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Volume 5 Number 288 - Tuesday, 11 May 2010
CSD 18 HIGHLIGHTS
Monday, 10 May 2010

Delegates to CSD 18 participated in “SIDS Day” on Monday, 10 May. They also received a draft of the Chair’s Summary (Part I) during the morning.

SIDS DAY

CSD 18 Chair Ferraté explained that the discussion during SIDS Day would consider the CSD 18 thematic topics as they relate to SIDS and conduct a review of the implementation of the Mauritius Strategy for the Implementation (MSI) of the Barbados Plan of Action for the Sustainable Development of Small Island States (PrepCom for MSI+5). Cheick Sidi Diarra, High Representative for the LDCs, Landlocked Developing Countries and SIDS, highlighted the need to scale up efforts, provide new and additional resources to SIDS, and help SIDS build resilience. Thomas Stelzer, Assistant Secretary-General for Policy Coordination and Inter-Agency Affairs, said MSI+5 offers an opportunity for further action, and discussions at this session will lay the foundation for the high-level deliberations at the 65th session of the General Assembly.

DSD Director Tariq Banuri presented the Secretary-General’s report on the Review of the Implementation of the Mauritius Strategy (E/CN.17/2010/9). He noted recommendations, including: sustainable energy development; investment in fragile ecosystems; increased partnership initiatives; improved integrated support strategies; and creation of a special UN category for SIDS.

Grenada, for AOSIS, stressed the need for: immediate support for SIDS; adoption of a legally binding instrument at the Cancun Climate Change Conference at the end of 2010; addressing security and human dimensions of climate change; establishment of SIDS as a special category within the UN system; and action revisiting the graduation matter of SIDS before the UN. Jamaica, for the G-77/CHINA, said MSI+5 should focus on tangible results, as opposed to the negotiation of an agreed outcome. Spain, for the EU, described the EU’s commitment of US$30 million under the Fast Start climate initiative, and stressed the potential of SIDSnet, Spain’s financial support to it, and the importance of revitalizing it as an instrument to implement the MSI. Tuvalu, for PSIDS, said the Security Council should take up the security implications of climate change. AUSTRALIA described an initiative to build stronger links between Pacific and Caribbean SIDS. The US said the PrepCom for MSI+5 provides an opportunity to define the next stage of deliberations, and stressed a focus on tangible actions.

CHINA said it has deepened cooperation with SIDS and provided them support for achieving sustainable development objectives. ITALY reported it has supported over 30 projects and initiatives for mitigation and adaptation of climate change that are being implemented in the Caribbean and Pacific regions. BARBADOS called for the provision of finance and technology to address the vulnerability of SIDS. ANTIGUA AND BARBUDA highlighted: climate change; energy; integrated management of resources; sustainable land use; debt forgiveness; and international cooperation. SOLOMON ISLANDS urged the adoption of a legally binding instrument on climate change.

JAPAN discussed support to SIDS including 50 billion Yen for the Pacific over the next three years and US$15 billion in the “Hatoyama Initiative.” TANZANIA said it was time to reinforce interventions among SIDS. SAMOA said isolation poses an impediment to PSIDS’ development. FIJI noted the effects of extreme weather events. MEXICO called for implementation of cooperative projects on, inter alia, health, infrastructure, Spanish language education, and combating HIV-AIDS. MAURITIUS requested: support to accelerate economic diversification; special and differentiated treatment for recovery from the financial crisis; and a review process focused on tangible outcomes. WORKERS AND TRADE UNIONS said SIDS are the “litmus test” to global climate change. INDIA looked forward to the results of the vulnerability-resilience methodology being developed by DESA, and highlighted that it has committed project aid of US$70 million to SIDS.

YOUTH AND CHILDREN highlighted the need to prevent institutionalized dependency in SIDS by ensuring capacity building. NGOs stressed the need for an “honest” review of commitments. Stressing that local communities in SIDS cannot adapt to the magnitude of disasters occurring, INDIGENOUS PEOPLES questioned how CSD member States will share the burden and responsibility with SIDS.

AOSIS said a working group had been established and inputs to the political declaration were being received. Chair Ferraté encouraged that comments be submitted by the end of the week.

SWITZERLAND said it recognized the special concerns and vulnerabilities of SIDS, and their need for international support. BANGLADESH said green growth appears most promising, but financial assistance is important.

SIDS THEMATIC DISCUSSION: Tariq Banuri, DSD, introduced the UN Secretary-General’s report on the integrated review of the thematic cluster of CSD 18 in SIDS (E/CN.17/2010/14). He outlined some special challenges for SIDS, including transportation and energy costs, coastal impact of wastes, climate change, and tourism development.

Panelist Bruce Graham, environmental consultant, New Zealand, noted progress achieved in waste management in the Pacific SIDS, emphasized the need for financial support, technology transfer and preventing waste from entering SIDS. Panelist Immaculate Javia, Papua New Guinea, discussed small-scale mining, which she said is not covered by a legal framework, and on her country’s specific problems, in particular soil and river water contamination from mercury and social issues. Panelist Amjad Abdullah, Maldives, shared the experience of his country in tourism and sea-plane transportation, and said it was open to the green economy and cleaner technologies. Panelist Gordon Bispham, Network of Barbados NGOs, highlighted principles for sustainable development of SIDS, including: participation of all stakeholders; equity; resource efficiency; and an integrated approach.

During the ensuing discussion, JAMAICA said climate change is the biggest challenge to SIDS and expressed hope that MSI+5 would reiterate the international community’s commitment to supporting SIDS. The EU emphasized the need to control trans-boundary movements of hazardous wastes within the framework of the Basel Convention, and appealed for reaching a legally binding instrument on climate change. The INTERNATIONAL TELECOMMUNICATION UNION stressed the importance of information and communication technologies to the sustainable development of SIDS. WORKERS AND TRADE UNIONS emphasized the importance of decent work for SIDS.

SAUDI ARABIA said interventions to reduce maritime and aviation emissions would impact SIDS economies and asked for the SIDS perspective on the situation. FARMERS said SIDS farmers, fisher-folk and animal workers are vulnerable and prioritized generating immediate long-term solutions. WOMEN called for: phasing out toxic chemicals; zero waste; rehabilitation of mined land; implementing the polluter-pays principle; and discussion of water-related issues. CUBA said macroeconomic aspects and income distributions should be considered in discussions on the green economy.

PREPCOM MSI+5: Chair Ferraté presented the proposed agenda for MSI+5, scheduled to convene on 24-25 September 2010. The Secretariat explained that General Assembly (GA) resolution 64/199 agreed the modalities for the meeting and two multi-stakeholder sessions and an interactive dialogue on cross-regional perspectives were anticipated. BARBADOS noted the need for a clear plan of action and proposed that MSI+5 make use of professional facilitators to move discussions along. Chair Ferraté said further consultations would be undertaken. 

Chair Ferraté introduced the draft resolution on the organization of the high-level review of the MSI. The resolution requested the GA to conduct further consultations with States to determine modalities of the high-level review to assess progress. GRENADA questioned the term “modalities.” The Secretariat clarified that the wording was proposed to provide some latitude to the Secretariat in planning and scheduling the meeting. JAMAICA proposed, and delegates agreed to amend the text to state “the procedural aspects of the high-level review,” and the resolution was adopted by PrepCom MSI+5. Chair Ferraté summarized the discussions of SIDS Day and thanked participants for the rich discussion.

DRAFT CHAIR’S SUMMARY (PART I)

This 27-page paper, distributed on Monday morning, summarizes the first week of CSD 18 discussions. It emphasizes the current themes’ impact on almost the entire range of human needs and ecological imperatives, including climate change. It reinforces the importance of partnerships, the needs of developing countries, accountability and transparency. It refers to preparations for high-level meetings, such as the UNCSD and MSI+5.

The summary takes up the themes of the current CSD cycle, organizing each around the following subsections: obstacles, constraints and challenges; best practices and lessons learned; and way forward. It highlights, inter alia, the following points as “the way forward” under each theme:

TRANSPORT: modal shift and greater development and use of public transport; integration of transport into urban development policies; development of cleaner, affordable and sustainable energy systems, including renewables; strengthening infrastructure; and improvement of safety and security.

CHEMICALS: full implementation of existing arrangements, including SAICM; new financing arrangements; preventing transfer of obsolete technologies to developing countries; better education and information on chemical safety matters; sanctioning countries for illegal export; a global system for communicating risk and hazards; and strengthening national legislation.

WASTE MANAGEMENT: integrated approaches through reducing, recycling and reusing waste and materials; enforcement of existing conventions and bringing mercury into the “synergies” process; criminal provisions for violation of hazardous waste regulations; and addressing e-waste.

MINING: respect for human rights, relevant ILO conventions and creating regulatory frameworks, including on health and safety; sharing benefits with local communities; support for artisanal and small-scale miners; no-go areas for mining and rehabilitation; and global initiative for sustainable mining.

10-YEAR FRAMEWORK OF PROGRAMMES ON SUSTAINABLE CONSUMPTION AND PRODUCTION PATTERNS: support for the development of 10-YFP, building on the Marrakech Process with stronger linkages to eradicating poverty; placing SCP within the context of a green economy; packages of policies and measures (voluntary, market-based and regulatory); multistakeholder partnerships; and life-cycle and cradle-to cradle approaches.

INTERLINKAGES, CROSS-CUTTING ISSUES AND MEANS OF IMPLEMENTATION: raising priority of the five sectors; additional and predictable resourcing, including innovative sources of funding; quality data; linking the results of CSD meetings to the outcomes of the forthcoming international meetings; relating the five sectors to MDG goals; changing patterns of consumption and production; defining green economy and making it sensitive to concerns of sustainable development and poverty eradication; better international cooperation and coordination; capacity building; education, awareness raising and information sharing that changes consumer behavior; research and science; accountability frameworks; greater corporate social and environmental responsibility; traditional knowledge and indigenous peoples’ contribution and rights; and gender equality.

IN THE CORRIDORS

The corridors on Monday were filled with discussion of Saturday’s inter-regional SIDS meeting, with some indicating it involved strong exchanges on the political declaration rather than attention to substantive issues. Many entered Monday’s SIDS Day with hopes that meaningful dialogue on substantive issues would take place, and many delegates were heard noting the need for a “succinct political declaration,” preferring the MSI+5 to focus on “tangible outcomes.” This prospect caught the attention of many participants as they entered the afternoon session ready to learn more about proposed tangible outcomes, perhaps in the form of additional partnerships or the scaling up of ongoing successful initiatives. However, the plenary closed early when interventions from the floor were exhausted. Several lamented the lost opportunity.

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This issue of the Earth Negotiations Bulletin © <enb@iisd.org> is written and edited by Stephanie Aktipis, Ph.D., Melanie Ashton, Andrey Vavilov, Ph.D., Lynn Wagner, Ph.D, and Kunbao Xia. The Digital Editor is Leila Mead. The Editor is Pamela S. Chasek, Ph.D. <pam@iisd.org>. The Director of IISD Reporting Services is Langston James “Kimo” Goree VI <kimo@iisd.org>. The Sustaining Donors of the Bulletin are the United Kingdom (through the Department for International Development – DFID), the Government of the United States of America (through the Department of State Bureau of Oceans and International Environmental and Scientific Affairs), the Government of Canada (through CIDA), the Danish Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), the German Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety (BMU), the Netherlands Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the European Commission (DG-ENV), and the Italian Ministry for the Environment, Land and Sea. General Support for the Bulletin during 2010 is provided by the Government of Australia, the Austrian Federal Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry, Environment and Water Management, the Ministry of Environment of Sweden, the New Zealand Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade, SWAN International, Swiss Federal Office for the Environment (FOEN), the Finnish Ministry for Foreign Affairs, the Japanese Ministry of Environment (through the Institute for Global Environmental Strategies - IGES), the Japanese Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (through the Global Industrial and Social Progress Research Institute - GISPRI), the Government of Iceland, the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), and the World Bank. Funding for translation of the Bulletin into French has been provided by the Government of France, the Belgium Walloon Region, the Province of Québec, and the International Organization of the Francophone (OIF and IEPF). Funding for translation of the Bulletin into Spanish at this meeting has been provided by the Spanish Ministry of the Environment and Rural and Marine Affairs. The opinions expressed in the Bulletin are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of IISD or other donors. Excerpts from the Bulletin may be used in non-commercial publications with appropriate academic citation. For information on the Bulletin, including requests to provide reporting services, contact the Director of IISD Reporting Services at <kimo@iisd.org>, +1-646-536-7556 or 300 East 56th St., 11A, New York, New York 10022, USA. The ENB team at CSD-18 can be contacted by e-mail at <lynn@iisd.org>.

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