I. STATEMENT OF COMMITMENT: The draft notes that this section could be a Preamble or a Declaration. The six suggested components note that: the Rio Earth Summit launched a new global partnership; the UNCED documents provide the foundation for action on sustainable development; an integrated and balanced approach is necessary; recent UN conferences have advanced international commitment to the social and economic aspects of sustainable development; more needs to be done, including in terms of international cooperation; and there is an urgent need to focus on the implementation of what has already been agreed and to explore new avenues and approaches.
II. ASSESSMENT OF PROGRESS REACHED AFTER RIO: The text notes that many developing countries have experienced declining per capita GDP and heavy dependence on ODA. Economic conditions and poverty have worsened and income inequality has grown, although progress has been made in reducing population growth rates and providing social services. Progress has also been made in institutional development, international consensus-building and public participation, but the global environment has continued to deteriorate. The text notes: governmental efforts to integrate environment and development concerns into decision-making; increasing involvement and action by major groups; entry into force, though with limited implementation, of several international environmental agreements; and the catalytic role of the CSD. However, commitments to increase ODA to 0.7% of GNP and to transfer technology have not been realized.
III. STRATEGIES FOR IMPLEMENTATION
A. Policy Approaches: The draft highlights the need to integrate: energy and transport; agriculture and water use; and marine resources, food supplies, the livelihood of fishing communities and the environment. Recommendations call for: national and local strategies by 2005; policy instruments including economic, regulatory and voluntary partnerships; and a participatory process.
Recommendations regarding changing consumption and production patterns are directed toward industrialized countries and wealthier areas of developing countries. They include: internalization of environmental costs and benefits; evaluation of proposed policies in developed countries for environmental and social impacts; assessment of links between urbanization, the environment and development effects; international and national energy and material efficiency targets; and assessment of the role of advertising and media in consumption.
On the issue of trade, environment and sustainable development, the draft identifies the need to enable all countries to benefit from globalization to accelerate economic growth and poverty eradication. It also calls for capacity-building involving the UN system, the WTO and the Bretton Woods institutions and for policies to reconcile trade liberalization with sustainable development. The draft calls for action to: implement the Uruguay Round and the WTO Plan of Action for the Least Developed Countries; promote an open, non-discriminatory and equitable multilateral trading system; ensure that environmental measures do not restrict trade; establish mutual recognition of eco-labelling systems; and use the General System of Preferences to promote sustainable production.
B. Areas Requiring Urgent Action: On poverty, the draft identifies priority actions, including: improving access to sustainable employment and productive resources; providing universal access to basic social services; and developing social protection systems.
On freshwater, there is a need for, inter alia: integrated land and water management policies; investments to improve water supply and sanitation services; and an intergovernmental process under the CSD. The paragraph on oceans states the need for: an integrated approach to implementing and monitoring existing legal instruments; governments to consider establishing measurable objectives to eliminate or reduce excess fishing fleet capacity; and action to improve scientific data and enhance public awareness. The paragraph on forests is left pending the CSDs consideration of the IPF report.
The paragraph on energy and transport calls for: comprehensive energy policies; provision of electricity to unserved populations; increased use of modern renewable energy sources and cleaner fossil fuel technologies; energy pricing that reflects full economic and environment costs and social benefits; increased investment and R&D in renewable energy technologies; improved coordination of energy-related activities within the UN; and integrated transport policies. The paragraph on atmosphere calls for progress in securing commitments on quantified objectives to reduce greenhouse gas emissions beyond 2000 and for additional resources to implement projects in developing countries to phase-out ozone-depleting substances.
On population, the draft states that the slowdown in growth rates must be continued through poverty reduction and expansion of basic education and health care. On education, the text notes that effective, adequately financed educational systems are fundamental for sustainable development and calls for prioritization of womens education. On health, the draft calls for: eradication of the major infectious diseases; improvement and expansion of basic sanitation services; and provision of safe drinking water.
The paragraph on toxic chemicals and wastes calls for the expeditious conclusion of conventions on PIC and POPs. The paragraph on land and sustainable agriculture calls for efforts to improve food security and for a global mechanism to finance implementation of the CCD. The paragraph on sustainable human settlements emphasizes the need to accelerate improvements in urban infrastructure and social services. The paragraph on sustainable tourism recommends that the CSD consider adopting an International Programme of Work.
On biodiversity, the draft calls for: full implementation of the CBD; more attention to benefit-sharing, biotechnology transfer and traditional knowledge; and rapid conclusion of the biosafety protocol. The paragraph on SIDS calls for external assistance for capacity-building and transfer of ESTs to attain the goals of the Barbados Plan of Action.
C. Means of Implementation: On financial resources and mechanisms, the draft states that financial commitments in Agenda 21 need to be implemented. It calls on developed countries to reiterate their ODA commitments and reverse the downward trend in ODA, and notes the role ODA could play in leveraging investments. Adequate replenishment of GEF resources is a high priority. Actions are proposed to: examine foreign private flows to developing countries; address debt problems of highly indebted countries; promote domestic resource mobilization, including macroeconomic and structural reforms; reform subsidy policies, especially in the energy and agriculture sectors; and increase investment in developing countries though innovative schemes.
On the transfer of environmentally sound technologies (ESTs), the draft notes developing countries need for access to available ESTs on concessional and preferential terms. Equal importance should be placed on the transfer of capital goods and services and the development of skills to use and maintain new technologies. Further examination of the links between foreign direct investment, ODA and technology transfer and of government-owned technologies is proposed. The draft also notes the need to develop a national legal and policy framework that will stimulate joint ventures and public-private partnerships.
The text notes the need for international support for national capacity-building efforts in developing countries, and calls for attention to the role of women and South-South cooperation in capacity-building. Greater efforts to build and strengthen scientific capacity in developing countries is noted as the highest priority. Finally, the draft notes the need for further development of cost-effective tools to collect and disseminate information for decision-makers at all levels.
IV. INTERNATIONAL INSTITUTIONAL ARRANGEMENTS: The draft identifies an urgent need for: policy coordination at the intergovernmental level; strengthening of the ACC Inter-Agency Committee on Sustainable Development; and support for regional organizations.
The UN is invited to give more emphasis to country and community activity, enhance UNEPs role in conformity with the Nairobi Declaration, strengthen the role of UNDP, particularly at the national and local levels, and continue to use UNCTAD linkages studies. The WTO Committee on Trade and Environment, UNCTAD and UNEP are invited to advance their coordinated work, and the CSDs role is described as widening the trade and environment debate. The draft calls on international financial institutions to strengthen their commitment to sustainable development, with a significant role for the World Bank. It calls on governments to agree to IDA-12 replenishment at least at the level of IDA-10. The GEFs role is underlined.
The role of the CSD in reviewing implementation, building consensus and catalyzing action is reaffirmed. The draft calls for a focus on issues of major significance and invites ECOSOC to decide on an appropriate 1998-2002 Programme of Work.
The draft recommends that, under ECOSOC guidance, the CSD: attract Ministers with economic responsibilities to participate; consider more effective review modalities; improve its regional focus; establish closer ties with international financial institutions, the GEF and the WTO; explore effective ways to involve major groups; organize the Multi-Year Programme of Work; use Ad hoc Intersessional Working Groups to consider issues; draw on the expertise of the UNs committees on renewable energy sources and natural resources; and promote more interaction with the High-level Advisory Board. ECOSOC is invited to examine the possibility of changing the pattern of election of the CSD Bureau.
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