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INTERNATIONAL INSTITUTIONAL ARRANGEMENTS

This section contains recommendations for continuing improvements in the institutional framework outlined in Chapter 38 of Agenda 21 involving bodies inside and outside the UN system. Consideration of these issues took place within the overall context of ongoing UN reform. Delegates reaffirmed the lead coordinating role of the CSD for sustainable development issues within the UN system.

Greater Coherence in Various Intergovernmental Organizations and Processes: This section notes the ever growing number of decision-making bodies concerned with sustainable development and the subsequent need for policy coordination at the intergovernmental level and between secretariats.

The EU called for further improvement in system-wide UN coordination mechanisms by the Administrative Committee on Coordination (ACC), and CHINA asked how ECOSOC might take full advantage of the expertise of its functioning commissions. AUSTRALIA called for a strengthened and streamlined ECOSOC. The G-77/CHINA called for respect for environmental decisions and mandates of other intergovernmental bodies. URUGUAY suggested creating lines of communication between the CSD and the GEF, and between the GEF and the WTO Committee on Trade and Environment.

The revised draft calls for a strengthening of the ACC’s Inter-Agency Committee on Sustainable Development and its Task Manager system to enhance inter-sectoral and policy cooperation at all levels. It also calls for arrangements to support regional and subregional organizations, including the UN Regional Economic Commissions.

Role of Relevant Organizations and Institutions of the United Nations System: This section invites UN organizations and programmes to place more emphasis on country-level activity and addresses the roles of UNEP, UNDP, UNCTAD, the WTO and the World Bank.

While some delegations, including the EU, stipulated that UNEP should not compete with other operationally-tasked organizations, others supported a strengthening of the organization’s role on global environmental issues and/or endorsement of the Nairobi Declaration. These included EGYPT, BRAZIL, INDONESIA, PAKISTAN and SWITZERLAND. NEW ZEALAND said the UN needs to deal with the problem of overlapping and outdated organizations. SWITZERLAND called for greater cooperation with the Bretton Woods institutions and the WTO. JAPAN and the US also supported stronger links with other international organizations and UN convention bodies, the UNDP and multilateral development banks.

The revised draft calls on all UN organizations and programmes to place more emphasis on country-level, community-driven and major group activities in the context of Agenda 21. It also endorses the recently-adopted Nairobi Declaration on enabling UNEP to serve as the leading environmental authority, agenda setter, environmental advocate and lead agency on environmental law. UNDP is invited to strengthen its contribution and UNCTAD is invited to play a key role through integrated examination of linkages among trade, investment, technology, finance and sustainable development. The WTO Committee on Trade and Environment, UNCTAD and UNEP are invited to advance coordination, with recognition of the CSD’s role. The significant role of the World Bank, replenishment of IDA12 (International Development Assistance) at a level at least comparable to IDA10, and the importance of GEF replenishment are also addressed.

Future Role and Programme of Work of the CSD: This section reaffirms the continuing role of the CSD as the central forum for reviewing further progress in the implementation of Agenda 21, policy debate, consensus-building and catalyzing long-term action and commitment.

Some delegations sought to delimit the role and limit the agenda of the CSD. NORWAY and BRAZIL said it should not duplicate or intrude on the work conducted by other UN fora. BRAZIL added that it should not set directives for other bodies and suggested a shift towards operational decisions as opposed to conceptual outputs. AUSTRALIA, echoed by SWITZERLAND, characterized its agenda as one of identifying existing gaps in the implementation of Agenda 21 and keeping an eye on the big picture. Similarly, the REPUBLIC OF KOREA suggested that it focus on unfulfilled expectations.

The revised draft invites the CSD to perform its functions in coordination with other subsidiary bodies of ECOSOC that contribute to the achievement of the economic and social goals of sustainable development, addressing the linkages between sectors and between sectoral and cross-sectoral aspects of Agenda 21. It is recommended that ECOSOC decide on a Multi- Year Programme of Work for the CSD for the period 1998-2002.

CSD’s Methods of Work: This section makes recommendations on participation at CSD sessions, interaction with other UN and non-UN bodies, involvement of major groups and implementation of the Multi-Year Programme of Work, based on weaknesses and gaps highlighted by the Intersessional Working Group.

MEXICO proposed strengthening the high-level segment and developing a mechanism to follow-up on the implementation of its decisions. EGYPT and CANADA were among the supporters of increased participation by sectoral and finance ministers. PAKISTAN, SWITZERLAND, the PHILIPPINES and JAPAN, among others, drew attention to the key role of major groups in implementation. AUSTRALIA supported further development of the task manager system, better links with bodies such as the UN energy committee, and improved interaction with the High-Level Advisory Board. NEW ZEALAND proposed that informal intersessional events be used to identify key outputs anticipated at CSD sessions and to improve the efficiency of the sessions.

The revised draft recommends that the CSD:

The section calls for closer integration of the Committee on New and Renewable Sources of Energy and on Energy for Development and the Committee on Natural Resources into the work of the CSD. It also recommends a change in arrangements for election to the CSD Bureau to allow "the same Bureau to provide guidance for the preparation for, and lead during, the annual session." The next comprehensive review of Agenda 21 implementation is scheduled for 2002.

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