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PLENARY

PRESENTATIONS: Bo Kjell�n, Chair of the INC on Desertification, called for political support to resolve the CCD’s outstanding issues and stressed the importance of water issues. Calestous Juma, Executive Secretary of the CBD, said the preparation of national reports is an important instrument for compliance and stressed setting targets and using indicators. Michael Zammit-Cutayar, Executive Secretary of the FCCC, recommended: integrated scientific assessment; actions for multiple benefits across conventions; information to mobilize public and political support; and a legal framework linking different sets of convention commitments. The Expert Meeting on Synergies Among the Conventions on Climate Change, Biological Diversity, Desertification and the Forest Principles recommended: harmonized data; a national handbook on implementation; inter-COP secretariat cooperation; and streamlined reporting.

The Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific stressed regional capacity-building in cooperation with UNDP. He called for CSD attention to regional activities. The Economic Commission on Latin America and the Caribbean has been involved in activities related to water resource management, energy, mining, urban management, trade and environment, SIDS and transboundary movement of wastes. The Economic Commission on Europe noted the need of economies in transition for assistance and suggested that regional commissions conduct regional assessments of national reports. The Economic Commission for Africa called for an international financial mechanism on cross-sectoral issues.

The Inter-American Development Bank described its work to support sustainable development, notably on poverty, equity and the environment. The Summit of the Americas on Sustainable Development recommended support for national and local level activities, transparent and sufficient financial mechanisms and the transfer of clean technology. The Ad Hoc Expert Group Meeting on Implementation of Special Measures for LDCs in Agenda 21 recommended that: developed countries fulfill their financial commitments under Agenda 21; the WTO Plan of Action in favor of least developed countries be expeditiously implemented; and technology transfer consider local needs.

The Earth Council reported on recommendations from the Rio+5 Forum, stressing that the CSD act as a multi-stakeholder forum. He also called for regional participation in world trade and investment regimes. The Intergovernmental Forum on Chemical Safety recommended that development projects involving chemicals management include provisions for capacity-building. The Expert Workshop on Fostering the Linkage Between Energy and Sustainable Development Within International Institutions urged the CSD to address sustainable energy issues during one session. Japan introduced the Tokyo Declaration prepared at the Global Partnership Summit on the Environment. The Declaration recommends life-long environmental education and indicators to measure sustainable production and consumption. The Republic of Korea, 1997 World Enviornmental Day host, described preparations of the Seoul Declaration on Environmental Ethics to enhance understanding of sustainable development. The Russian Federation reported plans for a Moscow seminar in May 1997 entitled “Chernobyl and Beyond: Humanitarian Assistance to Victims of Technological Disasters.” Sweden reported on preparations of an Agenda 21 for the Baltic Sea region. Sweden is providing a secretariat and coordination for the programme to be adopted in the first half of 1998. Turkey noted activities of the Black Sea Environmental Programme.

NATIONAL REPORTING: Joke Waller-Hunter (DPCSD) introduced the documentation regarding national reporting and its streamlining (EN/CN.17/1997/5 and 6, background papers 7-9). One-hundred twenty-five countries have reported on some aspect of national activities. CANADA proposed using national plans containing targets and milestones and, with the EU, supported peer reviews on the basis of such information. The US supported regional peer reviews. The US said streamlining provides the added value of examining consistency among multilateral agencies. OECD stressed the need for donors to coordinate their requirements. PAPUA NEW GUINEA noted that funds used to compile reports could be better used for capacity-building and implementation. TRINIDAD AND TOBAGO stressed small countries’ need for assistance in report prepartion. The PHILIPPINES recommended reporting on constraints in implementation.

MODALITIES OF THE 1999 REVIEW OF THE BARBADOS PROGRAMME OF ACTION: Joke Waller-Hunter (DPCSD) introduced the document regarding the implementation of the Programme of Action for SIDS (E/CN.17/1997/14). AOSIS, supported by BARBADOS, PAPUA NEW GUINEA, JAMAICA, the BAHAMAS, MALTA and GUYANA, called for greater urgency in implementing the Barbados Programme of Action (BPA) and deplored the downgrading of the BPA’s status by the decision that the CSD review it rather than the General Assembly. She proposed that a full review of the BPA be undertaken at a special session of the UNGA in 1999. The EU said the recommendations must be considered within the context of the programme of work. To implement the BPA, CUBA called for a transfer of new resources and technology, MALTA for more political impetus, and GUYANA for special attention to financing and capacity-building.

BUDGET PROPOSALS FOR 1998-1999: Joke Waller-Hunter (DPCSD) introduced the proposed programme of work of the Division for Sustainable Development for 1998-1999 (E/CN.17/1997/CRP.1). The EU and US reserved their positions pending development of budget figures. AUSTRALIA asked if the additional activities would require new resources and staff. Chair Tolba said the purpose of the draft was to present the UN Secretary-General with proposals and let him decide which to undertake.

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