Throughout Friday, CSD 19 Working Groups 1 and 2 convened to continue addressing issues in the Chair’s negotiating text. In the morning, Working Group 1 took up chemicals, and Working Group 2 began the first reading of the preamble text. In the afternoon, Working Group 1 addressed the text on IL and CCI, including MOI, while Working Group 2 continued work on the text on the 10YFP. A short stock-taking Plenary closed the first week of CSD 19. Delegates also participated in a Learning Center, Partnerships Fair and various side events.
WORKING GROUP 1
CHEMICALS: In the morning, Vice-Chair Silvano Vergara Vásquez (Panama) facilitated the second reading of the chemicals text. South Africa, for the G-77/CHINA, suggested dropping or redrafting text on the MDGs in a separate paragraph. She also asked for deletion of the EU text on green economy, while the EU opposed and will redraft it. SWITZERLAND, supported by the EU, suggested acknowledging other chemicals processes, including relevant partnership initiatives.
The G-77/CHINA, CANADA and AUSTRALIA objected to the EU proposal that the UNCSD review progress of the 2020 chemicals goal, because this would preempt the UNCSD agenda. Language was agreed, based on the G-77/CHINA, PARAGUAY and CANADA amendments, to recognize the shift in production of chemicals to developing countries, which have insufficient human, technical and financial resources to deal with the challenges of chemicals management. The G-77/CHINA advocated that multinational industries based in developing countries maintain cleaner and safer standards of operations.
On environmentally sound management of chemicals, delegates agreed to delete reference to management of “wastes,” choosing instead to retain text specifying chemicals management would include chemical “production, use and disposal.” In discussing “tools,” i.e., relevant conventions and SAICM, delegates debated whether these “tools” should be “strengthened” and whether means of strengthening should be specified. MEXICO argued that the text is unnecessary without qualification, while SWITZERLAND noted that other text details means of implementation. Delegates ultimately agreed to draft qualifications to be “included but not limited to.” Debate also centered on whether the “tools” should be strengthened towards achieving the WSSD 2020 goals “and beyond,” with consensus arriving at a clarified vision to achieve “long-term sound chemical management.”
IL AND CCI, INCLUDING MOI: Facilitated by Vice-Chair Vásquez, delegates proceeded to the second reading of this section in the afternoon.
The US, CANADA and the EU preferred retaining the original short introductory paragraph of this section, but the G-77/CHINA added new language, which focuses on interlinkages between the five themes of CSD 19, the three pillars and national and regional specificities. The G-77/CHINA insisted on keeping its proposed text on the adverse impacts of the global crises in this section, while the US, CANADA and AUSTRALIA preferred moving it to the preamble. The US offered compromise language, which the G-77/CHINA promised to study, noting however that it missed references to expediting implementation.
Delegates agreed to a paragraph suggesting that policies and practical measures use a variety of approaches, including regulatory and voluntary, and are tailored to local circumstances. They also agreed to a paragraph on improving synergies, efficiencies and co-benefits. On eradication of poverty, the US suggested a general reference, without detailing MDG 1 on poverty eradication, but the G-77/CHINA emphasized preference for retention of the longer text it had proposed.
On the integration of the three pillars into national sustainable development strategies, delegates diverged. Though parties acknowledged the importance of the social pillar, they differed on descriptive language. CANADA and the US preferred “social dimension of globalization” originating from the CSD 17 decision, the US also proposed “social protection” as derived from the MDGs, and the G-77/CHINA opted for “social equity.” A second area of debate focused on reference to “transition towards green economy,” which the EU and US supported as an established concept, but the G-77/CHINA, RUSSIAN FEDERATION, ALGERIA and NAMIBIA opposed as “inappropriate” and lacking definition. The issue was deferred to consultations. Regarding a supplementary paragraph on coordination between different levels of administration. Delegates generally agreed on its importance, but differed whether “coordination” or “mechanisms” should be enhanced.
WORKING GROUP 2
PREAMBLE: In the morning Working Group 2 began the first reading of the preamble text, facilitated by Vice-Chair Abdelghani Merabet (Algeria).
The EU, with the US and CANADA, wanted all Rio principles referenced, rather than just the principle of common but differentiated responsibilities. The EU sought new paragraphs referencing the decision on 10YFP of the 26th session of UNEP Governing Council (GC)/Global Ministerial Environment Forum, and the CBD’s Aichi Target 4, which calls on stakeholders at all levels to take steps to achieve or implement SCP plans by 2020.
On financial resources, JAPAN proposed changing “new and additional” to “adequate.” The G-77/CHINA proposed deleting a reference to the outcome of UNFCCC COP 16, while MEXICO suggested referencing “the progress achieved” at COP 16.
The G-77/CHINA proposed a new text calling for strengthening the essential role that ODA plays in complimenting, leveraging and sustaining financing for development in developing countries. The G-77/CHINA asked for deletion of a paragraph on the Doha Round of WTO negotiations. The G-77/CHINA suggested adding “on favorable terms” after “transfer of technology.” The US instead preferred “on mutually agreed terms.”
The EU requested including reference to decisions on chemicals and waste management adopted by the UNEP GC, and Mexico requested a reference to “including for financing of chemicals and waste management” in the same text. Switzerland added text on welcoming the outcome of the simultaneous extraordinary meetings of the Basel, Rotterdam and Stockholm Convention COPs.
On transboundary waste movements, the US suggested deleting specific references to hazardous wastes, e-wastes and ratifying protocols, while adding language on coordinating enforcement. The G-77/CHINA proposed new text on the importance of mining, minerals and metals. She also proposed, with MEXICO and the EU supporting, a new reference to the January 2011 High-Level Meeting on the 10YFP. The US proposed new texts on fighting corruption, the importance of science and technology, and the need to scale-up, replicate and adapt successful experiences.
During the second reading of the preamble, Vice-Chair Merabet asked delegations to explain their proposals. Many paragraphs were agreed, including those on, inter alia: the three pillars of sustainable development; the UNGA resolution deciding to hold the UNCSD; the need for financial resources; and need for fundamental changes in the way societies produce and consume.
10YFP: In the early afternoon, the Working Group reconvened to continue the second reading of the text on the 10YFP, facilitated by Vice-Chair Andrew Goledzinowski (Australia).
The G-77/CHINA, supported by the US and EU, provided compromise language on drawing on valuable aspects of experiences from the Marrakech process, SAICM and national cleaner production centers. The US said regional initiatives in all countries should be encouraged, while AUSTRALIA proposed a compromise text “giving encouragement, in particular” to regional centers in developing countries. The EU and US emphasized that review under the 10YFP should be for all countries, rather than for just developed countries.
The G-77/CHINA proposed new text saying the 10YFP should bring together governments and other key partners, including Major Groups, and build on existing UN entities and inter-agency collaboration. Delegates debated, but did not decide, whether the text should reference coordinating and cooperating with specific agencies or “all relevant UN agencies and programmes.” The G-77/CHINA, supported by NORWAY and SWITZERLAND, called for UNEP to be the dedicated secretariat, but CANADA reserved.
Regarding the Secretariat’s tasks, the G-77/CHINA proposed text calling for the Secretariat to “facilitate the fulfillment of the functions as outlined” in prior text and MONTENEGRO suggested language on facilitating the establishment and work of regional networks.
On means of implementation, the US suggested “encouraging voluntary financial resources, transfer of and access to environmentally sound technologies on mutually agreed terms, and capacity building.” The G-77/CHINA emphasized importance of new and additional financial resources, transfer of technology and capacity building.
On the proposal by the G-77/CHINA on the establishment of a trust fund to support the launch of 10YFP, CANADA said it reserved its position and JAPAN opposed. Recognizing the importance of this issue, the EU and US requested further consultations with the G-77/CHINA on the need of the trust fund, how it would contribute to 10YFP, and how it would be managed. SWITZERLAND suggested mobilizing additional resources from the private sector as well as using existing resources. The G-77/CHINA reiterated its position on the trust fund, stating that it is very important, but it is not the only source of financing for 10YFP.
Late in the afternoon, a stock-taking plenary was convened by CSD 19 Chair László Borbély (Romania). Chair Borbély noted that Vice-Chair Meñez had been called away to another meeting and that the Asian Group had endorsed Yvette Banzon Abalos (the Philippines) to replace him, and she was elected by acclamation.
On Working Group 1, Vice-Chair Meñez reported on transport and mining and Vice-Chair Vásquez reported on chemicals and IL and CCI, including MOI. They welcomed progress made during the first and second readings but said key issues remain outstanding.
On Working Group 2, Vice-Chair Goledzinowski reported on the 10YFP, noting the strong consensus to reach agreement on the 10YFP at this session. Vice-Chair Merabet reported on the preamble and waste management, particularly highlighting progress on the relationship between waste management and the three pillars of sustainable development.
Chair Borbély closed the plenary noting the collective responsibility of member states to ensure a positive outcome for CSD 19 and called for flexibility and innovation in the coming week.
IN THE CORRIDORS
Following the two-day break in CSD 19’s chemicals discussions because of the UNEP retreat on financing chemicals and waste management, many wonder if the remaining days of negotiation will be adequate to make progress on the issue in the lead up to Rio+20.
In the proceedings themselves, participants expressed concern for the CSD’s practical impact on this theme. “The first reading of the Chair’s text was not pretty,” observed one. “So the Chair’s report makes good recommendations, then what?” asked another.
While this 4th UNEP consultation was considered by one invitee a mere placeholder for the 5th consultation, which will provide recommendations to the Governing Council, other participants touted its progress on narrowing the potential “tracks” for addressing the issue of financing chemicals and waste management, and noted rumors that a “Chemicals Initiative” will emerge from the process in Rio. One expert hinted that the consultation’s outcome would feed into CSD 19 draft text on chemicals means of implementation.
Given all this, some see the relevance of the CSD process to the global management of chemicals and wastes as uncertain at best. As we move towards Rio+20, will a “quickening of pace” in next week’s high-level segment push progress on the agenda of chemicals and wastes, as one optimistic negotiator predicted, or will the greatest take-away for chemicals and wastes here at CSD 19 be a “UNEP-building effort,” as another suggested.