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OPENING PLENARY

Outgoing Chair Klaus T”pfer opened the third session of the CSD and highlighted some of the ongoing CSD-related sectoral initiatives. He called for more dialogue to ensure that all countries benefit from trade liberalization and that debt relief measures are developed to support sustainable development. He added that the financial resources needed to implement the Rio commitments are still far from adequate, calling on developed countries to honor ODA commitments. One of the crucial topics before the CSD is CO2 taxation. He urged developed countries to take the lead with energy efficiency measures. The CSD must ensure that the goals of sustainable development are integrated into all sectoral areas and the UN must demonstrate its capacity to secure ecological and social stability through partnership and shared responsibility.

Henrique Cavalcanti (Brazil) was then elected Chair of the CSD. Cavalcanti proposed three operational aspects for the new intersessional period: assessment of Agenda 21 implementation and commencement of work on sectoral and sustainability indicators; enhancement of the engagement of the UN system in CSD activities; and establishment of a dialogue with the private sector to better define its role and commitment to sustainable development.

Under-Secretary-General for Policy Coordination and Sustainable Development Nitin Desai said that the success of the CSD depends on the political weight given to it by governments. Desai said that the CSD must build on the important work of Cairo and Copenhagen. On consumption, financial and technology transfer, and the integration of environmental considerations into economic decision-making, the ball is now in the CSD's court.

The Co-Chair of the High-Level Advisory Board on Sustainable Development, Birgitta Dahl, outlined the recommendations from the Board's third meeting on: sustainable food security; the links between trade and environment policies; value- based education for sustainability; and new partnerships. The Board acknowledged developing countries' concerns about new forms of conditionality and 'green protectionism.' It broadly endorsed the seven principles proposed by the International Institute for Sustainable Development. The Board also recommended the establishment by the WTO, UNEP and UNCTAD of a Panel of Environment, Development and Trade Experts to make recommendations on the link between trade and environmental protection. Dahl outlined seven key areas for action: conflict prevention; change in consumption patterns and production; the development of new energy and transport structures and technologies; balanced and integrated management of the global commons; development of a win-win conceptual marriage of trade, development and environment; the mobilization and transfer of resources for sustainable social development to developing and East European countries; and the participation of women.

The Commission then elected the Bureau: Jordan Uzunov (Bulgaria); Takao Shibata (Japan); Magn�s J�hannesson (Iceland); and Henry Aryamanya-Mugisha (Uganda). Cavalcanti introduced Agenda Item 2 (adoption of agenda and other organizational matters), noting that working groups will be established on: (a) finance; poverty; consumption; trade, environment and sustainable development; and demographic dynamics; (b) technology transfer; science; decision making structures; and major groups; and (c) sectoral issues and biotechnology.

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