Published by the
International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD)
Vol. 22 No. 48
Monday, 2 September 2002
31 AUGUST – 1 SEPTEMBER 2002
On Saturday, 31 August, the Johannesburg setting
convened in ministerial consultations at 10:00 am and met throughout
the day and into the evening, finally adjourning just past midnight.
Ministers and delegates reviewed several iterations of textual
proposals on the central clusters of outstanding issues. On Sunday,
1 September, ministers convened in a smaller group to continue their
deliberations, which again proceeded almost non-stop throughout the
day until 3:00 am on 2 September. The Vienna setting had been
scheduled to meet on 31 August and 1 September, but was postponed
twice and then cancelled indefinitely.
JOHANNESBURG SETTING AND MINISTERIAL
The ministerial-level consultations were chaired
by South African Minister of Environmental Affairs and Tourism Valli
Moosa, who appealed to ministers to take issues off the table.
INTRODUCTION: After noting that an agreed
reference to cultural diversity (5) was not reflected in the Chair’s
text. It was then reinserted in the text after a suggestion from the
Chair on placement. Final text acknowledges that peace, security,
stability and respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms,
including the right to development, as well as cultural diversity
are essential for achieving sustainable development.
COMMON BUT DIFFERENTIATED RESPONSIBILITIES (CBDR):
On 1 September, delegates negotiated a package, hinging on paragraph
75. Stating that there are 27 Rio Principles deserving equal
attention, and that some elements of the CBDR Principle are not
relevant in the section on finance, several developed countries
supported text "including the principle," over taking into account
"in particular the principle" of CBDR. Nine developing countries
underscored the Principle’s importance. Delegates agreed on taking
into account "including in particular the Principle of CBDR," and
quoting the Principle in its entirety.
As part of the package, the following paragraphs
were agreed to: undertaking actions and enhancing international
cooperation, taking into account the Rio Principles, including,
inter alia the principle of CBDR (2); sustainable consumption
and production with developed countries, taking the lead and with
all countries benefiting from the process, taking in to account the
Rio Principles, including inter alia the principle of CBDR
(13); and implementing conclusions of CSD-9 and enhancing
cooperation to reduce air pollution bearing in mind that in view of
the different contributions to global environmental degradation,
States have CBDR (19 and 37). Paragraphs 120 and 138(b) were
WORLD SOLIDARITY FUND: In the afternoon, the
ministers briefly discussed the establishment of a world solidarity
fund 6(b). One developed country signaled acceptance if the fund
remained voluntary. A group of developed countries said they need to
meet their existing financial commitments (like the 0.7% GNP ODA
goal) before establishing a new fund. Another developed country said
that developing countries need resources, not another mechanism. A
developing country said that they do not want to establish a
bureaucratic structure, but they need a fund because globalization
has exacerbated poverty.
On 1 September, ministers agreed to accept the
text as originally formulated in the draft Plan of Implementation.
PRODUCTION AND CONSUMPTION: On 31 August, the
Chair invited an ambassador to present revised paragraph 14 and two
subparagraphs, on health impacts 14(c) and consumer information
14(d). The new text included an undertaking to encourage and promote
the development of a 10-year-framework of programmes in support of
regional and national initiatives. A developed country group noted a
concern that linkage with the principle of common but differentiated
responsibilities did not appear in the draft.
On 1 September, developing countries reiterated
their amendments from the previous night, opposing "a" framework of
programmes, instead suggesting "development of 10 year framework of
programmes," and deleting using life-cycle analysis in developing
policies. The Chair confirmed that the text formulated by the
ambassador had been agreed by consensus, and developing
countries accepted the decision.
PRECAUTIONARY APPROACH: On 31 August, the
ministers discussed the precautionary approach (22 and 93(e)bis).
The Chair summarized the arguments as follows: those favoring
reference to further developments in international law since the Rio
Declaration was adopted believe that not mentioning other legal
instruments would be a step backwards; and those preferring omission
of the reference believe that the instruments do not bind everyone
and might have unforeseen consequences. One developed country stated
that reference to multilateral agreements is too open-ended and must
not be used to create new restrictions on trade. Another developed
country said that Principle 15 applies only to the environment and
suggested language noting that the precautionary approach has been
applied to human health. Many said they could not support this
proposal, although one group of developed countries accepted it.
On 1 September, delegates agreed to discuss the
precautionary approach based on paragraph 93(e)bis alt.
Developing countries and several developed countries preferred
"bearing in mind" the precautionary approach. Other developed
countries stressed application of, and later proposed "reaffirming
our commitment to apply" the approach, and with this new text,
agreed to delete a reference to multilateral environment agreements.
After discussion, delegates agreed to a slight amendment of a
Chair’s proposal. The final text reads "to promote and improve
science-based decision-making, and reaffirm the precautionary
approach as set out in Principle 15," and quotes the Principle in
Regarding chemicals (22), several developed
countries emphasized risk assessment and risk management. Delegates
reached consensus on a proposal by developing countries to reflect
language from CSD-8, indicating use of "transparent science-based
risk assessment procedures, as well as science-based risk management
procedures, taking in to account the precautionary approach."
Paragraph 45(e) was deleted as part of the package.
NATURAL RESOURCES: On 31 August, ministers
discussed the chapeau to Chapter IV on natural resources (23). The
proposed Co-Chair’s text circulated after consultations on 30 August
was criticized by some developed countries as it did not refer to
the ecosystem approach, national and regional targets and
precaution. A group of developing countries said that an ecosystem
approach may not be appropriate for certain areas and that they
could not accept global targets without a commitment to accompanying
resources. A group of developed countries suggested linking this
text with the biodiversity text.
In the evening session, the Chair asked delegates
whether the reference to "integrated management of land, water and
living resources" covered the ecosystem approach. While a few
agreed, others from developed and transition countries insisted on
reference to the ecosystem approach, precaution and/or targets.
After much debate at 12:15 am, the ministers agreed to the
Co-Chair’s original proposal, with an amendment. The final text
states that to reverse the current trend in natural resource
degradation, it is necessary to implement strategies that should
include targets adopted at the national "and, where appropriate,"
regional levels to protect ecosystems and to achieve integrated
management of land, water and living resources.
WATER AND SANITATION: On 31 August, Chair of
the Main Committee Emil Salim (Indonesia) presented new text on
sanitation (7 and 24) at the end of the morning session. Delegates
discussed the proposal the following night in the ministerial
consultations. On paragraph 7, delegates debated whether to
"resolve" or "agree" to halve, by the year 2015, the proportion of
people who are unable to reach or to afford safe drinking water (as
outlined in the Millennium Declaration) and who do not have access
to basic sanitation. Delegates agreed to "agree" and the paragraphs
were adopted. Paragraph 24 launches a programme of actions to meet
BIODIVERSITY: On 31 August following
extensive consultations, a minister presented new text for
paragraphs 42 and 42(o) on biodiversity. A representative of a small
group of developing countries said that they could not accept either
paragraph and in the afternoon presented a counter-proposal. The
group debated whether or not the text should go beyond what had been
agreed at the sixth Conference of the Parties to the Convention on
Biodiversity (CBD COP-6). Two ministers held further consultations
to merge the two texts, and in the evening circulated a new
There was still disagreement on whether to call
for a "legally binding" international regime to promote and
safeguard the fair and equitable sharing of benefits arising out of
the utilization of genetic resources. Some proposed "an
international arrangement," noting that this decision should be left
to the CBD COP and that the Bonn Guidelines on Access and
Benefit-sharing should be given a chance. Others responded that
voluntary guidelines are insufficient and that megadiverse countries
may have to restrict access to genetic resources for researchers,
business and private investment unless there are clear rules on
benefit sharing. A developed country responded that a
legally-binding instrument would have implications on both the TRIPs
agreement and WIPO. At 11:30 pm, the group accepted the text,
calling for "an international regime" in paragraph 42(o) and the
"achievement by 2010 of a significant reduction in the current rate
of loss of biological diversity" in paragraph 42.
FINANCE AND TRADE: On 31 August during the
afternoon session, the facilitator of the contact group on finance,
trade and globalization issues reported on the status of
negotiations. He identified the outstanding issues as subsidies and
the characteristics of globalization, and suggested retaining
language used in the Doha Declaration and the Monterrey Consensus.
The Chair invited him to continue with his facilitation.
On 1 September, the contact group facilitator
reported that they had reached a consensus text. He announced that
all paragraphs, except those on the Rio Principles, had been agreed.
He noted that agreement of paragraph 3 in Chapter V on promoting
corporate responsibility and accountability through development and
implementation of intergovernmental agreements referred to existing
agreements and was not a call for a new international regime.
Delegates had extensive discussions on the
chapeau of paragraph 17 on enhancing the mutual supportiveness of
trade, environment and development. Several developed countries
opposed qualifying the chapeau with "while ensuring WTO
consistency," stating that this implied a hierarchy over
multilateral environment agreements and pre-judged the outcomes of
the Doha Development Round. New proposals were put forth, including
"while ensuring consistency with WTO rules and other international
agreements," and "while striving to avoid WTO inconsistency."
Developing countries and several developed countries clarified that
the phrase was not meant to establish a hierarchy.
In the evening session, a group of developing
countries reversed their earlier position and, supported by some
developed countries and economies in transition, recommended
deleting the phrase "while ensuring WTO consistency." The Chair
noted an overwhelming consensus, and the phrase was deleted with
acclamation. With this the text of Chapters V and IX from the
contact group were agreed.
CLIMATE CHANGE: On 31 August, the Chair
invited a minister from a developed country to seek consensus on a
revised text. At the next session, ministers were informed that
interested delegations were nearing agreement on a revised draft,
containing text discussed at PrepCom IV with the addition of the
following reference to ratification: "States that have ratified the
Kyoto Protocol strongly urge States that have not already done so to
ratify the Kyoto Protocol in a timely manner."
On 1 September, the Chair announced that
subparagraphs 36(a)-(e) were set aside pending completion of the
chapeau. After consultations, delegates reached agreement on new
text. Delegates adopted the new subparagraphs 36(a)-(i), which
address actions required to address climate change.
INSTITUTIONAL FRAMEWORK: The contact group on
institutional issues (Chapter X of the Implementation Plan),
co-chaired by Lars-Göran Engfeldt (Sweden) and Ositadinma Anaedu
(Nigeria), met the morning of 31 August, without making substantial
The Co-Chairs reported to the Johannesburg
setting at 7:00 pm. The Chair briefly took up paragraph 5 of the
Plan which mentions human rights, a provision also referred to in
paragraph 152. A developing country group expressed its preference
for the wording "internationally recognized human rights," used in
the Millennium Declaration, with two delegations strongly opposing
any qualification of the notion. A developing country group,
supported by one delegation, requested continuing the contact group.
After the contact group reassembled at 9:30 pm,
the Co-Chairs circulated a paper suggesting ways to resolve pending
differences on text, including deletion of redundant paragraphs: 3bis;
122(b), (c), (e) and (f); the second sentence of 138(b) and (c); 139
and 139(a) and (b); and 151. New language was offered for
contentious text on human rights, the social dimension, good
governance, partnerships and access to information (5, 122(g), 123,
124, 146 and 146bis and 152). In the ensuing discussion, a
developing country group and several others supported the proposed
deletions. One country objected to the Co-Chairs’ paper being
prepared without adequate consultation with delegates. A developed
country group opposed the proposed deletions, and no agreement was
The Co-Chairs reported to the Ministerial meeting
shortly after 12:00 am.
On 1 September in the evening, the outstanding
issues in Chapter X and related texts were taken up by the
ministerial meeting. Chair Moosa issued a text on a "take it or
leave it" basis. Delegations agreed to adopt the compromise language
with two amendments. One delegation recalled that the phrase
"respect for cultural diversity" was originally accepted in
paragraph 5, and it was reinserted. In paragraph 152, the words
"taking into account the ongoing work on this issue" were dropped.
GLOBAL PUBLIC GOODS: Delegates agreed to
examine issues of global public goods through workshops to promote a
better understanding of such questions.
ENERGY: On 31 August, a group of developing
countries introduced proposed elements on energy access and
renewable technology issues (8, 19(e), 19(p)bis and 19(s)).
References to renewable energy targets, including a global target of
15% and a 2% increase by industrialized countries, had been removed
from the original text. Some developed countries supported text in
favor of renewable energy targets.
After a procedural discussion, a developed
country introduced minor amendments to a subparagraph on energy
technologies, adding reference to "energy," "fossil fuel
technologies" and action "at the national level" in a subparagraph
on subsidies (19(p)bis). The Chair then requested a
developing country group to develop revised text.
In the evening, the developed country group
reported that they had made significant concessions on subsidies and
would concede language on "action-oriented" recommendations on
energy. A developing country proposed replacing a reference to
energy "consumption" with "supply" in subparagraph 19(e) on
diversification of energy supply; and proposed inserting action "at
the national level" to phase out subsidies. Offering flexibility,
they agreed to a reference on renewable energy technologies. Several
developing countries agreed to insert a reference to "affordable
energy technologies including fossil fuel as well as renewable
energy technologies," and to "more efficient" technologies.
A developed country group introduced a written
commentary on the developing countries’ draft, consisting of
paragraphs on: the "launch" of a programme of actions, with
financial and technical assistance, to improve access to reliable
and affordable energy services (8); renewable energy targets
(19(e)); and action to phase out energy subsidies (19(p)bis).
Another developed country rejected this proposal because the
introduction of targets would amount to a "one size fits all"
There was no agreement and the Chair closed the
HEALTH AND SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT: On 31
August, a developed country, stating that paragraph 47 had
been prematurely accepted in Bali as noted in A/CONF./CRP.1, asked
the Chair to re-open this paragraph. The Chair re-opened the
paragraph and the country proposed adding reference to human rights.
A procedural debate ensued and an hour later, the Chair said that
since this was not an "official" body of the Conference, this
proposal would have to be made in the appropriate forum. The
minister said he would do so.
IN THE CORRIDORS I
Most delegates cheered loudly when the ministers
adopted paragraph 17. The paragraph addresses the mutual
supportiveness of trade, environment and development, and contained
the language "while ensuring WTO consistency." Earlier Major Group
representatives protested this language peacefully outside the
conference room and were ecstatic to hear that the language was
IN THE CORRIDORS II
As ministers and delegates alike toiled
throughout the weekend, many observers noted that despite the
political divisions on the outstanding issues, the weekend’s big
push and shift to ministerial level negotiations signaled a
commitment to the process and its outcomes. Sunday’s relocation to
smaller negotiating quarters combined physical restraints on the
number of delegates with increased political pressure from the Chair
to drive the process to its conclusion.
With entrance to the meeting room and the
adjoining corridor tightly controlled, delegates and observers were
pushed to their limits as leaving the "zone" to access food or
proper sanitary facilities jeopardized re-entry. Seasoned veterans
highlighted this as the typical "back room" drama characteristic of
negotiations, while others could only hope that the outcome would be
worth the wait.
IN THE CORRIDORS III
The Alliance of Small Island States (AOSIS),
while regarded as an effective group in the climate negotiations,
has reportedly had difficulties voicing its concerns amid the
complex of positions put forward by the G-77, particularly on the
Kyoto Protocol and renewable energy targets. In perhaps a final
attempt to profile their vital interests, AOSIS Heads of States
issued a Communiqué welcoming Chapter VII of the draft Plan of
Implementation on SIDS, but calling for urgent international and
domestic action to address climate change, including the Kyoto
Protocol’s early ratification and entry into force.
THINGS TO LOOK FOR TODAY
PLENARY: The Plenary meeting for the Heads of
State Summit will commence at 9:00 am in the Plenary Hall, with
opening remarks from Thabo Mbeki, President of the Republic of South
Africa, Kofi Annan, UN Secretary-General, and Han Seung-soo,
President of the UN General Assembly. This will be followed by a
presentation from the "Children of the World," and addresses by
Heads of State.
ROUND TABLES: Round Table I on the theme
"Making It Happen," will meet at 3:00 pm in Ballroom 3.
MINISTERIAL CONSULTATIONS: The ministerial
consultations will convene at 11:00 am in Committee Room 5 to
discuss outstanding issues on energy and health in Africa.
DRAFT POLITICAL DECLARATION: Copies of the
draft Political Declaration may be circulated by the South African