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CSD RESOLUTION

A draft resolution on the "Report of the Commission on Sustainable Development on its second session" (A/C.2/49/L.8), was first introduced by Algeria, on behalf of the G-77 and China, on Tuesday, 8 November 1994. This draft resolution became the focus of rather intense informal consultations by members of the Second Committee. It was criticized as being highly negative, with too great a focus on the lack of new and additional financial resources and transfer of technology on concessional and preferential terms. There was little, if any, reference to the work done by the Commission so far and the numerous initiatives undertaken by governments and the UN system with regard to implementing Agenda 21 and supporting the work of the CSD. After nearly four weeks of consultations, the Vice Chair of the Second Committee, Arjan Hamburger (Netherlands) submitted a new draft resolution, A.C.2/49/L.58. This resolution was adopted by the Committee on Wednesday, 7 December 1994. The resolution is expected to be adopted by the General Assembly Plenary just before Christmas.

After the resolution was adopted, Algeria, on behalf of the G-77 and China, said that the text does not meet all the concerns of all delegations, but that they have joined the consensus. He reiterated the need for support for the implementation of Agenda 21 and the work of the CSD, which must follow the Rio commitments and the concept of common but differentiated responsibilties. Sustainable development is inseparable from new and additional resources and technology transfer. Germany, on behalf of the EU, Austria, Finland and Sweden, said that his group still had misgivings on the paragraph on new and additional resources. Two years after Rio we need to register progress such as the tripling of the size of the GEF core fund and the fact that a number of developing countries have contributed to the GEF. The present resolution fails to reflect this. Furthermore, the positive policy recommendations of the CSD should have been mentioned to balance the resolution. The Ukraine and Belarus expressed their support for the resolution, but noted that the difficulties of States with economies in transition are not mentioned.

The operative part of the resolution, as contained in A/C.2/49/L.58 and orally amended, endorses the report of the CSD on its second section, welcomes actions taken in many countries towards elaborating national sustainable development strategies and action plans, and notes the ongoing work on the elaboration of sustainable development indicators. The resolution expresses "deep concern" that the financial recommendations and commitments of Agenda 21 are short of expectations and requirements and could undermine the basis of the global partnership for sustainable development. The resolution stresses the critical need for and importance of the provision of means of implementation, especially those relating to new and additional financial resources and the transfer of environmentally sound technology to developing countries.

The resolution also: calls on the CSD to promote the adoption of urgent steps to implement the relevant chapters of Agenda 21 related to the crucial issue of unsustainable patterns of consumption and production; reiterates that national authorities should endeavour to promote the internalization of environmental costs and the use of economic instruments, taking into account that the pollutor should, in principle, bear the costs of pollution; notes the work done so far by the GATT/WTO, UNCTAD and UNEP in the fields of trade, environment and sustainable development; stresses the importance of the decisions adopted by the CSD as concrete steps in the implementation of Agenda 21; and encourages the participation of ministers in the work of the CSD.

The resolution also: calls upon the CSD to develop close and clear relationships with other relevant international organizations and entities; urges the international community to further strengthen the funding capacity of international financial institutions, regional banks and other international organizations; recommends that the governing bodies of international financial institutions take the necessary steps to ensure their programmes and activities better reflect Agenda 21; endorses the recommendation of the CSD to draw up a matrix of policy options and financial instruments and mechanisms to facilitate the formulation of optimal financing strategies; requests the Secretary-General to promote further involvement of the High-Level Advisory Board on Sustainable Development in the work of the CSD; and underlines the need for balanced, transparent and coherent intersessional processes. The resolution concludes by underlining the need for effective follow-up of the decisions taken by the Commission at its second session, noting the role of major groups and supporting the work of the Inter- Agency Committee on Sustainable Development.

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