Published by the
International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD)
Vol. 22 No. 26
Wednesday, 3 April 2002
WSSD PREPCOM III HIGHLIGHTS:
TUESDAY, 2 APRIL 2002
Delegates met in two parallel working group
sessions all day and into the evening to continue consideration of
the compilation text of the Chairman’s Paper.
Editors Note: ENB coverage of the working groups
ended at 9:00 pm.
WORKING GROUP I
Co-Chaired by Kiyotaka Akasaka (Japan) and Maria
Viotti (Brazil), the Working Group completed consideration of the
section on poverty eradication and began consideration of changing
unsustainable patterns of consumption and production.
POVERTY ERADICATION: Livelihoods: The US,
with CANADA and the EU, called for implementing ILO core labour
standards and enhancing social and institutional capacity building.
Supporting the US, AUSTRALIA urged retention of text "allowing poor
people greater control over their own livelihoods," and SWITZERLAND
supported non-market means and instruments to fight poverty.
Rural and Agricultural Development: The EU,
with the REPUBLIC OF KOREA, said subsidy issues should be considered
under globalization, and JAPAN supported deletion of
trade-distorting subsidy references as they went beyond the Doha
mandate. The G-77/ CHINA, with NEW ZEALAND, said language on
trade-distorting subsidies and barriers to trade should follow Doha
agreements toward elimination of barriers to trade in developed
countries. The G-77/ CHINA called for a general reference to
desertification and its links to poverty eradication. JAPAN called
for deletion of the reference to market access for developing
country products, which the EU, the REPUBLIC OF KOREA and the US
suggested could be moved to the section on means of implementation.
Education: The US called for text on Rio
Principle 1 on human beings as the center of sustainable development
concerns. The G-77/ CHINA emphasized "support for developing
countries" in promoting universal primary education. The EU said
text should be consistent with Millennium Declaration goals.
Settlements and Housing: CANADA withdrew a
proposal highlighting issues relating to urbanization. On unplanned
settlements, the G-77/CHINA called for reference to cultural,
climate and social specificities.
Health: Many delegations said text on this
issue could be moved to the health and sustainable development
section. The EU proposed reference to reproductive care, CANADA
suggested text on health, environment and poverty linkages and the
G-77/CHINA emphasized "communicable" diseases.
Disasters and Conflict: The REPUBLIC OF KOREA
called for deletion of text on "natural" disasters. The US proposed
referring to disasters in both developing and developed countries,
but the G-77/ CHINA responded that developing countries are
disproportionately affected by disasters. TURKEY stressed
international cooperation in responding to disasters. HUNGARY
recalled text from the UN International Decade for Natural Disaster
Industrial Development: Delegates accepted
the proposed subsection, with a US amendment to replace "efficient"
with "sustainable" natural resource management.
CHANGING UNSUSTAINABLE PATTERNS OF CONSUMPTION
AND PRODUCTION: The US, with SWITZERLAND and CANADA, supported a
short chapeau. HUNGARY called for programmatic targets. With regard
to resource use, JAPAN opposed reference to the factor 4/10
approach. The EU, with AUSTRALIA and CANADA, said text on
consumption should not be restricted to developed countries.
AUSTRALIA, with NEW ZEALAND and SWITZERLAND, supported language on
decoupling economic growth from environmental degradation, while the
EU and the CZECH REPUBLIC proposed moving it to the chapeau, and the
US proposed deletion. The G-77/CHINA questioned the definition of
indicators, and the US and AUSTRALIA noted their consideration
elsewhere. NORWAY, NEW ZEALAND and SWITZERLAND supported, while the
US and JAPAN opposed, mention of the polluter-pays principle.
Public Consumer Awareness: HUNGARY stressed
the role of advertising and AUSTRALIA proposed addressing
consumption patterns of richer populations. Many countries requested
that ecolabeling be made voluntary, but not hide trade barriers. The
G-77/ CHINA, with NEW ZEALAND, objected to SWITZERLAND’s and the
EU’s proposal to provide information throughout the production
Cleaner Production: AUSTRALIA, JAPAN and the
US, diverged from SWITZERLAND and NEW ZEALAND, who supported
HUNGARY’s proposal for a concrete action plan on resource efficiency
Corporate Responsibility: The EU supported a
formulation that includes text on certification and standardization,
and the US, with the RUSSIAN FEDERATION, added that no specific
systems should be mentioned. The G-77/CHINA, opposed by AUSTRALIA,
highlighted the role of multinational corporations. The EU and
SWITZERLAND emphasized the social dimension of corporate
Policies: HUNGARY supported including text on
sustainability criteria. The US, supported by the REPUBLIC OF KOREA,
suggested text on using economic instruments and market incentives
to internalize external costs, and NORWAY proposed keeping text on
market access for developing countries. The US also proposed
language on gradually reducing and eliminating
environmentally-harmful and trade-distorting subsidies that inhibit
sustainable production and consumption patterns. NORWAY suggested
deleting "trade-distorting." The G-77/CHINA supported, while JAPAN
and NEW ZEALAND opposed, maintaining emphasis on developed
countries. Delegates accepted a G-77/CHINA proposal on exchange of
best practices on environmentally-sound technologies.
WORKING GROUP II
Working Group II, co-chaired by Ihab Gamaleldin
(Egypt) and Richard Ballhorn (Canada), completed consideration of
the section on health and sustainable development, and began
consideration of means of implementation.
HEALTH AND SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT: Regarding
mortality rates, the US expressed preference for the Millennium
Declaration language and added mention of prenatal care and
attendance at birth, and with SWITZERLAND and NORWAY, added child
and girl health. On occupational aspects, the G-77/CHINA sought
clarification of ILO’s "decent work" programmes. On programmes to
eradicate threats to health, the EU proposed text on resistance to
antibiotics and medicines abuse. The G-77/CHINA objected to the
wording on proposals for a global chemical classification system and
an addition of a heavy metals protocol to the Stockholm Convention.
Co-Chair Ballhorn suggested moving these texts to the chemicals
subsection. Regarding programmes to reduce respiratory diseases, the
G-77/ CHINA proposed mentioning pollutants from traditional cooking
and heating practices, and the US bracketed reference to financing.
Regarding lead phase out in gasoline, the
G-77/CHINA objected to, and the EU and the US supported, the
inclusion of references to other sources of particulates. The
G-77/CHINA supported, and the EU, JAPAN and the US objected to: the
target of reducing HIV infections by 25% nationally by 2005 and
globally by 2015; and "provision of sufficient and additional
resources" to support the Global Fund to Fight HIV/AIDS,
Tuberculosis and Malaria. The RUSSIAN FEDERATION reiterated its
proposal on regional cooperation in combating HIV/AIDS.
The G-77/CHINA proposed deleting reference to the
ILO code of practice on HIV/AIDS as the basis for tackling public
health problems and stressed indicating funds for access to adequate
food. The US objected to references to "culturally acceptable" food,
and preferred the development of international "partnerships" to
achieve global health literacy. With TANZANIA, he urged mention of
The G-77/CHINA, the EU, and the US supported: the
production and use of biodegradable products; assistance to enhance,
inter alia, developing country health information systems;
and the removal of text on public access to health information and
incorporation of traditional knowledge into these systems. They also
supported the establishment of two contact groups to consider text
on protecting traditional knowledge and the EU proposals on,
inter alia, initiatives on access to basic health services by
women, human resource development and "decentralization and
dissemination of research institutes."
MEANS OF IMPLEMENTATION: The G-77/CHINA
proposed that the principle of common but differentiated
responsibilities be featured in the chapeau, while the EU suggested
it appear only at the beginning of the document. AUSTRALIA and the
US objected to singling out the principle. MEXICO emphasized
identifying actions beyond Monterrey agreements, and, noting that
the compiled text was difficult to negotiate, suggested that the
Co-Chairs produce their own clean text.
On mobilizing new and additional financial
resources, the US proposed retaining reference to domestic sources,
and supported by the G-77/CHINA, recommended shortening the text.
The US, JAPAN and CANADA objected to the
G-77/CHINA text on a framework for an International Financial
Architecture, insisting on better use of existing mechanisms
instead. On forms of assistance to developing countries, the
G-77/CHINA proposed replacing "investments" with "financial
resources" and "national strategies" with "national policies." The
EU and the US objected to the G-77/CHINA proposal to delete their
texts on an enabling domestic environment and on encouraging
environmental best practices.
Stressing the need to "celebrate the
international success in Monterrey," NEW ZEALAND, with AUSTRALIA,
CANADA, the EU, JAPAN, and the US, called for Monterrey Consensus
language with regard to: actions to promote the mobilization of new
and additional resources; official development assistance (ODA)
targets; ODA for the implementation of the Millennium Declaration
goals and other specified targets; implementation of the Brussels
Programme of Action for the Least Developed Countries (LDCs); the
absorptive capacity and management of aid by recipient countries;
the efficiency and effectiveness of aid; and untying of aid to LDCs.
NORWAY proposed keeping timeframes separate, and, countered by JAPAN
and the US, welcomed the untying of aid to all developing countries
to acknowledge progress beyond the OECD Development Assistance
Committee efforts. The G-77/CHINA urged deleting references to
national sustainable development strategies and internationally
agreed best practices.
The G-77/CHINA called for new and additional
financial resources, while the EU, the US, JAPAN and CANADA
supported using existing mechanisms and exploring innovative sources
of financing. There was agreement on simplifying the GEF project
approval cycle, but general objection to the G-77/CHINAï¿½s suggestion
to identify focal areas for GEF funding and the EUï¿½s reference to
protection of global environmental goods. On the Heavily Indebted
Poor Countries (HIPC) initiative, most delegates agreed to use
Monterrey language, with SWITZERLAND stressing deepening and
broadening the initiative. Reference to
debt-for-sustainable-development swaps was supported by the RUSSIAN
FEDERATION, and objected to by AUSTRALIA.
IN THE CORRIDORS
Even though many participants acknowledge that
the "Type II" partnerships are expected to be one of the major WSSD
outcomes, there is growing concern regarding the shape that the
initiatives on partnerships will take by Johannesburg. Participants
also lamented that meeting announcements were not consistent and
thus many had missed the informal group meeting on Monday. Others
complained that they were not receiving sufficient guidance on how
the partnerships would be realized and what is expected of
governments in support of such partnerships. These concerns may be
addressed in an informal paper that is being prepared and that is
likely to be released Wednesday morning.
THINGS TO LOOK FOR TODAY
WORKING GROUP I: Working Group I will
continue its consideration of unsustainable patterns of consumption
and production, beginning at 11:00 am, continuing in the afternoon
in Conference Room 1, and possibly in an evening session in
Conference Room 5.
WORKING GROUP II: The Group will continue its
consideration of means of implementation beginning at 11:00 am,
continuing in the afternoon in Conference Room 4, and possibly in
the evening in Conference Room 6.