In 24 (sectors of concern), delegates noted the potential effects of a failure to reverse current trends on social and economic development and environmental protection for all countries (EU), particularly in the developing countries (G- 77/CHINA). A G-77/CHINA reference to the principle of common but differentiated responsibilities, inter alia, was added, as were the need for integration in all sectors and a list of areas in which integration is urgent. The G-77/CHINA will add sectors to the list.
On 25 (freshwater), the G-77/CHINA proposed two additional paragraphs that note the factors leading to freshwater scarcity and call for a commitment for financial resources by the international community. The G-77/CHINA also proposed language noting, inter alia, that the lack of freshwater will hinder development unless action is taken to facilitate an economic transformation for developing countries. These proposals will be revisited. The EU proposed: ensuring that the commitments of the International Drinking Water Supply and Sanitation Decade are met within ten years; launching an initiative leading to a global programme of action; and concentrating on water along with land management at the CSDs 1998 session. The US proposed replacing ten years with as soon as possible. The EU will convene an open-ended group on its proposed initiative.
On 25(a) (integrated watershed management), AUSTRALIA and the EU supported, and the G-77/CHINA opposed, a CANADIAN proposal on the interrelationship between water, land and air. Delegates added text on the interrelationship between water and land, including estuarine environments (AUSTRALIA) and wetlands (CANADA). The MARSHALL ISLANDS insertion of climate, supported by the EU and AUSTRALIA but opposed by SAUDI ARABIA, was bracketed. US language on a watershed basin approach to protecting supplies, opposed by the G-77/CHINA, remains bracketed. In 25(c) (participation), the EU modified a NORWEGIAN proposal by deleting a reference to the principle of subsidiarity and proposing to manage development and use at the lowest appropriate, rather than possible, administrative level. The G-77/CHINA objected to prescribing decentralization and preferred the original formulation. The text remains bracketed. On 25(d) (enabling environment), delegates agreed to provide an enabling national (US) and international (G-77/CHINA) environment for investment. The EU supported G-77/CHINA language on commitments to support developing countries efforts to provide access to safe drinking water and sanitation for all, provided that time-bound commitments be bracketed pending consultations on the chapeau. The US said calls for financial commitments should be adequately addressed in the cross-sectoral issues section.
On 25(e) (valuation of water), the G-77/CHINA stressed that water was a basic need and proposed deleting language on water as an economic good. Delegates agreed to an EU proposal recognizing water as a social and economic good with a vital role in the satisfaction of basic human needs, food security, poverty alleviation and ecosystems (AUSTRALIA). The G-77/CHINA proposed that economic valuation of water should be seen in the context of its social and economic implications. He also proposed that implementation of pricing policies may be appropriate in developing countries. The US and the EU objected. The US proposed that strategies include programmes to minimize water consumption and increase wastewater recycling. Delegates agreed, inter alia, that gradual implementation of pricing policies could be considered in developing countries when they reach an appropriate stage in their development.
On 25(f) (information management), delegates deleted references to specific non-UN organizations and added language on the importance of technical assistance. Delegates will discuss 25(g) (international support) in the EU-coordinated informal group. On 25(h) (international watercourses), the G-77/CHINA proposed language encouraging watercourse states to develop international watercourses with a view to achieving sustainable utilization and benefits.
On oceans, the Chair summarized proposals for the chapeau, which address, inter alia, progress achieved, declining fish stocks and pollution and improved decision- making. Delegates also debated references to support for developing countries, the definition of progress and fair access to marine resources. The Chair will submit a revised chapeau. Regarding a G-77/CHINA proposal calling for universal membership and participation in the framework of existing ocean-related instruments, CANADA, the EU and TURKEY objected to universal membership. The Chair suggested a compromise encouraging all governments to ratify or accede to and effectively implement relevant agreements as soon as possible.
On 26(a) (implementation and monitoring of existing instruments), the MARSHALL ISLANDS supported a G-77/CHINA proposal for cooperation on integrated coastal management (ICM) and for institutional links between mechanisms developing and implementing ICM, including identification of funding requirements. The Chair suggested the alternative of adding a reference in the chapeau to assisting developing countries in achieving ICM, but the MARSHALL ISLANDS said this would not address the need to identify funding requirements to apply ICM. The EU supported the G-77/CHINA text without the call for identifying funding requirements.
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