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. 194
Friday, 24 October 2003

SUMMARY OF THE REGIONAL IMPLEMENTATION MEETING FOR WEST ASIA IN PREPARATION FOR CSD-12:

19-21 OCTOBER 2003

The Commission on Sustainable Development (CSD) at its eleventh session (CSD-11) invited the United Nations Regional Commissions to consider organizing regional implementation meetings in order to contribute to the work of the CSD. In response to this invitation, the UN Economic and Social Commission for West Asia (ESCWA) organized a Regional Implementation Meeting from 19-21 October 2003, at the League of Arab States (LAS) headquarters in Cairo, Egypt. The meeting was held within the ambit of the Joint Committee on Environment and Development in the Arab Region (JCEDAR), a committee composed of representatives from ESCWA, the Technical Secretariat of the Council of Arab Ministers Responsible for the Environment (CAMRE), the UN Department for Economic and Social Affairs (DESA), and the United Nations Environment Programme’s Regional Office for Western Asia (UNEP/ROWA).

The meeting aimed to provide input on the thematic focus of the twelfth session of the CSD (CSD-12), namely water, sanitation and human settlements. Fifty participants from 14 governments, joined by representatives from intergovernmental and academic organizations, industry, and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) attended the meeting. Participants adopted 10 decisions on, inter alia: follow-up measures to the World Summit on Sustainable Development (WSSD) outcomes and the Arab Initiative for Sustainable Development; follow-up activities to the Abu Dhabi Declaration on the future of the Arab Environment Programme; a work programme for the environment up to 2005; priorities and achievements in the field of sustainable development; incentives to the private sector to invest in environmental projects; and the establishment of an Arab environment fund.

A consolidated report on progress made in the area of water, sanitation and human settlements will be transmitted to the UN Secretary-General for contribution to the preparations for CSD-12.

A BRIEF HISTORY OF THE CSD

The CSD emerged from Agenda 21, the programme of action adopted by the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED) held in June 1992 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Agenda 21 called for the creation of the CSD to ensure effective follow-up of UNCED, enhance international cooperation, and examine progress in implementing Agenda 21 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 CSD’s organization of work, its relationship with other UN bodies, and Secretariat arrangements. The CSD held its first substantive session in June 1993 and has continued to meet on an annual basis.

UNGASS-19: In June 1997, 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 the Programme for the Further Implementation of Agenda 21 along with a five-year work programme for the CSD.

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

WSSD PREPARATORY PROCESS: CSD-10 held four sessions 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 the conclusion of PrepCom IV, held in Bali, Indonesia, from 27 May to 7 June 2002, a draft Plan of Implementation had been negotiated and transmitted to the Summit for completion. 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 WSSD convened from 26 August to 4 September 2002 in Johannesburg, South Africa. The Summit adopted two main documents: the Johannesburg Plan of Implementation (JPOI) and the Johannesburg Declaration on Sustainable Development. Over 200 non-negotiated partnerships and initiatives for sustainable development aimed at implementing Agenda 21 were also launched. The JPOI is a framework for action to implement the UNCED commitments, and includes a number of new commitments. It contains chapters on poverty eradication, consumption and production, the natural resource base, globalization, health, Small Island Developing States, Africa and other regional initiatives, means of implementation, and an institutional framework. The JPOI also states that the implementation of Agenda 21 and the outcomes of the Summit should be effectively pursued at the regional and subregional levels, through the UN Regional Commissions and other institutions and bodies.

CSD-11: Convening for its first substantive session following the WSSD, the Commission held its 11th session from 28 April to 9 May 2003, at UN headquarters in New York. The session comprised a high-level segment, where ministerial-level representatives 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 to inform delegates of initial steps undertaken in each UN region to implement WSSD outcomes.

CSD-11 concluded with the adoption of the CSD’s multi-year programme of work for the period 2004-2017. The programme of work is 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. Cross-cutting issues include: poverty eradication; changing unsustainable patterns of production and consumption; 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.

CSD-11 also invited the UN Regional Commissions to consider organizing regional implementation forums in order to: contribute to sustainable development implementation at the regional level; focus on the thematic cluster of issues; and provide input to the Secretary-General’s reports, including identifying obstacles and constraints, new challenges, and opportunities for implementation.

Following the adjournment of CSD-11, CSD-12 held its first session to elect its bureau. Børge Brende, Norway’s Minister for Environment, was elected Chair of CSD-12 by acclamation. Other CSD-12 Bureau members include: Bruno Stagno Ugarte (Costa Rica), Toru Shimuzu (Japan), Bolus Paul Zom Lolo (Nigeria), and Eva Tomic (Slovenia).

MEETINGS OF THE CSD-12 BUREAU: The CSD-12 Bureau met on 10-11 September 2003, in Oslo, Norway, and on 3 October 2003 in New York. At the first meeting, the Bureau was briefed by the Secretariat on the state of preparation of CSD-12 documentation and on the regional implementation meetings, scheduled to convene between October 2003 and January 2004. At the second meeting, Bureau members learned that agendas of previously scheduled meetings of the UN Regional Commissions have been adjusted to include consideration of the CSD-12 thematic cluster. The outcomes of these regional meetings will be transmitted to CSD-12. The Bureau stated that the three themes of water, sanitation, and human settlements would be accorded equal priority and would be addressed in an integrated manner, taking into account cross-cutting issues.

REPORT OF THE MEETING

On Sunday morning, 19 October, Fatma El Din El Mallah, on behalf of Amr Moussa, Secretary-General of the League of Arab States, welcomed the participants. She noted the negative impacts of the Middle East conflict and the war in Iraq on Arab countries, and called for a fair and equitable solution to these conflicts in order to achieve safety, security and sustainable development. She said the reports on follow-up activities in the Arab region regarding water, sanitation, and human settlements will be consolidated and submitted to CSD-12.

Hosni Khordagui, ESCWA, stressed the importance of regional and subregional organizations in effectively implementing the WSSD outcomes, and said regional consultations will provide valuable inputs to the UN Secretary-General’s report. He stressed the need to take advantage of trade liberalization, and called for developing a programme on trade and development in the Arab region.

Mahmoud Abdulraheem, UNEP/ROWA, said the purpose of this meeting was to monitor the Arab countries’ implementation of the JPOI and coordinate action on water, land degradation, and marine resources. He mentioned that UNEP is about to finalize its strategy for the region.

Amb. Bjørn Ostern, Norway, on behalf of CSD-12 Chair Børge Brende, noted that CSD-11 identified three themes for the first implementation cycle, namely water, sanitation, and human settlements, stressing the need for urgent progress in these areas. He invited participants to present their views and experience on sustainable development, and expressed hope that the outcome of the meeting would provide a good basis for practical progress in the region and help mobilize the necessary political support to meet the WSSD targets related to poverty eradication.

Mamdouh Riad, State Minister for Environmental Affairs of Egypt, said the Arab region should develop a joint action plan during the meeting. Noting that Arab countries have suffered the scourges of war, he called for Arab unity and expressed hope for a better future despite the challenges.

Kathleen Abdalla, DESA, said the meeting’s objective was to facilitate the Arab region’s contribution to achieving the Millennium Development Goal of integrated water management by 2005. She emphasized the importance of implementation, and the need for an integrated approach. Abdalla mentioned the organization of a partnership fair and a learning center at CSD-12.

During the three-day meeting, delegates met in Plenary sessions to: hear reports on follow-up activities to the WSSD outcomes and the Abu Dhabi Declaration on the Future of the Arab Environment Programme; consider a proposal to CAMRE for a work programme on the environment for the period up to 2005; renew the Executive Committee of the JCEDAR; and consider proposals regarding incentives to the private sector to invest in the field of the environment, and to establish an Arab fund for environmental projects.The closing Plenary met on Tuesday, 21 October, to adopt the report of the meeting, including the decisions.

The following report provides a summary of issues discussed and decisions, organized by agenda item.

FOLLOW-UP TO THE WSSD OUTCOMES IN THE ARAB REGION

REPORTS: On Sunday, 19 October, Mohamed Sayed Khalel, Egyptian Environmental and Agricultural Agency, chaired the reporting session.

Water: Nabil Rofail, Desert Research Center of Egypt, reported on progress made in the field of water (Annex I to Agenda Item I). Recalling relevant WSSD commitments, he noted main constraints to their achievement in the Arab region, including poor governance, weak legislative and institutional frameworks, and lack of public awareness. He stressed the need for strategies for shared river basins, and a holistic approach to planning and implementation. He said achievements regarding the integrated management of water resources include the establishment of effective national institutional frameworks, the adoption of national water plans, the improvement of irrigation systems, and cooperation regarding shared river basins. Concerning water resources assessment, he stressed the creation of monitoring networks and databases in several countries. For the protection of aquatic ecosystems, he highlighted measures to address pollution and increased salinity, treat and reuse waste water, and harvest water. Rofail underscored the need for sufficient funds, training, and credible information, and recommended: establishing an Arab fund to finance, prepare and implement water development projects; drawing a regional program for education, training and awareness raising; and creating water monitoring and regional information networks.

Sanitation: Ahmed Hamza, Alexandria University, presented a report on progress made regarding sanitation (Annex II to Agenda Item I). He described the dire sanitation situation in the Arab world and identified actions to improve it, including: increasing civil society participation and the role of women; encouraging recycling practices; and applying the polluter pays principle. He stressed the problem of poor solid waste management, and described the benefits of privatization and the adoption of environment friendly practices. Hamza noted aggravating factors of pollution, such as over-populated cities, lack of awareness, blend of regular and hazardous solid waste, lack of recycling, and poor maintenance of sanitation networks. He recommended making use of the local workforce and technology for better and cheaper maintenance of sanitation networks, and suggested establishing a central authority and developing Arab standards for sanitation.

Human settlements: Tarek Wafik, Cairo University, reported on progress made regarding human settlements (Annex III to Agenda Item I). He said achievements pertaining to improving the life of the rural and urban poor include: the development of national urban development programmes and plans to address spontaneous settlements; the setting-up of programmes securing land tenure and housing; partnerships for housing provision; strategies to combat rural poverty; and support to entrepreneurial building activities. He stressed the need to balance privatization and the role of the State, understand spontaneous settlements as an economic phenomenon, reform the quality control of the housing stock, rationalize housing costs, and orient cities towards the knowledge-based economy. Regarding the provision of adequate environmental structures, he highlighted efforts to develop integrated environmental legislative and institutional frameworks, build awareness, promote renewable energies, and address transport-related air pollution. He recommended, inter alia, expanding the role of the private sector in providing municipal services, developing environmental monitoring and data management systems, decentralizing environmental management, and adopting land use and zoning legislation. Regarding planning and managing sustainable human settlements, he stressed the development of national land use and population distribution strategies, including the creation of new cities, and the design of institutional frameworks for environmental safety.

Forum: On Sunday afternoon, participants commented on the reports. Morocco, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Yemen, and the Arab Center for the Study of Arid Zones and Dry Lands of the LAS (ACSAD) stressed that many figures in the reports were erroneous and outdated. Yemen suggested sending a questionnaire to each country, asking them to provide figures, and, with Morocco, called for more field work. Saudi Arabia, with Tunisia and UNEP, called for including positive, not only negative, aspects in the reports. Tunisia added that the achievements in Arab Maghreb countries were not included in the reports.

Saudi Arabia and Syria supported the creation of a water fund, with Saudi Arabia stressing that the key was finding resources to fund it. Syria noted divergences between the report on water’s proposals for water allocation and Syrian national policy.

Saudi Arabia said more information and figures are needed and the policies and plans of each country should be included. Khordagui explained that the aim of the meeting is to evaluate achievements, not to examine policies and strategies.

Yemen said the information contained in the reports should come from a variety of sources, not only from environment ministries. He further stressed that Arab countries had to come with their own solutions and raise awareness. Egypt stressed the need to find funds for implementation. ACSAD noted that the report on water did not provide follow-up recommendations for all the problems identified.

The Saudi Fund for Development explained that the Fund had participated in many environmentally-friendly projects, and was developing a programme to identify priorities in each country and monitor projects and their cost effectiveness.

UNEP highlighted the UNEP programme for Palestine that takes into account the obstacles that occupation creates for sanitation and water management.

The Arab Media Forum for Environment and Development said information is necessary to create awareness and implement sustainable development and, describing collaboration with UNEP and ESCWA, highlighted priorities for action, including capacity building for people that handle and manage information, information dissemination, and partnerships.

The Arab Network for Environment and Development (RAED) urged an objective-oriented and participatory approach to assessing achievements. He called for national follow-up mechanisms to implement the WSSD outcomes, and underscored the need to address poverty and foster partnerships.

The Arab Office for Youth and Environment said the reports failed to address environmental education and link planning and population increase at the regional and national levels. He recommended considering population from the growth rate, distribution, and human settlements characteristics aspects, and called for establishing a sustainable development committee to coordinate education, awareness raising and other issues.

The Arab Atomic Energy Agency outlined its activities to address environmental problems pertaining to pollutants and surface water, the use of hydrology in agriculture, and the treatment of sanitary and drainage waters. He said precise figures are still needed to understand the magnitude of the problems.

Stressing that humans have a right to a minimum amount of water, a representative of Palestine said a demand-side approach to water management is not appropriate in the Arab region, which faces water scarcity. He also stressed the need for an integrated river basin management, including addressing upstream pollution, and called for the recognition that water is a vital component of development.

Noting time and financial constraints to accessing information in the Arab region, Libya praised the report, and called for further expanding subterranean water projects.

INSTITUTIONAL FRAMEWORK FOR SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT: On Monday, Mahmoud Hewehy, Ministry of State for Environmental Affairs of Egypt, chaired the session on the institutional framework for sustainable development in the region.

Hosny Khordagui, ESCWA, presented a draft report on institutions for sustainable development (Annex IV to Agenda Item I). Noting the lack of a comprehensive approach to sustainable development, he noted that sustainable development deals with a wide range of issues, beyond the scope of the environment. He explained how a narrow conception in the Arab region has lead to failure to involve those who have an impact on sustainable development. Regarding the institutional aspect, he underscored a high level of centralization in the Arab world, and stressed the need to include, at national and regional levels, the concept of sustainable development as it emanated from the WSSD. He said a low level of civil society participation was due to a patriarchal mentality, a strong resistance to creating new bodies, and the priority given to individual over community interests. Khordagui noted the success of the Tunisian sustainable development model, and recommended it be studied and reproduced. He suggested the creation in each country of a supreme council for environment including various ministries, a national council of NGO and civil society representatives, and a national coordinator for sustainable development. He underscored that the report contained alternative models that countries could choose from.

Libya, Saudi Arabia, Syria and RAED recommended that countries be given the opportunity to study the alternative models.

Saudi Arabia suggested amending the mandate of CAMRE to include follow-up to sustainable development activities. Noting that there are two councils within CAMRE, Libya suggested broadening the mandate of the lower one. Palestine praised the report, and said the mandate of environmental institutions concerning sustainable development should include legislation and monitoring. El Din El Mallah noted efforts to enhance cooperation and increase the representation of African Arab countries within CAMRE.

Tunisia drew attention to its working paper (Annex V to Agenda Item I) aimed at facilitating cooperation to monitor the implementation of Water, Energy, Health, Agriculture, Biodiversity (WEHAB)-related commitments and, noting the importance of funding in this regard, stressed its proposal to develop a clear mechanism to activate the World Solidarity Fund.

Noting the trade and economic potential of the environment, Morocco stressed that the environmental dimension should not become a luxury in the sustainable development process, and proposed creating a consultation mechanism at the government level to coordinate actions.

Chancellor Adly Hussein, Governor of Qalubiya, Egypt, outlined the activities of the Arab Metropolis Organization in the field of technical assistance and database development.

On Tuesday, during the closing Plenary, Tunisia proposed to include a specific reference to UNGA resolution 57/265 on the World Solidarity Fund in the decision on follow-up activities to the WSSD. RAED suggested that poverty be the basis of the three reports, and that the recommendations of the meeting emphasize that it is a priority in the Arab world. El Din El Mallah noted that the reports had been prepared according to terms of reference that include the theme of poverty, and said time will be needed to consolidate the three reports and avoid overlap and repetition.

Final Decision: Decision 4/18 provides for a timeframe for revising the reports on water, sanitation, and human settlements to incorporate comments made by member countries, and that JCEDAR will prepare a summary executive report on these topics by 30 November 2003. They also decided to consider further the Tunisian proposals to enhance the implementation of the WSSD outcomes on water, sanitation and human settlements. Delegates further agreed to include in the report on the institutional framework for sustainable development comments made by member countries during the meeting. They further propose to CAMRE to expand its objectives and mandate to include aspects of sustainable development, and to expand CAMRE’s Technical Secretariat to include UNEP/ROWA and the Secretariats of the Economic Community of West African States and ESCWA.

FOLLOW-UP TO THE ABU DHABI DECLARATION

On Monday, El Din El Mallah introduced follow-up measures to the 2001 Abu Dhabi Declaration on the future of the Arab Environment Programme, highlighting projects on the coastal environment, land degradation and marine and freshwater water resources. She said funding remains an issue, and suggested that the JCEDAR propose the convening of a meeting to further materialize the projects. Delegates approved. On Tuesday, the closing Plenary approved the decision without amendment.

Final Decision: In Decision 4/19, delegates agree to convene workshops on integrated water resources management, desertification, land degradation and integrated coastal areas and marine resources management to complete the preparation of projects in these areas, identify implementation priorities, and mobilize potential donors to finance feasibility studies. Delegates also agree that the workshops will be held after the 15th session of CAMRE, which will take place from 7-8 December 2003, in Benghazi, Libya.

PROPOSAL TO THE COUNCIL OF ARAB MINISTERS RESPONSIBLE FOR ENVIRONMENTAL AFFAIRS FOR THE WORK PROGRAMME ON THE ENVIRONMENT FOR THE PERIOD UP TO 2005

On Monday, El Din El Mallah outlined the work programme for the environment for the period up to 2005 (Annex I to Agenda Item III), highlighting actions regarding desertification, land degradation, the management of water resources, industrial development and the promotion of clean technologies, environmental monitoring, the management of hazardous waste, education and awareness raising, trade and environment, and tourism.

While the International Confederation of Arab Trade Unions for Arab Relations drew attention to the role of workers in sustainable development, the National Council of Women emphasized the role of women, and suggested including gender sensitive data in the report to the UN Secretary-General.

El Din El Mallah said a seminar was planned on the role of women, and guidelines had been prepared on the issue. She also noted future activities on the role of the youth and the handicapped.

The Islamic Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (ISESCO) highlighted the importance of collaboration between the Islamic world and the CSD to achieve sustainable development. Saudi Arabia proposed that ISESCO become a permanent member of CAMRE.

During the closing Plenary on Tuesday, ISESCO suggested, and delegates agreed to make reference to its proposal that JCEDAR and ISESCO coordinate their actions to enhance the implementation of Arab programmes for sustainable development.

Final Decision: In Decision 4/20, JCEDAR proposes that the 2004-2005 environmental work programme of CAMRE include the following measures:

  • a programme to combat desertification by increasing the arable lands and enhancing the nomadic environment, including through the establishment of an Arab bank for genetic plant species and organizing awareness-raising seminars;
     

  • a programme on environment and industry to address clean production methods, environment management methods, hazardous material and waste management, and the competitiveness of Arab products;
     

  • a programme on environmental education;
     

  • a programme on capacity building for environmental legislation and enforcement mechanisms; and
     

  • a programme on capacity building for environmental impact assessments.

Delegates called upon the Technical Secretariat and ISESCO to cooperate to enhance the implementation of the work programme and the Islamic action programme for sustainable development. They also requested CAMRE and ESCWA to cooperate regarding trade and environment issues, to call upon the Arab Tourism Ministerial Council to cooperate with CAMRE in the field of tourism, and to request the Permanent Arab Statistics Committee to cooperate to establish a qualitative and statistical database.

PRIORITIES AND ACHIEVEMENTS IN THE AREA OF SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT

On Monday, 20 October, El Din El Mallah said countries’ experiences and feedback on activities to protect the environment and achieve sustainable development were going to be summarized in a report.

Mahmoud Abdulraheem, UNEP/ROWA, presented the UNEP regional action plan for West Asia, which includes the Arab region. He underscored UNEP’s collaboration with CAMRE and the harmonization of their actions. He explained that UNEP can contribute to achieving sustainable development in the Arab region through actions in the fields of environmental protection and capacity building by undertaking environmental impact assessments and reducing the impacts of war. He said a document on UNEP’s action in the Arab region could be prepared.

Syria underlined that the questionnaire distributed to all countries to enhance the scientific base of UNEP’s environmental action was unclear. Abdulraheem, noting that the difficulty had been recognized, suggested the establishment of regional seminars to help countries fill out the questionnaire.

Arab Hoballah, UNEP’s Mediterranean Action Plan (MAP), presented the strategy for sustainable development in the Mediterranean, outlining its participants, activities and scope. He stressed the need for reform, and listed obstacles to sustainable development, including poverty, illiteracy, gender inequality, lack of entrepreneurship and innovation, war, and rent economies. He identified priorities for action: water management, energy efficiency, transport, marine and coastal zone management, and agriculture.

RAED called for greater collaboration between LAS and the MAP, stressing that Arab States participating in the MAP could benefit from financial assistance from rich countries of the MAP. He suggested promoting the Tunisian experience in all Arab countries, not only those of the Mediterranean.

El Din El Mallah noted the willingness of LAS to cooperate with the MAP.

ISESCO stressed its achievements in the field of sustainable development, including its work programme on Islamic sustainable development that incorporates actions regarding desertification, population growth, biodiversity, and climate change. He noted that ISESCO carries out its activities through partnerships.

During the closing Plenary on Tuesday, Syria commented that participants had not been given the details of the work strategy of UNEP/ROWA, and were therefore not in a position to make useful contributions.

Final Decision: In Decision 4/22, JCEDAR requests the Technical Secretariat to provide its members with reports received from States and organizations regarding their priorities and achievements in the field of the environment and sustainable development. It also asks Arab countries in West Asia to submit their comments to UNEP/ROWA on the strategy of UNEP for Arab countries in Western Asia.

RENEWAL OF THE MEMBER ORGANIZATIONS OF THE EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE OF THE JOINT COMMITTEE

On Monday, 20 October, delegates considered the partial renewal of the membership of Executive Committee of JCEDAR. El Din El Mallah said ESCWA, the regional office of the World Health Organization, the regional office of the Regional Organization for the Protection of the Marine Environment (ROPME), ISESCO, RAED, the General Union of Chambers of Commerce, Industry and Agriculture in Arab Countries, and the Arab Fund for Social and Economic Development were elected as member organizations of the Executive Committee. During the closing Plenary on Tuesday, participants adopted the decision without amendment.

Final Decision: In Decision 4/26, JCEDAR decides to make the Arab League Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (ALESCO) one of its members and that the following organizations be members of the Executive Committee for the period 2004-2005: ACSAD, ISESCO, the regional office of the WHO, the regional office of ROPME, and ALESCO. JCEDAR also designated RAED as representative of the regional NGOs, and called on the Secretariat to include the General Union of Chambers of Commerce, Industry and Agriculture in Arab Countries as representative of the private sector and the Arab Fund for Social and Economic Development as representative of financing institutions.

INCENTIVES FOR THE PRIVATE SECTOR TO INVEST IN THE FIELD OF THE ENVIRONMENT

On Monday, 20 October, Lebanon, supported by Syria, stressed the role of the private sector in environmental protection, and presented a proposal (Annex I to Agenda Item VI) to include on CAMRE’s agenda the topic of incentives to the private sector for investing in the field of the environment.

RAED highlighted the UN Global Compact initiative and, with Libya, suggested convening a workshop to further study the role of the private sector and identify relevant actions, prior to discussing the issue at a higher level.

During the closing Plenary on Tuesday, participants adopted the decision without amendment.

Final Decision: In Decision 4/23, JCEDAR assigns the Secretariat the follow-up of the implementation of the WSSD outcomes by communicating with the General Union of Chambers of Commerce, Industry and Agriculture in Arab Countries, and organizing a workshop on private sector incentives to encourage investing in the field of the environment.

ESTABLISHMENT OF AN ARAB FUND FOR ENVIRONMENTAL PROJECTS

On Monday, Lebanon, supported by Syria, proposed the creation of an Arab fund for environmental projects (Annex I to Agenda Item VII). Noting the need to stop relying on foreign aid, Egypt recommended developing a regional market for environmental goods and services.

During the closing Plenary on Tuesday, participants adopted the decision without amendment.

Final Decision: In Decision 4/24, JCEDAR assigns to the Secretariat the task of organizing roundtable discussions on the possibility of establishing an Arab fund to finance environmental projects.

OTHER MATTERS

STATE OF THE ENVIRONMENT IN THE ARAB REGION: On Monday, UNEP informed participants that the report was not finalized, and that it will be presented in a draft form to allow for comments.

Final Decision: In Decision 4/21, delegates decides to complete the preparation of the report on the status of the environment in the Arab region.

SLOGAN FOR ARAB ENVIRONMENT DAY: On Monday, El Din El Mallah recalled that 14 October of every year is Arab Environment Day, and called on participants to select a slogan and logo for 2004.

Stressing that sustainable development cannot be achieved without peace, Lebanon, Libya, Palestine, Syria and RAED supported a slogan on the topic of security and safety. Yemen opposed, noting that security was beyond JCEDAR’s mandate, and recommended focusing instead on water, sanitation, and human settlements. RAED said the slogan could find a justification in an analysis of the impacts of war on the environment and sustainable development, and offered its support for selecting a suitable logo. Lebanon proposed to publicize the slogan through the LAS news bulletin and other public events.

During the closing Plenary on Tuesday, participants adopted the decision without amendment.

Final Decision: In Decision 4/25, JCEDAR proposes that the slogan for the 2004 Arab Environment Day be "Peace and security are the prerequisites for sustainable development," requests RAED to provide suggestions concerning the logo design, and suggests that the slogan be in English and Arabic and widely distributed.

DATE AND VENUE OF THE 5TH SESSION OF JCEDAR AND THE 4TH MEETING OF ITS EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE: On Monday, delegates decided that the 4th meeting of the Executive Committee will take place prior to the 32nd meeting of the Executive Bureau of CAMRE, and the 5th session of JCEDAR will be held prior to the 16th meeting of CAMRE. On Tuesday, participants adopted the decision without amendment.

Final Decision: In Decision 4/27, delegates set the 4th meeting of the Executive Committee prior the 32nd meeting of the Executive Bureau of CAMRE and its 5th session of the JCEDAR prior to the 16th session of CAMRE.

CLOSING SESSION

On Tuesday, 21 October, Mahmoud Hewehy presented the meeting’s report, including draft decisions, to participants. They adopted it with minor amendments. RAED, on behalf of all participants, thanked the Secretariat and the organizers of the meeting.

El Din El Mallah thanked participants and closed the meeting at 11:50 am.

THINGS TO LOOK FOR BEFORE CSD-12

ASIA AND THE PACIFIC CSD REGIONAL IMPLEMENTATION MEETING: This Regional Implementation Meeting, hosted by the UN Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP), will take place from 27-28 October 2003, in Bangkok, Thailand. For more information, contact: UN Division for Sustainable Development; tel: +1-212-963-2803; fax: +1-212-963-4260; e-mail: dsd@un.org; Internet: http://www.un.org/esa/sustdev/csd/csd12/rim.htm

REGIONAL WORKSHOP ON NATIONAL SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT STRATEGIES: This workshop, which will take place from 29-31 October 2003, in Bangkok, Thailand, will follow the CSD Regional Implementation Meeting for Asia and the Pacific. For more information, contact: ESCAP Division of Environment and Sustainable Development; tel: +66-2288-1234; fax: +66-2288-1059; e-mail: escap-esdd@un.org; Internet: http://www.un.org/esa/sustdev/csd/csd12/rim.htm

INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE ON SUSTAINABLE URBANIZATION STRATEGIES: This conference, which will take place from 3-5 November 2003, in Weihai, China, is designed to facilitate the sharing of best practices, good policies and lessons learned in addressing the social, economic and environmental dimensions of sustainable urbanization. The conference will focus on issues connected to the realization of the two Millennium Development Goals relating to reducing the proportion of people without sustainable access to safe drinking water and sanitation, and improving significantly the lives of 100 million slum dwellers. For more information, contact: Jianguo Shen, Inter-Regional Adviser, UN-HABITAT; tel: +254-2-623541; fax: +254-2-624264; e-mail: jianguo.shen@unhabitat.org; Internet: http://www.unhabitat.org/conference/weihai.pdf

SEMINAR ON NEGOTIATION SKILLS OVER SHARED WATER RESOURCES IN PALESTINE: The seminar, organized by ESCWA, will be held from 8-14 November 2003, near the Dead Sea. For more information, contact: ESCWA Secretariat; tel: +961-1-981301; fax: +961-1-981510; e-mail: webmaster-escwa@un.org; Internet: http://www.escwa.org.lb/.

LATIN AMERICAN AND THE CARIBBEAN CSD REGIONAL IMPLEMENTATION MEETING: EXPERT GROUP MEETING ON WSSD OUTCOMES REVIEW: This Regional Implementation Meeting, hosted by the UN Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC), will be held on 17-18 November 2003, in Santiago, Chile. For more information, contact: UN Division for Sustainable Development; tel: +1-212-963-2803; fax: +1-212-963-4260; e-mail: dsd@un.org; Internet: http://www.un.org/esa/sustdev/csd/csd12/rim.htm

LATIN AMERICAN AND THE CARIBBEAN CSD REGIONAL IMPLEMENTATION MEETING: REGIONAL FORUM OF MINISTERS OF ENVIRONMENT: Hosted by ECLAC, this Regional Implementation Meeting will take place from 20-25 November 2003, in Panama. For more information, contact: UN Division for Sustainable Development; tel: +1-212-963-2803; fax: +1-212-963-4260; e-mail: dsd@un.org; Internet: http://www.un.org/esa/sustdev/csd/csd12/rim.htm

15TH SESSION OF THE COUNCIL OF ARAB MINISTERS RESPONSIBLE FOR THE ENVIRONMENT: The 15th session of CAMRE will be held on 7-8 December 2003, in Benghazi, Libya. For more information, contact: Fatma El Din El Mallah, League of Arab States; tel: +20-2-575-0511; fax: +20-2-574-0331; e-mail: F-elmallah@hotmail.com; Internet: http://www.arableagueonline.org/arableague/index_en.jsp

AFRICAN CSD REGIONAL IMPLEMENTATION MEETING: PAN-AFRICAN IMPLEMENTATION AND PARTNERSHIP CONFERENCE ON WATER: This Regional Implementation Meeting, hosted by the UN Economic Commission for Africa, will be held from 8-13 December 2003, in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. The conference will address the implication of the outcomes of the WSSD on regional water initiatives, as well as Africa’s role in the implementation of the Summit’s outcomes. For more information, contact: UN Division for Sustainable Development; tel: +1-212-963-2803; fax: +1-212-963-4260; e-mail: dsd@un.org; Internet: Internet: http://www.un.org/esa/sustdev/csd/csd12/rim.htm.

SECOND REGIONAL CONFERENCE ON WATER DEMAND MANAGEMENT AND POLLUTION CONTROL: The Second Regional Conference on Water Demand Management and Pollution Control will take place on 14-17 December 2003, in Sharm el Sheikh, Egypt. For more information, contact: ESCWA Secretariat; tel: +961-1-981301; fax: +961-1-981510; e-mail: webmaster-escwa@un.org; Internet: http://www.escwa.org.lb/.

SEMINAR ON THE INTEGRATION OF POPULATION ISSUES IN THE DEVELOPMENT PROCESS: This seminar will be held on 17-19 December 2003, in Sharm el Sheikh, Egypt. For more information, contact: ESCWA Secretariat; tel: +961-1-981301; fax: +961-1-981510; e-mail: webmaster-escwa@un.org; Internet: http://www.escwa.org.lb/

ECE CSD REGIONAL IMPLEMENTATION MEETING: This Regional Implementation Meeting in preparation for CSD-12 will convene on 15-16 January 2004, in Geneva, Switzerland. For more information, contact UN Division for Sustainable Development; tel: +1-212-963-2803; fax: +1-212-963-4260; e-mail: dsd@un.org; Internet: http://www.un.org/esa/sustdev/csd/csd12/rim.htm

INTER-REGIONAL PREPARATORY MEETING FOR THE REVIEW OF IMPLEMENTATION OF THE BARBADOS PROGRAMME OF ACTION (BPOA): An inter-regional preparatory meeting for all small island developing States will take place in Nassau, Bahamas, from 26-30 January 2004. For more information, contact: For more information, contact: Diane Quarless, Chief, United Nations Small Island Developing States Unit, tel: +1-212-963-4135 fax: +1-917-367-3391; e-mail: Mauritius2004@sidsnet.org; Internet: http://www.sidsnet.org.

FOURTH DELHI SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT SUMMIT 2004: PARTNERSHIPS FOR SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT - ADDRESSING THE WEHAB AGENDA: The Delhi Sustainable Development Summit, an annual international event organized by TERI (The Energy and Resources Institute) since 2001, will be held from 4-7 February 2004, in New Delhi, India. The 2004 Summit will focus on analyzing and assessing innovative partnerships in the post-WSSD scenario. For more information, contact: Summit Secretariat, TERI; tel: +91-11-2468-2138; fax: +91-11-2468-2144;
e-mail: dsds@teri.res.in; Internet: http://www.teriin.org/dsds

INTERNATIONAL FORUM ON PARTNERSHIPS FOR SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT: This Forum, organized by the Italian Ministry for the Environment and Territory in cooperation with UN DESA, will be held from 4- 6 March 2004, in Rome, Italy. It will seek to enhance the contribution of partnerships towards the implementation of sustainable development goals and objectives. For more information, contact: Gloria Visconti, Italian Ministry for the Environment and Territory; tel: +39-06-5722-8121; fax: +39-06-5722-8180; e-mail: Visconti.Gloria@minambiente.it; Internet: http://www.minambiente.it/Sito/settori_azione/pia/docs/forum_sd_eng.pdf

CSD ACTING AS THE PREPCOM FOR THE INTERNATIONAL MEETING TO REVIEW IMPLEMENTATION OF THE BPOA FOR THE SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT OF SIDS: This meeting will will take place from 14-16 April 2004, in New York. For more information, contact: Diane Quarless, Chief, United Nations Small Island Developing States Unit, tel: +1-212-963-4135 fax: +1-917-367-3391; e-mail: Mauritius2004@sidsnet.org; Internet: http://www.sidsnet.org.

TWELFTH SESSION OF THE COMMISSION ON SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT (CSD-12): CSD-12 is scheduled to meet from 19-30 April 2003, in New York. As agreed at CSD-11, the 12th session will be a "Review Year" to evaluate progress made in implementing sustainable development goals and identifying obstacles and constraints on the thematic clusters of water, sanitation and human settlements. For more information, contact UN Division for Sustainable Development; tel: +1-212-963-2803; fax: +1-212-963-4260; e-mail: dsd@un.org; Internet: http://www.un.org/esa/sustdev/csd/csd12/csd12.htm.   

This issue of the Earth Negotiations Bulletin © <enb@iisd.org> is written and edited by Alice Bisiaux and Charlotte Salpin. The Team Leader is Charlotte Salpin <charlotte@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. Specific funding for coverage of this meeting has been provided by the Norwegian Ministry of the Environment. 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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