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8th Meeting of the Commission on Sustainable Development
New York, USA; 24 April - 05 May, 2000
 
| Monday 24 | Tuesday 25 | Wednesday 26 | Thursday 27Friday 28 |
| Monday 01 | Tuesday 02 | Wednesday 03 | Thursday 04 | Friday 05 |

| Lundi 24 | Mardi 25 | Mercredi 26 | Jeudi 27 | Vendredi 28 |
| Lundi 01 | Mardi 02 | Mercredi 03 | Jeudi 04 | Vendredi 05 |

Highlights from Thursday 27 April


High-Level Panel Discussion on MEAs and the WTO

Svend Auker, Minister of Environment, Denmark, Klaus Topfer, UNEP Executive Director, and Frank Loy, US Under Secretary of State, during a High-Level Panel Discussion on MEAs and the WTO. Minister Auker, questioned the lack of equality between the WTO and MEAs, stating that we have no problem violating WTO rules when it comes to drugs, arms, child pornography, plutonium, etc. Regarding Seattle, he said at least Seattle will never repeat itself and a lesson has been learned in that next time, people will not be left out of the process.

 
Frank Loy, US Under Secretary of State, recalled the "grammatical gymnastics" in reaching agreement on the Biosafety Protocol. He also highlighted the importance of the shrimp-turtle agreement in the WTO and argued that a savings clause does not

 

Jon Erick Sorenson, Director, Trade and Environment Division, WTO, said all WTO members agree that their needs to be more coordination between trade and environment policy people, and highlighted the role that trade measures can play in implementing MEAs.

Willem Wijnstehers, Executive Secretary, CITES, and Hassan Adamu, Minister for the Environment, Nigeria


The Greening of Capital Markets: Can the Stock Market Promote Sustainable Development?

Klaus Tpfer, UNEP Executive Director briefly reviewed UNEP's activities regarding financial institutions and the environment; emphasized the potential role of liability regimes in steering the market to ensure environmental protection; and highlighted the importance of requiring pension funds to declare their environmental policies. Noting his experience with the Blue Angel environmental labelling scheme in Germany, he drew attention to the difficulties associated with developing credible environmental criteria.

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Siri Bjerke, Norwegian Minister of the Environment, emphasized the potential role of private capital markets in promoting sustainable development. She suggested that governments can facilitate this by requiring minimum social and environmental criteria in stock portfolios, through implementation of education initiatives, reporting requirements, or the promulgation of guidelines. She drew attention to the imminent criteria to be produced by the Norwegian government.

Carol Joly, Senior Vice-President of Storebrand Investments, presented the experience of Storebrand Investments with their socially and environmentally responsible investments. Noting that these investments exclude the tobacco industry as well as investment in companies with human right violations, he highlighted their positive performance as compared with other purely financially oriented portfolios. From a public policy perspective, he suggested: requiring public and private pension funds to report their social and environmental policy; government pension funds to adopt social and environmental investments; and including social and environmental investments as legitimate investment within prudency rules, so as to avoid possible legal challenges.

Henry Fernandez, President of Morgan Stanley Capital International, outlined the global benchmarking service of Morgan Stanley Capital International, emphasizing the benefits associated with the operation of the free market.

Professor Brad Gentry supported calls for greater disclosure of the social and environmental policies of pension funds, urged companies to ensure that corporate environmental reports are written with the financial community in mind.

John Gummer, former UK Minster for the Environment, argued that disclosure was necessary for markets to work effectively, and noted the significant benefits associated with the UK government's requirement for pension funds to declare their social and environmental policy.

Women, Pesticides and Sustainable Development

Chief Bisi Ogunleye (WEDO), Saro Jeni Rengman (Pesticide Action Network), Chair Pamela Ransom (WEDO), Rudo Peace Mungwashu (Zimbabwe United Nations Association), and.Annik Dollaker (Bayer AG Crop Protection Business Group).

Saro Jeni Rengman (left) of the Pesticide Action Network (Malaysia) described the working conditions for female crop pesticide-sprayers in Malaysia. Citing physiological toxicity with chronic CNS effects, Rengman�s work involves public education programs, women�s empowerment, and facilitation with workers, unions and management.
 
Annik Dollaker (above, second from right) of the Global Crop Protection Federation / Bayer AG Crop Protection Business Group (Belgium) outlined action-learning on her integrated crop management training for farmers in Brazil. Three distinct aspects which contributed to the success of her project were (i) the training of farmer and the members of their families; (ii) a multi-facetted participatory synergy that resulted from housing the training sessions in a local primary school, which drew the interest and voluntary efforts of resident (female) teachers and their families; and (iii) the involvement of children, who took to the principles and practices quickly and provided added value to the purpose of these training sessions � which were all about safety, good and bad farm practices.

World Economic Forum Environmental Sustainability Index: Presentation of pilot results and discussion of future plans
For more information on the Initiative of the Global Leaders for Tomorrow Environment Task Force from the World Economic Forum and to obtain the document of the Pilot Environmental Sustainability Index, visit:
www.ciesin.org/indicators/ES/pilot_esi/html

Marc Levy, Associate Director for Science Applications, Center for Earth Science Information Netork (CIESIN), and Jose Luis Samaniego Leyva, Ministry of the Environment, Mexico


Sustainability Assessment of Trade: International Experts Meeting on Sustainability Assesment of Trade Liberalisation (Quito, Ecuador) March 2000

(left) Mireille Perrin, Trade and Investment Unit, WWF International (Switzerland) and David Schorr (right), Sustainable Commerce Program , WWF - USA (USA).

This side event gave an overview of the International Experts Meeting on Sustainability Assessment of Trade Liberalisation (March 2000 - Quito, Ecuador). The meeting was held in response to the importance expressed in the CSD for developing a framework to facilitate the assessment of the environmental impacts of trade policies within the overall framework of promoting sustainable development. According to the WWF, "Sustainability Assessment (SA) is a tool to identify the economic, environmental and social impacts of trade and to determine how best to maximize the positive effects and minimize adverse impacts. In comparison with environmental impact assessments (EIA), an SA seeks to examine social and development issues, as well as environmental aspects".

SA's purpose serves to identify factors that would inform decision-makers about the effects of trade and contribute to trade negotiations and holds great potential for national governments, regional coordinating bodies and intergovernmental organizations. The position statement of the WWF outlines the concept for SA that sees roles for multi-stakeholder involvement.

National governments and key stakeholders such as NGOs, research institutes, and industry would all be involved in the design and application of SA at all levels (local, national, and transnational).

International organizations would need to be involved in providing financial and technical support, advisory capacities, and in the facilitation of transboundary SA examinations.

Work remains to be done to further SA and this involves continuing the international dialogue on the value of SA, providing a venue for the international exchange of information and knowledge sharing, ensuring stakeholder involvement, and in the development of crucial assessment methodologies and indicators.


ENB Summary of Ad Hoc Open-Ended Intergovernmental Group of Experts on Energy and Sustainable Development
CSD-8 Intersessionals
Linkages CSD page
UN - CSD website with official documents 
ENB's "Introduction to CSD"

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