Earth Negotiations Bulletin

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
 A Reporting Service for Environment and Development Negotiations

[PDF Format]   [Text Format]   [French Version]   [Back to ECE Coverage]


Published by the International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD)

Vol. 5 No. 201
Saturday, 17 January 2004

SUMMARY OF THE ECONOMIC COMMISSION FOR EUROPE’S REGIONAL IMPLEMENTATION FORUM ON SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT:

15-16 JANUARY 2004

The UN Commission on Sustainable Development (CSD) at its eleventh session (CSD-11) invited the United Nations Regional Commissions to consider organizing regional implementation meetings to contribute to the work of the CSD. In response to this invitation, the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) incorporated consideration of the CSD agenda in its deliberations at its first Regional Implementation Forum on Sustainable Development, which met from 15-16 January 2004, at the Palais des Nations in Geneva, Switzerland.

The Forum brought together some 300 delegates representing UNECE member States, UN organizations and specialized agencies, intergovernmental organizations (IGOs) and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) to address regional water, sanitation, and human settlement issues with regard to outcomes of the World Summit on Sustainable Development. The outcome of this meeting will be transmitted to the UN Secretary-General to contribute to the preparations for CSD-12.

A BRIEF HISTORY OF THE CSD

The CSD emerged from Agenda 21, the programme of action adopted at 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.

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

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 "Type II" non-negotiated partnerships and initiatives for sustainable development aimed at implementing sustainable development goals 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 (SIDS), Africa, other regional initiatives, means of implementation, and the institutional frameworkt. The JPOI also states that the implementation of Agenda 21 and the outcomes of the Summit should be pursued at the regional and subregional levels and 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 included regional implementation forums 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; the institutional framework for sustainable development; gender equity; and education.

CSD-11 also invited the UN Regional Commissions to consider organizing regional implementation forums 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 report, including identifying obstacles and constraints, new challenges and opportunities for implementation.

MEETINGS OF THE CSD-12 BUREAU: Following the adjournment of CSD-11, CSD-12 held its first session to elect its Bureau. Børge Brende, Norway’s Environment Minister, 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).

To date, the CSD-12 Bureau has met three times: 10-11 September 2003, in Oslo, Norway, and 3 October and 18 November 2003, in New York. During these meetings, the Bureau has been briefed on the state of preparation of CSD-12 documentation and the preparations for and outcomes of the regional implementation meetings, among other issues. At its third meeting, the Bureau reaffirmed that CSD-12 will address the thematic issues in an integrated manner, including the interlinkages between the thematic cluster and cross-cutting issues.

WEST ASIA REGIONAL IMPLEMENTATION MEETING: Hosted by the UN Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia (ESCWA), the CSD Regional Implementation Meeting for West Asia convened from 19-21 October 2003, in Cairo, Egypt. The meeting was held within the ambit of the Joint Committee on Environment and Development in the Arab Region, a committee composed of representatives from ESCWA, the Technical Secretariat of the Council of Arab Ministers Responsible for the Environment, the UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs (DESA), and the Regional Office for Western Asia of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP). Participants adopted 10 decisions on, inter alia: follow-up measures to the 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 areas of water, sanitation and human settlements in the region will be transmitted to CSD-12.

ASIA AND PACIFIC REGIONAL IMPLEMENTATION MEETING: This meeting, convened in Bangkok, Thailand, from 27-28 October 2003, was jointly organized by the UN Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP) and DESA, in collaboration with the UN Development Programme (UNDP). Participants reviewed the state of implementation concerning CSD-12’s thematic cluster of water, sanitation and human settlements in the region. In addition to panel presentations and multi-stakeholder discussions, three break-out sessions focused on experiences in the Asian, Central Asian and Pacific regions. The outcome of this meeting will be transmitted to CSD-12.

PAN-AFRICAN IMPLEMENTATION AND PARTNERSHIP CONFERENCE ON WATER: Hosted by the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (ECA), the Pan-African Implementation and Partnership Conference on Water met from 8-12 December 2003, in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, to consider the CSD-12 agenda items of water, sanitation and human settlements. The Conference also provided a platform for African countries, the international community and UN agencies to reaffirm their commitment to solving Africa’s water crisis and to collectively implement the actions envisaged in the African Water Vision, the Water Agenda of the New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD), the WSSD’s targets and the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) on water. The outcome of this meeting will be transmitted to CSD-12.

REPORT OF THE MEETING

The UNECE Regional Implementation Forum on Sustainable Development convened on Thursday, 15 January 2004. Brigita Schmögnerová, UNECE Executive Secretary, welcomed delegates to the meeting, stressing the need to review regional progress made in the areas of water, sanitation and human settlements since the WSSD and to analyze remaining problems and challenges for CSD-12. She added that the meeting provides a platform to raise political awareness of the issues, and that regional input constitutes a key contribution to the CSD process.

Delegates then adopted the agenda without amendments and elected Margaret Beckett, UK Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs as meeting Chair. Elena Szolgayova, Slovakian Ministry of Construction and Regional Development, was elected Vice-Chair for human settlements. Philippe Roch, Swiss Agency for Environment, Forests and Landscape, was elected Vice-Chair for water. Zaal Lomtadze, Georgian Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources, was elected Vice-Chair for sanitation.

Børge Brende, Norwegian Environment Minister and CSD-12 Chair, stressed the importance of political will, integrated water resource management (IWRM), water planning, and cooperation in the management of shared water resources, and called for more effective systems of management and urban planning. He also underscored the important role Europe can play in leading the way toward achieving the global targets.

Following opening remarks, delegates met in a morning panel discussion on human settlements and an afternoon panel discussion on water. On Friday, 16 January, delegates met in a morning panel discussion on sanitation. A general discussion was then held to address the interlinkages between the three substantive issues and their linkages with other cross-sectoral issues, such as financing, production patterns, governance and poverty. The following report provides a summary of issues discussed at the meeting.

HUMAN SETTLEMENTS

Vice-Chair Elena Szolgayova chaired the panel discussion on human settlements. Kamo Khachatryan, Housing Policy Division, Armenian Ministry of Urban Development, highlighted Armenia’s housing programmes following the 1988 earthquake and noted cooperation with donors and NGOs, as well as new legislation, in promoting improved housing development.

Wolfgang Forster, Senior Officer, Austrian Department for Housing Research, underlined social inclusion and environmental protection as two main challenges facing housing development in Vienna. He said there is a need to improve thermal qualities of new buildings, especially to meet Austria’s commitment to reducing climate change.

Martti Lujanen, Director-General, Housing and Building Department, Finnish Environment Ministry, underlined the importance of energy efficiency, adequate shelter, the provision of environmental infrastructure such as transport and waste management, and improving governance and social equity. He said the key challenge of urbanization and sustainable human settlements is the ability to implement actions that take into account ecological, social and economic dimensions.

Denis Gauer, Environmental Ambassador, French Environment Ministry, outlined three principles for improving people’s access to basic services: access to basic services is inherent to human dignity and is one of the foundations of sustainable development; management methods must correspond to technical, economic, social and environmental performance objectives; and cost recovery must be accompanied by provisions that guarantee social and territorial solidarity.

Mihaela Al-Bashtawi, Inspector, General Division for Urban and Territory Planning, Romanian Ministry of Transport, Construction and Tourism, described a government social programme that focuses on housing for young people. Although the programme emphasizes local government participation, she noted that lack of experience in urban planning and subjectivity in unit distribution still existed.

Beate Weber, Mayor of Heidelberg, Germany, International Council for Local Environmental Initiatives, emphasized the important role of local governments in achieving global human settlement targets. She said urban development must go beyond spatial planning and encompass social aspects, and called for increased support to local governments.

Stephen Duckworth, Housing-Finance Consultant, European Liaison Committee for Social Housing (CECODHAS), presented a European study on good practice and urban regeneration. He said urban regeneration should include: long-term sustainability; genuine resident participation; social inclusion; provision of services, training and employment; and partnership agreements between key players. He added that comprehensive and sustainable urban renewal is very long term, and that resident participation and cooperation at all levels are essential.

DISCUSSION: Ireland, on behalf of the EU and EU acceding countries, outlined challenges in achieving the global targets on human settlements, including: high urbanization rate; need for good-governance; land degradation and desertification; need for more sustainable patterns of economic growth and consumption; low participation of women in urban planning; low capacity building; and homelessness.

The Netherlands stated that at the global level, actors must identify where action is most needed and determine where the limited resources are to be used. The European Community (EC) emphasized that solving urban issues should go beyond administrative borders and that stability and continuity of action should be ensured at all levels. The US stressed the need for public-private partnerships, good governance, and public participation in decision making. Belgium said the meeting should not only highlight success stories, but also the limits of human settlement policies, such as the impact of climate change. Sweden highlighted the importance of investing in urban infrastructure, participation of women, and developing technologies that are affordable and environmentally sound.

Albania stressed good governance and local capacity building, as key to addressing her country’s housing issues. The Czech Republic said social inclusion is essential in reforming her country’s housing sector and underlined the need to monitor progress through indicators. The UK said closing funding gaps for reducing slum dwellings could be achieved through greater public-private partnerships, community-based initiatives, and capital investment. Poland noted pilot programmes and projects to address homelessness problems. Canada said the responsibility for providing urban infrastructure has largely been left to local and provincial governments and the provision of housing to the private market, but that the federal government has recently become more involved in urban affairs, providing funding to deal with homelessness, infrastructure, and aboriginal and social housing.

The Northern Alliance for Sustainability (ANPED) noted the following priority actions for building local sustainable communities: focus on implementation; education and awareness building; industry and private sector involvement; and achieving basic human needs. The Regional Environment Centre for Central Asia (CAREC) highlighted issues concerning Central Asia, particularly the link between human settlements and ecosystems.

CONCLUDING REMARKS: The discussion was followed by concluding remarks by the panellists. Duckworth stressed the importance of the housing issue for acceding EU countries and the problem of environmental migration. Al-Bashtawi called for the development of programmes for temporary shelters in case of natural disasters. Khachatryan underscored the importance of international cooperation in addressing the issues discussed. Noting that decentralization could increase spatial inequality, Forster stated that decentralization should include instruments to build capacity, and prevent social exclusion and segregation. Lujanen said that choosing good policies enables States to reach their goals more cheaply and efficiently. Gauer said legal security, respective contracts, sustainable mechanisms, and good-governance are required to mobilize the necessary funds for improving habitats.

FINAL OUTCOMES: On addressing human settlements at the regional level, delegates agreed, inter alia, on the need to:

  • improve the liveability of cities through good governance, accountability and transparency of government actions;
     

  • emphasize sustainable housing reforms and social equity;
     

  • foster an integrated urban planning approach, which includes land use and transportation system planning;
     

  • support participatory local governance, public-private partnerships and civil society to ensure effective implementation of sustainable development policies; and
     

  • encourage government involvement to facilitate investment in the rehabilitation of existing stock, improve asset management and assist marginalized groups in gaining access to social housing.

At the global level, delegates agreed, inter alia, on the need to:

  • mobilize international support to address poverty and inequality in human settlements through targeted official development assistance in urban planning, land administration and good governance;
     

  • focus on implementation policies that facilitate sustainable urbanization, particularly access to basic services, employment and housing;
     

  • establish mechanisms to facilitate technology transfer and diffusion of knowledge;
     

  • facilitate cross-border cooperation to address sustainable development objectives;
     

  • facilitate public-private partnerships in building and managing sustainable communities; and
     

  • mobilize public sector efforts in creating an enabling institutional environment to attract domestic and foreign investment.

WATER

On Thursday afternoon, Vice-Chair Philippe Roch opened the panel discussion on water, noting that the UNECE region has the legal instruments and culture of cooperation to address water issues in a holistic manner.

Joergen Bjelskov, Ministerial Adviser, Danish Environment Ministry, urged governments to meet the WSSD 2005 target on developing IWRM plans, and to assist other countries, particularly in Central Asia, who may have difficulties in achieving the target.

Anatoly Kholmatov, Head of Science Department, Tajikistan Water Management Ministry, called for the development of a regional joint strategy for water management to address problems such as energy shortages, desertification and unsustainable use of water.

Ton Boon von Ochssée, Sustainable Development Ambassador, Dutch Foreign Affairs Ministry, emphasized the importance of IWRM and cross-border management in achieving MDGs, and stressed the need for public-private partnerships, including river basin partnerships; and capacity building.

Carl Mitchell, US Agency for International Development, noted that providing safe water access to all in Europe will require private sector financing and additional resources from local governments, and called for new solutions, citing the successful example of revolving funds for environmental projects used in the US.

Sergey Natalchuk, Russian Natural Resources Ministry, described Russia’s national water programme that aims at delivering quality water to all citizens by 2015, and called for cooperating with neighboring countries in shared water management and in the adoption of bilateral and multilateral frameworks.

Czeslaw Wieckowski, Director, International Cooperation Department, Polish Environment Ministry, emphasized the need for a clear legal structure for water management and highlighted, inter alia, the following lessons learned: water supply and sanitation cannot be divided; the polluter pays principle should be applied consistently; public stakeholders should be included at all planning stages; and multilateral and bilateral shared water management agreements should be adopted.

Claus Sørensen, International Affairs Director, EC Environment Directorate General, noted that the accession of new EU countries will bring them up to a very high level of water management, and added that the EU water framework directive serves as a model to non-members in building links between neighboring States. He called for enhanced political will and stressed the importance of IWRM, the river basin approach, public-private partnerships, public participation and good governance.

Olga Ponizova, Water Policy Issues Coordinator, ECO-Accord Center, noted that the international initiatives developed in Central Asia to solve water-related problems were insufficient, and called for the adoption of an IWRM approach, increased public participation, enhanced information dissemination on water issues, institutional and legal reforms, increased role of local governments, effective financial initiatives, and the greater use of existing international instruments on the use of transboundary water resources.

Jack Moss, World Business Council on Sustainable Development (WBCSD), stated that Council members actively participate in achieving the WSSD and the MDGs on water and sanitation, and supporting IWRM. He called on the CSD to address closing the gap between global policies and lack of support at the local level and to focus on monitoring.

DISCUSSION: The EU noted that water and sanitation issues are key to poverty eradication, sustainable livelihood and economic development, and that the two themes should be integrated at CSD-12. He also noted the EU’s comprehensive water legislation as key for meeting water targets, and that transboundary river basin management needs to be strengthened.

Turkey described his country’s water resource management experience, highlighting the Southeastern Anatolia project that involves multi-stakeholder participation. He said that Turkey has started to incorporate IWRM into water management plans, but lacks financial resources and capacity building to fully implement the plans.

Canada said that transparency, civil society participation, and open and accountable institutions, with strong legal frameworks, are key to good water governance. Germany noted the importance of river basin cooperation and that international water cooperation improves stability, particularly in arid regions. France stressed the importance of catchment basin management, good governance, and the need to strengthen water management capacity building. Greece presented on the Mediterranean component of the EU Water Initiative, which focuses on: improving water supply and sanitation in the poorest areas; IWRM, with emphasis on transboundary water management; and cross-cutting issues such as technology transfer, capacity building and education. Italy said it was also developing initiatives in the Mediterranean Basin aimed at promoting joint water resource projects in semi-arid areas.

Austria underlined the importance of transboundary river basin management, highlighting the work of the Danube River Commission as a good example of cooperation. Belgium proposed linking national water policies with sustainable development strategies. Hungary said transboundary river agreements on such issues as flood management, contamination and liability should be strengthened. Sweden said IWRM is a precondition for sustainable and effective use of water within a country, but will only be successful if adequate legislation backs the policies.

Israel gave an overview of its water management experience, highlighting the wide scale use of drip irrigation, reusable wastewater and desalinization. The UK called for an assessment of financing efforts needed to achieve global water targets. Switzerland welcomed all references to IWRM and advocated public-private partnerships involving NGOs, donor and governmental agencies. The Czech Republic underscored the need to harmonize data gathering and monitoring of water quality in the UNECE region. Finland said the discussions on good governance should address the issue of local governance and corporate governance.

The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) said that public budgets should be used efficiently in addressing water issues, and that the private sector can play a role in providing technical know-how, not just financial support. CAREC noted regional agreements on partnerships for achieving sustainable development goals and steps towards developing a legal basis. Public Services International (PSI) suggested strengthening public-public partnerships in which large, well-managed public water companies provide assistance to those public water companies and local water managers in need of help. The International Confederation of Free Trade Unions (ICFTU) stressed the need to involve workers in all stakeholders’ decision-making processes, dialogue and education on water management.

FINAL OUTCOMES: On addressing water issues at the regional and global level, delegates agreed, inter alia, on the need to:

  • develop and implement IWRM schemes with strong stakeholder participation;
     

  • develop strategies that respond to climate change effects on water ecosystems and the hydrological cycle;
     

  • adopt sustainable consumption and production policies;
     

  • develop innovative financial mechanisms, such as compensation schemes for water-linked environmental services, revolving funds, and project development facilities;
     

  • develop best practices on integrated flood management and control, techniques for waste water re-use and recycling;
     

  • strengthen joint bodies for managing transboundary waters; and
     

  • draw up bilateral and multilateral agreements in order to define conduct regarding the prevention, control and reduction of transboundary impact and other issues relevant to IWRM.

SANITATION

On Friday morning, Vice Chair Zaal Lomtadzem chaired a panel discussion on sanitation, recognizing that, together with water and human settlements, sanitation constitutes a basic human requirement. He added that investment in sanitation has lagged behind other sectors and that mobilizing additional domestic and international finances, developing innovative financial mechanisms and strengthening public-private partnerships are crucial.

Olga Kupkova, National Institute of Public Health, Czech Republic, advocated taking an integrated and cross-sectoral approach to addressing water and sanitation problems and implementing goals. She added that a strong legal framework, capacity building, and partnerships between governments, the private sector and civil society are necessary for meeting implementation goals.

Dagmara Berbalk, German Environment Ministry, noted her country’s strong commitment to sanitation and water issues, both within Germany and within its overseas development programmes. She underlined the interdependencies between resource protection and management, and stressed the importance of involving different sectors within sanitation projects.

Tibor Farago, Director-General, Hungarian Environment Ministry, said his country faced major sanitation obstacles due to limited resources, but that EU accession requirements have led to concrete programmes and support to improve the sector. He added that sanitation policy should be integrated into other sectors, such as health.

Oral Ataniyazova, Chair, Karakalpak Center for Reproductive Health and Environment, Uzbekistan, noted some positive trends in Central Asia, but underscored the gap between the international policies and the status of people at the local level. She emphasized the lack of evaluation of aid programmes, and monitoring of the use of aid funds, and the need for assistance coordination.

Gourisankar Ghosh, Executive Director, Water Supply and Sanitation Collaborative Council, stated that achieving the WSSD targets will only be possible with the help of donors, NGOs and governments in Europe as they will provide support and capacity building to crisis areas within the region, as well as to the developing regions. He called on governments to prioritize hygiene and sanitation, especially in schools, and stressed the importance of integrating sanitation into IWRM and of the participation of the private sector.

DISCUSSION: Underlining the need for an integrated approach, the EU suggested that the themes of sanitation and water be dealt with together at CSD-12. He highlighted the EU legislation on sanitation, and called for a more cooperative approach, focus on crisis areas, prioritizing of women, and recognition of the special needs of children.

Switzerland said a major challenge consisted in addressing sanitation from a user’s perspective and integrating the household as the social actor. He introduced a draft code of conduct for private sector participation in sustainable water service management, which will be presented at CSD-12.

Turkey noted positive trends in sanitation and water management, but that the country still needs international capacity building assistance and financial support programmes to comply with relevant EU legislation. Sweden stressed the need to integrate water, sanitation and hygiene education into a single programme, supported by multi-stakeholder participation. The UK said that addressing the link between water, sanitation and human settlements would lead to the delivery of better essential services. The US noted a government programme that grants low interest loans to upgrade wastewater treatment systems, and that it is assisting other countries with innovative financing mechanisms to do the same.

ICFTU underscored the importance to focus on workers in the discussions on sanitation. WBCSD called for greater action in meeting global sanitation goals through, inter alia, funding, good governance, and political commitment, especially at the local level.

FINAL OUTCOMES: On addressing sanitation issues, delegates agreed, inter alia, on the need to:

  • take a holistic approach to water protection, water supply and sanitation;
     

  • create legal, regulatory, administrative and economic frameworks to improve water supply and sanitation;
     

  • encourage individuals to invest in improved sanitation;
     

  • raise awareness of hygienic behavior; and
     

  • establish partnerships between governments, local communities, the private sector and others to increase funding for sanitation and ecosystem protection.

INTERLINKAGES

On Friday afternoon, Chair Beckett invited delegates to address the interlinkages among the three substantive issues. She indicated three guidelines for discussion: assessing failures in the region, identifying the obstacles and challenges, and transforming words into concrete actions.

The EU stated that water and sanitation are vital to achieving the MDGs, including poverty eradication, hunger, improved health goals, the protection of natural resources and the improvement of lives of slum dwellers. He noted that water and sanitation and infrastructure, such as transport and energy, support the delivery of health and education services and are pre-conditions for adequate human settlements. He also called on CSD-12 to address the need for an integrated approach by looking at best practice in each theme area and how this expertise can be harnessed to full effect across all of the thematic areas, beyond traditional sectoral policies.

Noting that IWRM is the way forward, Switzerland called on the CSD to reach a common understanding of this concept, and stated that cooperation and private involvement should be enhanced and that CSD-12 should focus on individual experiences and lessons learned. The EC expressed a need for good donor coordination. The US requested that governments formulate their needs in terms of capacity building in order for donor countries and institutions to better respond to them.

Iceland noted several Arctic Council initiatives concerning the living conditions of Arctic residents, including: the Arctic Human Development report, a comprehensive assessment of living conditions in the circumpolar region, and the Arctic Climate Impact Assessment, which examines social and economic impacts of climate variability. Germany recommended developing sustainable development education schemes to involve all education sectors, while the Czech Republic stressed education as a key tool for implementing sustainable development initiatives. Georgia, as Chair of the UNECE environmental policy department, underlined the importance of subregional activities. The Netherlands said a results-oriented process of concrete action should be started at CSD-12, and that interrelationships between the three themes could assist in setting priorities for action. Israel noted the need to refer to new technical issues, such as sewage pipeline leakage.

The EC presented EU success stories in formulating, elaborating, implementing, monitoring and reviewing sustainable development strategies, inter alia: the existence of a frequent review mechanism at a high political level; progress reporting and structural indicators; and the role of national consultative councils or partnerships for sustainable development in overseeing the implementation of the strategies. He called on the CSD to focus on elaborating national sustainable development strategies, including poverty eradication strategies, and the commitment to begin implementation by 2005.

Finland underlined the interlinkages between the three substantive themes and consumption and production patterns. Sweden stated that gender equality is a pre-condition to economic development and should be mainstreamed into policy-making.

Italy noted that successful partnerships for sustainable development should be inclusive and transparent, and that lessons should be drawn from experiences. Greece emphasized the importance of addressing poverty and gender issues in relation to employment, and to promote employment opportunities within the sustainable development context.

UN-Habitat highlighted key programmatic areas of action that could be enhanced, including: on governance, the Global Campaign for Good Urban Governance; on capacity building, the programme "Localizing Agenda 21: Action Planning for Sustainable Urban Development"; on monitoring, the Global Urban Observatory and its local implementation, the Local Urban Observatory; and on public-private partnerships, the Cities Alliance programme.

CARAC called for social monitoring of sustainable development and of the fulfillment of global targets. The Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB) underscored the importance of adopting an ecosystem approach and called for enhanced sharing of best practice and transfer of knowledge. The Stakeholder Forum stressed the need to link international trade and sustainable development and said the World Trade Organization (WTO) should be encouraged to take into account sustainable development efforts. The Nordic Council of Ministers stressed subregional sustainable development strategies and the importance of creating indicators in implementation reviews.

CLOSING REMARKS

Chair Beckett concluded by urging delegates to take an integrated approach in meeting WSSD targets, highlighting the need for improved capacity building, education, partnerships and technology transfer. She added that it was important for UNECE member States to prepare IWRM plans by 2005 and work to develop national sustainable development strategies. Noting that the UNECE region has the capacity to assist other regions in implementing global targets, Chair Beckett reminded delegates that problems within the UNECE region still remain. She then closed the meeting at 12:53 pm, noting that the meeting�s deliberations and outcomes will be included in a report for CSD-12�s consideration.

THINGS TO LOOK FOR BEFORE CSD-12

INTER-REGIONAL PREPARATORY MEETING FOR THE REVIEW OF IMPLEMENTATION OF THE BARBADOS PROGRAMME OF ACTION: An inter-regional preparatory meeting for Barbados +10 will take place in Nassau, Bahamas, from 26-30 January 2004. For more information, contact: Diane Quarless, UN SIDS 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: This Summit, an annual international event organized by The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI), will be held from 4-7 February 2004, in New Delhi, India. The 2004 Summit will focus on analyzing and assessing innovative partnerships post-WSSD. 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.

FOURTH GLOBAL FORUM ON SUSTAINABLE ENERGY: GFSE-4 will be held from 18-20 February 2004, in Vienna, Austria, to focus on the theme "Energy for Sustainable Development: Reconsidering the Role of Subsidies." The forum will also devote at least one day to issues specifically connected to renewables. For further information, contact: Irene Freudenschuss-Reichl; tel: +1-212-963-6890; fax: +1-212- 963-7904; e-mail: freudenschuss-reichl@un.org; Internet: http://www.gfse.at/.

SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT IN THE WTO: TRADE, INVESTMENT AND ENVIRONMENT AFTER CANCUN: This international conference, sponsored by the Royal Institute of International Affairs, will be held from 23-24 February 2004, in London, England. Challenges to the multilateral trading system in the wake of Cancun will be discussed, including the US and EU response to developing country concerns over agricultural subsidies, the negotiating dynamic of the new G21 grouping of developing countries, and potential conflicts between trade and sustainable development. For more information, contact the Conference Unit: tel: +44-207-957-5700; fax: +44-207-321-2045; e-mail: conferences@riia.org; Internet: http://www.riia.org/index.php?id=5&cid=38.

INTERNATIONAL FORUM ON PARTNERSHIPS FOR SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT: This Forum, organized by the Italian Ministry for the Environment in cooperation with DESA, will convene from 4-6 March 2004, in Rome, Italy. For more information, contact: Gloria Visconti, Italian Ministry for the Environment and Territory; tel: +39-6-5722-8121; fax: +39-6-5722-8180; e-mail: visconti.gloria@minambiente.it; Internet: http://www.minambiente.it/Sito/settori_azione/pia/docs/forum_sd_eng.pdf.

EIGHTH SPECIAL SESSION OF THE UNEP GOVERNING COUNCIL/FIFTH GLOBAL MINISTERIAL ENVIRONMENT FORUM: The eighth Special Session of the UNEP Governing Council/fifth Global Ministerial Environment Forum will take place from 29-31 March 2004, in Jeju, Republic of Korea. For more information, contact: Beverly Miller, Secretary for UNEP Governing Council; tel: +254-2-623431; fax: +254-2-623929; e-mail: beverly.miller@unep.org; Internet: http://www.unep.org.

PREPCOM FOR THE INTERNATIONAL MEETING TO REVIEW IMPLEMENTATION OF THE BARBADOS PROGRAMME OF ACTION FOR THE SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT OF SIDS: This preparatory committee meeting will convene from 14-16 April 2004, at UN headquarters in New York. For more information, contact: Diane Quarless, UN Division on Susainable Development, UN SIDS 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 will meet from 19-30 April 2004, in New York. This 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 alice@iisd.org and Mark Schulman mark@iisd.org. The Digital Editor is David Fernau david@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 Government of the United States of America (through the Department of State Bureau of Oceans and International Environmental and Scientific 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 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 2004 is provided by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), the Government of Australia, Austrian Federal Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry, Environment and Water Management, the Ministry of Environment and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Sweden, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Norway, Swan International, the Japanese Ministry of Environment (through the Institute for Global Environmental Strategies - IGES) and the Japanese Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (through the Global Industrial and Social Progress Research Institute - GISPRI). Funding for translation of the Earth Negotiations Bulletin in French has been provided by the International Organization of the Francophonie (IOF) and the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Specific funding for the 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.

This page was uploaded on 02.03.2004