Vol. 5 No. 211
SUMMARY OF THE TWELFTH SESSION OF THE COMMISSION ON SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT:
14-30 APRIL 2004
The twelfth session of the United Nations Commission on Sustainable Development (CSD-12) was held from 14-30 April 2004, at UN headquarters in New York. The first three days of CSD-12 (14-16 April) served as the preparatory meeting for the International Meeting on the 10-year Review of the Programme of Action for the Sustainable Development of Small Island Developing States. The subsequent two weeks (19-30 April) were devoted to the CSD-12 Review Session, the first session held under the Commission’s new multi-year programme of work adopted at CSD-11.
CSD-12 undertook an evaluation of progress in implementation of Agenda 21, the Programme for the Further Implementation of Agenda 21, and the Johannesburg Plan of Implementation, focusing on identifying constraints, obstacles, successes and lessons learned with regard to water, sanitation and human settlements, the thematic cluster of issues for the CSD-12 and CSD-13 Implementation Cycle. The Commission also heard reports from the UN Regional Commissions on the status of implementation, and from the Major Groups on their contribution to implementation. A high-level segment, attended by over 100 ministers and addressed by UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan, was held from 28-30 April, comprising presentations, interactive discussions and ministerial statements. Throughout the session, delegates also attended the Partnerships Fair and Learning Center courses.
At the conclusion of CSD-12, the Commission adopted the report of the session, which included a non-negotiated Chair’s Summary.
A unanimous verdict was passed on the success of CSD-12: it produced a clearer picture on the progress of implementation and the actions needed to increase the pace of delivery; it provided the space for ministers to look at progress, identify challenges, constraints and obstacles without the need to battle over drafting formulas; and it reaffirmed political commitment to achieving the internationally-agreed goals and targets on water, sanitation and human settlements.
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 in implementation of Agenda 21 at the local, national, regional and international levels. In 1992, the 47th session of the UN General Assembly set out, in resolution 47/191, the CSD’s terms of reference and 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 Special Session of the UN General Assembly (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-19 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 UN General Assembly (UNGA) 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 for the Summit.
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, and the scientific community. The WSSD 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 at the Summit, supplementing the commitments agreed to by governments through the intergovernmental process.
The JPOI is designed as 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, 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, inter alia: review progress and promote the further implementation of Agenda 21; address new challenges and opportunities; and focus on actions related to Agenda 21 implementation limiting negotiations to once every two years. It further directs the Commission concerning its role in facilitating implementation and in addressing the practical modalities of its work programme at CSD-11.
UNGA-57: In February 2003, the General Assembly adopted resolution 57/253 endorsing the Johannesburg Declaration on Sustainable Development and the JPOI, 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 the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) to ensure that the CSD hold 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 contained in the JPOI.
CSD-11: CSD-11 took place from 28 April to 9 May 2003, at UN headquarters in New York. The session decided that the Commission’s multi-year programme of work for the period 2004-2017 would be organized as a series of two-year action-oriented Implementation Cycles, each comprising a Review Session and a Policy Session to consider a thematic cluster of issues and a suite of cross-cutting issues. The CSD further decided on the modalities for reporting, partnerships, and enhancing UN system coordination and Major Groups contributions. CSD-11 also considered and adopted decisions on preparations for the International Meeting to review the Further Implementation of the 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.
REGIONAL IMPLEMENTATION MEETINGS: A series of regional implementation meetings organized by the respective UN Regional Commissions were held between October 2003 and January 2004, providing regional inputs and perspectives to CSD-12 on its thematic cluster of issues. The Regional Implementation Meeting for West Asia was held in conjunction with the fourth session of the Joint Committee on Environment and Development in the Arab World in Cairo, Egypt, from 19-21 October 2003. The Regional Implementation Meeting for Asia and the Pacific convened in Bangkok, Thailand, from 27-28 October 2003. Three meetings were held in the Latin America and the Caribbean region: the Regional Forum of Ministers of Housing and Urban Development in La Paz, Bolivia, 5-7 November 2003; an international seminar on the analysis of the outcomes of the Johannesburg Summit in Santiago, Chile, 17-18 November 2003; and the 14th Meeting of the Forum of Ministers of the Environment of Latin America and the Caribbean in Panama City, Panama, 20-25 November 2003. The African Regional Implementation Meeting convened in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, from 8-12 December 2003, within the context of the Pan-African Conference on Implementation and Partnership on Water. The Regional Implementation Forum on Sustainable Development for the Economic Commission for Europe took place in Geneva, Switzerland from 15-16 January 2004.
CSD-12 opened on Wednesday morning, 14 April 2004, with CSD-12 Chair Børge Brende, Norway’s Minister of the Environment, noting that this is the first session held under the new multi-year programme of work adopted at CSD-11 and the CSD’s first ever non-negotiating session. He said CSD-12 and CSD-13 offer unique opportunities to focus on implementing actions to achieve the internationally-agreed goals on water, sanitation and human settlements.
The Commission then elected by acclamation as its Vice-Chairs, Toru Shimizu (Japan), Bolus Paul Zom Lolo (Nigeria), and Eva Tomic (Slovenia), with Vice-Chair Zom Lolo serving as Rapporteur. Chair Brende and Vice-Chair Bruno Stagno Ugarte (Costa Rica) were elected to the CSD-12 Bureau on 9 May 2003.
Following minor amendments and a brief comment by the Secretariat on the provisional agenda and other organizational matters, the Commission adopted its agenda (E/CN.17/2004/1) and organization of work, including documents on the status of documentation for the session (E/CN.17/2004/1/Add.1) and the participation of intergovernmental organizations in the work of CSD-12 (E/CN.17/2004/L.1).
The first three days of CSD-12 (14-16 April) served as the preparatory meeting for the International Meeting on the 10-year Review of the Programme of Action for the Sustainable Development of Small Island Developing States. The subsequent two weeks (19-30 April) served as the CSD-12 Review Session, during which delegates engaged in interactive and thematic discussions on water, sanitation and human settlements, the thematic cluster of issues for the CSD-12 and CSD-13 Implementation Cycle. Delegates also heard reports from the UN Regional Commissions and Major Groups, and participated in a high-level segment. The following report summarizes the discussions that took place during the session.
PREPARATIONS FOR THE INTERNATIONAL MEETING TO REVIEW THE IMPLEMENTATION OF THE PROGRAMME OF ACTION FOR THE SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT OF SIDS
From Wednesday to Friday (14-16 April), delegates conducted a first reading of the Strategy Document on the Further Implementation of the Barbados Programme of Action, adopted at the inter-regional preparatory meeting held in the Bahamas in January 2004, and endorsed and forwarded by the G-77/China to the Commission in preparation for the International Meeting (E/CN.17/2004/12 annex). At the conclusion of the preparatory meeting, delegates decided to use a compilation text as the basis for negotiation in further informal informals to be held from 17-19 May 2004 in New York. Delegates also adopted draft decisions on the provisional agenda of and the accreditation of NGOs to the SIDS International Meeting. (Editor’s Note: The Earth Negotiations Bulletin summary and analysis outlining the discussions that took place during this preparatory meeting is available online at: http://www.iisd.ca/sids/bpoa10/sidsprep)
CSD-12 REVIEW SESSION OPENING PLENARY
On Monday morning, 19 April, CSD-12 Chair Brende highlighted the Commission’s role as the “watchdog” of progress in the implementation of the WSSD goals.
Prince Willem Alexander of Orange of the Netherlands said water underlies most of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and that CSD-12 should “prove to the world” that tangible progress can be made. He stressed the key role of integrated water resources management (IWRM), and called for, inter alia, strengthening institutional and human capacity.
José Antonio Ocampo, Under-Secretary-General for Economic and Social Affairs, presented the Secretary-General’s reports on water, sanitation and human settlements (E/CN.17/2004/4, E/CN.17/2004/5 and E/CN.17/2004/6). He identified rural sanitation, hygiene, wastewater treatment, water quality, and IWRM as areas needing greater attention.
UNEP Executive Director Klaus Töpfer said the WSSD has left a clear sense of direction as its legacy, and highlighted the need for the CSD to address implementation, regionalization and partnerships. He said CSD-12 can become an important step toward changing the conditions of the poor.
UN-HABITAT Executive Director Anna Tibaijuka noted that the CSD process is now more broad-based and action-oriented than before. Underscoring that the “struggle” for achieving the water and sanitation targets has to be “waged” in human settlements, she said CSD-12 could become a springboard for local action.
UNDP Associate Administrator Zephirin Diabre identified the catalytic role of water as an entry point to support developing countries in fighting poverty and achieving the MDGs. He called on the CSD to ensure integrated implementation, monitoring and reporting of the MDGs and JPOI targets.
Following these opening addresses, the Commission heard reports from the following intersessional meetings:
Following these reports, delegates made brief opening remarks and acknowledged the preparatory work done by the Secretariat and the Bureau.
Thematic Cluster for the Implementation Cycle 2004-2005: Water, Sanitation and Human Settlements
REVIEW OF THE IMPLEMENTATION OF AGENDA 21, THE PROGRAMME FOR THE FURTHER IMPLEMENTATION OF AGENDA 21 AND THE JPOI: Delegates addressed the overall review of the implementation of Agenda 21, the Programme for the Further Implementation of Agenda 21 and the JPOI on Monday, Wednesday and Friday (19, 21 and 23 April).
Many countries described national activities, experiences, success stories and challenges. Qatar, on behalf of the G-77/China, and Ireland, on behalf of the EU, said CSD-12 must focus and strengthen activities to meet the MDGs and WSSD goals, look at progress, and identify challenges, constraints and obstacles encountered in implementation. The G-77/China called for the international community to be more responsive to the needs of developing countries, particularly on means of implementation. He identified as obstacles to implementation, inter alia, the lack of adequate financial resources, technology transfer and capacity building, as well as low official development assistance (ODA) flows and “stagnation” of partnerships. The EU called for strengthening UN system-wide synergy, supported the need for credible information on partnerships, and stressed the importance of indicators.
Switzerland welcomed the CSD’s new format with its emphasis on sharing experiences and lessons learned. New Zealand, on behalf of the Pacific Islands Forum, expressed support for the reform of the work of the CSD and welcomed the revised two-year cycle. Malaysia called on CSD-12 to evaluate the reasons for the lack of progress regarding means of implementation. Pakistan said the MDGs and JPOI provide a mandate for the CSD to adopt a “roadmap” for the implementation of sustainable development. South Africa noted that CSD-12 offers an opportunity to begin a serious exchange of views on how the 2005 MDG review can contribute to implementation of sustainable development. Brazil suggested that CSD-13 adopt decisions to assist developing countries in meeting the MDGs and JPOI targets.
Australia emphasized capacity building and market-based approaches in order to allocate resources effectively. The US underscored the continued momentum of partnerships, referred to the catalytic role of ODA and innovative financial tools, and suggested unleashing capital from domestic sources. The UK said partnerships are an important element of implementation, and Norway stressed monitoring progress and ensuring coherence at national and international levels.
Iran suggested greater cooperation among UN agencies, and with Tanzania, Nigeria, Uganda, Lesotho and others, called for increased support from international financial institutions (IFIs) for water, sanitation and human settlements programmes. The EU noted recent improvements in ODA flows and technology support, and the European Commission underscored its frequent reviews of sustainable development strategies. Canada, Japan and others noted the importance of partnerships, with the US emphasizing domestic good governance.
China recalled the principle of common but differentiated responsibilities, and suggested monitoring partnerships. India expressed doubt concerning the universal application of an ecosystems approach to water, cautioned against reducing the focus to transboundary waters, and suggested maintaining the IWRM concept as defined in the JPOI. Cuba said water is a universal human right and called for greater political will.
Local Authorities stressed the need to shift resources to the local level. Trade Unions emphasized the “untapped potential” of educating workers, and called on governments to reassert their role in the provision of services. Women highlighted the gender implications of not meeting the MDGs. Indigenous Peoples said sufficient attention should be given to reviewing the overall concepts of governance, sustainable livelihoods, and resource management. NGOs emphasized that water, sanitation and human settlements issues are integrated with human rights. The Scientific and Technological Community called for improving interdisciplinary knowledge.
REGIONAL SESSIONS: During the regional sessions, delegates heard brief presentations on the outcomes of the regional implementation meetings, followed by interactive discussions. Regional sessions were held for the: UN Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP) on 20 April; UN Economic Commission for Europe (ECE) on 20 April; UN Economic Commission for Africa (ECA) on 23 April; UN Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC) on 26 April; and UN Economic and Social Commission for West Asia (ESCWA) on 26 April.
Summaries of these sessions are available online at:
MAJOR GROUPS: On Tuesday, 20 April, in a meeting chaired by Vice-Chair Tomic, delegates participated in an interactive discussion on the contribution of the Major Groups in the three themes. A summary of this meeting is available online at: http://www.iisd.ca/vol05/enb05203e.html
THEMATIC DISCUSSIONS ON WATER, SANITATION AND HUMAN SETTLEMENTS: Thematic discussions on water, sanitation and human settlements took place throughout the first week, focusing on the review of progress in implementation, best practices, and obstacles and constraints in achieving the targets and goals in Agenda 21, the Programme for the Further Implementation of Agenda 21, and the JPOI. Each thematic discussion opened with presentations, followed by a discussion session. Experts, Major Groups and government delegations participated in the discussions.
Water: On Monday, 19 April, delegates discussed the “Status of implementation of the MDG/JPOI goals related to water, from global to local levels,” and “Integrated water resources management and water efficiency plans – integrating water management into national sustainable development strategies (NSSDs), including poverty reduction strategies, action on the ground and implications for water supply and sanitation.” A summary of these discussions is available online at: http://www.iisd.ca/vol05/enb05202e.html
On Tuesday, 20 April, delegates addressed “Water policies and reform to make the use and governance of water resources more effective and sustainable” and “Building capacity for cooperative management of water and provision of water services.” A summary of these discussions is available online at: http://www.iisd.ca/vol05/enb05203e.html
Sanitation: On Wednesday, 21 April, delegates began discussions on sanitation, focusing first on the “Status of implementation of MDG/JPOI goals related to sanitation, from global to local levels,” and secondly on “Strategies for improving access to basic sanitation.” A summary of these discussions is available online at: http://www.iisd.ca/vol05/enb05204e.html
On Thursday, 22 April, delegates discussed “Creating a demand for sanitation and promoting hygiene through awareness raising and marketing strategies, taking into account cultural and social preferences and obstacles” and “From wastewater to sustainable sanitation.” A summary of these discussions is available online at: http://www.iisd.ca/vol05/enb05205e.html
Human Settlements: On Thursday, 22 April, delegates discussed “Status of implementation of MDG/JPOI goals related to human settlements, from global to local levels” and “Housing rights and secure tenure – prerequisites for housing the poor.” A summary of these discussions is available online at: http://www.iisd.ca/vol05/enb05205e.html
On Friday 23, April, delegates continued discussions, focusing on “Financing human settlements development” and “Urban governance, the role of local authorities and the contribution of civil society groups.” A summary of these discussions is available online at: http://www.iisd.ca/vol05/enb05206e.html
INTERACTIVE DISCUSSIONS ON WATER, SANITATION AND HUMAN SETTLEMENTS: Interactive discussions on water, sanitation and human settlements were held during the first week, focusing on operational aspects through sharing of national policy experiences, lessons learned and best practices, and identifying obstacles and constraints related to implementation. Experts, Major Groups and government delegations participated in the discussions.
Water: On Tuesday, 20 April, delegates discussed “Balancing water uses – water for people, environment, food and other uses” and “Water demand management and water conservation – untapped potential?” A summary of these discussions is available online at: http://www.iisd.ca/vol05/enb05203e.html
On Wednesday, 21 April, delegates discussed “Meeting the financing challenge for water – incentives to promote reforms and leverage resources” and “Empowering stakeholders to ensure participation, in particular, women as agents of change.” A summary of these discussions is available online at: http://www.iisd.ca/vol05/enb05204e.html
Sanitation: On Thursday, 22 April, delegates discussed “Financing sanitation – approaches to mobilizing community and market-based resources” and “Reaching the poor through small entrepreneurs – employment generation through basic sanitation.” A summary of these discussions is available online at: http://www.iisd.ca/vol05/enb05205e.html
On Friday, 23 April, delegates discussed “Hygiene, sanitation and water management at the household and community levels” and “Technologies – potential for and key obstacles in scaling up and marketing of sanitation.” A summary of these discussions is available online at: http://www.iisd.ca/vol05/enb05206e.html
Human Settlements: On Thursday, 22 April, delegates discussed “Slums and urban poverty – changing patterns of human settlements” and “Women in human settlements development: challenge and opportunities.” A summary of these discussions is available online at: http://www.iisd.ca/vol05/enb05205e.html
On Friday, 23 April, delegates discussed “Planning the sustainable city: partnerships and city development strategies” and “Reconstruction and recovery following conflicts and natural disasters.” A summary of these discussions is available online at: http://www.iisd.ca/vol05/enb05206e.html
RELATIONSHIP AMONG WATER, SANITATION AND HUMAN SETTLEMENTS: On Monday, 26 April, delegates discussed the “Role of local authorities” and “Rights-based approaches.” A summary of these discussions is available online at: http://www.iisd.ca/vol05/enb05207e.html
On Tuesday, 27 April, delegates addressed “Poverty eradication” and “Other cross-cutting issues.” A summary of these discussions is available online at: http://www.iisd.ca/vol05/enb05208e.html
DISCUSSIONS ON THE CHAIR’S SUMMARY PART I: On Tuesday afternoon, 27 April, Chair Brende presented the first part of his summary, which comprises a synopsis of the discussions during the official segment. Chair Brende stated that the document will not be negotiated, that it is a record of the session, and will serve as an additional input to the Ministerial interactive discussions during the high-level segment. He noted that delegates have succeeded in reviewing a broad range of issues in an integrated manner, and have identified obstacles and constraints under the three themes. He said the in-depth examination revealed that many countries were not on track to meet the water, sanitation and human settlement goals, and that poverty continues to be a critical issue. He identified the lack of financing, declining ODA and the need for capacity building and technology transfer as major challenges.
All delegations who responded commended the summary as a fair and balanced presentation of the discussion. The G-77/China urged the Chair to reflect concerns raised by the Group, in particular the many obstacles and difficulties facing developing countries in implementing the MDGs and the JPOI targets. The EU said interlinkages and cross-cutting issues should be reflected. He suggested that the high-level discussions could place greater emphasis on: good governance and national responsibility for pursuing goals and targets; mainstreaming water, sanitation and human settlements into NSSDs or PRSPs; the supporting role of IFIs; and the protection of ecosystems. He highlighted the nature and shape of the implementation process between CSD-12 and CSD-13 as “key,” and called on the Chair to set out a concise action plan drawing on the high-level segment, as well as on stakeholder support.
The US drew attention to the pragmatic nature of the discussion and emphasized the importance of the Partnerships Fair and the Learning Center. He noted increased interaction and participation of Major Groups in comparison with previous CSD sessions, which, in his view, provides an example for how to organize debates at CSD-13. The Russian Federation remarked that the summary outlines the specific problems that need to be resolved and lays a practical foundation for future cooperation. India said the summary indicated a wide divergence of views on a range of issues, and stressed that countries need strategies in accordance with their national priorities. He noted that some concepts presented in the summary are not intergovernmentally-agreed and said equal attention should be given to the three themes under discussion at the session.
Mexico requested inclusion of a reference to the Latin America and Caribbean Ministerial Forum held in Panama in November 2003. Iran called for a reflection of its position on inter-agency cooperation, and the requirement for the agencies not to go beyond the JPOI commitments. Japan supported this intervention, and called for: referencing disaster and flood preparedness; linking agricultural and forest practices to sanitation and water; and better use of networks emanating from the 3rd World Water Forum. Australia suggested that more positive emphasis be placed on regional reviews, partnerships, as well as good governance and the potential role of markets and the private sector. Switzerland urged dedicating time to discussing ways of addressing water issues after the current cycle. Several other delegations made editorial suggestions in the summary. Revised versions of the Chair’s Summary Part I were circulated on Wednesday, 28 April, and Friday, 30 April, taking into account editorial and substantive comments from delegations.
On Wednesday, 21 April, the Secretariat introduced the UN Secretary-General reports on inter-agency cooperation and coordination (E/2004/12–E/CN.17/2004/3), national reporting and indicators (E/CN.17/2004/17), and partnerships (E/CN.17/2004/16). He also highlighted, inter alia, the Secretariat’s interactive partnerships database, and the establishment of UN-Water and UN-Energy, which are interagency mechanisms addressing water- and energy-related issues.
On inter-agency cooperation and coordination, Iran, for the G-77/China, said the potential of different UN agencies to strengthen implementation should be further explored. He expressed concern that the report does not cover all of the themes in the first cycle or the CSD’s cross-cutting issues, and that it has included topics outside the thematic cycle. Regarding modalities for the participation of non-UN actors in inter-agency work, he asked if there was an intergovernmental mandate for their inclusion. Nigeria said the UN Chief Executives Board should not launch processes unless mandated by CSD. Saudi Arabia reminded delegates that agencies should not go beyond intergovernmentally-agreed mandates defined in the JPOI, and asked why cross-cutting issues were not specifically covered in the Secretary-General’s report. The Secretariat explained that cross-cutting issues were integrated in the thematic reports, and described the format of consultations planned for the next Implementation Cycle.
On national reporting and indicators, the G-77/China said there is a need to reduce the reporting burden, and stressed that the use of indicators is voluntary and that they should be tailored to national circumstances. The UK, with Mexico, commended the UNDP project aimed at alleviating the burden of national reporting. The Secretariat thanked delegates for their input and said it would adjust its work to reflect the discussions, subject to availability of resources.
On partnerships, the G-77/China, with other countries, noted a lack of progress on implementation and expressed concern that the main sources of finance are from governments and are not “new and additional.” He enquired how partnerships will bring in additional money, particularly from the private sector, and requested that the report include information on partnerships involving UN agencies and on the financial resources provided by the latter. Pakistan expressed disquiet that the number of partnerships initiated since the WSSD was lower than expected, and that most are donor-driven and unevenly distributed among issues and regions. Indonesia said partnerships make a critical contribution but cannot replace the crucial role of governments. The US suggested several prerequisites for successful partnerships, including patience, a shared understanding of problems and solutions, communication and flexibility. Burkina Faso proposed periodic studies on the impacts of partnerships in host countries.
The high-level segment, chaired by CSD-12 Chair Brende, took place from Wednesday to Friday, 28-30 April, and consisted of high-level interactive discussions on the three themes and on cross-cutting issues. Informal ministerial meetings were also held each morning before the start of the session.
In his opening speech, UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan said the recent emphasis on terrorism, weapons of mass destruction and the war in Iraq has diverted high level political attention away from sustainable development. He said action on water, sanitation, and human settlements must be undertaken at national and local levels, and should incorporate effective public administration, inclusive governance and a real commitment to equity. He stressed that without the US and the Russian Federation the issue of climate change cannot be fully and properly addressed.
CSD-12 Chair Brende urged the CSD to become the “global springboard for local action.” He said the social impact caused by a lack of basic sanitation is “as shocking as HIV/AIDS, and as solvable as polio.” He said the task for the high-level segment was to: identify obstacles and constraints; examine best practices and lessons learned; and conduct a review that will form a solid factual platform for decision making.
MEETING TARGETS, GOALS AND TIMETABLES – KEY ELEMENTS FOR SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT: In his keynote address on Wednesday morning, 28 April, Jeffrey Sachs, Millennium Project, said there is still time to achieve the MDGs, but cautioned that the window of opportunity is closing rapidly due to inadequate progress so far. He stressed the importance of increasing and reviewing ODA to make it “compatible” with the MDGs.
The G-77/China called on the international community to live up to its commitments to create an enabling international environment, in particular by meeting commitments on finance, capacity building and technology transfer. He stressed the importance of these measures for supporting developing countries in achieving the MDGs and JPOI targets. The EU underscored the importance of developing IWRM and water efficiency plans using an ecosystems approach, and stressed the need for countries to have NSSDs in place by 2005. He said CSD-12 should develop a roadmap to CSD-13 and to the 2005 MDG review.
The US underscored its commitment to partnerships and highlighted its Millennium Challenge Account. Japan highlighted its development of an international framework on the sustainable use of irrigation water aimed at ensuring food security and increasing food production. China suggested, inter alia, that countries assume their own responsibility for sustainable development and adopt measures appropriate to national conditions. Morocco highlighted its national plan for rationalizing water distribution.
Germany stressed the need for good governance, IWRM and local stakeholder involvement. He emphasized the role of public-private partnerships (PPPs) and called attention to the global review on private sector participation in the water sector. He urged CSD-12 to provide a clear signal for the further implementation of the water and sanitation goals. The Republic of Korea called on the CSD to consider and reflect on the Jeju Initiative, and highlighted national water policies, including a precautionary and ecosystem-based approach to IWRM. Iceland said women’s education and involvement are critical to solving water and sanitation problems. She stressed the need for IWRM and highlighted the benefits of the UNEP GPA in achieving clean water and preventing coastal pollution. Bangladesh called attention to the disadvantages of the least developed countries (LDCs), and urged the international community to build partnerships, share technologies and mobilize resources.
The Czech Republic drew attention to national progress in achieving the MDGs, supported the integrated approach employed at CSD-12, and identified education and training as prerequisites for achieving the internationally-agreed goals. New Zealand stressed integration of: the three pillars of sustainable development; actions between developed and developing countries; and water into all aspects of policy at the national level. Kenya stressed the need for innovative sources of finance, shared responsibility in partnerships, and coherent national institutional and legislative frameworks. Mexico outlined national strategies for mobilizing funds, and drew attention to the 4th World Water Forum to be held in Mexico City in 2006. Egypt said the main responsibility for providing sanitation remains with governments. Australia called for a focus on how partnerships can “release” private sector expertise, and said the market approach is crucial for mobilizing funds. He noted that the capacity of developing countries to achieve targets will be hampered unless there is agricultural and trade liberalization. The UK stressed the need for integrated, multi-stakeholder implementation characterized by local ownership and partnerships, while stating that partnerships cannot provide an excuse for governments to evade responsibilities. India highlighted the marginal contribution from partnerships toward achieving the JPOI targets, and favored the provision of resources by governments and IFIs.
South Africa said the MDGs and JPOI targets are achievable as long as there is global political commitment, accompanied by the mobilization of resources. Honduras emphasized the role of education and training. Iran said there is a need for the international community, UN bodies and IFIs to support developing countries in the process of implementation. He called for the establishment of specialized regional centers for natural disaster management. Benin urged the CSD to become an effective mechanism for monitoring the implementation of the MDGs and JPOI targets. France said the CSD should promote the exchange of experience and expertise in developing NSSDs. He called for NSSDs to be voluntarily peer reviewed, and volunteered to be the first country reviewed. The Netherlands called on CSD-12 to identify obstacles and constraints in implementing the JPOI and MDGs, and said the CSD-13 intersessional meeting should agree on the options for overcoming these constraints.
Saudi Arabia urged UN agencies to assist in finding the best approaches to reaching the goals, taking into account the provisions of the JPOI. He stressed the need to consider cross-cutting issues and balance the treatment of the three themes. Stating that all countries share the responsibility for global development, Sweden stressed the importance of fair trade, sound agricultural policies and debt relief.
CREATING AN ENABLING ENVIRONMENT AT ALL LEVELS – POLICIES, GOVERNANCE AND FINANCE: High-level discussions and statements on this topic took place on Wednesday afternoon, 28 April. UNDP Administrator Mark Malloch Brown recalled the successful campaign to fight HIV/AIDS that brought down the price of treatment through pressure from civil society and tapping commercial incentives. He compared this with the downward trend in public and private investment in water, and its low political profile. Referring to the “scale of need” for access to clean water, he urged a “middle approach” between the two extremes of the right to water and privatization. Michel Camdessus, Chair of the World Panel on Financing Water Infrastructure, outlined concrete actions taken following the 3rd World Water Forum, urged the prioritization of water and sanitation by governments, called for decentralization, and stressed the role of PPPs.
The EU said an enabling environment requires the involvement of all stakeholders, and includes good governance, education, institutional capacity, innovative financial mechanisms and access to credit. He also urged the devolution of services to the community level. Uganda, for the African Ministers, urged the international community to respond to national and regional efforts by African countries to attract foreign direct investment and encourage private sector participation. Norway advocated small-scale initiatives with leadership from national governments, characterized by good governance and private sector involvement. Zambia called for debt cancellation and urged developed countries to deliver on their ODA commitments. Canada identified three elements critical to achieving the MDGs: science-based policy; transparent and coordinated efforts by international agencies; and the translation of commitments into actions at the national level. France noted a discrepancy between the ambition of the MDGs and the means for achieving them, and supported the UK’s proposal for an International Financing Facility.
Australia outlined governance arrangements favorable to the private sector, including, inter alia: efficient market regulation, security, and sound economic management. Finland advocated transparent, integrated, multi-stakeholder planning based on IWRM, and highlighted the link between delivering water and sanitation, and implementing sustainable production and consumption. Luxembourg said water should be considered a public good and that governments should not “shirk” from their responsibility to deliver public investment. South Africa stressed the importance of effective institutional frameworks for enabling local governments to plan and deliver services and set funding priorities. He also advocated proper pricing structures with subsidies targeted at the poor.
Israel highlighted its integrated approach to creating an enabling environment for water and sewage management. Thailand advocated strengthening regional implementation through cooperation with governments in the region and among UN Regional Commissions. Ethiopia urged CSD-12 to come up with bold decisions to facilitate implementation. The US highlighted successes with partial loan guarantees and microfinance in generating investment, and stressed the need for secure tenure in creating an enabling environment.
Estonia said CSD-13 should define and agree on measurable and goal-oriented actions to achieve the JPOI targets. Mauritius called on development partners to meet their political commitments to provide financial resources for SIDS to provide drinking water, sanitation and housing to their populations. Dominica and Guyana expressed disappointment with the failure of many development partners during the SIDS preparatory meeting to understand and appreciate the critical issues facing SIDS. Switzerland said sustainable water management demands the protection and sustainable use of ecosystems, and underscored the central role of ecosystems in IWRM. Jordan called on the international community to support low-cost technologies for rural sanitation. Guyana said globalization is losing its component of cooperation and goodwill and is increasingly being dominated by attitudes of “aggression and greed.” The Lao People’s Democratic Republic asked for partnerships and support for social, economic and development programmes to meet the JPOI targets.
RESPONDING TO CHALLENGES: On Thursday morning, 29 April, high-level statements and discussions were held on responding to challenges. Stating that sustainable development requires cross-cutting analyses and implementation, Brazil asked UN agencies how they envisaged developing new approaches for international cooperation. She noted that WSSD partnerships have not succeeded in mobilizing resources from businesses and asked what can be done to engage the private sector. The UK called for discussions on the role of UN agencies to be directed at how they can help implement actions, and suggested that each agency use its comparative advantage. She requested information on, inter alia: how to foster better cooperation between UN agencies and IFIs; how the CSD can contribute to the World Bank’s Poverty Reduction Strategy Paper (PRSP) and the 2005 MDG review processes; and whether UN agencies are sufficiently focused on delivery at the country level and to the poorest populations.
UNDP highlighted its programmes and partnerships in the area of sustainable water development. Noting that country-level programmes are driven by country demand, he called on governments to prioritize water, sanitation and human settlements, and to engage a broader range of ministries in meeting the MDGs. Highlighting the interdependence of water and sanitation and their roles in achieving the MDGs on combating diseases and reducing child mortality, UNICEF stressed that sanitation be given equal priority to water, and emphasized the need for primary schools to provide safe drinking water and sanitation facilities. The World Bank said resources for sanitation will not materialize if PRSPs do not address sanitation.
UNEP highlighted its cooperation with the World Health Organization (WHO) in addressing the problem of arsenic in drinking water, informed participants that it is formalizing a new memorandum of understanding with UNDP, and drew attention to the ongoing development of a Strategic Approach to International Chemicals Management. Noting that homeless people cannot be provided with sanitation, UN-HABITAT stressed the centrality of the human settlements issue. She commended the CSD for engaging housing and planning ministers during this session, and informed participants that UN-HABITAT is developing a model to estimate the costs of achieving the MDG target for slum dwellers. The UN Population Fund (UNFPA) underscored the link between the Cairo Agreement and Agenda 21, emphasizing the cross-cutting nature of population and reproductive health issues. She stressed the need to engage a range of ministries and link agendas.
Noting that water and sanitation are addressed by several UN agencies, the EU urged new collaborative arrangements and greater coherence among agencies. He also called for the inclusion of Major Groups representing civil society in the UN Secretary-General’s Advisory Board on Water and Sanitation, and for CSD-12 and CSD-13 to give added value to the implementation of the HABITAT Agenda. Uganda called for a “new world order” based on partnerships and the effective participation of all stakeholders, and for resources and innovative approaches to ensure economic growth. Denmark emphasized the 2005 IWRM target, and urged the CSD to contribute to the 2005 review of the MDGs. Bangladesh stressed country-driven responses to development needs, and highlighted the complementary role of UN agencies. Zambia identified capacity building as a main challenge, highlighted the Heavily-Indebted Poor Countries initiative, and pointed to difficulties in meeting the MDGs without external assistance.
France stressed the importance of following-up and monitoring the implementation of recommendations from CSD-13 and of the MDGs. Angola raised the problem of populations returning from areas of conflict, and Niger referred to the worsening situation in the Niger River basin. Rwanda recalled the impact of the genocide on its service infrastructure. WHO explained its increased focus on sustainable development issues, and called for differentiated strategies for water and sanitation. The UNFCCC Secretariat urged the full integration of climate change considerations into IWRM strategies. The OECD reported the rise in ODA in recent years, and the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) highlighted the role of water in assuring food security.
RELEASING THE ENERGY OF LOCAL ENTREPRENEURS AND PARTNERSHIPS: High-level discussions and statements on this topic were held on Thursday morning, 29 April. In her keynote address, Paula Dobriansky, US, identified four conditions favorable to unleashing the “vast untapped potential” of local entrepreneurs: an enabling environment, capacity building, financing, and partnerships. She said the power of the private sector in terms of finance, technology and human resources is greater than that of government. Noting that the high level of rhetoric surrounding PPPs is not always matched by success, Björn Stigson, World Business Council for Sustainable Development, said partnerships require time, shared values, common goals, synergies and feasibility analyses.
The EU said partnerships must complement government commitments, comply with corporate responsibility, have realistic goals, and employ tools to monitor progress. The UK stressed the need for seed funding, effective regulatory frameworks and bottom-up strategies, and suggested the development of a “template” based on past successes with partnerships. Norway advocated the creation of an enabling business environment for small entrepreneurs, including improving access to finance through microfinancing, community banks, and remittances. Canada highlighted the importance of the parallel economy and suggested harnessing the initiative of water vendors. France commended the Partnerships Fair and proposed that it remain part of the CSD. Italy said partnerships represent the best instruments for the transfer of environmentally-friendly technologies and the diffusion of know-how. Nepal stressed that partnerships should be tailored to respond to local circumstances. The International Labor Organization (ILO) stressed the need for employment-intensive service delivery supported by technical assistance, training, microleasing, and consultation. The International Chamber of Commerce identified the need for: government ownership and leadership, partners committed to delivery, receptive communities, sustainable and innovative financing mechanisms, and empowerment.
ROLE AND CONTRIBUTION OF MAJOR GROUPS: High-level discussions and statements on this topic were held on Thursday afternoon, 29 April. Youth underscored the human right to adequate sanitation and access to potable water, called for national education strategies for sustainable development, and urged governments to include youth representatives on national delegations. Business and Industry said water ownership should remain in public hands, particularly at the local level, but stressed the role of the private sector in water management. The Scientific and Technological Community highlighted the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment, and said the MDGs will be achieved only if they are addressed collectively as a package rather than sequentially. The EU highlighted, inter alia, strengthening the scientific base of UNEP, the role of the private sector in the provision of infrastructure and service delivery, and the importance of corporate social responsibility. Indigenous Peoples said the privatization of services is undermining societies’ capacity to ensure water and housing rights for all, and stressed the recognition of the rights of the poor and indigenous peoples as conditional for achieving sustainable development. Farmers called for more discussion on the role of agriculture in meeting the water and sanitation targets, as well as an emphasis on the rural dimension of water and sanitation.
NGOs expressed skepticism over the role of transnational corporations in sustainable development, cautioned against the “push” for privatization, and supported the role of the State and a central role for the UN. The US commended the participation of civil society in CSD-12, urged the engagement of local authorities, and stressed the need for sound science, including cooperation with the social sciences. The Scientific and Technological Community said the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment is an example of such cooperation, although the degree of integration of different branches of science has not been commensurate to the need. Norway suggested replicating the CSD format for civil society participation in other fora. Trade Unions focused on the work place and occupational health, and Women called for mainstreaming gender in sustainable development, particularly in IWRM schemes.
WATER: High-level statements and discussions on water took place on Thursday and Friday, 29-30 April. Nigeria called for ownership, operation and maintenance of water supply facilities at the local level, and stressed the need for full civil society participation. Australia outlined national strategies to deal with water shortages, including: secure water access entitlements; water trading; risk assignment; and integrated water management. The G-77/China stressed the need for capacity building, enhanced cooperation over shared waters, and an equitable share of the benefits of international trade for developing countries. The EU identified key areas for action, including: development of IWRM and water efficiency plans by 2005; government investment; integration of water and sanitation into NSSDs and PRSPs; and the identification of innovative financial mechanisms. New Zealand noted that long-term planning for water management entails high short-term investments that can involve political risk.
Brazil stressed that multi-stakeholder participation is a fundamental aspect of water resources management, and said the provision of financial resources from multinational sources is vital. Austria underscored the importance of well-developed infrastructure for human health and environmental protection, and said IWRM should be prioritized by all countries. Japan outlined its efforts to promote IWRM on a global scale. The Russian Federation described national application of the river basin approach to IWRM. The US noted that there is no “global template” for the provision of water services. The Democratic Republic of Congo advocated the development of innovative finance mechanisms for programmes to enable the shift from “words to action.” Bulgaria outlined national strategies to develop IWRM and contribute to the transboundary management of the Danube river basin. The Marshall Islands referred to challenges specific to small island states, including: fragile water resources, a lack of financial and human capital; and the complexity of water governance. Barbados expressed concern that the loan approval process for IFIs takes too long, and said regional and local consultants should be involved in project implementation. Turkey outlined its strategy to achieve progress in the provision of water services and stressed the need for coordinated action at the international and regional levels. Belgium stressed that water is a public good and a basic human right, and said this should not be undermined by conditionalities imposed by multinationals and donors.
Mexico stressed the need to focus on management from an environmental perspective and monitor the status of ecosystems. Jamaica outlined its national strategy to provide water infrastructure. France stressed the importance of consultative decision making in the management of river basins. Côte d’Ivoire identified demographic growth in urban areas, and deteriorating water quality as constraints on the provision of drinking water. Venezuela outlined national efforts to increase water supply coverage. Mozambique highlighted the national importance of integrated river basin management and agreements for the joint management of transboundary water resources. Croatia noted progress in the management of water resources arising from need to adopt EU legislation. Greece highlighted national progress in technology transfer, capacity building, training and education, and the development of strategic partnerships between government, civil society and the private sector. Azerbaijan said the non-participation of neighboring countries in the management of transboundary waters precludes cooperation, and called for improved monitoring, capacity building and strengthened institutions. Israel said transparency regarding water quality and resources is crucial to making government accountable to the public. Slovakia said the planning process is the most important component of IWRM, and advocated a river basin approach. Kazakhstan called for the drafting of a UN convention on access to freshwater. Palestine drew attention to national water shortage and inadequate wastewater treatment and called for the realization of the right to permanent sovereignty over the management of natural resources.
SANITATION: High-level statements and discussions on sanitation took place on Friday, 30 April. Jan Pronk, Chair of the Water Supply and Sanitation Collaborative Council, highlighted the reality of stagnating rather than diminishing poverty. He stressed the need for government to work with all actors and cautioned against PRSPs becoming a “straightjacket” rather than a tool for change. The EU stressed that solutions be tailored to suit local circumstances and called for the identification of appropriate financial mechanisms. Lesotho highlighted the impossibility of providing articulated sanitation in a mountainous country with a dispersed and primarily rural population. France said sanitation should be integrated with water management to ensure disease prevention and stressed the need to consider local conditions.
Bangladesh outlined national challenges to achieving IWRM in a context of shared water resources and stressed the need to consider downstream users. Tanzania said it is of “paramount importance” that the international community provides adequate funds, innovative mechanisms, and technology transfer. Portugal outlined the development and implementation of its IWRM plan, and said PPPs should take place within a strong regulatory framework. Indonesia stressed the need for urgent collective action at all levels and called for, inter alia, debt swaps, good governance, and partnership initiatives supported by adequate financial resources. Kenya said women and girls are most affected by poor sanitation, and that education is critical to break the link between sanitation and disease. The Netherlands stressed the importance of local governance in developing sanitation infrastructure that considers the specific needs of women and girls. Armenia described problems with obsolete technology and infrastructure for sanitation and the subsequent erosion of water quality. Venezuela outlined national strategies to provide housing, highlighted legislation to recognize the collective land ownership of indigenous peoples, and stressed the importance of education.
Côte d’Ivoire described a private financing mechanism used to fund the maintenance and use of sanitation, and stressed the need to incorporate coastal zones into IWRM. Trinidad and Tobago outlined its national strategy to manage and reduce waste and provide water to local communities. Bolivia said sustainable development entails the inclusion of all sectors of society, and stressed the development of institutions and governance systems as well as infrastructure. Sweden stressed the need for sustainable sanitation solutions and for gender mainstreaming into water and sanitation plans, including securing women’s rights to land tenure and water.
Serbia and Montenegro highlighted problems associated with post-conflict environmental degradation. Switzerland identified the promotion of small- and medium-sized enterprises as crucial for achieving the sanitation target. Malaysia urged donor countries to fulfill their ODA commitments to enable the implementation of programmes in developing countries. The World Bank stressed local-level initiatives characterized by local ownership. The Holy See said the failure to deliver on international commitments is a “serious moral question” that highlights the injustices of the world. Pronk said developing countries need to reallocate existing resources and depart from a reliance on foreign technology and consultants.
HUMAN SETTLEMENTS: High-level discussions on human settlements were held on Friday, 30 April. Anna Tibaijuka, UN-HABITAT, recalled the magnitude of the challenges of urbanization and the continuing growth of slums, and stressed the need for urban planning, working with local authorities, empowering the poor, and the role of financing. Hernando de Soto, President of the Institute for Liberty and Democracy, Peru, emphasized the role of property law in “releasing” the potential of peoples’ assets, and obtaining access to credits. Brazil, Ghana, Morocco, Pakistan, Senegal, Zambia and others described national programmes aimed at addressing rapid urbanization and slum conditions. The G-77/China called for technology transfer and capacity building to address human settlements, extended support to UN-HABITAT activities, and said the ecosystem approach is not relevant in all situations. He also noted that the CSD is the only body to review and monitor sustainable development, and objected to having additional intersessional committees before the CSD-13 policy session.
The EU said the human settlements’ goals and targets are not on track to being met, called for innovative financing arrangements to empower the urban poor, and stressed subsidiarity, security of tenure, capacity building, raising awareness and the role of women. India said the rights-based approach could impede the attainment of agreed targets, and recalled the bilateral model for transboundary water management. France highlighted the role of local communities in determining their own development. Norway said local empowerment is essential for fighting urban poverty, and announced increases in their financial contribution to UN-HABITAT.
The US said good governance is the cornerstone of sustainable human settlements, and urged increased capacity building and the replication of successful partnerships. Kenya proposed establishing a slum upgrading finance facility in UN-HABITAT, and Nigeria called for support to UN-HABITAT programmes. Tibaijuka rounded off the discussion by stating that although urbanization is irreversible, a balanced territorial development approach should be employed. De Soto urged looking at the past experience of Western European countries, and spoke of a “property revolution.”
PREPARATIONS FOR THE SIDS INTERNATIONAL MEETING: High-level discussions on preparations for the International Meeting (IM) on the 10-year Review of the Programme of Action for the Sustainable Development of SIDS took place on Friday, 30 April.
Mauritius, on behalf of the Alliance of Small Island States (AOSIS), identified four main issue areas impeding the sustainable development of SIDS: lack of resources; insufficient access to appropriate technology; lack of human capacity; and poor trading capacity. Regarding the preparatory meeting for the IM, he said delegates were able to identify several areas of convergence, some issues that require more work to reach consensus, and some issues that will require a political decision.
The G-77/China noted that the Mauritius event is of critical importance and must result in a renewed commitment to the further implementation of the BPOA. He said there should be no renegotiation of the BPOA, and that the review must embrace new and emerging socioeconomic issues recognized as critical obstacles to the sustainable development of SIDS. The EU said the outcome in Mauritius should focus on implementation, be action-oriented and have strong value added. He underscored the importance of programmes and measures aimed at increasing SIDS’ resilience by building their capacity to react and adapt to economic, social and environmental shocks and trends beyond their control. New Zealand said the IM should focus on key issues not covered in the BPOA, and deliver value through a renewed global commitment to the special case of SIDS. The US called for a short, practical and balanced outcome document, and urged a business-oriented partnership approach.
In order to capitalize on the advantages of globalization, Bahamas, for the Caribbean Community, urged taking the necessary means to develop capacity and enhance the resilience of SIDS. Barbados expressed concern over the graduation of SIDS classified as LDCs, as well as the premature graduation of other SIDS from concessionary financing. She also called for the establishment of a regional coordination mechanism for the further implementation of the BPOA in the Caribbean. Guyana said the CSD and the Department for Economic and Social Affairs (DESA) must provide a firm framework to support SIDS, and stressed that the “survival of SIDS is not a business deal, but a mission for humanity.” Dominica said that trade liberalization and trade rules have had a negative impact on their “banana regime,” and noted that the international community has not lived up to their BPOA commitments. Tuvalu said the IM should focus primarily on actions that can be implemented and can make a difference to the sustainable development of small islands. The Marshall Islands called on the international community to support and strengthen partnerships with SIDS. Palau urged the GEF and UN agencies to simplify disbursement procedures to address the special circumstances of SIDS.
The Secretary-General of the IM, Anwarul Chowdhury, emphasized: partnerships; prioritized and focused outcomes to catalyze the implementation process; appropriate arrangements for implementation, monitoring and follow-up, preferably on an annual basis and by a dedicated body; and a greater role for intergovernmental regional bodies to follow-up on the IM outcomes.
Many speakers underlined the need for special and preferential trade treatment for SIDS, including market access, as well as the importance of the entry into force of the Kyoto Protocol and the need to address the impacts of climate change on SIDS.
DISCUSSIONS ON THE CHAIR’S SUMMARY PART II: On Friday, 30 April, Chair Brende presented the Chair’s Summary Part II, a synthesis of discussions and recommendations from the high-level segment. Many delegations commended the document and thanked Chair Brende for his leadership.
Noting the need for maintaining momentum in the intersessional period, the EU stressed mobilizing action by all actors. He said the Commission should contribute to the 2005 MDG review and underscored the need for CSD-13 to consider the means of monitoring the implementation of the outputs of the first Implementation Cycle, and the linkages between this cycle and the International Decade on Water (2005-2015).
The G-77/China urged the international community to fulfill commitments made at Monterrey, Johannesburg and Doha, and to address trade issues and agricultural subsidies in addition to finance. He stressed good governance at all levels, called for greater clarity on the role of the private sector, and noted that many ministers called for debt relief. He highlighted the notion of “shared responsibility” presented in the Chair’s Summary as a new concept, and said it was inconsistent with the principle of common but differentiated responsibilities.
The Marshall Islands urged that reference be made to the high-level segment on the 10-year review of the Barbados Programme of Action (BPOA) in the Chair’s Summary. Stressing the need to adhere to the commitments made in the JPOI and the CSD multi-year programme of work, Saudi Arabia noted that several elements in the Chair’s Summary, including new action plans, intersessional activities and appointment of focal points, are new concepts and should be rejected. Switzerland said concepts for the way forward should not be confined to the elements outlined in the final section of the Chair’s Summary Part II on responding to challenges. He also stressed the need to consider follow-up processes for the thematic cluster of issues after CSD-13. Noting that CSD-11 produced a clear programme of work for the Commission, Iran said such consideration should be left to CSD-13. He also underscored the need for means of implementation, good governance at all levels, and consideration of cross-cutting issues. Indonesia called for reflecting the need for an enabling international economic environment, fulfilling ODA targets, and eliminating harmful agricultural subsidies. Several other delegations recommended editorial amendments to the text.
In a joint statement, the Major Groups said CSD-12 has failed to sufficiently prioritize issues of concern in the thematic cluster. They called for their continued involvement and empowerment, and urged: a focus on developing gender disaggregated indicators; the mobilization of political will; equal treatment of all issues; and an emphasis on cross-cutting issues. They proposed that the Commission consider establishing intersessional working groups, an expanded CSD Bureau and regional meetings or other coordinating mechanisms as a means of continuing dialogue. They committed to, inter alia: offering their expertise; enhancing partnerships and actions in civil society; building on their own capacity through education and awareness raising; and monitoring and evaluating progress. They also called on the CSD to establish ground rules for their future participation, and proposed a special session during the intersessional meeting devoted to reviewing and improving the role and contribution of Major Groups in the practical implementation of the MDGs and JPOI.
Immediately following the discussions on the Chair’s Summary Part II, the Commission took note of the document on the Proposed strategic framework for the period 2006-2007 (E/CN.17/2004/18). The Commission also approved its Provisional agenda for the 13th session of the Commission (E/CN.17/2004/L.5), and adopted the Report of CSD-12 (E/CN.17/2004/L.6), which includes the Chair’s Summary.
Noting that the participation has been broad-based and the discussions interactive, Chair Brende stressed the need for implementation, and closed the session at 5:53 pm.
The Chair’s Summary comprises two parts and includes inputs from the official and high-level discussions, and records of activities held as part of the Partnerships Fair and Learning Center. The Chair’s Summary Part I summarizes the discussions and events that took place during the official segment of CSD-12 in 39 pages. It includes a section that addresses:
On each of the three themes, the summary provides: a review of progress; constraints and obstacles; lessons learned; and continuing challenges. This is followed by a section on the relationship among the three themes, a summary of the regional sessions, and a synthesis of highlights from the Partnerships Fair, Learning Center and Side Events that took place during the first week.
The six-page Chair’s Summary Part II summarizes the discussions held during the high-level segment and includes sections on:
Regarding the way forward, the summary identifies a number of challenges to be addressed in the follow-up to CSD-12. The challenges aim to facilitate policy discussions in the policy year, with a view to strengthening the implementation of the water, sanitation, and human settlements goals and targets. Among the challenges identified are:
Following the adjournment of CSD-12, Chair Brende declared open the first meeting of CSD-13 for the purpose of electing its Chair and Bureau. John Ashe (Antigua and Barbuda) was elected CSD-13 Chair by acclamation. The Commission also elected two of the four Vice-Chairs: Khaled Elbakly (Egypt) for the African Group and Dagmara Berbalk (Germany) for the Western Europe and Others Group. CSD-12 Chair Brende indicated that other Bureau members would be elected at a later date, and closed the meeting at 6:00 pm.
A BRIEF ANALYSIS OF CSD-12
UNLEASHING THE DIALOGUE
CSD-12 was about building bridges – bridges between local action and global political commitment, between the CSD’s review and policy sessions, and between discussion and negotiation. CSD-12 was also a session of “firsts” – the first review year of the implementation cycle of the CSD’s new multi-year programme of work, the first time substantive issues have been discussed in an integrated manner, and the first CSD session without a negotiated outcome. The session was also the first to be addressed by UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan, as he opened the high-level segment in the General Assembly Hall. Designating the Partnership Fair as an integral component of the official CSD agenda was also a first, possibly signaling the coming of age of this new tool for the implementation of sustainable development. This analysis reflects on CSD-12, and addresses its innovations, outcomes and future impact.
TESTING THE NEW CYCLE
Since the WSSD shifted the focus towards the implementation of sustainable development, this was the first session to “take a long hard look at how we are doing.” The emphasis on implementation was the “raison d’être” of the session, since its outcomes will not only influence the policy year, but set the tone for the multi-year programme of work until 2017. Thus, despite the absence of negotiations, the stakes were high. CSD-12 Chair Børge Brende’s vision was to turn the CSD into a “global springboard for local action,” and he called on delegates to embark on a “decade of keeping promises.” He also challenged the CSD to become the “watchdog” of progress aimed at implementing the Johannesburg goals and targets. Central to his challenge was facilitating a process that could address implementation issues that are primarily local in focus and nature, but that are being discussed at the global level. Given the innovative nature of the session, Chair Brende’s role was pivotal in solidifying the process together. In preparation for the session, Brende crisscrossed the world, speaking to ministers across portfolios, meeting with local communities and project implementers, and galvanizing the interest of UN agencies and the private sector. The result of his globetrotting was the presence of over 100 ministers representing sectors as diverse as water, housing, environment, development, finance and agriculture. Also in attendance were local actors, ranging from self-organizing federations of slum dwellers to small-scale entrepreneurs providing low- cost sanitation services, which unlike the normal group of NGOs attuned to lobbying in the basement corridors of the UN, were able to share experiences and help identify the gaps and constraints necessary for an honest review of implementation.
In many aspects Brende has established a precedent for future Chairs of review sessions, and has provided ample argument to keep the negotiations at bay. Without this distraction, delegates spent more time in session listening to debates, than in closed-door regional group meetings preparing tactics for line-by line drafting. Interestingly enough, the staple North-South differences, while still visible in the discussion, did not dominate the debates as in previous CSD sessions. For the technical experts, local officials and project implementers the interactive dialogue provided a refreshing opportunity to exchange ideas and experiences, learn lessons and network. Most of the stories told and lessons shared confirmed similar implementation constraints, i.e. the lack of financial resources, appropriate technology and capacity. But unlike previous sessions, when these issues were projected in the standard North-South politic, this time they were identified by people on the ground, working to provide basic services of which too many are deprived.
Another key element to emerge during the session was the clear link between the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and the Johannesburg Plan of Implementation (JPOI). While this relationship had its detractors in Johannesburg, two years later in New York the rationale behind linking the two sets of international targets and goals has found a new home, with many delegates calling on the CSD to become an effective mechanism for monitoring progress. The themes of water, sanitation and human settlements are central to and underpin all the MDGs, and the opportunity for the CSD to address the lack of focus on environment and sustainable development in the MDGs could not be passed over. CSD-12 reaffirmed the WSSD’s wisdom of placing the issue of poverty eradication at the center of the sustainable development agenda, and the thrust of the debate has put the CSD in a good position to play a meaningful role in the UN’s 2005 review of the implementation of the MDGs. Another important linkage in international agendas took place under the discussion on human settlements, where the concrete relationship between the Commission and UN-HABITAT was clearly demonstrated.
There were, however, differing views on the effectiveness of the CSD dialogue. Some delegates questioned the wisdom of a two-week session, with several preferring a shorter more focused one. Others felt the debate was too restrictive and failed to look at the three themes through a cross-cutting lens. Several issues crucial to an assessment on water, sanitation and human settlements, such as agriculture and the rural poor were also struggling to find a place in the political forefront. While there was less disagreement than usual, several issues drew mixed responses, in particular concerns that developed countries were opting for a dialogue based on “what to” implement and not on “how to” implement. This led to fears that some delegations were attempting to reconceptualize some of the terms and phrases agreed to in the JPOI and other related intergovernmental agreements, such as the ecosystem approach and its application in the context of meeting the water and sanitation goals; the rights-based approach to sustainable development, including the right to water and housing, and the tension between water privatization and water as a public good; the recognition that sustainable development was a “shared” and not a “common” responsibility; and the role and activities of UN agencies and the Chief Executives Board, which some members of the G-77/China felt was moving beyond the mandates of the JPOI.
CONSTRUCTING A BRIDGE TO CSD-13
The main outcome of CSD-12 was the Chair’s Summary Parts I and II. The documents, “crafted” cooperatively and skillfully by the Secretariat and the Norwegian delegation, represent another accomplishment of the session. The first part of the Summary received a favorable response from developed and developing countries alike, who noted its “comprehensive nature, capturing as it does the wide variety of views” of delegations. In this sense, there was nothing overtly controversial for delegates to fight over. However, there were concerns that the Summary was too much of a verbatim report of the session and failed to prioritize issues and identify activities to overcome implementation constraints. With the knowledge that Part II of the summary would be released following the high-level segment, delegations were also active in providing direction to the Chair on what should be included in this component of the report. Not surprisingly, this part drew the most attention. Concerned with the possibility that political momentum may wane during the intersessional period, and cognizant that the three themes may not resurface for many years following CSD-13, the EU in particular wanted Brende to prepare a concise action plan, defining the nature and shape of the process both between CSD-12 and 13 and beyond. Objections to this were raised by some members of the G-77/China, who argued that their capacities to negotiate were being taxed by the ever-growing avalanche of meetings. While the Chair’s Summary fails to map-out a procedural path to CSD-13, it does present a focused list of priority policy issues to be discussed at the intersessional meeting in February 2005, and provides a template of sorts for negotiations at CSD-13.
Among its most significant components, the Summary contains many important political affirmations, including that: meeting the MDG and JPOI water, sanitation, and human settlements targets is a prerequisite for meeting other targets, such as those on poverty eradication, education, child mortality and health; there can be no clean water without adequate attention to sanitation, and no sanitation without addressing human settlements; and that despite the fact that some countries are not on track to meet the targets, these targets remain achievable with the proper means of implementation.
A unanimous verdict was passed on the success of CSD-12: it has produced a clearer picture on the progress of implementation and the actions needed to increase the pace of delivery; it has provided the space for ministers to look at progress, identify challenges, constraints and obstacles without the need to battle over drafting formulas; and it has reaffirmed the political commitment to achieve the water, sanitation and human settlements-related goals and targets.
CSD-12 marked the first phase of the all important “testing” of the two-year Implementation Cycle, and as such it would serve no purpose to grade the session as either a failure or a great success. CSD-12 and 13 represent a litmus test in two parts, and one should give credence to the multi-year programme of work. However, following the first part of the test, there is consensus on what failure would mean: the continuation of a routine dialogue on sustainable development that would deny the world’s poor basic necessities, the benefits of progress and a life of dignity.
THINGS TO LOOK FOR BEFORE CSD-13
WORLD CONFERENCE ON DISASTER REDUCTION PREPCOM I: This meeting will take place from 6-7 May 2004, in Geneva, Switzerland, to prepare for the 10-year review of disaster reduction activities since the first World Conference on Natural Disaster Reduction, which was held in Yokohama, Japan, in 1994. The review process will culminate in the Second World Conference on Disaster Reduction, to be held in January 2005 in Kobe-Hyogo, Japan. For more information, contact: UN/ISDR; tel: +41-22-917-2103; fax: +41-22-917-0563; e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org; Internet: http://www.unisdr.org
GLOBAL H2O PARTNERSHIP CONFERENCE: This conference will take place from 11-14 May 2004, in Cairns, Australia. Convened by UNEP and Environment Australia, this conference seeks, inter alia, to: renew the commitment of stakeholders to National Programmes of Action to protect the marine environment from the harmful effects of land-based activities; explore innovative financial arrangements; and further strengthen the links between water supply and sanitation. The Conference will also serve as an interim assessment of the GPA, in preparation for the Second Intergovernmental Review of the GPA in 2006. For more information, contact: Conference Secretariat; tel: +31-70-311-4467; fax: +31-70-345-664831; e-mail: email@example.com; Internet: http://www.hilltops2oceans.org
GLOBAL POPULATION FORUM 2004: Organized by the Population Institute and Population 2005, this forum will be held from 13-16 May 2004, in Washington, DC, US. For more information, contact: Population 2005; tel: +1-202-544-3300; fax: +1-202-544-0068; e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org; Internet: http://www.population2005.org
SIDS INFORMAL INFORMAL CONSULTATIONS: Informal informal consultations in preparation for the SIDS International Meeting is scheduled to take place from 17-19 May 2004 in New York. For more information, contact: Diane Quarless, UNDSD, SIDS Unit; tel: +1-212-963-4135; fax: +1-917-367-3391; e-mail: Mauritius2004@sidsnet.org; Internet: http://www.sidsnet.org/
SCALING UP POVERTY REDUCTION: A GLOBAL LEARNING PROCESS AND CONFERENCE: Sponsored by the World Bank, this conference, which will be held from 25-27 May 2004, in Beijing, China, is the culmination of a global South-South dialogue focused on large-scale poverty reduction. For more information, contact: Sunetra Puri; tel: +1-202-473-2049; e-mail: email@example.com; Internet: http://www.reducingpoverty.org
INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE FOR RENEWABLE ENERGIES: This conference, which will take place from 1-4 June 2004, in Bonn, Germany, is expected to add to the momentum generated by the coalition of like-minded countries for the promotion of renewable energy formed at the WSSD (known as the Johannesburg Renewable Energy Coalition). Themes to be considered include financing, market development, formation of enabling political framework conditions, and capacity building. For more information, contact: Renewables 2004 Secretariat; tel: +49-6196-794404; fax: +49-6196-794405; e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org; Internet: http://www.renewables2004.de/
INTERNATIONAL WATER DEMAND MANAGEMENT CONFERENCE: This conference, which will be held from 30 May to 3 June 2004, at the Dead Sea, Jordan, will provide a forum for regional and international experts to share concepts, research, technologies and experiences on the most efficient use of water in the domestic, industrial and agricultural sectors. For more information, contact: Hala Dahlan, Conference Manager; tel: +962-6-552-7893/5; fax: +962-6-552-7894; e-mail: email@example.com; Internet: http://www.wdm2004.org/
WATER FOR LIFE AND SECURITY: As part of the Barcelona 2004 Forum, the International Green Cross is organizing a forum dialogue on water for life and security to take place from 31 May to 1 June 2004, in Barcelona, Spain. For more information, contact: Barcelona2004 Forum; tel: +34-93-320-9010; e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org; Internet: http://www.barcelona2004.org/eng/eventos/dialogos/ficha.cfm?IdEvento=155
IWA LEADING-EDGE CONFERENCE ON WATER AND WASTEWATER TREATMENT TECHNOLOGIES: Sponsored by the International Water Association, this conference will take place from 1-4 June 2004, in Prague, Czech Republic, focusing on drinking water and wastewater technologies. For more information, contact: Lara Changizi, IWA; tel: +44-20-7654-5500; fax: +44-20-7654-5555; e-mail: LET2004@iwahq.org.uk; Internet: http://www.let2004.com/
UNCTAD XI: UNCTAD XI is scheduled to take place from 13-18 June 2004, in São Paulo, Brazil. This year’s theme is “Enhancing coherence between national development strategies and global economic processes towards economic growth and development, particularly of developing countries.” For more information, contact: UNCTAD; tel: +41-22-907-1234; fax: +41-22-907-0043; e-mail: email@example.com; Internet: http://www.unctadxi.org/
GLOBAL COMPACT LEADERS SUMMIT: To be chaired by UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan, this Summit will take place on 24 June 2004, in New York, convening leaders of participating companies, international labor and civil society and select government officials to take stock of the Global Compact and chart its future course. For more information, contact: Gavin Power, Director of Communications; tel: +1-212-963-4681; fax: +1-212-963-1207; e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org; Internet: http://www.unglobalcompact.org
2004 ECOSOC SUBSTANTIVE SESSION: ECOSOC’s 2004 Substantive Session will take place from 28 June to 23 July 2004 at UN headquarters in New York. The session will commence with a high-level segment on “Resources mobilization and enabling environment for poverty eradication in the context of the implementation of the Programme of Action for the Least Developed Countries for the Decade 2001-2010.” The 2004 coordination segment will take place from 1-7 July 2004, and will address two themes: “Mainstreaming the gender perspective into all policies and programmes in the United Nations system” and “Coordinated and integrated United Nations approach to promote rural development in developing countries, with due consideration to least developed countries.” The 2004 operational activities segment will take place from 7-12 July 2004, and will undertake the triennial comprehensive policy review of operational activities for development. The operational activities segment will be closely related to the humanitarian affairs segment, which will take place from 12-14 July 2004. The general segment will convene from 15-22 July 2004, and a closing session will take place on 23 July 2004. For more information, contact: DESA; tel: +1-212-963-1234; fax: +1-212-963-1010; e-mail: email@example.com; Internet: http://www.un.org/esa/coordination/ecosoc/
IWA WATER AND WASTEWATER MANAGEMENT CONFERENCE FOR DEVELOPING COUNTRIES: This conference, which will be held from 28-30 July 2004, at Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe, aims to: promote the concept of appropriate technologies for water and wastewater management; enhance linkages between institutions, practitioners and research groups working on low-cost waste treatment and waste recycling systems; and promote collaborative research and development. For more information, contact: WAMDEC 2004 Secretariat; tel: +263-4-303-288; fax: +263-4-303-288; e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org; Internet: http://www.uz.ac.zw/engineering/civil/wamdec2004/
2004 STOCKHOLM WORLD WATER WEEK: The 2004 World Water Week, taking place from 16-20 August 2004, in Stockholm, Sweden, is themed “Drainage Basin Management - Regional Approaches for Food and Urban Security.” For more information, contact: David Trouba, Stockholm International Water Institute; tel: +46-8-522-139-60; fax: +46-8-522-139-61; e-mail: email@example.com; Internet: http://www.siwi.org
INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE ON GLOBAL WATERS ASSESSMENT AND INTEGRATED
WATERS MANAGEMENT: In conjunction with the
Global International Waters Assessment (GIWA) second General Assembly,
this conference will convene from 22-25 August 2004, in Kalmar, Sweden,
to discuss the interactions between science and society in promoting the
sustainable use of transboundary river basins and seas. For more
information, contact: GIWA; tel: +46-480-44-73-53; fax: +46-
480-44-73-55; e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org;
INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE FOR THE TEN-YEAR REVIEW OF IMPLEMENTATION OF THE BARBADOS PROGRAMME OF ACTION (BPOA): This International Meeting is tentatively scheduled to take place from 30 August - 3 September 2004, in Port Louis, Mauritius, and will undertake a full and comprehensive review of the implementation of the BPOA. It will include a high-level segment and be preceded by two days of informal consultations. For more information, contact: Diane Quarless, UNDSD, SIDS Unit; tel: +1-212-963-4135; fax: +1-917-367-3391; e-mail: Mauritius2004@sidsnet.org; Internet: http://www.sidsnet.org/
INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE ON SECURITY AND SUSTAINABILITY IN WATER RESOURCES: Sponsored by the Center for Sustainability, Environment, Equity and Partnership (SEEP), this conference will take place from 6-9 September 2004, in Katmandu, Nepal to address: water and society; water resources system and use; water pollution; aquatic ecosystems; water quality; and extreme water events. For more information, contact: Naresh Rimal, SEEP; tel: +977-1-424-2917; fax: +977-1-424-6028; e-mail: email@example.com; Internet: http://www.seepwater.org/conference_sswr/sswr.html
WORLD URBAN FORUM 2004: Some 2000 delegates representing governments, local authorities, NGOs and other experts on urban issues are expected at this second biennial gathering of UN-HABITAT’s World Urban Forum, which will take place from 13-17 September 2004, in Barcelona, Spain. For more information, contact: World Urban Forum 2004; e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org; Internet: http://www.unhabitat.org/wuf/2004/
WORLD WATER CONGRESS: The World Water Congress, sponsored by the International Water Association (IWA), will take place from 19-24 September 2004, in Marrakech, Morocco. Topics to be discussed include: operating water and wastewater systems; integrated water resource and river basin management; and water and health. For more information, contact: International Water Association; tel: +44-20-7654-5500; fax: +44-20-7654-5555; e-mail: email@example.com; Internet: http://www.iwa2004marrakech.com/
SECOND ISRAEL-PALESTINIAN-INTERNATIONAL WATER CONFERENCE: This conference will be held from 9-12 October 2004, in Rome, Italy. It aims to bring together water specialists to provide a basis for improved cooperation between the peoples of the region and the international community in developing, managing and protecting their scarce shared water resources. For more information, contact: Robin Twite, Conference Coordinator; tel: +972-2-676-9460; fax: +972-2-676-8011; e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org; Internet: http://www.ipcri.org
WORKSHOP ON WATER RESOURCE MANAGEMENT FOR LOCAL DEVELOPMENT: GOVERNANCE,
INSTITUTIONS AND POLICIES: This workshop will
convene from 8-11 November 2004, near Loskop Dam, South Africa, bringing
together researchers and policy and development agents to discuss issues
relating to water management for local sustainable development, with a
focus on rural development. For more information, contact: Sylvain
Perret; tel: +27-12-420-5021; fax: +27-12-420-3890; e-mail:
FIRST GLOBAL WASH FORUM: IMPLEMENTING THE GOALS OF THE WSSD: Organized by the Water Supply and Sanitation Collaborative Council, the first Global WASH Forum will take place in November/December 2004 in Dakar, Senegal. It aims to draw lessons from the success of water, sanitation and hygiene programmes, sector reforms and development partnerships in poverty eradication, and to strengthen regional and national partnership initiatives aimed at attaining the relevant goals of the WSSD. For more information, contact: Forum Manager; tel: +41-22-917-8657; fax: +41-22-917-8084; e-mail: email@example.com; Internet: http://www.wsscc.org
SECOND WORLD CONFERENCE ON DISASTER REDUCTION: This conference, which will take place from 18-22 January 2005, in Kobe-Hyogo, Japan, aims to increase the commitment for implementation of disaster risk reduction at all levels and in particular its integration into development planning processes. For more information, contact: Helena Molin Valdes, Senior Officer, International Strategy for Disaster Reduction; tel: +41-22-917-2776; fax: +41-22-917-0563; e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org; Internet: http://www.unisdr.org
CSD POLICY YEAR PREPARATORY MEETING: This meeting, which will take place from 28 February to 4 March 2005, at UN headquarters in New York, will prepare for CSD-13. For more information, contact: UN Division for Sustainable Development; tel: + 1 212-963-2803; fax: + 1-212-963-4260; e-mail: email@example.com; Internet: http://www.un.org/esa/sustdev
THIRTEENTH SESSION OF THE COMMISSION ON SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT: The dates for this meeting, which will take place at UN headquarters in New York, are tentatively scheduled for 2-13 May 2005. CSD-13 will be a “Policy Year” to decide on measures to speed up implementation and mobilize action to overcome obstacles and constraints for implementation of actions and goals on 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: firstname.lastname@example.org; Internet: http://www.un.org/esa/sustdev