Global Women's Assembly on Environment: Women as the Voice for Environment (WAVE)
October 2004: The United Nations Environment Programme's (UNEP) first Global Women's Assembly on Environment: Women as the Voice for the Environment (WAVE) convened from 11-13 October 2004, in Nairobi, Kenya.
The Assembly focused on generating outputs related to the upcoming Beijing+10 review session, the five-year review of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), and the 13th session of the UN Commission on Sustainable Development (CSD-13). Over 150 participants from 60 countries attended the Assembly, some from remote indigenous communities and small island developing States.
Participants in the Network drafted informal recommendations on the “Women and Environment” section of the Beijing Platform of Action, which will be forwarded to the 23rd session of the UNEP Governing Council/Global Ministerial Environmental Forum and CSD-13. The WAVE Assembly adopted a Manifesto, which included these recommendations. The WAVE Manifesto, and WAVE recommendations and project ideas will be forwarded to relevant intergovernmental meetings. The Assembly highlighted the crucial role of women in promoting: women's leadership in environment; the participation of indigenous, rural and urban women in decision making; local-global linkages; environment and health linkages; capacity building and education; and peace.
IISD RS's coverage
of the Assembly.
CSD-13 Bureau Discusses Preparations for Spring Meeting
September 2004: The first meeting of the Bureau of the thirteenth session of the UN Commission on Sustainable Development (CSD-13) convened on 30 September 2004 in New York.
Among the issues discussed was the session's organization of work, with Bureau members agreeing that the Commission should focus on deliverables and mobilize further concrete and tangible action to expedite implementation, and that it should not seek to redefine problems or challenges. The Bureau discussed the unfortunate scheduling conflict of the UN-HABITAT Governing Council (11-15 April 2005) and CSD-13 (11-22 April 2005), particularly in light of the fact that the current CSD cycle is focusing on water, sanitation and human settlements. In response, the Bureau decided to make arrangements for the Governing Council to report on the outcomes of its meeting as an input to discussions at CSD-13 and scheduled the High-level Segment of CSD-13 for 20-22 April 2005. It was noted that the Secretary-General's reports for CSD-13 are scheduled to be posted on the CSD-13 website before the end of December 2004.
During a briefing session on 5 October, CSD-13 Chair John Ashe (Antigua and Barbuda) highlighted the importance of bringing Ministers of Finance on board in order for them to understand the implications of their policies. He informed delegates that the Bureau had discussed some ideas to engage their participation. The Bureau will be holding four more meetings in: early November, December, end of January 2005, and February 2005.
] [Notes of the first Bureau meeting
] [ENB's Briefing Note on the 5 October briefing
Pan-Asian Youth Leadership Summit - FUTURE ASIA PACIFIC LEADERS PLEDGE TO PURGE POVERTY AND PROMOTE PEACE
Youth from the Asia-Pacific region gathered recently for a three day summit to discuss how they can contribute to addressing poverty, HIV/AIDS, environmental degradation and other urgent challenges facing their region.
Organized by UNDP, the UN Millennium Campaign and the Global Peace Initiative of Women, the Pan-Asian Youth Leadership Summit convened in Hiroshima, Japan, on 21 September 2004, under the theme of “Mobilizing the Next Generation for Achieving the Millennium Development Goals.” The summit also kicked off Asia Pacific 2015, a UNDP-led campaign that aims to boost ongoing efforts to achieving the MDGs in the region.
During the event, participants discussed a range of issues and challenges with a focus on the MDGs and relevant to Asia Pacific countries, including the relationship between gender equality and HIV/AIDS, literacy and education, the impacts of urbanization, and leveraging sports and culture to attaining the MDGs. At the conclusion of the summit, youth delegates adopted a Declaration that called on the leaders of regional government organizations to provide them with the opportunity “to present our vision for 2015 to them and ask for their guidance and support in enabling the nations and peoples of Asia and the pacific to achieve the Goals by 2015.” The delegates also pledged to be Millennium Campaign Youth Advocates, committing to undertake steps to encourage their communities in the fight against poverty and to establish a permanent regional network of young leaders with a view to shaping a common agenda. This summit was the second in a series of regional youth gatherings, the first of which was the Pan-African Youth Leadership Summit, which convened in Dakar, Senegal in June. Click here for the Declaration of the Pan-Asian Youth Leadership Summit
MEETING ON “A FAIR GLOBALIZATION: IMPLEMENTING THE UNITED NATIONS MILLENNIUM DECLARATION”
World leaders came together on 20 September in New York to launch a new global discussion on the need for fair globalization in ensuring peace, prosperity and security for all.
Convening under the theme “A Fair Globalization: Implementing the United Nations Millennium Declaration,” the meeting, which took place on the eve of the opening the UN General Assembly's annual general debate, was hosted by the Presidents of Finland and Tanzania and moderated by the Director-General of the International Labour Organization. Over a dozen Heads of State, along with the President of the UN General Assembly and the UN Secretary-General were in attendance.
The meeting's deliberations focused on the conclusions of the report “A Fair Globalization: Creating Opportunities for All,” which was released in February 2004 and produced following two years of study by the ILO-established World Commission on the Social Aspects of Globalization. Chaired by the Presidents of Finland and Tanzania, the Commission concluded that action to build a fair and inclusive process of globalization was urgent, and called for a process of globalization with a strong social dimension based on universally-shared values, respect for human rights and individual dignity, fairness, inclusiveness, democratic governance, and opportunities and tangible benefits for all countries and people. The findings also saw a strengthened UN multilateral system as the instrument for bringing about the necessary reforms and ensuring coherence between international, economic, social and environmental policies.
During the meeting, UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan highlighted that too many people particularly in developing countries feel excluded and threatened by globalization. Noting that there is no future in globalization that tolerates predatory behavior and the hoarding of its profits by a minority, French President Jacques Chirac underscored the need to boost social dialogue and promote social ethics. Brazil's President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva reiterated that poverty is the most devastating weapon of mass destruction and urged harnessing globalization into a positive force for all.
Links to further information
ILO press release, 20 September 2004
UN news centre, 20 September 2004
World Commission on the Social Dimension of Globalization
WCSDG's report: A Fair Globalization: Creating Opportunities...
second session of the WORLD URBAN FORUM 2004
The second session of the World Urban Forum met from 13-17 September 2004 in Barcelona, Spain, convening under the theme – Cities: Crossroads of cultures, inclusiveness and integration? Organized by the United Nations Human Settlements Programme, UN-HABITAT, the event, which was attended by over 4000 participants, was a key component of the Universal Forum of Culture being hosted by Barcelona from 9 May to 26 September.
Participants met in plenary and partner and thematic dialogue sessions. Partner dialogues discussed issues such as: urban cultures; outstanding policies and legislation in implementing the Habitat Agenda and attaining the MDGs; urban governance; and urban renaissance. Thematic dialogues addressed topics such as: improving the lives of slum-dwellers; urban resources; urban sustainability; urban services – water and sanitation – getting the private sector to work for the urban poor; urban disasters and reconstruction.
During the session, UN-HABITAT signed an agreement with United Cities and Local Governments aimed at advancing the working relationship between the UN system and local governments around the world to a new level through localizing the Millennium Development Goals.
UN-HABITAT also strengthened its relationship with the European Commission through a new joint initiative on making cities around the world more sustainable. The EC and UN-HABITAT launched the joint publication “Creating a World of Sustainable Cities,” revealed the establishment of a common database of research results, and announced a joint conference scheduled for next year in China to further complement the ongoing cooperation activities between UN-HABITAT and the EC.
In addition, UN-HABITAT signed a Cooperation Agreement with Green Cross International aimed at achieving a “global breakthrough” for the realization of the internationally-agreed goals on water and sanitation based on a human rights approach.
At the close of the session, UN-HABITAT accepted Canada´s invitation to host the Third World Urban Forum in Vancouver in 2006. More information is available at: http://www.unhabitat.org/wuf/2004/default.asp
2004 XV INTERNATIONAL HIV/AIDS CONFERENCE - INTERNATIONAL AIDS CONFERENCE CONCLUDES WITH CALLS FOR FUNDS AND ACTION
The XV International AIDS Conference convened from 11-16 July 2004 in Bangkok, Thailand under the theme “Access for All.” Some 20,000 participants attended this biennial event, which comprised a wide variety of sessions and activities, including a global village that provided an opportunity for participants to interact with others concerned and involved in community response to HIV/AIDS.
The event also included art and cultural programmes, skills building workshops, exhibitions, and interfaith activities. Daily plenary sessions focused on issues such as access to resources, scaling up access to treatment, ensuring access for youth and women, expanding options and access for prevention, and overcoming challenges through empowerment and action. Abstract driven sessions were organized into five tracks, namely: basic science; clinical research, treatment and care; epidemiology and prevention; social and economic issues; and policy and programme implementation. The conference also saw the release of several key publications (see publications section) and the launching of the South Asia Inter-Religious Council on HIV/AIDS, an initiative by South Asian religious leaders of various faiths that aims to mobilize communities and resources to respond to the HIV/AIDS epidemic.
Strong leadership needed …
The conference commenced on a disappointing note with the cancellation of a summit meeting of world leaders. Invitations were forwarded to nine Heads of State from Botswana, Brazil, Canada, China, India, Nigeria, Russia, Rwanda and Uganda and the head of the European Commission, but only Uganda's Yoweri Museveni, accepted. During the meeting's opening session, UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan emphasized the need for strong leadership at all levels to combat the epidemic. He further stressed the importance of scaling up infrastructure to support treatment and prevention, and of empowering women and girls to protect themselves against the virus.
US criticized for focus on abstinence …
An issue that received considerable attention was the United States' policy of promoting abstinence as a means of stemming HIV infection, while marginalizing the role of condoms in combating the epidemic. Limits on the use of generic drugs and the low level of US funding towards the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria were other issues that were attacked. The US was criticized for establishing its own AIDS strategy, rather than focusing and aligning its efforts with other international partners toward funding the Global Fund.
According to the UN wire, the US had also cut the number of researchers attending the event to a quarter of the number of attendees who participated in the previous conference held in Barcelona in 2002. The UN wire reports that dozens of presentations were withdrawn and over 50 presentations reduced to summaries, while dozens of training sessions and meetings were cancelled. While US officials say the decision was based on financial grounds, some AIDS experts saw the decision as a personal response by US Health and Human Services Secretary Tommy Thompson to the criticisms that were hurled during his speech at the previous Barcelona conference.
More funding needed …
While global spending on AIDS has increased from $1.2 billion in 2000 to $6 billion in 2004, UNAIDS states that the world will still fall short of the $12 billion needed by 2005 to combat the epidemic effectively.
Links to further information
XV International AIDS Conference website
The World Health Organization's “3 by 5” initiative
UN news centre, 16 July 2004
US cuts participation in international AIDS conference, UN w...
PREPCOM-1 OF THE TUNIS PHASE OF THE WSIS
PrepCom 1 of the Tunis phase of the World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS) concluded with a broad agreement on the issues that will form the basis of discussion at the Tunis Summit and agreed on the structure for the preparatory process for the second phase of the WSIS.
Over 400 delegates representing 127 countries and the European Community, 272 observers from 113 civil society organizations and 71 observers from 33 international organizations were in attendance at PrepCom 1, which took place from 24-26 June 2004 in Hammermet, Tunisia.
Delegates agreed on a two-pronged focus to the preparatory process: the first being that the process should shed light on how to implement and follow up on the decisions contained in the Declaration of Principles and Plan of Action adopted at the Geneva phase of the WSIS held in December 2003, with particular focus on the challenges faced by LDCs; and the second being that the process should finalize discussions on financing mechanisms and internet governance – two issues that were left unresolved at the Geneva meeting. Delegates also consented to not re-open agreements reached in the Geneva phase, and decided that the output of the Tunis phase, scheduled for 16-18 November 2005 in Tunisia, would comprise a concise political segment and an operational segment aimed at translating the outcome of the work undertaken during the preparatory process into action-oriented items. The second PrepCom of the Tunis phase will take place in Geneva from 17- 25 February 2005. More information about the Hammermet PrepCom meeting is available at: http://www.itu.int/wsis/newsroom/press_releases/wsis/2004/ha...
92nd session of the INTERNATIONAL LABOUR CONFERENCE APPROVES PLAN OF ACTION FOR DEVELOPING MIGRANT WORKER TREATY
The 92nd session of the International Labour Conference, which met from 1-17 June in Geneva, concluded with the approval of a plan of action aimed at ensuring that international labor standards extend to migrant workers.
The plan calls for the development of a non-binding multilateral framework for a rights-based approach to labor migration, thus paving the way for a treaty on migrant workers to be presented to ILO member States in November 2005. The plan will contain guidelines that, inter alia, promote managed migration for employment purposes, advocate decent work for migrant workers, prevent abusive practices, address risks faced by migrants, and ensure that migrant workers can lodge complaints without intimidation.
Delegates to the conference also called for fair globalization and supported the conclusions of the World Commission on the Social Dimension of Globalization as a foundation for new, more coherent policies toward this end. The meeting also adopted a new recommendation on human resources development with an emphasis on education, training and lifelong learning, and took steps toward improving the safety and working conditions of millions of workers in the fishing sector.
The ILO Governing Body elected Philippe Séguin, France, as Chair for its 2004-2005 Session. More information is available at: http://www.ilo.org/public/english/standards/relm/ilc/ilc92/i...
ECA MINISTERIAL LEVEL MEETING ON THE IMPLEMENTATION OF THE ICPD
Ministers and population experts of African nations met from 10-11 June 2004 in Dakar, Senegal, to review the implementation of the Programme of Action (PoA) adopted in Cairo in 1994 at the International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD) and of the 1992 Dakar/Ngor Declaration on Population, Family and Sustainable Development.
Delegates examined the problems and constraints inhibiting the implementation of these commitments and adopted a blueprint report and a declaration reaffirming their strong commitment to ICPD PoA, underscoring that the Millennium Development Goals cannot be achieved without the full implementation of the Cairo programme.
The meeting's outcome documents saw commitments to: redouble efforts in promoting and strengthening universal access to quality and comprehensive reproductive health information and services; increase efforts to prevent, diagnose and treat HIV/AIDS and other sexually transmitted diseases; support families and orphans affected by HIV/AIDS and guarantee the access of youth and men and women to information, education and services required to prevent HIV infection; and redouble efforts to reduce maternal mortality through basic services and comprehensive reproductive healthcare. Representatives urged increased mobilization and allocation of national resources and increased international financial support to accelerate implementation of the ICPD consensus and other development goals, and called for all countries to increase resources to UNFPA.
This regional meeting is one of several regional events commemorating the 10th anniversary of the Cairo conference.
Links to further information
Website of the Regional Ministerial Review Conference on the...
UNFPA press release, 11 June 2004
THIRD SESSION OF THE PERMANENT FORUM ON INDIGENOUS ISSUES
The Permanent Forum for Indigenous Issues met for its third session at UN headquarters in New York from 10-21 May 2004 to focus on the session's special theme of “Indigenous Women.” Some 1500 participants from over 500 indigenous groups were in attendance.
Delegates participated in a high-level panel and dialogue on the session's theme and discussed the Forum's mandated areas of: economic and social development; environment; health; human rights; culture; and education.
The Forum adopted eight sets of recommendations on the session's theme, the mandated areas and the Forum's future work. The Forum also adopted six draft decisions requesting ECOSOC to:
*authorize a three-day intersessional meeting of the Permanent Forum in 2005 to prepare for the body's fourth annual session;
*authorize a technical three-day workshop on “The Millennium Development Goals and Indigenous Peoples”;
*authorize a technical three-day workshop on free, prior and informed consent;
*approve the provisional agenda of the body's fourth annual session;
*authorize holding the Forum's fourth annual session at UN Headquarters in New York, from 9 to 20 May 2005, and consider holding the Forum's 2006 or 2007 session in Geneva or another part of the world; and
*recommend to the General Assembly the declaration of a second International Decade of the World's Indigenous Peoples, to follow the conclusion of the present International Decade in 2004.
The fourth session of the Permanent Forum will focus on the “Millennium Development Goals and Indigenous Peoples,” emphasizing on the MDGs related to the eradication of extreme poverty and hunger and the achievement of universal primary education. More information on this meeting is available at: http://www.un.org/esa/socdev/unpfii/news/news_1.htm
12th Session of the CSD
April 2004: The twelfth session of the United Nations Commission on Sustainable Development (CSD-12) was held from 14-30 April 2004, at UN headquarters in New York.
The first three days of CSD-12 (14-16 April) served as the preparatory meeting for the International Meeting on the 10-year Review of the Programme of Action for the Sustainable Development of Small Island Developing States. The subsequent two weeks (19-30 April) were devoted to the CSD-12 Review Session, the first session held under the Commission's new multi-year programme of work adopted at CSD-11.
CSD-12 undertook an evaluation of progress in implementation of Agenda 21, the Programme for the Further Implementation of Agenda 21, and the Johannesburg Plan of Implementation, focusing on identifying constraints, obstacles, successes and lessons learned with regard to water, sanitation and human settlements, the thematic cluster of issues for the CSD-12 and CSD-13 Implementation Cycle. The Commission also heard reports from the UN Regional Commissions on the status of implementation, and from the Major Groups on their contribution to implementation. A high-level segment, attended by over 100 ministers and addressed by UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan, was held from 28-30 April, comprising presentations, interactive discussions and ministerial statements. Throughout the session, delegates also attended the Partnerships Fair and Learning Center courses.
At the conclusion of CSD-12, the Commission adopted the report of the session, which included a non-negotiated Chair's Summary. A unanimous verdict was passed on the success of CSD-12: it produced a clearer picture on the progress of implementation and the actions needed to increase the pace of delivery; it provided the space for ministers to look at progress, identify challenges, constraints and obstacles without the need to battle over drafting formulas; and it reaffirmed political commitment to achieving the internationally-agreed goals and targets on water, sanitation and human settlements. The ENB summary and analysis of this meeting is available at: http://www.iisd.ca/csd/csd12/
Assuring Food and Nutrition Security in Africa by 2020
The Conference on Assuring Food and Nutrition Security in Africa by 2020 was held at the Speke Resort and Country Lodge in Kampala, Uganda, from 1-3 April 2004.
The Conference was organized by the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI), hosted by the Government of Uganda, and supported by a Conference Advisory Committee. Approximately 550 participants attended, including three heads of state, ministers and other senior officials, as well as representatives of academic and research institutions, UN bodies, intergovernmental, non-governmental, business and industry organizations, development agencies, and the media.
The all-Africa Conference is part of a longer-term consultative process on action toward food and nutrition security. It brought together traditional and new actors and stakeholders to deliberate on catalyzing change and action to secure food and nutrition in Africa by 2020. The Conference was organized around three key components: taking stock and responding to driving forces; identifying technical, institutional and political solutions for bringing about change and action in priority areas of intervention; and examining how key actors can be strengthened and partnerships between and among them facilitated for influencing change. The Conference produced an outcome document on “The Way Forward from the 2020 Africa Conference.”
Throughout the Conference, participants heard keynote addresses and interacted in panel discussions that took stock of Africa's food and nutrition security, and considered why Africa has not yet achieved food and nutrition security and what lessons from successes can teach about improving implementation. Three sets of parallel sessions were held to address regional priorities, implementing action and strengthening stakeholders. On the opening day, the winners of the World Food Prize 2004 and the Youth Writing Contest were announced. The Sustainable Developments report on this meeting is available at: http://www.iisd.ca/sd/ifpri/
Global Forum on Internet Governance
Organized by the United Nations Information and Communication Technologies Task Force, the Global Forum on Internet Governance convened from 25-26 March in New York, attracting over 300 participants representing government, the private sector, civil society, academia and leaders of the Internet community.
The Forum was designed to contribute to a process of consultations that would lead to the establishment of a working group on Internet governance by the UN Secretary-General, as requested by the Geneva phase of the World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS) held in December 2003.
Delegates convened in plenary sessions and several parallel break-out sessions to discuss a range of Internet governance issues. The Forum identified areas of agreement and outlined approaches to resolving issues that remained controversial. The basic divergence in views arose from those who think that the Internet is functional and should be left alone, and those who support some form of global management of the Internet. Participants agreed on some of the baseline principles that should guide the evaluation of governance mechanisms and their future evolution and development. More information is available at: http://www.unicttaskforce.org/perl/documents.pl?id=1355
Sixth Meeting of the CSD 12 Bureau
March 2004: The sixth meeting of the Bureau of the twelfth session of the Commission on Sustainable Development (CSD) took place at UN Headquarters in New York on 19 March 2004.
CSD-12 Chair Brende briefed the Bureau Vice-Chairs on his meeting with UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan. He said the Secretary-General reaffirmed the importance of following up on the World Summit on Sustainable Development and achieving the Millennium Development Goals, and confirmed that he would address the High-level Segment of CSD-12.
Based on questions raised during discussions between Bureau members and regional groups, the Bureau agreed that the High-level Segment would consist of introductory presentations by eminent speakers, interactive discussions and statements. The Bureau endorsed the Secretariat's initiative to webcast the discussions at the High-level Segment and other activities, such as the opening of CSD-12 and a selection of thematic and regional discussions, Partnership Fair events and Learning Centre courses. The Bureau decided to hold a briefing on 22 March to communicate the results of its sixth meeting to delegates. The Bureau also decided to hold a meeting to review progress in the informal consultations on matters related to the SIDS preparatory meeting, and to meet with the organizing partners of Major Groups in New York on 18 April to further review the contributions of Major Groups to CSD-12.
More information on the sixth Bureau meeting can be found at: http://www.un.org/esa/sustdev/csd/csd12/bureau_meeting_6th.h...
. An Earth Negotiations Bulletin Briefing Note on the 22 March briefing can be found at: http://www.iisd.ca/csd/csd12/CSD12_Briefing_3.22.04.html
48TH SESSION OF THE COMMISSION ON THE STATUS OF WOMEN (CSW)
The Commission on the Status of Women met for its 48th session from 1-12 March 2004 at UN headquarters in New York.
Focusing on two thematic issues in its multi-year work programme, the Commission considered and agreed to conclusions on: the role of men and boys in achieving gender equality; and women's equal participation in conflict prevention, management and conflict resolution and in post-conflict peace-building. A high-level roundtable was also convened on “Gaps and challenges in measuring progress in the context of the review and appraisal and implementation of the Beijing Platform for Action and the outcome of the 23rd special session of the General Assembly at the CSW at its 49th session in 2005.” More information is available at: http://www.un.org/womenwatch/daw/csw/48sess.htm
Fifth Meeting of the CSD 12 Bureau
March 2004: The fifth meeting of the Commission on Sustainable Development's (CSD) Bureau convened on 1 March 2004 in New York.
On the organization of work for CSD-12, Bureau members discussed issues that emerged during a 25 February briefing, regional briefings and communications to Bureau members from member States. Questions raised during the 25 February briefing included how Major Group representatives would participate in official discussions, how their input would be incorporated into the chair's summary of the discussion, who could participate in the High-level Segment and how it would be organized. At its 1 March meeting, the Bureau agreed that there would be a speaking list for the High-level Segment and delegations could indicate a preferred date and discussion theme for Ministers' interventions. The Bureau also reiterated the importance of Major Groups' participation during CSD-12. The Bureau will meet again on 19 March 2004 in New York.
For more information, see the note on the Bureau meeting: http://www.un.org/esa/sustdev/csd/csd12/bureau_meeting_5th.h...
and the Earth Negotiations Bulletin Briefing Note on the 25 February briefing: http://www.iisd.ca/csd/csd12/CSD12_Briefing_2.25.04.html
42ND SESSION OF THE COMMISSION FOR SOCIAL DEVELOPMENT
The 42nd session of the Commission for Social Development convened from 4-13 February 2004 in New York.
A general debate and a panel discussion were held and a resolution was adopted on the priority theme of “Improving Public Sector Effectiveness. The Commission also recommended that ECOSOC adopt a draft resolution on “Implementation of the social objectives of the New Partnership for Africa's Development.”
Under the agenda item on the review of plans and programmes of action pertaining to the situation of social groups, the Commission considered draft resolutions relating to older persons, persons with disabilities and the family. A resolution on modalities for review and appraisal of the Madrid International Plan of Action on Ageing was adopted, where the Commission decided it would undertake a review and appraisal every five years, with each review and appraisal cycle to focus on one of the priority directions identified in the Madrid Plan. The Commission also recommended that ECOSOC adopt two draft resolutions on persons with disabilities, the first of which concerns the further promotion of equalization of opportunities by, for and with persons with disabilities, and protection of the human rights of persons with disabilities, and the second of which concerns the comprehensive and integral international convention to promote and protect the rights and dignity of persons with disabilities.
On the agenda item of “emerging issues, trends and new approaches to issues affecting social development,” the Commission heard a panel presentation on the main findings of the Third International Forum for Social Development that took place in October 2003, and a panel discussion on “International migration and migrants from a social perspective.” More information is available on the meeting's website at: http://www.un.org/esa/socdev/csd/csocd2004.htm
Fourth Meeting of the CSD-12 Bureau
January 2004: The fourth meeting of the Bureau of the twelfth session of the Commission on Sustainable Development (CSD-12) convened in New York on 23 January 2004.
Participants discussed preparations for the April 2004 session, including its organization of work. The Bureau clarified that a Chair's summary of the officials' segment to be distributed during CSD-12 would capture the highlights of statements and interactive discussions, including case studies and lessons learned, as well as activities of the Partnerships Fair and Learning Center, but it would not be a detailed account of those activities or be open for negotiation. The Bureau also took note of ECOSOC's informal consultations on the status of WSSD-accredited NGOs and other Major Groups and expressed hope that a satisfactory solution to the issue could be reached as soon as possible to allow full participation of those groups in the work of CSD-12. The next Bureau meeting was scheduled for 19 March 2004, but due to delegates' interest in providing input on the organization of work, as expressed during a briefing following the Bureau meeting, the date may change to end of February or early March.
For more information, see the note on the meeting: http://www.un.org/esa/sustdev/csd/csd12/bureau_meeting_104.h...
, and the ENB briefing note on the briefing following the Bureau meeting: http://www.iisd.ca/csd/csd12/CSD12_Briefing_1.23.04.html
ECE Regional Implementation Meeting
January 2004: The UN Commission on Sustainable Development (CSD) at its eleventh session (CSD-11) invited the United Nations Regional Commissions to consider organizing regional implementation meetings to contribute to the work of the CSD. In response to this invitation, the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) incorporated consideration of the CSD agenda in its deliberations at its first Regional Implementation Forum on Sustainable Development, which met from 15-16 January 2004, at the Palais des Nations in Geneva, Switzerland.
Delegates discussed regional water, sanitation and human settlement issues with regard to outcomes of the World Summit on Sustainable Development. On human settlements, delegates recommended, inter alia, mobilizing international support to address poverty and inequality in human settlements through targeted official development assistance in urban planning, land administration and good governance. Recommendations on water included developing innovative financial mechanisms, such as compensation schemes for water-linked environmental services, revolving funds, and project development facilities. On sanitation, delegates recommended taking a holistic approach to water protection, water supply and sanitation, among others. The outcome of this meeting will be transmitted to the UN Secretary-General to contribute to the preparations for CSD-12.
Full Earth Negotiations Bulletin coverage can be accessed at: http://www.iisd.ca/csd/rim/ece/
EUROPEAN POPULATION FORUM
Over 350 population and development experts convened from 12-14 January 2004 in Geneva, Switzerland to examine how recent demographic trends have affected the region, and to review the implementation of the Programme of Action adopted at the International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD) held in Cairo in 1994.
This meeting forms part of a series of regional meetings that are following up on the ICPD, marking its tenth anniversary. The Asia and Pacific meeting took place in December 2002, while meetings for the African, Arab and Latin American regions will convene in the coming months.
Delegates at this forum engaged in panel discussions on population and development trends, low fertility rates, morbidity, mortality and reproductive health, and migration. Special focus was given to countries in transition. Issues raised during the meeting included: addressing HIV/AIDS infections, and integrating HIV prevention and treatment into reproductive health programmes; human trafficking and gender-based violence; health care access and infrastructure; and the impact low fertility on the workforce and migration.
Participants stressed the need for implementation of the ICPD objectives toward attaining the poverty, gender and HIV/AIDS-related goals of the Millennium Declaration. Inadequate resources for population and health programmes was identified as the main obstacle to achieving the ICPD goals, with participants calling on Europe to mobilize resources to this end as a key contribution to international development. More information is available at the meeting's website: http://www.unece.org/ead/pau/epf/Welcome.html