At its first substantive session in June 1993, the Commission on Sustainable Development (CSD) established two ad hoc open-ended working groups on financial flows and mechanisms and technology transfer and cooperation to meet during the CSD intersessional period. These two working groups met at UN Headquarters in New York from 23 February - 2 March 1994. The working groups were composed of governments, which nominated experts in order to assist the Commission in its work. The outcome of these working groups was not intended to be a negotiated text but an agreed list of policy options/recommendations for the consideration of the CSD at its 1994 session, which will be held from 16-27 May in New York.
Although the two working groups have prepared lists of recommendations to be submitted to the CSD, these lists are not nearly as concrete and forward-looking as some delegates and observers had hoped. Some government-nominated experts complained that the discussions were not technical enough due to the large number of representatives from UN missions who participated in the meeting. Some NGOs commented that the discussions repeated much of the well-worn rhetoric from Rio and countless other intergovernmental fora. Some developed country delegates noted that smaller fora, such as the government-sponsored meetings held in Oslo, Cartagena and Kuala Lumpur, are more productive than large UN-sponsored all-inclusive intergovernmental working groups. Most delegates agreed, however, that little progress was made towards resolving the North-South differences on the critical issues of technology transfer and financial resources and mechanisms during these two three-day working group meetings.
@HEAD2.5 = A BRIEF HISTORY OF THE CSD INTERSESSIONAL WORKING GROUPS
The Commission on Sustainable Development (CSD) held its first substantive session from 14-25 June 1993 in New York. The agenda for the first session included the adoption of a multi-year thematic programme of work; items relating to its future work; exchange of information regarding the implementation of Agenda 21 at the national level; progress in the incorporation of recommendations of UNCED in the activities of the UN system; progress achieved in facilitating and promoting the transfer of environmentally-sound technology, cooperation and capacity-building; and initial financial commitments, financial flows and arrangements to give effect to UNCED decisions.
In order to facilitate the work of the CSD at its second session the Commission decided to convene two ad hoc, open-ended intersessional working groups on the critical cross-cutting issues of technology transfer and cooperation and financial flows and mechanisms. These working groups were conceived as meetings of experts nominated by governments. The reports of their work were to be submitted to the CSD at its second session to be held in New York from 16-27 May 1994. At the same time the CSD encouraged member states and others to hold informal inter-sessional activities. (For more information on the first session of the CSD, see Earth Negotiations Bulletin Vol. 5 No. 12).
@HEAD2.5 = WORKING GROUP ON TECHNOLOGY TRANSFER AND COOPERATION
The Working Group on Technology Transfer and Cooperation, which met from 23 - 25 February 1994, aimed to assess to present situation and to suggest specific measures to support and promote access to and transfer of technology, as stated in paragraph 34.18 of Agenda 21. Specifically, suggestions to facilitate, promote and finance technology transfer were to focus on the sectoral clusters under consideration by the CSD. In 1994 the CSD is considering the sectoral issues of health, human settlements, freshwater resources, solid wastes and sewage, toxic chemicals, hazardous wastes and radioactive wastes. Cross-cutting sectoral issues that the CSD keeps under constant review include accelerating sustainable development, consumption patterns, financial resources and mechanisms, technology cooperation and transfer, capacity building, institutions, legal instruments and the roles of major groups.
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