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IN THE CORRIDORS I

In the corridors, delegates have been expressing concern with the follow-up to the Conference, specifically the monitoring and review of the programme of action. The question seems to be how to allow SIDS to have their own reporting process while not overloading their reporting capacity, bearing in mind the reporting duties related to the Commission on Sustainable Development (CSD) and other bodies.

The CSD is the UN institution established to monitor the implementation of the UNCED agreements, and, so it is argued, is the appropriate forum for SIDS monitoring and review. But how should SIDS be dealt with by the CSD? The follow-up to this Conference needs due attention while, at the same time, SIDS concerns should be integrated throughout all programme areas of Agenda 21. Mindful of past mistakes and the consequent marginalization of issue areas within the UN (two such issues, Africa and women, come to mind) the follow-up to the SIDS Conference should appear as a distinct item on the agenda and also be addressed in each report submitted by agencies or governments, where appropriate, in whichever cluster of Agenda 21 is under discussion.

The job of the focal point, or whatever name is given to the post-Conference coordination within the DPCSD, would be to ensure this integration, and to manage interagency coordination. If this Conference can find an effective mechanism, it will be advancing the cause of all Agenda 21 review and UNCED follow-up. Several delegates have noted that this issue is of greater importance at the present than calls for a second conference.

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