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DRAFTING GROUP B

INTEGRATING ENVIRONMENT AND DEVELOPMENT IN DECISION- MAKING: In the general debate on Chapter 8, it was noted that the Secretary- General's report (E/CN.17/1995/19) reflects attempts to develop methodologies for sustainable development strategies, reviews the work on integrated environmental and economic accounting, and examines the link between international agreements and national law. The World Bank called for more attention to the information systems that countries will need as national and local initiatives proliferate. Canada noted the importance of national commissions for sustainable development, participatory strategies and enhanced economic methodological work. In the negotiations on the Chair's draft decision, Belarus proposed an international conference on sustainable development and countries with economies in transition.

The final decision (E/CN.17/1995/L.9) recommends: the establishment of national mechanisms to develop integrated, participatory strategies for sustainable development; the participation of governments in the work of the IACSD; development of methodological approaches to integration; the development of government initiatives on environmental and economic accounting for sustainable development; and continuation of the work of UNSTAT and others on integrated economic and environmental accounting.

MAJOR GROUPS: In the general debate on the role of major groups, India and Malaysia called for the participation of NGOs in the work of the CSD and funding to enhance the contribution of major groups. The US welcomed governments' commitment to the participatory approach to Agenda 21 implementation, and noted the importance of voluntary support for major groups and NGOs. The EU said that national implementation must be supported by inclusive dialogue, involving NGOs and major groups on national delegations to the CSD. The International NGO Steering Committee for the CSD urged governments to support the regularization of NGO participation, currently under ECOSOC review.

Some of the key issues that arose during the negotiation of the Chair's draft decision included: convening a one-day programme on major groups for the 1996 session of the CSD; encouraging major group representation on CSD delegations; encouraging representation in national coordinating mechanisms; establishing linkages between major groups; providing funding for major groups in developing countries; and the importance of the ECOSOC NGO review.

The final decision (E/CN.17/1995/L.10) recommends that: national coordination mechanisms should be broadly representative; major group organizations should choose their own representatives; participation of major groups should be enhanced, especially at the international and regional levels and at CSD-relevant meetings; and roster status should be continued through the completion of the ECOSOC review.

TECHNOLOGY TRANSFER, COOPERATION AND CAPACITY- BUILDING: In the general debate on Chapter 34, the Secretariat identified three priorities: EST transfer; access to and dissemination of information; and financial arrangements. The emerging trends in ESTs include a shift from end-of-pipe to cleaner production technologies and a gradual shift from environmental regulation to the use of economic and voluntary instruments. The Republic of Korea said that the workshop on ESTs, held in Seoul in November 1994, highlighted the need for a consultative mechanism to be established to enhance cooperation and the exchange of information.

During the drafting group sessions, the key areas of disagreement were: whether ESTs should be transferred on concessional or preferential terms; the role of the private sector; whether the commercial sector should be the only one to benefit from EST centers; whether steps should encourage new and additional financial resources or merely the flow of financial resources; and the enabling conditions needed for ESTs.

In the final decision (E/CN.17/1995/L.6), the work programme addresses: access to and dissemination of information on ESTs, including workshops or expert panels and case studies on experiences in the implementation of transfer operations; institutional development and capacity-building for managing technological change, including cooperation in the development of basic criteria, joint ventures and the development of environmental performance indicators; and financial and partnership arrangements, including the provision and mobilization of resource flows, enhancement of North- South and South-South cooperation through joint research, and assessment of the potential impact and benefits of technology transfer.

SCIENCE FOR SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT: In the general debate on Chapter 35, Gisbert Glaser (UNESCO) identified four strategic priority areas: science, education and capacity-building in developing countries; the strategic importance of better international cooperation in scientific research; improved communication between scientists and policy-makers; and links between research institutions and the economic sector.

Some of the key issues that arose during the negotiation of the Chair's draft decision included: the importance of indigenous peoples' knowledge; cooperation between the Parties to the various environmental conventions; additional funding; enhancing the capabilities of decision makers to use existing scientific information; and the Global Environment Observing Systems.

The final decision (E/CN.17/1995/L.7) calls on governments and other bodies to: share information concerning scientific capacities and know-how through case studies; enhance the scientific capacities of developing countries; promote the networking of national and international centers of excellence; enhance the participation of developing countries in international research programmes on global environmental issues; improve communication between science, industry, policy makers and major groups to enhance the application of science; and stimulate the donor community to consider targeted financial support for scientific capacity-building.

INFORMATION FOR DECISION-MAKING: In the general debate on Chapter 40, Sweden said that the Working Group on the Advancement of Environmental Statistics has agreed on a first list of environmental indicators. In order to coordinate the activities in the development of sustainability indicators, it is important that the CSD work closely with the UN Statistical Division. Australia advocated an inclusive and consultative approach to the development of indicators that reflect national conditions.

Some of the key issues that arose during the negotiation of the Chair's draft decision included: bilateral and multilateral channels to facilitate access to sustainable development information; the feasibility study on access to information for SIDS; the development of indicators of sustainable development (ISDs); coordination between UNSTAT and other institutions in the development of ISDs; and the linkages between the different dimensions of sustainable development.

The final decision (E/CN.17/1995/L.8) recommends: that developed countries use bilateral and multilateral channels to facilitate access by developing countries and countries with economies in transition to sustainable development information; the strengthening of Earthwatch as an international partnership to ensure adequate flow of environmental information; cooperation between UNDP, UNEP, DPCSD and others in further defining Development Watch; the development of a common system of access to the databases of UN bodies; studies on the development of ISDs; and the implementation of the work programme, which focuses on the training and capacity- building, as well as development, testing and evaluation of ISDs.

INFORMATION PROVIDED BY GOVERNMENTS AND ORGANIZATIONS: In the general debate, the Secretariat noted that governments' positive responses to the new guidelines have been reflected in improved national reporting.

The final decision refers to: the work of the Secretariat in simplifying and streamlining reporting guidelines for the 1996 session; the need for relevant organizations and donors to provide assistance to developing countries for the preparation of national sustainable development strategies; national action plans and reports to the CSD; and the role of the Secretariat in providing draft guidelines for obtaining information on the implementation of Agenda 21 for the 1997 Special Session of the General Assembly.

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