Vol. 5 No. 214
CSD-13 IPM HIGHLIGHTS:
Delegates met throughout the day to discuss water and sanitation issues. On water, discussions focused on: providing access to safe drinking water; preparing IWRM plans and creating an institutional framework for IWRM; enhancing water use efficiency and managing competing uses; and addressing water quality, ecosystem management and disaster prevention. On sanitation, delegates addressed issues concerning: providing access to adequate sanitation; and managing wastewater and strengthening monitoring systems. In the afternoon, an expert panel introduced policy options and possible actions for addressing human settlements, following which participants engaged in a discussion session.
WATER: This session was chaired by CSD-13 Vice-Chair Khaled Elbakly (Egypt). Many delegates welcomed the Secretary-General’s report on water, emphasized holistic approaches that integrate water and sanitation, and underscored the importance of women’s and civil society participation in planning and implementation. Many developing countries underscored the need for means of implementation, urging, inter alia, capacity development to enhance and ensure institutional and regulatory capacities, appropriate technology transfer, and increased financing and development assistance. Madagascar, for the AFRICAN GROUP, urged support for South-South cooperation and the sharing of best practices. Many delegates underscored the importance of decentralization. The EU, MAURITANIA, UK and VENEZUELA said local initiatives should be housed within a national framework, and SOUTH AFRICA said water should be considered a national asset.
Many delegations underscored the role of regional organizations and partnerships, as well as the importance of institutional frameworks, in water management and transboundary cooperation. Delegates discussed and called for the support of cooperative initiatives, including the Nile River Basin initiative and an Italian initiative, in collaboration with UNEP-GPA and UNESCO, to increase cooperation in meeting rural water needs. Delegations also highlighted the role of a number of relevant UN programmes, including the UNEP-GPA and UNEP’s Regional Seas Programme.
CANADA and FINLAND stressed the need for an intergovernmental home for water and sanitation issues, and NGOs called for a multilateral institutional focal point for tracking and monitoring IWRM plans. Several countries called for strengthening water monitoring programmes. Underscoring the importance of data collection, monitoring and reporting, FRANCE outlined options to address these issues at the national, regional and global levels.
On safe drinking water, delegates discussed policy options, highlighting the need to:
On IWRM, many delegations emphasized an ecosystems approach, with SWITZERLAND, supported by the EU and others, underscoring the role of ecosystems in protecting and providing water resources for multiple uses. INDIA, INDONESIA and NORWAY urged tailoring IWRM approaches to country circumstances. EGYPT stressed the need to reconsider the definition of IWRM to ensure it is not “stretched too thin.” Delegates also discussed policy options, such as:
On enhancing water use efficiency and managing competing uses, delegates discussed:
On water quality, delegates discussed policy options including:
On disaster prevention and management, delegates discussed:
SANITATION: This session was chaired by CSD-13 Vice-Chair Dagmara Berbalk (Germany). Discussion focused on policy options and practical measures, including decentralized approaches, the role of stakeholders, health and education, and financing. Many delegates welcomed the Secretary-General’s report on sanitation and stressed the importance of its focus on the integrated approach to water and sanitation. Delegates also underscored: the role of women in decision-making, implementation and capacity-building activities; the importance of involving communities and NGOs in implementation; decentralizing implementation and strengthening local government capacities and funding; and the “case” for investing in sanitation. Many delegations also shared their national experiences in providing sanitation services.
On means of implementation, delegates identified the need to:
On policy options, delegates identified the need to:
On wastewater, delegates addressed the need to:
On monitoring implementation, delegates addressed the need to:
EXPERTS PANEL: Human settlements: This session was chaired by Vice-Chair Shin (Republic of Korea). Presenting key lessons from the second World Urban Forum, María Antonia Trujillo, Spain’s Minister of Housing, highlighted the importance of: land registration and titling; local materials and contractors; womenï¿½s legal access to land and inheritance; and training people in situ.
Elliot Sclar, Co-coordinator of the Millennium Project Task Force on Improving the Lives of Slum Dwellers, underlined the interlinkages and mutual dependence of policy development and good governance. He stressed the need to move from creating lists of options to making attainable and transformative choices.
Silvia Andere, Public Administrator of the Municipal Urbanization Corporation of Belo Horizonte, Brazil, reviewed experiences in developing, implementing and evaluating public policies for improving housing in the cityï¿½s ï¿½favelas.ï¿½ Highlighting lessons learned, she underscored the need to: involve local residents in every stage and aspect of the process; minimize displacement, and when this is not possible, provide choices of new locations; and integrate residents with the local economy and society.
Sylvia Martinez, Senior Advisor of the US Federal Housing Finance Board, shared options for finance strategies aimed at the poor. She emphasized the importance of good legal underpinnings for ownership, acquisition and limited eminent domain. She said different systems of ownership can be accommodated, and that tax incentives can stimulate local capital formation, investment and the development of competitive private banking institutions.
Discussion: In the ensuing discussion, participants addressed issues dealing with evicted populations (Azerbaijan) and controlling land speculation (Bolivia). Australia presented an idea for an internet-based mechanism for sharing lessons on policy integration.
IN THE CORRIDORS
During Tuesdayï¿½s discussions on policy options and possible actions for water and sanitation, some delegates were overwhelmed with a sense of dï¿½jï¿½ vu, with many noting that the debates closely resembled the CSD-12 review session. This dï¿½jï¿½ vu led some to question the value of the IPM and the rationale for engaging in general debate instead of fast-tracking negotiations. Some were also speculating whether the current levels of debate would lead to the expected Chairï¿½s text being used as the basis of negotiations for the main session in April. Despite this uncertainty, the general debate has created the informal space for several delegations to begin circulating position papers and non-papers outlining their ideas for implementation frameworks, policy options and visions of the outcome of the first policy session. In the words of one seasoned CSD negotiator, the proliferation of informally-circulated text may indeed be providing the perfect incubation space for the manifestation of a substantial outcome of the IPM by Friday.