Published by the International Institute for Sustainable Development
Vol. 05 No. 105
Monday, April 27 1998
CSD-6 HIGHLIGHTS FRIDAY, 24 APRIL 1998
CSD-6 participants met during a morning Plenary where they received seven draft decisions. They considered the drafts in regional and interest groups during the remainder of the day and will begin negotiations in Drafting Groups on Monday, 27 April.
CSD-6 Chair Habito introduced seven draft decisions, which he proposed would serve as the basis for negotiations in the Drafting Groups. He said the draft decisions on strategic approaches to freshwater management and industry and sustainable development were based on the Co-Chairs' reports from the ad hoc intersessional working groups. They also included new text based on delegates' comments during Thursday's debate. He said the draft decision regarding the review of the implementation of the Programme of Action for the Sustainable Development of Small Island Developing States (SIDS) was based on a G-77/CHINA written proposal submitted at CSD-6 as well as proposals from AOSIS and the EU. The draft on the UN Consumer Guidelines was not formatted as a CSD decision but contained language for an ECOSOC decision. The draft decision on the cross-sectoral themes was based on Thursday's debate. MEXICO said the draft decision on information provided by governments and organizations was a good starting point but did not incorporate all of the suggestions he submitted on Thursday. The draft decision on matters related to intersessional work of the Commission proposes language for a CSD-6 decision regarding the issues that the ad hoc intersessional working groups should consider in 1999.
The G-77/CHINA asked that the Drafting Groups convene Monday to allow his group time to prepare its position. IRAN expressed hope that future CSD sessions would have no shortage of time for negotiations in an intergovernmental format. INDIA said some of the expert meetings did not have universal participation and cannot replace intergovernmental negotiations. The CHAIR said delegates should prepare to work late Monday and Tuesday night.
The following summary highlights only the new text added to the reports of the Intersessional Working Groups on freshwater and industry based on Thursday's debate, and summarizes the five other new draft decisions.
CAPACITY BUILDING, EDUCATION AND PUBLIC AWARENESS, SCIENCE AND TRANSFER OF ENVIRONMENTALLY SOUND TECHNOLOGY: This draft decision contains a chapeau that takes note of the report of the Secretary-General and recognizes that these cross-sectoral themes are critical elements of a national enabling framework necessary to achieve sustainable development. The operative section is divided into four parts, with recommended actions related to: capacity building; education, public awareness and training; science for sustainable development; and transfer of environmentally sound technology (EST).
On capacity building, funding agencies are urged to support national capacity building activities, governments are encouraged to share experiences with innovative capacity building programmes, and countries are encouraged to increase their national capacity through South-South and sub-regional cooperation focused on common programmatic themes, among others. On education, the CSD, inter alia: urges UNESCO and other actors to pursue implementation of Chapter 36 of Agenda 21; urges governments, with the participation of other actors, to develop policy statements for reorienting education towards sustainable development and to make education and public awareness significant components in strategies and plans for sustainable development; and calls on UNESCO to consider ways and means to strengthen and accelerate implementation of the work programme on education.
On science, the CSD stresses the need for strong and concerted action at national and international levels to build scientific infrastrucutre in developing countries. It also notes that the World Science Conference in June 1999 provides a good opportunity to address key issues of science for sustainable development. On EST transfer, the CSD, inter alia: considers policies to promote eco-efficiency and sustainable production and EST transfer for these purposes; invites governments to develop guidelines on technology partnerships; encourages governments of developing countries and countries with economies in transition to develop national strategies for technology innovation, commercialization and diffusion; calls on governments to assist small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs); and invites governments to undertake a pilot project on opportunities for sector-specific applications of the recommendations on publicly-funded ESTs made by the expert meeting hosted by the Republic of Korea.
STRATEGIC APPROACHES TO FRESHWATER MANAGEMENT: In the introduction, new text stresses the importance of: considering equity and addressing the problems of the poor in formulating strategic management approaches; ensuring that water use does not undermine ecosystem integrity; and understanding the links between water quality and sanitation and human health. New text also stresses the importance of a shared vision between riparian States for the effective development, management and protection of international watercourses and calls for support to develop international river basin commissions.
The introduction to action and means of implementation contains new text inviting governments to consider the key recommendations from the Petersberg Roundtable and the Paris Conference when formulating and implementing policies and programmes.
On information and data for decision-making, new language emphasizes the fundamental economic value of information, says information users must be associated in collecting, processing and analyzing data, and recommends consideration of women's knowledge and experience as components of sustainable water management programmes. New text stresses that effective management requires attention to: water resources planning at local and national levels; regulatory activities; and infrastructure investments. The UN is called on to conduct global assessments of water resources availability and changes in demand and to give priority to standardization of definitions, development of user-friendly formats and access to and exchange of information.
On institutions, capacity building and participation, new text encourages governments to devolve responsibilities for public water supply, sanitation services and irrigation systems to local authorities. Parties involved with water resource programme formulation and financing are encouraged to engage in permanent dialogue with users and beneficiaries. On technology transfer and research cooperation, new language calls for promotion of know-how and technology exchange, taking into account indigenous technologies. It also encourages governments to develop national and regional programmes linked to education.
On financial resources and mechanisms, new text recommends support for innovative approaches for more efficient allocation of available water resources and stresses the need for cooperation and coordination between bilateral and multilateral donors and recipient States. On follow-up and assessment, new language suggests that taking stock of progress includes developing an agreed statement of principles to be applied in developing and implementing water management systems, taking into account the outcomes of the Petersberg Roundtable and the Paris Conference.
INDUSTRY AND SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT: This draft decision contains two new paragraphs in the section on Future Work. In one paragraph, the CSD notes the need for a review of voluntary initiatives and agreements as essential to give content and direction to the dialogue between industry, business, trade unions, NGOs, governments and international organizations (IOs). The paragraph calls for an examination of the effectiveness of some of the existing voluntary initiatives to identify elements making the various approaches successful. The various stakeholders are encouraged to undertake consultations to define the modalities for such a review and to report to CSD-7. The second new paragraph recognizes the value of the interactive dialogue between industry, business, trade unions, NGOs, governments and IOs on responsible entrepreneurship, corporate management tools, technology cooperation and assessment and industry and freshwater, which took place during the Industry Segment of CSD-6.
CONSUMER PROTECTION GUIDELINES FOR SUSTAINABLE CONSUMPTION: This draft text contains an ECOSOC decision, which recalls ECOSOC resolution 1997/53, notes views expressed at CSD-6 and invites governments to undertake national consultations on guidelines, submit views to the Secretariat and reach agreement on guidelines at CSD-7. The CSD is requested to submit recommendations to ECOSOC at its substantive session in 1999.
SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT OF SMALL ISLAND DEVELOPING STATES (SIDS): This draft decision recalls the UNGASS decision on the review of the Barbados Programme of Action for SIDS and notes the importance of the two-day special session to review the Programme, which will be held immediately prior to the fifty-fourth General Assembly. The Commission urges the international community and other actors to actively engage in the preparations for the special session, and encourages all SIDS to establish national development strategies by 2002. The Commission also urges the donors' conference, envisaged for early 1999, to review the implementation of the Programme in individual SIDS when considering proposed project portfolios, and invites the international community to unconditionally commit new and additional financial resources and assistance on concessional and preferential terms. The draft decision also addresses: climate change and sea level rise; management of wastes; freshwater resources; land resources; biodiversity resources; national institutions and administrative capacity; regional institutions and technical cooperation; science and technology; human resource development; and the vulnerability index.
On climate change, the CSD urges the international community to commit adequate financial and technical resources to SIDS to build effective response measures and urges Annex I Parties of the FCCC (developed countries) to become Parties to the Kyoto Protocol as soon as possible. On freshwater resources, the Commission encourages SIDS to develop an effective integrated approach to freshwater management, and calls on the international community to provide additional support for regional and national efforts to promote sound water resource assessment and monitoring procedures, demand management and policy frameworks. The CSD views with great concern the decline in external resources to SIDS for human resource development and strongly urges the international community to make urgent and immediate attempts to reverse this decline. On management of wastes, the Commission calls on the international community and in particular the UN system and the donor community to support SIDS' efforts in this area, in particular in the development of sound waste management.
INFORMATION PROVIDED BY GOVERNMENTS AND ORGANIZATIONS: MODALITIES FOR THE EXCHANGE OF NATIONAL EXPERIENCES AT THE REGIONAL LEVEL: This draft decision takes note of and welcomes the presentations of national experiences on sustainable water management given during CSD-6. The CSD: notes the value of the information provided by Member States on national implementation; welcomes the Secretary-General's proposals in the report on the modalities for the exchange of national experiences at the regional level (E/CN.17/1998/9); reiterates its request to all relevant organizations to facilitate support for capacity-building in the area of data collection, analysis and sharing of information; and urges further consultative meetings among regional institutions to promote regional cooperation and exchange of national experiences.
MATTERS RELATED TO INTERSESSIONAL WORK OF THE COMMISSION: This draft provides the basis for a CSD-6 decision to designate issues to be discussed by CSD intersessional working groups in 1999.
THINGS TO LOOK FOR TODAY
DRAFTING GROUP I: Drafting Group I is expected to meet in Conference Room 1 at 10:00 am to begin negotiations on the draft decision on strategic approaches to freshwater management.
DRAFTING GROUP II: Drafting Group II is expected to meet in Conference Room 2 at 10:00 am to begin negotiations on the draft decision on industry and sustainable development.
DRAFTING GROUP III: Drafting Group III may convene in Conference Room 2 during the afternoon to consider the draft decision on cross-sectoral themes.