WSSD.INFO NEWS

 

ISSUE 4

June 2002

 

Part I

3 June to 9 June 2002

 

Compiled by Richard Sherman
 

Edited by Kimo Goree 
 

Published by the International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD)
 

Distributed exclusively to the 2002SUMMIT-L list by IISD Reporting Services
 

For more information on the WSSD, visit IISD's Linkages Portal at http://wssd.info

 

Editor's note: Welcome to the fourth issue of WSSD.Info News, compiled by Richard Sherman. We hope to provide this service on at least a fortnightly basis from now through the Summit. If you should come across a news article or have a submission for the next issue, please send it directly to Richard. WSSD.Info News is an exclusive publication of IISD for the 2002SUMMIT-L list and should not be reposted or republished to other lists/websites without the permission of IISD (you can write Kimo for permission.) If you have been forwarded this issue and would like to subscribe to 2002SUMMIT-L, please visit http://iisd.ca/scripts/lyris.pl?join=2002summit-l.

 

Funding for the production of WSSD.Info News (part of the IISD Reporting Services annual program) has been provided by The Netherlands Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Government of Canada (through CIDA), the United States (through USAID), the Swiss Agency for Environment, Forests and Landscape (SAEFL), the United Kingdom (through the Department for International Development - DFID), the European Commission (DG-ENV), the Danish Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and the Government of Germany (through German Federal Ministry of Environment - BMU, and the German Federal Ministry of Development Cooperation - BMZ). General Support for the Bulletin during 2002 is provided by the Ministries of Foreign Affairs and Environment of Finland, the Government of Australia, the Ministry of Environment and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Sweden, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade of New Zealand, the Ministries of Foreign Affairs and Environment of Norway, Swan International, and the Japanese Ministry of Environment (through the Institute for Global Environmental Strategies – IGES). If you like WSSD.Info News, please thank them for their support.

 

Contents

 

NEWS ARTICLES

 

1.       HUNDREDS OF HOURS AND MILLIONS OF POUNDS ALL ADD UP TO ONE GLOBAL DISASTER AT BALI (Independent 9 June 2002)

2.       WHY DID THIRD WORLD SUMMIT FAIL, MPS ASK MINISTER (Scotsman.com 8 June 2002)

3.       MINISTERS FAIL TO AGREE EARTH SUMMIT PLAN (The Jakarta Post 8 June 2002)

4.       DEVELOPMENT TALKS END IN DISAGREEMENT (Associated Press via the Washington Post8 June 2002)

5.       STILL NO BREAKTHROUGH AT EARTH SUMMIT TALKS (The News International, Pakistan8 June 2002)

6.       BALI MEETING ENDS WITHOUT DEAL (The Jakarta Post 8 June 2002)

7.       BALI DEVELOPMENT CONFERENCE ENDS WITHOUT AGREEMENT ON KEY ISSUES (Voice of America 8 June 2002)

8.       AFTER TWO WEEKS OF INTENSE NEGOTIATIONS, BALI MEETING SENDS IMPLEMENTATIONPLAN TO JOHANNESBURG FOR FINALIZATION (United Nations Press Release 8 June 2002)

9.       MINISTERIAL MEETING FOR SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT CONCLUDES (Xinhua News Agency 8 June 2002)

10.   U.N. STRESSES THE POSITIVE AFTER BALI DEVELOPMENT TALKS END WITHOUT AGREEMENT (Associated Press 7 June 2002

11.   RIGHTS TO DEVELOPMENT, HEALTHY ENVIRONMENT STRESSED AS BALI PREPARATORY MEETING CONCLUDES MINISTERIAL DISCUSSION (United Nations Press Release7 June 2002)

12.   WORLD SUMMIT POLITICAL DECLARATION SHOULD CONTAIN CLEAR, FORCEFUL, COMPREHENSIVE COMMITMENT TO ACTION, PREPARATORY MEETING TOLD (United Nations Press Release 7 June 2002)

13.   BALI COMMITMENT IN LIMBO AS TALKS NEAR END (The Jakarta Post 7 June 2002)

14.   EARTH CHARTER PRINCIPLES OFFER NEW BEGINNING, SAYS PRINCESS BASMA (The Jordan Times 7 June 2002

15.   EARTH SUMMIT PLAN TALKS EXTENDED (Business Day 7 June 2002)

16.   'MIRACLE' NEEDED TO RESOLVE BALI LOGJAM (Mail and Guardian7 June 2002)

17.   ONLY 45 FOR EARTH SUMMIT (Daily Despatch 7 June 2002).

18.   DON'T BOYCOTT PREPCOM IV OUTCOME, DELEGATES PLEAD (The Jakarta Post7 June 2002)

19.   ENVIRONTMENTAL DAMAGE 'CAUSES PEOPLE MISERY' (The Jakarta Post 7 June 2002)

20.   CAPACITY 21 PROJECT LAUNCHED (The Jakarta Post 7 June 2002)

21.   PRONK TELLS LEADERS TO COME TO JOHANNESBURG (The Jakarta Post 7 June 2002)

22.   INDONESIA GOVT TOLD NOT TO FORCE THROUGH BALI COMMITMENT (The Jakarta Post 7 June 2002)

23.   FEWER PARTICIPANTS MAY SHOW UP AT JOBURG SUMMIT (The Jakarta Post 7June 2002)

24.   EARTH SUMMIT DEBATE DEALOCKED (The Associated Press 7 June 2002)

25.   LITTLE HAS CHANGED THESE PAST 10 YEARS (Bangkok Post 7 June 2002)

26.   BALI ACTION PLAN FOR EARTH SUMMIT ON THE ROPES (Islamic Republic News Agency 7 June 2002)

27.   NEW UNDP DRIVE TO SUPPORT DEVELOPING COUNTRY EFFORTS TO MEET 2015 MILLENNIUM DEVELOPMENT GOALS (United Nations Press Release 6 June 2002)

28.   ASIAN NATIONS MAP OUT JOINT PLAN TO TACKLE REGIONAL WATER CRISIS (OneWorld South Asia 6 June 2002)

29.   PRESSURE MOUNTS ON UNITED STATES TO COMPROMISE IN BALI TALKS (Associated Press 6 June 2002)

30.   SEEKING RIGHT THEME FOR GLOBAL DEVELOPMENT IN BALI (Xinhua News Agency 6 June 2002)

31.   UNEP WARNS OF MAJOR DEGRADATION OF WORLD ENVIRONMENT (Xinhua News Agency 6 June 2002)

32.   LAND DEGRADATION THREATENS MOSTLY AFRICAN COUNTRIES: REPORT (Xinhua News Agency 6 June 2002)

33.   NGOS QUESTION WORLD LEADERS' COMMITMENT TO ATTEND WORLD SUMMIT (Xinhua News Agency 6 June 2002)

34.   MEGA CALLS ON NATIONS TO BUILD THE WORLD ANEW (The Jakarta Post 6 June 2002)

35.   NGOS REJECT UN MEETING RESULTS (The Jakarta Post 6 June 2002)

36.   EXPERT: CORRUPTION HURTS SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT (The Jakarta Post 6 June 2002)

37.   NO MORE 'BUSINESS AS USUAL', SAYS DORODJATUN (The Jakarta Post 6 June 2002)

38.   DEVELOPMENT DILEMMA HAUNTS DEVELOPING COUNTRIES: UN (The Jakarta Post 6 June 2002)

39.   LOCAL KEY TO SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT (The Jakarta Post 6 June 2002)

40.   UNDP UNVEILS PROGRAMME TO BOOST DEVELOPING COUNTRIES' ABILITY TO OFFER BASIC SERVICES (UNDPI6 June 2002)

41.   INDONESIA, AUSTRALIA SIGN ENVIRONMENTAL AGREEMENT (Xinhua News Agency 6 June 2002)

42.   JAPAN JOINS DONOR GROUP FOR BIODIVERSITY CONSERVATION (Xinhua News Agency 6 June 2002)

43.   IRAN BLAMES INDUSTRIAL NATIONS FOR STALEMATE AT BALI MEETING (Islamic Republic News Agency 6 June 2002)

44.   PRINCESS BASMA URGES HELPING COMMUNITIES TO CONTRIBUTE TO SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT (Jordan Times 6 June 2002)

45.   IMPORTANCE OF PROMOTING PARTNERSHIPS TO FOSTER ACQUISITION, USE OF MODERN TECHNOLOGY HIGHLIGHTED IN BALI DISCUSSIONS (United Nations Press Release 6 June 2002)

46.   PARTNERSHIP INITIATIVES SHOULD NOT SUBSTITUTE FOR GOVERNMENT COMMITMENTS TO PROMOTE SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT, SPEAKERS STRESS (United Nations Press Release6 June 2002)

47.   LACK OF FUNDING, ACCESS TO SAFE WATER, HEALTH SERVICES AMONG ISSUES HIGHLIGHTED AT BALI PREPARATORY MEETING (United Nations Press Release 5 June 2002)

48.   UBUNTU VILLAGE POISED TO ATTRACT FOREIGN AND LOCAL INTEREST (JOWSCO 5 June 2002)

49.   POVERTY THREATENS SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT - KOFI ANNAN (The NEWS (Monrovia) via All Africa5 June 2002)

50.   CALLS FOR CONCRETE OBJECTIVES ARISE IN BALI MEETING (Xinhua News Agency 5 June 2002)

51.   POLICE SERVICE READY TO PROVIDE SECURITY AT SUMMIT (BuaNews (Pretoria) via All Africa5 June 2002)

52.   ADDITIONAL US $24 BILLION NEEDED TO REDUCE HUNGERUN (Integrated Regional Information Networks via All Africa 5 June 2002)

53.   HOST COUNTRY RECOGNIZED IN THREE-NATION EFFORTS TO PRESERVE WETLANDS (United Nations 5 June 2002)

54.   HIGH-LEVEL PUSH IN BALI TO FIRM UP SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT AGENDA (United Nations 5 June 2002)

55.   TRADE AND FINANCE ISSUES HOLD UP ECONOMIC SUMMIT IN BALI (Voice of America 5 June 2002)

56.   KENYA MARKS WORLD ENVIRONMENT DAY (Xinhua News Agency 5 June 2002)

57.   DLAMINI ZUMA: STATE OF SA'S READINESS TO HOST WSSD (Department of Foreign Affairs, c/o SA Embassy, Bali, 5 June 2002)

58.   WORLD ENVIRONMENT DAY: EU CITIZENS WORRIED ABOUT GLOBAL ENVIRONMENT TRENDS (European Union 5 June 2002)

59.   PM QUASHES KYOTO ROLE (Australian Associated Press 5 June 2002)

60.   BALI PREPARATORY MEETING HEARS CALL FOR CONCRETE OBJECTIVES, PRECISE TIMELINES TO GENERATE MOMENTUM FOR ACTION (United Nations Press Release5 June 2002)

61.   UN URGES GOVERNMENTS TO COMMIT TO ENVIRONMENTAL PLAN (Associated Press 5 June 2002)

62.   UN UNVEILS INTERNET ATLAS (The Associated Press 5 June 2002)

63.   EARTH SUMMIT 'WILL PRODUCE 500,000 TONS OF GREENHOUSE GAS' (Daily Telegraph 4 June 2002)

64.   COALITION FACES KYOTO SPOTLIGHT (Australian Associated Press 4 June 2002)

65.   EU RATIFIES KYOTO PROTOCOL (CORDIS News 4 June 2002)

66.   TAIWAN READIES FOR WORLD SUMMIT IN JOHANNESBURG (Taipei Times4 June 2002)

67.   CORPORATE ACCOUNTABILITY REQUIRES GLOBAL WATCHDOG (The Jakarta Post4 June 2002)

68.   GOVTS EAGER TO SPEND MORE ON ARMS THAN RESEARCH: SCIENTISTS (The Jakarta Post4 June 2002)

69.   INTERDEPENDENCE, SUSTAINABILITY, PARTICIPATION, EQUITY SUGGESTED AS POSSIBLE KEY ELEMENTS FOR SUMMIT'S POLITICAL DECLARATION (United Nations Press Release 4 June 2002)

70.   PREPARATORY COMMITTEE CHAIRMAN OPTIMISTIC THAT SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT IMPLEMENTATION PLAN WILL BE FINALIZED IN BALI (United Nations Press Release4 June 2002)

71.   DEVELOPING COUNTRIES TAKE INITIATIVE TO BROADEN ACCESS TO WATER AND SANITATION (United Nations 4 June 2002)

72.   U.N. AND SCIENTIFIC ORGANIZATIONS LAUNCH FIRST INTERNET ATLAS OF THE WORLD'S OCEANS (Associated Press Writer 4 June 2002)

73.   MINISTERS ARRIVE ON BALI TO HELP PUSH THROUGH TALKS ON ENVIRONMENTAL ACTION PLAN (Associated Press4 June 2002)

74.   EU HEADS FOR CLASH WITH U.S. OVER JOHANNESBURG SUMMIT (Inter Press Service 4 June 2002)

75.   RI, BRAZIL, SOUTH AFRICA TO SPEED UP BALI TALKS (The Jakarta Post 4 June 2002)

76.   WORLD SUMMIT VENUES TO USE ENVIRONMENTALLY FRIENDLY POWER (Business Day via All Africa 3 June 2002)

77.   DELEGATES SCRAMBLE TO OVERCOME DIVISIONS OVER ACTION PLAN FOR U.N. DEVELOPMENT CONFERENCE (Associated Press 3 June 2002)

78.   WORLD SUMMIT ON SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT: "POLITICAL COMMITMENT KEY INGREDIENT FOR SUCCESS IN JOHANNESBURG" (European Union 3 June 2002)

79.   ECUMENICAL TEAM CALLS FOR A CHECK ON CORPORATE POWER (All Africa 3 June 2002)

80.   NEGOTIATORS AT UN TALKS IN BALI WORK TO RESOLVE DIFFERENCES OVER FINANCING, TRADE (United Nations 3 June 2002)

81.   NEW STYLE OF DIALOGUE AMONG MAJOR STAKEHOLDERS HOLDS PROMISE FOR FUTURE CHANGE IN GLOBAL NEGOTIATIONS (United Nations 3 June 2002)

82.   FINANCING, TRADE, LAUNCHING OF NEW PROGRAMMES AMONG UNRESOLVED ISSUES AS SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT NEGOTIATIONS CONTINUE (United Nations Press Release 3 June 2002)

 

 

NEWS ARTICLES

 

 

1) HUNDREDS OF HOURS AND MILLIONS OF POUNDS ALL ADD UP TO ONE GLOBAL DISASTER AT BALI

Independent

9 June 2002

Internet: http://news.independent.co.uk/world/politics/story.jsp?story=303552

John Prescott was urged yesterday to go round the world "in 80 days" to save a summit on world poverty after vital talks collapsed The talks – the last formal preparatory negotiations before the summit which meets in Johannesburg at the end of August – broke up in Bali, Indonesia, with more than 100 points still unresolved, largely due to American obduracy. The Bush administration rejected any new targets for reducing poverty and, in effect, refused to negotiate, stating its position and challenging the rest of the world to take it or leave it. It blocked plans to halve the number of the world's people without any sanitation – a situation that causes a child to die every 10 seconds from water-borne disease – and to double those who have electricity and other modern forms of energy. The negotiations at Bali were made more difficult because of weak leadership of the developing countries at the talks that allowed Opec, which opposed any resolutions on energy, to set the tone. Europe was also ineffectually led by Spain, the current holder of the EU presidency. The collapse throws the summit – officially named the World Summit On Sustainable Development – into jeopardy, amid fears that heads of government will now stay away from it to avoid being associated with a failure. But Tony Blair, the first prime minister to announce his attendance, is committed to going, and Britain has led the international drive to get the summit to produce results. The Johannesburg meeting was intended as the most significant world summit on the environment and the problems of the developing world since the Earth Summit held in Rio de Janeiro 10 years ago. The Johannesburg summit will review progress since Rio while turning the spotlight on problems in the developing world and in particular the eradication of poverty. But the American intransigence throws its future into doubt. Derek Osborn, the head of Britain's main co-ordinating group for the summit – the Stakeholder Forum For Our Common Future – called on Mr Prescott to travel the world to save it from disaster. The Deputy Prime Minister, who successfully brokered the Kyoto protocol on global warming, has visited 30 prime ministers and almost 100 environment ministers over the past two years, as Mr Blair's representative, to try to prepare the way for a successful summit. But he has been scarred recently by inaccurate press reports accusing him of wanting to go to Bali for a "junket''. Mr Osborn said: "There is an awful lot to be done in a very short time. There are just 80 days until the summit opens and someone is going to have to go round the world a couple of times in those 80 days to pull it off. We really need John Prescott.'' There are two remaining opportunities at the end of this month to rescue the conference from disaster. A meeting of a few heads of government in Rio arranged by the Brazilian President, Fernando Henrique Cardoso – and the G8 summit which will see leaders of rich countries meeting their counterparts from several African states. Experts say, however, that there will have to be a sustained effort to mobilise key leaders around the world if the summit is to succeed. Failure could put back by decades the hopes of reducing world poverty. Margaret Beckett, the Secretary of State for the Environment, tried to put a positive gloss on the Bali summit, saying "a huge amount" had been achieved. "We have had a lot of movement and achieved quite a lot of work," she said. “There was a bit of disappointment because we didn't achieve quite as much as we could have done, given the goodwill that exists, but we ran out of time. These are complex negotiations that involve so many countries across the world, so it is difficult." Mrs Beckett had been criticised for the £180,000 cost to the taxpayer of sending a British delegation to Bali. Friends of the Earth International criticised the outcome of the Indonesian talks as a "foul result" that had produced too many voluntary agreements that benefited the US and the World Trade Organisation. 


2) WHY DID THIRD WORLD SUMMIT FAIL, MPS ASK MINISTER

Scotsman.com

8 June 2002

Internet: http://www.news.scotsman.com/latest.cfm?id=4791451
Environment Secretary Margaret Beckett was today urged to explain to MPs why top level international talks on help for the Third World had “apparently failed”. The mini-summit of UN countries in Bali, described by Mrs Beckett as “tough”, ended today with no agreement between nations on a number of crucial issues. Mrs Beckett, who was representing the UK at the talks, rejected claims by Green pressure groups that it had been a failure and said the outcome “takes us well down the road” to the World Summit on Sustainable Development in September. But the Liberal Democrats claimed the lack of agreement in Bali could lead to a “carve-up” by the United States at the milestone summit in Johannesburg. Mrs Beckett said the UK and other EU states had achieved “broad agreement” on the importance of providing adequate sanitation and access to affordable and clean energy in eradicating poverty.
There was also a “specific global focus” on the needs of Africa for the first time, she added. But there was no agreement on setting a renewable energy target of a 15% share of the global market by 2010 and no consensus on the target to halve the proportion of people without access to sanitation by 2015. Liberal Democrat environment spokesman Malcolm Bruce said: “Margaret Beckett should make a statement to the House of Commons about the apparent failure of the Bali summit. “Participating NGOs have complained that no realistic agenda was set for the earth summit in Johannesburg in August. “Poor countries will be extremely angry that what is supposed to be a milestone 10 years on from Rio could turn out to be a simple carve-up by the US to make the rich richer and the poor poorer.”

 

3) MINISTERS FAIL TO AGREE EARTH SUMMIT PLAN

The Jakarta Post

8 June 2002

Internet: http://www.thejakartapost.com/detaillatestnews.asp?fileid=20020608085329&irec=4

Nusa Dua, Bali (Agency): Ministers failed on Friday to agree a draft action plan for a major U.N. summit in August that hopes to slash poverty and protect the environment, with rich and poor nations divided, officials said as reported by Reuters.

Officials made no attempt to hide their disappointment at the result of preparatory talks on Indonesia's island of Bali, but insisted the setback did not mean the World Summit on Sustainable Development in Johannesburg was headed for failure.

Dubbed Earth Summit 2, the conference in Johannesburg is being billed as the largest-ever U.N. gathering. More than 100heads of state and 60,000 delegates are expected to attend. Environmental groups pinned much of the blame on the United States, accusing it of being reluctant to commit to some targets for action at home in the interests of business profits, charges members of the U.S. delegation here have denied. "We came to Bali to seek concrete agreement with timetables and targets that could save human lives, eradicate poverty...We have not achieved that, or at least not been able to achieve as much as we wanted," Spanish Environment Minister Jaume Matas told reporters after negotiations ended near midnight. Some 120 ministers holding environmental and development portfolios had met since Wednesday, following 10 days of inconclusive talks between government negotiators.  The Johannesburg summit opens on August 26 and falls a decade after the landmark Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro, which put environmental issues on the global political agenda. Room for debate. Emil Salim, a former Indonesian environment minister and chairman of the Bali talks, left open the way for further debate before Johannesburg, or said a deal could be reached there. He said the meeting failed to reach agreement on "essential" areas in the action plan such as time bound commitments and ways of financing pledges in the draft. He gave no specific details. About 80 percent of the action plan was agreed, he added.

"This is not a disaster, of course personally I'm disappointed. It's a battle, a conflict of interest between developed and developing countries," Salim said.  Even before the setback in Bali, officials had struggled to kindle enthusiasm for Johannesburg amid a never-ending cycle of summits and a draft action plan that covers everything from poverty, water and energy to cleaning up the polluted planet.  Aware of the importance of getting key leaders to Johannesburg, U.N officials had urged ministers to inject political clout into the preparations to ensure Johannesburg avoids Rio's fate -- lofty goals, but few results. Environmentalists were scathing, saying what had been agreed at Bali would do little to help three billion people -- half the world's population -- who live on less than $2 a day. "The U.S. and its friends might as well come from Mars for all they care about the future of our planet," said Daniel Mittler, head of the Friends of the Earth delegation in Bali. Several European ministers briefed the media after the talks ended, but U.S. officials were not available for comment.

 

4) DEVELOPMENT TALKS END IN DISAGREEMENT

Associated Press via the Washington Post

8 June 2002

Internet: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A15788-2002Jun8.html

BALI, Indonesia, June 7 -- Key talks on how to raise living standards worldwide and protect the environment broke down today over several issues, including a U.S. demand that countries do more to fight corruption before receiving more Western development aid. More than 6,000 delegates, including 118 environment and finance ministers, met on Bali to debate a development blueprint to be voted on in August at a U.N.-sponsored summit in Johannesburg. "The meeting has failed to reach a compromise on essential issues . . . due to the lack of good faith and spirit of constructive dialogue and compromise," chairman Emil Salim said. "We have tried until the last hour to bridge the gap, including through engaging the heads of delegations and the ministers." He said wealthy nations were blocking proposals to commit to binding agreements for implementing environmental programs. Other sticking points included free trade, agricultural subsidies and the amount of aid to be given to poorer nations. The United States was criticized for insisting that development funds be conditioned on reducing corruption and promoting good governance. "Both conflicting groups have not moved from their position. There was no meaningful progress," said Djumala Darmansjah, an Indonesian delegate involved in the financing talks. Salim said that unresolved issues would be taken up in August at the World Summit on Sustainable Development in Johannesburg

 

5) STILL NO BREAKTHROUGH AT EARTH SUMMIT TALKS

The News International, Pakistan

8 June 2002

Internet: http://www.jang.com.pk/thenews/jun2002-daily/08-06-2002/world/w2.htm

BALI: Ministers struggled on Friday to wrap up vital talks aimed at providing a political springboard for a UN summit in August that hopes to slash poverty and save the environment. Officials have said preparatory meetings on the Indonesian resort island of Bali might fail to reach full agreement on a draft plan for the World Summit on Sustainable Development in South Africa, putting off some thorny issues for the main event. With a number of items still unresolved, debate might last into the early evening before concluding, they said. Dubbed Earth Summit 2, the conference in Johannesburg is being billed as the largest-ever UN gathering. More than 100 heads of state and 60,000 delegates are expected to attend. Officials have struggled to kindle enthusiasm for Johannesburg amid a seemingly never-ending cycle of UN summits and with an agenda that covers everything from poverty, water, health, energy and biodiversity to cleaning up the polluted planet. "I think Bali and Johannesburg (amount to) global indigestion, but I think we'll get there," Mark Malloch Brown, head of the United Nations Development Programme, told Reuters. "We'll hopefully drink lots of stomach settlers between now and Johannesburg and synthesise and crystallise this, but it's very ambitious," he added. Ministers have been meeting since Wednesday. The Johannesburg meeting opens on August 26 and has been timed to fall a decade after the landmark Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro, which put environmental issues on the global political agenda. Aware of the importance of getting key leaders to Johannesburg, UN officials have urged 120 ministers holding environment and development posts meeting here to inject political clout into the preparations to ensure Johannesburg avoids Rio's fate -- lofty goals but little implementation. Earlier in the week UN officials said most of the draft plan had been agreed following 10 days of debate by negotiators, but key differences have proved difficult to resolve. Some have been between developing nations and the United States over financing pledges being drawn up in the plan. Poor nations have said they wanted additional aid that was pledged at a summit on financing development in Mexico's Monterrey in March to be linked to Johannesburg, but that the US was seeking detailed conditionality. Washington raised its aid at Monterrey in return for poor nations doing things such as fighting graft and opening markets. Environmental groups taking part in the Bali talks have been scathing in their criticism. They have predicted Johannesburg would flop and do little to help three billion people -- half the world's population -- who live on less than $2 a day. But officials here have said there was too much at stake politically to let Johannesburg fail, arguing world leaders would get on board, even at that last moment. Nevertheless, some doubted US President George W. Bush would show. "I think Bush's support for issues is indispensable to a world view on anything," said Malloch Brown. "I have to tell you it will be a happy surprise if he was there but I certainly am not expecting him to be there." Some officials have said Bush might not want to get boxed in by criticism of Washington's decision to reject the Kyoto Protocol and recent moves, such as hiking agriculture subsidies.

 

6) BALI MEETING ENDS WITHOUT DEAL

The Jakarta Post

8 June 2002

Internet: http://www.thejakartapost.com/detailheadlines.asp?fileid=20020608.@01&irec=0

Two weeks of talks on an action plan for sustainable development in Bali ended on Friday at midnight, and failed to reach a deal over a disagreement on whether developed countries should pledge more aid and trade to finance the plan. "There's no agreement, it's a deadlock," said Slamet Hidayat, a member of the Indonesian delegation, late on Friday. He added that negotiations on the action plan would continue in the three months before the World Summit on Sustainable Development in Johannesburg, South Africa, slated to begin in late August. Delegates from around the world descended on Bali in the fourth and last leg before the Johannesburg Summit to align economic development with social and environmental interests under a 10-year action plan to be known as the Bali Commitment. But talks at the United Nations (UN) fourth preparatory committee meeting here were slow from the onset and fell into a deadlock on Friday. Delegates remained divided between North and South over the issue of finance and trade. Negotiations went on until the early morning over the past few days, with pressure from the Indonesian side to get delegates to come to an agreement in Bali. A last attempt to salvage the negotiations with a compromised document by South African environment and tourism minister M.V. Moosa failed to bridge the differences. Slamet said that the negotiation block of Group 77 plus China, in which Indonesia is a member, had accepted the document, which only revised Chapter IX on the means of implementation covering finance and trade issues. Also accepting the document was Norway of the European Union and New Zealand. New Zealand is part of the JUSCANZ (Japan, United States, Canada, Australia and New Zealand) negotiation block, which had been adamantly objecting the proposed document. "The U.S. and other members of JUSCANZ were against Moosa's proposal while EU countries were mixed about it, Slamet said, adding that the U.S. appeared to have the most objections. He said that developing countries were pushing for more aid from developed countries, reasoning that without funding, the action plan could not be implemented. The decision to end talks and freeze the action plan until Johannesburg had yet to be approved by the plenary meeting, which should have been held late on Friday night. Since Wednesday, the meeting was joined by 118 ministers who took part in the preparation for the political declaration for the Johannesburg Summit but was not directly involved in the negotiation of the action plan. In his speech for the political declaration, the U.S. representative to the UN Economic and Social Council and a senior delegate member, Ambassador Sichan Siv, stressed the importance of trade, domestic and foreign investment as development resources, while omitting the word aid. A delegate member of Venezuela, which leads the negotiation block G-77 plus China, said Moosa's proposal was non-negotiable and that it came under the rule "take it or leave it". She said the U.S. and the EU began to negotiate it paragraph by paragraph since Moosa's proposed document was handed out. If delegates could not agree on Moosa's document, she said, the G-77 plus China block would return to the original chapter IX of the action plan drafted on June 2 and bring the remaining contentious issues to Johannesburg. The June 2nd draft plan of implementation for the World Summit on Sustainable Development is the outcome from the first week of talks in Bali. Negotiations in Bali began with the Chairman's Text, which is a summary of the three previous preparatory meetings in New York made by the meeting's chairman, Emil Salim. The former Indonesian environmental minister said he wanted the Bali Commitment to contain definite targets, measured by time and actions. But what started out as a 39-page Chairman's Text covering 100 points, grew to a 158-point, 78-page draft plan, weakening the plan with political rhetoric, a number of non-governmental organizations (NGOs) said. Various international and local NGOs have joined protests and accused the JUSCANZ negotiation block of watering down the Chairman's Text with words like "promote", "encourage" and "explore". Greenpeace managed to stage a late night protest inside the conference building, which was effectively under UN control since the meeting began. It urged governments to prepare themselves better for Johannesburg, taking the three months to commit themselves to including the concrete time targets and action under the Bali Commitment.

 

7) BALI DEVELOPMENT CONFERENCE ENDS WITHOUT AGREEMENT ON KEY ISSUES

Voice of America

8 June 2002

Internet: http://www.voanews.com/article.cfm?objectID=C316E1D4-C931-4AD6-A4BAEFC044B7462E&title=Bali%20Development%20Conference%20Ends%20Without%20Agreement%20on%20Key%20Issues&catOID=45C9C785-88AD-11D4-A57200A0CC5EE46C

Delegates at an international development conference in Bali, Indonesia have failed to agree on key issues. But officials are playing down their inability to reach a consensus. The chairman of the talks, former Indonesian minister Emil Salim, says the meeting failed to reach agreement in "essential" areas, such as finance and timing commitments. He says, however, that 80 percent of the action plan had been agreed upon. The 6,000 delegates at the two-week Bali talks drew up a development blueprint that will be debated and voted on by world leaders at the United Nation's Summit on Sustainable Development. That conference will be in August in Johannesburg, South Africa. Key issues divide rich and poor nations, especially finance, trade, and environmental protection. Environmental delegates were critical of the United States and other rich nations, who they say are acting in the interests of multi-national companies. The Johannesburg Summit comes a decade after the Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro. It is billed as one of the largest U.N. gatherings ever, with more than 60,000 delegates and one hundred heads of state expected to attend. The summit's goals include cutting the number of people in the world living on less than one dollar a day by half and halving the number of people who don't have access to safe drinking water by the year 2015. The U.N. says more than three million people die yearly because of unsafe water, and 815 million go hungry. One-point-one billion people lack access to safe drinking water, and 2.4 billion lack adequate sanitation.

 

8) AFTER TWO WEEKS OF INTENSE NEGOTIATIONS, BALI MEETING SENDS IMPLEMENTATION PLAN TO JOHANNESBURG FOR FINALIZATION

United Nations Press Release

8 June 2002

Internet: http://www.johannesburgsummit.org/html/bali/pressreleases/envdevb21-e.pdf

The fourth and final Preparatory Committee for the upcoming World Summit on Sustainable Development concluded its session early this morning by deciding to entrust its Chairman, Emil Salim (Indonesia), to facilitate agreement on all outstanding issues in a draft plan of implementation to be transmitted to the Summit. The draft implementation plan -- the subject of extensive negotiations during the two-week session -- was not finalized. The text's introduction reaffirms the validity of Agenda 21 -- the comprehensive plan of action adopted at the 1992 United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED), which embraced economic growth, social development and environmental protection to achieve sustainable development in the twenty-first century. Agenda 21, the text says, establishes the fundamental principles and programme of action for achieving sustainable development. In addition to the introduction, the draft text contains chapters on, among others: poverty eradication; changing unsustainable patterns of consumption and production; and protecting and managing the natural resource base of economic and social development. Also tonight, a document was circulated during the meeting summarizing the informal meetings held during the session on partnerships (see document A/CONF.199/PC/CRP.4). Jan Kara (Czech Republic) and Diane Quarless (Jamaica), Committee vice-chairpersons, introduced the report. In other business tonight, the Committee adopted an orally revised draft decision setting out the organization of work for the Summit (see document A/CONF.199/PC/L.7) and a report on its work for the session (see document A/CONF.1999/PC/L.6). It decided that reports on the multi-stakeholder dialogue segment, the ministerial segment and the Committee's discussion on partnerships would be annexed to the report. Ms. Quarless (Jamaica), in her capacity as Committee rapporteur, introduced the report. The Committee also adopted a draft decision, sponsored by the "Group of 77" developing countries and China, by the terms of which it expressed its appreciation to Indonesia for having made it possible for the meeting to be held in Bali, Indonesia, and for the excellent facilities, staff and services placed at its disposal. The Committee also decided to transmit the elements of a political document to the Summit for consideration. Lowell Flanders, a senior official with the United Nations secretariat, noted several minor editorial changes to be made to the draft implementation plan. Maria Luiza Viotti (Brazil), Committee vice-chairperson, also noted an editorial change to be made to the text. Kiyotaka Akasaka (Japan), Committee vice-chairperson, also spoke regarding editorial changes. Statements were made during the discussion on editorial changes by the representatives of India, Egypt, Canada, Norway, Sweden, Spain (for the European Union), Belgium, Switzerland, Australia, United States and Nigeria. Other statements were made by the representatives of South Africa, Spain (for the European Union), Venezuela (for the "Group of 77" developing countries and China), Japan, United States, Lebanon, Belgium, Indonesia, Saudi Arabia and Iran. Nitin Desai, Secretary-General of the World Summit, made closing remarks, as did, Mr. Salim (Indonesia), Committee Chairman.

Highlights of the Preparatory Meeting Much of the session was given over to negotiations on the draft plan of implementation, with delegates working until late at night in an effort to reach agreement on the text. In addition to the negotiations on the plan of implementation, a three-day ministerial segment was held during which representatives discussed implementation of the Bali commitments, partnership initiatives, and elements for the political document to be adopted in Johannesburg. Opening the segment, Megawati Soekarnoputri, President of Indonesia, called for international cooperation to help developing countries utilize resources in a sustainable manner. The tendency to blame one another had become part of any discussion of sustainable development; conflicts and instability had often resulted. But, she said, closely cooperative endeavours were the only answer. Interdependence, in the global village, was real. Also speaking at the opening of the segment, Deputy Secretary-General Louise Fréchette noted that Secretary- General Kofi Annan had proposed five key areas for particular focus -- water and sanitation, energy, agriculture, biodiversity and ecosystem management and health. It was important to have firm goals and targets in those areas and specify concrete commitments so that real progress could be made in the implementation of Agenda 21 and the Millennium Declaration. During the discussion on the political declaration, many speakers asserted that a concise, forceful, action oriented document should be adopted by the heads of State and Government in Johannesburg. Committee Chairman Emil Salim (Indonesia) suggested that interdependence, sustainability, participation, equity and an enabling political environment were concepts that declaration might wish to promote. Speakers during the dialogue on implementation stressed, among other things, the need to move from ideals to actions to achieve sustainable development. When the segment took up partnerships, it was underlined that such initiatives should complement, not replace government negotiated declarations and plans of action. Another important aspect of the session was the "multi-stakeholder" dialogue. The three-day segment allowed a wide range of civil society and government actors to express their views on issues crucial to sustainable development, which included the importance of good governance, the role to be played by civil society at all levels of the process, and the importance of capacity-building and partnerships in promoting the social, economic and environmental pillars of development. "Major groups" representing women, youth, indigenous peoples, non-governmental organizations (NGOs), local authorities, trade unions, scientists and farmers participated in the deliberations, as did representatives of national governments. Also during the session a large number of "side events" promoting sustainable development were held by representatives of civil society, the private sector and government. Nearly 5,000 people, including government representatives, civil society participants, and United Nations staff attended the session. More than 170 countries were represented with some 120 Ministers in attendance. Emil Salim (Indonesia), chaired the Preparatory Committee. Committee vice-chairpersons were Kiyotaka Akasaka (Japan), Maria Luiza Viotti (Brazil), Richard Ballhorn (Canada), Ihab Gameleldin (Egypt), Goran Engfeldt (Sweden), Ositadimna Anaedu (Nigeria), Jan Kara (Czech Republic) and Diane Quarless (Jamaica) who also served as rapporteur.

ACTION ON CHAIRMAN'S PAPER

LOWELL FLANDERS, senior official with the United Nations Summit secretariat, called attention to editorial changes in the draft plan of implementation for the World Summit on Sustainable Development, which contained an account of the negotiations conducted in Bali on that plan (document A/CONF.199/PC/L.5 and add.1 to 5). MARIA LUIZA RIBEIRO VIOTTI (Brazil) then read a bracketed paragraph (one on which consensus had not been reached) emphasizing the role of ethics in sustainable development. Representatives of India, Egypt, Canada, Norway, Spain (on behalf of the European Union), Belgium, Switzerland, Australia and Venezuela then commented on the revised text. KIYOTAKA AKASAKA (Japan) explained that some of the language under discussion was subject to further negotiation. The representative of the United States explained that country's opposition to language on the Kyoto Protocol. The representative of South Africa expressed hope that her Government and the Chairman could continue to work closely on preparation for the World Summit. The representative of Spain, on behalf of the European Union and associated countries, said the Union welcomed the fact that the United Nations welcomed progress towards consensus on work programmes to eradicate poverty, sustainable consumption and production, protection of natural resources and strengthening institutional arrangements in all those efforts. The Union remained committed to a global partnership to be agreed upon in Johannesburg as a cornerstone of the global deal between developing and developed countries. The representative of Venezuela, for the "Group of 77" developing countries and China, said she stood in solidarity in seeking consensus to implement Agenda 21. Despite all efforts made and the flexibility shown by the Group, consensus had not been achieved. Major concessions had been made by the Group. She underlined the principle of common but differentiated responsibilities. Eradicating poverty and moving to sustainable patterns of consumption and production were very important to the group, as was the struggle to achieve a healthy environment. The representatives of the United States and Canada then sought clarifications regarding editorial changes.

The Preparatory Committee then decided to entrust the Chairman to facilitate agreement on all outstanding issues on the "Draft plan of implementation for the World Summit on Sustainable Development" for transmittal to the World Summit on Sustainable Development in Johannesburg for further consideration. The representative of Nigeria made a statement of an editorial nature. The representative of Japan thanked Indonesia for hosting the Conference. Considerable progress had been made on the plan of implementation, he noted. Utmost efforts should be exerted to finalize the plan and the other Summit outcomes. The representative of the United States said all could say it had been an arduous but productive two weeks. All could look back with satisfaction on the success that had been achieved. She appreciated the fact that tough issues had not been avoided -- rather, they had been confronted. She noted the importance of the Doha trade summit and the International Conference on Financing for Development held in Monterrey. She underlined the challenges ahead that must be met to ensure sustainable development.

POSSIBLE ELEMENTS FOR A POLITICAL DOCUMENT

Mr. SALIM (Indonesia) then drew the Committee's attention to document A/CONF.199/PCC or the working paper, which contained some possible potential elements for the political declaration. The Committee then decided to entrust the Chairman to prepare the paper containing potential inputs for a political declaration for transmittal to the World Summit on Sustainable Development in Johannesburg.

REPORT ON PARTNERSHIPS

The Committee then decided to annex the three Chairman's summaries from the Multi-stakeholder Dialogue Segment, the High-level ministerial segment and partnerships ("type 2" outcomes) to the report of the fourth session of the preparatory committee.

SUMMIT ORGANIZATION OF WORK

LOWELL FLANDERS, senior United Nations official with the Summit secretariat, called attention to editorial changes in the draft decision submitted by the Chairman on behalf of the Bureau of the Preparatory Committee, entitled, "Matters related to the organization of work during the World Summit on Sustainable Development" (document A/CONF.199/PC/L.7). The Preparatory Committee then decided to adopt the draft decision as contain in A/CONF.199/PC/L.7, as orally revised. The representative of Lebanon thanked the Government of Indonesia for hosting the Summit. He reconfirmed that the continued occupation of part of its land by Israel represented a breach of international law and negatively impacted the future development of the region. Occupation should be combated within the framework of international law. The Group of 77 would remain a fundamental platform working to achieve development for its members, he stressed. The representative of Spain (for the European Union) proposed an amendment to the decision on the organization of work of the Summit. NITIN DESAI, Secretary-General of the Summit, responding to the proposed amendment, said the specialized agencies would be invited to the Summit, by the terms of the text as it now stood. The representative of Belgium sought a clarification regarding Spain's proposed amendment. Mr. DESAI reconfirmed what he had said. The representative of Spain said he was referring to participation by heads of specialized agencies, and Mr. Desai said he had confirmed that they would. The representative of Venezuela, on behalf of the Group of 77, then introduced a draft decision entitled

"Expression of thanks to the people and Government of Indonesia", which expressed gratitude to that country for hosting of the fourth Preparatory Committee. The Committee then adopted the draft decision. The representative of Indonesia, responding to that expression of thanks, expressed gratitude for the work that went into the Preparatory Committee and its accomplishments. The problem of sustainable development, he said, was a global one and it must be solved together or all would be buried together. In addition, all three pillars of sustainable development must be tackled together. A decade of experience with Agenda 21 had shown that political will was needed for progress, he said. He hoped that the achievements of Bali would be built upon in Johannesburg, for the good of this generation and future generations. He expressed gratitude for the opportunity to host the Preparatory Committee and for the hard work of everyone involved. The representative of Saudi Arabia asked how delegations could help best with the process leading up to the Summit. Mr. DESAI said a "decision by exhaustion" had been taken and the full pleasures of Bali had not been enjoyed. A great deal had, however, been achieved -- that should be recognized. What was left was of course difficult. Political will to find common ground on the outstanding issues was needed. That was the challenge between now and Johannesburg. There was much to be done based on what had been agreed so far, he said. All parts of the United Nations system, including the Bretton Woods institutions, would be brought together before Johannesburg to prepare for the outcome of the Summit. He thanked all those involved in the session. The representative of Iran thanked the Chairman for his work. He suggested that the mandate of the Bureau be extended to assist him. The CHAIRMAN asked for time to look into the matter. Making closing remarks, he said he hoped a sense of optimism could be maintained even though not all the work had been completed. He thanked all the vice-chairpersons for their work. He noted that 80 per cent of the programme had been completed, even if it had not all been agreed. Consensus on how to have full agreement had not been achieved. This was a "wake up" call - there was still work to be done, with disagreements between the North and South.

IMPLEMENTATION PLAN

In its introduction, the draft plan of implementation reaffirms the validity of Agenda 21 -- the comprehensive plan of action adopted at the 1992 United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED), which embraced economic growth, social development and environmental protection to achieve sustainable development in the twenty-first century. Agenda 21, the text says, establishes the fundamental principles and programme of action for achieving sustainable development. The present implementation text will further build on the achievements made since Rio and expedite the realization of those goals. "To this end", the text reads, "we commit ourselves to undertake concrete actions and measures at all levels and to enhance international cooperation. Efforts will promote the above-mentioned three components of sustainable development as interdependent and mutually reinforcing pillars. Poverty eradication, changing unsustainable patterns of production and consumption, and protecting and managing the natural resource base of economic and social development are overarching objectives of, and essential requirements for, sustainable development. Those measures, the text asserts, should benefit all - particularly women, youth, children and vulnerable groups and involve all relevant actors through partnerships between North and South, and between governments, the private sector and organizations at all levels. As reflected in the Monterrey Consensus, such partnerships are key to pursuing sustainable development in a globalizing world. According to the text, good governance within each country and at the international level is essential for sustainable development. At the domestic level, sound environmental, social and economic policies, democratic institutions responsive to the needs of the people, the rule of law, anti-corruption measures, gender equality and an enabling environment for investment are the basis for sustainable development. The gap between developed and developing countries points to the continued need for a dynamic and enabling international economic environment supportive of international cooperation, particularly in the areas of finance, technology transfer, debt and trade, and global decision-making. Peace, security, and stability "are essential" for achieving sustainable development and ensuring that sustainable development benefits all, the text says. Placing great emphasis on poverty eradication, the draft stresses the need to launch programmes aimed at meeting the 2015 Millennium Development Goal of halving the proportion of people living in poverty. It also calls for halving the proportion of people who lack access to proper sanitation by 2015. It goes on to outline recommendations on a range of issues from limiting unsustainable patterns of consumption and production, to protecting the natural resource base of economic and social development, to combating environmental threats to health and diverse ecosystems. There are separate areas on actions recommended for Africa and Small Island States. Means of implementation are also taken up by the text, although a considerable amount of that portion of the document has not yet been finalized. The agreed text asserts that the implementation of Agenda 21 and the achievement of the internationally agreed development goals, including those contained in the Millennium Declaration as well as in the current plan of implementation requires a substantially increased effort, both by countries themselves and by the rest of the international community, taking fully into account the Rio principles. Also included in the draft plan is a section on institutional framework for sustainable development, which states that such a framework is key to the full implementation of Agenda 21, to follow up on the outcome of the Summit and to meet emerging sustainable development challenges.

 

9) MINISTERIAL MEETING FOR SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT CONCLUDES

Xinhua News Agency

8 June 2002

Internet: http://library.northernlight.com/FD20020607860000017.html?cb=0&dx=1006&sc=0#doc

BALI (Indonesia), Jun 8, 2002 (Xinhua via COMTEX) -- The three-day ministerial session of the fourth Preparatory Committee Meeting for World Summit on Sustainable Development ended here on Saturday after midnight, as delegates concluded their discussions on a political declaration to be adopted by world leaders at a summit in Johannesburg next August.

Among the many issues under discussion, respect for human rights will be included in the document. The Johannesburg declaration will also acknowledge the right to development and the right for all to live in an appropriate, healthy environment.

Representatives applauded what the Bali meeting had achieved. " Much has been achieved here in Bali and we were close to achieving more," said Margaret Beckett, British secretary of state for the environment. "I am confident that what we have achieved here takes us well down to the road to a successful Summit in Johannesburg," she said. An Australian delegate stressed that the Johannesburg declaration would express the world leaders' commitment to sustainable management of the oceans. Representative of the United States reiterated the barriers to trade should be reduced and globalization benefit all. The political declaration of the World Summit was included in General Assembly resolution 55/199, which calls for a concise and focused commitment to a global partnership. The document will address the main challenges and opportunities faced by the international community and renewed, at the highest level, commitment to the North-South partnership, an official report from the United Nations said.

 

10) U.N. STRESSES THE POSITIVE AFTER BALI DEVELOPMENT TALKS END WITHOUT AGREEMENT

Associated Press Writer

7 June 2002

Internet: http://story.news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story&u=/ap/20020608/ap_wo_en_po/indonesia_development_conference_9

BALI, Indonesia - The United Nations on Saturday played down suggestions that disagreements between poor nations and rich ones meant major development talks here were a failure. Over 6,000 delegates, including 118 environment ministers, ended almost two weeks of negotiations early Saturday on Indonesia's resort island of Bali. They had been tasked with preparing a development blueprint for the next decade to be voted on by world leaders at a major U.N. summit on sustainable development to be held in August in Johannesburg, South Africa. The delegates had agreed on most of the ambitious 158-point plan to achieve goals set at a U.N. summit in 2000, but were unable to compromise on several key issues, especially concerning trade, finance and the binding agreements on the environment. Emil Salim, chairman of the Bali meeting, said there was still time before the Johannesburg summit for governments to reconcile their positions. "Significant agreement has been achieved," Salim said. "We can expect Johannesburg to be a success." Environmentalists at the talks accused wealthy nations — led by Japan and the United States — of blocking proposals that would tie governments to a timetable for implementing the action plan and providing money for development. Delegates from rich nations urged poorer countries to address corruption by enacting laws promoting good governance and enforcing laws more strongly. The United States insisted that development funds be conditional on reducing corruption and improving governance — a stand criticized by poorer nations. Despite the disagreements, Nitin Desai, the secretary-general of the Johannesburg talks, remained upbeat. "The agreements reached in Bali are substantial," said Desai. "We can still improve on the plan, but the real test ahead of us is not in the words of a document, but in the actions that are undertaken."

About 50,000 delegates are invited to the Johannesburg summit. Dubbed "Earth Summit 2," it will coincide with the anniversary of the 1992 "Earth Summit" in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Critics point out that governments have largely failed to carry out pledges to improve the environment made at the Rio de Janeiro meeting. The United Nations says at least 1.1 billion people lack access to safe drinking water and 2.4 billion lack adequate sanitation. More than three million people die every year from water-related diseases and 815 million go hungry. Environmental activists at the Bali talks accused wealthy nations of acting in the interests of multinational companies and of trying to scupper the talks.

 

11) RIGHTS TO DEVELOPMENT, HEALTHY ENVIRONMENT STRESSED AS BALI PREPARATORY MEETING CONCLUDES MINISTERIAL DISCUSSION

United Nations Press Release

7 June 2002

Internet: http://www.johannesburgsummit.org/html/bali/pressreleases/envdevb20-e.htm

The three-day ministerial segment of the fourth Preparatory Committee for the upcoming World Summit for Sustainable Development ended this afternoon, as speakers concluded their discussion on the elements for a political declaration to be adopted by heads of State at the Summit, which will open this August in Johannesburg. During the debate, the importance of promoting respect for human rights at all levels in the document was among the many issues stressed.  Belgium's representative said the starting point for sustainable development, ethically speaking, was respect for human rights at all levels.  The Johannesburg declaration should acknowledge the right to development and the right for all to live in an appropriate, healthy environment. A representative of the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) said the declaration should state both what should be done and why it should be done.  In that context, he emphasized the importance of children getting the best possible start in life.  No activity was more important than investment in children, who represented the world's future.  Explicit reference should be made in the declaration to the outcome document of the recent General Assembly Special Session on Children. As they did this morning, many representatives asserted that the document should be clear, concise and action-oriented.  Botswana's representative said she agreed with the Committee Chairman's statement this morning that the document should be "crisp and punchy".  The Summit should emerge with a strong political message promoting the implementation of Agenda 21.  The deteriorating state of the environment and increasing poverty must also be highlighted, as should the importance of inclusiveness and partnership with all stakeholders. Rwanda's representative said the text should mention the goals that had not been met since Rio and ensure that the same errors weren't repeated.  Education for all and access to up to date information must be promoted, as should combating disease, erosion, desertification and natural disasters.  Moral and ethnical principles should underlie international relations.  Mutual respect, partnership and cooperation must be supported. The political declaration of the World Summit was described in General Assembly resolution 55/199, which calls for a concise and focused commitment to a global partnership to implement Agenda 21.  According to the Assembly, the document should also address the main challenges and opportunities faced by the international community in that regard, and it should reinvigorate, at the highest political level, commitment to a North-South partnership, with a higher level of integrated solidarity towards an accelerated implementation of sustainable goals. Also speaking this afternoon were the representatives of Honduras, Jamaica, Norway, Greece, Libya, El Salvador, Zimbabwe, Panama, United States, Kuwait, Australia, Japan, Egypt, Nauru, Nicaragua, Hungary, Kyrgyzstan, United Republic of Tanzania, Nigeria, Peru and Armenia.

The observer for Switzerland made a statement.   Representatives of the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) and the World Health Organization (WHO) also spoke. The Preparatory Committee is scheduled to meet again tonight at 8 p.m. to conclude its work for the session.

BACKGROUND

The fourth and final Preparatory Committee for the upcoming World Summit on Sustainable Development this afternoon continued its ministerial segment.  The afternoon's discussion was expected to focus on elements of the political declaration to be adopted at the Johannesburg Summit.

STATEMENTS

The representative of Honduras said he agreed with all those who had spoken of ethical instruments that could be used as a basis for action for sustainable development.  He advocated wording that would express the personal commitment of every individual on earth to work for sustainable development. The representative of Jamaica supported the statement by Barbados.  She said it was clear that there were still differences that had not been reconciled at the preparatory committee, but the declaration should be concise and understandable by the majority of people so they could advocate for it.  It should include, among other elements, an acknowledgement of deteriorating conditions and previous international conferences, and specific references to HIV/AIDs, small island issues, Type 2 Initiatives and a vision for the future. The representative of Norway said that, to bring action forward on sustainable development, firm deliverables should be reflected in the political declaration.  There should also be quantum leaps in commitments for assistance, and important decisions should be included.  It should also include due care for life, liberty, and the welfare of future generations. Strategic investments in the five areas underlined by the Secretary-General would bring great dividends, she continued.  The declaration should be divided into four sections, including overall goals, actions, follow-up and monitoring.  At minimum, it should answer questions concerning international action relating to the future faced by the poorest children of the world. The representative of Belgium said the pillars of sustainable development were complementary and should be pursued in a mutually reinforcing manner.  Sustainable development involved the entire international community.  Efforts must be made to change, among other things, unsustainable patterns of consumption.  Globalization should be viewed from an ethical perspective.  Standards for the three pillars -- social, economic and environmental -- should be adopted. The starting point for sustainable development, ethically speaking, was respect for human rights at all levels, he said.  The Johannesburg declaration should acknowledge the right to development and the right for all to live in an appropriate, healthy environment.  Sustainable development could not grow unless there were shared ethical values.  The need to control poverty and social exclusion must be addressed at Johannesburg.  Democracy and good governance at all levels were key. The representative of Greece said a clear political message promoting sustainable development must be sent to Johannesburg.  It must be concise and structured around the key issues.  The link between goals and actions must be set out.  Unsustainable consumption and production patterns must be reduced, and globalization must be made to work for sustainable development.  The declaration should stress the need to integrate the environmental dimension into all policy decisions.  It should also stress the importance of the means of implementation, including innovative financial mechanisms. The representative of Botswana agreed with the Committee Chairman's statement this morning that the document should be "crisp and punchy".  The Summit should emerge with a strong political message promoting implementation of Agenda 21.  The deteriorating state of the environment and increasing poverty must be highlighted.  Previous multilateral processes should be taken into account.  The elements of inclusiveness and partnership with all stakeholders must be highlighted.  The document should be couched in language that would be attractive to the world media, so that they would pass it on to people in "our respective countries." The representative of Libya said the declaration should be short, clear and concise.  It should reaffirm the principles of Agenda 21, as well as the goals of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the United Nations Environmental Programme (UNEP).  It also should include the goals of international commitments such as the Millennium Declaration.  Poverty reduction and other priorities should be pursued within specific timetables. Other important issues that should be addressed, he said, were desertification and the water supply, as well as the deterioration of other resources.  Official development assistance (ODA) and transfer of technology should be taken into account.  The document should also address colonialism and its consequences, as well as the unequal distribution of the benefits of globalization and the special problems of Africa. The observer from Switzerland said the declaration was a crucial means to strengthen common goals and communicate those goals to the world public.  Consensus was the most precious resource, and was important to reaffirm cooperation.  The different situation of various countries might require different approaches to sustainable development, but good governance was universally crucial.  The improvement of international cooperation should go well beyond Johannesburg.  The Declaration should build on previous consensus and include a determination to overcome past obstacles.  It should also address problems not yet in Agenda 21, such as bridging the digital divide, as well as other overarching, substantive issues.        The representative of El Salvador said the declaration should stress common but differentiated responsibilities and support the goals of the Millennium Declaration.  It should also address such issues as access to markets, natural disaster mitigation and climate change.  It should reference all relevant international agreements of recent years, including those on population issues, which are extremely relevant to sustainable development. A representative of the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) said the text should be concise and motivate all stakeholders to commit to sustainable development.  It should be a firm commitment to action and provide a framework for accountability by those participating at Johannesburg.  The declaration should state both what should be done and why it should be done.  It should clearly say that "children are the future of the world" and that they would be the primary future actors in the world. He stressed the importance of children getting the best possible start in life.  No activity was more important than investment in children.  Explicit reference should be made to the outcome of the recent Special Session of the General Assembly on Children. A representative of the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) said the declaration would be an important element in securing political will and the necessary commitment to achieve sustainable development.  He welcomed the reaffirmation of the Rio principles and the outcome of recent United Nations conferences.  Population, reproductive health and women's empowerment were crucial dimensions of sustainable development, he stressed. The representative of Zimbabwe said the common platform of agreements already in place should be one of the anchors of the document.  The text should also be clear in stating that quality of life for many had deteriorated since Rio.  That statement should be followed up by a clear elaboration of measures to be taken.  Issues such as health, poor sanitation, access to water and desertification should be accorded as much priority as issues of biodiversity and climate change.  He stressed the importance of upholding the principles of sovereignty and non-interference in the internal affairs of States.  He noted that the State had a role to play in bringing about equity in land ownership, which was related to poverty reduction and ownership of resources by local people.  The role of countries was key to sustainable development in poor States such as his and should not be undermined by international cooperation. The representative of Panama joined others in a call for a clear, specific declaration that would spell out the responsibilities incumbent on each country.  Education, information flow, and transfer of technology for sustainable development were essential elements.  The declaration should also recognize the rights of indigenous peoples and refer to a common ethical framework such as the Earth Charter. The representative of the United States recalled commitments recently made at Doha and said cooperation was required to reach those goals.  The declaration should contain a clear, concise and focused message of hope.  Each country bore primary responsibility for achieving sustainable development, while cooperation among countries and between sectors must be promoted.  Barriers to trade should be reduced and globalization should benefit all.  He described the vision of a world in which humankind would be trustees of the world resources and which was free from hunger, poverty, disease and despair. The representative of Kuwait said that many problems of the world, including occupation, bore upon sustainable development.  The Earth Charter, the Rio Declaration and other relevant international agreements must be implemented.  He hoped the Declaration would be very specific on a range of problems related to sustainable development. It should also include a direct link to methods of implementation.      The representative of Australia said the declaration should send a message of commitment to sustainable development.  A course for the future should be charted.  It must set out how to move from commitment to action.  The text should therefore focus on priority areas and reflect the shared responsibility of all.  It should not summarize or repeat the programme of action -- it should pitch its message in general terms and at the highest political level. The declaration should express leaders' commitment to sustainable management of the oceans.  How financial resources would be mobilized to promote sustainable development should also be noted.  The essential role of national governance should further be underlined.  The text should speak to all the peoples of the world.  Africa and Small Island developing States (SIDS) should receive appropriate mention. The representative of the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) said the declaration should not be too long, because it might not get the required attention.  Nor should it be too short, because it might leave out key issues.  It should give high emphasis to poverty eradication, including elements addressing the ever-increasing water crisis and climate change.  He drew attention to the deleterious effects of natural disasters and stressed the need for monitoring and early-warning mechanism to promote sustainable development. The representative of Japan said the declaration should be short, punchy and give hope to people.  The text should emphasize that each country must take concrete action to ensure that existing goals were realized.  He also emphasized the importance of promoting the three pillars of sustainable development. To promote ownership by developing countries, the importance of capacity-building and improvements in governance should be stressed, he said.  The need to fully utilize all available resources and to include all stakeholders in the process was also key.  No economic development was possible without environmental protection.  The critical situation of the global environment must be recognized. The representative of the World Health Organization (WHO) said that health was one of the goals of sustainable development, but was also central to its achievement.  It was an investment with major economic returns.  Some of the greatest risks to health, he said, came from a contaminated environment.  Globalization could improve health but could also increase risks.  Health goals were clear and quantifiable and the means for improving health were clear as well.  Spending must be increased, but so must innovation and systemic approaches.  In the political declaration, the key point was the mutual well-being of the earth and of the human beings who inhabited it.  Now was the time for action on that point. The representative of Egypt said the declaration should clearly express the political will of leaders to deal with the problems of sustainable development, which required a range of economic and cooperative measures.  The declaration must also express a commitment to end occupation -- as Palestinians were unable to control their own sustainable development -- and to minimize the effect of sanctions on the sustainable development of the peoples involved. The representative of Nauru called for a clear declaration that informed people and States of their responsibilities toward sustainable development.  Its deadlines should be coordinated with those of the Millennium Declaration, and it should pay special attention to the problems of Africa and those of small island developing States (SIDS), to which the condition of the oceans were of particular concern. The representative of Nicaragua said her country supported Agenda 21 as a point of reference in the declaration.  Eradication of poverty was key to sustainable development.  Access to education must be a priority, particularly among women and children and in rural areas.  Respect for cultural diversity and recognition of indigenous communities must also be promoted.  The representative of Hungary said it was a unique feature of the human being that it drew up a plan before acting for the good.  He noted the important role played by education and upbringing in how people interacted with the natural environment.  It was tragic how rapidly the garbage of advertising had contaminated the physical and mental world.  Humans must control that kind of pollution -- if they didn't, they could not achieve sustainable development.  Such concepts should be reflected in the declaration. The representative of Rwanda said the text should give a short account of what had happened since Rio.  It should mention the goals that had not been met and ensure that the same errors weren't repeated.  The right to safe water and shelter could not be stressed enough.  Education for all and access to up-to-date information must be promoted.  Combating disease, erosion, desertification and natural disasters was key.  Moral and ethnical principles should underlie international relations.  Mutual respect, partnership and cooperation must be supported. The representative of Kyrgyzstan said the main cause of the ecological crisis and of poverty was a lack of understanding of sustainable development at the political level.  Information on the subject was needed at all levels.  The science of the subject had also not been adequate thus far and could not inform public policy.  In addition, he said, the market had failed to protect the environment.  Market mechanisms had to be changed seriously; the free market by itself would not protect the environment.  The private sector must provide resources to redress the environmental degradation that had occurred.  In government, institutional support for sustainable development was also weak.  The declaration should be short -- very few had read the Rio Declaration because it was so long. The representative of Tanzania said the political declaration should capture commitments by parties and should contain all the do-ables.  It should be based on the three pillars, and emphasize poverty eradication and the goals of recent relevant agreements.  The access of the poor to health care, energy, water, sanitation and other basics was essential, as was conservation.  The range of measures to support those goals should all be included, but he emphasized measures to deal with the negative effects of globalization. The representative of Nigeria said the political declaration should be short and action-oriented, and send a very clear signal that delegates would put into action what they had put on paper, including means of implementation and adequate resources for development. Above all, capacity-building should be emphasized along with relief for the specific problems of small island States and Africa.  He hoped that consensus would prevail today. The representative of Peru said the text should be short, very clear, specific and concise.  It must convey a resolve to implement commitments undertaken in the past.  Development must be linked to the preservation of the environment, which required international cooperation and financing.  Also important was dealing with the debt issue and recognizing indigenous peoples.  The rights of women and gender-equality must be reaffirmed in the text.  Globalization was widening the gap between rich and poor -- that must be changed in Johannesburg. The representative of Armenia said adoption of the political document was of the utmost importance.  It should reaffirm the Rio principles and other important documents.  The declaration should be short and dynamic, and it should avoid unnecessary repetition.  Commitments to be undertaken by all countries should be concrete, and time frames for implementation should be set out. 

 

12) WORLD SUMMIT POLITICAL DECLARATION SHOULD CONTAIN CLEAR, FORCEFUL, COMPREHENSIVE COMMITMENT TO ACTION, PREPARATORY MEETING TOLD

United Nations Press Release

7 June 2002

Internet: http://www.johannesburgsummit.org/html/bali/pressreleases/envdevb19-e.htm

A clear, forceful and comprehensive commitment to concrete action in implementing Agenda 21 was called for this morning by speakers in Bali, as the ministerial segment of the fourth and final Preparatory Committee for the upcoming World Summit for Sustainable Development began its interactive dialogue on elements for a political declaration to be issued by heads of State at that Summit. "No stone must be left unturned" in a comprehensive vision for sustainable development, the representative of Mauritius said.  But the function of the political document itself should be to bind States to the actions that would be spelled out in detail by the implementation plan.  For that purpose it must be short and to the point. He said the Rio Declaration, which launched Agenda 21, should not be overshadowed by the new document.  Instead, the declaration should reaffirm the Rio text, while also reflecting the new world economic order caused by globalization. The political declaration of the World Summit was described in General Assembly resolution 55/199, which calls for a concise and focused commitment to a global partnership to implement Agenda 21.  According to the Assembly, the document should also address the main challenges and opportunities faced by the international community in that regard, and it should reinvigorate, at the highest political level, commitment to a North-South partnership, with a higher level of integrated solidarity towards an accelerated implementation of sustainable goals. During the course of the fourth preparatory meeting thus far, the declaration was the subject of one plenary meeting and various informal discussions.  Initial inputs for the discussions included the outcomes of the second and third preparatory meetings, information provided by the Vice-Chairs from Egypt and Canada on relevant discussions, outcomes of the multi-stakeholder dialogue and input from the Secretary-General's panel. This morning, the representative of the Philippines said that the General Assembly resolution described the political declaration clearly, and it should not be reworked unduly.  Heads of State could speak volumes of commitments, but it would not necessarily affect the lives of the poor.  Instead, he said, a declaration should clearly support a concrete implementation plan that included a solidarity fund, time-bound targets, food security efforts, the end to trade-distorting subsidies, the engagement of civil society, an accounting of indigenous peoples and communities, and other means to accomplish Agenda 21 goals.  Through that document, everyone should be mobilized to create a sustainable future for all mankind. Many speakers today stressed the need for the political declaration to provide an ethical basis for the actions to be called for in the implementation plan, following a statement by the representative of Romania, who said that there was too much negotiation on the issues at hand based on cost/benefit analysis.  The Earth Charter, he said, set forward a set of ethical principles for sustainable development; those principles should be integrated into the document under discussion.  Sometimes, he said, it was necessary to look to the skies and to ethics.  Statements were also made by the representatives of Cuba, Cyprus, Russian Federation, Thailand, Namibia, Kenya, Mozambique, Spain (for the European Union), Tunisia, China, Indonesia, Dominican Republic, Chile, Mexico, Costa Rica, Democratic People's Republic of Korea, Finland, Uganda, Canada, Ukraine, Colombia, Bolivia, Bhutan, Lesotho, Sudan, Syria, Gabon, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Nepal, Cote d'Ivoire, Iraq, Barbados (for the Caribbean Community) and the Netherlands.  The observer for Palestine also made a statement. Also taking the floor during the debate were representatives of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), the International Labour Organization (ILO), the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS), and Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS). Emil Salim (Indonesia), Committee Chairman, made opening remarks. The ministerial segment of the fourth Preparatory Committee meeting will meet again at 3:00 p.m. today.

BACKGROUND

The fourth and final Preparatory Committee for the upcoming World Summit on Sustainable Development this morning continued its ministerial segment, during which Ministers were expected to discuss the follow-up to the Bali implementation plan, partnership initiatives and elements for the political declaration to be adopted at the Johannesburg Summit.  The focus of this morning's discussion was the political declaration to be adopted at the Johannesburg Summit.

STATEMENTS

EMIL SALIM (Indonesia), Preparatory Committee Chairman, said an informal meeting had been held prior to this morning's session at which two options for the political document had been put forward.  The first option was for it to be "short, punchy and crisp".  It must be understandable, action-oriented and linked to the implementation plan without repeating all the plan's elements.  The second option was to have a longer document with an assessment of what had happened since the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED) in Rio.  It would incorporate lessons learned and list all issues in the implementation plan. 

An opening inspirational statement that would induce people to read it could be included, he said.  Reaffirmation of the Rio principles and renewed commitment to its outcome could be made.  Reference could be made to all the agreements since Rio.  A specific link to the implementation plan could be made, and priority issues could be included. The representative of Mauritius said for the declaration to be forceful and credible, it must be short and succinct.  It must leave no stone unturned to implement Agenda 21.  The Rio Declaration should not be overshadowed by the new document.  Instead of "reinventing the wheel", the declaration should reaffirm the Rio text.  Some new clauses should be included, to reflect the new world economic order caused by globalization.  It should, among other things, recognize the vulnerability of Small Island developing States (SIDS). The representative of Cuba said the process needed a firm and effective political statement.  Clear, dynamic language was essential.  It should contain sufficient vision to remain in force until the world could look back over the sustainable development agenda as a whole.  All the commitments since Rio had been insufficient to prevent the ongoing deterioration of the economic and environmental situation around the planet, caused in large part by neo-liberal globalization. He stressed the importance of observing the principle of common but differentiated responsibilities for the developed and developing world.  The declaration should contain an explicit condemnation of the use of unilateral coercive measures, which ran counter to the United Nations Charter, and impeded sustainable development. The representative of Romania said that there was too much negotiation on the issues at hand based on cost/benefit analysis.  Sometimes it was necessary to look to the skies and to ethics.  The Earth Charter set forward a set of ethical principles for sustainable development; those principles should be integrated into the political declaration. The representative of Cyprus said that a global partnership was essential to achieve the still-elusive global good.  In the Mediterranean region, agreements had shown that consensus was possible in sustainable development.  Policies adopted needed to be flexible enough to accommodate improvements in health, water, trade liberalization, resource depletion, biological diversity and other areas.  The means were available; political will was required to develop an international ethic of mutuality. The representative of the Russian Federation said that genuine efforts for sustainable development were costly and required institutional investment, relief for foreign debt, global ecological services and other mechanisms.  Until those problems were resolved, sustainable development would not be a reality.  He expressed readiness to work on meeting all the necessary challenges. A representative of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) noted that a paradigm shift might be in order to achieve sustainable development.  The three-fold nature of sustainable development must be reinforced by the outcome of Johannesburg.  Clear priorities must be set in a careful and stakeholder-oriented way.  The overall strategy to achieve sustainable development needed careful preparation.  Implementing sustainable development on all levels could reflect a "dimensionality for all of us".  A representative of the International Labour Organization (ILO) said the ILO was deeply concerned that it had not been possible to better reflect the social pillar of sustainable development in the draft implementation plan.  He stressed the importance of promoting health, education and employment.  The social dimension required attention at all levels, especially at the workplace level.  The ILO would like to see the promotion and protection of employment represented in the declaration.  In that regard, he highlighted the special importance of youth employment.  The representative of Thailand said all had believed that through the outcome of the Rio summit, sustainable development could be achieved.  That had not happened.  It was necessary to look to the future.  "We cannot afford to lose another 10 years", she said.  A time frame for implementation of goals was key.  The declaration must contain some elements of definite time-bound targets.  "We must learn from our mistakes", she said, calling for forward movement with unity of purpose. The representative of the Philippines said the General Assembly resolution described the political declaration clearly, and it should not be reworked unduly.  Heads of State could speak volumes of commitments, but it would not necessarily affect the lives of the poor.  An implementation plan that included a solidarity fund, time targets, food security efforts, an end to trade-distorting subsidies, the engagement of civil society, an accounting of indigenous peoples and communities, and the ethics of the World Charter would begin to accomplish that goal.  Everyone should be involved in creating a sustainable future for all mankind.

The representative of Namibia said that humanity was at a crossroad to the future.  A commitment must be made to move in a direction that would ensure prosperity and the improvement of the lives of millions of people, particularly in developing countries.  The political declaration should be a firm basis for the full implementation of Agenda 21.  It should provide visionary guidelines.  But he reiterated a call for action, throughout the twenty-first century, to make the dream a reality, with poverty eradication the primary focus, and access to markets and other measures supporting that focus. The representative of Kenya said that mutual global partnership was essential in line with the principle of common but differentiated responsibility.  The political declaration should support a concrete implementation plan with special attention to Africa and the kind of partnerships developed through the New Programme for African Development (NEPAD).  Poverty was an impediment to sustainable development; the Millennium Goal of halving poverty must be met, and additional resources must be provided to meet it.  The results of all other conferences since Rio must be built on as well. The representative of Mozambique said it was necessary to reaffirm the principles of the Rio Declaration and Agenda 21, including common but differentiated responsibilities.  The problem was not reworking those principles, but agreeing on means to carry them out.  He agreed on the Secretary-General's five key areas of primary focus and said the political declaration should be a commitment to concrete action in those areas.  Provision of adequate official development assistance (ODA) was particularly important in those areas, but a participatory approach at all levels was a necessity. The representative Spain, for the European Union, said the declaration should contain an assessment element.  It should reaffirm Agenda 21 and other agreements for sustainable development.  The political foundations for sustainable development were peace and security, good governance, respect for human rights, among others.   Sustainable development should be confirmed as the overall goal for the international community.  The three pillars of sustainable development should be integrated in a balanced way, he said.  There was a strong link between poverty and environmental degradation.  The role of women in promoting sustainable development must be emphasized and must permeate the whole outcome of the Summit.  Poverty eradication should also be highlighted in the declaration.  The new opportunities presented by globalization should be strengthened and the importance of changing patterns of consumption and production should be stressed.  The Union strongly supported development efforts under way in Africa, such as NEPAD. The observer for Palestine said he hoped the final step of the meeting would be a great success.  He said his delegation had been unable to attend the proceedings because of the situation in Palestine.  Little had been done since Rio to eliminate the constraints to sustainable development.  An era of ethnic cleansing carried out by the occupying forces of Israel was being witnessed in Palestine.  Foreign occupation should be placed ahead of such issues as malnutrition in the political declaration.  The issue was of the highest importance.  He called for the help of the international community to help stop the violence against Palestinians. The representative of Tunisia said there could not be sustainable development unless all forms of poverty, marginalization and exclusion were eliminated.  He noted the formation of a national solidarity fund, which had greatly helped in alleviating poverty in his country.  He called for an international solidarity fund to help the poor around the world. 

He attached great importance to the anti-desertification, climate change and biological diversity treaties.  He asked whether the current international trade and finance system was equitable.  The growing digital divide must be bridged and clean technologies must be transferred to the developing countries.  There could be sustainable development without peaceful settlement of disputes.  In that regard, he cited the case of Palestine.  Occupation or unilateral sanctions undermined sustainable development.  The declaration should reflect those ideas as clearly as possible. The representative of China said the political declaration should be a fresh point of departure in implementing Agenda 21.  It should be terse and clear, reiterating the basic principles of the Rio Conference.  Common but differentiated responsibilities were basic to those principles.  It should stress, in addition, its full concern over the inequitable distribution of the benefits of globalization.  Developed nations should take the lead in transfer of technology and assistance in capacity-building in the developing world, however all nations should formulate their own development policies.

The representative of Indonesia said that poverty eradication, unsustainable patterns of production and consumption, good governance, foreign occupation and other priority areas should be priorities in the political declaration.  It supported Romania's call for integration of the Earth Charter into the Declaration, in particular in the preamble of the document.  A change of attitude was called for; hence the use of the Earth Charter as an ethical base. The representative of the Dominican Republic said that the language of the declaration should be strong, clear, short and action-oriented.  For a model of that kind of format, similar documents that had already been created at the regional level could be seen as a model. The representative of Chile said the declaration should be "short, easy to understand and inspiring".  It should set out "what we want and how we're going to achieve it".  Emphasis should be placed on the need to eradicate poverty.  The need to be action-oriented must be clearly and strongly set out in the declaration.  Economic development must be worked on, and policies for sustainable development must be set out.  Sincere efforts must be made to refine and increase democracy.  Building capability for follow-up was also key. The representative of Mexico said the structure of the declaration should be divided into several main chapters.  Her country had made a huge effort to comply with Agenda 21 and the Rio Declaration.  There must a renewed commitment with clear goals to fulfill those agreements.  Clear commitments for support to countries vulnerable to climate change should be made in the declaration.  She noted that a number of like-minded countries had adopted the Cancun Declaration, in which a common agenda for sustainable development and biological diversity had been set out.  The representative of Costa Rica said the eradication of poverty, environmental education and protecting water basins were among the elements that should be included in the declaration.  The time had come to move from talk to action and to improve institutions promoting sustainable development.  His country combated corruption, which it believed was "an evil that must be overthrown".  He appealed for all to act together for the success of the Johannesburg Summit, with serious commitments to promote the various aspects of sustainable development.  The representative of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea said that political commitment and will were of primary importance in achieving the goal of sustainable development.  Mutual respect and the avoidance of unilateralism were essential in that regard.  Financial assistance and transfer of technology to developing countries were other important elements in the implementation of Agenda 21. The representative of Finland supported the statement of Spain on behalf of the European Union.  The Declaration should express priorities as well as commitments and send new, future-oriented messages, with a respect for biological as well as cultural diversity.  Peace and security and human rights should be stressed as pre-requisites for sustainable development, along with women's integrated decision-making at all levels.  The link must be broken between economic growth and environmental degradation -- developed countries must take the lead in that effort with technology transfer and changes in patterns of consumption and production. The representative of Uganda said the declaration should be short, concise and to the point, reiterating the Rio goals but with supporting timetables, means of implementation and additional resources required to reach those goals.  Importance should be placed on the areas emphasized by the Secretary-General, giving prominence to poverty eradication and access to markets by developing countries.  It should support environmental agreements that have already been reached. The representative of Canada said the declaration should be "high-level, brief and inspirational".  It should endorse the plan of implementation but not be an executive summary of it.  It must assert the interdependence of humanity and should recommit governments to sustainable development.  None could underestimate the challenges, which could not be met alone.  The declaration should therefore promote partnerships and assert that sustainable development was "everybody's business".  Trade-offs between the three pillars of sustainable development were no longer acceptable -- balance was essential. The representative of Ukraine said his delegation supported, as a whole, the view of the Chairman on the declaration.  A critical assessment of progress over the past 10 years must be included, along with the main reasons for failure.  The declaration must reflect lessons learned.  It should clearly indicate the political willingness to establish a mechanism to effectively implement the outcome of Johannesburg.  The representative of Colombia said the declaration should be brief, clear and action-oriented, and it should discuss follow-up.  The principles of sustainable development must be reconfirmed.  It should make reference to the obstacles encountered and lessons learned -- that was extremely important.  A vision of sustainability must be affirmed, while bearing in mind cultural and biological diversity.  Reference should be made to the plan of implementation and follow-up mechanisms. The representative of the Commonwealth of Independent States said the declaration must describe the technologies that would be used to implement the commitments, to avoid implementation problems that had beset Agenda 21 during the past 10 years.  Knowledge was often available at a great lag, but it could be a tool to fight problems that were growing rapidly.  The role of ongoing education for sustainable development was underestimated.  Quality education, universally provided, must be a priority, and the latest technologies must be made available globally. The representative of Bolivia said that the declaration should be short but very specific and reflect strong political will, with an emphasis on poverty reduction.  Poverty should be fought with a variety of economic measures, such as the opening of markets and access to new technologies.  Countries that were combating drug trafficking must be supported in those efforts, as those activities had adverse moral and economic effects. The representative of Bhutan said the Declaration should be short and precise and support Agenda 21.  The vulnerable situation of the Least Developed Countries (LDCs) must, in addition receive priority attention. The representative of Lesotho said political declarations were the most important element of any summit.  The current statement should contain a commitment to a specific timetable for the implementation of Agenda 21.  It should promote protection of fragile ecosystems and support combating disease.  It must commit to strengthening the international financial architecture.  Peace and democracy were indispensable for sustainable development -- that should be reflected in the document. The representative of the Sudan said the declaration should stress the need to implement the plan of implementation, above all in developing countries.  A spirit of peace should be developed -- war should be ended, and foreign occupation should be ended.  In that regard, he cited the situation in Palestine and other areas of the Middle East.  Civilians must be protected during occupation.  The political declaration should touch upon the fundamental cause of the refugee problem.  It should also reflect the principle that partnerships should be fair without strings attached. The representative of Syria said the declaration should include clear, unambiguous text on the need to end foreign occupation in conformity with international law.  In that context, he cited the situation in the Middle East.  An end must be put to any form of siege or bilateral measures.  Efforts for disarmament must be undertaken to ensure a safe world.  The digital divide between the North and the South must be bridged and trade barriers facing developing countries should be taken down. 

The representative of Gabon said that for Bali to make a difference in the future of the planet, the political declaration must be clear, take stock of Agenda 21 and the Millennium Declaration, and include priorities such as poverty eradication and equitable treatment of all countries.  Conflict prevention, technology transfer and other elements that made that possible should all be taken into account. The representative of Bosnia and Herzegovina stressed the importance of reaching consensus on commitments for the Johannesburg Summit.  However, he warned of interest-driven interpretations of the commitments made and activities that would defy the goals and actions set forth in any agreement.  He called for measures that would anticipate and counter such activity.

The representative of Nepal, supporting the statement of Spain on behalf of the European Union, agreed with the need for a clear document with targeted goals in a range of areas.  He emphasized taking into account the problems of mountain countries, as well as countries which had been marginalized in various ways. The representative of Cote d'Ivoire stressed the need to move from promises to implementation.  An enabling environment at the national and international levels must be established.  He stressed the importance of regional and subregional mechanisms.  Resources for the developing countries should be increased by replenishing the Global Environment Facility (GEF).  He also called for concrete measures to apply the anti-desertification convention.  Human rights and democracy should be respected.  Further impetus should be given to international cooperation.

The representative of Iraq said the declaration should call for an end to the Palestinian occupation, and he stressed the need to put an end to sanctions.  The Middle East should be made a nuclear weapons-free area.  Developing countries must be able to have access to sophisticated technology to help with sustainable development.  A representative of the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) said AIDS affected all three pillars of sustainable development.  She stressed the need for early action to slow or halt the spread of the disease.  The declaration should draw attention to the declaration of commitment adopted at the landmark United Nations General Assembly session on AIDS.  Action was needed on many fronts to combat the disease.

The representative of Barbados said the declaration should reaffirm the Rio Principles, along with regional and international agreements that had been reached in past years.  Language that recognized the vulnerability of SIDS should be included.  She mentioned other important elements such as the inclusion of all stakeholders, a linkage to a concrete implementation plan, and an emphasis on the primary responsibility of governments in sustainable development. The representative of the Netherlands gave a report on the ministerial roundtable discussion on Agriculture for Food Security that was held yesterday.  He noted that a number of proposals had been put forward for the political declaration and the plan of implementation

 

13) BALI COMMITMENT IN LIMBO AS TALKS NEAR END

The Jakarta Post

7 June 2002

Internet: http://www.thejakartapost.com/yesterdaydetail.asp?fileid=20020607.@02

Uncertainties continued to cloud the fate of the Bali Commitment in the final hours of negotiation, as its draft plan on sustainable development remained clogged with unresolved issues, leading to either weaker commitments, or more negotiation in Johannesburg, South Africa. The Indonesian delegation reiterated on Thursday that the talks would end in Bali despite statements by senior UN officials indicating otherwise. Several non-governmental organizations urged delegates not to compromise in Bali for a weaker document. Indonesian delegate Makarim Wibisono said that as long as talks were still going on, there should not be fear of a weak Bali Commitment. "There haven't been any discussions at all to extend the negotiation (to Johannesburg)," Makarim said. "The mood here is that everyone wants to finalize it." Delegates have been in Bali since May 27 for the drafting of the Bali Commitment -- an action plan that will set the tone for the global development over the next 10 years by balancing economic development with social and environmental interests. The upcoming world summit on sustainable development in Johannesburg in August is expected to attract over one hundred heads of state who will endorse the Bali Commitment with a political declaration.

Yet the long-standing North-South division in the world reared its ugly head in Bali. Developed and developing countries disagree on whether or not the Bali Commitment should get the backing of new financial resources. Debates on the financial commitments remained tough, said Lowell Flanders a senior United Nations official tracking progress on the negotiation. He said talks centered on demands to link developed countries' aid commitments during the conference on financing development at Monterrey, Mexico, with programs under the Bali Commitment. Earlier this year, developed countries pledged to set aside US$30 billion in aid by the year 2006 to help combat poverty. But Monterrey left open the question of how and where developed countries would distribute the aid. A number of activists raised concerns that some of the money would come in the form of foreign investments and trade incentives rather than pure grants. They also pointed out that agricultural subsidies were six times the amount of the Monterrey aid, and was harming developing countries, yet developed countries refused to cut back the subsidies. The Group 77 plus China, which is the developing countries' negotiation block, demanded that developed countries raise their aid levels. They also want the funds pledged at Monterrey to help finance sustainable development programs under the Bali Commitment. Debates now focus on whether developed countries should go beyond Monterrey or whether the Bali Commitment should merely endorse the Monterrey pledge. An Indonesian delegate, who refused to be named, said that the country would not settle for anything less than "beyond Monterrey." According to Flanders, as of Thursday neither side showed signs of backing down from their positions, while in other contentious issues, compromises were being made. Among them is the debate on ocean affairs, where delegates agreed to emphasize the exploitation of marine life on conservation instead of sustainable use. But other outstanding issues, marked by bracketed and bold paragraphs in the negotiated draft plan, continue to dominate the draft plan. "At the rate that we are proceeding at this stage, we may not have a lot to include," Flanders said. Given the slow progress, he said, delegates might decide to continue negotiations in Johannesburg, possibly discussing finance and trade. "It's very possible that countries would like to keep things open until Johannesburg," he said. United Nations Development Program (UNDP) administrator Malloch Brown echoed the NGO's calls not to be afraid to "take the brackets to Johannesburg." NGO member Antonie Hill of Oxfam International urged delegates to resume talks in Johannesburg, saying talks on finance and trade were going nowhere. "Everybody is waiting for the finance and trade thing, until that is resolved or unless some movements happen there, the other step is meaningless. It's not real commitment, it's not something that's implementable," he said. The Indonesian People's Forum of local NGOs and groups representing among others women, youth and indigenous people took a harder stance, rejecting the Bali Commitment and boycotting the Johannesburg summit altogether. They charged governments with excluding their interests in the draft plan in favor of business interests. He said outstanding issues in the draft plan of implementation for the Bali Commitment, had gone nowhere, and were overwhelming given the tight deadline on Friday.

 

14) EARTH CHARTER PRINCIPLES OFFER NEW BEGINNING, SAYS PRINCESS BASMA

The Jordan Times

7 June 2002

Internet: http://www.jordantimes.com/Fri/homenews/homenews5.htm

AMMAN (JT) - HRH Princess Basma brought the Earth Charter to the attention of the Bali PrepCom IV delegates on Thursday, emphasising the need for all governments to give serious consideration to the use of the charter as appropriate and to express their moral and political support for the initiative. In a keynote address entitled: "Towards a Common Vision for Sustainable Future," the Princess said effective international and cross-cultural collaboration urgently needs to build a shared vision of basic values that can provide a framework for worldwide partnership and an ethical foundation for the emerging world community. Speaking on behalf of the Earth Council and Earth Charter Commission, Princess Basma said: "In our troubled region, we yearn to heal the suffering with which we have lived for so long by nurturing a culture of tolerance, non-violence and peace ... as never before in history, common destiny beckons us to seek a new beginning. Such renewal is the promise of the Earth Charter principles." The Earth Charter declaration articulates a consensus on the fundamental values that is taking form in the emerging global civil society, while giving expression to the basic concerns of both developing and developed nations. Governments who have already supported the Earth Charter Initiative so far are: Costa Rica, Honduras, Mexico, Japan, Niger and Jordan. This event, held on the sidelines of the World Summit for Sustainable Development PrepCom IV, was organised by the minister of environment of Indonesia in cooperation with the Earth Council, and was attended by representatives and ministers of various government , as well as heads of the Arab delegation who are in Bali. Later that evening, Her Royal Highness addressed the official launching ceremony of the Capacity 2015 initiative. The event, hosted by the Indonesia government in collaboration with UNDP, was also held during the ministerial segment of the PrepCom IV, leading up to WSSD, aims to address the real challenges to sustainable development that developing countries and countries in transition face at the turn of the century. Capacity 2015 will assist communities in developing their capacities to nurture healthy local economies, societies and environments; effectively face the challenges of globalisation; and derive the greatest possible benefit from actual and emerging global trends. This platform aims to help the global community meet the Millennium Development Goals, especially the halving of poverty by 2015, within the framework of Agenda 21. Highlighting the necessity for Capacity 2015 to be a flexible process-driven approach with a sensitivity to local culture, politics and context, Princess Basma said: "My own experience in this area has shown me that change has its own momentum, and is more readily fostered when internally-motivated, than when externally-imposed. While donor contributions are a lifeline to sustainable development projects, their approaches need to show sensitivity and consideration to the varying local cultures which dictate the pace and modes of implementation, as well as building on existing knowledge, rather than replacing it." Capacity development has been at the heart of all UNDP's activities since the Earth Summit, held in Rio de Janeiro in 1992, which gave UNDP a mandate to help countries develop their capacities to implement the summit's Agenda 21. UNDP Administrator, Mark Malloch-Brown also addressed the high-level gathering, which was attended by ministers and representatives from donor and developing countries, the private sector, academia, UN agencies, and civil society.

 

15) EARTH SUMMIT PLAN TALKS EXTENDED

Business Day

7 June 2002

http://www.bday.co.za/bday/content/direct/1,3523,1098106-6078-0,00.html

JAKARTA - A UN meeting to hammer out a strategy to protect the planet stretched into a sixth day on Saturday as the United States baulked at new targets and timetables for issues such as renewable energy sources, officials said. "The US does not want to add new targets or set timetables. Their position is that there are already many goals that have been set on issues such as food, water and access to education," said UN spokeswoman Pragati Pascale. "In September 2000 the Millennium Summit agreed on several specific targets. so the US says better take action to achieve those targets before we set new ones," she told AFP from the Indonesian island of Bali, where the conference is being held. The UN Millennium Summit called for a halving, by 2015, the number of people living on less than one dollar a day and the number of people who have no access to clean water. Thousands of officials and activists are meeting in Bali to try to reach agreement on various issues before the World Summit on Sustainable Development, dubbed Earth Summit II, in Johannesburg. The European Union and many developing countries want the Johannesburg summit to adopt a proposal that 15% of all energy consumption worldwide to come from clean, affordable and renewable sources within eight years. But the United States opposed the proposal. The delegates' meeting which began Monday will be followed by a ministerial-level gathering from June 5 to 7, which will focus on a declaration to be adopted in Johannesburg from August 26 to September 4. Talks on the draft action plan were supposed to end late Friday. A member of the Indonesian delegation, Effendy Soemardja, said delegates could see eye-to-eye on most issues but talks were slowed down by disagreement on matters such the degree of commitment and time-bound measures. "We hope the discussion can be concluded today. If not, there's still tomorrow," he said. Griffin Thomson, a member of the US delegation, was quoted by Saturday's Jakarta Post as saying that the time targets proposed were difficult to achieve owing to technological constraints. "When the people of the United States commit to any target, they take it seriously. I'd like to require the European delegates to tell me how they're going to achieve their targets," he said. The draft text calls for poverty eradication, changing harmful patterns of consumption and production, protection of natural resources and ecosystems and development initiatives for Africa and Small Island developing states. The UN says 1.2 billion people live below the poverty line while 1.1 billion people lack access to clean drinking water and power.

 

16) MIRACLE' NEEDED TO RESOLVE BALI LOGJAM

Mail and Guardian

7 June 2002

Internet: http://www.mg.co.za/Content/l3.jsp?a=13&o=439

Delegates discussing how to develop the world without destroying it will need a "miracle" to reach agreement on key issues before the United Nations conference ends on Friday, a senior UN official said on Thursday. Issues dividing some developed nations from developing countries - such as trade and finance - will probably get carried over to the World Summit on Sustainable Development in Johannesburg in August, Lowell Flenders said. "There's a very good possibility. There will be a fair amount of (issues) in the text (to be carried over to Johannesburg) unless a miracle occurs between now and tomorrow, which could happen in terms of an all-night session", he told a press conference. "There seems to be a logjam on the issue of trade and finance." More than 3 000 government officials and activists from 173 countries are meeting on Bali Island to try to bridge differences before the Johannesburg Summit. They have been meeting since May 27 to discuss the action plan or "Bali Commitment" but have yet to reach agreement.

The UN says a deal in Bali is crucial for the success of Johannesburg. On Wednesday 118 ministers from around the world began a parallel three-day meeting to discuss ways to implement an action plan and a political declaration to be endorsed in Johannesburg. The action plan focuses on water and sanitation, energy, agriculture, biodiversity and ecosystems and health. Officials say the United States is reluctant to commit new financial aid for programs to reduce poverty and protect the environment in addition to what it pledged at the development finance summit in the Mexican city of Monterrey. The US also argues that the Bali meeting is not supposed to discuss new money but should focus on implementation. But the European Union and developing countries maintain that the previous commitments do not come close to what is needed to tackle poverty and protect the environment. Athena Ronquilla of the Eco Coalition, which groups international activists from Greenpeace, Friends of the Earth and Consumer International, accused the US and its allies in the developed world of trying to scuttle any agreement in Bali.

"I think over the last couple of days we've already heard of serious attempts by particular countries to shamelessly hijack the Bali process," she said." Countries led by the world's major polluter are in fact quietly and slowly making this process arrive at a stalemate. "They are coming to Bali with no mandate to negotiate new money, no targets, no timetables and yet after almost two weeks of negotiation they still manage to arrive at a conclusion that it is the developing world who is to blame for the lack of progress in this negotiation," she said. The head of the United Nations Development Program, Mark Malloch Brown, urged governments to narrow their differences. "Obviously we are concerned about the continued political and intellectual differences that appear to separate delegates," Brown told AFP. Developing countries have called for stronger references to ways of financing sustainable development and a greater commitment by developed countries to open their markets wider to trade and to transfer technology. Among other proposals at the meeting, the EU and many developing countries want the Johannesburg summit to adopt a proposal that 15% of all energy consumption worldwide should come from clean, affordable and renewable sources within eight years. The US and some other developed states, including Japan, Australia and Canada, have been reluctant to add new targets and set timetables. They said many targets had already been set at the UN Millennium Summit in September 2000 that called for the halving, by 2015, of the number of people living on less than one dollar a day and the number with no access to clean water.

The UN says 1,2 billion people still live below the poverty line while 1,1 billion people lack access to clean drinking water and power.

 

17) ONLY 45 FOR EARTH SUMMIT

Daily Despatch

7 June 2002

Internet: http://www.dispatch.co.za/2002/06/07/foreign/BALI.HTM

BALI, Indonesia -- Only 45 national leaders have confirmed their attendance at the upcoming Earth Summit in Johannesburg in August, a survey disclosed yesterday.  While most European Union leaders have already confirmed their plans to join the summit, the United States, China, India and Russia remain uncommitted, said Jacob Scherr, director of the Natural Resources Defence Council.  The Johannesburg World Summit on Sustainable Development is deemed an important follow-up to the first such Earth Summit held in Rio de Janeiro in June 1992. "We are very concerned that, at this late stage of the preparatory process, so many national leaders still have not yet announced their intent to go to the World Summit," said Scherr. "Making promises in Rio a decade ago was easy. Now the question is whether the world's leaders have the courage to go to Johannesburg to really take action," he added. He noted that former United States president George Bush senior, the father of President George W Bush, didn't make his decision to join the Rio summit until the last minute. "If President (George W) Bush does go to Johannesburg, it will be because he is urged to go by other nations," said Scherr.

 

18) DON'T BOYCOTT PREPCOM IV OUTCOME, DELEGATES PLEAD

The Jakarta Post

7 June 2002

Internet: http://www.thejakartapost.com/detailfeatures.asp?fileid=20020607.L02&irec=1

Government delegates called for local non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and civil society groups not to boycott the results of the ongoing UN meeting in Bali and instead keep on voicing and fighting for the welfare of the common people through to the World Summit on Sustainable Development in Johannesburg. Canadian delegate Angela Keller-Herzog said during the last open dialog at the Indonesian People's Forum on Thursday that she was impressed with the quality and analysis of the statements delivered by representatives of the major groups voicing disappointment and disagreements over the negotiating process at the Bali meeting here.  "All of us at times feel that we're not heard and that we're being marginalized," said Keller-Herzog, senior economist from the Canadian International Development Agency. She said that the Indonesian People's Forum had produced a level of analysis that was "very impressive."  "I think that's exactly the kind of approaches and tools that are useful for constructive engagements," Keller-Herzog added.  Other senior delegates also voiced the same sentiment, saying that NGOs should not boycott either the results of the current meeting in Bali or the upcoming World Summit in Johannesburg in August and September.

Other delegates attending the open dialogue included Indonesia's Coordinating Minister for Social Affairs Jusuf Kalla, the Netherlands' Environment and Development Department director Sweder van Voorst tot Voorst, director general of the Danish Environmental Protection Agency Steen Gade, and Finland's Environmental Committee chairman and member of parliament Pentti Tiusanen.  Local NGOs and civil society groups had voiced their rejection of all the results of the current preparatory committee (PrepCom) meeting for the World Summit on Sustainable Development, including the Draft Plan of Implementation -- previously called the Chairman's Text. They even called for a boycott of the World Summit in Johannesburg in August and September.

They claimed that government delegations at the meetings were working in the interests of industrialized countries and multinational corporations, at the expense of developing countries. Denmark's Gade said that it would not be good for progress if NGOs boycotted the dialogues between governments and civil society groups. "They should instead see it as a struggle and to continue voicing their concerns from one conference to another," he said. Furthermore, the role of the NGOs must be stronger in Johannesburg than it was here in Bali, or even at the WTO meetings, said Finland's Tiusanen. NGOs should not boycott the meetings but force the governments to hear their demands, he said. The Netherlands's Voorst said that the ongoing negotiations were a difficult process because of the many complex subjects being negotiated, and were complicated by the rules and procedures applied within the United Nations. He also said that the number of countries involved in the process was huge.

"It certainly could not please everyone, everybody, not all societies, not all governments, but that's part of the deal," he said, adding that NGOs as well as governments should continue to fight to get a more favorable outcome from the negotiations.

 

19) ENVIRONTMENTAL DAMAGE 'CAUSES PEOPLE MISERY'

The Jakarta Post

7 June 2002

Internet: http://www.thejakartapost.com/detailfeatures.asp?fileid=20020607.L01&irec=0

High population growth, industrialization and inefficient lifestyles have damaged the environment greatly in the last 30 years, bringing misery to people, according to a report by the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP). If there was no commitment or concrete action by all stakeholders of the earth, especially the governments, to deal with the deteriorating environment, more devastating impacts to both the earth and its people could occur in the next 30 years, according to a UNEP report presented on Thursday at the preparatory committee (PrepCom) meeting for the World Summit on Sustainable Development here.

The report, entitled Global Environment Outlook-3 (GEO-3), provided an assessment of environmental trends since 1972, the year the Stockholm Conference on Environment was held.  The report followed two other reports GEO-1 and GEO-2000, which were launched in 1997 and 1999 respectively.  The GEO-3 report accused human activities, including expansion of agricultural land, over-harvesting of industrial wood and illegal logging as the main culprits in rapid deforestation. During the 1990s, a net loss in global forests was about 94 million hectares. Forests, which cover around one third of the Earth's land surface (3,866 million hectares), have declined by 2.4 percent a year since 1990. Deforestation has long been blamed for various environmental problems, as deforestation adversely affects water catchment, and often leads to flooding, drought and oversiltation of rivers, not to mention the increase in greenhouse gases. Due to climate change and environmental degradation, people have experienced more natural disasters in the last decade. It is estimated by the report that the number of people affected by disasters jumped from an average of 147 million a year in the 1980s to 211 million a year in the 1990s. Global financial losses from natural disasters were, in 1999, estimated to cost over US$100 billion. According to the report, the failures to mitigate and to tackle the damage could lead to catastrophe in the future, as more people would be affected by the damage. Klaus Toepfer, executive director of UNEP, said that what would happen in the coming decades would depend on "what we, especially the government, are doing now." "The scenarios do clearly show that today's policy decisions will have an impact long into the future. Different decisions can lead us towards very different futures and the future is very much in our hands," he said. Toepfer demanded parties negotiating in the preparatory committee meeting to produce concrete action plans, concrete time tables and an iron will from all sides to turn the promises made in Rio into reality. The UNEP report said that if world governments continued to give priority to short-term economics, or, in the words of the report "market first," then, environmental destruction would continue unabated. Failure to stop deforestation could lead to major destruction and disturbance of habitats and wildlife by 2032. Over 70 percent of the world's land could be affected with the highest impact in Latin America and the Caribbean. Meanwhile, failure to meet the ever increasing population's demand for clean water could also increase the number of people living in areas with severe water stress. It is estimated by the report that 55 percent of the global population could be affected by a water crisis by 2032, up from around 40 percent currently. Despite the bleak outlook, the report said that concrete measures to sustain the development and to protect the environment could curtail this devastating scenario of the environment, which UNEP called "sustainability first." Under the sustainability first scenario, most regions in the world in 2032 would see the areas under water stress remaining more or less constant at 40 percent, as more efficient management of water reduces water withdrawal, especially for irrigation. Deforestation could also be held in check, especially in Latin America and the Caribbean.

 

20) CAPACITY 21 PROJECT LAUNCHED

The Jakarta Post

7 June 2002

Internet: http://www.thejakartapost.com/detailfeatures.asp?fileid=20020607.L03&irec=2

The United Nations Development Program (UNDP) launched here on Thursday evening its Capacity 21 project to empower the people in fulfilling their own basic needs for water and energy, and in fighting against poverty. UNDP administrator Mark Malloch Brown said that dealing with local communities was the best way forward for sustainable development as the local community or people served as "the front line of the battle."  "That is why we have to invest in the fundamental line. The local community is the frontline in turning around natural degradation," Brown said during the launching of Capacity 21 here on Thursday.

The project goal is to deal directly with the local communities in empowering them to build partnerships with other groups in the effort to provide access to water and energy, and eradicate poverty.  Capacity 21 is designed to support developing countries in meeting the Agenda 21 on sustainable development that was agreed at the Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro ten years ago.

The project is also meant to achieve the Millennium Goals, agreed in 2000, of halving the number of people lacking access to clean water and energy by the year 2015.  Over the past ten years, the UNDP had been working with 2,600 NGOs in 35 countries in carrying out various sustainable development programs.  It would continue to work with those NGOs in implementing its Capacity 21 projects so that sustainable development projects would continue to improve the world even if the upcoming World Summit on Sustainable Development in Johannesburg failed to produce something beyond the Rio declaration.  "The real application happens at the local community level. The people are the means to win the battle of sustainable development," Brown said.  Separately, the UNDP environment and sustainable development group chief, Alvaro Umana, told The Jakarta Post that the Capacity 21 project would educate the people so that they could organize themselves in obtaining their basic needs of energy and water.

He underlined that when people had the knowledge, they could address their own problems with water or energy access and improve the quality of their lives.  Umana stressed that although the program promoted partnerships, it would not encourage any privatization of water and energy supplies for the ordinary people.  "This partnership is not something that considers privatization as we all agree that energy and water should not be for making profits," Umana said.

 

21) PRONK TELLS LEADERS TO COME TO JOHANNESBURG

The Jakarta Post

7 June 2002

Internet: http://www.thejakartapost.com/detailfeatures.asp?fileid=20020607.L04&irec=3

When traffic jams clog the streets of Johannesburg, when hotels are overbooked for weeks, when thousands of people from around the globe descend on the city, South Africa will have Jan Pronk to thank. Pronk is the Netherlands' environment minister, as well as the former chairman of the now-defunct International Consultative Group on Indonesia. And as the United Nations' special envoy for the World Summit on Sustainable Development, he has been touring the globe since late last year, calling on world leaders to attend the summit in Johannesburg in August and September. The Jakarta Post's Berni K. Moestafa caught up with him in Bali.

Question: What is your task as the UN's special envoy for the World Summit?  Answer: To get as many heads of government to Johannesburg, to discuss the political context of the whole conference. There is a representative group of countries which I was able to establish contact with, either by going to the countries or by making contacts in a different framework. I also went to many international conferences in order to meet with representatives of countries, because physically it is a bit difficult to go to all the countries. 

CAN YOU DISCUSS SOME OF THE VISITS YOU MADE AS A SPECIAL ENVOY?

It started with a visit to President Megawati (Soekarnoputri of Indonesia), and later on I departed to many countries in the world, both in the North as well as in the South. Everybody was very anxious to ask about the conference. Speaking about Johannesburg, quite a number of world leaders, prime ministers, heads of state want to come. The whole process, to a certain extent, has already had some success -- the Monterrey conference. You may say the downward trend in international resources has now reversed into an upward trend. The commitments are different, they are surprisingly good. Of course not yet adequate, but we need more money and it is very important, the whole setting of the sustainable development conference. Not only governments but also other stakeholders, businesses, will play a role. I have also had quite a few discussions about the political situation. At the moment, the major international conflict, that is in relation to the Middle East and Afghanistan, will not result in paralysis in governments dealing with social, economic and developmental issues. But many governments, in their discussions with me, also said that they understand that the conference also offers an opportunity to deal with such problems.

WHAT HAS BEEN THE RESPONSE TO YOUR VISITS?

Developing countries in particular say, 'Put your money where your mouth is. You have made many promises in the past, and you did not deliver on your promises,' and they are right. That's why in Bali we are not drafting a complete new text, but are drafting a plan to implement what has been promised in the past.  If there is no implementation, then you should not have a conference at all. That is why action is important. There is an increase in the ratification of the Kyoto protocol, many biodiversity treaties. Governments are asking parliaments to ratify in order to have a clean slate when we start the meeting in Johannesburg.

WHY DO YOU THINK THE TREND FOR SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT IS RISING?

There are a number of factors. You may say there is a globalization trend, which is meeting with a lot of criticism, and the criticism in particular refers to the fact that many people or countries seem to be excluded from the benefits of globalization. The criticism is being listened to now, and capitals understand that something has to be done in order to make globalization indeed serve the people.  They also understand that it is politically necessary, otherwise there is too much criticism against globalization, which may lead to violence. These are the reasons why you see more positive reactions toward the preparations for the conference; you see it in all parts of the world.  Secondly, we have had a surprising number of positive outcomes at major international conferences in the past. The climate negotiations are a good example, producing the Kyoto protocol which is being ratified by a number of countries.  Monterrey was the third factor. Nobody expected that the downward trend would be reversed there. You can say that Johannesburg will be seen as a kind of umbrella of international negotiations.  At the same time it is very realistic, you may say, that conferences are betting on two horses. As far as the political situation is concerned, we have an anti-terrorism policy, a security policy, a coalition against terrorism, and that is taking shape and some countries are very strongly oriented toward that.

Betting on two horses means that at the same time, countries are also interested in taking away possible causes of violence, are willing to approach the backgrounds of violence, are willing to ask serious questions in regard to inequality and injustice.

That is betting on two horses. It is not certain how long that will last, and that is the reason it is necessary to have some success as far as the second track is concerned, that is Johannesburg, in order to keep it attractiveness to governments. There is momentum, but momentum can fade very easily

 

22) INDONESIA GOVT TOLD NOT TO FORCE THROUGH BALI COMMITMENT

The Jakarta Post

7 June 2002

Internet: http://www.thejakartapost.com/detailfeatures.asp?fileid=20020607.M08&irec=7

The Indonesian government, currently hosting the UN meeting on sustainable development here, should not insist that the final document, called the Bali Commitment, be completed since there are too many contentious issues blocking negotiations, NGOs say. Martin Kohr, who represented NGOs at the multidialog meeting with ministers on Thursday, said that forcing the completion of the document could damage the image and the reputation of Indonesia as the draft plan of implementations contain "bad things."

"We understand that the Indonesian government would like to have the name of Bali (on the document), but it would be better to stick to the principles and to leave everything in bold rather than have a Bali Commitment that contained unfavorable things," he told The Jakarta Post after the meeting.  The Indonesian government is required by UN resolution to seal the draft plan of implementation for the World Summit on Sustainable Development during the current ministerial meeting in Bali.

Since negotiations have met with so many stumbling blocks, Indonesia has been approaching opposite groups to ensure that the draft plan of implementations is finalized in Bali before the meeting ends on Friday.  Khor suggested that the unresolved points in the draft plan of the implementation be left in bold or brackets and be brought to Johannesburg, where world leaders will have their summit in August and September.  "The name of Bali would be worse. There is no harm in having a few square brackets in Johannesburg," he said.  The meeting lasted for more than an hour, with not that many ministers attended the session, and only a few of them responded to the major groups' statement.  The meeting was attended by representatives of the nine major groups: NGOs, Youths, Women, indigenous people, scientists, local governments, workers, farmers and businesses.

These groups also requested that the draft plan incorporate measures to demand corporate accountability and review the Bretton Woods institutions (the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund).  Youth, Women's, NGOs and indigenous people's groups are demanding that business communities consider the environmental impacts when conducting their activities.

Khor further added that the Bali meeting would be meaningful if it could promote an alternative economic paradigm that opposed current ones, now dominated by the World Bank, the IMF and the World Trade Organization (WTO).  The problems at the World Summit of Sustainable Development would remain the same, that is, that the implementation of sustainable development would again be overshadowed by the World Bank, the IMF and the WTO, he remarked.  The Bretton Woods institutions had stronger influence in the world as their agreements and policies as independent bodies were compulsory and legally binding.

These institutions are considered to represent the interests of multinational corporations and developed countries like the United States.  On the other hand, the United Nations' conventions and summits, like the next one in Johannesburg, which favor developing countries do not enjoy the same kind of authority as the Bretton Woods institutions.  Khor also said that the groups had asked developed countries to support developing countries, especially in dealing with their mounting debts.  "We also warn the governments not to take the partnerships issue as a substitute for political commitments of the developed countries," he remarked.

 

23) FEWER PARTICIPANTS MAY SHOW UP AT JOBURG SUMMIT

The Jakarta Post

7 June 2002

Internet: http://www.thejakartapost.com/detailfeatures.asp?fileid=20020607.M12&irec=11

Only three months left to the World Summit on Sustainable Development, but the majority of world leaders have yet to confirm their attendance at the Summit, scheduled to be held from August to September this year in Johannesburg, South Africa, according to a survey. The survey, conducted by U.S.-based non-governmental organization The Natural Resource Defense Council, revealed a grim picture.  It said that leaders from key countries in the United Nations such as the United States, China, India and Russia had not yet confirmed their presences at the upcoming summit.  "Making promises in Rio a decade ago was easy. Now, the question is whether the world's leaders have the courage to go to Johannesburg to take real action to ensure a sustainable future?" Jacob Scherr, international program director of the Council, told journalists at a press conference on Thursday.  The Council's finding were based on the results of a survey it carried out with the 175 country missions at the United Nations headquarters in New York and delegations at the current preparatory committee meeting for the World Summit in Bali.  The survey, which was started in March this year, found that only 45 national leaders had confirmed their attendance at the World Summit in Johannesburg. Another 40 countries said that their heads of state would "likely" participate in the meeting. Indonesia is included in this second "likely" category.  The figure is worrisome, compared to the previous Rio Summit a decade ago.  As of March 1992 -- three months before the summit -- 64 presidents, prime ministers and heads of state had confirmed their attendance at the Rio Summit. And no less than 110 leaders finally gathered at the first Earth Summit in June 1992.

 

24) EARTH SUMMIT DEBATE DEALOCKED

Associated Press

7 June 2002

Internet: http://www.news.com.au/common/story_page/0,4057,4467769%255E1702,00.html

KEY talks on how to raise living standards worldwide and protect the environment were deadlocked today, with delegates saying they were unlikely to agree on several key issues. More than 6000 delegates, including 118 environment and economic ministers, are meeting on Bali Island to debate a development blueprint to be voted on in a major UN-sponsored summit in August in Johannesburg, South Africa.  The main unresolved issues centre on the United States' insistence that more aid to poor countries be conditional on reducing corruption and promoting good governance. "Both conflicting groups have not moved from their position. There was no meaningful progress," said Djumala Darmansjah, an Indonesian delegate involved in the financing talks. Delegates said it appeared likely that some issues would have to be debated in Johannesburg. The Bali talks were scheduled to end later today. The European delegation said last night it had proposed new ideas to "unblock the stalemate," but was ready to accept that some of the most important points be discussed later. "Some issues might have to be left to Johannesburg," said European Union Environment Commissioner Margot Wallstrom. Delegates are working on an ambitious 158-point plan to be called the Bali Commitment, which includes ways to achieve goals agreed to in the UN Millennium Summit in September 2000. One of the poverty reducing programs is to halve the number of people living on less than $US1 a day by 2015. Another is to halve the number of people who are unable to reach or afford safe drinking water by 2015.  UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan has proposed five key areas to focus on: water and sanitation, energy, agriculture, biodiversity, and ecosystem management and health. Ministers are also scheduled to produce parts of a political declaration stating their governments' willingness to carry out the action plan. World leaders will later vote to adopt both texts in Johannesburg. That summit is expected to be the largest gathering of world leaders with some 50,000 delegates invited. Dubbed "Earth Summit 2," it will coincide with anniversary of a 1992 summit in Rio De Janeiro, Brazil. However, critics say the landmark meeting produced the first global agreements on environmental protection, but it failed to force governments to carry them out.

 

25) LITTLE HAS CHANGED THESE PAST 10 YEARS

Bangkok Post

7 June 2002

Internet: http://www.bangkokpost.com/News/07Jun2002_news42.html

A question that has been asked in recent days as we mark the World Environment Day is whether the environment has improved during the past decade. The timeframe of a decade is used apparently in reference to a major environmental landmark, the World Summit on Sustainable Development that will take place from Aug 26 to Sept 2. The event, in Johannesburg, South Africa, is being held 10 years after the Rio Earth Summit ended with a plan of action to try to arrest the environmental degradation that had spread around the world at an alarming pace. The agreement, known as Agenda 21, has since been the topic of discussion in many forums, especially in recent months, in preparation for the Johannesburg summit. Meanwhile, most people on the street are going about their business unaware of these two events. This is hardly surprising. The events seem far from their everyday concerns which are mainly economy-related. The world after 1997 has not been the same, thanks to Thailand, a seemingly economically insignificant country, which set the ball of economic crisis rolling. The crash which has since been referred to as the Tom Yam Kung Effect has reverberated around the world. Even the mighty United States has succumbed. To economists, industrialists, business executives and government leaders, the phenomenon must be nothing short of calamitous. Here it was, the world was enjoying what must have been the greatest growth spurt ever known to mankind, and it seemed as if there were no end in sight. It was the triumph of consumerism and free enterprise. But then the Thai bubble burst, and with it the whole facade of the new economic order came tumbling down. It was most distressing to people the world over. A lot of dreams were crushed and hearts broken. It will be a long time before the pieces are put back together. The world will never be the same again. This could be good or bad, depending on what lessons we have learned and how willing we are to apply them. I think one of the key lessons is that natural resources are not infinite in spite of our technological advances. Yes, technological advancement may stretch the usefulness of certain things. But pretty soon, it will hit the limits imposed by physical and natural laws. Just like with economics, you cannot have the kind of growth we experienced in the 1980s and '90s forever. Soon you will have to come down and, in most cases, the higher you go, the harder you land. One of the most-repeated catch phrases when the environment is discussed is sustainable development. This refers to the type of development that has the least impact on the environment. Much has been proposed to achieve this lofty goal. The efforts, however, have focused largely on technology and management. This merely sidesteps the real issue, which is the ever increasing consumption of natural resources. Few nations, if any, are willing to discuss this, let alone do anything about it. A survey by the United Nations Environment Programme and Consumers International bears this out. It found that very few governments have implemented the United Nations guidelines for sustainable consumption. Many governments were not even aware of the existence of these guidelines, which are meant to help them formulate and strengthen policies and legislation for more environmentally-responsible consumption and production patterns. Changing the pattern of consumption is impossible however as long as most nations continue to subscribe to the dominant economic system that preaches the virtue of ever-increasing consumption. So the answer to the question whether the environment has improved is obvious because the condition for its improvement has been by and large absent.

 

26) BALI ACTION PLAN FOR EARTH SUMMIT ON THE ROPES

Islamic Republic News Agency

7 June 2002

Internet: http://www.irna.com/en/head/020607184542.ehe.shtml

Bali, Indonesia, IRNA -- The fourth preparatory meeting for the upcoming Earth Summit in Johannesburg moved into its final day of    

negotiations on Friday amid signs that delegates would fail to complete their action plan in Bali, an outcome which non-governmental organizations would welcome, the German news agency, DPA reported from Bali, Friday. The two week preparatory meeting's chief task has been to complete the "Bali Commitment," to be used as a foundation for a second Earth Summit scheduled to be held in Johannesburg in late August to early September. The first such summit was held in Rio de Janeiro in June 1992, with dubious follow up results. Non-governmental organizations (NGOs) session attending the Bali meeting, which is expected to drag on until late Friday night, said no agreement from the resort would be preferable to a water-downed one  

without fixed timetables and targets to be passed on to Johannesburg. "Millions of people are going to die if we do not do get a good, strong action plan," said Remi Parmentier, political director of Green Peace. He added, "We think it's better if there is no deal, than a bad deal." Negotiations in Bali over the past two weeks have bogged down on numerous "bracket" clauses in the action plan, which remained unresolved by mid-Friday, the final day of the meeting. European Environment Commissioner Margot Wallstrom told a press conference Thursday night that it was likely that some highly politicized issues such as trade and finance for sustainable development would need to be settled at the Johannesburg summit in August. ”We said before that we even anticipated that we might end up with a situation that we might have to defer decisions on to Johannesburg, and we're not afraid of that because we want a good agreement, not an agreement at any price," Wallstrom said. The E.U. tabled a compromise paper on trade and finance issues Thursday night in an effort to break the deadlock between developed countries, led by the US, and poor countries, who want more financial commitments for sustainable development. But the proposal was rejected by the U.S. delegation, which insists that Bali is not the right forum for discussing financial assistance for development. NGOs attending the meeting have been widely disappointed with the results thus far, and have pegged their hopes on the debate being carried forward to Johannesburg. "It's been a profoundly disappointing process so far," said Matt Phillips of Friends Of the Earth. "I think if there is one thing the NGOs feel, it's that the governments haven't listened." In particular, attending NGO caucuses have bemoaned signs that the Bali Commitment had failed to nail down proposals on sustainable production and consumption, had scrapped a framework on big business accountability and liability and had secured no new financial commitments from the developed nations to support sustainable development among poor countries. "We are tremendously unhappy. The best scenario now is if some of these items don't get decided now," said Jennifer Morgan of World Wildlife Fund (WWF). In general, NGOs have been critical of the E.U. for caving in negotiations to the "dirty three" - the US, Canada and Australia. One exception may be in terms on energy, where the E.U. has insisted on setting a global target of 15 percent use of renewable energy by the year 2010, albeit including hydro-energy.                            

Wallstrom brushed off the criticisms. "We haven't abandoned any of our firm demands and firm wishes on how to proceed on these important things, especially on targets and timetables to make this a complete agenda for change," Wallstrom said.                                  

 

27) NEW UNDP DRIVE TO SUPPORT DEVELOPING COUNTRY EFFORTS TO MEET 2015 MILLENNIUM DEVELOPMENT GOALS

United Nations Press Release

6 June 2002

Internet: http://www.johannesburgsummit.org/html/whats_new/otherstories_undp_capacity.htm

6 June, BALI, Indonesia- Prepared to follow-up on the commitments made at the World Summit on Sustainable Development in Johannesburg, the United Nations Development Programme tonight unveiled a new initiative, a platform to help developing countries build their own capacities for sustainable development, and meet the Millennium Development Goals.  The new initiative, Capacity 2015, builds on the programme launched after the 1992 Earth Summit, Capacity 21, which has focused on implementing programmes and projects in communities throughout developing countries. "Capacity building is the key to this process of sustainable development," according to UNDP Administrator Mark Malloch Brown. Calling sustainable development something that has to happen at the local level, Malloch Brown said Capacity 2015 "takes our thinking a great big step forward." The new initiative, he said, is "a much profounder vision of what capacity building is," adding that, "it is not about imposing outside models of development."  With an emphasis on beefing up the ability of local communities to take charge of their own development, Malloch Brown said it was "enormously important" that the Millennium Development Goals-a set of eight targets that include a pledge by governments to reduce by half the number of people living in poverty by 2015-remain at the center of the new programme's objectives. Malloch Brown said "real success" in the follow-up to Johannesburg lies in the partnership initiatives that can support the commitments made by governments in Johannesburg. There should not, however, be a rush to finalize a weak document. "It is better for those of us working is sustainable development that they get this right." With two important pieces in place-solid commitments and partnership-Malloch Brown said, "We can have a real architecture for sustainable development underpinned by the resources that were promised in Monterrey." Countries have agreed, in the Bali negotiations on the implementation programme, "to significantly strengthen" support for UNDP's capacity building programmes in developing countries, "building on the experience gained from Capacity 21." Indonesian Minister of Foreign Affairs, Hassan Wirajuda said UNDP, through Capacity 2015, had strengthened its role in capacity development activities. "It is, I am convinced, only through such partnerships that the WSSD will be able to make a difference in ensuring the achievement of sustainable development objectives under Agenda 21 and the Millennium Development Goals."  According to Fevzi Aytekin, Minister of Environment for Turkey, UNDP's Capacity 21 had helped Turkey's own Local Agenda 21 programme, which has brought public institutions, local authorities and citizen groups together to address local problems.  "We believe the Capacity 2015 initiative will be a step forward," he said, " to strengthen local, national and global partnerships and synergies for achieving the goals of the 21st century." Jordanian Princess Basma bint Talal applauded the new initiative, calling it an attempt to address the real challenges. "By launching this initiative, UNDP is taking the lead to find innovative approaches that will allow local communities to develop their own capacities." In addition to meeting the Millennium Development Goals, UNDP expects Capacity 2015 to result in a review of national and local policies and legislation in order to eliminate bottlenecks and ensure proper incentives for local sustainable development. It hopes to support learning networks, civic engagement, and responsible local leadership, while also mobilizing resources to help communities compete successfully in a globalized world.

 

28) ASIAN NATIONS MAP OUT JOINT PLAN TO TACKLE REGIONAL WATER CRISIS

OneWorld South Asia

6 June 2002

Internet: http://story.news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story&u=/oneworld/20020606/wl_oneworld/1032_1023369217

Faced with an ongoing water crisis, a group of Asian nations is joining forces to press for a new approach to the problem at upcoming world conferences on poverty alleviation, economic development, and environmental protection, according to information obtained Thursday from a global water research body. Ministers from 10 nations in the region--from South Asia and Indochina to Southeast and East Asia--have signed a joint statement calling for moves to stop water wastage as a means of helping to place a higher value on the commodity. The statement will be presented at the World Summit for Sustainable Development (WSSD) in Johannesburg, South Africa, in August, and at the Third World Water Forum in Kyoto, Japan, next March.  "This evaluation would not mean raising a tax on water," said Michael Devlin, a spokesman for the Sri Lanka-based International Water Management Institute. "When we speak of the evaluation of water, we mean encouraging people to use it sparingly. If the value of water is high, people make better use of it."  The need for a fresh approach was underscored at a meeting last month organized by IWMI and the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific. Ministers pointed out that cycles of droughts and flooding, and access to clean water were common areas of concern in the region, where one in two of the population does not have adequate sanitation facilities and where some 500,000 infants die each year because of dirty water and poor sanitation. The water crises, they said, should be tackled with regional cooperation, including technology sharing, and exchange of expertise, research, and training. "We firmly believe that integrated water management is an appropriate direction to solve water problems," said Thailand's deputy prime minister Pitak Intrawityanunt. "Regional cooperation in transfer of knowledge among countries will definitely support our work."  A statement issued May 23 from the meeting said Asian ministers at the Johannesburg "Earth Summit" would emphasize that publicly accountable and open methods by governments in the region would help to deal with the widespread water problems.  "The water crisis is mainly a crisis of governance not of water scarcity," said IWMI's director-general Frank Rijsberman. "We believe that good governance of water resources requires openness of information about water supplies and demands, accountability of public agencies...community empowerment, and the rule of law."  According to IWMI, water-related problems were some of the major obstacles to successful economic development, of the kind which will be the focus of discussions in Johannesburg. Tackling those problems would therefore also help some of the most impoverished communities in the region.  "People who are the poorest and stand last in the line of development are the hardest hit by water crises," said IWMI's Devlin. "If you resolve the problem of water, you help reduce poverty."

 

29) PRESSURE MOUNTS ON UNITED STATES TO COMPROMISE IN BALI TALKS

Associated Press

6 June 2002

Internet: http://story.news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story&u=/ap/20020606/ap_wo_en_po/indonesia_development_conference_1

BALI, Indonesia - Pressure mounted Thursday on rich countries to ease their conditions for giving financial aid to poor nations as part of a U.N.-sponsored blueprint to cut poverty and protect the environment over the next decade. Delegates at an environmental conference said the main sticking point in negotiations for the blueprint was Washington's insistence that aid to poor countries be conditioned on reducing corruption. The European delegation is expected to ask the United States to ease its position in meetings later Thursday. Non-governmental organizations and environmental groups are also asking the United States, Canada and Australia to come ahead with promised aid. More than 100 environment and economic ministers are gathering on Indonesia's Bali Island in a preparatory meeting ahead of a major U.N.-sponsored summit in August in Johannesburg, South Africa. Delegates are working on an ambitious 158-point plan to be called the Bali Commitment, which includes ways to achieve goals agreed to in the U.N. Millenium Summit in September 2000. The head of the U.S. delegation, Under Secretary of State for Global Affairs Paula Dobriansky, said that although "there were no quick fixes," the United States was committed to completing the plan. One proposal is to halve the number of people living on less than one dollar a day by 2015. Another is to halve the number of people who are unable to reach or afford safe drinking water by 2015. U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan (news - web sites) has proposed five key areas to focus on: water and sanitation, energy, agriculture, biodiversity, and ecosystem management and health. Annan's deputy secretary-general, Louise Frechette, said it was usual for the United States "to keep this issue of financing until late on the negotiating table," but urged delegates to come to an agreement. Ministers are also scheduled to produce a political declaration stating their governments' willingness to carry out the action plan, which was supposed to be done by last weekend but has run into delays. Both texts will be voted on by world leaders at the World Summit on Sustainable Development to be held in Johannesburg. U.S.-based environmentalists on Wednesday staged a protest against their government outside the beachside convention center on Bali. A giant three-headed green dragon brought in by Greenpeace International depicted U.S. President George W. Bush (news - web sites), Canadian Premier Jean Cretien and Australia's John Howard, whom the environmental group accuses of blocking progress in the talks. Some 50,000 delegates are expected in Johannesburg in what will be the largest ever U.N. gathering. The meeting, dubbed "Earth Summit 2," will coincide with the 10-year anniversary of a summit in Rio De Janeiro, Brazil, where the first global agreements on environmental protection were reached. However, critics say many of the governments did not to carry out the programs they agreed to in Rio.

 

30) SEEKING RIGHT THEME FOR GLOBAL DEVELOPMENT IN BALI

Xinhua News Agency

6 June 2002

Internet: http://library.northernlight.com/FG20020606090000027.html?cb=0&dx=1006&sc=0#doc

BALI, INDONESIA, Jun 7, 2002 (Xinhua via COMTEX) -- The Fourth Preparatory Committee Meeting in Bali is the last opportunity to accomplish the global plan for sustainable development before it is to be adopted and endorsed by world's leaders in Johannesburg, South Africa in next August. The meeting, started May 27, entered its final day on June 7 and it had been reported that more than 4,300 people from 173 countries were participating in the meeting, including 1,794 government delegates, 1,324 representatives of nongovernmental organizations and 181 journalists. Sustainable development is simply understood as the efforts to improve the lives of all human beings while protecting the global environment to ensure better future for the upcoming generations. United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan has named five key areas for particular focus -- water and sanitation, energy, agriculture, biodiversity and ecosystem management and health. However, many doubted that Bali meeting would be able to lay out the specifics for World Summit on Sustainable Development (WSSD) in Johannesburg, saying that the current talks were lacking specific timelines, specific targets and specific concrete plans for WSSD. "The 1992 Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro did not identify clear time targets either and, as a result, fell short of producing the measures promised under the Rio Declaration," said Dawn Martin, chairman of a U.S.-based NGO. "The question for the world’s leaders is will we learn from our past or are we condemned to repeat it?" The meeting is made more difficult as many countries want to address different issues and each wants the outcome to reflect their positions, though there are efforts to make the process smoother by negotiating in blocs. The developing countries are represented by the Group of 77 and China and the members of European Union speak with one voice. Another more informal group is the JUSCANZ countries -- Japan, the United States, Canada, Australia and New Zealand.  Yet, it remains unlikely to generalize the common result so far, as many delegates spent the precious few days debating details and seeking consensus behind closed doors and restricted from journalists.  Despite hesitation of global consensus on sustainable development to be reached in Bali, Chairman of the Preparatory Committee Emil Salim stays optimistic. "Everyone has the same spirit that it will be finalized in Bali," he said.  He firmly said that in the next ten years, poverty eradication would be an essential element of sustainable development and urged delegations to finalize the agenda here.  "Bali was final harbor before sailing into Johannesburg. It means all necessary documents had to be finalized here," he affirmed.  U.N. Deputy Secretary General Louise Frechette underlined that important progress had been made in Bali, though some critical work remained to be done between Bali and Johannesburg.  "Full agreement must be reached on a solid, specific implementation plan with targets before we leave Bali," she said. "We know what needs to be done. Now, let us move ahead."

 

31) UNEP WARNS OF MAJOR DEGRADATION OF WORLD ENVIRONMENT

Xinhua News Agency

6 June 2002

Internet: http://library.northernlight.com/FC20020606200000057.html?cb=0&dx=1006&sc=0#doc

BALI, INDONESIA, Jun 6, 2002 (Xinhua via COMTEX) -- The United Nations Environment Program (UNEP) warned Thursday evening about the degradation of world environment here at the United Nations- organized Preparatory Committee Meeting for the World Summit on Sustainable Development.  UNEP Executive Director Klaus Toepfer told the press briefing how the earth had become much more fragile and degraded than in 1972.  He began with a story of a UNEP-sponsored expedition in the Himalayas in May, when the team learned that the glacier had retreated by around five kilometers up the mountain. It was a clear evidence that global warming was emerging as one of the biggest threat to the environment, raising the fear of a sudden glacial floods swollen by melting glaciers, he said.  He added the main driving force had been the growing global population, as currently there were 2.2 billion more mouths to feed than there had been in 1972.  Around two billion hectares of soil, equal to fifteen percent of the earth's land cover, is now reported as degraded as a result of human activities.  The main types of soil degradation were water erosion, 56 percent; wind erosion 28 percent; chemical degradation 12 percent and physical or structural damage four percent, according to the report. "Unless we alter our course (in exploiting natural resources) now, we will be left with little of value", Toepfer warned.  The United Nations-organized Preparatory Committee Meeting for World Summit on Sustainable Development was opened by Indonesian President Megawati Soekarnoputri on Wednesday. Megawati underlined that the Indonesian government was determined to do its utmost for the success of the meeting.  More than 400 ministerial-level delegates from 140 countries and regions take part in the meeting which will end Friday before finalizing the agendas for the World Summit to be held in Johannesburg.

 

32) LAND DEGRADATION THREATENS MOSTLY AFRICAN COUNTRIES: REPORT

Xinhua News Agency

6 June 2002

Internet: http://library.northernlight.com/FA20020606990000051.html?cb=0&dx=1006&sc=0#doc

BALI, INDONESIA, Jun 6, 2002 (Xinhua via COMTEX) -- Land degradation has resulted in drylands of about forty percent of the earth's surface, where more than one hundred countries, mostly least developed ones in Africa, lie entirely or partly within. The was made clear by a report released by a panel at the meeting on sustainable development here Thursday.  The report said geography of poverty coincides strongly with that of land degradation. Of 1.3 billion people living on less than one dollar per day, nearly 75 percent live in rural areas and nearly half of the 325-million population of the African continent live in drylands.  Mostafa Tolba, president of Egyptian Center for Environment and Development and panel member, noted that while the international community is strongly committed to poverty eradication as the ultimate goal of sustainable human development, the practical measures taken to reach this objective do not always produce expected results.  In fact, according to chairman of the panel, the number of people living by less than one dollar a day in sub-Saharan Africa increased from 217 million to 291 million between 1990-98.  He demanded participants of the meeting here to formulate soon effective strategy for poverty eradication.  The United Nations-organized Preparatory Committee Meeting for World Summit on Sustainable Development was opened by Indonesian President Megawati Soekarnoputri on Wednesday.  Megawati underlined that the Indonesian government was determined to do its utmost for the success of the meeting. "I believe that we all share the same perception and dreams about an advanced life that is prosperous, just, independent and dignified, " the president said. More than 400 ministerial-level delegates from 140 countries and regions take part in the meeting which will end Friday before finalizing the agendas for the World Summit to be held in Johannesburg.

 

33) NGOS QUESTION WORLD LEADERS' COMMITMENT TO ATTEND WORLD SUMMIT

Xinhua News Agency

6 June 2002

Internet: http://library.northernlight.com/FB20020606850000134.html?cb=0&dx=1006&sc=0#doc

BALI, INDONESIA, Jun 6, 2002 (Xinhua via COMTEX) -- With only two days left for ministers in Bali to finalize a common agenda for the World Summit on Sustainable Development in August, questions over world leaders ' commitment to attend the summit started to rise. "We are very concerned that at this late stage of the preparatory process, so many national leaders still have not yet announced their intent to go to the World Summit," Jacob Scherr, director of the U.S.-based Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), said here Thursday. He pointed to the latest survey conducted by NRDC mentioning that only 45 national leaders had been confirmed as planning to attend the Summit in Johannesburg, and an additional 40 countries said that their head of state would 'likely' participate. The leaders of a number of key countries are still uncommitted, including the United States, India and Russia. "Now the question is whether the world leaders have the courage to go to Johannesburg to take real actions, collectively and individually, to assure a sustainable future?" Scherr asked. Kathleen Rogers, president of the Earth Day Network, said, " Considering the magnitude of problems ranging from poverty and homelessness to environmental degradation and human health, it is shameful so few leaders have shown the courage or feel any need to commit to attending the Johannesburg Summit." The most awaited guest in Johannesburg will be U.S. President George W. Bush, leader of the world biggest consumers of the planet's natural resources and one of the biggest polluters as well. Earlier in the day, a group of activists of some American non- governmental organizations gathered in front of Nusa Dua Hotel, the venue for international delegations of Preparatory Meeting, demanding leadership role by the U.S. government in global sustainable development.

 

34) MEGA CALLS ON NATIONS TO BUILD THE WORLD ANEW

The Jakarta Post

6 June 2002

Internet: http://www.thejakartapost.com/yesterdaydetail.asp?fileid=20020606.@01

President Megawati Soekarnoputri urged on Wednesday ministers of various nations to build the world anew, as they gathered in Bali to decide the direction that world development would take in the next decade. Speaking at the opening ceremony of the ministerial meeting in Bali on sustainable development, Megawati's call for building a new world coincided with World Environment Day and came amid concerns that countries lacked the political will to change the world's course and balance economic interests with environmental issues. Nearly two weeks of talks on an action plan for sustainable development ran the risk of being watered down by a general lack of commitment.  "Should we manage to make the concept work, it would simply mean that we actually materialize the ideals of building the world anew," Megawati said.  She referred to a speech delivered in the 1960s by her father -- first president Sukarno -- to the General Assembly of the United Nations titled "To Build the World Anew" at a time when the cold war threatened world peace.  The spirit and principles of Sukarno's address, she said, remained relevant to the world's current situation and challenges.  Overexploitation of the earth's natural resources because of current global economic development put at risk future generations, bringing calls for a new approach that would harmonize development with nature.  In 1992 the United Nations Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil called on nations through the Rio declaration to implement sustainable development principles in their national development plans.  But implementation of the declaration fell short of expectation as countries lacked the necessary commitment.  Ten years later, delegates in Bali are drafting another action plan to be known as the Bali Commitment. They hope it will get countries to implement the decided measures and go beyond the Rio declaration in the next 10 years.  The meeting in Bali is a precursor to the World Summit on Sustainable Development in Johannesburg, South Africa, which will run from late August through early September. Heads of states are expected to endorse the Bali Commitment with a political declaration.  Negotiations on the plan advanced slowly despite three pre-summit meetings in New York. Bali is hosting the fourth and last meeting, and a UN resolution requires delegates to finalize the Bali Commitment here.  But negotiators have run into a near deadlock on the level of commitment countries should put into the action plan.  "Critical work remains to be done over the next three days. Full agreement has to be reached on a solid, specific implementation plan with targets before we leave Bali," said UN deputy secretary-general Louise Frechette in her opening remarks.  Getting time targets and strong action into the draft plan remain an elusive effort as they require more commitments that many developed countries appear reluctant to lend.

Non-governmental organizations (NGOs) also criticized business interests for holding hostage developed countries, which flinched during negotiations on paragraphs hampering free trade and restricting corporate action.  Frechette said sustainable development could not go without the involvement of the private sector, but urged it to do more than "corporate philanthropy".

"The world is not asking corporations to do something different from their normal business, but rather to do their normal business differently -- to see the long term, not just the short term; and to see not just the cost of change, but also the cost of status quo," she said.  Frechette said that progress toward implementation would also depend on the availability of resources.

"Governments must sustain the momentum generated by the Monterey conference, particularly in the area of official development assistance," she said.  The European Union and the United States pledged some US$30 billion in additional aid to fight poverty during the conference on financing development early this year in Monterey, Mexico.  Developing countries, however, questioned the gesture, noting that the amount of aid promised was six times less than what developed countries spend on subsidizing their agricultural sectors at the expense of developing countries. A senior U.S. delegate further dismissed hopes of more aid, and asked developing countries instead to first improve their laws. "The U.S. delegation insists that they will only head for a compromise when the rest of the world considers the U.S. government's interests," he said.  Head of the Indonesian delegate Makarim Wibisono said that developing countries wanted developed countries to go beyond Monterey.  Negotiations, he said, were aimed at getting developed countries to agree to at least indicate willingness to go beyond Monterey, meaning more aid.  The position of developed countries was that the Bali Commitment should just endorse the results of Monterey.

 

35) NGOS REJECT UN MEETING RESULTS

The Jakarta Post

6 June 2002

Internet: http://www.thejakartapost.com/yesterdaydetail.asp?fileid=20020606.L01

More than 500 non-governmental organization (NGO) activists took the opportunity of President Megawati Soekarnoputri's arrival in Bali on Wednesday to launch a demonstration denouncing the results of the UN meeting on sustainable development here.

The protesters marched from the amphitheater in the sprawling Nusa Dua hotel complex where the meeting is being held toward the Bali International Convention Center, also in the same complex.  Besides denouncing the ongoing meeting, the activists also rejected the upcoming World Summit on Sustainable Development (WSSD) in Johannesburg, to be held in August through early September.  Wednesday's rally, the largest to take place during the ongoing ministerial-level preparatory committee (PrepCom) meeting for the WSSD, was organized by the Indonesian People's Forum (IPF) on behalf of groups representing women, children, farmers, fishermen, indigenous peoples, labor unions, the urban poor and NGOs. The demonstrators charged that government delegates lacked sincerity in accommodating the interests of major civil society groups during the whole PrepCom process.

The demonstrators claimed that developed countries, multinational corporations and international financial institutions had dominated the process. The demonstrators also called for international civil society groups to rally under the antitrade liberalization banner at the global forum for civil society in Johannesburg, and called for governments to stop their repression and aggression against the people.  Hundreds of people marched out of the amphitheater carrying colorful banners and plywood figures depicting fishermen and farmers. Four men, their bodies painted red, white, blue and green, performed a dance at the head of the line, each using props such as a bamboo ladder, a wok and plastic bags to represent the pollution of the earth.  "Reclaim our earth!" they cried in unison.  Meanwhile, an open-speech forum was led by members of local and international NGOs, including from the Philippines and Palestine. About an hour later, the marchers headed toward the Bali International Convention Center, the main venue of the ministerial-level meeting, but were blocked by security personnel.  The demonstration caused traffic jams within the Nusa Dua complex and outside the resort, prompting the police to block off some roads to clear the way for the President and her escort to enter the complex.  The police also were deployed in surrounding areas to prevent others from joining the rally.

The police were seen cooperating with traditional Bali security guards, or Pecalang, with their black outfits sporting the emblems of the Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle (PDI Perjuangan), to prevent more people from joining the rally.  They were also seen searching vehicles entering the complex. Some NGOs claimed their members were unable to reach the IPF venue, forcing the organization to cancel most of its scheduled meetings and workshops.  In response, the Indonesian Forum for the Environment (Walhi), as well as several other NGOs, are planning to file a lawsuit against the National Police and the Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle's civilian guards for blocking the entrance to the Nusa Dua complex.  "Our lawyers are now arranging lawsuits against both parties," said Emmy Hafild, the national coordinator for the IPF as well as the Walhi executive director.

Emmy went on to say that the IPF committee suffered a significant financial loss due to the cancellation of many of its events.

"The committee was forced to totally cancel at least two programs from our schedule this morning," Emmy said.

Despite the cancellations, the committee still had to pay booking fees for function rooms at the Grand Hyatt Hotel.

"The booking fee for each function room reaches Rp 6 million, while the ballroom costs Rp 24 million," she said.

 

36) EXPERT: CORRUPTION HURTS SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT

The Jakarta Post

6 June 2002

Internet: http://www.thejakartapost.com/yesterdaydetail.asp?fileid=20020606.L02

Comprehensive measures must be taken to combat corruption as it significantly contributes to damaging the environment, an expert said on Wednesday. Richard Holloway from the Partnership for Governance Reform, an initiative of the United Nations Development Program (UNDP), said during a workshop on the global anticorruption agenda here that one clear example that corruption could damage the environment was ongoing illegal logging activities.  "It's an open secret that some private companies have bribed government officials to get forest concessions," Holloway said.  This harmful practice often ended up with illegal logging which seriously damaged the forests and the environment.  Illegal logging is considered to be one of the most damaging activities to the environment, he added.  The workshop was a fringe event at the ongoing ministerial/preparatory committee meeting for the World Summit on Sustainable Development here.  Holloway went on to say that the scale of forest concessions granted by the government to private companies was excessive.  In 1995, the government awarded 585 forest concessions involving a total area of 62 million hectares.  These concessions supplied between 60 and 70 million cubic metres of logs per year, far from the sustainable harvest rate of 20 million cubic meters per year, according to data provided by the Indonesian Forum for the Environment (Walhi).

"Illegal logging involves some 50 million cubic meters of logs per year, the equivalent to US$4 billion in financial losses per year to the state," said Walhi.  Some 25 percent of the total state losses goes into the pockets of government officials, especially the legal apparatus," said Agus Purnomo, an executive of Transparency Indonesia, an affiliate organization of Transparency International.

"Many ships transporting illegal logs are arrested by the authorities, but they are released soon afterwards due to (an alleged) lack of evidence," Agus added.  Given widespread corruption, law enforcement was far from what it should be. Law enforcement was badly needed to deter the illegal loggers from damaging the environment.  Needless to say, the absence of law enforcement had paved the way for illegal loggers to extract more logs, which further damaged the environment, said Agus. He explained that illegal logging and deforestation had caused severe environmental degradation in forested areas as they damaged water catchment areas with ensuing heavy flooding during wet seasons and drought during dry seasons. Meanwhile, Peter Rooke from Transparency International-Australia, explained that the organization provided technical assistance to developing countries to implement antibribery measures and good governance initiatives.  Transparency International, founded in l993, is a global anticorruption movement operating in 85 countries.  However, he admitted that the government itself was not able to eradicate corruption due to the complicated and immense problems facing it.  "NGOs, including Greenpeace, and other international organizations and agencies, such as the World Bank, have set up the Forest Integrity Network, for example, to help the government and the authorities eradicate illegal logging," said Rooke.  He further said that illegal logging was always backed up and facilitated by corrupt officials.  According to Holloway, the drive to combat corruption should not merely be confined to the sustainable development agenda since the harmful practice would bring suffering to all the people, especially children.

"People cannot send their kids to school because their are no school buildings as the money was stolen by government officials. Parents are not able to access health facilities since they have to pay bribes to the nurses, for example," said Holloway.

 

37) NO MORE 'BUSINESS AS USUAL', SAYS DORODJATUN

The Jakarta Post

6 June 2002

Internet: http://www.thejakartapost.com/yesterdaydetail.asp?fileid=20020606.L03

Coordinating Minister for the Economy Dorodjatun Kuntjoro-Jakti called on businesses on Tuesday to leave their "business as usual" practices and move toward more responsible methods benefiting society and the environment. Meanwhile, the business leaders said that the awareness was there, claiming that they had carried out efforts to pursue sustainable development, including protecting the environment and helping the society, but other factors prevented them from doing it all the time.  Dorodjatun said the business sectors were given emphasis because they had an immense role in the sustainable development drive.  Businesses, according to Dorodjatun, had become the most powerful institution after nation states. They are now stronger than labor unions or non-governmental organizations (NGO).  "Even, in some cases, the governments are even powerless in facing multinational corporations," Dorodjatun told business players during a luncheon speech in Nusa Dua, on the sidelines of the current ministerial/preparatory committee meeting for the World Summit on Sustainable Development. Unfortunately, many business sectors had failed to push ahead with the sustainable development drive in their operations, and worse, they were deceitful to the public by defending their harmful practices through public relations moves, said Dorodjatun. Due to the immense role of business, their contributions were needed both to prevent their harmful practices to the environment and to support community and government programs to continue development while maintaining the ecological balance for future generations. "There should be concrete action. For example, after digging the earth, the mining companies must carry out reforestation to prevent ecological damage in the area," said Dorodjatun in an interview with The Jakarta Post, after the luncheon. The failure to contribute to protecting the environment could lead to disaster in the future. "The next generations deserve a better life, and the business sectors are also responsible for this," Dorodjatun said. Meanwhile, business leaders claimed that they had given particular attention to sustainable development through, for example, the establishment of foundations dealing with issues on environmental impact. Mining company Rio Tinto and consumer product company PT Unilever Indonesia Tbk -- both foreign-owned companies -- were among those which had established such foundations, the Rio Tinto Foundation and Uli Peduli Foundation respectively. The companies kept parts of their profits flowing to such foundations to finance the sustainable development drive such as through Clean Rivers and Forestation programs. "We keep the highest standards for corporate behavior, not only to the employees, but also to public," claimed A.A. Pranatadjaja, the director of PT Unilever Indonesia Tbk.

 

38) DEVELOPMENT DILEMMA HAUNTS DEVELOPING COUNTRIES: UN

The Jakarta Post

6 June 2002

Internet: http://www.thejakartapost.com/yesterdaydetail.asp?fileid=20020606.M04

Sustainable development still poses problems for developing countries, including India, China and Indonesia, despite high economic growth and improvements in social development in these three prominent developing countries, a report has found.

The report, released here on Wednesday by the United Nations University based in Japan, stated that industrialization, which contributed to high economic growth, had developed well in the three countries over the past several decades.

In China, for example, industrial output growth averaged 12.6 percent a year in the 1980s. One decade later, growth had accelerated to 18 percent per year. The three countries also enjoyed improving levels of social development as manifested in decreasing poverty levels, said the report. The poverty rate in India declined steadily from 54 percent to 38 percent between 1973 and 1986. Indonesia was able to dramatically reduce the poverty rate over the past 20 years, from 70 percent to below 10 percent in the early 1990s. Even after the financial crisis in 1997, Indonesia's poverty rate never reached higher than 20 percent.

While industrialization and high economic growth are hoped for, unfortunately they can later pose challenges to sustainable development. Due to rapid urbanization and industrialization in Indonesia, the country will have to deal with an increase in solid waste of 500 percent by 2020 for the residential sector and 1000 percent in the case of the manufacturing sector.

Besides waste, the three countries also faced problems arising from increased demand for water. Rapid industrialization increased industrial and residential water use in China from 45.7 billion cubic meters and 6.8 billion cubic meters in 1980 respectively to 112.1 billion cubic meters and 525 billion cubic meters in 1997. To reduce the undesirable impacts of industrialization and social development, a researcher at the United Nations University suggested that multiple approaches be taken by the authorities, in partnership with the people. "The three developing countries need more resources and better technology to implement Agenda 21 of the Rio World Summit," said Thangavel Palanivel, who presented the report on the sidelines of the ministerial/preparatory committee meeting for the World Summit on Sustainable Development here at the Bali International Convention Center.

Ambassador Milos Alcalay, a G-77 representative from Venezuela, praised the report, saying that it could provide a good model for developing countries to achieve higher standards of living. He further suggested that science and technological development be pursued by governments in developing countries as this sector were crucial to sustainable development. "The role of science and technology should be stressed since these could show us the way to sustainable development," he said in a keynote speech before the presentation.

 

39) LOCAL KEY TO SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT

The Jakarta Post

6 June 2002

Internet: http://www.thejakartapost.com/yesterdaydetail.asp?fileid=20020606.M05

The ones who know the best about what is good for the people are the people themselves. The ones who know the best about the environment are the people who have lived on the land for millions of years, according to Princess Basma bin Talal of Jordan.

In creating a successful partnership program for the interest of sustainable development, it was important for the local community to be involved, Princess Basma said on Wednesday in her keynote speech at the United Nations Development Program's (UNDP) side event to the preparatory committee (prepcom) IV meeting here. "Each local community has their own sets of values in managing the sustainability of their lands, and these should be involved to share, learn and create partnerships that promote sustainability," she said. The participation of women in the management of water, for example, was of utmost importance because when women see water and sanitation problems they instinctively understand the direct effect the problems have on hygiene and health, Prema Gopalan, executive director of India's Swayam Shikshan Prayog, said. Therefore women's participation in determining the improvements of operations and maintenance in water management were important and could form a force that could work together with local governments, she said in the dialog entitled "Communities make the difference" organized by UNDP.

Kenya's Minister of Agriculture, Edward Owango, said that the African experience in involving local communities in the management of soil and water had so far been successful because of the wealth of knowledge that indigenous people possess.

He said that ideas generated from the people themselves caught on easier than those from foreign sources, and with it there was a lot more enthusiasm by the people to try new innovations. Owango said that there should be a paradigm shift in which local indigenous people were involved, but that to unlock the knowledge that these people own, guidance was needed. Meanwhile, Susan McDade, manager for UNDP's Sustainable Energy Program, said that women should be involved when making public policies on energy, explaining that more than two billion people in developing countries had to work and live without the benefits from energy such as illumination and refrigeration. Not so long ago, this lack of energy also was common in developed countries, she said, explaining that her grandmother had to get up every morning to light the wood-fire stove to boil water in which to clean and wash.

"I am sure that there are other grandmothers in developed countries that have the same experiences, all this not so long ago," McDade said, explaining that developed countries had come out of the dark by getting organized and raising the people's awareness on the importance of energy. However, the magnitude of the task to provide basic energy sources to about a third of the earth's population is getting bigger, she said. The UNDP has launched a series of initiatives that focused on the participation of local communities in decision-making processes for sustainable development, including those on water, energy and agriculture, UNDP's director for environmentally sustainable development groups Alvaro Umana said.

 

40) UNDP UNVEILS PROGRAMME TO BOOST DEVELOPING COUNTRIES' ABILITY TO OFFER BASIC SERVICES

United Nations

6 June 2002

Internet: http://www.un.org/apps/news/story.asp?NewsID=3872&Cr=johannesburg&Cr1=

6 June - With government officials still working in Bali to hammer out a final action plan and political declaration for the upcoming World Summit for Sustainable Development, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) today unveiled a new initiative for countries striving to meet global targets for cutting poverty by 2015. Known as "Capacity 2015," the project aims to support nations in improving their ability to meet the goals set at the 2000 Millennium Summit in New York. The scheme provides a flexible, service-oriented platform to address a diverse range of capacity development needs, including nurturing healthy economies and environments and bringing practical support to communities, while linking their efforts to national and global initiatives, according to UNDP. "Real improvements in managing water, energy and biological resources, health services and sanitation, must happen at the local level, [but] local actors will need national and global support to achieve their goals," UNDP said in a statement released in Bali, where more than 4,500 delegates are gathered for the final preparatory meeting for the Summit, which will be held from 26 August to 4 September in Johannesburg, South Africa. UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan has named water and sanitation, energy, health, agriculture and biodiversity as key areas of focus for the Summit. Meanwhile, the UN Deputy Secretary-General, Louise Fréchette, today participated in the political launch of a recent UN report that looks at policies and environmental affects of the past 30 years and outlines approaches for the coming three decades. The Global Environment Outlook-3 (GEO-3), the Deputy Secretary-General said, paints a picture that is "not pretty" and shows that the environment is seriously at risk because of the burdens being placed on it. "GEO-3 warns us that we can no longer blindly trust in the regenerative capacity of the planet's ecosystems," she said. "Even in the best-case scenario, conditions will continue to worsen for several decades in a number of areas." The preparations in Bali for the Johannesburg Summit afforded delegates an opportunity to focus on practical responses, the Deputy Secretary-General stressed. "It would be disastrous to sit back and ignore the picture that GEO-3 has painted for us," she said. "Let us resolve to translate the vision that GEO-3 offers us into reality."

 

41) INDONESIA, AUSTRALIA SIGN ENVIRONMENTAL AGREEMENT

Xinhua News Agency

6 June 2002

Internet: http://library.northernlight.com/FB20020606940000128.html?cb=0&dx=1006&sc=0#doc

BALI, INDONESIA, Jun 6, 2002 (Xinhua via COMTEX) -- Indonesia and Australia have signed an agreement on environmental management relating to water, waste water, recycling and renewable energy. Indonesian Environment Minister Nabiel Makarim and his Australian counterpart David Kemp witnessed here Thursday the signing of the agreement between the Indonesian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KADIN) and the Environment Business Australia. Signed during the Fourth Preparatory Committee Meeting for the World Summit on Sustainable Development, the agreement is expected to pave the way for a number of partnerships to address poverty eradication, change unsustainable production and consumption practices and protect and manage natural resources. The agreement was signed by Ing Ilhamy Elias, chairman of the Environment Compartment of KADIN and Fiona Wain, CEO of Environment Business Australia. "Australia is close to Indonesia and has advanced technologies that have been well tried and are appropriate to our country," Elias said. Australian Minister for Environment David Kemp said that the agreement reflected Australia's willingness to share its expertise in environmental management with other countries.

 

42) JAPAN JOINS DONOR GROUP FOR BIODIVERSITY CONSERVATION

Xinhua News Agency

6 June 2002

Internet: http://library.northernlight.com/FA20020606800000010.html?cb=0&dx=1006&sc=0#doc

BALI, INDONESIA, Jun 6, 2002 (Xinhua via COMTEX) -- The Japanese government announced Thursday its entry of the Critical Ecosystem Partnership Fund (CEPF), an environmental group aiming to preserve Earth's most critically endangered and biologically richest regions, in the side event of the Fourth Preparatory Committee Meeting for World Summit on Sustainable Development.  Japan's Minister for the Environment Hiroshi Ohki told a press briefing here that Japan had considered biodiversity conservation as one of the most critical issues facing the world today and would strongly support the efforts of private conservation group by joining the CEPF.  "The CEPF approach enables local people in developing nations to create and implement projects for a healthy environment and to prosper economically", the minister said. "That is why the Japanese government has chosen to be participant in this very focused initiative".  The five-member CEPF has announced a commitment of financial assistance amounting to at least 150 million U.S. dollars over five years for biodiversity hotspots -- highly threatened regions where more than sixty percent of terrestrial species diversity is found on only 1.4 percent of the Earth's surface.  Each CEPF member organization has pledged to commit five million U.S. dollars annually over five years to the fund, which provides financial support, technical expertise, field knowledge and information on biodiversity conservation.  The bulk of the 58.1 million U.S. dollars approved this year will be disburse to Sumatra island of Indonesia, a home to more than 10,000 plant species. Sumatra is the only place where elephants, rhinoceros, tigers, clouded leopards and orangutans are all found.

 

43) IRAN BLAMES INDUSTRIAL NATIONS FOR STALEMATE AT BALI MEETING

Islamic Republic News Agency

6 June 2002

Internet: http://www.irna.com/en/head/020606225643.ehe.shtml

Bali, June 6, IRNA -- Iran's Vice-President and the Head of its Department of Environment (DOE) Masoumeh Ebtekar here Thursday       

blamed industrial countries as developing nations came to a face-off against the United States at a meeting, held in this Indonesian      

resort island, to tackle world poverty while protecting the environment. The stalemate in Bali talks could be blamed on the failure of    

certain industrial nations to fulfill their financing pledges to the developing nations shed said. Ebtekar, who was addressing the UN-sponsored preparatory meeting for World Summit on Sustainable Development, said the same cause had kept the goals set at the 1992 Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro from materializing. The Rio summit put environmental issues on the world political agenda for the first time. She said the Bali meeting could serve as an appropriate occasion to set the tone for a sustainable development and to address what has kept certain countries from making good on their pledges made in previous summits. Ebtekar stressed the significance of the action plan to be drawn up at the Bali meeting, and said the international community must feel duty-bound to implement the contents of the plan. She further stressed the need to tap new financial resources to push ahead with the goals, set in the 1992 Rio Earth Summit as well as those declared by the UN Secretary General Kofi Annan on sustainable development. "Although there had been several breakthroughs to tackle such challenges as water, poverty, sanitary and the unsustainable patterns of production and consumption, the success of the Bali talks is still in doubt as there has been no tangible progress in such issues as financial commitments of world (developed) countries,” Ebtekar said. President Khatami's envoy further said globalization, as the main concern of the 21st century, had posed many threats to the international community, in addition to its benefits. These threats, she stressed, have to be limited. Ebtekar called on the international community to adopt measures to protect the environment better, and also to support the developing nations in facing up the perceived threats of globalization. "Globalization must include both the developed and the under-developed nations on an equal footing, and all world nations must benefit from its advantages," she said. Ebtekar arrived in Bali Monday to attend the three-day ministerial meeting meant to finalize a series of implementation plans that should help world leaders stick to their commitments to sustainable development. The Bali meeting which opened on Wednesday is also expected to debate a political declaration to be adopted in the upcoming World Summit on Sustainable Development (WSSD) in Johannesburg, August 26 to September 4.It follows a UN meeting of environment officials and activists in Bali that began last Monday to sketch out a draft action plan to protect the planet. The draft plan will serve as a blueprint for sustainable economic development over the next decade.                                    

 

44) PRINCESS BASMA URGES HELPING COMMUNITIES TO CONTRIBUTE TO SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT

Jordan Times

6 June 2002

Internet: http://www.jordantimes.com/Thu/homenews/homenews5.htm

AMMAN (JT) - HRH Princess Basma on Wednesday highlighted some of the major challenges to sustainable development, and talked about possible mechanisms for facing these challenges. In a keynote address entitled, "Communities Make the Critical Difference," delivered in Bali, Indonesia at a preparatory meeting for the World Summit on Sustainable Development (WSSD), the Princess spoke of the strategic role that communities play in advancing sustainable development. Despite the enormous contributions that civil society, and in particular communities, have made to advance the understanding of sustainable development, communities are generally the least well-positioned to have a voice in international summits, she said.  "While the critical and dynamic relationship between a local community, its natural surroundings and its cultural identity are now more recognised, the pitfall of many well-intended projects has been in implementing measures that concentrate on one aspect, to the detriment of the other ... sustainability cannot simply be defined in absolute terms," Princess Basma said.  "As we convene here today..., let us remember that each community has its own set of values which can be utilised to further sustainability." Princess Basma cited Jordan's Dana Nature Reserve as home to a pioneering approach to conservation - which integrates the needs of nature with the needs of local residents, many of whom are still nomadic and dependent on the resources of the reserve.  "Let us also reinforce our commitment to eradicating poverty and to strengthening local institutions that will take the lead in demonstrating that `people do make a difference'," she concluded. Country delegations, civil society representatives, international organisations and other partners present at PrepCom IV in Bali, attended this event which was hosted by UNDP and the Equator Initiative.  In a sideline event, hosted by the Arab Network for Environment and Development (RAED), of which Princess Basma is patron, she put forward the priorities raised by the Arab states regarding sustainable development.  "Although great strides have been made in the civil society movement, little is seen amidst the political events the Arab region is witnessing. We are striving for peace, stability and democracy in the hope for a prosperous and promising world in which we join other nations in their efforts to achieve development and sustainability," said the Princess.  RAED, is a network of more than 200 Arab non-governmental organisations from Mauritania, Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, Libya, Sudan, Egypt, Jordan, Palestine, Lebanon, Syria, Kuwait, Qatar, Bahrain, Oman, Saudi Arabia, and Yemen. It publishes a monthly environmental and developmental newsletter entitled, "Montada Al Biah." Also on Wednesday Princess Basma met with Indonesia's President Megawati. During the meeting, Megawati expressed her admiration of the Hashemite leadership and spoke of His Majesty King Abdullah's active role in the Middle East region. The Indonesian leader also spoke of the efforts of King Abdullah to strengthen the relations between Jakarta and Amman.  The talks between Megawati and Princess Basma also focused on the environment, development and women's issues. The Indonesian president praised Princess Basma for her efforts in these fields, especially her role in advancing humanitarian work and the status of women in Jordan.  The minister of municipal and rural affairs and environment, who is accompanying Princess Basma, attended the meeting.

 

45) IMPORTANCE OF PROMOTING PARTNERSHIPS TO FOSTER ACQUISITION, USE OF MODERN TECHNOLOGY HIGHLIGHTED IN BALI DISCUSSIONS

United Nations Press Release

6 June 2002

Internet: http://www.johannesburgsummit.org/html/bali/pressreleases/envdevb18-e.htm

The importance of promoting partnerships to facilitate the acquisition and use of modern technology by developing countries was among the many issues stressed as the ministerial segment of the fourth and final Preparatory Committee for the upcoming World Summit for Sustainable Development continued discussing "implementation partnerships/initiatives" this afternoon in Bali. 

A representative of the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) said technology was central to achieving sustainable development.  Many developing countries faced major challenges in acquiring and using modern technologies.  She noted a divide between the technology "innovators", the technology "adaptors" and those countries that were technologically "disconnected".  The United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) promoted partnerships to overcome the divide -- there was a programme under way in 25 countries on assessing needs and promoting action in the area of technology cooperation. 

A representative of the European Space Agency described partnerships formed to monitor the earth through satellite observation for many problems of sustainable development.  It was necessary to highlight the importance of such observation in the World Summit documents.  To do so would help direct such programmes to support Agenda 21 objectives.  The representative of Kyrgyzstan, noting that his largely mountainous country had a vulnerable ecosystem, said there was an absence of technology to take advantage of natural resources such as water.  A complex development programme for 2000 to 2010 had been developed by the Government, as had a strategy for poverty eradication.  Partnership with other Central Asian States was under way to help protect the mountains, reduce debt and strengthen environmental management. Among a number of speakers discussing the role of partnerships to promote sustainable development in Africa, the representative of Gabon said he hoped the Summit would adopt the New Programme for African Development (NEPAD) as the best way of enhancing sustainable development in Africa.  Other regional efforts were under way that were aimed at promoting sustainable development, he noted. The representative of Uganda said her Government had been at the forefront of establishing a solid platform to promote various forms of partnerships.  Africa, she said, welcomed partnerships intended to support regional and subregional initiatives such as NEPAD and others.  She looked forward to the announcement of new initiatives at the Summit that were intended to support national and regional efforts.  Her Government sought partnerships to aid in combating diseases, including those that were water-borne. The representative of Finland said that partnerships were important because they provided substantial additions of resources for sustainable development.  Through them, new actors could be brought in, and sustainable development could be mainstreamed.  Finland's basic strategy was to facilitate partnerships that formed voluntarily under criteria of relevance, and to help link such partnerships with international initiatives.  Partnerships were so essential to sustainable development that it could be said that the Johannesburg Summit would be about partnerships. Statements were also made this afternoon by the representatives of Mozambique, Turkey, Jordan, Belgium, Nepal, Nigeria, Cuba, Iceland, Ukraine, United Arab Emirates, Pakistan, South Africa, Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, China, Ireland, Senegal, Honduras, Belize, Benin, Chad, Guyana, Panama, Bahamas, Solomon Islands, Austria, New Zealand and Romania.

A representative of the Secretariat of the Basel Convention on the Control of Transboundary Movements of Hazardous Waste and Their Disposal also spoke. Richard Ballhorn (Canada), Acting Committee Chair; Jan Kara (Czech Republic), Committee Vice-Chair; and Diane Quarless (Jamaica), Committee Vice-Chair spoke at the conclusion of the debate. The ministerial segment is scheduled to meet again tomorrow morning at 10 a.m. to continue its deliberations

BACKGROUND

The fourth and final Preparatory Committee for the upcoming World Summit on Sustainable Development this afternoon continued its ministerial segment, during which Ministers are expected to discuss follow-up to the Bali implementation plan, partnership initiatives and elements for the political declaration to be adopted at the Johannesburg Summit.  The focus of this afternoon's discussion was the implementation of partnership initiatives.

STATEMENTS

The representative of Mozambique said the right balance had to be created between Type 1 and Type 2 partnerships.  Type 2 partnerships could add to the pool of resources available and increase other opportunities, but governments should not be written off as the main actors in those kinds of partnerships.  In addition, he said, partnerships should be steered equally by all actors.  The New Programme for African Development (NEPAD) could be very useful in areas of interest to his country.  In Mozambique, environmental laws had been enacted and many other activities had been undertaken in response to Agenda 21.  Those actions needed adequate support by the international community, and type 2 partnerships could provide some of that support.

The representative of Finland said that Type 2 partnerships were important because they provided substantial additional resources for sustainable development.  Through them, new actors could be brought in, and sustainable development could be mainstreamed.  Finland's basic strategy was to facilitate partnerships that formed voluntarily under criteria of relevance, and to help link such partnerships with international initiatives.  Partnerships were so essential to sustainable development that it could be said that the Johannesburg Summit would be about partnerships.  The representative of Turkey said that among the benefits of partnerships was increased of awareness of sustainable development issues.  Enhanced partnership was essential for success in areas such as improved governance mechanisms.  Her country had fostered partnerships in support of Agenda 21 at all levels and in cooperation with United Nations agencies.  She stressed the need for increasing the capacity of local actors and for new resources for demands placed on the Global Environment Facility (GEF).  She emphasized the importance of regional and cross-regional partnerships, which bridged efforts at the national and local levels to those at the international level. The representative of the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) said technology was central to achieving sustainable development.  Modern technology had an important role to play in realizing the Millennium Development Goals and alleviating poverty.  Many developing countries faced major challenges in acquiring and using technologies.  She noted a divide between the technology "innovators", the technology "adaptors" and those countries that were technologically "disconnected".  She hoped the Summit would provide strong outcomes on technology issues in the area of means of implementation.  The UNIDO promoted partnerships to overcome the divide -- there was a programme under way in 25 countries on assessing needs and promoting action in the area of technology cooperation.  Partnerships in the area of energy were also being promoted by UNIDO.  The representative of Jordan said the current session was an opportunity to try to resolve problems that had developed over the past 10 years and to assess what had been done.  Decisions must be strengthened but not repeated.  Working together was essential, he said, stressing the role of partnerships between the various stakeholders in the sustainable developments process.  The specific roles of the various actors must be established, and the interests of all must be taken into account, he said.  Financial institutions and governments of rich countries must provide monetary and technological assistance to help with partnerships.  He went on to highlight Jordan's partnership initiatives to promote sustainable development.  The representative of Belgium said the Co-Chairman's document on guiding principles for partnerships, which had been distributed throughout the room, was a good paper.  Partnerships should be based on what had already been agreed.  Sustainable development could only be achieved if there was respect for the social, economic and environmental pillars.  He said the international community should work together on Agenda 21, which established the proper balance among those pillars.  Partnerships must be monitored by the international community as they evolved to determine whether they were up to the vision set forth for sustainable development.            The representative of Nepal said partnerships were vital to the goals of poverty alleviation, environmental stewardship and increased equitability of development.  Such partnerships could help increase the resources available.  An international partnership for sustainable mountain development was particularly important for his country.  Civil society partnerships were also vital in Nepal for dealing with such problems as the depletion of forestry resources through use of wood fuels in homes, which also caused other environmental and social development problems.  International support for partnerships formed within Nepal was necessary, however. The representative of the European Space Agency described partnerships formed to monitor the earth through satellite observation for many areas of sustainable development.  It was necessary to highlight the importance of such observations in the World Summit documents.  To do so would help direct such programmes to support Agenda 21 objectives.  They should be supported as relevant "type 2" outcomes.

The representative of Nigeria said that governments could not undertake the sustainable development agenda alone, and they required partners to do so.  That had been the case in his country in programmes to protect coastal and marine environments, which had attracted the support of non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and the private sector.  But such partnerships should not be a substitute for government commitments, and they should serve such commitments while being transparent, relevant and accountable. The representative of Cuba said partnerships must not replace government outcomes or multilateral cooperation.  Initiatives should be geared towards contributing to the three pillars of sustainable development.  That could only be ensured if partnerships were clearly and properly linked to the Summit's plan of implementation.  Monitoring was key, as were transparency and coordination. He underscored that observing the principle of common but differentiated responsibilities for developed and developing countries must be a basic concept underlying partnerships.  The guiding principles with regard to partnerships should be strengthened.  He noted his delegation's support for the NEPAD.  Opportunities to promote South-South cooperation should be seized.  Respect for sovereignty and the development models of individual countries were key. The representative of Iceland said her country welcomed Type 2 initiatives as long as they did not undermine the importance of Type 1 outcomes.  A framework was needed to ensure that Type 2 outcomes added to the implementation of Agenda 21.  All had something to offer in the field of cooperation.  Programmes of the United Nations University on fisheries and geothermal energy had been hosted by her country, she noted.  A new initiative on capacity-building in the area of geo-thermal energy was being contemplated by her Government.

The representative of Ukraine said Ukraine fully realized its role and responsibility to protect natural resources.  In that context, it would host the Fifth Environment for Europe ministerial meeting in Kiev next year.  The meeting was expected to introduce action-oriented mechanisms to promote environmental protection.  The current task of the international community was to eliminate the controversies between the new development methodologies and old values.  He urged negotiators to agree on a specific, time-bound implementation plan.  The session was crucial opportunity to make the Johannesburg Summit a success.

The representative of the United Arab Emirates said his country had been active in creating partnerships between all sectors in his country in support of Agenda 21.  In order to promote partnership with the international community, it had established the Zayid International Environment Awards, which this year, recognized programmes countering water problems in dry areas, among other initiatives.  It had also established funds for the sustainable development of developing nations, helping to build their capabilities in a range of areas and fulfill their responsibilities under international accords.    The representative of Pakistan said that side partnerships were valuable but should not be an open-ended process and had to be developed under strict guidelines to better the lifestyles of the poor and support sustainable development in the most vulnerable areas. The representative of South Africa stressed the need for mutual respect in partnerships, which were vital to meet goals in water and sanitation access and poverty reduction.  Projects in water and sanitation, in particular, met the criteria of all three pillars of sustainable developments.  Partnerships on those issues in southern Africa could be a model of how Type 1 agreements could link with Type 2 initiatives to meet Agenda 21 goals.  Monitoring of water and sanitation goals should be included in the follow-up to the Johannesburg Summit. The representative of Kyrgyzstan said his country was 94 per cent mountains and had a very vulnerable ecosystem.  There was an absence of technology to take advantage of natural resources, as well as large amounts of radioactive waste on the territory.  The waste and heavy metal residue had been left from the time of the former Soviet Union.  A complex development programme for 2000 to 2010 had been developed by his Government, as had a strategy for poverty eradication.  He wished to reinforce the Central Asian initiatives for cooperation.  Cooperation was under way to help protect the mountains, reduce debt and strengthen environmental management. The representative of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia said his Government had been among the first countries to accept the concept of sustainable development.  However, the period of wars and sanctions during the 1990s had had visible consequences.  The technological level of the country had declined, facilities were underused, and the import of raw materials and export of finished products had been undermined.  Scientific and technological exchange and cultural cooperation had been interrupted.  Cooperation with international organizations had been undertaken to protect the environment, he said.  The country expected assistance in dealing with depleted uranium from North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) missiles.  He fully supported the search for financing to support sustainable development and was in favour of reaching fruitful agreements for the establishment of partnerships. The representative of China said to fully implement Agenda 21, comprehensive partnerships must be established according to the Rio principles.  The actual difficulties confronting developing countries should be addressed.  Type 2 outcomes should reflect the spirit of global partnerships and should complement the implementation plan.  Only when all parties demonstrated good political will in the plan could partnerships be effectively implemented.  China would take an active part in partnership initiatives.  Cooperation among civil society was important, but government departments should provide guidance.

The representative of Ireland said partnership was central to sustainable development, and that donors should work more closely with both the national plans of developing countries, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) strategy and the World Bank's comprehensive development framework.  Partnerships should be owned by developing countries and should complement all existing efforts.  The private sector should be involved to the greatest extent possible, and partnerships should continue to be established after the Johannesburg Summit in support of its goals. The representative of Senegal said that governments of developing countries should be involved in Type 2 partnerships, as part of the assistance that should be provided to partnerships at all levels.  NEPAD was a Type 2 partnership according to his country, and its priorities should be access to water, and new and renewable energy sources.  Chemical development should proceed, but its negative effects should be countered.  Resources needed in such efforts should be provided by the international community.  Institutional coordination had been one of the major obstacles in implementing Agenda 21, and the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) should play an important role in that regard. The representative of Honduras said his country had tried pilot projects in partnerships and, while there were successes, much could be improved.  Account needed to be taken of efficiency, coherence and impact of such projects by ECOSOC so that partnership models did not create an additional level of bureaucracy.  It was also essential that sustainable development strategies meshed with all other existing activities. Only in that way could programmes have a measurable, positive impact on people's lives.

The representative of Belize said Type 2 partnerships must complement and not replace Type 1 outcomes.  Partnerships should coincide with national priorities and Agenda 21 objectives.  Certain existing projects could be extended, including regional initiatives.  Too much structure initially might be stifling, but at the same time too little structure could lead to an unmanageable situation.  The management and tracking of partnerships must be dealt with.  The ultimate responsibility for partnerships must in many cases remain with governments, she said.  Discussions should be conducted, in large part, through regional and national agencies.  A follow-up process through self-reporting mechanisms should also be established. The representative of Gabon said Type 1 outcomes had not really yielded the results hoped for in the areas of climate change and conservation of bio-diversity among others.  Synergies must be sought in all areas not covered by the Rio commitments.  Type 2 initiatives should permit new kinds of ways of doing things and also make possible new resources.  He hoped the Summit would adopt NEPAD as the best way of enhancing sustainable development in Africa.  Other regional efforts were under way that were aimed at promoting sustainable development. The representative of Uganda said her Government had been at the forefront of establishing a solid platform to promote various forms of partnerships.  For the past 10 years, several partnership arrangements had been initiated and her Government would continue to appreciate implementable initiatives with clear outcomes to combat poverty.  Africa, she said, welcomed partnerships intended to support regional and subregional initiatives such as NEPAD and others.  She looked forward to the announcement of new initiatives at the Summit that were intended to support national and regional efforts.  Her Government sought partnerships to aid in combating diseases, including those that were water-bound. The representative of Benin encouraged the meeting to work for quicker progress in filling in the blanks that still existed in the implementation plan.  Globalization, he said, still benefited only the richest nations, and access to trade was blocked to many developing countries.  Type 2 partnerships should focus on those areas.  NEPAD was a good model of Type 2 partnerships.  Non-discriminitory trade access and debt relief should, in that way, help countries to relieve pressure on their resources and the environment. The representative of Chad said that there should be partnership at all levels in the effort for sustainable development.  It should also be the basis for mutual respect between the North and South and allow developing countries to participate in global development.  His country was developing a decentralization programme, which empowered action at all levels that needed to be supported by partnerships.  Partnerships that, on the other hand, aimed to pull strings from above, were not what was needed. The representative of Guyana said he fully supported the statement by Barbados of this morning.  Efforts must be redoubled to make and meet deadlines in sustainable development.  He disagreed with what had been said about the voluntary aspect of Type 2 partnerships.  His country had hosted a project on protection of rainforests that had all the elements of the type of partnership that had been discussed.  Yet implementation had been slow because financial support had been voluntary.  There needed to be an arrangement that allowed for predictability in the flow of resources.  In addition, the power of large corporations relative to developing governments must be taken into account. The representative of Panama said governments of developing countries participating in the South Summit in Algeria had instituted partnerships with NGOs, United Nations agencies, and others.  Panama had proposed that through a pooling of resources and the formation of an academy for sustainable development, existing information could be made available on the environment and development.  All that was needed now was political will to comply with the commitments already undertaken.  Partnerships could provide a basis to support the implementation of Agenda 21.  The representative of the Bahamas said partnerships were a good opportunity to assist regional and national governments in implementing Type 1 outcomes.  Partnerships were voluntary, and each was unique and specific to the partners.  She suggested that guiding principles set forward by the Co-Chairs promote the establishment of review processes to evaluate the capacity of partners to promote sustainable development.

The representative of Solomon Islands said the outcome of UNCED had not really worked.  Cooperation was necessary to ensure the success of Johannesburg.  His country had endorsed 24 international agreements and conventions to promote sustainable development since Rio.  The Government had created national policies to investigate sustainable programmes and planning.  Obstacles to development were being investigated.  He said a network must be put in place to prevent duplication of activities.  All actors should work together in partnership to promote sustainable development.  He noted the spiritual connection some people had to the environment -- that must be taken into account when policies were made at the national level. The representative of Austria said that to realize sustainability in all sectors, it had to be translated to the public; partnership was the best means for that.  An example was the Alpine Convention - the Convention on the Protection of the Alps -- which fulfilled all criteria for Type 2 partnerships.  Energy was another important area for partnerships, and to facilitate those, the Global Forum for Sustainable Energy had been formed.  In general, partnerships should not only be established but also improved. The representative of the Secretariat of the Basel Convention on the Control of Transboundary Movements of Hazardous Waste and Their Disposal cited examples of partnerships in areas such as sound management of waste where partnership with industry was vital. The representative of New Zealand expressed interest in many of the kinds of partnerships discussed and the idea of the mainstreaming of sustainable development.  Voters and communities must be involved in the effort; so far, that had not been the case.  If the blank spaces in the implementation plan were being filled in during closed meetings, there was no chance for transparency or mainstreaming the case for sustainable development. The representative of Kyrgyzstan said partnership was the main thing achieved since Rio.  All understood that barriers between the various actors were the main obstacles to achieving sustainable development.  A voluntary approach to overcoming that problem was key.  The representative of Guyana said thought should be given to the process that would help concretize the kinds of Type 2 outcomes that could address the major issues, especially those identified by the Secretary-General.  Thought should also be given to how civil society actors and the private sector could be brought in to play a central role in partnerships. RICHARD BALLHORN (Canada), Acting Committee Chair, said the Secretariat had started producing background documents that might help representatives to form partnerships. JAN KARA (Czech Republic), Committee Vice-Chair, noted the five areas identified by the Secretary-General.  A background paper on sustainable energy and others were being prepared.  These papers were seen as a potential bridge between Type 1s and Type 2s outcome.  The overall framework of Type 2 outcomes was Agenda 21, but it was also hoped that they would evolve around the Secretary-General's five areas, as well as others. DIANE QUARLESS (Jamaica), Committee Vice-Chair, said the guiding principles document was a work in progress.  There was no full answer to the questions yet posed.  From now to Johannesburg, the Secretariat was facilitating the process.  There was a Web site, she noted.  There was agreement in the relevant working group that the Commission on Sustainable Development would serve as a focal point for partnerships. Mr. BALLHORN said there were Web sites and other ways to facilitate the aforesaid processes. The representative of Romania then asked how partnerships could succeed in combating climate change and what kind of technical answers could be applied to that problem. Mr. BALLHORN said his country had a joint application programme that coordinated efforts for emission reduction.  In addition, the Kyoto Protocol included many opportunities to create all sort of partnerships in that regard.

 

46) PARTNERSHIP INITIATIVES SHOULD NOT SUBSTITUTE FOR GOVERNMENT COMMITMENTS TO PROMOTE SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT, SPEAKERS STRESS

United Nations Press Release

6 June 2002

Internet: http://www.johannesburgsummit.org/html/bali/pressreleases/envdevb17-e.htm

Partnerships should not substitute for the commitments of governments to promote sustainable development, speakers stressed this morning as the ministerial segment of the fourth and final Preparatory Committee for the upcoming World Summit on Sustainable Development continued its interactive dialogue in Bali. During the dialogue, which focused on the theme "implementation partnerships initiatives", many speakers spoke of the need to commit governments to specific initiatives, but also of the need to encourage a flexible range of partnerships, the so-called Type 2 partnerships, that advanced the goals of Agenda 21, the guiding principles of sustainable development set down at the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED) in 1992. Type 2 outcomes are voluntary partnership initiatives between governments, citizen groups and the private sector, intended to help promote implementation of the government-negotiated outcome documents in Johannesburg, known as the "Type 1" outcomes.  The representative of Barbados strongly supported "Type 2" initiatives, which provided a range of possibilities, but only as a supplement to Type 1 activities.  Governments, she said, should not be allowed to abrogate their responsibilities through a shift of emphasis to the Type 2 initiatives, which had less specificity in terms of deadlines and funding, the lack of which had helped lead to failure in meeting the goals of Agenda 21.  She said there should be stronger promotion of partnerships at the South-South level and between Small Island Developing States (SIDS).  As such a State, her country urged ratification of the Kyoto Protocol, which identified many kinds of partnership activity for the climate protection areas of sustainable development.  Effective partnerships were not possible without funding, genuine capacity-building, and follow-up. Spain's representative, on behalf of the European Union, said that it was essential to link up type 2 and type 1 partnerships and to clearly identify funding mechanisms.  In addition, partnerships must take into account all the development objectives of all countries involved.  All partners must mobilize necessary financial resources and explore options for additional financing.  The scope of partnerships should always be international and innovative, providing considerable added value.  The World Summit was not a deadline for partnerships activity, which would continue through follow-up mechanisms, he said.  Such follow-up would also include monitoring the results of partnerships, for which all partners should actively gather information.  That information should then be summed up and reorganized for comparative analysis and exchange of information.  It was fundamental that various stakeholders participate in the debate that would ensue. The representative of Australia stressed that not all partnerships had to be multilaterally agreed upon.  Some could be created for specific needs in specific areas.  Type 2 outcomes should be flexible mechanisms for concrete action.  Those outcomes needed to include many voluntary elements and should not be overly predetermined, in order to allow maximum innovation.  Developed and developing countries should enter into solid partnerships for which political will was necessary on both sides, Qatar's representative said.  The objectives of sustainable development could only be achieved if the necessary financial resources were found and if the requisite technologies were shared.  Statements were also made by the representatives of the Republic of Korea, Kuwait, Azerbaijan, Sudan, New Zealand, Greece, Italy, Japan, Syria, Ghana, Nauru (for the Pacific Islands Forum Group), Canada, Saudi Arabia, Namibia, Lebanon, India, Norway, United States, Philippines, Togo, Tajikistan, Zambia, Thailand, Australia, El Salvador, Bolivia, Maldives, Romania and Marshall Islands. Representatives of the Business Action for Sustainable Development, the Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP) and the Common Fund for Commodities also spoke. The ministerial segment is scheduled to reconvene this afternoon at 3 p.m. to continue its deliberations.

BACKGROUND

The fourth and final Preparatory Committee for the upcoming World Summit on Sustainable Development this morning continued its ministerial segment, during which Ministers are expected to discuss follow-up to the Bali implementation plan, partnership initiatives and elements for the political declaration to be adopted at the Johannesburg Summit.  The focus of this morning's discussion was the implementation of partnerships initiatives.

STATEMENTS

The representative of the Republic of Korea said resolving poverty and related issues should be given priority in ensuring sustainable development.  Enhancing the status of women and promoting their access to health services and education was key.  She also emphasized the importance of recycling and "eco-labeling".  Partnerships would reinvigorate the international pursuit of sustainable development.  Participation of diverse stakeholders from the initial stages of partnerships must be assured.  Caution must be taken to make sure that partnership projects were not used as tools to avoid the outcome of the Summit. The representative of Kuwait said the world was looking to this meeting and awaiting its achievements for the benefit of future generations.  A great number of issues related to sustainable development had not been resolved.  He stressed the need for transparency in the implementation of Agenda 21.  Measures agreed upon by all with set time frames should be instituted.  It was appropriate to reaffirm the results and decisions adopted in Monterrey at the International Conference on Financing for Development, and in Doha at the World Trade Organization (WTO) meeting.  Dealing with desertification and natural disasters required lucid thinking and a comprehensive vision.  Constructive cooperation was crucial.  He reaffirmed the importance of including major groups and civil society in the process.

The representative of Azerbaijan said cooperation among all the stakeholders was required to ensure the implementation of Agenda 21.  His country was a young, developing, landlocked State going through economic transition.  Sustaining social, economic and environmental development was key.  His Government fully supported the establishment of a public-private venture capital fund.  A number of action plans to strengthen management capacity in the area of environment had been elaborated.  Large financial resources were needed to institute such programmes, and support by the international community was therefore needed.  His country fully supported partnerships as part of the outcome of Summit. The representative of Sudan said the slow implementation of Agenda 21 was partly due to lack of deadlines and funding mechanisms, as well as slow transfer of technology.  As a result, diseases had spread, poverty had increased, and the situation in many areas had worsened.  Peoples were looking forward to initiatives that could reverse those problems.  Equitable partnerships, based on an international framework, should include the private sector and civil society to combat desertification, create health services and foster improvement in many areas.  None of that would happen without strong political will and documents void of brackets. The representative of New Zealand said there was a partnership in his country between the Ministries of Development and Environment.  Type 2 partnerships had received a great deal of funding.  Achieving partnerships should take as long a time as was needed by the partner with the least capacity.  Genuine partnerships were based on trust and took into account historical facts such as the effects of colonialism.  His country was pursuing many partnerships within its region, between countries as well as those including civil society and other stakeholders. 

The representative of Spain, on behalf of the European Union, said it was essential to link up type 2 and type 1 partnerships and identify funding mechanisms.  In addition, partnerships must take into account all the sustainable development objectives of all the countries involved.  All sectors should participate in partnerships from the beginning so that all became stakeholders.  All partners should also mobilize necessary financial resources and explore options for additional financing.  The scope of partnerships should always be international and innovative, providing considerable added value, he continued.  The World Summit was not a deadline for partnerships activity, which would continue through follow-up mechanisms.  Such follow-up would also include monitoring the results of partnerships, for which all partners should actively gather information.  That information should then be summed up and reorganized for comparative analysis and exchange of information.  It was fundamental that various stakeholders participate in the debate that would ensue. The representative of Qatar said the objectives of sustainable development could only be achieved if the necessary financial resources could be found.  Developed and developing countries should enter into solid partnerships and the necessary political will should be found on both sides.  The international community should have a system of international trade without any discrimination, as set out in the Doha Declaration.  The problem of lack of technology in the developing countries should be redressed.  Unsustainable patterns of production and consumption should also be tackled, he said.  Qatar attached special importance to having a successful Summit -- it should make positive commitments to implement agreements already made to promote sustainable development.  An approach based on responsible participation was necessary. A representative of the Business Action for Sustainable Development said that whatever targets were agreed at the Summit, sound governance of society, including the business sector, was needed to deliver them.  Global governance would be ineffectual unless it was underpinned by strong local governance.  Governments would set priorities for sustainable development and "we will cluster our partnerships" under the various headings of energy, water and biodiversity, among others.  Poverty eradication needed official development assistance (ODA), but also the development of business, he said.  A number of international businesses, in collaboration with other members of civil society, were gathering under the auspices of the Global Compact to see how best they could contribute to sustainable development in developing countries.  Businesses looked forward to participating in the Summit. The representative of Greece said her country supported the need to promote partnerships that were results-oriented and that fairly shared the burden between developed and developing countries.  They should be based on specific guiding principles clearly set out in the plan of implementation at the Summit.  They should also adhere to a multi-stakeholder approach and promote the three pillars of sustainable development.  Mechanisms and means of implementation should be established.  She said Greece strongly believed that regional partnership initiatives were of great importance to the promotion of sustainable worldwide.  It was therefore exploring ways of launching new initiatives to address regional needs, such as desertification and the promotion of renewable energy.

The representative of Barbados strongly supported "Type 2" initiatives, which provided a range of possibilities, but only as a supplement to Type 1 activities.  Governments should not be allowed to abrogate their responsibilities through a shift of emphasis to the Type 2 initiatives, which had less specificity in terms of deadlines and funding.  That lack of specificity had helped lead to the failure of meeting the goals of Agenda 21.  She said there should be stronger promotion of cooperation at the South-South level and between Small Island Developing States (SIDS).  As such a State, her country urged ratification of the Kyoto Protocol, which identified many kinds of partnership activity.  Effective partnerships were not possible without funding, genuine capacity-building, and follow-up.  Also important to SIDS were partnerships to combat HIV/AIDS. The representative of Italy said his country had increased the funding available for development partnership initiatives and supported many international agreements in that regard, helping to launch international initiatives for good governance and technology transfer.  Italy also participated in such partnership projects as the development of a satellite land mapping systems for fighting desertification in Africa.  His country was ready to play its part in creating the right balance between sharply defined initiatives and efforts toward general goals and principles.

The representative of Japan said there were diverse views on partnerships that had served to prolong the deliberation on the implementation plan of action.  It was crucial that the document was finished during the Bali meeting, with a focused discussion for that purpose.  He also stressed the importance of the ratification of the Kyoto Protocol, and described the kind of international partnership that Japan favoured, such as its partnerships with African countries in the areas of water, forests, health, education and other areas.  Concrete partnership projects should be created in those areas before the World Summit took place. The representative of Syria said his Government was attempting to fulfill its obligations in accordance with international agreements in the areas of anti-desertification, among others.  A number of problems had been faced by his country, including the lack of scientific and technological resources.  The continued occupation of the Golan also had a negative impact on sustainable development, and peace and security constituted prerequisites for sustainable development.  Israel should withdraw from the occupied Arab territories and comply with the relevant United Nations resolutions, he stressed.  He was referring, in that regard, to partnerships for peace.  He said the United Nations should allow for a just sharing of water resources among all peoples to ensure a partnership in which all interests were taken into account.  Means and mechanisms to implement Agenda 21 with clear time frames should be set up.  He stressed the importance of developed countries fulfilling their obligations under the principle of shared but differentiated responsibility.  The representative of Ghana said while he welcomed the idea of partnerships, in some areas they could not replace the plan of implementation.  Partnership initiatives should have a regional aspect.  It was important to ensure that partnerships did not become a substitute for existing resource commitments.  The comments of participants must be clear and tied to tangible resources and rewards.  The establishment of partnerships in the areas of water, energy, agriculture, sanitation, education and health were supported by his Government. The representative of Nauru, for the Pacific Islands Forum Group, said the 1992 United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED) had placed a focus on oceans, which the Group supported.  The small island developing States chapter in the implementation plan articulated many pressing concerns for the Group, which took seriously the effective and timely attainment of sustainable goals in the Pacific.  He urged the adoption of concrete timetables and targets.  The Group had been actively engaged in further developing Type 2 initiatives, which were largely built on regional policies and concerns.  The representative of Botswana said no country could go it alone.  Africa had therefore come up with the New Programme for African Development (NEPAD) -- a partnership of African governments to work for sustainable development.  Governments could not achieve the implementation of Agenda 21 by themselves.  That was why she supported the idea of partnerships.  Consultation was one of Botswana's national principles -- it permeated all levels of government.  Botswana belonged to the Southern African Development Community, a subregional arrangement that promoted development within its member countries.  Partnerships should not only be between and among governments, but also between governments and civil society stakeholders.  Partnerships should not be one-sided.  They should complement government commitments -- not replace them. The representative of Canada said that "type 2" partnerships should complement "type 1" initiatives and should not substitute for them.  He emphasized transparency and respect for all partners and described Canada's efforts to form partnership on a range of issues.  Good governance, he said, was particularly important for the success of partnerships.  The political declaration for the World Summit should include strong support for partnerships. The representative of Saudi Arabia supported the statement by Venezuela on behalf of the "Group of 77" developing countries and China and described many areas in which partnerships were needed, stressing particularly in the fight against desertification and water pollution. The representative of Namibia also supported the statement made by Venezuela on behalf of the Group of 77.  He stressed that type 2 partnerships should complement type 1 partnerships and not be a substitute for them.  All partnerships needed to reinforce existing commitments.  They all needed to relate clearly to poverty eradication, livelihood security and the protection of the environment.  Formulation of partnerships should include all partners to ensure ownership. A representative of the Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP) underlined the role of regional commissions in promoting partnerships.  It was important in promoting Type 2 outcomes that the developing countries be active players.  The regional commissions had developed type 2 outcomes with strong subregional and regional dimensions aimed at alleviating poverty and promoting sound management of resources and the environment.  The initiatives promoted participation by the major stakeholders.  The representative of Lebanon said sustainable development must be achieved by all nations, developing and developed.  Partnerships were an important principle to be adopted with a view to realizing common development programmes.  Lebanon had made progress through partnership with local governments and the private sector.  Despite difficulties over the past decade, progress has been made in environmental protection and health and education through Type 2 outcomes.  Despite obstacles, he said, Lebanon remained committed to partnership initiatives for development.  The continued foreign occupation of part of his country's land, with its negative impact on civil society and the private sector, impeded the full realization of social, economic and environmental progress.  The representative of India said his country had taken sustainable development very seriously and had a lot to feel satisfied about at home.  It had shown progress in all spheres and had maintained its strong adherence to the principle of sustainable development.  Partnerships were nothing new to the developing world, but they must evolve from the implementation plan and must answer the priorities of national governments.  They should not repackage existing agreements and should not be a substitute for government initiatives.  What was needed was time-bound action for already negotiated documents. The representative of Norway called for forward movement on commitments already made and stressed that they should not be renegotiated.  Responding to the question, "Why are we here"? she said, "we should be here" for one reason -- to bring action in sustainable development forward for the benefit of the poor and the environment.  That required an implementation plan that provided for exactly that.  It was not too late -- it could still happen, but she was very concerned. 

The Summit should concentrate on ensuring substantial deliveries in the key areas set out by the Secretary-General, she said.  A structuring process must be established to ensure such delivery, and it must be established in Bali.  A difference could be made if such a framework was put in place.  Grave injustice to the world's poor and to future generations was being faced.  Decisions made today would determine whether the injustice would continue or be averted. The representative of the United States said that partnerships, that is, cooperative efforts, should harness the best capabilities of all sectors.  A new dialogue between key sectors could therefore prove fruitful for potential partners.  Important principles for partnerships were transparency, accountability and a direct relation to the goals of sustainable development.  In follow-up, the Commission on Sustainable Development could serve as a focal point for lessons-learned through partnerships. The representative of the Philippines said that partnerships must have the correct emphasis.  Capacity-building and transparency could give a boost to sustainable development efforts in developing countries.  He stressed that details of partnership initiatives should be clear to the lowest levels of government so that community participation could be included. The representative of Togo said that partnerships could be effective if they took into account the needs of all partners and were created on a sound legal basis.  He hoped that many of such effective partnerships would be forged through the Johannesburg process. A representative of the Common Fund for Commodities said 2.5 billion people in developing countries were engaged in agriculture, and many earned income from the export of commodities.  Many were also engaged in the extractive-mineral industries.  Partnerships were therefore needed in those areas.  The Fund was preparing partnerships in the areas of productivity improvement, diversification and value added in a sustainable way, market development and market access. 

The representative of Tajikistan, on behalf of the countries of the Central Asian region, said those countries were afflicted by the Aral Sea crisis and high rates of disease, among others.  A long-term approach to the problems afflicting the area, with the support of the international community, was key.  Projects had been undertaken with ESCAP to achieve the objectives of Agenda 21.  Regional and subregional programmes were being planned to deal with the problems being faced.  The World Bank and the Global Environment Facility (GEF) were among the partners in those initiatives. The representative of Zambia said his Government recognized the important role to be played by partnerships.  Such initiatives had already been started, including NEPAD.  In Zambia, partnerships had been launched in the areas of water, health and management of wildlife, among others.  The terms of reference for partnerships should be mutually agreed, and type 2 outcomes should complement Type 1 outcomes. The representative of Thailand said that with the proper guidelines, effective partnership initiatives for sustainable development could move forward.  He emphasized partnerships for forest issues and other areas. The representative of Australia strongly supported the partnership approach that had been developed thus far in the preparatory process.  Not all partnerships, he said, had to be multilaterally agreed upon.  Some could be created for specific needs in specific areas.  Type 2 outcomes should contain flexible mechanisms for concrete action.  Those outcomes needed to include many voluntary elements, and much should not be overly predetermined, in order to allow maximum innovation.  His country was most interested in Type 2 proposals related to oceans, working with Pacific Island partners and other coastal countries, as well as a range of other issues. The representative of El Salvador said that Type 1 partnerships, to advance Agenda 21, should come out of Johannesburg.  A participatory approach involving all stakeholders was fundamental.  She hoped that new alliances, national alliances linked with international alliances, would be forged at the Summit to further the sustainable development of developing countries, with such priorities as trade access and disaster relief. The representative of Bolivia said his country had made great advances in sustainable development in recent years.  He noted the role played by the Heavily Indebted Poor Countries (HIPC) debt initiative in alleviating poverty in his country.  Such partnerships could be extended to other areas of international cooperation focused on sustainable development.  He said partnerships should make it possible to discuss market access.  Noting the challenges of moving from illegal to legal trade, he stressed that countries such as his needed access to the markets of developed countries for their agricultural products.  The Framework of Amazon Cooperation had put forward a declaration in support of sustainable development, which would be conveyed to the Committee. The representative of Maldives said because of the weaknesses of SIDS, voluntary international arrangements tended at times to bypass them.  The benefit to SIDS of Type 2 outcomes could therefore be problematic.  To benefit from partnership arrangements, capacity-building in the SIDS had to occur.  He urged all countries that had not done so to replenish the GEF.  He also urged countries that had not done so to ratify the Kyoto Protocol. The representative of Romania said setting up partnerships was an appropriate way to realize the Millennium Development Goals.  The private sector, especially transnational corporations, had proved to be an important actor in globalization.  Encouraging public-private partnerships was important.  To set up such partnerships, innovative ideas were needed.  Besides global partnerships, regional and subregional partnerships should be encouraged.  The recent summit on environmental development in the Carpathian region had been an important contribution to the discussion on partnerships, he noted. The representative of the Marshall Islands said that sustainable development was a long time concern of his people; all sectors had recently participated in a summit on the topic.  It had resulted in a programme called "Vision 2018".  He strongly supported type 2 outcomes, which could support that programme's goals in sustainable development, and all international initiatives that supported such community-generated initiatives.  As a small-island developing State, his country also urged ratification of the Kyoto Protocol.

 

47) LACK OF FUNDING, ACCESS TO SAFE WATER, HEALTH SERVICES AMONG ISSUES HIGHLIGHTED AT BALI PREPARATORY MEETING

United Nations Press Release

5 June 2002

Internet: http://www.johannesburgsummit.org/html/bali/pressreleases/envdevb16-e.htm

The need to move from ideals to actions to achieve sustainable development was stressed by speakers this afternoon in Bali as the ministerial segment of the fourth and final Preparatory Committee for the upcoming World Summit for Sustainable Development continued its interactive dialogue. During the debate, which was focused on the theme "preparing for implementation", speakers emphasized the importance of producing a strong, action-oriented outcome to the Summit that would promote implementation of and build on commitments made for sustainable development.  Lack of funding to implement Agenda 21 -- the plan of action adopted at the 1992 United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED) in Rio -- access to safe water and health services and measures to ensure more favourable trade conditions for developing countries were among the issues highlighted over the course of the meeting. The representative of Brazil said poverty stemmed from a world order that accentuated regional imbalances.  Without an effective overhaul of the subsidies policies of wealthy countries, among other measures, combating poverty would remain an "empty letter" and solutions proposed would be limited in scope.  A balanced agenda was needed in which all problems and concerns relating to sustainable development could be reflected.  The time for good intentions and proposals was gone -- clear goals must be set in the fields of basic education, health and sanitation. It was not enough to commit to implementation of existing agreements -- there must be forward movement, the representative of Finland stressed.  Reduction of poverty and changing patterns of production and consumption was key.  His Government was firmly committed to implementing the agenda agreed on at the World Trade Organization meeting in Doha and was also committed to increasing its level of official development assistance (ODA).  The outcome of the Summit must be action-oriented, he stressed.  Uganda's representative noted that lack of funding had played a role in impeding implementation of Agenda 21.  In that regard, he cited the lack of resources to support the Convention to Combat Desertification -- one of the most important treaties for Africa.  He called on the international community to support the New Programme for African Development (NEPAD) and to take action to address the problems facing least developed countries (LDCs). The representative of the United States said sustainable development began at home.  National action with international assistance was crucial -- through good governance, and investment in education and health care, along with sound market and monetary policies.  No plan of action, by itself, would accomplish any of those goals.  Partnerships at all levels were the best means for concrete improvements in social and economic conditions. Statements were also made by the representatives of Bhutan, Nigeria, Romania, United Kingdom, Iceland, Samoa, Democratic People's Republic of Korea, Sweden, Malaysia, Cote d'Ivoire, Bangladesh, Uzbekistan (for the Central Asian countries), Czech Republic, Iraq, Morocco, Iran, Mauritius, Niger, Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Andorra, Algeria, Cuba, Portugal, Armenia and Kenya.

Representatives of the International Union for the Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources (IUCN), the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) and the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) and also spoke. The ministerial segment is scheduled to meet again tomorrow morning at 10 a.m. to continue its deliberations.

STATEMENTS

The representative of Bhutan said that capacity building in human and institutional resources was key for sustainable development.  Without assistance in those areas, small countries had difficulties in meeting commitments.  Sixty-two per cent of his country, for example, was now protected forest area, and that was important but difficult to maintain.  In addition, he said that mountain ecosystems, being particularly vulnerable, should be specifically referenced in the political declaration, and strong support should be given to the Global Environment Facility (GEF). The representative of Nigeria said that much of the know-how and will to deal with problems in sustainable development was now present.  Now was the time, therefore, to move with deliberate speed to set concrete goals and actions and implement them.  It was particularly crucial for Africa, where many economic factors hindered the implementation of Agenda 21.  Among priorities should be desertification, health, water sanitation, and protection of coastal and marine environments.  Many countries in Africa were doing their best with these problems and needed international support to advance further. The representative of Romania said a strong monitoring system, for the next decade, was necessary to ensure follow-through on sustainable development commitments.  Regional centres for that purpose could be useful.  In the short and medium term, it was necessary to strengthen the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP); in the long-term, an international institution might be set up to concentrate on these problems.  The representative of Uganda said despite the many conferences held and the adoption of Agenda 21, environmental degradation continued.  The United Nations General Assembly had taken steps to ensure that agreements were fulfilled, among them the creation of the global ministerial environment forum.  Action now was required.  Lack of funding also impeded implementation of Agenda 21.  In that regard, he cited the lack of resources for the Convention to Combat Desertification -- one of the most important treaties for Africa.  Climate change was a "nightmare" for Africa.  Poverty and hunger could not be eliminated if droughts and floods occurred season after season, he said, calling for commitments by the international community in that regard.  He also called on the international community to support the New Programme for African Development (NEPAD) and to take action to address the problems facing least developed countries (LDCs).

The representative of Brazil said poverty stemmed from a world order that accentuated regional imbalances.  Without an effective overhaul of the subsidies policies of wealthy countries, among other measures, combating poverty would remain an "empty letter", and solutions proposed would be limited in scope.  Brazil had confronted the problem within its own borders, he noted.  He gave his Government's firm support for NEPAD.  A balanced agenda was needed in which all problems and concerns relating to sustainable development could be reflected, he said.  The opportunity provided by this meeting was not maximized, as there were attempts being made to renegotiate commitments made in Rio in 1992.  The time for good intentions and proposals was gone -- clear goals must be set in the fields of basic education, health and sanitation.  The representative of the United Kingdom stressed the need to build on the agreements already reached in the area of sustainable development.  How to take forward the Doha development agenda and the Kyoto agreement must be addressed.  The huge impact of trading relationships far outweighed direct aid programmes.  It was important to get the balance right.  The overall approach to sustainable development was what must be dealt with in Bali, she said.  Many had pointed out that there had been many fine words in the past -- what was needed now was concrete action.  Targeted action with timetables for implementation was needed.  There must be targets for sanitation and for renewable energy.  She stressed the importance of focusing on the implementation plan. The representative of Iceland said women's issues were central to sustainable development, particularly the education of women and girls and the strengthening of their decision-making capabilities.  In addition, marine resources were especially important in the fight against poverty.  Oceans had not yet been given the priority they deserved, partly because knowledge of them was poor -- a comprehensive assessment was needed.  Her country was strongly behind the Kyoto Protocol and committed to renewable energy and cleaner fuels.  A strong signal on renewable energy must be sent in Johannesburg. The representative of Samoa said there must be no retreat from the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED).  What should be done was clear -- the commitments and resources needed to be provided.  The Global environment in many cases was worsening.  Small island States were particularly vulnerable and were unable to respond to the dangers of climate change.  Effective action must be taken.  The Kyoto Protocol must be brought into force, and assistance in adaptation must be provided for small island nations that had contributed so little to the problem.  In addition, the GEF should be supported as an effective tool to tackle many such problems at the regional level.

The representative of the United States said that all further work must be toward concrete action to make a difference in people's lives.  Her country would work hard for a consensus outcome on development goals, including those of the Millennium Declaration, such as halving by 2015 the percentage of those without access to clean water and with incomes less than a dollar a day. 

National action with international assistance was key, she said.  Sustainable development began at home, through good governance and investments in education, health care, and sound market and monetary policies.  No plan of action would accomplish any of those goals.  Partnerships at all levels were the best means for concrete improvements in social and economic conditions, and the United States was actively pursuing them. Future generations were owed nothing less. A representative of the International Union for the Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources (IUCN) said much more had been agreed than was being implemented.  The credibility of the Summit would depend on whether or not there was added value to the commitments already made.  It would be difficult to attract the interest of civil society for an agenda that was aspirational but offered little of credible added value.  The recognition of the fundamental indicators on sustainable development that had brought governments together continued to point downwards -- the Summit must address that phenomenon.  The Summit must also address the discomfort with the current pattern of globalization.  Answers must be given by the Summit to citizens and major groups as to why progress was very difficult.  It was clear that a political declaration in itself would not be enough -- credible actions were essential. The representative of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea also stressed the need for an action-oriented outcome to the Summit.  An appraisal of what was hindering sustainable development must be undertaken.  Poverty must be addressed, as should destruction of the environment.  To implement Agenda 21, realistic solutions should be sought out.  All countries should display the necessary political will to promote sustainable development and conditions must be created for sustainable development in the developing countries.  Positive steps aimed at eradicating poverty, such as cancellation of foreign debt and implementation of official development assistance (ODA) commitments must be undertaken.  He also called for the elimination of discrimination and the promotion of equity in trade.  The representative of Finland said it was not enough to commit to implementation of existing agreements --- there must be forward movement.  Reduction of poverty and changing patterns of production and consumption were key.  His Government was firmly committed to implementing the Doha agenda and was committed to increasing ODA.  Globalization could support poverty reduction.  Finland had proposed a 10-year work programme to break the link between economic growth and environmental degradation.  That meant producing more with less resources and energy.  The outcome of the Summit must be action-oriented, and the role of women in promoting sustainable development could not be overemphasized.  The question of indigenous peoples was also key. The representative of Sweden said the thought of 30,000 children dying from water-born diseases could be a basis for the ethics of sustainable development, as well as a spur to the action that was crucial.  Unfortunately, all implementation measures, in the plan were still under negotiation.  Concrete proof of commitment had to be shown and comprehensive action systems had to be developed.  The single most effective thing that could be done would be to reduce subsidies for unsustainable economic activities.  It was known with certainty that fossil fuel consumption had to be cut -- alternatives must be promoted.  Pressure on resources had to be relieved while the welfare of people was increased.  International accountability must be developed along with a belief in the future.  Quoting Bruce Springsteen, he said, "No retreat, baby, no surrender". The representative of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) said his organization was working to identify market-based instruments that could overcome obstacles in the implementation of sustainable development, along with harmful subsidies that needed to be removed for those purposes.  It also provided a forum to share best practices between member countries and develop a framework for peer review processes.  The OECD was also deepening its cooperation with non-OECD countries in the pursuit of sustainable development. The representative of Malaysia said that recent instabilities in regional economies had been particularly dangerous for sustainable development.  International policies to prevent such instability needed to be put into place.  In addition, programmes to combat poverty must be coordinated with programmes to protect the environment. The representative of Cote d'Ivoire said that the efficacy of structures for poverty reduction and a more equitable distribution of wealth along with North-South cooperation on a range of issues were essential.  His country agreed that a concrete programme of action was needed, but it must be based on consensus. The representative of Bangladesh said the eradication of poverty and hunger and the promotion of livelihoods were central to sustainable development.  Promotion of sustainable agriculture and rural development was key.  Sustainable development could not be achieved without changes in the way industrial societies produced and consumed.  Urgent action must be taken to adopt policies in such societies to change those patterns. 

Water was central to life in his country and needed appropriate planning and management.  Sustainable development would remain a dream if water-related problems were not addressed.  The unique ecosystem of the region's wetlands was under threat, and steps were being taken to address the problem.  He urged the world community to help those countries under threat from climate change and also stressed the need to ensure that developing countries were not marginalized by globalization. The representative of Uzbekistan, for the countries of Central Asia, said those countries had been actively involved in preparing for the Summit.  Plans of action had been undertaken by the countries in the area of sustainable development.  He reaffirmed their commitment to Agenda 21.  The establishment of favourable international conditions for development and the implementation of commitments undertaken by developed countries was key.  In that regard, he noted the decline in ODA since UNCED in Rio.  Mechanisms had not been perfectly elaborated for the transfer of technology.  His country had in recent years felt the importance of addressing environmental problems -- in that regard, he cited the disaster afflicting the Aral Sea. The representative of the Czech Republic said effective and sound implementation was the only way to bridge the gap between rhetoric and action.  Democracy, social stability and economic prosperity were important elements for achieving sustainable development.  All countries should take steps to reduce their reliance on foreign assistance.  Strong enforcement and good governance remained challenges and urgent work on overcoming obstacles to sustainable development was needed.  Precautionary principles should be applied to protect the environment.  "We are not in a position to wait -- we must go ahead now", he said.  He underlined the great importance of education and science.

The representative of Iraq said that foreign occupation and international sanctions were a major challenge to sustainable development, as witnessed by the situations in the Middle East and Iraq respectively.  Nations must be freed from such constraints, and influential powers must be stopped from imposing their will in that regard. The representative of Morocco supported the proposals of the "Group of 77" developing countries and China on ways to achieve decent living conditions and preserve the environment.  Multilateralism, along with an action programme that combined words and deeds, was a sound approach that would ensure success.  The Ministerial Declaration of the Seventh Session of the States Parties to the Convention on Climate Change held in Marrakech integrated approaches on climate change with those on sustainable development.  Both required international cooperation at all levels and genuine political will.  He urged countries to ratify the Kyoto Protocol and institute strict rules to limit greenhouse gasses, and he stressed the importance of partnerships in all areas. The representative of Iran supported the positions of the Group of 77, underlining urgency for action.  Implementation of the Rio Declaration should be improved but it should not be renegotiated.  The access of poor communities to affordable energy was essential.  In all areas, a consensus commitment to overcome obstacles was needed.  In that regard, the importance of financial contributions and technological transfer should not be overlooked -- there must be an equitable approach to globalization. In other areas, Type 2 commitments should not weaken type 1 partnerships, and good governance should be extended to the international level, with a multilateral approach as opposed to the exertion of unilateral influence.  She stressed the importance of dialogue among civilizations in the Political Declaration of the Johannesburg Summit. The representative of Mauritius said the outcome of the Summit should be action-oriented and time-bound.  Despite progress made in negotiations on the implementation plan, the situation remained locked with regard to the most fundamental issues related to sustainable development.  Negotiating partners did not want to hear about new and additional financing or the transfer of technology -- the balance was tilting towards the developed countries.  There must be a full commitment to provide the means of implementation of Agenda 21.  The plan of implementation should rest on firm political will and commitment.  The GEF should be declared the financial mechanism for the anti-desertification treaty, which was of fundamental importance for Africa.  The debt of the heavily indebted poor countries should be cancelled.  Globalization should be made to work for developing countries, he stressed. The representative of Niger said food security in Africa had deteriorated to a critical threshold - 200 million were now undernourished.  As could be observed, the geography of poverty often coincided with areas afflicted by desertification and soil degradation.  He also underlined the importance of the GEF in that regard.  He welcomed the excellent relations between his Government and the United Nations and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in particular.  Africans were glad to see the support being extended for NEPAD.            The representative of the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia said that in the past few days negotiations had been undertaken on the Bali commitments -- however, there were still more paragraphs in bold than those agreed.  Many delegations had noticed that "we should continue and upgrade on" recent conferences, such as the trade summit held in Doha.  There must be a way found to adopt a document that would have the development agenda as its main focus.  It must have a realistic timetable for accomplishment of the main goals, such as poverty eradication and global economic development.  Debt relief for countries in transition and those affected by conflict was very important.  Private investment and foreign direct investment should be used efficiently -- to that end, good governance at the national and international levels was key.  He urged governments to come to an agreement before the end of the meeting.

The representative of Andorra said her country wished to join the sustainable development process and the global movement for the environment.  Sustainable development lay at the centre of the debate.  It was a complex subject.  The negotiations on the implementation document had demonstrated that.  She stressed the importance of not moving backwards on commitments already undertaken.  She supported establishing specific targets and was grateful for the reference made in the text to mountainous regions.  The representative of Algeria said that means must be provided to implement commitments, and sustainable development must be the heart of any actions of the international community.  Algeria had instituted a national plan for sustainable development with considerable funds allocated.  He invited the international community to support such efforts and called for strengthening the governing council of UNEP, along with other follow-up mechanisms, and more focus on Africa.  Equity and sustainability were the principles that should underlie the Johannesburg summit, where negotiated solutions among responsible parties must be found. The representative of Cuba gave his full support to the statement of Venezuela on behalf of the Group of 77.  He said that it must be ensured that results were forthcoming on sustainable development.  Among crucial action, in that regard, was raising the level of ODA, debt reduction, technical and financial assistance, sharing of clean technologies and assistance in capacity-building.  Cuba was participating in South-South assistance according to its abilities.  He also advocated an assured, adequate use of the GEF, and said the Johannesburg Summit must have its own outcomes and not just repeat the aims of other conferences that had not yet been implemented.  Developed countries must contribute serious efforts in that implementation. The representative of Portugal supported the position of Spain on behalf of the European Union.  He said his country had developed a realistic policy on sustainable development.  Similarly, the World Summit must take on a realizable approach.  In addition, he said that Africa must be integrated into the world economy, and he welcomed partnerships in that regard that incorporated current efforts of African nations.  Integrated management of river basins was essential, and he urged countries to ratify agreements on non-navigational uses of bodies of water.  Integrated management of oceans and coastal areas was also crucial for both development and environmental protection and could be the subject of many levels of partnership. The representative of Armenia said it appeared that the agreements reached in Bali would create a solid basis for the Summit.  The outcome document should therefore clearly reflect the key elements of equal partnerships between the private sector, governments and civil society.  The text should constitute a basis for States to elaborate national programmes for sustainable development.  In a globalizing world, a common effort to achieve sustainable development must be undertaken.  The time had come for concrete action. The representative of Kenya said the Summit would invigorate the commitment of the international community to achieving sustainable development and would lead to a new vision based on a concrete plan of action.  Despite domestic and international actions, the implementation process had been constrained by old and emerging issues.  Developing countries were facing many challenges, including poverty-- deliberate corrective and positive measures must be taken in the Summit's plan of implementation.  He also noted issues related to health, such as HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria.  Funds were needed to combat such epidemics.  He therefore called for increased financial commitments.  Inadequate access to energy services and the need to provide adequate resources to improve agriculture must also be addressed.  Efforts must be made to deal with the burden of debt on developing countries. The representative of the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) said that her organization had held many debates on issues of sustainable development and had encouraged parliaments to become closely involved in issues related to the World Summit, particularly on how efforts on sustainable development could be handled throughout national governments.  In the view of her organization, more pro-active policy measures should be included in the implementation plan, which currently relied too much on voluntary and market-based actions, as opposed to needed regulation.

 

48) UBUNTU VILLAGE POISED TO ATTRACT FOREIGN AND LOCAL INTEREST

JOWSCO

5 June 2002

Internet: http://www.joburgsummit2002.com/NewsMedia/05062002.asp

5 June 2002: Preparations are currently underway at the Wanderers Club, where Ubuntu Village is to be positioned, for the arrival at the end of June of Tensile One, the largest temporary mobile structure of its kind in the world hired to house the Ubuntu Exhibition.

Major construction will begin later this week, with a geo-technical survey to confirm the land and resource capacity of the area. Later this month, work will begin to remove exotic vegetation and plant life to make way for construction. "We found it necessary to upgrade the infrastructure of the site and remove some of the alien vegetation in the area for the construction and infrastructural upgrade for the erection of Tensile One. Since the vegetation was in any event alien, its removal is in keeping in line with government policy," says Ingrid Blignault, Chief Operating Officer for the Johannesburg World Summit Company (JOWSCO).

A comprehensive environmental management plan is being developed to ensure that all construction and renovations are in line with legislation and best practice. Following the Sydney Olympics, the structure will be utilised in its entirety for only the second time during the United Nations World Summit on Sustainable Development that takes place in Johannesburg from 26 August to 4 September. Measuring a massive 10 000 square metres in total, the structure will house café and bar facilities and the main SABC broadcast studios and editing suites. Ubuntu Village will host a variety of events, including the Ubuntu Exhibition, SA Pavilion, a conference centre, the Arts and Craft Imbizo, and a cultural programme housed at the Theatre @ the Village. Ubuntu Village will serve as a place for Summit participants and members of the public to unite on common ground. Ubuntu Village will also be the central transport interchange for participants in the Johannesburg Summit. Ubuntu Village will be open from 10 August to 10 September. "We're expecting an interesting visitor profile of local and international media, schools, the public, Summit participants and tourists. It will serve as the service and recreational hub for the Summit," Blignault adds. An integral part of the Village is the Ubuntu Exhibition, open from 17 August to 7 September. The exhibition will showcase best practice examples in sustainable development from around the globe, including themes and issues being discussed at the intergovernmental summit. The exhibition, a first of its kind to accompany a UN Summit, will act as the ideal platform for networking among all stakeholders where people can unite to stimulate dialogue and maximise partnership opportunities. Some of the themes of the exhibition will be water, education, health, rural development, agriculture, food security, urban development, waste management, transport, energy and technology. Particular attention will be paid to combating poverty, promoting sustainable livelihoods and protecting ecosystems.

It is envisaged that exhibitors will come from the world's leading institutions that drive sustainable development issues across all sectors of society, including: UN member states and intergovernmental organisations.  Five regional Cooperation for Development Agencies (Africa, Asia and the Pacific, Europe and North America, Latin America and the Caribbean, Western Asia).

The nine Major Groups as identified by the UN Summit Secretariat (women, youth, indigenous peoples, NGOs, local authorities, trade unions, business and industry, scientific and technological community and farming community).

Blignault further comments that the exhibition will also display South Africa's culture and heritage, adding, "An appealing assortment of South African arts and craft will be displayed in a live flea market, called the Arts and Craft Imbizo. In addition, a world-class media centre and a commercial business centre will provide printing, photocopying, secretarial and general business services for the media and Summit participants." Theatre @ the Village is a cinematic theatre where film productions, live performances and presentations linked to the broader Summit themes will be presented. A state-of-the-art information centre will supply information on the Summit, daily programmes, general tourism information and a database on Johannesburg's value-added services, such as business centres, Internet cafes, banking and postal services.

 

49) POVERTY THREATENS SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT - KOFI ANNAN

The NEWS (Monrovia) via All Africa

5 June 2002

Internet: http://allafrica.com/stories/200206050199.html

United Nations Secretary General Kofi Annan says population growth, poverty and wasteful consumption habits have continued to threaten the earth's ability to achieve sustainable development. Dr. Annan also pointed out that population, rapid urbanization growth demands for water and energy have placed intense pressure on the planet's life support system. The UN Secretary General's comments were contained in his message on the World Environment Day. World Environment Day is celebrated each year on June 5. This year's celebration is being held under the theme "Give Earth a Chance." He indicated that there is little chance pf protecting the environment without a greater sense of mutual responsibility, especially in an age of interdependence. Dr. Annan expressed hope that all states and stakeholders will come together at the pending World Summit on Sustainable Development in South Africa. The Secretary General said sustainable development rests on economic growth, social progress and the protection of environment and natural resources. For his part, the Executive Director of the United Nations Environment Protection (UNEP), Mr. Klaus Toepfer, said World Environment Day is an occasion to pause and reflect on the state of the environment. He said the theme: "Give Earth A Chance" urges the world to looks at the daily impact on the planet and its peoples, and to take action to improve the environmental behavior. "On this World Environment Day, let us all begin to act for the environment and work together to give the earth a chance," Mr. Toepfer said. He added that an unpolluted environment is vital to survival which, can only endure if the earth is given a chance. He underscored the need for urgent environment ethics for the 21st century based on equity, fairness and respect for nature, adding that these values can be drawn from ancient cultures, indigenous beliefs and all religions. The UNEP boss observed that environmental conservation is often found in ancient cultures around the world.

 

50) CALLS FOR CONCRETE OBJECTIVES ARISE IN BALI MEETING

Xinhua News Agency

5 June 2002

Internet: http://library.northernlight.com/FD20020605370000028.html?cb=0&dx=1006&sc=0#doc

DENPASAR (Indonesia), Jun 5, 2002 (Xinhua via COMTEX) -- Hundreds of ministers and government officials from over 120 countries gathered Wednesday on the resort island of Bali, the venue for the 4th Preparatory Committee Meeting for the World Summit on Sustainable Development, to forge the common interests among different countries towards global sustainable development.  United Nations Deputy Secretary General Louise Frechette said:  "We are here today because we face great challenges on both sides of the development-environment equation. Three billions of our fellow human beings suffer the dehumanizing conditions of poverty.. . living on less than two dollar a day."  She added that the upcoming world summit in Johannesburg would be meant to find another way -- a path that improved standards of living while protecting environment. The relationship between human society and the natural environment would become the core concern of Johannesburg.  South African Minister for Environment Mohammed Valli Moosa said that since the 1992 U.N. Conference on Environment and Development in Rio de Janeiro of Brazil, it had become clear that successful sustainable development required progress on the social, economic and environmental fronts.  Kjell Larsson, minister for environment of Sweden called on delegations in Bali to identify and provide more specific means for pursuing sustainable development.  Water crisis is among other specific issues that become major concerns of the delegations. Nigerian Minister of Water Resources Precious Ngelale argued that poverty reduction began with water issues. He stressed Bali meeting had to be remembered as a conference that squarely confronted the water and sanitation crisis.

Similarly, the representative of Japan affirmed that water issues were a great challenge. A coordination information system must encompass those problems since Japan had many projects in that area.  Meanwhile, Chairman of the Preparatory Committee Emil Salim underlined poverty alleviation as an essential element of sustainable development. In Addition, unsustainable patterns of consumption and production must change and natural resources must be managed in a way that supported social and economic development.  "Those three facets must be merged into one -- that is sustainable development," the chairman said.

 

51) POLICE SERVICE READY TO PROVIDE SECURITY AT SUMMIT

BuaNews (Pretoria) via All Africa

5 June 2002

Internet: http://allafrica.com/stories/200206050329.html

The South Africa Police Service (SAPS) says it is well prepared and ready to ensure the safety of thousands of delegates expected to attend the forthcoming World Summit on Sustainable Development (WSSD) in Johannesburg. The announcement comes amid intelligence reports hinting the absence of any threat to the gathering or dignitaries. At least more than 60 000 delegates, including 130 heads of state and thousands of journalists, are expected to gather at the Sandton Convention Centre in Johannesburg from 26 August to 4 September. They will thrash out some global issues that impact on sustainable development, socio-economic and environmental issues, and poverty eradication in developing countries. The United Nation's largest gathering will also discuss global inequalities in accessing water, food, energy and education, amongst others. National police commissioner Jackie Selebi's office says the delegates, visiting dignitaries, Gauteng residents, businesspeople and commuters need not worry about their safety. 'A large number of police officials will be deployed in the environs of the Summit and normal policing will continue in Gauteng as well as in all other provinces,' said Mr Selebi's office. The SAPS said due to the enormity of the task, it has since established a national priority committee, chaired by the elite VIP Protection Service, to coordinate and plan all operations necessary to ensure that appropriate security measures are in place during the event. At its monthly meetings, all information gathered by the intelligence community is closely monitored and plans made and altered accordingly. 'Precautionary measures for any eventuality have been put in place, including routine problems encountered at large gatherings of this nature such as traffic congestions, illegal gatherings and marches.' As part of security measures, police will shut down strategic areas and roads, especially where the presidential motorcade would be passing through. Meanwhile, South African security agencies have in the past shown a good track record of pulling out international gatherings of this magnitude with ease. Such previous events included the Non Aligned Movement summit, World Conference on Racism in Durban, the Rugby World Cup, and the African Cup of Nations. 'We will again prove that we are one of the most efficient and committed police services in the world,' the SAPS said confidently

 

52) ADDITIONAL US $24 BILLION NEEDED TO REDUCE HUNGER

UN Integrated Regional Information Networks via All Africa

5 June 2002

Internet: http://allafrica.com/stories/200206050003.html

An additional public investment of US $24 billion must be made each year in poor countries to halve the number of hungry people by the year 2015, the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) said on Tuesday. Without this investment, FAO fears that there would still be 600 million hungry people in 2015, and the target of halving the number of hungry people from 800 to 400 million, set by the World Food Summit in 1996, would not be reached, the agency said in a news release. It stressed that public investment should be accompanied by sufficient private resources. Halving hunger is expected to yield additional benefits worth at least US $120 billion a year, resulting from longer and healthier lives for all those benefiting from such improvements, FAO said on Tuesday as it proposed a new global Anti-Hunger Programme. "Fighting hunger is not only a moral imperative, it also brings large economic benefits", FAO reiterated, adding that almost one person in seven does not have enough food to eat and that most of the hungry people live in South Asia and sub-Saharan Africa. Heads of state and government, international agencies and NGOs will meet in Rome on 10-13 June at the 'World Food Summit: Five Years Later' conference to take stock of progress made towards ending hunger and to identify ways to accelerate the process. FAO noted that more rapid progress in cutting chronic hunger in developing countries was possible if the political could be mobilised, adding that enough was known on how to fight hunger. The Anti-Hunger Programme combines investment in agriculture and rural development with measures to enhance direct immediate access to food for the most seriously undernourished, the release said. It focuses mainly on small farmers and aims to create more opportunities for rural people, representing 70 percent of the poor, to improve their livelihoods on a sustainable basis. The FAO "Anti-Hunger Programme" can be found at: http://ww.fao.org/worldfoodsummit/english/index.html

Further information on the World Food Summit: Five Years Later is available at: http://ww.fao.org/worldfoodsummit/english/index.html

 

53) HOST COUNTRY RECOGNIZED IN THREE-NATION EFFORTS TO PRESERVE WETLANDS

United Nations

5 June 2002

Internet: http://www.johannesburgsummit.org/html/whats_new/feature_story14.htm

5 June, BALI, Indonesia- Indonesia, together with Australia and Papua New Guinea, today received the World Wide Fund for Nature's highest award, the "Earth Certificate of its "Gift to the Earth," programme, for efforts to protect important and threatened wetland areas in the three countries. The three nations signed a new memorandum of understanding yesterday to continue and intensify their joint programme, the "Tri-National Wetlands Initiative," which is working to preserve over three million hectares of wetlands through the joint projects, shared skills and the exchange of staff.  At an awards lunch today, Indonesian Minister of Forestry, Dr. Ir. Muhammad Prakosa, hailed the initiative as a collaborative approach to address the problems faced by the wetlands. The initiative, he said, allowed all stakeholders, including governments, community groups, non-governmental organizations, researchers, and universities, to participate in activities aimed at achieving wetland management. The wetlands include Kakadu National Park in Australia, Wasur National Park in Indonesia, and the Tonda Wildlife Management Area in adjacent Papua New Guinea.  Speaking at the awards ceremony today, Australian Minister of Environment and Heritage Dr. David Kemp announced that the Australian Government will increase its contribution to the Initiative by a $250,000 over a five-year period.

"This is a very appropriate way to observe World Environment Day," Kemp said. One of the world's great natural phenomena, Kemp said the wetlands were part of the Australasian Flyway, the route taken by millions of birds on their semi-annual migration. But the wetlands, he said, were threatened by intrusive weeds, fire, and feral animals. "We have a great deal to learn from each other," Kemp said, adding that the WWF award was important in building support for these types of projects in Australia and in other countries. "Papua New Guinea recognizes that this is the beginning of a new challenge and not the end," according to Dr. Wari Iamo, Secretary of the Department of Environment and Conservation for Papua New Guinea, and added that it was significant that the award was presented during the PrepCom for the World Summit on Sustainable Development. The Initiative recognizes the rights of the local people and communities to serve as custodians of the wetlands, and utilizes their traditional knowledge and methods as primary tools to preserve the landscape. Still, new ideas and technique are also put to use. All three wetlands suffer from an invasion of water hyacinth, a weed with a beautiful flower that chokes waterways that people rely on for transport, and crowds out other native plant species. But Jamie Pittock, WWF Programme Director, says that a beetle can play a major role in eliminating the nasty weed, and now local communities are growing the beetle.  According to Pittock, the Earth Certificate is the highest accolade issued for achievement in the Give to the Earth Programme. "We want to recognize outstanding achievement and we also seek to mobilize funding for this and other programmes.  He said the Tri-National Initiative is a practical example of a government commitment that leads to a systematic result. In this case, the Initiative is a direct result of government commitments to the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands, which provides the framework for national action and international cooperation for the conservation and wise use of wetlands and their resources. According to Delmar Blasco, Secretary-General of the Ramsar Convention Bureau, there are presently 131 Contracting Parties to the Convention, and 1173 wetland sites, totaling 101 million hectares, have been designated for inclusion in the Ramsar List of Wetlands of International Importance.  "This is a very significant example of conservation in action," Blasco said. Calling the Initiative "impressive," he said the programme was noteworthy for the work that had already been carried out and would continue into the future

 

54) HIGH-LEVEL PUSH IN BALI TO FIRM UP SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT AGENDA

United Nations

5 June 2002

Internet: http://www.johannesburgsummit.org/html/whats_new/otherstories_bali_highlevel.htm

5 June, BALI, Indonesia- In the final phase of the final PrepCom for the World Summit on Sustainable Development, more than 100 ministers from around the world began three days of deliberations in Bali to generate high-level political commitments for action.

The Summit will be an historic opportunity to mobilize governments, people, institutions, and resources for sustainable development, and will take place in Johannesburg, South Africa, from 26 August to 4 September. At stake in the Bali ministerial-level meeting is the strength of government commitments in Johannesburg to set up programmes aimed at improving living conditions worldwide while preserving the natural ecosystem on which people depend. The results of the ministerial discussions will provide the basis for the political declaration that Heads of State and Government will adopt at the Johannesburg Summit. The other key issue for discussion during the ministerial session is the linkage between partnerships and the government commitments in the Johannesburg outcome. "The Summit in Johannesburg is truly a chance to set a more hopeful course of development for all of humanity," United Nations Deputy Secretary-General Louise Fréchette told the 118 ministers attending the Preparatory Committee meeting. "The challenge, as ever, is to match aspiration with action, and promise with positive change in people's lives. We know what needs to be done. Now, let's move ahead."  Fréchette, in her address, said, "Johannesburg is meant to find another way, a path that improves standards of living while protecting the environment." She added, "That relationship-between human society and the natural environment-is the core concern of Johannesburg, and is what sets Johannesburg apart from other UN conferences and summit."  In welcoming the ministers, Indonesian President Megawati Soekarnoputri said the Bali meeting could influence the Johannesburg Summit by helping to build a strong foundation for sustainable development, and make a "real contribution to humanity." "Ten years have passed since we adopted Agenda 21," she said. It is time for us to follow it up with concrete programmes and activities."  The Johannesburg Summit will result in a political declaration, a programme of implementation, and voluntary partnership initiatives by and between governments, citizen groups, and the private sector that will actually carry out sustainable development projects.  Negotiations on a programme of implementation-the Bali Commitments-that will serve as the guiding plan for an action-oriented agenda that brings measurable results, are expected to conclude on Friday. While the two-week PrepCom has already produced substantial agreements on promoting activities across a broad range of sustainable development activities, negotiations on the remaining areas of disagreement have proved difficult.  According to PrepCom Chairman Emil Salim, the tough negotiations are not unexpected. "Everyone wants to keep their cards close to their chest until the last moment. But for me, this is normal."  In fact, in Salim's view, the real negotiations have just begun. But he emphasized that the document would be completed in Bail. "We will be finished in Bali. After Bali, we will prepare the ground to make Johannesburg successful."

Progress has been made and many parts of the document are free of bracket, or text where there is still disagreement. Johannesburg Secretary-General Nitin Desai said "the key elements have all been agreed upon," adding that judgement of the text should not be made until the very end, when the final differences are bridged. But beyond reaching minimum expectations, Desai said, "What we're aiming at now is much more. We're aiming at a good, strong programme of action, and we will push these concerns as far as we can take it."  Salim said the Bali Commitment would contain new time-bound targets. "It is a realistic plan and it is not 'pie in the sky.' But to implement it, we all have to be committed." Over 4,500 people from 173 countries are attending the Bali meeting, including a large contingent of non-governmental organizations, which Salim said have played a major role in lobbying government delegations for a stronger agreement

 

55) TRADE AND FINANCE ISSUES HOLD UP ECONOMIC SUMMIT IN BALI

Voice of America

5 June 2002

Internet: http://www.voanews.com/article.cfm?objectID=D2DC4F0D-58B3-4858-95FAF46A1DD125CD&title=Trade%20and%20Finance%20Issues%20Hold%20Up%20Economic%20Summit%20in%20Bali&catOID=45C9C785-88AD-11D4-A57200A0CC5EE46C

Environment and economic ministers from around the world are meeting in Bali to study a plan to boost sustainable development and ease pollution. It appears they are not close to an agreement.  Since last week, experts have been meeting to draft a plan to promote development that does not damage the environment. Now 118 government ministers have joined the conference on the Indonesian island of Bali to finalize details.  U.N. member nations are to vote on the plan in August at the World Summit on Sustainable Development in Johannesburg, South Africa. However, the delegates remain far apart on many key issues, and there are fears only a weak agreement will be approved at the Bali conference. Achim Steiner is director general of the World Conservation Union, an umbrella group of private environmental and aid groups around the world. "I think if you walk the corridors here at the moment, you will find more skepticism and despondence, simply because of this very protracted negotiation process, that is one step forward, one step back," Mr. Steiner said. The plan's chief goal is provide more people with clean water and sanitation. In addition, delegates want to help poor countries use natural resources wisely, without depleting them, and they want wealthy countries to reduce pollution. Achieving these goals, however, will be expensive. Mr. Steiner said two issues - trade and finance - prevent an agreement. Wealthy nations want conditions on aid, such as commitments to cut corruption, which they say erodes development aid. Developing countries, however, want more aid and they want rich nations to give them greater access to markets. Mr. Steiner thinks that even after the Bali conference, governments will need to continue talking and negotiating on some points over the next two months. Without further work, he says, the ultimate accord at Johannesburg will be too weak to be effective. Mr. Steiner, however, does not think the situation is hopeless. He said governments realize that developing nations need help to use resources wisely to optimize economic benefit and enhance global trade. "Therefore, I believe in a number of capitals over the next few weeks, there will be some very deliberate and focused action to try and give Johannesburg a credible outcome. So in that sense I remain an optimist," he said. U.N. officials are pressing for solid progress before the conference wraps up Friday.

 

56) KENYA MARKS WORLD ENVIRONMENT DAY

Xinhua News Agency

5 June 2002

Internet: http://library.northernlight.com/FE20020605610000044.html?cb=0&dx=1006&sc=0#doc

NAIROBI, Jun 5, 2002 (Xinhua via COMTEX) -- Tree planting, clean-ups, gatherings and exhibitions were among the various activities carried out throughout Kenya on Wednesday to celebrate the World Environment Day (WED).  At the United Nations Nairobi Office, a campaign was launched to stop the use of leaded gasoline in all Kenya-based United Nations agencies, and a workshop on the phasing out of leaded gasoline in East African countries was opened.  The Kenyan government officials and UN staff also attended a grand gathering at the U.N. compound to express their determination to protect environment. In a message to the gathering, UN Secretary General Kofi Annan said that the theme of this year's WED -- Give Earth a Chance, is meant to convey a message of urgency about the state of the earth and the broader quest for sustainable development.  "Latest readings reveal a planet still in need of intensive care," he said, adding that poverty, pollution, population growth, wasteful consumption habits and growing demands for water, land and energy continue to place intense pressures on the earth's life support systems, threatening mankind's ability to achieve sustainable development.  "I hope that all states and all stakeholders will come together at the World Summit on Sustainable Development in South Africa later this year, and that the breakthrough this time, ten years along the path from Rio, will be real and tangible," he said.  Kenyan Environment Minister Joseph Kamotho said that the quest for higher standards of living does not justify environmental degradation.  "There is therefore a need to strike a balance between development and environmental protection if we are to save our environment from further deterioration," he noted.  Also speaking at the gathering, Chinese Ambassador to Kenya Du Qiwen said that China, being the largest developing country with 1. 3 billion people, has made strenuous efforts for environment protection and improvement in its modernization drive.  He pledged that the Chinese government will work more closely and effectively with the United Nations Environment Program, the entire UN family and all countries in the world for the attainment of the World Environmental Agenda. The activities in Kenya are part of worldwide celebrations centered on the annual WED of June 5. More than 100 countries are marking this day with this year's host city being Shenzhen in China.

 

57) DLAMINI ZUMA: STATE OF SA'S READINESS TO HOST WSSD

Department of Foreign Affairs, South Africa

5 June 2002

Internet: http://www.gov.za/search97cgi/s97_cgi?action=View&VdkVgwKey=%2E%2E%2Fdata%2Fspeech02%2F02060511461005%2Etxt&DocOffset
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SOUTH AFRICA'S FOREIGN MINISTER, DR. NKOSAZANA DLAMINI ZUMA'S STATEMENT ON THE STATE OF READINESS TO HOST WSSD, 5 June 2002

In not so a distant future, the international community will one more time, have an opportunity to meet in Johannesburg, South Africa, from 26 August - 4 September 2002 for the World Summit on Sustainable Development (WSSD). As South Africa, we are indeed ready to welcome, receive and host this largest gathering of the family of nations to deal with the most important issues facing humanity today - eradication of poverty and under-development. The PrepCom IV meeting in Bali should therefore be seen as constituting an important step forward in the irreversible march to the Summit in Johannesburg and the goal of pushing back the frontiers of poverty and under-development. The WSSD in Johannesburg should also be seen in the context of various other processes that are part of the building blocks towards the Summit such as the Financing for Development Conference held in Monterrey, Mexico and the new WTO round that began in Doha, Qatar. The road to Johannesburg has seen preparations at both national and regional levels through PrepComs I, II, III and indeed Bali today for PrepCom IV. Accordingly, we express our gratitude to the Government and people of Indonesia for the hospitality and leadership with which they have received us and guided us through the processes.  As South Africa, we are greatly honoured and privileged to have been given the responsibility by the UN to host the Summit. Therefore, on behalf of the government and the people of our country- we declare to the world that we stand ready to host the largest gathering of humanity-WSSD. In hosting this Summit, South Africa will continue to draw inspiration from the experience it has gained over the years in hosting such major international events such as the World Conference Against Racism (WCAR), the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) and the Non-Aligned Movement meetings. South Africa has both the political will, the necessary expertise and infrastructure to host the Summit. Today in Bali, our government is represented by five cabinet Ministers and a Deputy Minister which is indicative of the commitment SA has towards to PrepCom IV and the entire WSSD process. Logistical preparations for the Johannesburg Summit are well advanced and remain on course. We stand ready to welcome and host all to the Summit.

 

58) WORLD ENVIRONMENT DAY: EU CITIZENS WORRIED ABOUT GLOBAL ENVIRONMENT TRENDS

European Union

5 June 2002

Internet: http://europa.eu.int/rapid/start/cgi/guesten.ksh?p_action.gettxt=gt&doc=IP/02/826|0|RAPID&lg=EN

According to a special Eurobarometer Survey carried out in the fifteen Member States released by the European Commission to coincide with World Environment Day, concern about the future of the environment remains high among European citizens. The survey shows that the vast majority of Europeans are worried about trends in areas like environment and health, nature and wildlife protection, waste and climate change. 7.500 citizens from all 15 Member States were interviewed for the survey between 6-15 April 2002. EU Environment Commissioner Margot Wallström commented: "The signal from European citizens is crystal clear: they want politicians to do more both locally and globally - to protect the environment and to pave the way for genuinely sustainable development in the world". The survey results reveal that 89% of Europeans surveyed are concerned about future trends in the field of environment and health (environmental pollution, chemicals, etc.). 86% are apprehensive about trends with regard to the use of natural resources and waste generation. 82% are concerned about trends relating to nature and wildlife. 72% of respondents are concerned about climate change. EU citizens are also concerned about the state of the environment in their local community. Most common among the complaints was the problem of "traffic congestion and over-reliance on cars," which worried 50%. In addition, "damage done to the landscape" (40%), "the quality of water for swimming lakes, rivers, seaside" (40%) and "noise" (36%) also give cause for concern. According to the results of the survey, the state of the environment is the factor that has the greatest impact on the quality of life of the Europeans surveyed, followed by the economy and social factors. 73% of Europeans surveyed believe that the environment influences very much or quite a lot quality of life compared to 64% who indicated economic and social factors. However, Europeans believe that public policy-makers do not attach the necessary importance to environmental policy compared to other policy areas. For example, 75% of EU citizens feel that policy-makers do not think enough about the environmental dimension when deciding policy in other areas such as the economy and social policy. 86% agreed that public policy-makers should consider environmental policy just as important as economic and social policy, and hence strengthen the environmental component of the Sustainable Development equation. World Environment Day 2002 is marked by the meeting of world environment leaders gathered in Bali to prepare the World Summit on Sustainable Development in Johannesburg, South Africa in August/September this year. "In an economically globalised world, the need to take environmental action at the international level is even more pressing", said Commissioner Wallström today at a Ministerial Meeting in Bali. The world is watching and expects us to deliver a focused agenda for change in Johannesburg. Mrs Wallström added ". The question world leaders have to answer at Johannesburg this Summer is how do we harness globalisation for the good of all, especially for the poorest and for the planet? The EU must continue to play a leading role in devising international responses. We have to put our own house in order, because we consume a major share of the planet's renewable and non-renewable resources.The Commission is determined to make a constructive input to an ambitous outcome in Johannesburg to move the world agenda forwards and deliver on the promises of Rio." The full results of the Flash Eurobarometer "Sustainable Development and environmental concerns of Europeans" are available on the web site of DG Environment: http://europe.eu.int/comm/environment/barometer/index.htm

 

59) PM QUASHES KYOTO ROLE

Australian Associated Press

5 June 2002

Internet: http://www.news.com.au/common/story_page/0,4057,4455333%255E1702,00.html

PRIME Minister John Howard today used World Environment Day to flatly quash any talk within government ranks of ratifying the Kyoto Protocol. Mr Howard said it was not in Australia's interests to ratify the protocol to combat climate change, a stance he shares with the United States.  Environment Minister David Kemp appeared to contradict coalition policy by saying the government has not decided whether to support the Kyoto Protocol.  In an interview with the Australian Financial Review in March, Dr Kemp said the government was still considering its position and awaiting an inter-departmental analysis of economic impact before making a final decision.  European Union nations and Japan are the latest to ratify and Australia is under pressure to follow suit in line with its trading partners.  But Mr Howard refused to consider it.  "The reason it is not in Australia's interests to ratify the Kyoto Protocol is that because the arrangements are currently, and are likely under present settings to continue to exclude both developing countries and the United States, for us to ratify the protocol would cost us jobs and damage our industry," Mr Howard told parliament.  "That is why the Australian government will continue to oppose ratification."  Dr Kemp spent World Environment Day in Bali at international environmental talks, where he claimed Australia was playing a constructive role in reducing greenhouse gas emissions.  However, at home, his colleagues were talking down Kyoto.  Resources Minister Ian Macfarlane said industry and jobs would suffer if Australia ratified the protocol in its current form.  The Government has long argued the protocol is flawed because it fails to order developing countries to contribute to a cut in the emissions blamed for global warming.  In speech notes to a minerals industry conference, Mr Macfarlane said he could not support the protocol while countries like China and India, which were major emitters, were outside the agreement.  Australia and the US have been accused of being climate spoilers by rejecting the protocol. Labor said World Environment Day offered the government an opportunity to deliver on its rhetoric. Opposition environment spokesman Kelvin Thomson urged the government to make good on its environment spending promises, ratify the protocol and protect the Great Barrier Reef. "Japan agreed to ratify Kyoto yesterday, the European Union signed on May 31; 71 countries have now ratified the Kyoto Protocol," Mr Thomson said. "This is a clear signal that the Kyoto Protocol, with its legally binding targets and timetables, is the only effective international framework for combating global warming." Environmentalists also continued to pressure the government to follow Japan's lead. Australian Conservation Foundation chief Don Henry said the government should ratify in line with its major trading partners. "The biggest present Prime Minister John Howard could give to Australians, particularly our kids, is a change in his position," Mr Henry said.

 

60) BALI PREPARATORY MEETING HEARS CALL FOR CONCRETE OBJECTIVES, PRECISE TIMELINES TO GENERATE MOMENTUM FOR ACTION

United Nations Press Release

5 June 2002

Internet: http://www.johannesburgsummit.org/html/bali/pressreleases/envdevb15-e.htm

Success at the fourth and final Preparatory Committee for the upcoming World Summit on Sustainable Development would be possible because everyone believed in a life of dignity for all, with respect for the diversity of cultures and harmony with surrounding nature, Megawati Soekarnoputri, President of Indonesia, said this morning in opening the Committee's ministerial segment. To achieve those goals, each nation managed its development differently, the President continued.  Some nations were able to enjoy a high quality of life by developing their human resources and their capabilities in science and technology.  Among those were nations who could effectively manage their natural resources for development and in harmony with nature.  They were models that could inspire other nations. She called for international cooperation to help developing countries utilize resources in a sustainable manner.  The tendency to blame one another had become part of any discussion of sustainable development; conflicts and instability had often resulted.  But, she said, closely cooperative endeavours were the only answer.  Interdependence, in the global village, was real. Deputy Secretary-General Louise Fréchette said, "We are here today because we face great challenges on both sides of the development-environment equation".  Johannesburg was meant to find another way -- a path that improved standards of living while protecting the environment, "a path that works for all peoples today and tomorrow".  The relationship between human society and the natural environment was the "core concern of Johannesburg, and is what sets Johannesburg apart from other United Nations conferences and summits". The Secretary-General had proposed five key areas for particular focus -- water and sanitation, energy, agriculture, biodiversity, and ecosystem management and health, she said.  It was important to have firm goals and timelines in those areas, as well as concrete commitments to generate real momentum for action. She stressed the need for a credible political declaration that committed leaders to act and inspired all actors to recognize their own responsibilities.  Progress towards implementation would depend on actions by all actors, separately and jointly, by way of partnerships, she added.  Progress would also depend on the availability of resources.  The Summit was truly a chance to set a more hopeful course of development for all humanity, she stressed.  "We know what needs to be done.  Now, let us move ahead." Also this morning, participants were briefed by the co-Chairs of the Global Environment Facility (GEF) of the Ministerial Round Table on Financing for Environment and Sustainable Development:  Kjell Larsson, Minister for the Environment of Sweden, and Mohammed Valli Moosa, Minister for Environmental Affairs and Tourism of South Africa. A statement was also made by the Minister of State of Water Resources of Nigeria, Chief Precious Ngelale, on behalf of the African Ministers Conference on Water. Following the opening statements and reports, Ministers engaged in a dialogue on the various issues at hand.  In his opening statement for that part of the meeting, Emil Salim (Indonesia), Chairman of the Preparatory Committee, said that in the next 10 years, poverty eradication would be an essential element of sustainable development.  In addition, unsustainable patterns of production and consumption must change, and natural resources must be managed in a way that supported social and economic development.  Those three facets must be merged into one -- sustainable development. The speaker for Japan stressed that that a respect for nature must be passed down to the next generation; conservation was essential for the survival of mankind.  Japan would continue its efforts in that regard.  The representative of Venezuela, for the "Group of 77" developing countries and China, said the principle of shared but differentiated responsibilities between developed and developing countries for the implementation of Agenda 21 was fundamental.  Johannesburg must be approached with a spirit of solidarity.  The representative of Spain, for the European Union, said the Union sought a coherent policy for implementing Agenda 21 as a global pact.  All actors must work closely together towards agreed-upon, concrete goals.  Transfer of information and technology was important, as was the realistic financing of programmes involved.  Statements were also made during that segment by representatives of Norway, Colombia, Egypt, Libya, China, Slovakia, Dominican Republic, United Arab Emirates, Indonesia and Germany. The observer for Switzerland also spoke, as did the President of the Economic and Social Council.

BACKGROUND

The fourth and final Preparatory Committee for the upcoming World Summit on Sustainable Development this morning began its ministerial segment, during which Ministers are expected to discuss follow-up to the Bali implementation plan, partnership initiatives and elements for the political declaration to be adopted at the Johannesburg Summit.

STATEMENTS

United Nations Deputy Secretary-General LOUISE FRÉCHETTE recalled the "set of specific, time-bound objectives", known as the Millennium Development Goals, which had been adopted at the 2000 Millennium Summit of the General Assembly with the aim of fighting poverty, securing people from violence and armed conflict and protecting the environment.  She said, "We are here today because we face great challenges on both sides of the development-environment equation".  Three billion people suffered the dehumanizing conditions of poverty and the latest report of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) depicted a world at risk. She said Johannesburg was meant to find another way -- a path that improved standards of living while protecting the environment, "a path that works for all peoples today and tomorrow".  The relationship between human society and the natural environment was the "core concern of Johannesburg, and is what sets Johannesburg apart from other United Nations conferences and summits". The Secretary-General had proposed five key areas for particular focus -- water and sanitation, energy, agriculture, biodiversity and ecosystem management and health.  It was important to have firm goals and targets in those areas and specify concrete commitments so that real progress could be made in the implementation of Agenda 21 and the Millennium Declaration. The five areas were widely considered to be central to sustainability, she said.  They were intricately connected -- "call it a multiplier effect or a virtuous circle" -- that progress in one would generate progress in another. Important progress had been made thus far by the Committee, but some critical work remained to be done over the next three days.  Full agreement must be reached on a solid, specific implementation plan with targets "before we leave Bali", she said.  Only then would a firm foundation have been established for the vital work that remained to be done between Bali and Johannesburg.  She then stressed the need for a credible political declaration that committed leaders to act and inspired all actors to recognize their own responsibilities.  The declaration was the place for commitments to action in key areas, global and local, and for providing a sense of values that underpinned the concept of sustainable development and instigated action. Noting the important role to be played by governments in ensuring sustainable development, she appealed to them to ratify the treaties that underlay efforts to achieve such development.  She then noted that sustainable development would not be achieved without non-governmental organizations (NGOs).  She also underlined the role to be played by the private sector and international organizations.  Progress towards implementation would depend on actions by all actors, separately and jointly by way of partnerships, she said.  Progress would also depend on the availability of resources.  Governments must sustain the momentum generated by the Monterrey Conference on Financing for Development, particularly in the area of official development assistance (ODA).  Governments must also make good on their commitment at the World Trade Organization (WTO) meeting in Doha to make the new negotiations on trade a true "development round" that opened markets to developing-country goods and allowed them to compete fairly. The Summit was truly a chance to set a more hopeful course of development for all humanity, she said, adding "We know what needs to be done.  Now, let us move ahead".

MEGAWATI SOEKARNOPUTRI, President of Indonesia, welcomed participants and thanked the United Nations for showing confidence in her country by holding the preparatory meeting there.  Indonesia, she said, was determined to do its utmost for the success of the meeting.  Such success, she continued, was possible because all believed in a life of dignity for everyone, with respect for the diversity of cultures and harmony with surrounding nature.  Towards those goals, each nation managed its development differently.  Some nations were able to enjoy a high quality of life through developing their human resources and their capabilities in science and technology.  Among those were nations who could effectively manage their natural resources for development and in harmony with nature.  They were models that could inspire other nations. However, she said, the majority of nations were endowed neither with well-developed human resources nor the capabilities to master and implement technologies.  Human resources development was a priority for those nations.  No judgments were being made on this occasion, however some nations were able to extract the maximum benefit from their resources while others sold off the raw materials themselves.  The political reality of developing nations presented a dilemma that often led to the exploitation of natural resources in an unsustainable way. She called for international cooperation to help such countries utilize resources in a sustainable manner.  The tendency to blame one another had become part of any discussion of sustainable development; conflicts and instability had often resulted.  But, she said, closely cooperative endeavours were the only answer.  Interdependence, in the global village, was real. For more than three decades, she said, Indonesia itself had relied on the exploitation of its natural resources for economic development, but the results had led to reconsideration.  It was realized that development must be a sustainable process, which required long-term efforts to upgrade the capacity of human resources to direct development in the best way. Many years ago, her father, President Soekarno, had called for building the world anew.  She now called on the international community to build the world anew through sustainable development, to make human life better through development and through maintaining natural resources, which were the common heritage of mankind.  Saying it was time to implement Agenda 21 with concrete action, she declared open the ministerial segment of the Preparatory Committee.

MOHAMMED VALLI MOOSA, Minister for Environmental Affairs and Tourism of South Africa, and co-chair of the Global Environment Facility (GEF) of the Ministerial Round Table on Financing for Environment and Sustainable Development, said that in the 10 years since the 1992 United Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED) in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil it had become ever more clear that successful sustainable development required progress on the social, economic and environmental fronts.  He noted the lack of resources devoted to the environment, which undermined the situation of the poor.  The Summit would provide a unique opportunity to ensure that environmental security was integrated into programmes for sustainable development. The Facility had sponsored a series of round tables to produce recommendations on the subject, he said.  A Ministerial Round Table had been convened to address means to generate financing to promote environmental concerns.  Among the issues stressed at that meeting's first session was the need for developed countries to provide additional resources for sustainable development through increased official development assistance (ODA) and market access for developing countries.  At the second session, constraints and barriers to achieving progress in the areas identified by the Secretary-General had been examined.  Lack of capacity, knowledge and skills in a country were among the constraints identified, he said.  It was also pointed out that the cost of clean technologies could act as a barrier to the promotion of such technologies, as could lack of financing.  Addressing such constraints would assist in providing the tools and mechanisms for developing countries to address sustainable development needs.  Participants had called for action in the areas of finance policies, and partnerships had been called for.

KJELL LARSSON, Minister for the Environment of Sweden, and co-chair of the GEF of the Ministerial Round Table on Financing for Environment and Sustainable Development, also gave a readout of the ministerial meeting.  He said sustainability could not be achieved by marginal financing or funding.  All actors had a critical role to play in providing financing. He said governments had a lead responsibility to promote sustainable development.  Substantial resources could be freed, and economic efficiency could be improved.  The creation by governments of enabling environments for private investments was also key.  Increasingly scarce external resources could be used to leverage private financing for sustainable development.  Better mechanisms should be developed to tap into the interest of individuals to invest in an environmentally sustainable future.  Environmental impact assessments should be included in all sustainable development packages. There was much to be gained from the formation of partnerships among all the relevant actors, he said.  They would be most effective if they were developed within a comprehensive framework.  Synergies between development aid and private financing should be strengthened.  Dissemination of information, lessons learned and best practices was key.  The Bali implementation plan provided an important framework for pursuing sustainable development, but more specific means of implementation must be identified and provided, possibly as annexes to the document.  The GEF had been called on to continue to provide leadership in the follow-up of the World Summit.

CHIEF PRECIOUS NGELALE, Minister of State of Water Resources of Nigeria, on behalf of the African Ministers Conference on Water, said the Summit must be about the need for social progress, sustainable economic development and sound environmental management.  The Secretary-General had placed emphasis on five areas, all of which had shown the centrality of water.  The Summit must be remembered as a conference that had squarely confronted the water and sanitation crisis.  There was an intimate link between the health of humans and the health of the planet -- water and sanitation were key in that area as well.  He went on to demonstrate the central role of water in the other areas of focus identified by the Secretary-General. He said poverty reduction began with water issues, which in turn should be linked to gender issues.  Pro-gender action programmes to promote women's access to water and sanitation services must be included in the Summit.  The Summit was a unique opportunity to demonstrate that water was at the crossroads of environment and development.  The ministers at the Conference on Water had agreed that programmatic and institutional arrangements were needed to confront issues related to water in Africa.  It was hoped that the implementation plan of the Summit would provide the necessary support.  The political declaration should also prominently address the lingering water and sanitation crisis in the region and globally, he said.  He invited others to join in partnership initiatives with the Conference on Water.  He drew participants' attention to the Abuja Ministerial Statement on Water, which was being circulated.

INTERACTIVE DIALOGUE SEGMENT

The Chairman of the Preparatory Committee, Emil Salim (Indonesia) initiated the dialogue by recounting the history of efforts for sustainable development and asking what a Bali commitment could mean.  Bali was the final harbour before sailing into Johannesburg.  It meant all necessary documents had to be finalized here:  most importantly, the implementation programme, with partnership initiatives as a supplement.  All elements of the political declaration must also be developed. In the next 10 years, he said, poverty eradication would be an essential element of sustainable development.  In addition, unsustainable patterns of consumption and production must change, and natural resources must be managed in a way that supported social and economic development.  Those three facets must be merged into one -- that was, sustainable development.  Health, globalization, regional contexts, and coordinated action at all levels were elements that must be considered in the implementation document as well. The representative of Japan said that a respect for nature must be passed down to the next generation, as conservation was essential for the survival of mankind.  Japan would continue its efforts in that regard.  Water issues, in particular, were a great challenge; a coordination information system must encompass those problems and those of deforestation.  Japan had many projects in that area. The representative of Norway said that environment and development had been discussed in Rio -- in Johannesburg, environment for development would be discussed.  The upcoming Summit would be very important for implementing treaties and agreements signed since Rio within clear time frames.  He hoped the meeting would not be about renegotiating the agreements already made.  He thought the text should "look forward" to how its provisions could be achieved, rather than looking back.  Democracy and good governance were pre-conditions for making sure that globalization was a positive force for all. The representative of Venezuela, for the "Group of 77" developing countries and China, said the Group had been carrying on negotiations with great expectations for a transparent discussion to achieve full implementation of the Rio commitment.  The Group couldn't believe that agreement could not be reached.  There must be a real commitment to act.  The principle of shared but differentiated responsibilities for the implementation of Agenda 21 was fundamental.  New and additional resources and transparency were key.  An international humanitarian fund must be set up.  More sustainable consumption and production patterns must be observed.  She also underlined respect for the special knowledge of indigenous peoples.  Johannesburg must be approached with a spirit of solidarity. The representative of Spain, speaking on behalf of the European Union, said the Union sought a coherent policy for implementing Agenda 21 as a global pact.  A gender-based approach must be taken into account, along with the three pillars of social and economic development and environmental conservations, with additional activities to ensure implementation.  All actors must work closely together towards agreed-upon, concrete goals.  Transfer of information and technology was important, as was realistic financing of programmes involved.  The Union had submitted proposals to the Chairman for that latter purpose.  There should be equitable distribution of the benefits of sustainable development, with trade and other policies encouraging that.  In addition, regional approaches to issues were important, particularly in Africa. The representative of Colombia supported the statement of Venezuela for the Group of 77, saying that the international community was embarking on a new endeavour, and there would be many challenges ahead.  A new culture had to be built to foster sustainable development, both for equitable development and environmental stewardship.  Those were ethical ideas.  Agenda 21 had referred to ethics, but that theme had not yet been well developed.  If ethics for sustainable development were nurtured, a culture of sustainable development would follow. The representative of Egypt said it was important to concentrate on implementation of ideas developed at Rio and not to come up with new concepts.  For implementation to occur, financial mechanisms must be clear.  Poverty must be fought, and sustainable technologies shared.  Previous conferences had laid foundations for a structure on which to base future efforts.  The agricultural sector should be a priority -- coherent international action should be taken to improve use of the land.  Desertification must be give absolute priority; Johannesburg must recognize the Global Environment Facility (GEF) as the primary tool for that effort.  In all efforts, civil society must be integrally involved. A representative of Japan then took the floor again.  He supported the report made by the Minister of Nigeria on the Conference on Water.  The multiple facets of agriculture must be emphasized.  The principles of market competition had brought about mass consumption and mass waste disposal -- that "status quo" must not be forgotten and should be addressed.  Japan upheld the basic ideal that forests and oceans were "home to our lives".  The representative of Libya said sustainable development was a preoccupation for all.  Solidarity against poverty and famine was highly important.  There must be real commitments undertaken to combat those phenomena.  There were more than 1 billion people without water, and half the world was without sanitation, he pointed out.  Financial resources had not been granted for the realization of Agenda 21.  Many were now caught in the trap of external debt, which hampered efforts to achieve sustainable development. There must a plan that had clear commitments with time limits for implementation to realize the Millennium Goal of halving the number in poverty by 2015, as well as other targets that had been set, he said.  Measures must be taken to, among other things, stop deforestation and to protect fisheries, and adequate financial resources to promote sustainable development must be forthcoming.  A favourable international climate addressing the negative heritage of colonialism must be instituted.  All States should put an end to their conflicts and take measures to eliminate weapons of mass destruction. The representative of China said the rapid development of globalization had brought with it great challenges and opportunities.  Realizing sustainable development on the global level was a large challenge.  Innovative methods to correctly handle the three pillars of sustainable development had been put forward; however, there was still a gap between ideals and reality.  He cited the decline in ODA at the global and the widened gap between the North and South and the East and West since UNCED, among other constraints. Action must be taken to narrow the gaps, he said.  The whole world's attention would be focused on the Summit.  The political declaration must stress the basic principles of the Rio conference, especially the principle of shared but differentiated responsibilities to implement Agenda 21.  The implementation plan must contain clear and feasible measures and follow-up mechanisms.  The representative of Switzerland said that better multilateral relationships and partnerships were basic for attaining goals in sustainable development.  The plan of action coming out of Bali must be based on a strong consensus, with every delegation involved in negotiations.  His country was ready to make commitments and live up to them -- there should be no backing away from commitments made in Rio and the Millennium Summit.  Switzerland was ready to increase its efforts to meet such commitments, along with raising its ODA to 0.4 per cent.  International instruments must be ratified and implemented, and forests and water must be protected through international rules.  Switzerland had enacted laws and constructed infrastructure in that effort and was forming a partnership for sustainable development in mountainous regions. The representative of Slovakia said his country supported all those who had called for concrete action.  Natural resources had to be treated as one integrated unit, and that was taken into account in Agenda 21.  Sectoral policies still prevailed, however, and he urged the strengthening of cross-sectoral integrative tools, and a comprehensive plan that ruled over all sectoral plans.  He also supported activities that aimed to lower overhead for activities that directly benefited sustainable development, with the primary goal of improving the state of the environment. The representative of the Dominican Republic called for countries that had not done so to ratify the Kyoto Protocol and other relevant agreements before the Johannesburg Summit.  A clear commitment must come out of that Summit to implement all elements of Agenda 21. The representative of the United Arab Emirates said common solutions must be found to solve the problems facing humanity, such as poverty, debt, pollution and lack of access to water, among others.  Those problems must be addressed at all levels.  Sustainable development and the implementation of Agenda 21 required a secure environment on the regional and international levels.  In that context, he cited the situation in Palestine as a result of the Israeli occupation.   He called for solutions to such problems, based on the principles of the United Nations Charter and respect for international law.  The stability of development required certain confidence-building measures to be undertaken.  Cooperation was also key.  He called on developed countries to reconsider their protectionist and unilateral measures, which had an adverse affect on international trade.

The representative of Indonesia said the implementation document was now 78 pages long -- double the size of last Monday.  Core to the process of sustainable development was implementation.  Financial resources had not been forthcoming, he noted, particularly to implement Agenda 21.  The Monterrey Consensus and the Doha outcome must be built upon.

IVAN SIMONOVIC (Croatia) President of the Economic and Social Council, said his prepared statement would be distributed and he would restrict himself to making a brief statement.  Doha and Monterrey were the basis for forward movement.  At the recently established international forum for indigenous peoples, it had been stressed that a reference to indigenous peoples should be included in the outcome to Johannesburg. Between Bali and the Summit there would be a substantive session of the Council, he said.  Its high-level segment would be devoted to the development of human resources, which was key to sustainable development.  The core of sustainable development was the issue of coordination of various values and activities.  Without the strengthened role of the Council, it would be virtually impossible to coordinate the various United Nations departments and commissions dealing with sustainable development.  The representative of Germany said Agenda 21 and other international consensus documents should not be renegotiated; the problem was the implementation of activities and principles.  Concrete targets were therefore essential in all areas including renewable energy, an area in which his Government had already set targets and was therefore motivated to meet them.  Other matters had to be dealt with directly; foreign direct investment could be more effective than ODA, for example.

 

61) UN URGES GOVERNMENTS TO COMMIT TO ENVIRONMENTAL PLAN

Associated Press

5 June 2002

Internet: http://story.news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story&u=/ap/20020605/ap_wo_en_po/indonesia_development_conference_5

BALI, Indonesia - The United Nations on Wednesday urged environment and economic ministers from around the world to commit to a plan that seeks to double the amount of people with access to sanitation and drinking water by 2015. Approval for the plan has been delayed over poor countries' demand for more aid and rich countries' insistence that aid be linked to reducing corruption. UN Deputy Secretary General Louise Frechette told more than 6,000 delegates from 173 countries, including 118 ministers, to call on their governments to provide funds, ratify treaties and work with private organizations to make the plan a success. Outside the beachside convention center on Indonesia's Bali island, around 50 international and Indonesian green activists staged a noisy demonstration, demanding delegates do more to protect the environment. Providing clean water and upgrading sanitation are two of the most ambitious elements in the 158-point draft that delegates have been debating for the past week in Bali. Ministers are also scheduled to produce a political declaration stating their governments' willingness to carry out the action plan, which was supposed to be done by last weekend but has run into delays. Both texts will be voted on by world leaders at the World Summit on Sustainable Development to be held in Johannesburg, South Africa in August. A major international environmental conference in Brazil a decade ago produced far-reaching promises but has brought few results. "Governments must make good on their commitments," Frechette told delegates. "The challenge as ever is to match aspiration with action." The plan being negotiated includes U.N. targets such as halving by 2015 the number of people who face poverty and hunger, and the number who lack access to safe drinking water and sanitation. Poor countries want more aid for the programs, but delegates from rich countries want such aid to come with conditions, including commitments to fight corruption, which is rampant in much of the developing world. The United States and Japan have blocked proposals calling for deadlines for implementing the action plan, saying they were unrealistic. Indonesian President Megawati Sukarnoputri urged negotiators to work out their differences before the Johannesburg summit. "I have the conviction that whatever agreement we could reach at this meeting will significantly affect the final outcome of the conference in South Africa," she said in her opening speech. Some 50,000 delegates are expected in Johannesburg in what will be the largest ever U.N. gathering. The meeting, dubbed "Earth Summit 2," will coincide with the 10-year anniversary of a summit in Rio De Janeiro, Brazil, where the first global agreements on environmental protection were reached. However, critics say many of the governments did not to carry out the programs they agreed to in Rio.

 

62) UN UNVEILS INTERNET ATLAS

The Associated Press

5 June 2002

Internet: http://www.news.com.au/common/story_page/0,4057,4454753%255E1702,00.html

ON World Environment Day, the United Nations and leading scientific institutions launched the first internet atlas of the world's oceans to monitor and hopefully heal the waters that play a critical role in sustaining life on earth. After a decade of planning and more than two-and-a-half years of development, the UN Oceans Atlas is online.  It initially has 14 global maps, links to hundreds of others, and over 2000 documents on 900 subjects ranging from climate change, fishing areas and ship piracy to poisonous algae, offshore oil and recreation activities.  Project manager John Everett said today's launch culminates a unique partnership between the public and private sectors to bring an encyclopedic resource to a wide cross-section of users - from school children to policy makers and scientific experts.  "The oceans play a crucial role in sustaining life on earth," said Jacques Diouf, director general of the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation which led the initiative with primary funding of $US500,000 ($875,657) from the United Nations Foundation, started by media mogul Ted Turner.  "This important new tool ... will help co-ordinate and harmonise the work underway in various parts of the UN and in national agencies, academic institutions and other organisations, and will serve a major role in moving the world toward the sustainable use of oceans for food security and human development," he said.  The need for an atlas was identified during the 1992 UN earth summit in Rio de Janeiro in response to a call to address the world's greatest environmental challenges.  Everett said the atlas would better spotlight acute marine issues from over-fishing and destruction of coastal areas to the effects of climate change on ice cover and pollution from industry, farms and households.  "Ocean-related issues will almost certainly dominate the international agenda later this century if, as predicted, the Earth's continued warming accelerates sea level rise and adds up to one metre to the height of our oceans," said Klaus Toepfer, executive director of the UN Environment Program.  Such a rise could affect over 70 million people in coastal China, 60 per cent of the population of Bangladesh and the Netherlands, 15 per cent of the people and 50 per cent of the industry in Japan, 10 per cent of the population of Egypt, and a 17,000 square kilometre area - the size of Connecticut and New Jersey combined - in the United States.  In low-lying countries like the Maldives or the Marshall Islands, the entire population would be at risk, the UN agency said.  "Now we have the ability to see information on all the areas of the ocean, coming from all the reliable sources, through the United Nations, so there will always be a reliable control," said project director Serge Garcia, who heads the FAO Fisheries Resources Division.  The website will be supplemented by a CD-ROM.  Documents, maps and other material will also be published in co-operation with Cinegram Multimedia to reach audiences and regions where internet access is difficult, said Everett, who is on loan to the project from the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.  The National Geographic Society is making its map-producing machine and marine information available to the atlas and the Census of Marine Life is contributing its assessments of the diversity, distribution and abundance of marine organisms, he said. Both organisations are based in Washington.  Garcia said the online atlas has the capacity to hold 100,000 documents and thousands of maps, and will be constantly updated.  "If we're going to solve or prevent the world's biggest problems, the public and the private sector have to come together and we've done so on the atlas of the oceans," said former US Senator Timothy Wirth, who heads the United Nations Foundation.  "This is a very ambitious and important partnership for monitoring, diagnosing and we hope helping to heal the great oceans of the world."

 

63) EARTH SUMMIT 'WILL PRODUCE 500,000 TONS OF GREENHOUSE GAS'

Daily Telegraph

4 June 2002

Internet:http://www.dailytelegraph.co.uk/news/main.jhtml;$sessionid$LFGXWZAAAKWUDQFIQMFSFGGAVCBQ0IV0?xml=/news/2002/06/
04/wsumm04.xml&sSheet=/news/2002/06/04/ixnewstop.html&_requestid=559310

The 60,000 delegates to the Earth Summit in Johannesburg this September will produce the same volume of greenhouse gases through air flights, ground transport and hotel pollution as would half a million ordinary Africans in a year. The British company Future Forests, which has been asked to devise a way of offsetting the emissions, estimates that the summit, which is to concentrate on alleviating the environmental problems of the world's poorest people, will produce nearly 500,000 tons of carbon dioxide. This is the amount produced annually by 44,000 Britons or 450,000 Africans. The summit's South African organisers aim to raise £3.5 million to offset this pollution through energy-saving school programmes, solar power schemes and bio-gas plants. The savings, based on a scheme that offset the emissions from the Salt Lake City winter Olympics, will be audited by an American company, Carbon Neutral Network. Jonathan Shopley, chief executive of Future Forests, said he was optimistic of receiving sufficient funding for the scheme from companies and individuals. Margaret Beckett, the Environment Secretary, left for Bali yesterday with her husband Leo for the final preparatory conference before the Johannesburg summit. This week's talks on drawing up a plan of action to present to Tony Blair and other world leaders at the summit have already run into trouble. British officials said at the weekend that America was opposing plans to halve the number of people - 2.4 billion, two fifths of the world's population - who have no sanitation. European and developing nations want the world's leaders to agree to meet this target by 2015. Opec countries are opposing plans to halve the number of people, currently two billion, without any source of energy using renewable means. America, Canada, Japan and Australia are opposing EU proposals to make energy consumption more environment-friendly.

 

64) COALITION FACES KYOTO SPOTLIGHT

Australian Associated Press

4 June 2002

Internet: http://www.news.com.au/common/story_page/0,4057,4446588%255E1702,00.html

THE Federal Government is under increased pressure to ratify the Kyoto Protocol on climate change amid a world rush to secure a pact to combat global warming. All 15 European Union states have ratified the protocol to curb greenhouse gas emissions, widely blamed for global warming. The ratification came as the attitude of the United States took a surprise shift with President George W. Bush's administration finally acknowledging the impact of greenhouse gases.  A report released by the US environment agency endorsed the widespread view of international scientists that fossil fuels and exhaust fumes from cars caused global warming. Until now the Bush administration has largely rejected scientific arguments which blame emissions for a hotter world. Today the Australian Democrats said Australia was out in the cold and blind to the impact of unsustainable environmental practices. "The Government says it is committed to meeting our Kyoto target of an eight per cent increase on 1990 levels, but with a leaked report indicating that our emissions could be 33 per cent above 1990 levels by 2010, this is highly unlikely," Democrats greenhouse spokeswoman Lyn Allison said in a statement. The Government should ratify the protocol in the lead-up to the World Summit on Sustainable Development, Rio Plus 10, in August, she said. Greenpeace is set to launch a new campaign challenging the Government to support renewable energy and take action to prevent the worst impacts of climate change. "Many governments around the world have woken up to the threat of climate change and recognise that ratifying Kyoto is the first step," campaigner Frances MacGuire said in a statement. "The Australian Government, in contrast, continues to equivocate, hiding behind the US position. "It's time the Government saw which way the wind is blowing. "If we fail to ratify the protocol, Australia will lose out both in terms of climate impacts and business opportunities in new carbon markets". A total of 72 countries have ratified the protocol with more expected to ratify soon. The protocol could be in force if Australia ratified in line with other nations later this year. Prime Minister John Howard has refused to ratify, long arguing that the protocol could not function without the US or restrictions on developing nations to curb greenhouse gases.

 

65) EU RATIFIES KYOTO PROTOCOL

CORDIS News

4 June 2002

Internet: http://www.eubusiness.com/cgi-bin/item.cgi?id=82630&d=101&h=240&f=56&dateformat=%o%20%B%20%Y

The European Union ratified the Kyoto Protocol on climate change on 31 May. The EU was represented at the United Nations headquarters in New York, where the ratification papers were deposited, by Jaume Matas, the Spanish President of the Environment Council, and Environment Commissioner, Margot Wallstroem.  The agreement brings the protocol's entry into force, which requires ratification by countries responsible for 55 per cent of industrialised countries' emissions in 1990, a step closer. It also means the EU has fulfilled its goal of enabling the protocol to come into force before the World Summit on Sustainable Development, which begins in August this year. Mr Matas, who is Spanish Minister for the environment, said ratification by the EU 'is the expression of the conviction of the millions of citizens of the European Union that the Kyoto Protocol is the best instrument available for working together to achieve our common goal, and their commitment to it.' Ms Wallstroem urged the EU's partners in the developed and developing world to ratify the protocol as soon as possible. 'The scientific evidence on climate change is stronger than ever,' she said. 'We all know that even the targets in the Kyoto Protocol are only a first step if we want to prevent the severe consequences that climate change could have.' Ms Wallström also stressed the need for further action to cut EU emissions of greenhouse gases. She said the European Commission has proposed measures to reduce emissions at the lowest possible cost, including an EU-wide emissions trading scheme to begin in 2005. But she warned that all Member States must take responsibility for meeting their burden-sharing targets. The EU is continuing to urge the USA to participate in global action to fight climate change. The BBC reports that the USA has refused to change its position of opting out of the Kyoto Protocol, despite acknowledgement by the US government for the first time that man-made pollution is a key cause of climate change. In a report submitted to the United Nations, the US Environmental Protection Agency endorses the widely held scientific belief that man-made greenhouse gas emissions from industry and transport are largely to blame for global warming. The White House had maintained there was not enough evidence that industrial emissions are to blame for climate change. Philip Clapp, President of environmental group National Environmental Trust, said the new report 'undercuts everything (President Bush) has said about global warming since he took office.' The Japanese cabinet approved ratification of the protocol on 4 June after the upper house of parliament voted 229-0 in favour of it last week. Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi called for the USA to change its position on the protocol, saying: 'The government of Japan will do its utmost to establish a common rule, in which all countries including the United States and the developing countries participate.'

 

66) TAIWAN READIES FOR WORLD SUMMIT IN JOHANNESBURG

Taipei Times

4 June 2002

Internet: http://www.taipeitimes.com/news/2002/06/04/story/0000138869

Both the government and several non-governmental organizations (NGOs) are heading for the upcoming United Nations' World Summit on Sustainable Development (WSSD) in a bid to promote Taiwan. The upcoming world summit, the 10th anniversary of 1992 Rio Earth Summit, is scheduled run from Aug. 26 to Sept. 4 in Johannesburg, South Africa. More than 20 Taiwanese environmental groups are trying to raise money so they can attend the conference and promote awareness of Taiwan's democracy and sustainable development initiatives. "We are sure that the environmental diplomacy carried out by Taiwan's NGOs can demonstrate Taiwan's democratization to the world." Lee Chia-lun, project manager of Taiwan Agenda 21, an environmental organization In addition to the environmental groups, between 20 and 30 NGOs are trying to persuade potential donors t o sponsor a number of projects totaling NT$4.6 million.  At a meeting held at the Environmental Protection Administration (EPA) yesterday, NGO representatives presented their proposals to publicize Taiwan in Johannesburg to the government, one of potential donors.  More than 20 local environmental and cultural groups proposed topics that address the environment, women, toxic waste, water resources, energy, aboriginal culture and others.  "We have to seize the chance to publicize Taiwan's achievement of promoting sustainable development," said Juju Wang a sociology professor at National Tsing Hwa University.  Wang, a member of the Asian Pacific Environmental Connection for Sociologists certified by the UN, argued that choosing appropriate topics to speak for Taiwan was essential to making a breakthrough in the international community.  Wang said that Taiwan has been forced by its difficult diplomatic situation to attend environmental events held by the UN in names of diverse NGOs since it lost its UN membership in 1971. About 20 representatives of NGOs from Taiwan attended the 1992 Earth Summit held in Rio, Brazil. Wang is one of the 20.  As China's influence grows, Taiwanese NGO's have fewer opportunities to participate in international events. As the WSSD approaches, China reportedly tried to influence the UN to downgrade Taiwan to the status of one of its provinces.  "We are sure that the environmental diplomacy carried out by Taiwan's NGOs can demonstrate Taiwan's democratization to the world," said Lee Chia-lun), project manager of Taiwan Agenda 21, an environmental organization.  Niven Huang secretary-general of Business Council for Sustainable Development, Taiwan said that industry in Taiwan is adjusting to face the inevitable challenges of corporate social responsibility, which is essential to a society promoting sustainable development.  Chen Lee-in a research fellow at the Chung-hua institution for Economic Research, said that Taiwan should focus on the five key areas mentioned by UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan in May -- areas, water and sanitation, energy, health, agriculture, and biodiversity, EPA deputy administrator Chang Chu-enn), the secretariat of the government's task force for the WSSD, said that half of the groups' demands might be allocated for their participation in the event after conducting a cross-agency meeting later this week.  "The feasibility of environmental groups' projects will be one of our chief considerations when talking about providing funds," Chang said.  Sustainable development is one of main concepts of Premier Yu Shyi-kun's policies. On June 5, World Environmental Day, the Cabinet's committee for promoting sustainable development will be established. The committee will be lead by newly appointed Minister Without Portfolio Yeh Jiunn-rong one of the 20 attending the 1992 Rio Earth Summit. Yeh, a former law professor from National Taiwan University, is expected to lead Taiwan at the WSSD.

 

67) CORPORATE ACCOUNTABILITY REQUIRES GLOBAL WATCHDOG

The Jakarta Post

4 June 2002

Internet: http://www.thejakartapost.com/detaillatestnews.asp?fileid=20020604231148&irec=5

NUSA DUA, Bali (JP): Reckless multinational companies cause havoc to the environment and victims are unable to hold them responsible, according to a Greenpeace report calling for a global body to monitor corporate accountability and liability. Greenpeace's Corporate Crimes report highlights 37 cases where mostly multinational companies have caused accidents that have damaged the environment but largely escaped responsibility in the absence of a global corporate monitoring system. Marcelo Furtado of Greenpeace International said on Tuesday protecting the environment and its surrounding community from companies' reckless business practices necessitated the establishment of international legal measures for multinational companies to comply with. "Corporations need governments looking at these issues because governments can set policies that will help clean industries to rise," Furtado said in a press meeting on the sidelines of the Fourth Preparatory Committee Meeting on Sustainable Development in Bali. The meeting is to draw up an action plan, to be known as the Bali Commitment that world leaders will sign at the World Summit on Sustainable Development (WSSD) in Johannesburg, South Africa, later in August and September. The Greenpeace report comes as delegates debate on whether or not to tighten regulations around corporate actions to ensure they comply with sustainable development principles.  Actions of corporations were behind a number of accidents causing the loss of lives and environmental damage, Furtado said. The report by Greenpeace covers cases involving chemicals, pesticides, nuclear materials, and those in the genetic engineering, mining, forestry and oil sectors as well as one ship breaking incident. Beginning its report with what Greenpeace called the worst chemical disaster is the 1984 Bhopal accident in India. Gas leaked from a plant owned by Union Carbide India Limited in Bhopal, releasing a deadly amount of methyl isocyanate (MIC) into the surrounding area and exposing 520,000 people to the poisonous gas. In the first three days, 8,000 people died. Eighteen years after, some 150,000 remain afflicted due to the effects of the gas leak with reports of third generation victims still suffering from various abnormalities. In total the gas leak is believed to have killed about 20,000 people, with one dying every two days. The Greenpeace report shows that behind this accident lies a history of poor corporate decisions.  According to the report, Union Carbide stored massive amounts of MIC in a densely populated area, ignoring its own safety measures and exceeding the permitted limit in Europe by over 100 times.

To cut costs, Union Carbide stored the MIC in unsafe conditions, reduced its staff and slashed the training programs for the remaining few. In 1989, the company paid US$470 million in compensation but since its merger with Dow Chemicals, demands for further compensation have been largely ignored. Dow Chemicals itself is mentioned in three other chemical related accidents in the Greenpeace report. "Governments have to be aware of what's going on, and they have to protect people because people have the right to a clean and just environment," Furtado said. Other non-governmental organizations have also been calling for stricter control over corporate actions. The revised Chairman's Text, now called the draft plan of implementation, includes a phrase calling for an international framework for transnational corporate accountability. But as the phrase is in brackets, its fate depends on the ongoing negotiations, with most developing countries in favor of it. A number of developed countries have reportedly rejected the phrase, arguing that multinationals should be held accountable at national levels only. Greenpeace said in its press release that governments were ultimately responsible for public welfare, and should force corporations to uphold the law and become more accountable to the public. "Our calls for the governments to take this responsibility are not bad for the industries. But the industries have a tendency of not wanting any regulations, saying that they can run the world as they see fit and the market will fix everything," Furtado said

 

68) GOVTS EAGER TO SPEND MORE ON ARMS THAN RESEARCH: SCIENTISTS

The Jakarta Post

4 June 2002

Internet: http://www.thejakartapost.com/detaillatestnews.asp?fileid=20020604231739&irec=3

NUSA DUA, Bali (JP): International scientists lashed out on Tuesday at governments around the world for their lack of commitment to supporting science and technology programs for sustainable development.  Instead of spending on scientific or technological research, which could significantly contribute to sustainable development, the governments preferred to pour their budgets into armaments spending.  It was ironic, as the preference clearly threatened sustainable development, said the international scientists.

"The total cost of four annual global programs on science and technology by the International Council for Science is the same as the cost of the 10 cruise missiles used by the warring parties in the Gulf War, which they used for merely one hour," said Director of the Center for Resource and Environment Studies at the Australian National University Robert Wasson.  The discussion, which was held at Putri Bali hotel here, was a parallel meeting to the ongoing preparatory committee meeting for the World Summit on Sustainable Development. Wasson said it was ridiculous for developed countries to spend huge amounts to finance their weaponry. Military expenditure by the world's governments is running at more than US$2 billion a day.  Outside the U.S., India and Pakistan were among countries that spent huge funds on armaments instead of using them to finance research and technology, Wasson told The Jakarta Post on the sidelines of a science discussion here. Senior adviser for science for sustainable development with the International Council for Science Gisbert Glaser said spending on research and development was very small in most countries.

"Developed countries merely allocate 4 percent to 5 percent of their annual budget for research in science and technology. The figure is worse in developing countries, as the government only allocates zero point something of their annual budgets for science and technology development," he said. According to Glaser, the lack of commitment by governments might be caused by their narrow interests or short-term development goals, which science and technology did not reflect, as the activities of the latter in those fields needed time and often produced unexpected or unwelcome results

 

69) INTERDEPENDENCE, SUSTAINABILITY, PARTICIPATION, EQUITY SUGGESTED AS POSSIBLE

KEY ELEMENTS FOR SUMMIT'S POLITICAL DECLARATION

United Nations Press Release

4 June 2002

Internet: http://www.johannesburgsummit.org/html/bali/pressreleases/envdevb13-e.htm

Interdependence, sustainability, participation, equity and an enabling political environment were put forward late this evening by Emil Salim (Indonesia), Chairman of the fourth and final Preparatory Committee for the upcoming World Summit on Sustainable Development, as possible key elements for a political declaration to be adopted by heads of State and government at the Summit.

The Chairman's suggestions came as the Committee met on the eve of the session's ministerial segment, during which Ministers from some 140 countries will discuss follow-up to the Bali implementation plan, partnership initiatives and elements for the political declaration to be adopted at the Johannesburg Summit. During the discussion that ensued, representatives said the elements for a declaration should provide an index -- a range of ideas that could serve as a basis for the heads of State at the Summit.  The elements should make firm the commitments to sustainable development. Also this evening, the Committee received a progress report on discussions held on the subject of partnership initiatives.  A full report would be made on the final day of the session.

The session's ministerial segment is scheduled to open tomorrow at 9:30 a.m.

STATEMENTS ON PARTNERSHIPS, POLITICAL DECLARATION

EMIL SALIM (Indonesia), Chairman of the Preparatory Committee, said the working groups and the contact groups were still at work and were not yet able to provide a complete report.  Two items would be taken up during tonight's plenary -- a brief explanation on the partnerships initiative and elements for the political declaration.

JAN KARA (Czech Republic) said that based on the work done on partnership initiatives at the third preparatory committee a series of small-scale consultations had been held in Bali on further developing "type II" outcomes.  A number of interesting comments had come out of the multi-stakeholder dialogue.  A meeting had been held yesterday, and participants were now in the process of reviewing and elaborating guidelines on the subject.  More consultations would be held tomorrow afternoon.  The issue continued to be the subject of considerable interest.  A report would be made on the final day of the session.

Mr. SALIM then informed delegates of his initial ideas for the political declaration.  A declaration was needed that would reveal the commitments of the heads of State at the World Summit to provide an enabling political environment to support the implementation plan.  That plan could only be implemented if it obtained a "political blessing" and the requisite political environment. The focus of the outcome was on implementing sustainable development, he stressed.  The first question was "what do we want with sustainable development"?  It was clear that such development was a "mixture of the three major ingredients" -- social development, economic development and environmental development.  The three pillars were merged into one in sustainable development. Poverty eradication, he said, was an indispensable requirement for sustainable development -- billions of people had no safe drinking water and were living on less than $1 a day.  For development, there must be a change in unsustainable patterns of consumption and production.  All of that required protection and management of the natural resource base.  Those elements were the focus of "our Bali commitment".  Health, globalization, issues affecting small islands and regions like Africa must also be addressed.  The means of implementation and institutional framework must be assured. Secretary-General Kofi Annan had noted the gap between implementation and targets set at the 1992 United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED), he continued.  Agenda 21 had been implemented in a fragmented way, the Secretary-General had pointed out.  He had also noted a lack of coherent policies between finance and trade, among others.  A process of change must be instituted. 

The element of interdependence was essential for sustainable development.  Sustainability, another key element, was backed up by the principle of diversity -- greater diversity meant increased strength.  Sustainable development involved all people -- all stakeholders.  That was why the preparation for this session had started from below.  Participation was thus another key element.  For participation to work, there must be equity.  An enabling political environment was very important to ensure those elements could be realized.

DISCUSSION

During the discussion that ensued, representatives commended the Chair on his presentation.  The elements for a declaration should provide an index -- a range of ideas that could serve as a basis for the heads of State at the Summit.  The elements should make firm the commitments to sustainable development.  Good, specific guidance from the governments at Johannesburg was desirable.  The Summit might provide an opportunity to firm up or concretize commitment to the various aspects of sustainable development the Chair had elaborated on. Delegates added that the upcoming Summit would build on the outcome of UNCED, which had set out the major elements of sustainable development.  The question of participation, as set out by the Chairman, was underlined as highly important.  Technical, financial and political support was also crucial -- that should be reflected in the political declaration.

 

70) PREPARATORY COMMITTEE CHAIRMAN OPTIMISTIC THAT SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT IMPLEMENTATION PLAN WILL BE FINALIZED IN BALI

United Nations Press Release

4 June 2002

Internet: http://www.johannesburgsummit.org/html/bali/pressreleases/envdevb12-e.htm

As the fourth Preparatory Committee for the upcoming World Summit on Sustainable Development entered its second and final week, Emil Salim (Indonesia), Committee Chairman, and Nitin Desai, Secretary-General of the Summit, briefed correspondents on the state of negotiations on the draft implementation plan to be adopted by the Summit this September in Johannesburg, South Africa. Mr. Salim expressed optimism that deliberations on the text would be completed by the end of the preparatory meeting.  "Everyone has the same spirit that it will be finalized in Bali", he stressed.  To help realize that goal, he had asked the Ambassadors of three countries "who are crucial in this whole exercise of sustainable development" -- Brazil (host of the 1992 United Nations Conference on Environment and Development known as the Earth Summit), Indonesia (host of the current meeting) and South Africa (host of the Johannesburg Summit) -- to facilitate the negotiations on the plan. He said the so-called "bracketed issues" in the text [those areas where agreement had not yet been reached] were now being cleaned up.  It was as he had expected -- negotiators had kept their cards close to their chests and were now opening them.  Among the issues where progress had been made, he noted, was in the area of time bound targets for implementation of the Summit outcome. "A great deal has been achieved over the past 10 days," said Mr. Desai, stressing that the basic goal of completing work on the plan remained.  Negotiating the implementation plan was not a matter for the ministerial segment of the meeting, which will start tomorrow and run through Friday.  That segment would deal with how to implement the Bali commitments, the question of partnerships and their role, and elements for a political declaration to be adopted at the Summit. Speaking earlier at the daily briefing held by the Department of Public Information, Lowell Flanders, a senior United Nations official with the Summit Secretariat, noted that large areas of agreement had been reached on areas of the text related to health, small island developing States and Africa, among others.  He added that it looked like agreement could be reached on a 10-year programme to improve resource use efficiency. The draft plan of implementation (see document A/CONF.199/PC/L.5*) comprises an introduction and chapters on poverty eradication; changing unsustainable patterns of consumption and production; protecting and managing the natural resource base of economic and social development; sustainable development in a globalizing world; health and sustainable development; sustainable development of small island developing States; sustainable development initiatives for Africa; means of implementation; and an Institutional Framework for Sustainable Development. So far, over 4,316 people from 173 countries are participating in the preparatory meeting, including 1,794 government delegates, 1,324 representatives of non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and 181 journalists.    A formal plenary meeting of the preparatory committee has been scheduled for 8 p.m. tonight.

 

71) DEVELOPING COUNTRIES TAKE INITIATIVE TO BROADEN ACCESS TO WATER AND SANITATION

United Nations

4 June 2002

Internet: http://www.johannesburgsummit.org/html/whats_new/otherstories_waterministers.htm

4 June, BALI, Indonesia- At the time South Africa ended apartheid and became a democracy in 1994, 14 million people out of a total population of 42 million lacked access to clean drinking water. But in seven years, South Africa has halved the number of people who lack access to safe water-ahead of schedule-according to Ronnie Kasrils, South African Minister for Water Affairs and Forestry, and if the present targets are met, he says everyone will have clean water by 2008. Two years ago, however, the worst cholera epidemic in the country's history broke out in the KwaZulu Natal Province. Kasrils said, "It took us by surprise because we thought we were on the right track by providing clean water." As a result, South Africa had to reevaluate its strategy, and after meeting with the Water Supply and Sanitation Collaborative Council, adopted a new approach that included clean water, adequate sanitation and hygiene awareness. "We made an error," Kasrils said during a press conference. "By concentrating on water, we neglected sanitation." Now, with a program that gives clean water and proper sanitation equal weight, he believes every South African will have access to proper sanitation by 2015. The WSSCC, together with the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs, has embarked on a programme of launching initiatives that will deliver the infrastructure for basic water and sanitation services to the poor in an effort to halve the number of people, presently 1.1 billion, who lack access to clean water, and the 2.4 billion who lack proper sanitation. The programme, "WASH" for Water, Sanitation and Hygiene launched its first programme in South Africa this April, and will soon launch another in Uganda. WASH hopes to replicate these efforts in 30 other countries.

According to WASH, some 6,000 children die every day from diseases caused by a lack of access to safe drinking water, inadequate sanitation and poor hygiene. In the last 10 years, it says, more children have died due to diarrhoea than all the people lost to armed conflict since World War II. Negotiations on water and sanitation section of the implementation programme for the World Summit on Sustainable have been substantially completed, with the exception of what many consider the most essential element-a target for reducing by half the number of people who lack access to sanitation by 2015. Negotiations over whether the outcome document will specify a target are ongoing. United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan has said that water and sanitation was one of five areas where the Summit could achieve tangible and measurable results using existing technologies and resources. "I believe in targets," Kasrils said. "The World Summit on Sustainable Development must agree on targets."

 

72) U.N. AND SCIENTIFIC ORGANIZATIONS LAUNCH FIRST INTERNET ATLAS OF THE WORLD'S OCEANS

Associated Press Writer

4 June 2002

Internet: http://story.news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story&u=/ap/20020605/ap_wo_en_po/un_oceans_atlas_1

UNITED NATIONS - On World Environment Day, the United Nations and leading scientific institutions launched the first Internet atlas of the world's oceans to monitor and hopefully heal the waters that play a critical role in sustaining life on earth. After a decade of planning and more than 2 1/2 years of development, the U.N. Oceans Atlas is online, initially with 14 global maps, links to hundreds of others, and over 2,000 documents on 900 subjects ranging from climate change, fishing areas and ship piracy to poisonous algae, offshore oil and recreation activities. Project manager John Everett said Wednesday's launch culminates a unique partnership between the public and private sectors to bring an encyclopedic resource to a wide cross-section of users - from school children to policy makers and scientific experts. "The oceans play a crucial role in sustaining life on earth," said Jacques Diouf, director general of the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization which led the initiative with primary funding of dlrs 500,000 from the United Nations Foundation, started by media mogul Ted Turner. "This important new tool ... will help coordinate and harmonize the work underway in various parts of the U.N. and in national agencies, academic institutions and other organizations, and will serve a major role in moving the world toward the sustainable use of oceans for food security and human development," he said.

The need for an atlas was identified during the 1992 U.N. earth summit in Rio de Janeiro in response to a call to address the world's greatest environmental challenges. Everett said the atlas will better spotlight acute marine issues from over-fishing and destruction of coastal areas to the effects of climate change on ice cover and pollution from industry, farms and households. "Ocean-related issues will almost certainly dominate the international agenda later this century if, as predicted, the Earth's continued warming accelerates sea level rise and adds up to one meter (3.3 feet) to the height of our oceans," said Klaus Toepfer, executive director of the U.N. Environment Program. Such a rise could affect over 70 million people in coastal China, 60 percent of the population of Bangladesh and the Netherlands, 15 percent of the people and 50 percent of the industry in Japan, 10 percent of the population of Egypt, and a 17,000 square kilometer (6,630 square mile) area - the size of Connecticut and New Jersey combined - in the United States. In low-lying countries like the Maldives or the Marshall Islands, the entire population would be at risk, the U.N. agency said.

"Now we have the ability to see information on all the areas of the ocean, coming from all the reliable sources, through the United Nations, so there will always be a reliable control," said project director Serge Garcia, who heads the FAO Fisheries Resources Division. The website will be supplemented by a CD-ROM. Documents, maps and other material will also be published in cooperation with Cinegram Multimedia to reach audiences and regions where Internet access is difficult, said Everett, who is on loan to the project from the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. The National Geographic Society is making its map-producing machine and marine information available to the atlas and the Census of Marine Life is contributing its assessments of the diversity, distribution and abundance of marine organisms, he said. Both organizations are based in Washington.

Garcia said the online atlas has the capacity to hold 100,000 documents and thousands of maps, and will be constantly updated.

"If we're going to solve or prevent the world's biggest problems, the public and the private sector have to come together and we've done so on the atlas of the oceans," said former U.S. Sen. Timothy Wirth, who heads the United Nations Foundation. "This is a very ambitious and important partnership for monitoring, diagnosing and we hope helping to heal the great oceans of the world."

For more information please see: http://www.oceansatlas.org

 

73) MINISTERS ARRIVE ON BALI TO HELP PUSH THROUGH TALKS ON ENVIRONMENTAL ACTION PLAN

Associated Press

4 June 2002

Internet: http://story.news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story&u=/ap/20020604/ap_wo_en_po/indonesia_development_conference_4

BALI, Indonesia - Economic and environmental ministers will be asked to help push through negotiations on the agenda of a much-anticipated U.N. environmental summit, delegates at a preparatory conference on Indonesia's island of Bali said Tuesday. The ministers began arriving in Bali on Tuesday to hold three days of talks on a separate political declaration. For more than a week, around 6,000 international delegates from 189 countries have been negotiating an "action plan" that will be voted on at the World Summit on Sustainable Development to be held in Johannesburg in August. But they have so far failed to finish the text of the plan because of disagreements over proposed programs to help countries reduce poverty and protect the environment. The plan had been expected to be completed last Friday night. Among the disputes, poor countries want more aid for the programs but delegates from rich countries want such aid to come with conditions, such as commitments to fight corruption which is rampant in much of the developing world. In addition, delegates from the United States and Japan have blocked proposals calling for deadlines for implementing the action plan, saying they were unrealistic. Emil Salim, the chairman of the Bali talks, said the ministers would be asked to help with the negotiations. "There are tough issues to cover," he told The Associated Press. Three representatives from South Africa, Brazil and Indonesia have been chosen to hold informal talks with the ministers to try to iron out the unresolved issues, Emil Salim said. Delegates will make a last attempt to edit the action plan during a plenary session slated for late Wednesday night. The action plan being negotiated includes U.N. targets, such as halving by 2015 the number of people who face poverty and hunger, and the number who lack access to safe drinking water and sanitation. Some 50,000 delegates are expected in Johannesburg in what will be the largest ever U.N. gathering. The meeting, dubbed "Earth Summit 2", will coincide with the 10-year anniversary of a summit in Rio De Janeiro, where the first global agreements on environmental protection were reached.

However, critics say governments have failed to carry out programs needed to protect the environment agreed to in Rio

 

74) EU HEADS FOR CLASH WITH U.S. OVER JOHANNESBURG SUMMIT

Inter Press Service

4 June 2002

Internet: http://story.news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story&u=/oneworld/20020604/wl_oneworld/1032_1023197233

BRUSSELS, Jun 4 (IPS) - The European Union is heading for a clash with the U.S. at a preparatory meeting this week for the World Summit on Sustainable Development. Ministers from several countries will meet in Bali, Indonesia, from June 5 to 7 in final preparation for the summit in Johannesburg from August 26 to September 4. The preparatory meeting in Bali began at the official level May 27.  Differences are evident already. The EU delegation tabled a proposal for concrete targets and a timetable on renewable energy Friday in Bali. The move is strongly opposed by the U.S.  On Monday EU Environment Commissioner Margot Wallstrom who will negotiate on behalf of the EU at the ministerial meeting in Bali said "the challenge of the coming weeks, and of the meeting in Bali, will be to prepare credible political commitments to sustainable development backed by precise targets and deliverables."  Wallstrom said: "My objective for the meeting is that we agree on ambitious but realistic political targets. I will also seek to rally partners around an agenda for change based on a series of initiatives on water, energy, health, sustainable patterns of consumption and production, globalization and trade and governance. Partnerships for action in these areas can help resolve some of the biggest problems on the international agenda."  But as EU negotiators move to set targets and seek partnership with developing countries, the U.S. has already made coalitions with oil-producing countries to block any reference to timetables or targets, independent observers point out.  It is perhaps no coincidence that the EU chose to deliver its ratification papers on the Kyoto Protocol on climate change at the United Nations headquarters in New York Friday, just days before the ministers meeting in Bali. The U.S., the world's largest polluter, withdrew its commitment to Kyoto after President George Bush took office.  The first threshold for the Kyoto Protocol to come into force has now been reached. Fifty-five countries were required to ratify it, and 70 have done so. Japan plans to ratify the protocol this week.  "The ratification of the Kyoto protocol is one of the most important political tools that the European Union can use in the Johannesburg process," says Michel Raquet from Greenpeace International. Greenpeace says it recognizes the positive stance taken by the EU in comparison to countries such as the U.S., Canada and Australia, although it would have liked the Europeans to go further. Raquet says EU proposals on energy are too vague. The EU should make a commitment to "clean, affordable, sustainable energy services" by 2015 to the two billion people without access to modern energy services. In a declaration issued May 30, environmental groups including the Worldwide Fund for Nature, Greenpeace and Friends of the Earth International said: "The proposed 'plan of action' watered down even further this week in Bali is a 'plan of inaction', a recipe for social and environmental disaster." The groups blame the U.S., Canada and Australia for blocking progress. EU Commissioner for Development Poul Nielson has admitted he is concerned over the state of the preparatory meetings. "I am as worried as everyone else," he says. A meeting of the 15 EU development ministers agreed last week to achieving a results-oriented outcome to the summit. "The EU is a progressive and constructive force, and the rest of the world has big expectations on our performance," said Nielson after the meeting. "We are committed to multilateralism, and this is where we have a different approach to the United States." The EU text for Johannesburg proposes a series of concrete initiatives in health, water and energy "which should be grounded in the political declaration and program of action to be adopted at the WSSD." The European Commission the executive arm of the EU, will use the agreement to propose a series of concrete initiatives. It plans, for example, to table a proposal to use satellite systems to map the flow of logging and enable a clampdown on the illegal timber trade. The EC wants to strengthen current monitoring systems by funding controls on tropical wood at borders.

The EU proposals are based on the Agenda 21 plan of action for the environment adopted by world leaders at the Rio summit ten years ago, and the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) to reduce poverty.  EU ministers reaffirm what they see as the main aims of sustainable development: eradicating poverty, promoting sustainable production and consumption, reconciling globalization and sustainable development, conserving and managing natural and environmental resources, and enhancing international environmental governance.  But divisions have arisen within the EU as well over subsidies for agriculture and fishing. Northern states like Sweden want a commitment to "reduce or as appropriate eliminate subsidies which have been assessed as environmentally harmful." Southern European states such as Spain and Italy blocked commitments on subsidies. The text agreed now proposes only to "encourage reform of subsidies."

 

75) RI, BRAZIL, SOUTH AFRICA TO SPEED UP BALI TALKS

The Jakarta Post

4 June 2002

Internet: http://www.thejakartapost.com/detaillatestnews.asp?fileid=20020604232112&irec=2

NUSA DUA, Bali (JP): Indonesia, Brazil and South Africa have been appointed to mediate negotiations on an action plan aimed at balancing global economic development with the environment, in an effort to break the apparent deadlock three days before Friday's deadline.  The appointment came amid estimates by some delegates that a near standstill may force negotiations to continue in the upcoming World Summit on Sustainable Development in Johannesburg, South Africa -- a notion the Indonesian delegates reject.  The chairman of the preparatory committee meeting in Bali, Emil Salim said on Tuesday that the three countries would call in opposing parties to get them to compromise on a number of unresolved issues in the action plan. An early draft of the revised action plan was released on Sunday. It is called the Draft Plan of Implementation for the World Summit on Sustainable Development, and replaces the first draft known as the Chairman's Text.  The draft plan, once agreed upon, will be called the Bali Commitment, and will serve as a blue print for sustainable economic development over the next decade.  Emil said that negotiations were already speeding up in the final days of the two-week meeting in Bali. "Everyone knows that negotiations will end on Friday, they know there will be no other day," Emil said.  Delegates worked in groups, and reported the results to the plenary meeting on Tuesday night. One Indonesian delegate said groups that have not finalized talks would be sent back to negotiate.  Emil said that with the time pressure starting to work, the three appointed countries must coax delegates to "show their cards" and make deals.  Their appointments, he said, were necessary as he would be busy chairing meetings for the political declaration for Johannesburg.  South Africa has been appointed because it would host the upcoming World Summit on Sustainable Development in Johannesburg next August. Brazil hosted the first summit at the 1992 Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro, which resulted in the Rio declaration. Several delegates and non governmental organizations have blamed the slow progress on the U.S. delegation's tough stance and its dominating presence throughout all meetings.  Emil said the U.S. delegation consisted of experienced negotiators who would not reveal their positions "early in the game". "The question is now, what motivates them," he said.  Emil said that one thing in favor of the Bali Commitment was that current politics in the U.S. required the Bush administration to at least appear proactive on environmental issues.  President George Bush's administration has come under fire from environmentalists for the alleged heavy involvement of oil and gas companies in drawing up the country's energy policy.  Bush's efforts to open up areas in Alaska for oil drilling operations and alleged interests of a U.S. oil and gas company behind the war in Afghanistan have further tainted the administration's image.  But a senior U.S. delegate said that developing countries were demanding too much from the U.S. and warned against pushing the envelope.  He said that sustainable development should start with developing countries improving their law and order and guaranteeing economic freedoms.  "It takes two to tango ... We will lead the dance but don't step on our foot," said one American delegate who refused to give his name.  The delegate also played down hopes by many in Indonesia that his government would agree on additional aid for poverty reduction and environmental conservation efforts, due to the fact that many developing countries failed to obey laws and regulations.  He also expressed his doubts that more assistance would actually reach needy people or protect the environment.  "The U.S. delegation insists that they will only reach a compromise when the rest of the world considers the U.S. interests," he said.

 

76) WORLD SUMMIT VENUES TO USE ENVIRONMENTALLY FRIENDLY POWER

Business Day via All Africa

3 June 2002

Internet: http://allafrica.com/stories/200206030066.html

In keeping with the theme of the summit, venues will make use of electricity from renewable energy resources FOUR of the main venues to be used during the World Summit on Sustainable Development which starts in August in Johannesburg the Sandton Convention Centre, the Hilton Hotel in Rosebank, the Expo Centre at Nasrec and the Ubuntu Village will be making use of "green electricity". Although this is to cost the venues up to 35% more than conventional electricity, their extra costs will be repaid by donors in the "green electricity" sector. Green power is generated from renewable, sustainable energy resources. This is seen as more environmentally friendly than coal or nuclear power and commonly used in the UK, Australia, Germany and the US. This power can be generated from wind, solar energy, certain types of plants or heat from the core of the earth. At the moment less than a percent of electricity in SA could be called "green", but this is expected to change after the summit, according to a green energy service company, Agama. Agama project leader Glyn Morris said negotiations on future tariffs for green electricity in SA would be thrashed out with the National Electricity Regulator at the summit. "It will be a chance to experiment with the development of a green tariff, possibly a shadow tariff, that is not legally binding. "While there is as yet no mechanism for trading green electricity in a regulated market in southern Africa, a likely mechanism is green power certificates certified and monitored by the National Electricity Regulator," Morris said. The higher cost of green power has to do with it being a new technology with few users. The higher tariff also represents the "full" cost of the product, which unlike coal and nuclear power, is not subsidised by outside bodies. Health hazards and research are costs associated with conventional electricity, said Morris.

 

77) DELEGATES SCRAMBLE TO OVERCOME DIVISIONS OVER ACTION PLAN FOR U.N. DEVELOPMENT CONFERENCE

Associated Press Writer

3 June 2002

Internet: http://story.news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story&u=/ap/20020603/ap_wo_en_po/indonesia_development_conference_3

JAKARTA, Indonesia - International conference delegates raced to complete an agenda Monday night for a much-anticipated U.N. summit, but they couldn't agree on who will pay for programs to help countries reduce poverty and protect the environment.

Poor countries want more aid for programs expected to be approved at the upcoming World Summit on Sustainable Development, to be held in Johannesburg in August. But rich countries want such aid to come with conditions, such as commitments to fight government corruption. Delegates at the preparatory conference "will be working through the night" to finish the agenda before environmental and economic ministers from their respective countries arrive Wednesday to consider it, said Pragati Pascale, a U.N. spokeswoman for the conference. The delegates had agreed on over 80 percent of the plan and were due to finish it by Tuesday. But a U.S. delegate said some other countries were holding the plan hostage to technical issues, such as the deadlines to implement programs. Thousands of delegates have been meeting at the May 27-June 7 fourth preparatory summit meeting on the Indonesian island of Bali to finish an "action plan" that is considered crucial to making the Johannesburg conference a success.

Some 50,000 delegates are expected for what is being dubbed the "Earth Summit 2" in Johannesburg. The meeting is timed to fall on the 10-year anniversary of the first Earth Summit in Rio De Janeiro, where the first global agreements on environmental protection were reached. Critics say many of the environmental protection measures that governments promised in Rio have not been achieved. Three earlier preparatory meetings for the Johannesburg summit identified five areas for negotiation: water and sanitation, energy, health, agriculture and preserving natural ecosystems. Delegates at the Bali meeting were expected to adopt official U.N. targets, such as halving by 2015 the number of people who face poverty and hunger, and the number who lack access to safe drinking water and sanitation. The United Nations estimates that 1.2 billion people around the world live in poverty. At least 1.1 billion lack access to safe drinking water. Environmentalists at the talks have accused wealthy nations - led by Japan and the United States _of blocking proposals that would tie governments to a timetable for implementing the action plan and providing money for development programs. Delegates from rich nations urged those from poorer countries to address the corruption rampant in much of the developing world through new good governance laws and stronger law enforcement

 

78) WORLD SUMMIT ON SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT: "POLITICAL COMMITMENT KEY INGREDIENT FOR SUCCESS IN JOHANNESBURG"

European Union

3 June 2002

Internet: http://europa.eu.int/rapid/start/cgi/guesten.ksh?p_action.gettxt=gt&doc=MEMO/02/123|0|RAPID&lg=EN;

World Summit on Sustainable Development: "Political commitment key ingredient for success in Johannesburg"

Environment Commissioner Margot Wallström will head the European Commission Delegation at the Ministerial Meeting in Bali 4-7 June. The meeting will prepare the World Summit for Sustainable Development to be held in Johannesburg at the end of August this year. Commissioner Wallström said: "The results of the Bali meeting are critical for ensuring the success of the World Summit. The launching of the Doha Development Agenda and the successful outcome of the Monterrey Summit are important steps on the road to Johannesburg but a successful outcome of Johannesburg is not yet assured. The challenge of the coming weeks, and of the meeting in Bali, will be to prepare credible political commitments to sustainable development backed by precise targets and deliverables. Rio in 1992 was a breakthrough for sustainable development but many of the actions agreed there have still not been implemented. Johannesburg must move us from words to deeds".  Commissioner Wallström continued: "My objective for the meeting is that we agree on ambitious but realistic political targets. I will also seek to rally partners around an agenda for change based on a series of initiatives on water, energy, health, sustainable patterns of consumption and production, globalisation and trade and governance. Partnerships for action in these areas can help resolve some of the biggest problems on the international agenda".  The European Commission has stressed on many occasions that the European Union has a lot to offer in these priority areas, in terms of experience, expertise, public funds and private sector and civil society involvement. The Commission will use the Ministerial meeting in Bali to forge partnerships to secure concrete deliverables at the World Summit on Sustainable Development (WSSD) and to bring all of the elements of sustainable development together in a convincing plan of action for the next decade.

BACKGROUND

The fourth preparatory meeting (PrepCom4) for the WSSD takes place in Indonesia between 27 May and 7 June. The Ministerial meetings are scheduled 4-7 June. The Indonesian chair has set three main objectives for PrepCom4: to adopt a political declaration, an action plan and to identify partnerships to deliver the agreed priorities.  The European Commission believes that the political declaration should signal a renewed commitment by all countries to sustainable development. It should be clear, ambitious and realistic. The action plan should have realistic targets and focus on concrete deliverables, upon which countries can be held accountable. Partnerships for action, involving all stakeholders should be formed to implement the action plan. The EU's position is also that if partnership initiatives are to be the main vehicle for implementing the outcome of the WSSD then they should also be monitored in order to ensure that promises are delivered. In its partnership initiatives the EU will pay particular attention to the needs of Africa.

 

79) ECUMENICAL TEAM CALLS FOR A CHECK ON CORPORATE POWER

All Africa

3 June 2002

Internet: http://library.northernlight.com/FD20020605500001144.html?cb=0&dx=1006&sc=0#doc

Geneva, Jun 03, 2002 (African Church Information Service/All Africa Global Media via COMTEX) -- As the negotiations at the 4th Preparatory Committee to the World Summit on Sustainable Development (PrepCom4 WSSD) proceed, one issue takes centre stage: the consolidation and expansion of political and corporate power.  "It is time to acknowledge this," says Wendy Flannery from the Sisters of Mercy.  An ecumenical team of more than 15 people from World Council of Churches (WCC) member churches and associated ecumenical organizations is attending the PrepCom taking place in Bali, Indonesia from 27 May to 7 June. The Summit itself will take place in Johannesburg, South Africa, in August. Sr Flannery was speaking as a team member at a 29 May press conference jointly organized by the Government of Fiji, the WCC, the South African Council of Churches, Christian Aid and the ecumenical team.  The debt issue, as seen from an ecological perspective, is high on the team's agenda. Martin Robra from the WCC's "Justice, Peace and Creation" team, explains: "People and Jubilee movements call for the cancellation of foreign debt. But we should not only question the legitimacy of the foreign debt of indebted countries in the South. We should also recognize what the North owes the South after centuries of colonialism, slavery and exploitation of natural resources, as well as the resulting ecological debt - a debt that accumulated over the centuries and continues to do so at an ever-accelerating speed." The ecumenical team recommends the identification and quantification of the historical, social and ecological debts owing to the peoples and countries of the South, not only in monetary terms, but in terms of the contamination and destruction of the affected communities' sources of life and sustenance.  Shanthi Sachithanandam from Christian Aid in the UK takes a critical look at the issue of energy: "Low-cost energy and cheap access to resources are seen as fuelling economic development. Highly industrialized countries gave those providing energy and other essential resources of industrial production special privileges and power. The lessons learned in the past about the dangers of global warming and climate change and measures taken, such as the Kyoto Protocol, are being taken off the agenda. They have been replaced by the naive promise of "energy for all" without sufficient consideration for the need to move away from the carbon and nuclear-based development path.  Regarding energy the ecumenical team recommends: o ensuring Indigenous Peoples' communities access to and control of their land and resources, including the repeal or reform of unjust mining policies and laws, and a moratorium on new applications for large-scale extraction activities and land acquisition in Indigenous Peoples' territories; oa global moratorium on exploration for new oil and coal deposits; o phasing out of nuclear energy plants everywhere in the world; o adopting and implementing the recommendations of the World Commission on Dams with regard to hydro-power projects involving large-scale dams; o giving priority in the generation and use of energy for appropriate, affordable, ecologically-sustainable and accessible energy for the world's poorest people, reaching a level of at least 10% of sustainable renewables in 2007 and 25% in 2012.  Looking ahead from Bali to the Summit in Johannesburg, Sipho Mtetwa of the South African Council of Churches asks: "While we are here negotiating text in Bali, the questions being asked back home in Africa are: Who is the World Summit going to benefit? Will it benefit the people of townships like Soweto and Alexandra outside Johannesburg?"  Communities in the global South have been and are continually being plundered through various forms of extraction and exploitation.  More and more, the WSSD process is using the rhetoric of partnership, a concept that is of value within the lives of families and communities. True partnership is a relationship between equals.  Regarding corporate power the ecumenical team recommends: o a regulatory framework for transnational corporations, as proposed in the vice-chairman's implementation text, including mandatory compliance of transnational corporations with principles of corporate social and environmental responsibility, operational transparency, accountability, allowing access to information, and conformity with enforceable codes of conduct; o re-institution of the UN Commission on Transnational Corporations.  Regarding climate change the team recommends: o ratification of the Kyoto Protocol by the time of the Johannesburg Summit and implementation thereafter; o initiation at the earliest possible date of a new round of negotiations on the reduction of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.

 

80) NEGOTIATORS AT UN TALKS IN BALI WORK TO RESOLVE DIFFERENCES OVER FINANCING, TRADE

United Nations

3 June 2002

Internet: http://www.un.org/apps/news/story.asp?NewsID=3836&Cr=bali&Cr1=

3 June - Government representatives negotiating a draft action plan for adoption at the upcoming World Summit on Sustainable Development were working to resolve differences over financing and trade issues, United Nations officials said today as preparations for the forum entered its second and final week in Bali, Indonesia.  A senior UN official with the Summit secretariat said that some of the issues that continued to be negotiated - such as financing, trade and the launching of new programmes - were interlinked, so a new version of the draft document was put together over the weekend to incorporate all the cross-cutting issues into one package. The sticking points facing delegates were similar to the ones faced at the end of last week, including various aspects of the means of implementation of Agenda 21, such as trade and finance, Lowell Flanders told a press briefing in Bali. Meanwhile, "fairly good progress" had been made on the issues of oceans and energy, he added, and most countries had it in mind to complete negotiations on the text in Bali rather than hold them over until the Summit, which will convene from 26 August to 4 September in Johannesburg, South Africa. As for the upcoming ministerial segment of the preparatory session, which will begin Wednesday, Mr. Flanders said that the ministers would be focusing their attention on discussing another major Summit output - the political declaration. The ministers, he added, might also take up some of the political questions underpinning the implementation programme.

 

81) NEW STYLE OF DIALOGUE AMONG MAJOR STAKEHOLDERS HOLDS PROMISE FOR FUTURE CHANGE IN GLOBAL NEGOTIATIONS

United Nations

3 June 2002

Internet: http://www.johannesburgsummit.org/html/whats_new/feature_story13.htm

03 June, BALI, Indonesia- In the ten years since the Rio Earth Summit opened up the decision-making process to include nine major groups from civil society, the process of interactive dialogue has evolved in a manner that could serve as a new model for future negotiations within the multilateral context. The multi-stakeholder dialogues that concluded last week featured focused discussions on the central objective of the World Summit on Sustainable Development, which is to promote sustainable development activities that will achieve measurable results on the ground.  In separate sessions covering sustainable development governance, capacity building for sustainable development and the issue of partnerships, the representatives of major groups voiced a wide-range of proposals to government delegates. These ranged from the need for a legally binding convention on corporate accountability to equal representation of women at all levels of economic decision-making, and the need for prerequisites and principles for partnerships. (See Chairman's Summary of the Multi-Stakeholder Dialogue). The dialogues were noteworthy for the number of government delegates who attended and participated, and PrepCom Chairman Emil Salim said the ideas from the major groups are "important contributions and deserve our careful consideration."  The idea of allowing representatives of major groups-the groups closest to people in society-to participate in the intergovernmental discussion on sustainable development was radical when it was proposed, but in its present incarnation of facilitated dialogues, it is even more radical-representatives of major stakeholders can address their concerns directly to each other, or to government delegates. As an answer to the problem of dialogues becoming forums for lengthy statements and monotonous monologues, the Bali multi-stakeholder dialogues used facilitators to keep the discussions moving and on topic. "Negotiation in the multilateral setting is broken and needs to be fixed," according to Paul Hohnen, one of the facilitators. "Too much time, and too much money, is spent on achieving too little." A good part of the dialogue in the sessions was interactive, and delegations were put on the spot on occasion. But according to Ida Koppen, the other facilitator, as long as the setting is so formal, it will be hard to get away from people just making statements. "I was impressed by the level of commitment by the representatives of the major groups," Koppen said, but she added that there were widely varying degrees of preparations. She noted that for many major groups, meeting beforehand was prohibitively expensive. Many major groups, she said, enter the discussions from a feeling of powerlessness, and consequently become defensive. But through preparation, she said, there are ways to gain power, such as coming with well-prepared proposals. Hohnen said the UN was showing leadership through the multi-stakeholder dialogue, not only in raising issues, but also in process. 'We covered a lot of ground in a short time. This is a road to go down further in the decision-finding process." Both facilitators said that dialogues could be enhanced if they could break down into smaller groups and if the dialogues were not so closely tied to the formal negotiating sessions. That, they said, caused many groups to assume postures from which they could not budge in order to find common ground. In fact, non-governmental organizations asked at one point during the discussion on partnership, "where is this conversation going." The NGOs said that discussing the partnership initiatives might make it seem as if they accept the idea, when they reserved the right to reject it altogether if governments fail to make serious commitments in the negotiated outcome document.

The proposals put forward by the major groups for consideration by delegations contain suggested elements for partnerships and the means and mechanisms for monitoring the follow-up after the Johannesburg Summit. The proposals call for partnerships that are credible and have measurable objectives and targets, can be monitored and have proper financing mechanism. They also called for the partnerships to be guided by principles such as equality, transparency, the precautionary and polluter-pays principles, and for full participation at an early stage. The idea of respect for rights, and the idea of equity between generations, were also stressed by the major groups.

 

82) FINANCING, TRADE, LAUNCHING OF NEW PROGRAMMES AMONG UNRESOLVED ISSUES AS SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT NEGOTIATIONS CONTINUE

United Nations Press Release

3 June 2002

Internet: http://www.johannesburgsummit.org/html/bali/pressreleases/envdevb11-e.htm

As the fourth Preparatory Committee for the upcoming World Summit on Sustainable Development entered its second and final week, government representatives continued their work on the draft implementation plan to be adopted by the Summit this September in Johannesburg, South Africa. Speaking at the daily briefing held by the Department of Public Information, Lowell Flanders, a senior United Nations official with the Summit Secretariat, noted that some of the issues that continued to be negotiated -- such as financing, trade and the launching of new programmes -- were interlinked.  With this in mind, a new version of the draft had been put together over the weekend so that the negotiators could see all the cross-cutting issues in one package. He said the sticking points facing delegates were similar to the ones faced at the end of last week, including various aspects of the means of implementation of Agenda 21, such as trade and finance.  "Fairly good progress," he added, had been made on the issues of oceans and energy.  Most countries, he believed, had it in mind to complete negotiations on the text in Bali rather than hold them over until the Summit. Discussing the upcoming ministerial segment of the preparatory session, which will be held from 5 to 7 June, he noted that the ministers would be focusing their attention on discussing another major Summit output -- the political declaration.  The ministers, he added, might also take up some of the political questions underpinning the implementation programme. The draft programme of implementation (see document A/CONF.199/PC/L.5*) comprises an introduction and chapters on poverty eradication; changing unsustainable patterns of consumption and production; protecting and managing the natural resource base of economic and social development; sustainable development in a globalizing world; health and sustainable development; sustainable development of small island developing States; sustainable development initiatives for Africa; means of implementation; and an Institutional Framework for Sustainable Development. Also today, side events sponsored by civil society and government representatives were held on such topics as:  partnerships for water, sanitation and hygiene and the New Partnership for Africa's Development (NEPAD). As of Saturday evening, over 3,711 people are participating in the preparatory meeting, including 1,458 government delegates, 1,132 representatives of non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and 150 journalists. A formal plenary meeting has been scheduled for 8 p.m. tonight to discuss the draft programme of implementation.

 

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