMENTAL CRISIS" AT CSD-7

China joined the Russian Federation in supporting a draft resolution inviting the seventh session of the Commission on Sustainable Development to "express grave concern" at the "unfolding of an environmental crisis in the region of the Balkans as a result of the destruction of chemical, oil and other industries in Yugoslavia."

The draft resolution, introduced by Russia, also addresses the social and humanitarian consequences resulting from an unprecedented increase in the number of refugees and displaced persons in Yugoslavia and neighboring countries and the undermining of the social and economic infrastructure which endangers the overall prospects of sustainable development in the Balkans region. With support from Cuba, Belarus and China, Russia called on all parties involved to stop all actions that aggravate further the environmental, social and humanitarian situation in the region and urged the UN system to undertake immediate measures to address the current and long-term sustainable development problems of Yugoslavia and of the neighboring countries.

CHINA expressed grave concern over bombing of chemical refineries. The US urged the sponsor to withdraw the resolution and not force the CSD to conduct its first vote. The EU said the CSD was not the right forum to discuss the crisis and urged no further action on the resolution. EGYPT called for a wider discussion. JAPAN, TURKEY, CANADA, COSTA RICA, NORWAY, the CZECH REPUBLIC, and SWITZERLAND agreed that the CSD was an inappropriate forum for the draft resolution. The RUSSIAN delegate disagreed and said he would definitely not withdraw the resolution. The CHAIR recommended that the resolution be taken up in Plenary on Friday.

IN THE CORRIDORS

A meeting of WEOG considered possible candidates for one of the co-chair positions on the proposed new Ad Hoc Open-ended Intergovernmental Group of Experts on Energy and Sustainable Development. Austria, with the backing of the EU, is in the running together with Norway. Iran has been invited to consider putting a candidate forward for the other co-chair position. NGO representatives are concerned that Austria and Norway�s non-membership of the CSD will hold up a decision on nominations while the CSD seeks legal advice.

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Earth Negotiations Bulletin, 1999. All rights reserved.