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MULTI-YEAR THEMATIC PROGRAMME OF WORK

The rest of the morning's session was spent discussing the Secretary-General's "Outline of a Multi-Year Thematic Programme of Work for the Commission" (E/CN.17/1993/2). This document outlines the functions of the Commission and its programme of work. The most problematic issue was the grouping of topics into clusters to be considered by the Commission during the next three years so that all the chapters of Agenda 21 would be reviewed in preparation for the report to the General Assembly in 1997 on the overall implementation of Agenda 21. The titles of the proposed clusters and the numbers of the Agenda 21 chapters referred to in each were as follows:

@POINTS = 1. Critical elements of sustainability - Chapters 2-5 (economics, poverty, consumption and population)

@POINTS = 2. Financial resources and mechanisms - Chapter 33

@POINTS = 3. Education, science and technology - Chapters 16, 34-36 (biotechnology, technology transfer, science and education)

@POINTS = 4. Decision-making structures - Chapters 8, 37-40 (decision-making, capacity-building, institutions, legal instruments and information)

@POINTS = 5. Roles of major groups - Chapters 23-32

@POINTS = 6. Health and human settlements - Chapters 6,7,21 (health, human settlements and solid wastes)

@POINTS = 7. Land, forests and biodiversity - Chapters 10-15 (land resources, deforestation, desertification, mountains, agriculture and biological diversity)

@POINTS = 8. Atmosphere, oceans and freshwater - Chapters 9,17 and 18

@POINTS = 9. Toxic chemicals and hazardous wastes - Chapters 19,20 and 22 (toxic chemicals, hazardous wastes and radioactive wastes)

The Secretary-General also proposed that the first five cross-sectoral clusters could be reviewed annually. The last four clusters are broadly sectoral in nature and can be covered in three years: cluster 7 in one year, cluster 8 in another and clusters 6 and 9 together in a third.

Although most delegates supported the idea of reviewing Agenda 21 by cluster, there was some disagreement about when and how often different clusters should be discussed and what should be contained in each cluster. The US commented that it is not realistic to address clusters 1-5 every year and it might be better to highlight one or two cross-sectoral and one sectoral cluster each year. The US also proposed creating a tenth cluster including forests and atmosphere. Denmark, on behalf of the EC, Iceland, on behalf of the Nordics, and Austria mentioned that the Rio Declaration and the Statement on Forest Principles should also be included in this multi-year programme of work. Members of the G-77 and China stressed the importance of reviewing financial resources and mechanisms, technology transfer and capacity-building on an annual basis. Canada mentioned that the timetable for considering various sectoral and cross-sectoral issues should take into account other conferences and intergovernmental negotiating processes.

The morning's meeting came to a close when Denmark called for a point of order regarding the presence of Yugoslavia (Serbia and Montenegro) in the conference room. The US, Austria, Norway, Australia and Pakistan supported Denmark's objection. Razali adjourned the meeting and said that he would check on the matter and report back to the Commission after lunch.

The second meeting of the CSD was called to order at 3:00 pm. Razali announced that the CSD would work on the basis of other functional commissions of ECOSOC with regard to the participation of Yugoslavia. As the representative of Yugoslavia was not present in the room during the afternoon session, no further action was necessary.

Discussion then continued on the multi-year thematic programme of work. Colombia, on behalf of the G-77, stated that technology transfer, finance and capacity building should be handled under one integrated cluster on an annual basis and expressed hope that no other changes would be made to the Secretary-General's draft. Other questions were raised regarding the national reporting procedure and the scheduling of discussion on the various segments. Razali announced that discussion on this agenda item would resume the following day.

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