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47th SESSION OF THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY:

During the 47th Session of the General Assembly (GA), the Second Committee decided to establish a special ad-hoc working group under the guidance of Ambassador Razali to deal with the list of specific recommendations made by UNCED to be considered by the GA. Among those matters that required "further elaboration and/or decisions by the Assembly" were two items in Chapter 38 of Agenda 21: 1) that the GA should determine the organizational modalities of the Commission on Sustainable Development and the Secretary-General was to prepare a report with recommendations and proposals; and 2) that the UNGA was to consider the recommendations of the Secretary-General on a high-level advisory board and continued secretariat support for follow-up to UNCED. In preparation for negotiations on these items a number of countries circulated papers outlining their positions on the composition of the CSD, the participation of NGOs, the meeting schedule and agenda, the relation of the CSD to other UN bodies, the Secretariat, and the functions of the Commission. UN Secretary General Boutros Boutros-Ghali released his own report, as requested by UNCED, on institutional follow-up (A/47/598 and Add.1). On the basis of the various position papers and the Secretary General's report, Razali prepared a draft resolution that became the basis for negotiation by the group.

Negotiations began on 11 November 1992 and came to a conclusion on 15 December 1992. The group had successfully negotiated a 34-paragraph resolution that set out the terms of reference of the Commission, its composition, the participation of NGOs, the organization of work, the CSD's relationship with other UN bodies, the high-level advisory board and Secretariat-support arrangements. (See Earth Negotiations Bulletin, Vol.3, No.3 for a more detailed report on these negotiations.)

This resolution, A/RES/47/191 "Institutional arrangements to follow up the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development," was adopted by the General Assembly on 23 December 1992. In this resolution the GA requested that the Economic and Social Council, at its organizational session in 1993, set up the CSD as a functional commission and that the Secretary-General submit to the ECOSOC organizational session his proposals on the rules of procedure applicable to the Commission. The resolution also recommended that the Commission hold a short organizational session in New York to establish the Bureau and decide on the agenda for its first substantive session to be held in June 1993. It called on the Secretary-General to establish, within the new Department for Policy Coordination and Sustainable Development (DPCSD), a Secretariat to provide support to the CSD as well as endorsed the need for the High-Level Advisory Board. [Return to start of article]