Earth Negotiations Bulletin

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A Reporting Service for Environment and Development Negotiations

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Published by the International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD)

Vol. 05 No. 193
Monday, 12 May 2003

SUMMARY OF THE ELEVENTH SESSION OF THE COMMISSION ON SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT:

28 APRIL – 9 MAY 2003

The eleventh session of the United Nations Commission on Sustainable Development (CSD-11) took place from 28 April to 9 May 2003, at UN headquarters in New York. Convening for its first substantive session since the World Summit on Sustainable Development (WSSD) held in Johannesburg in 2002, the Commission commenced with a three-day high-level segment, where over 40 high-level representatives at the ministerial level addressed the future modalities and work programme of the CSD, and engaged in interactive ministerial round tables, with the participation of Major Groups, on the theme "Priority actions and commitments to implement the outcomes of the WSSD." Regional implementation forums also took place informing delegates of initial steps taken in each UN region to implement the WSSD’s outcomes.

At the end of the first week, CSD-11 Chair Mohammed Valli Moosa, South Africa’s Minister for Environmental Affairs and Tourism, presented a Chair’s draft decision on the future organization, programme and methods of work of the Commission, which was negotiated during the second week. Major Groups also presented their views on the CSD’s future work programme during a multi-stakeholder dialogue at the end of the first week. During the second week, delegates considered and adopted decisions on NGO accreditation, the Bureau, and preparations for the international meeting to review the implementation of the Barbados Programme of Action for the sustainable development of Small Island Developing States (SIDS). A Partnerships Fair and Learning Center courses took place concurrently with the session.

CSD-11 concluded with adoption of the CSD’s multi-year programme work for the period 2004-2017, which will be organized as a series of two-year action-oriented Implementation Cycles, with a Review Session and a Policy Session in each cycle. Each two-year cycle is expected to consider a thematic cluster of issues, and a suite of cross-cutting issues, with the upcoming 2004/ 2005 cycle focusing on water, sanitation and human settlements. The CSD further decided on the modalities for reporting, partnerships, and enhancing UN system coordination and Major Groups contributions. As CSD-11 drew to a close, a majority of delegates felt that the opportunity to revitalize the CSD had not been wasted. Within its somewhat modest mandate, CSD-11 fulfilled its tasks. However, it remains to be seen how the new structure will actually perform and inspire implementation of sustainable development.

A BRIEF HISTORY OF THE CSD

The Commission on Sustainable Development (CSD) emerged from Agenda 21, the programme of action adopted by the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED) in June 1992. Agenda 21 called for the creation of the CSD to ensure effective follow-up of UNCED, enhance international cooperation, and examine progress of Agenda 21 implementation at the local, national, regional and international levels. In 1992, the 47th session of the UN General Assembly (UNGA) set out, in resolution 47/191, the CSD’s terms of reference and its composition, guidelines for the participation of Major Groups, the organization of work, its relationship with other UN bodies, and Secretariat arrangements. The CSD held its first substantive session in June 1993 and has met annually since.

UNGASS-19: In June 1997, five years after UNCED, the 19th UN General Assembly Special Session (UNGASS-19), also known as "Rio+5," was held to review the implementation of Agenda 21. Negotiations produced a Programme for the Further Implementation of Agenda 21. Among the decisions adopted at UNGASS was a five-year CSD work programme, which identified sectoral, cross-sectoral and economic sector/Major Group themes for the subsequent four sessions of the CSD.

UNGA-55: On 20 December 2000, the General Assembly adopted resolution 55/199 on the 10-year review of progress achieved in the implementation of the outcomes of UNCED. In this resolution, the General Assembly decided to organize a 10-year review of UNCED in 2002 at the summit level to reinvigorate the global commitment to sustainable development. The General Assembly accepted South Africa’s offer to host the Summit, which was called the World Summit on Sustainable Development (WSSD). Among other things, the resolution decided that CSD-10 would serve as the open-ended preparatory committee (PrepCom) for the Summit.

WSSD PREPARATORY PROCESS: Four sessions of CSD-10 were held between April 2001 and June 2002. Chaired by Emil Salim (Indonesia), the PrepCom conducted a comprehensive review and assessment of progress achieved in the implementation of Agenda 21. By PrepCom IV, held in Bali, Indonesia from 27 May to 7 June 2002, a draft Plan of Implementation had been negotiated, and was transmitted to the Summit for further negotiation. The Bali PrepCom also produced a non-negotiated document containing guidelines, known as the Bali Guiding Principles, for the development of voluntary partnerships – or "Type II" outcomes.

WSSD: The World Summit on Sustainable Development convened from 26 August to 4 September 2002, in Johannesburg, South Africa, bringing together over 21,000 participants from 191 governments, intergovernmental and non-governmental organizations, the private sector, civil society, academia and the scientific community. The WSSD negotiated and adopted two main documents: the Johannesburg Plan of Implementation (JPOI) and the Johannesburg Declaration on Sustainable Development. Over 200 non-negotiated partnerships/initiatives for sustainable development aimed at implementing Agenda 21 were launched, supplementing the commitments agreed to by governments through the intergovernmental process. Further partnerships have been launched since the WSSD.

The JPOI is designed as a framework for action to implement the UNCED commitments, and includes a number of new agreements. It contains chapters on poverty eradication, consumption and production, the natural resource base, globalization, health, SIDS, Africa, other regional initiatives, means of implementation, and an institutional framework.

Chapter XI on an Institutional Framework for Sustainable Development contains a section outlining the role and function of the CSD. It calls for the CSD’s role to be enhanced, and states that the Commission should: review progress and promote implementation of Agenda 21; address new challenges; focus on actions related to Agenda 21 implementation; and serve as a focal point for discussion of partnerships. It further directs the Commission to address the practical modalities of its work programme at its next session.

UNGA-57: In February 2003, the UNGA adopted resolution 57/253 endorsing the Johannesburg Declaration on Sustainable Development and the Johannesburg Plan of Implementation, and adopting sustainable development as a key element of the overarching framework for UN activities, in particular for achieving the internationally-agreed development goals, including those contained in the UN Millennium Declaration. The resolution requested ECOSOC to ensure that the CSD holds an organizational meeting in January 2003 and its substantive session in April/May 2003. It also requested the Secretary-General to prepare a report containing proposals on the modalities of the future work of the Commission, taking into account the decisions in the JPOI.

CSD-11 ORGANIZATIONAL SESSION: CSD-11 held its organizational session on 27 January 2003, at UN headquarters, to elect a new Bureau. South Africa’s Minister for Environmental Affairs and Tourism, Mohammed Valli Moosa, was elected as CSD-11 Chair, and Nadine Gouzée (Belgium), Bruno Stagno (Costa Rica), Irena Zubcevic (Croatia) and Hossein Moeini (Iran) were elected as Vice-Chairs.

CSD-11 INFORMAL CONSULTATIONS: Informal consultations in preparation for CSD-11 took place from 24-25 February and 24-26 March 2003, at UN headquarters. The purpose of these consultations was to hear the initial views of delegations on the future programme of work of the CSD, and to allow for informal discussions on the Secretary-General’s report on the Follow up to Johannesburg and the Future Role of the CSD – The Implementation Track (E/CN.17/2003/2). The report contained a range of proposals covering various aspects of the Commission’s future work, including: the CSD’s multi-year programme of work; selection of issues for future CSD sessions; high-level political engagement in the CSD process; and the transformation of CSD’s Ad Hoc Intersessional Working Groups. It also suggested means to engage Major Groups, and ways to enhance contributions from the scientific and educational communities, and recommended arrangements to enable the Commission to serve as a focal point for partnerships.

CSD-11 REPORT

CSD-11 Chair Mohammed Valli Moosa, South Africa’s Minister of Environmental Affairs and Tourism, opened CSD-11 on Monday morning, 28 April, reminding delegates that their task was to decide on modalities and a future work programme for the Commission. Drawing attention to pledges made during the World Summit on Sustainable Development (WSSD), he said problems such as global warming, hunger and disease must be tackled with the "same vigor recently displayed by some on the military front." In this regard, he underscored the multilateral approach as "the only real solution" for achieving sustainable development.

UN Under-Secretary-General for Economic and Social Affairs Nitin Desai said participants must consider how to support concrete implementation of commitments made at the WSSD. Noting the presence at CSD-11 of many ministers and other high-level representatives of governments and Major Groups, he indicated that this meeting offers an ideal opportunity to establish a clear path for implementing previously agreed goals and targets on sustainable development.

UNEP Executive Director Klaus Töpfer highlighted coordination of UNEP’s work with that of other UN bodies as a key consideration for UNEP, and drew attention to decisions taken at the 22nd session of the UNEP Governing Council, held in February 2003, to integrate the WSSD’s outcomes in UNEP’s programme of work.

Following the opening speeches, delegates adopted the agenda and approved the organization of work for the session (E/CN.17/ 2003/1).

HIGH-LEVEL SEGMENT

CSD-11 began with a three-day high-level ministerial segment (28-30 April), in which ministers considered the future modalities and work programme of the CSD, and engaged in interactive ministerial round tables, with participation of Major Groups, on the theme "Priority actions and commitments to implement the outcomes of the WSSD." Regional implementation forums also took place on Tuesday and Wednesday (29-30 April), informing delegates of initial steps taken in each region to implement the WSSD’s outcomes, and of arrangements for regional or subregional cooperation.

MINISTERIAL STATEMENTS: Many speakers supported a practical and flexible work programme for the CSD, and emphasized the need for its work to focus on implementation. Several delegates also stressed the importance of interagency coordination, and monitoring of progress in the implementation of commitments. Emphasizing that the work programme should focus on implementation of the WSSD’s outcomes, Morocco, on behalf of the G-77/ China, said the two-year cycle proposed in the Secretary-General’s report (E/CN.17/2003/2) should be structured in a simple, effective and efficient manner, and avoid the proliferation of meetings. He stressed that the first year should review progress in implementation of commitments to identify constraints and obstacles.

Greece, on behalf of the EU, called for the structure of the two-year work cycle to be simplified. She urged a flexible work programme that would allow emerging issues to be addressed, and noted the EU’s preference for the third option presented in the Secretary-General’s report. This option proposed that CSD-11 selects one or two broad areas for each of the next four or five two-year cycles, while an additional area for the next cycle could be determined at future sessions. A number of delegations also favored this option, stating that it provides both predictability and flexibility.

With regard to the extent of forward planning for the work programme, Senegal said the programme could look ahead three cycles (six years), while Luxembourg favored setting it four to six cycles ahead. Several ministers supported a flexible work programme, and agreed that the number of issues addressed in each cycle should be limited.

On selection of issues for consideration by the Commission, many delegates cautioned against overloading the future work programme with too many themes. Australia, Canada, Switzerland and the US suggested focusing on one theme over a two-year cycle. Many delegates supported selecting themes that lack a clear institutional home within the UN system. The Russian Federation said the Commission might also consider themes not recently addressed by the CSD. Japan and many other speakers supported freshwater as a priority for the future work programme. The EU, with others, also identified energy as another theme meriting early consideration. Norway supported sustainable consumption and production as another important theme, and Denmark proposed addressing each theme through the cross-cutting issues of poverty eradication, gender equality, and sustainable consumption and production. Portugal proposed prioritizing water and sanitation, and oceans. Mauritius, on behalf of the Alliance of Small Island States (AOSIS), stressed that special focus be accorded to SIDS, with the Marshall Islands, on behalf of SIDS, urging that climate change be accorded the highest priority.

India suggested that the 22 sectors addressed in Agenda 21 be clustered into five two-year cycles, and, with Indonesia, said the final cycle should review overall implementation. Switzerland and Gabon highlighted health, and Finland identified sanitation, as further issues. Senegal, Malawi and the Netherlands said the CSD should pay particular attention to African issues, and Libya stressed the need to address priorities of the New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD). Egypt urged the CSD to prioritize needs of developing countries, and Syria and Malawi stressed financial resources, capacity building, and technology transfer. Germany highlighted the role of renewable energy in poverty reduction.

Regarding the CSD’s future organizational arrangements, many countries highlighted the importance of regional implementation, with Tajikistan supporting regional implementation forums and enhanced subregional cooperation. China and the Czech Republic stressed utilizing the comparative advantages of existing institutions, such as the UN Regional Commissions. The Russian Federation stated that the regional review process should be uniform, and follow common criteria to ensure compatible and consistent outcomes. Belgium and the Netherlands emphasized the importance of national strategies for sustainable development (NSSDs), and France supported peer-review mechanisms. Côte d’Ivoire said NEPAD is an appropriate framework for regional implementation, and Iceland outlined how the Arctic Council can contribute to implementation of the WSSD’s outcomes. Sweden called for a gender perspective and supported the exchange of experiences through CSD task forces or subcommittees.

The Republic of Korea and the UK underscored the CSD’s role in monitoring partnerships and the implementation of the WSSD’s outcomes. Norway emphasized the importance of using existing reporting procedures, and Croatia stressed the need for a uniform reporting mechanism. Chile proposed that the CSD develop a clearinghouse for recording and monitoring partnerships. The G-77/ China urged the CSD to define parameters that would guide and govern partnerships. Lesotho urged development of globally-recognized indicators of sustainable development. Italy stressed the importance of private sector involvement, and Australia cautioned against politicizing CSD negotiations, and highlighted the CSD’s role in knowledge-sharing.

A number of speakers called for broader participation by Major Groups and other stakeholders in the CSD process, with Kenya suggesting that educators and scientists be involved in panel discussions, and that multi-stakeholder dialogues be interspersed throughout the CSD session, and not organized as stand-alone segments. Iran said developed countries should report on the implementation of financial and technical commitments, and the Dominican Republic called for an increase in official development assistance (ODA). Mongolia recommended that CSD sessions include the exchange of best practices, information dissemination and capacity building activities, and the US said such "innovative" means of capacity building should be considered throughout the UN system.

INTERACTIVE MINISTERIAL ROUND TABLE: This portion of the high-level segment took place from 28-30 April. The round table was intended to allow ministers and representatives of Major Groups to engage in a dialogue on key issues relating to implementation of the WSSD’s outcomes. Issues discussed included poverty eradication, consumption and production patterns, protecting the natural resources base, health and sustainable development, and means of implementation.

Poverty eradication: In the dialogue on poverty eradication held on Monday afternoon, 28 April, many participants highlighted the UN Millennium Declaration goals of halving, by 2015, the proportion of the world’s people earning less than one dollar a day, the proportion who suffer from hunger, and those without access to safe drinking water. Many speakers discussed the linkages between poverty and water, with several delegates calling for increased donor aid and investment in the water sector. A spokesman for the Third World Water Forum noted ministerial agreement at the Forum to "redouble collective efforts" to meet the internationally-agreed water-related goals. Norway suggested developing a global programme of action on water. Indigenous People emphasized attaining water targets in a culturally-sensitive way, while South Africa and Trade Unions expressed concerns about water privatization. Australia linked access to water resources with good governance and suggested the use of a catchment approach in sharing water resources.

On the question of agricultural subsidies, Farmers highlighted distortions within the private sector and the dominance of food sales by a small number of retail chains. Sweden referred to the EU’s difficulties in achieving ongoing reforms, and suggested considering agriculture early in the CSD process. On gender issues, Greece and Brazil stressed the need to improve the status of women in sustainable development.

Kenya stressed the need to address patterns of consumption and production in poverty reduction strategies, while NGOs suggested that these patterns be addressed in NSSDs, and Indonesia proposed their inclusion in business plans. Highlighting the involvement of all Major Groups, Sweden underscored the role of women and the business community in sustainable consumption and production, and Finland said the issue should be considered in the first cycle of the CSD work programme.

Changing unsustainable patterns of consumption and production: In this dialogue held on Monday afternoon, 28 April, Morocco highlighted its plans to host an international expert meeting in June 2003 on a 10-year framework of programmes for sustainable production and consumption. Sweden noted that this issue has been on the sustainable development agenda for a long time, and stressed the need for implementation. Venezuela said developed countries have a high degree of responsibility in changing their patterns of consumption and production, and stressed the importance of an ethical approach for achieving sustainable development. Canada said patterns of consumption and production are universal, and are not a North-South issue. He stressed the need for full life-cycle product design, greater consumer information, and addressing the consumption attitudes of the affluent. Japan urged the international community to consider establishing a common recycling target, and to engage in international research on this matter. Indonesia underscored the need for investment in cleaner production. Youth called for an increased focus on education for sustainable consumption and production.

Several speakers noted the importance of energy. Brazil highlighted its proposal for a global initiative for a 10% renewable energy target by 2010. Norway stressed the need for renewable energy targets and environmental considerations in the use of hydroelectricity. Pakistan underscored the need to increase the use of renewable energy and energy efficiency measures.

Ireland stressed the need for adequate resources and financing, and called on developed countries to meet their ODA commitments. Switzerland and Trade Unions called for the ratification and implementation of the Stockholm and Rotterdam Conventions (persistent organic pollutants (POPs) and prior informed consent (PIC), respectively.)

Protecting and managing the natural resource base of economic and social development: Speakers raised a variety of issues in this round table held on Tuesday, 29 April, including those relating to biodiversity and the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), water, chemicals management, and education and public awareness.

CBD COP President Hans Hoogeveen (the Netherlands) suggested that ministers address how the CBD and other conventions could contribute to the implementation process and proposed that CSD-11 provide a clear mechanism on how the conventions can report to it. Kenya underscored the need for financial support to implement national biodiversity plans and strategies in developing countries. NGOs said the CSD should assist governments in valuing natural resources. Linking biodiversity and poverty, Norway said biodiversity loss cannot be addressed in the CBD alone, and requires a broader approach. He said CSD should monitor implementation of the pledges made at the WSSD.

On water issues, FAO stressed the importance of linking water resources, sustainable agriculture and food security. Noting the transboundary nature of water and ecosystems, Croatia proposed the development of regional strategies for sustainable development. South Africa drew attention to the 2005 target for establishing national plans on integrated water resource management and water efficiency, and said the UN and CSD should contribute to meeting this target. Venezuela noted that the indiscriminate use of pesticides and agro-chemicals has a major impact on the contamination of water resources and on human health.

Regarding education and awareness-raising, Youth maintained that their involvement is critical to the implementation of JPOI, and stressed the importance of education in supporting such involvement. Portugal called for policy coherence, emphasizing that effective natural resource protection should occur against a background of increased knowledge and information dissemination. Trade Unions highlighted the benefits of education and awareness-raising in the workplace, and noted the value of workplace assessments. On capacity building, Lesotho and Pakistan stressed the importance of building the capacity of rural people to manage natural resources.

Health and sustainable development: In this discussion, which took place on Tuesday, 29 April, Kenya stated that sustainable development cannot be achieved without addressing the causes of ill health, including pollution, overcrowding, and inadequate water supply and sanitation. Cuba noted that progress on the WSSD’s health commitment can only be achieved if there is political will and integrated efforts. Business and Industry said health commitments will need to be met in part by the marketplace, coupled with good governance, transparency and accountability. Women stressed that gender issues are critical in addressing human health, and raised concerns regarding unequal access to health services. The IMF called for substantial increases in ODA for the health sector. Indigenous People stressed the issues of POPs and HIV/AIDS in their community, and called on the CSD to ensure, inter alia, the protection of traditional healing systems and that impact assessments are a prerequisite for mining operations.

Means of implementation and an institutional framework for sustainable development: Speakers discussed a variety of issues in this dialogue held on Wednesday, 30 April, including ODA, private sector investment, partnerships and collaboration, NSSDs, governance, and technology transfer.

On ODA, several speakers noted that an additional US$50 billion per year is required to meet the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). UNDP confirmed the "quantum jump" required in ODA, adding that "we cannot pretend the private sector can substitute for that." He reported on the World Solidarity Fund, which is seeking to secure sources of funding, and drew attention to a UK proposal to borrow money to meet agreed targets, which would be repaid after 2015. The EU reaffirmed its commitment to increasing ODA. The US said resources could not come from governments alone, and supported a framework encouraging private sector investment. He also called for an end to trade-distorting subsidies in the agricultural sector. Japan and Germany highlighted the need for increased foreign direct investment (FDI).

On collaboration and coordination, a number of speakers supported improved cooperation within the UN system and between the UN and other organizations. DESA said it was necessary to determine how existing instruments and mechanisms can be used in meeting goals under the JPOI. ECLAC said the UN regional commissions could be put to good use by employing the available regional and subregional architecture, and by facilitating inter-regional cooperation.

On actions at the national level, many speakers stressed the importance of integrated NSSDs. The World Bank supported country ownership and stewardship in achieving implementation, and the Global Environment Facility (GEF) drew attention to its support for national capacity building self assessments.

REGIONAL IMPLEMENTATION FORUMS: Regional implementation forums were held from 29-30 April, with participants discussing initial steps taken in the Economic Commissions for Europe (ECE), Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC), and Africa (ECA), and the Economic and Social Commissions for West Asia (ESCWA) and for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP) regions to implement the JPOI.

ECE: In his opening statement, Kaj Barlund, ECE Executive Director, outlined the Commission’s work on follow-up to the WSSD, including its intention to establish an open forum on sustainable development for discussions among all ECE partners, with a strong emphasis on civil society. Julio Garcia Burgues, EC, highlighted work undertaken in the EU on sustainable development strategies. Lynne Brennan van Dyke, UNEP Regional Office for North America, gave an overview of the office’s activities in support of countries in the region, including collaborative work with other organizations. Dafna Gorchava, UNDP, reported on progress in implementing the Capacity 2015 initiative and on new steps to assist countries with economies in transition. Claude Fussler, World Business Council for Sustainable Development, urged partnership stakeholders to meet regularly to ensure that commitments are met. Marec Maciejovski, Baltic 21, presented his organization’s experience as an example of successful subregional collaboration in implementing sustainable development goals.

In the ensuing discussion, Switzerland supported the idea of an ECE discussion forum, and called for a strong link between the global and regional processes. Emphasizing the importance of subregional work, Sweden shared the experience of the Nordic Council. The US, supported by Canada, questioned whether grouping regional implementation forums around the UN Regional Commissions would be an effective way to achieve implementation of the WSSD goals in a CSD context.

ECLAC: In his opening statement, Reynaldo Bajraj, ECLAC Executive Secretary, proposed establishing a Sessional Committee as a component of ECLAC’s biennial session to incorporate the WSSD’s outcomes into its work programme. Michael Gucovsky, UNDP, identified regional priorities outlined in the LAC Initiative on Sustainable Development adopted at the WSSD. Cristina Montenegro, UNEP Regional Office for Latin America and the Caribbean, stressed the need to promote regional cooperation through the Initiative. Bruno Stagno, Permanent Representative of Costa Rica, outlined the region’s institutional and operational experience, stating that it forms a sound basis for implementing sustainable development. John Forgach, A2-R Environmental Funds, highlighted the role of regional development banks and small- to medium-sized enterprises in sustainable development. Marina Da Silva, Brazil’s Environment Minister, underscored the importance of linking environmental goals with social and economic development.

During the subsequent discussion, Argentina drew attention to a recent regional meeting on sustainable consumption and production. Guyana stressed the need for monitoring progress, and suggested exploring how a peer review mechanism could function in the region. Mexico identified interagency coordination and the development of sustainable development indicators as priority issues. Chile said UN agencies are essential for achieving sustainable development in the region and, with others, supported the proposal for a Sessional Committee of ECLAC. Costa Rica called for the development of financial instruments. Stating that the Secretariat’s proposal to organize regional implementation forums around the UN Regional Commissions was not focused on outcomes, the US suggested non-geographically based groupings. Canada also stated that regional implementation should not be restricted to the UN Regional Commissions and expressed its wish to work with LAC countries, particularly in the areas of health and environment, and knowledge transfer.

ECA: In his opening address, Wiseman Nkhulu, NEPAD, said NEPAD is Africa’s vehicle for implementing the WSSD. Josue Dione, ECA, highlighted programmes addressing integrated water resources management, land-related policies, science and technology for agricultural development, and monitoring of progress on sustainable development. Bakary Kante, UNEP, reported that UNEP is addressing the implementation of the African chapter of the JPOI with a focus on institutions, priority issues, and partnerships. Fatou Ndoye, Network for Environment and Sustainable Development in Africa, highlighted the establishment of the Forum for African Civil Society, which aims to support civil society in monitoring the MDGs and WSSD’s outcomes.

In the ensuing discussion, Senegal highlighted NEPAD’s environmental initiative and its focus on actions addressing drought and desertification, wetlands, alien species, coastal and marine resources, climate change, and water resources. South Africa emphasized the need to ensure integration and links between the CSD, NEPAD and the African Union. He stressed international agency and donor coordination in WSSD follow-up. Kenya called on developed countries to enhance aid flows to Africa. Zimbabwe emphasized the need for sectoral and institutional integration. Nigeria, Sudan and Algeria addressed the relationship between the NEPAD Secretariat and the UN Special Advisor on Africa.

ESCWA: In his opening remarks, Hosny Khordagni, ESCWA, outlined steps taken in the region to implement the JPOI, and reported on restructuring within ESCWA, which he said would strengthen its role in supporting implementation. Imad Moustapha, College of Informatics, Syria, noted difficulties in implementing sustainable development, highlighting wars and conflicts that have disrupted the region in recent decades. In particular, he referred to "subhuman conditions" endured by many Palestinians, and to the situation in Iraq. Mohammed Hamel, OPEC, explained his organization’s role in promoting sustainable development in the energy sector. Lynne van Dyke, UNEP, informed participants of the joint Secretariat established by UNEP, UNDP, and the Council of Arab Ministers Responsible for the Environment, to implement the Arab initiative presented at the WSSD. She also stressed the need to coordinate the initiative with NEPAD.

In the subsequent discussion, Egypt suggested that the CSD assist in implementing Rio Principle 23 regarding the protection of the environment and natural resources of people under oppression, domination and occupation. Jordan stressed the need for coherence in national government policies, and Lebanon announced that it will host this year’s World Environment Day.

ESCAP: In his opening address, Ravi Sawhney, ESCAP, reported on concrete actions in the area of sustainable development undertaken by ESCAP since the WSSD. Russell Howorth, South Pacific Applied Geoscience Commission, noted that SIDS do not fall under UN regional groupings, but are coordinated through AOSIS. He stressed that the international community should utilize existing structures, and not request SIDS to report to UN regional commissions. Anita Nirody, UNDP, described the Capacity 2015 initiative, and outlined activities underway in the region. Jai Ok Kim, Citizen’s Alliance for Consumer Protection for Korea, emphasized the role of civil society in implementing the JPOI, particularly in the areas of sustainable production and consumption, and awareness-raising. She said regional implementation forums should be held in their respective regions.

In the ensuing discussion, the Republic of Korea emphasized the role of national councils for sustainable development. Reflecting on how regional implementation might be integrated with the CSD process, Australia, supported by Fiji, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea and Tuvalu, stressed the need to recognize subregional and transregional groupings, with Samoa adding that SIDS should not be subsumed under the UN Regional Commissions. ESCAP noted its role in promoting interregional and subregional cooperation.

SUMMARY OF THE HIGH-LEVEL SEGMENT: On Wednesday afternoon, 30 April, Chair Moosa presented his summary of CSD-11’s high-level segment. He noted delegates’ endorsement of the CSD’s role in supporting coordination and implementation of sustainable development objectives, and a commitment to a revitalized CSD with an action-oriented work programme. He referred to numerous statements highlighting the importance of NSSDs, and drew attention to the 2005 deadline their completion.

Chair Moosa noted delegates’ approval of a two-year work cycle consisting of a Review and a Policy year, with one overarching focus area for each cycle. He indicated support for addressing water issues during the first cycle, and energy in the second. While every cycle would have a key theme, he also acknowledged that each cycle should allow for progress to be assessed in all JPOI areas, and that the CSD should be able to examine any urgent issues that might emerge. He highlighted agreement that the WSSD theme of sustainable development for poverty eradication should continue to guide the CSD in its future work, with various cross-cutting issues also being taken into account. Special attention would be given to Africa, SIDS and LDCs in each cycle.

Chair Moosa also highlighted participants’ ongoing political commitment to the CSD process, and support for sustained and strengthened multi-sectoral involvement, and a gender focus. While reporting strong support for regional implementation forums, he took note of some countries’ concerns that existing UN regions might not be ideally-suited to this work. He also highlighted statements endorsing the CSD’s role as a focal point for partnership initiatives, and greater coordination within the UN system. Thanking participants for their constructive, action-oriented and focused contributions, he said the high-level segment had provided valuable political direction for the CSD.

MULTI-STAKEHOLDER DIALOGUE

On Thursday, 1 May, Major Groups presented their views on the CSD’s future work programme in a multi-stakeholder dialogue, which began with opening statements by Major Groups, followed by a discussion with delegations. Business and Industry highlighted the need to ensure market access and provide consumers with product choices. Farmers called on the CSD to invite consumer groups to participate in future sessions. Indigenous People underscored protection, restoration and renewal of ancestral lands, and the need for rights-based participatory processes that are sensitive to social and cultural values. Local Authorities noted the need for relevant legislation, guidelines and governance at the national level, and for enhancing human and financial capacity. NGOs said a rights-based approach to sustainable development must permeate the work of the CSD for the next decade, and stressed the need to distribute responsibility for JPOI implementation across the UN’s institutional framework. The Scientific and Technological Community emphasized the role of education, and identified sustainable consumption and production as a priority for the CSD. Trade Unions said the Secretary-General’s report overemphasizes the environmental dimension of sustainable development, and stressed social development. Women called for a gender analysis of the JPOI, and proposed the submission of reports on gender implementation by 2005.

Many speakers supported strengthening the involvement of Major Groups and other stakeholders, and extending their participation. Hungary and India highlighted the media and, with Canada, identified educators as a key group meriting a greater role in the CSD. Chair Moosa drew attention to faith-based representatives, Hungary added consumers, and the US suggested harnessing existing national and international networks of scientists. Senegal sought increased participation of parliamentarians. Finland called for involving the elderly and, supported by several Major Groups, as well as Jordan and Egypt, suggested including the disabled. Youth said more countries should include youth representatives on their delegations, and supported mainstreaming youth in decision making at the local and national levels through initiatives such as youth councils. Trade Unions, Women and Youth called for a mechanism to ensure greater involvement of Major Groups in policy making. Indigenous People drew attention to their contribution to the POPs and CBD processes, and called for their greater involvement in the CSD.

On organizational matters, Sweden and the US highlighted the potential of taskforces and subcommittees as a way to strengthen the contribution of Major Groups. Canada said opportunities for stakeholders to contribute throughout the entire CSD work cycle should be maximized. A number of speakers also noted the need for equitable geographic representation of Major Groups. Brazil recounted its experience in mobilizing civil society at all levels, in particular at the local level, and Austria stressed the importance of stakeholder participation in decision making at the local and national levels. IUCN offered its scientists’ networks to assist the CSD in implementation, and stressed the need to organize regional implementation forums in the regions. Barbados proposed establishing NGO regional coordination councils, and highlighted their potential as catalysts for implementation, partnerships and resource mobilization. Belgium described how its sustainable development councils have promoted multi-stakeholder participation, and NGOs encouraged all governments to establish such councils.

Responding to comments by Chair Moosa that there appeared to be agreement on removing trade-distorting agricultural subsidies, the European Community said this does not mean there is a consensus on removing all agricultural subsidies. Stressing the complexity of this issue, Japan drew attention to "delicate negotiations" taking place in the WTO. A number of speakers suggested that Major Group representatives attending CSD sessions should bring practical experience in implementing policies on the ground, rather than just policy expertise. Australia added that this could also apply to country delegations, given that the aim is to revitalize CSD to make it more action-oriented. Greece said that distinguishing between "policy" and "implementation" NGOs would create unnecessary divisions and, with the Republic of Korea, Business and Industry and several others, supported self-selection of representatives by Major Groups.

FUTURE PROGRAMME, ORGANIZATION AND METHODS OF WORK OF THE COMMISSION

On Thursday, 1 May, CSD-11 Chair Moosa presented a Chair’s draft decision on the future programme, organization and methods of work of the Commission. The draft decision specifically addressed the: future organization of work; multi-year programme of work; reporting requirements; enhancing contributions of funds, programme, agencies and other UN organizations; contributions of Major Groups; and the CSD as the focal point for partnerships. It also contained an annex with a matrix outlining the list of issues to be addressed by the Commission for its upcoming cycles. Major Groups presented their comments on the draft decision on Friday, 2 May. Negotiations on this decision took place throughout the second week of the session, with two working groups and various subgroups and contact groups established to address various elements of the draft decision. Working Group I was chaired by Bureau Vice-Chairs Nadine Gouzée (Belgium) and Hossein Moeini (Iran), while Working Group II was chaired by Bureau Vice-Chairs Bruno Stagno (Costa Rica) and Irena Zubcevic (Croatia). Discussions in these groups resulted in a draft resolution to be forwarded by the Commission for adoption by ECOSOC. The resolution, as contained in the Report of the eleventh session of the CSD (E/CN.17/2003/L.1), addresses the: future programme, organization and methods of work of the Commission; Bureau; and Status of NGOs and other Major Groups accredited to the WSSD.

This section outlines the discussions and outcomes for each key area addressed in the Chair’s text.

PREAMBLE: Facilitated by Ngurah Swajaya (Indonesia), informal consultations on the preamble to the decision were held on Wednesday and Thursday, 7-8 May. Delegates debated several matters raised in the text, including whether to insert references to governance and the principle of common but differentiated responsibilities. The text was adopted in Plenary on Friday, 9 May, following an explanation by Indonesia about the compromise package that had been agreed. The compromise proposed to reference the principle of common but differentiated responsibilities by inserting language from paragraph 2 of the JPOI in the preamble, which refers to this Rio principle. The compromise package also included language on regional and subregional inputs throughout the Implementation Cycle, inviting the General Assembly to consider using resources previously devoted to the CSD Ad Hoc Intersessional Working Groups, to support the participation of member States in regional meetings. After adoption of this text at the final Plenary, Australia expressed its disappointment regarding the selective insertion of the JPOI paragraph 2.

Final Text: The preamble recalls the outcomes of the Rio and Johannesburg Summits, and reaffirms the commitment to achieving internationally-agreed development goals. It also reaffirms that poverty eradication, changing unsustainable patterns of production and consumption, and protecting and managing the natural resource base for economic and social development, are overarching objectives of, and essential requirements for, sustainable development.

FUTURE ORGANIZATION OF WORK: Negotiations on the CSD’s future organization of work were taken up in Working Group I from Monday through Wednesday, 5-7 May. On Thursday morning, 8 May, a contact group chaired by Richard Ballhorn (Canada), was established, negotiating late into the night. The contact group forwarded text, containing several unresolved issues, to the Plenary on Friday, 9 May, for final consideration, where it was adopted with minor amendments.

Negotiations on the Review Session focused on its outcomes, the need for a high-level segment, and the duration of the session. On the session’s outcomes, Greece, on behalf of the EU, and supported by Norway, proposed a Chair’s summary of deliberations and a compilation of possible approaches and best practice models. Morocco, for the G-77/China, and Mexico preferred a Chair’s report identifying constraints and obstacles in the process of implementing Agenda 21 and the JPOI. Japan and the Republic of Korea opposed a high-level segment taking place during this session and proposed that the session take place for one week only.

Negotiations on the Policy Session addressed its main outcomes. Australia preferred that this session agree on policies and practical measures to expedite implementation of the priority concerns identified in the Review Session. The G-77/China proposed that the session take policy decisions on practical measures to overcome constraints and obstacles in the process of implementation. The EU suggested the identification of possible approaches and best practice models for implementation.

On the role of the proposed regional implementation forums, delegates negotiated the appropriateness of using UN Regional Commissions as a basis for these meeting, and on their scheduling. The US, Canada, and others expressed concern with proposals to organize these forums around the UN Regional Commissions, and suggested non-geographically based breakout discussions at UN headquarters, prior to CSD sessions. Switzerland and Canada proposed that these forums take place prior to the Policy Session, while the Republic of Korea and EU argued for holding them before the Review Session.

Delegates also discussed the relationship between ECOSOC and the CSD at length. The US, supported by several others, voiced concern with the proposed text and urged using wording from the JPOI. Switzerland proposed that ECOSOC address the issue of sustainable development in its substantive session, instead of its ministerial segment.

In the final Plenary, delegates agreed to a new proposal that the CSD Bureau would specify the organizational modalities for future CSD meetings, based on open-ended and transparent consultations, and that CSD meetings and activities should provide for the balanced involvement of participants from all regions, and ensure a gender balance. They also agreed to insert agreed text negotiated in the other groups regarding the thematic cluster of issues, and references to stakeholders, as outlined in the JPOI paragraphs 139(g), 149(c) and (d). In addition, they decided to schedule high-level segments during both sessions.

Final Text: The decision notes that the CSD will be organized as a series of two-year action-oriented Implementation Cycles that will include a Review Session and Policy Session, and that both sessions should mobilize further action by all actors to overcome implementation obstacles and challenges, as well address new challenges and opportunities.

All CSD sessions will include high-level segments to provide ministerial leadership, oversight, and guidance in decision making concerning their outcomes, and that these segments will include a focused dialogue with the active participation of the UN system, international finance and trade institutions and Major Groups. The decision states that results of the CSD’s work could include the sharing of best practice and lessons learned, exchange of experiences, capacity-building activities, and sustainable development partnership initiatives. It also invites governments and Major Groups to undertake results-orientated initiatives and activities that support the CSD’s work, as well as the implementation of sustainable development.

The decision notes that the Review Sessions will take place in April/May of the first year of the cycle, and will undertake an evaluation of progress in implementing Agenda 21, the Programme for the Further Implementation of Agenda 21, and the JPOI. This session will focus on identifying constraints and obstacles in the process of implementation in relation to the thematic cluster of issues being addresses in each cycle. The evaluation of implementation will be undertaken on the basis of the Secretary-General’s State of Implementation Report, and reports from countries, UN organizations and regions. The decision provides for contributions from the GEF, international financial and trade institutions, Major Groups, and the outcomes of regional and subregional meetings, to be considered for the review. The outcome of the session will be a Chair’s summary containing identified constraints and obstacles and possible approaches and best practice for sustainable development implementation.

Based on the outcome of the Review Session, the decision stipulates that an Intergovernmental Preparatory Meeting will be held in advance of the Policy Session, which will include the discussion of policy options and possible actions to address implementation constraints and obstacles identified in the review year. The outcome of the Preparatory meeting will include a draft negotiating document for consideration at the Policy Session.

The decision notes that CSD Policy Sessions will be held in April/May in the second year of the cycle, and will take policy decisions on practical measures and options to expedite sustainable development implementation.

Regarding the regional implementation forums, the decision invites UN Regional Commissions to consider organizing such forums, preferably prior to the Review Session, with the aim of: contributing to sustainable development implementation at the regional level; focusing on the thematic cluster of issues; and providing input to the Secretary-General’s reports, including the identification of obstacles and constraints, new challenges and opportunities for implementation.

The decision also invites the CSD to submit recommendations to ECOSOC with regard to themes for the periodic consideration of sustainable development issues in the Council.

MULTI-YEAR PROGRAMME OF WORK BY THE COMMISSION FOR THE PERIOD AFTER 2003: This issue was taken up by Working Group I and in a contact group chaired by Hossein Moeini, which met continuously throughout the second week. Delegates considered the:

  • general approach to the work programme;
     

  • number of themes in each cycle;
     

  • criteria for theme selection;
     

  • balance between focus and comprehensiveness when selecting themes;
     

  • linkages between themes;
     

  • specific themes for the first two cycles; and
     

  • the special review cycle.

They also engaged in lengthy discussions on the annex to the draft decision, which contains a matrix outlining the list of cycles and issues to be addressed by the Commission during its multi-year programme of work. The contact group completed negotiations at 4:30 am on Friday, 9 May, and forwarded its outcome to the Plenary, which approved the final text without any amendments.

The G-77/China proposed a clustering model for the work programme that would allow for the consideration of all issues identified in Agenda 21 and the JPOI, with the first cycle covering water and sanitation, human settlements, land, agriculture, rural development, drought and desertification. They noted fundamental differences between country positions on the annex, and called for a "comprehensive" cluster approach that embraced all issues, rather than focusing on a limited list. They also argued for having a comprehensive review cycle in the tenth year, with the US and Japan expressing reservations. After a lengthy discussion, delegates compromised by adding another cycle to the list, to cover overall appraisal.

The EU emphasized that the work programme should cover the main themes and overarching objectives of the WSSD, namely poverty eradication, unsustainable consumption and production, and protecting the natural resource base, and should include corporate and social responsibility. Greater balance was suggested between the agreed themes, and a preference expressed for three issues to be addressed in each cycle, while the US, Republic of Korea and Switzerland supported the Chair’s proposal for addressing a single issue per cycle. Japan suggested adding water and disasters to the cross-cutting themes in the proposed first work cycle on water.

The EU and several other developed countries indicated that they would be prepared to agree to an indicative list of themes beyond the first three work cycles, but stressed the importance of ensuring a proper balance "between comprehensiveness and focus." The EU also suggested several criteria for choosing themes, such as coherence and manageability, added value, absence of an institutional home for a particular issue, and recent ministerial guidance.

Regarding text on considerations that should guide the implementation of the CSD’s work programme, the G-77/China suggested replacing it with its own proposal. It suggested deleting the introductory paragraph addressing themes of poverty, consumption and production, and the natural resource base, or rewording it using exact language from the JPOI. Deletion was supported by several delegations, on the understanding that if retained, the thrust of the text would be reflected in the preamble. On Thursday, 8 May, the contact group considered a revised Chair’s paper, which streamlined the set of considerations.

Reacting to a new version of the annex produced by the Chair of the contact group, the G-77/China proposed merging the "focal issues" and the "cluster of issues" columns into a single "thematic cluster" column. After some debate, the US produced a paper that came close to this approach. The contact group then began negotiating the exact description of themes in each cycle, with the G-77/ China insisting on the use of their language, as originally proposed. Delegates agreed that a second column would describe the cross-cutting issues, which would run through all the work cycles. The final stage of negotiations concentrated on arriving at an acceptable mix of issues in each thematic cluster. With water and energy remaining at the top of the list for the first two cycles, more issues were added to each consecutive cycle. The final text, including the annex, was adopted on Friday morning, 9 May.

Final Text: The decision establishes considerations guiding implementation and an annex with a matrix with the Commission’s programme of work.

The decision sets out a number of considerations to guide implementation of the CSD’s programme of work, including that:

  • the review and evaluation of implementation should be dealt with in accordance with the relevant provisions of Agenda 21, the Programme for the Further Implementation of Agenda 21, the JPOI and the CSD decisions;
     

  • thematic clusters will be addressed in an integrated manner taking into account economic, social and environmental dimensions of sustainable development; and
     

  • the selection of issues during a given cycle does not diminish the importance of commitments in future cycles.

Other considerations include that:

  • means of implementation, other cross-cutting issues, as well as Africa, other regional initiatives, SIDS and LDCs will be considered in every cycle;
     

  • the CSD should focus on issues where it could add value to intergovernmental deliberations, in accordance with General Assembly resolution 47/191 and paragraph 139(f) of JPOI;
     

  • the CSD should take into account the outcome of the General Assembly ad hoc working group on the follow-up to the outcomes of major UN conferences; and
     

  • the Commission may incorporate new challenges and opportunities, related to implementation, into its programme of work.

The decision contains an annex with a matrix of the Commission’s programme of work, for the following two-year cycles:

  • 2004/2005 – water, sanitation, human settlements;
     

  • 2006/2007 – energy for sustainable development, industrial development, air pollution/atmosphere, climate change;
     

  • 2008/2009 – agriculture, rural development, land, drought, desertification, Africa;
     

  • 2010/2011 – transport, chemicals, waste management, mining, ten-year framework of programmes on sustainable consumption and production patterns;
     

  • 2012/2013 – forests, biodiversity, biotechnology, tourism, mountains;
     

  • 2014/2015 – oceans and seas, marine resources, SIDS, disaster management and vulnerability;
     

  • 2016/2017 – overall appraisal of implementation of Agenda 21, the Programme for the Further Implementation of Agenda 21, and the JPOI.

The annex explains that the cycles covering the period from 2010-2015 (cycles 4-6) will remain as part of the work programme unless otherwise agreed by the Commission. The decision also stipulates that the following cross-cutting issues will be addressed in each cycle:

  • poverty eradication;
     

  • changing unsustainable patterns of consumption and production;
     

  • protecting and managing the natural resource base of economic and social development;
     

  • sustainable development in a globalizing world;
     

  • health and sustainable development;
     

  • sustainable development of SIDS;
     

  • sustainable development for Africa;
     

  • other regional initiatives;
     

  • means of implementation;
     

  • institutional framework for sustainable development;
     

  • gender equality; and
     

  • education.

REPORTING: The issue of reporting to the CSD was first taken up in Working Group II on Monday, 5 May. This issue was the subject of lengthy negotiations throughout the week, before a decision on the matter was adopted in Plenary on Friday, 9 May.

Following an initial exchange of views and the presentation of suggested amendments by delegations on Monday, a number of disagreements began to emerge on text referring to issues such as monitoring, indicators, regional implementation forums, local and subnational inputs, new and innovative reporting mechanisms, and the role of stakeholders.

One early area of dispute was an EU proposal to emphasize the need for an effective system both of reporting "and monitoring," rather than just reporting alone. This proposal, and a suggestion by Norway to refer to the "development of indicators" as essential for evaluating progress on sustainable development goals, was opposed by the G-77/China. After lengthy discussions, compromise language was found on both monitoring and indicators. On monitoring, delegates agreed to text stressing that an effective system of reporting is "essential for reviewing, evaluating and monitoring progress." On indicators, Norway’s emphasis on their development as "essential" for evaluating progress was removed and replaced with text mirroring language in JPOI paragraph 130, which encourages further work on indicators by countries, at the national level, on a voluntary basis.

Text stressing the importance of reporting on progress in implementation to the proposed regional implementation forums also provoked discussion. While the EU and Switzerland supported this reference, the G-77/China, Australia, Canada, Japan, New Zealand and the US insisted on its deletion, arguing that it would create a dual reporting system. Delegates also rejected a proposal by Switzerland to instruct the CSD to consider new and innovative reporting mechanisms, such as peer reviews. While the EU, Canada and others had supported this proposal on the grounds that it encouraged innovation, the G-77/China, US, and Australia argued that it was premature to consider new mechanisms, and that it contradicted the agreed goal of streamlining reporting systems.

The nature of "inputs" for reporting to the CSD also required lengthy negotiation. The G-77/China’s opposition to an EU proposal to refer to "local" and "subnational" inputs resulted in compromise language stating that reporting should include inputs "from all levels, as appropriate, including national, subregional, regional and global levels."

Final Text: The decision emphasizes that an effective system of reporting is essential for reviewing, evaluating and monitoring progress in implementation, for sharing lessons learned and best practice, and for identifying actions taken, as well as opportunities and obstacles in relation to implementation. While noting that this is voluntary, the decision encourages countries to present national reports focusing on concrete progress in implementation. It supports further work on indicators at the national level, while noting that this is also on a voluntary basis and should be in accordance with national conditions and priorities. It also requests the Secretary-General to consider progress on this issue in his report to the CSD. An EU proposal to invite the Secretariat to consult with the Bureau, governments, other stakeholders and UN organizations in further developing reporting guidelines received support from Canada, Switzerland, Australia and the US. However, the reference to stakeholders was rejected by the G-77/China. A proposed compromise to refer instead to "Major Groups, as appropriate" was also rejected in Plenary on Friday morning, 9 May, when the G-77/ China insisted on removing it. With all outstanding issues resolved, delegates finally approved this part of the decision.

The decision sets out various considerations to guide reporting to the CSD, including that reports should, inter alia:

  • reflect overall progress made on the three pillars of sustainable development, and include input from all levels, as appropriate;
     

  • use existing reporting systems as much as possible;
     

  • focus on concrete progress in implementation, including actions taken, constraints, challenges and opportunities; and
     

  • use indicators effectively.

The decision also requests the CSD Secretariat, in cooperation with other UN organizations, to take measures to streamline reporting, and to provide technical assistance for national reporting to countries that request it, using both regular and extra-budgetary sources.

UN SYSTEM COORDINATION: Delegates took up this issue in Working Group II on Monday and Tuesday, 5-6 May, concluding negotiations on Thursday, 8 May.

The working group considered three paragraphs on enhancing contributions of UN funds, programmes, specialized agencies and other organizations in the implementation of sustainable development. The US, supported by Australia and Canada, proposed deleting the entire section on the grounds that it added nothing new and merely paraphrased the JPOI. However, the EU and G-77/ China insisted on its retention. In a paragraph calling on all relevant organizations to be actively involved in the CSD’s work on the JPOI, the US proposed referring to paragraph 140(a) of the JPOI, which addresses similar issues. He also proposed deleting a list specifying further measures to implement the JPOI. The EU suggested referring to all of paragraph 140, rather than just 140(a).

Delegates also discussed text requesting the Secretary-General to submit a report outlining the UN system’s response to the JPOI. The G-77/China and US were unable to agree to an EU proposal to insert text highlighting the UN’s response to areas where there is no clear lead agency, such as water, energy and consumption and production. On proposals outlining the UN system’s response to sustainable development, delegates supported Switzerland’s proposal to take into account the work of the ad hoc working group on follow-up to major UN conferences. Negotiations concluded on Thursday afternoon, and the text was adopted by Plenary on Friday.

Final Text: The decision invites relevant UN agencies, programmes and funds, the GEF and international and regional financial and trade institutions within their mandates to participate actively in CSD’s work and inform the Commission of their activities in the implementation of sustainable development. It contains a list specifying that it is essential to undertake further measures aimed at, inter alia: promoting stronger linkages between global, regional and country-level implementation measures; strengthening coherence and collaboration within and between organizations; and mobilizing and increasing the effective use of resources. The decision also requests the UN Secretary-General to further promote system-wide inter-agency cooperation and coordination to enhance implementation of sustainable development, taking into account the ongoing process of the UN reform, utilizing the Chief Executives Board, and to report on its activities to ECOSOC and the CSD. It further requests the Secretary-General to include in his report proposals outlining an integrated and comprehensive response of the UN system to sustainable development, taking into account work of the ad hoc working group on follow-up to the outcomes of major UN conferences.

MAJOR GROUPS: The issue of enhancing the contribution made by Major Groups was taken up by Working Group II on Monday, 5 May. Following protracted negotiations, the group resolved most areas of disagreement in time for the closing Plenary on Friday morning, 9 May, where the remaining two disputed parts of the text were finally agreed.

During the working group’s discussions, a number of areas of disagreement arose. These related to a variety of issues, including references to stakeholders and other constituencies, and to the "level" of Major Groups’ participation in the high-level segment. Proposed references to "stakeholders," "civil society" and other constituencies, such as scientists and educators, resulted in prolonged debate that was only finally resolved during the closing Plenary. In the working group, the EU, US and a number of other countries expressed a preference for text that allowed for the engagement of a broader input to the CSD process. However, the G-77/China argued that it was inappropriate in some cases to go beyond the original formulation, which generally referred just to Major Groups.

On Thursday evening, following extensive discussions, a sub-paragraph promoting enhanced participation of "civil society and other relevant stakeholders" in implementation was approved. However, as part of the agreement on this text, the EU, US, Australia and others agreed in turn to a request by the G-77/China to delete a paragraph listing various constituencies/stakeholders, such as disabled persons, consumer groups, educators, parliamentarians, media, and the elderly. A reference to the scientific community and educators was included elsewhere in the text, however. In spite of lengthy negotiations, the working group was unable to reach a consensus on two additional references to "other relevant stakeholders" proposed elsewhere in the section. These were referred to the Plenary, which approved a Canadian-brokered compromise to replace this specific reference with text noting the relevant section of the JPOI.

Another area of dispute was how the text should guide Major Groups in determining their representation in the high-level segment. The G-77/China, Brazil and Saudi Arabia urged a reference to the participation of "high-level" Major Groups representatives, arguing that this was appropriate for an interaction with ministers. However, Canada, Mexico, Switzerland and several others preferred a less prescriptive formulation, noting that, in some cases, the most senior Major Groups representatives are not those that ministers would benefit most from speaking with. The discussion resulted in compromise language calling for participation "at the appropriate level."

Final Text: The decision states that contributions to the CSD from Major Groups, including the scientific community and educators, should be further enhanced through measures such as:

  • strengthening Major Group participation in CSD activities, including through the interactive dialogue during the high-level segment;
     

  • making multi-stakeholder dialogues more action and implementation-oriented;
     

  • enhancing participation and effective involvement of civil society and other relevant stakeholders in implementation, as well as promoting transparency and broad public participation;
     

  • striving for a better balance and better representation of Major Groups from all regions; and
     

  • supporting active involvement in partnership-related and capacity-building activities at all levels, including the Partnership Fairs and Learning Center.

PARTNERSHIPS: Discussions on partnerships took place in Working Group II on Monday and Wednesday, 5 and 7 May, and in a contact group chaired by Irena Zubcevic on Thursday, 8 May.

Discussions focused on the role of the CSD as a focal point for partnerships, criteria and guidelines, and partnership reporting requirements. Australia, the EU and the US advocated a role for CSD in mobilizing new partnerships, in addition to monitoring existing ones. Delegates debated a G-77/China proposal clarifying that partnerships are not intended to substitute for commitments made by governments. The US preferred "intergovernmental agreements" over "commitments," while the EU proposed "other inter-governmentally agreed commitments." This issue was resolved in an informal consultation on Wednesday evening, with delegates agreeing on "intergovernmental commitments in the implementation of Agenda 21, the Further Programme for the Implementation of Agenda 21, and the JPOI."

On guidelines, Switzerland and the US, opposed by the G-77/ China, proposed endorsing the Bali Guiding Principles as the general framework for establishing partnerships. The EU said the guidelines presented in the draft text were not sufficiently comprehensive, and supported "taking into account" the Bali Guiding Principles and General Assembly resolution 56/76. This was opposed by the G-77/China, and delegates agreed on compromise language that "takes note" of the resolution and work on partnerships undertaken in the WSSD preparatory process. Delegates also debated language stating that partnerships should be consistent with national laws, with the G-77/China insisting that they be consistent with national priorities, and the EU, supported by Japan and Switzerland, suggesting that they be in line with sustainable development priorities. The group agreed that partnerships should be consistent with national laws, NSSDs, and priorities of countries where implementation takes place. Delegates considered and agreed to Switzerland’s proposal that the design and implementation of partnerships should be transparent, in addition to being accountable.

On reporting, the EU supported biennial reporting. New Zealand and the US opposed this, stating that reporting should be voluntary. Negotiations on national priorities and reporting requirements concluded late Thursday night, and the text on partnerships was adopted on Friday, 9 May, in Plenary.

Final Text: The decision contains four paragraphs outlining the role of partnerships, criteria and guidelines, reporting, and activities aimed at strengthening partnerships. It reiterates that partnerships, as multi-stakeholder initiatives, contribute to the intergovernmental commitments in the implementation of sustainable development, and notes that they are a complement to, but not a substitute for, these commitments. The decision takes note of General Assembly resolution A/RES/56/76 and the Bali Guiding Principles, and provides a series of criteria and guidelines, stating that partnerships are voluntary and should contribute to sustainable development. They should also be, inter alia:

  • new and have concrete value added to the implementation process;
     

  • based on predictable and sustained resources for their implementation, include mobilizing new resources and, where relevant, result in transfer of technology to, and capacity building in, developing countries;
     

  • designed and implemented in a transparent and accountable manner;
     

  • publicly announced with the intention of sharing specific contribution made to implementation of sustainable development; and
     

  • consistent with national laws, NSSDs, and priorities of countries where implementation takes place.

Reporting by partnerships should be transparent, participatory, and credible, and take into account that registration of partnerships should be voluntary, and that partnerships should submit a regular report, preferably on at least a biennial basis. The decision requests the Secretariat to make information on partnerships available and produce a summary report for consideration by the Commission. It also states that the Commission should discuss the contribution of partnerships towards implementation of sustainable development in its Review Year, with a view to sharing lessons learned and best practices, identify and address problems, gaps and constraints, and provide guidance during the Policy Year.

CSD BUREAU

Initially, delegates considered a paragraph concerning the Bureau in Working Group II on Wednesday and Thursday, 7-8 May. The G-77/China preferred a one-year Bureau, while Canada with others supported a two-year Bureau. Comments focused on concerns that a two-year Bureau term would give rise to legal and other complications in light of the three-year tenure of CSD membership. Delegates agreed to a US proposal to forward a separate decision for ECOSOC consideration, and the text for this decision was adopted in Plenary on Friday, 9 May.

Final Decision: The final decision on the bureau is contained in the report of CSD-11 (E/CN.17/2003/L.1). The decision requests ECOSOC to consider the term of the CSD Bureau for future sessions, taking into account the CSD two-year work cycle.

NGO ACCREDITATION

This issue was taken up in Working Group II on Thursday afternoon, 8 May, when delegates considered a draft decision on the status of NGOs and other Major Groups accredited to the WSSD. The US suggested alternative text, noting that it wanted to ensure that this matter was dealt with by the ECOSOC Committee on NGOs and not under some new process. The UK, speaking for the EU, stressed the backlog for NGO accreditation and the need to address this in an expeditious way. Following extensive discussions, delegates agreed to language designed to accommodate both of these positions.

Final Decision: The final decision is contained in the report of CSD-11 (E/CN.17/2003/L.1). The decision takes into account ECOSOC resolution 1996/31 and recognizes the need to decide on the most effective and expeditious way of accrediting NGOs. It recommends that ECOSOC consider, in accordance with established UN rules of procedure and taking note of the ongoing work of the NGO Committee, the status of NGOs that were accredited to the WSSD, so that the CSD can benefit from their contributions as soon as possible.

ROLE OF THE COMMISSION IN THE PREPARATORY PROCESS FOR THE COMPREHENSIVE REVIEW OF THE PROGRAMME OF ACTION FOR THE SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT OF SMALL ISLAND DEVELOPING STATES

This comprehensive review of the Barbados Programme of Action (BPOA) for the Sustainable Development of Small Island Developing States was briefly taken up in Plenary on Monday, 5 May, and subsequently discussed in informal consultations, facilitated by John Ashe (Antigua and Barbuda), on Tuesday and Wednesday, 6-7 May. Delegates expressed general satisfaction with the draft decision, which was presented by Fiji, on behalf of the G-77/China. In order to ensure the high visibility of SIDS issues, the G-77/China stressed its desire to include a three-day preparatory meeting in CSD-12’s work programme. The EU requested clarification on the purpose of this meeting, and the US and Japan cautioned against taking decisions on the scope and agenda of CSD-12 that might predetermine the outcome of negotiations in the working groups. Delegates sought clarification on budgetary matters, and the Secretariat highlighted insufficient funds in the budget savings for the preparatory meetings, stating it would seek voluntary contributions to cover the shortfall.

Following confirmation of the dates and venues for the regional preparatory meetings, delegates approved the draft decision, which was forwarded to and approved by Working Group II on Thursday, 8 May. Delegates adopted the decision in Plenary on Friday, 9 May.

Final Decision: The decision on SIDS, contained in the report of the session (E/CN.17/2003/L.1), states that the Commission will undertake a three-day preparatory meeting for the international meeting during CSD-12. This three-day meeting will, inter alia, finalize the preparations for the international meeting, including its agenda. It will also consider a Secretary-General’s synthesis report that will be based on recommendations from SIDS’s national assessment reports, expert thematic workshop reports, and the reports of the regional and inter-regional preparatory meetings. The decision further invites the international donor and development community, and international organizations to provide information on their activities in support of implementation of the BPOA, and requests that the Secretary-General’s synthesis report consider this information. The decision also calls on the international community, UN agencies and IGOs to support efforts of SIDS in their preparation of national assessment reports, which are to be completed by July 2003. It also specifies the following dates and venues of the regional and inter-regional preparatory meeting:

  • Pacific SIDS: Apia, Samoa, 4-8 August 2003;
     

  • Caribbean SIDS: Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago, 18-22 August 2003;
     

  • Atlantic, Indian Ocean, Mediterranean and South China Seas (AIMS) SIDS: Praia, Cape Verde, 1-5 September 2003; and
     

  • an Inter-regional preparatory meeting, with ministerial participation, for all SIDS, Nassau, Bahamas, 26-30 January 2004.

The decision concludes with a request to the Secretary-General to work within existing resources, and to use budgetary savings and voluntary contributions, as necessary, for the preparatory process.

OTHER MATTERS

Under this agenda item the Commission approved, without discussion, two documents: Proposed revisions to subprogramme 4, sustainable development of programme 7, economic and social affairs, of the medium-term plan for the period 2002-2005 (E/ CN.17/2003/4); and the Draft programme of work for the biennium 2004-2005 for the Division for Sustainable Development, Department of Economic and Social Affairs (E/CN.17/2003/5).

PROVISIONAL AGENDA FOR CSD-12

The provisional agenda for CSD-12 (E/CN.17/2003/L.1) was taken up in the closing Plenary on Friday, 9 May. The agenda was adopted with a minor amendment by Mauritius, on behalf of AOSIS, that the agenda reflect the CSD-11 decision on SIDS to include a three-day preparatory meeting for the international meeting to review the implementation of the BPOA. In addition to addressing procedural issues, CSD-12 will discuss the thematic cluster of issues agreed for the cycle 2004/2005.

CLOSING PLENARY

At CSD-11’s closing Plenary on Friday, 9 May, Chair Moosa presented the decision on Agenda 21 and JPOI Implementation Track: Future Programme, Organization and Methods of Work of the Commission. Following a final discussion and amendments to the text, the decision was adopted by acclamation. Delegates also adopted the draft report of the session (E/CN.17/ 2003/L.1).

In his closing remarks, Chair Moosa drew attention to the high attendance of ministers, heads of UN agencies, and representatives of Major Groups, and said CSD-11 had sent a "clear message in these troubled times that most of the world is still invested in multilateral solutions to our problems." He also noted that delegates had designed an action-oriented work programme for implementation at all levels, which includes the successful integration of Agenda 21, the Further Programme for the Implementation of Agenda 21, the JPOI and the MDGs. He also thanked outgoing Under-Secretary-General of Economic and Social Affairs Nitin Desai for his contribution to sustainable development within the UN system.

In a brief statement, Desai thanked participants and underscored the CSD as central to the task of implementing sustainable development. Chair Moosa then gaveled the final Plenary to a close at 1:25 pm.

CSD-12 REPORT

Following the adjournment of CSD-11, Chair Moosa declared open the first meeting of CSD-12 for the purpose of electing its Chair and Bureau. Borge Brende, Norway’s Minister for Environment, was elected CSD-12 Chair by acclamation. The Commission also elected Amb. Bruno Stagno (Costa Rica) as a Vice-Chair on behalf of the Latin American and Caribbean Region. Chair Moosa indicated that other Bureau members would be elected at a later date. The meeting was adjourned at 1:30 pm.

A BRIEF ANALYSIS OF CSD-11

"In Johannesburg we entered into a solemn pact with future unborn generations not to destroy our beloved planet Earth. We also entered into a deal with the poor and hungry to ensure social and economic development. Now, the poor watch and wait to see whether hunger, disease and global warming will be tackled with the same vigor displayed by some on the military front."

With these words, CSD-11 Chair Valli Moosa set the tone for the Commission’s first substantive session after the World Summit on Sustainable Development. Throughout the session, Chair Moosa frequently returned to this theme, reminding delegates of the session’s role in strengthening multilateralism, and urging them to "send a message to the world that the issues agreed at the WSSD have been taken forward and that delegates have set a programme of work with enthusiasm." For Moosa, CSD-11 presented an opportunity not only to revitalize the CSD, but to do so in a way that clearly demonstrated that multilateralism, and the United Nations itself, has a pivotal role to play in addressing global problems.

With these sentiments firmly in mind, delegates began their post-Johannesburg negotiations with the aim of setting in place a modus operandi for the CSD to provide practical guidance in implementing the WSSD’s outcomes. The key challenge facing negotiators was to translate the "Johannesburg mandate" to revitalize the CSD into a practical programme of work that will enable it to genuinely influence international, regional and national responses to sustainable development.

Despite an overall commitment to the implementation of the JPOI, many delegations approached the CSD future programme of work with contradictory and differing notions of what the CSD’s "Johannesburg mandate" actually entailed. These contradictory approaches were particularly apparent in the discussions around the timing of CSD sessions and high-level segments, the number of issues to be addressed in each two-year work cycle, and the role of Major Groups, as well as other relevant stakeholders not originally identified in Agenda 21. This analysis examines the session’s successes and emerging areas of convergence, and the disagreements and shortcomings, within the context of the CSD’s role in advancing the multilateral approach to sustainable development.

SHARING THE FUTURE

WHOSE PRIORITIES? A key issue on the agenda at CSD-11 was the question of prioritizing the themes and issues to be addressed in future CSD work cycles. While many developing countries clearly preferred that all the issues identified in Agenda 21 received equal attention, many developed countries took what one observer described as an approach where "some issues are more equal than others." In particular, developing country delegates and Major Group representatives noted reluctance among some industrialized countries to focus on consumption and production issues, which one participant said "cut too close to the bone." For their part, developed country delegates argued that a focused approach was the only logical way forward.

These differing perspectives were reflected in negotiations on the number of issues to be considered in each future CSD work cycle: the EU wanted three issues per cycle, the G-77/China wanted six, and the majority of JUSCANZ members wanted just one. In response to the one issue per cycle approach, a G-77/China spokesman, sarcastically noted that "at this rate it would take 50 years" to address all the issues. In their defense, developed country delegates were quick to point out that limiting issues to one per cycle would increase the likelihood of greater participation among non-environment ministers. As one negotiator pointed out, "you can’t expect half your Cabinet to attend a CSD session."

After protracted late night negotiations, a compromise solution was reached, establishing that the CSD’s work programme, concentrating on three to six issues per thematic cluster, would be addressed through a prism of cross-cutting issues based primarily on the chapter titles of the JPOI.

Consensus on the actual issues to be taken up during the first two or three cycles was reached somewhat more rapidly. Water and energy, which arguably have no clearly-defined institutional home within the UN system and where the CSD should thus be able to play an important role, were approved for the first two work cycles.

Some participants greeted this agreement on key issues for the future work cycles with enthusiasm; for them, the "Johannesburg pact" referred to by Chair Moosa, had overcome its first obstacle, and can now move forward to delivering on implementation. However, not all participants saw the debate on key issues in the same light. In fact, many veterans of the process seemed to be experiencing a sense of déjà vu, remarking that there was nothing new about this debate, which they said closely reflected the debate and the work programme adopted at the first meeting of the Commission in 1993 after the Rio Earth Summit. This meeting, they noted, shared a similar burden in developing a programme of work to guide the international community’s first steps towards the implementation of Agenda 21.

LETTING THEM OFF THE HOOK? Another issue that challenged Moosa’s "pact" was the proposal that the CSD’s future overarching theme should be sustainable development and poverty eradication. This was generally welcomed by developing countries, as well as by the US and some other developed nations. However, Major Groups representatives were less comfortable with this approach, fearing that it was "repeating a 30-year cycle" leading back to 1972. These observers believe that the global agenda set in Stockholm was defined primarily to address the environmental concerns of OECD countries. While a shift to consider concerns in developing countries is obviously welcome, they fear that it may actually let industrialized countries "off the hook," as a focus on poverty in the South could draw attention away from unsustainable consumption and production in the North – a problem that, as they rightly point out, is crucial for achieving sustainable development.

BROADENING PARTICIPATION: Another perennial CSD problem, not resolved at this session, is how to stimulate the involvement and interest of ministers other than those responsible for environmental portfolios in the CSD’s work programme. To date, the CSD has failed to attract the high-level participation of trade, finance, and other relevant ministers. This is also true for NGO representation, which is drawn almost exclusively from the sustainable development and environment sector, and has very little involvement from development organizations and other groups. In this regard, the CSD is yet to become a common home for the "cause of humanity."

However, attempts by the EU, US and others to include language on involving civil society beyond the established Major Groups was not well received by some within the G-77/China, who argued that this was an attempt to re-negotiate Agenda 21 and the JPOI. Defending their desire for greater inclusiveness, some argued that resistance in the G-77/China was due to sensitivities by certain countries to opening up a multilateral process to more NGOs and other groups that might use the forum to criticize government policies. This, they say, is an issue that may undermine the entire UN system, not just the CSD. Whether or not the criticism is valid, these attempts to identify new groups, such as educators, the media, parliamentarians and elderly, were not endorsed in the final CSD-11 decision beyond what was agreed in the JPOI.

REGIONAL RESPONSES: While the WSSD endorsed the need to strengthen regional responses and coherency to sustainable development implementation, this issue led to serious divisions in the CSD’s discussions on the role of the new regional implementation forums. The US and some others were unhappy with the proposal to hold these forums outside UN headquarters in New York, since they felt it would create an unwieldy CSD process, and would not allow them or other donors, to contribute easily to other regions’ work. However, many countries felt that true regional input to the process would only happen if these meetings occurred in the regions themselves, since this would allow for broader attendance, and bring in greater local and regional expertise to the CSD process. Ultimately, the decision text favored those wanting to hold some meetings away from bureaucrat-controlled New York.

INNOVATION: One of the "innovations" at CSD-11 was the decision to start the high-level segment on the first day of the session. While there were differing views on its effectiveness, some delegates suggested that it did indeed provide a good opportunity for ministers to have substantive and conceptual dialogue with each other, without the need for them overseeing day-to-day negotiations on the draft decision. In addition, they succeeded in providing political direction and guidance, instead of continuing the established CSD trend whereby ministers participated in the CSD’s work with minimal impact. It remains to be seen whether this exercise will continue at future sessions.

MULTILATERAL COOPERATION: One area that might benefit from more innovation is the ongoing work to increase cooperation and collaboration within the UN system in order for a more coherent response to the implementation needs identified in the JPOI. The need for a more integrated approach was widely commented on during the high-level segment, and certainly seemed to be taken on board by key figures within the UN. Both country and Major Groups representatives said this was an area where further improvement could have a significant impact on sustainable development efforts.

With the Fourth WTO ministerial meeting taking place later in the year, many Major Groups felt that the CSD had failed to address some of the key concerns in relationship between the sustainable development and trade agendas in any substantial manner. Representatives of the Major Groups commented that the absence of any consideration of the CSD’s role in integrating trade into the programme of work was a "major omission that will come to haunt its implementation and jeopardize the CSD chance for success" by undermining its own mandate.

PARTNERSHIPS: Prior to CSD-11, the issue of partnerships – or Type II initiatives – was regarded as a likely cause of dispute during the session. As it turned out, the issue was less contentious that expected. Some developing countries were fearful beforehand that the focus on partnerships would be increasingly used as an excuse to stop focusing on donor countries’ obligations. However, this concern did not seem to affect discussions at CSD-11, as delegates realized there was room for both, and that the CSD could add value as a focal point for encouraging and reviewing partnerships. Despite the lack of controversy on this issue during CSD-11, some participants still felt uneasy over the lack of clear direction on accountability and transparency provided by CSD-11. Major Groups were unhappy at the concept of voluntary reporting, arguing instead that, in return for UN recognition, partnerships should at least present "factual reports to the multilateral system" that can be scrutinized, assessed and reviewed.

THE NEXT STEP

CSD-11 was a transition. It was also a transition for Under-Secretary-General Nitin Desai, who is departing from the UN, after years of championing the cause of sustainable development in the system. In his final address to the Commission, Desai reminded delegates that the CSD is the only home for sustainable development in the United Nations; for some, it is the only place where the voices and concerns of smaller countries can be heard above the "tinkling cymbals" of rapid economic globalization and the increasing use of unilateral responses over multilateral approaches.

As CSD-11 drew to a close, a majority of delegates felt that the opportunity to revitalize the CSD had not been wasted. Within its somewhat modest mandate, CSD-11 fulfilled its tasks. By agreeing on a work programme, the CSD overcame its first hurdle, and "Johannesburg’s pact" with the poor, the disenfranchised, and the environment was not broken. Viewed against the deep geo-political shifts taking place among centers of power and the way they act and think about multilateralism, the session could be regarded as a political achievement. It could also be considered a personal triumph for Chair Moosa, reflecting the emerging role of South Africa in multilateral negotiations centering on sustainable development.

Reflecting on the CSD’s first eleven years, one developing country delegate noted that the "failure of the first 10 years of CSD to meet expectations, was not primarily due to organizational aspects, but mainly due to the failure of the international community to fulfill the intergovernmentally-agreed commitments." It remains to be seen how the new structure actually performs and will inspire implementation. Chair Moosa clearly hopes the CSD can now address implementation in a meaningful way. If perennial issues such as a lack of political will and inadequate funding can be overcome, it may have the chance to do just that.

THINGS TO LOOK FOR BEFORE CSD-12

GEF COUNCIL MEETING: The Global Environment Facility (GEF) Council will meet from 14-16 May 2003, in Washington, DC. The meeting will be preceded by NGO consultations on 13 May. For more information, contact: GEF Secretariat; tel: +1-202-473-0508; fax: +1-202-522-3240; e-mail: secretariatofgef@worldbank.org; Internet: http://www.gefweb.org

ENVIRONMENT FOR EUROPE FIFTH MINISTERIAL CONFERENCE: This meeting will take place from 21-23 May 2003, in Kiev, Ukraine. This ministerial conference, sponsored by the UNECE, will address environmental policy in transition; environmental monitoring; the third pan-European environmental assessment report; environmental strategy for countries of Eastern Europe, Caucasus and Central Asia (EECCA); environment, water and security in Central Asia; mountain initiatives; environmental education; and energy. For more information, contact: Ella Behlyarova; tel: +41-22-917-2376; fax: +41-22-917-0630; e-mail: Ella.Behlyarova@unece.org; Internet: http://www.unece.org/env/wgso/index_kyivconf.htm

SECOND BIODIVERSITY AFTER JOHANNESBURG MEETING - 2010: THE BIODIVERSITY CHALLENGE: This meeting will take place from 21-23 May 2003, in London, UK. Organized by the CBD, UNEP-WCMC and UNDP, it is intended to lead to an improved understanding of what the JPOI target of significantly reducing biodiversity loss by 2010 actually means in real terms. For more information, contact: Jerry Harrison, UNEP-WCMC; tel: +44-1223-277314; fax: +44-1223-277136; e-mail: Jerry.Harrison@unep-wcmc.org; Internet: http://www.unep-wcmc.org

EC ENVIRONMENTAL GOVERNANCE CONFERENCE: This conference will be held from 26-27 May 2003, in Volos, Greece. The event will focus on sustainable tourism, with the aim of enhancing cooperation between all stakeholders at the local, regional, national, and European levels. For more information, contact: Edward Cameron, DG Environment; tel: +32-2-230-5310; e-mail: edward@cameronsds.com; Internet: http://europa.eu.int/comm/environment/governance/03052627secondannouncement_en.doc

G8 SUMMIT: The G8 Summit is scheduled for 1-3 June 2003, in Evian-les-Bains, France. Delegates will discuss issues relating to globalization. Among the proposed major themes are solidarity, with particular emphasis on NEPAD, and access to water for all. For more information, visit: http://www.g8.fr/evian/english/home.html

UN OPEN-ENDED INFORMAL CONSULTATIVE PROCESS ON OCEANS AND THE LAW OF THE SEA: This meeting will be held from 2-6 June 2003, in New York, and is being organized by the UN Division for Ocean Affairs and the Law of the Sea and DESA/DSD. The meeting will include discussion panels on the safety of navigation and protection of vulnerable marine ecosystems, in addition to Plenary discussions. For more information, contact: Secretary of the UN Open-ended Informal Consultative Process on Oceans and the Law of the Sea; tel: +1-212-963-3962; fax: +1-212-963-2811; e-mail: doalos@un.org; Internet: http://www.un.org/Depts/los/consultative_process/consultative_process.htm

UNFCCC SB-18: The Subsidiary Bodies to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change will meet from 4-13 June 2003, in Bonn, Germany, to continue negotiations on the institutional and implementation aspects of the UNFCCC and Kyoto Protocol. For more information, contact: UNFCCC Secretariat; tel: +49-228-815-1000; fax: +49-228-815-1999; e-mail: secretariat@unfccc.int; Internet: http://www.unfccc.int

2003 DUBROVNIK CONFERENCE ON SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT OF ENERGY, WATER AND ENVIRONMENT SYSTEMS: This conference is scheduled to take place from 15-20 June 2003, in Dubrovnik, Croatia. Sponsored by UNESCO, the meeting will focus on the sustainable development of energy, water and environment systems. For more information, contact the Secretariat: fax: +385-1-6156940; e-mail: dubrovnik2003@fsb.hr; Internet: http://www.dubrovnik2003.fsb.hr

INTERNATIONAL EXPERT MEETING ON CONSUMPTION AND PRODUCTION PATTERNS: This meeting will take place from 16-19 June 2003, in Marrakech, Morocco. It is organized by DESA/DSD, UNEP, and the Government of Morocco. For more information, contact: Ralph Chipman, DESA/ DSD; tel: +1-212-963-3170; fax: + 1-212-963-4260; e-mail: chipman@un.org; Internet: http://www.un.org/esa/sustdev

SEVENTH SESSION OF THE INTERGOVERNMENTAL NEGOTIATING COMMITTEE OF THE STOCKHOLM CONVENTION ON PERSISTENT ORGANIC POLLUTANTS: This session on the INC is scheduled for 14-18 July 2003, in Geneva, Switzerland. For more information, contact: Interim Secretariat for the Stockholm Convention, UNEP Chemicals Unit; tel: +41-22-917-8191; fax: +41-22-797-3460; e-mail: ssc@chemicals.unep.ch; Internet: http://www.pops.int

PREPARATORY PROCESS FOR THE INTERNATIONAL MEETING TO REVIEW IMPLEMENTATION OF THE BARBADOS PROGRAMME OF ACTION: Three regional meetings and one inter-regional meeting will take place in preparation for the international meeting to review implementation of the BPOA on sustainable development of SIDS. The Pacific SIDS meeting will take place in Apia, Samoa, from 4-8 August 2003, the Caribbean SIDS meeting will be held in Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago, from 18-22 August, and the AIMS SIDS meeting will convene in Praia, Cape Verde, from 1-5 September. An Inter-regional preparatory meeting for all SIDS will take place in Nassau, Bahamas, from 26-30 January 2004. CSD-12 is also expected to contribute to preparations for the international meeting, which is scheduled to be held in Mauritius in August/September 2004. For more information, contact: UN Division on Sustainable Development, SIDS Unit; tel: +1-212-963-2803; fax: +1-212-963-4260; e-mail: dsd@un.org; Internet: http://www.un.org/esa/sustdev/sids/sids.htm

INTERNATIONAL MINISTERIAL CONFERENCE ON LANDLOCKED COUNTRIES: This conference, which was mandated by the UN General Assembly in 2002, will take place in Almaty, Kazakhstan, from 28-29 August 2003. For further information, contact: Sandagdorj Erdenebileg, Office of the High Representative for the Least Developed Countries, Landlocked Developing Countries and Small Island Developing States; tel: +1-212-963-7703; fax: +1-917-367-3415; e-mail: erdenebileg@un.org; Internet: http://www.un.org/special-rep/ohrlls/imc/default.htm

UNCCD COP-6: The sixth Conference of the Parties to the Convention to Combat Desertification is scheduled to take place in Havana, Cuba, from 25 August to 5 September 2003. For more information, contact: UNCCD Secretariat; tel: +49-228-815-2802; fax: +49-228-815-2898/99; e-mail: secretariat@unccd.int; Internet: http://www.unccd.int/

2003 UNEP-FI GLOBAL ROUNDTABLE: SUSTAINING VALUE – A MEETING ON FINANCE AND SUSTAINABILITY: Scheduled for 20-21 October 2003, in Tokyo, Japan, this meeting will focus on the emergence of new governance frameworks and the resulting opportunities to enhance sustainable finance, and is expected to include representatives from finance, government, business and civil society. For more information, contact: Trevor Bowden, UNEP Finance Initiatives; tel: +44-20-7249-2154; e-mail: trevor.bowden@unep.ch; Internet: http://www.unepfi.net/tokyo

INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE ON EDUCATION FOR A SUSTAINABLE FUTURE: SHAPING THE PRACTICAL ROLE OF HIGHER EDUCATION IN SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT: This conference will be held from 10-11 September 2003, in Prague, Czech Republic. The conference will focus on four themes that frame the current global debate on sustainable development within the multilateral agencies of the UN system. For more information, contact: Yvette Saunders, International Association of Universities; tel: +33-1-45-684-800; fax: +33-1-47-347-605; e-mail: iau@unesco.org; Internet: http://www.unesco.org/iau

CONFERENCE ON WATER FOR THE POOREST: This conference will be held from 4-5 November 2003, in Stavanger, Norway. Organized by the International Water Academy and sponsored by the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, this conference aims to produce a programme of actions for consideration by governments, donor and relief-organizations on sustainable water supply and sanitation for the poorest. For more information, contact: IWA; tel: +47-22-42-81-00; fax: +47-22-42-81-06; e-mail: thewateracademy@thewateracademy.org; Internet: http://www.thewateracademy.org/stavanger/inforpage.html

PIC INC-10: The tenth session of the INC for the Rotterdam Convention will be held from 17-21 November 2003, in Geneva, Switzerland. For more information, contact: Interim Secretariat for the Rotterdam Convention, UNEP Chemicals Unit; tel: +41-22-917-8183; fax: +41-22-797-3460; e-mail: pic@unep.ch; Internet: http://www.pic.int/

UNFCCC COP-9: The ninth Conference of the Parties to the UNFCCC will take place from 1-12 December 2003, in Milan, Italy. For more information, contact: UNFCCC Secretariat; tel: +49-228-815-1000; fax: +49-228-815-1999; e-mail: secretariat@unfccc.int; Internet: http://www.unfccc.int/

CSD-12: The twelfth session of the Commission on Sustainable Development is scheduled to take place in April/May 2004, at UN headquarters in New York. This will be the first CSD meeting using the programme of work adopted at CSD-11. Issues on the agenda for the first work cycle include water, sanitation and human settlements. For more information, contact: DESA/DSD; tel: +1-212-963-3170; fax: +1-212-963-4260; e-mail: dsd@un.org; Internet: http://www.un.org/esa/sustdev/  

This issue of the Earth Negotiations Bulletin © enb@iisd.org is written and edited by Prisna Nuengsigkapian prisna@iisd.org, Richard Sherman richard@iisd.org, Chris Spence chris@iisd.org and Andrey Vavilov, Ph.D. andrey@iisd.org. The Digital Editors are Leila Mead leila@iisd.org and Leslie Paas leslie@iisd.org. The Logistics Coordinator is Brandy Filtzer brandy@iisd.org .The Editor is Pamela S. Chasek, Ph.D. pam@iisd.org and the Director of IISD Reporting Services is Langston James "Kimo" Goree VI kimo@iisd.org. The Sustaining Donors of the Bulletin are the US Department of State Bureau of Oceans and International Environmental and Scientific Affairs, The Netherlands Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Government of Canada (through CIDA, DFAIT and Environment Canada), the Swiss Agency for Environment, Forests and Landscape (SAEFL), the United Kingdom (through the Department for International Development - DFID and Department for Environment Food and Rural Affairs - DEFRA), the European Commission (DG-ENV), the Danish Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and the Government of Germany (through the German Federal Ministry of Environment - BMU, and the German Federal Ministry of Development Cooperation - BMZ). General Support for the Bulletin during 2003 is provided by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), the Government of Australia, the Ministry of Environment and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Sweden, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade of New Zealand, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Norway, Swan International, the Japanese Ministry of Environment (through the Institute for Global Environmental Strategies - IGES), the Japanese Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (through the Global Industrial and Social Progress Research Institute - GISPRI), and the Ministry for Environment of Iceland. The opinions expressed in the Earth Negotiations Bulletin are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of IISD or other donors. Excerpts from the Earth Negotiations Bulletin may be used in non-commercial publications with appropriate academic citation. For information on the Bulletin, including requests to provide reporting services, contact the Director of IISD Reporting Services at kimo@iisd.org, +1-212-644-0217 or 212 East 47th St. #21F, New York, NY 10017, USA.

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