WSSD.INFO NEWS

 

ISSUE 4

 

Part II

27 May to 2 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.       BUSH BLOCKS BID TO SAVE MILLIONS OF LIVES (Independent 2 June 2002)

2.       ACTION PLAN FOR GLOBAL CONFERENCE ON SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT NEARLY COMPLETE: U.N. OFFICIAL (Associated Press 2 June 2002)

3.       BRITAIN CRITICIZES U.S. STANCE ON FARM SUBSIDIES AND KYOTO PROTOCOL Associated Press 2 June 2002

4.       HOPES FOR KYOTO RISE AFTER JAPAN AND EU RATIFY TREATY (The Guardian 1 June 2002)

5.       CONSUMPTION BAROMETER' TO HELP KEEP JOHANNESBURG SUMMIT GREEN United Nations Development Programme 31 May 2002

6.       SPEAKERS AT PREPARATORY MEETING FOR SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT SUMMIT REPORT ON PROGRESS IN NEGOTIATIONS (United Nations Press Release 31 May 2002)

7.       IMPLEMENTATION OF DESERTIFICATION CONVENTION SEEN AS KEY TO PROMOTING SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT, FIGHTING POVERTY IN DRYLANDS (United Nations 31 May 2002)

8.       AT BALI TALKS, NEGOTIATORS HAMMER OUT TEXT FOR ADOPTION AT JOHANNESBURG SUMMIT (United Nations 31 May 2002)

9.       POVERTY STRAINING ENVIRONMENT (The Herald (Harare) via All Africa 31 May 2002)

10.   UN REPORTS PROGRESS IN TALKS ON WORLD SUMMIT FOR SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT (United Nations 30 May 2002)

11.   DEMAND FUELS ILLEGAL LOGGING, ACTIVISTS AT UN CONFERENCE SAY (Associated Press Writer 30 May 2002)

12.   GOOD PROGRESS MADE IN BALI ON NEGOTIATION OF OUTCOME DOCUMENT FOR JOHANNESBURG SUMMIT (United Nations Press Release 30 May 2002)

13.   RI SEEKS MORE AID IN BALI TALKS (The Jakarta Post 30 May 2002)

14.   OECD CRITICAL OF ITS COMMITMENTS (The Jakarta Post 30 May 2002)

15.   CHINA TRIES TO EXCLUDE PRO-TIBETAN GROUP (The Jakarta Post 30 May 2002)

16.   AFRICA WELL SET AT UN CONFERENCE (South African Press Association via All Africa 30 May2002)

17.   STAKEHOLDERS' VOICES (The Jakarta Post 30 May 2002)

18.   DEVELOPMENT TALKS LIKELY TO BE EXTENDED (The Jakarta Post 30 May 2002)

19.   BALI MEETING, WORLD SUMMIT TO LIKELY FAIL IN REGULATING COMPANIES (Jakarta Post 29 May 2002)

20.   PARTNERSHIP, CAPACITY BUILDING DOMINATE MULTI-STAKEHOLDERS MEETING (The Jakarta Post 29 May 2002)

21.   WATER SHOULD BE AT TOP OF JOHANNESBURG AGENDA, PREPARATORY MEETING FOR SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT CONFERENCE TOLD (United Nations Press Release 29 May 2002)

22.   VIEWS EXPRESSED ON ROLE OF CIVIL SOCIETY, CAPACITY-BUILDING, PARTNERSHIPS, AS MULTI-STAKEHOLDER DIALOGUE CONCLUDES (United Nations Press Release 29 May 2002)

23.   HOW EFFECTIVE ARE DEVELOPMENT FUNDS? Financing for sustainability: Priorities and roadblocks (International Herald Tribune 29 May 2002)

24.   STATES ACCUSED OF BLOCKING TARGETS FOR GREEN SUMMIT (Inter Press Service 29 May 2002)

25.   HEALTH IS GREATEST WEALTH Vigorous agenda: The issues affect us all (International Herald Tribune 28 May 2002)

26.   ACTION PLANS FOR WATER, SANITATION, ENERGY, POVERTY ERADICATION AMONG KEY ISSUES UNDER NEGOTIATION IN BALI (United Nations Press Release 28 May 2002)

27.   'CHAIRMAN'S TEXT BENEFITS THE NORTH’ (The Jakarta Post 28 May 2002)

28.   AGENDA 21 UNDER REVIEW IN BALI CONFERENCE (The Jakarta Post 28 May 2002)

29.   GREENPEACE MULLS ACTIONS IN BALI (The Jakarta Post 28 May 2002)

30.   GLOBAL GROUPS SEEK ACTION ON MINING INDUSTRY (Inter Press Service 28 May 2002)

31.   GREEN ACTIVISTS SAY WEALTHY COUNTRIES WRECKING ENVIRONMENT CONVENTION (Associated Press 28 May 2002)

32.   BALI HOSTS DEVELOPMENT TALKS (BBC 27 May 2002)

33.   NEWS AND EVENTS (International Herald Tribune 27 May 2002)

34.   TENSION MOUNTS OVER "EARTH SUMMIT" AGENDA (OneWorld South Asia 27 May 2002)

35.   NORTH AND SOUTH AT OPPOSITE ENDS IN BALI'S ENVIRONMENT TALKS (The Jakarta Post 27 May 2002)

36.   NEED FOR GOOD GOVERNANCE, DEMOCRATIZATION, TRANSPARENCY, EQUITY STRESSED AS MULTI-STAKEHOLDER DIALOGUE BEGINS (United Nations Press Release 27 May 2002)

37.   STATES ACCUSED OF BLOCKING TARGETS FOR GREEN SUMMIT (Inter Press Service 29 May 2002)

38.   THOUSANDS OF INTERNATIONAL DELEGATES MEET FOR BALI DEVELOPMENT SUMMIT (Associated Press 27 May 2002)

 

EDITORIALS/VIEWPOINTS

 

39.   RICH STANDING BY IDLY WHILE POOR DIE By JEFFREY D. SACHS

40.   WHAT WILL BE THE LIKELY OUTCOME OF JOBURG SUMMIT?  By Agus Sari 7 June 2002

41.   A CALL TO ACTION FOR THE PLANET By Guy Tousignant and Claude Martin CARE International /WWF International. 5 June 2002

42.   CATASTROPHE IS NOT INEVITABLE JANE GOODALL Bangkok Post 5 June 2002

43.   WORLD SUMMIT NOT MORE HOT AIR by Aubrey Matshiqi Business Day via All Africa 5 June 2002

44.   ISSUE IS NOT ENVIRONMENT VERSUS DEVELOPMENT, BUT HOW TO INTEGRATE THEM, SECRETARY-GENERAL SAYS United Nations Press Release 30 May 2002

45.   CONCRETE RESULTS ARE ACHIEVABLE' Viewpoint: Nitin Desai, secretary-general, World Summit on Sustainable Development International Herald Tribune 27 May 2002

 

SPEECHES/STATEMENTS

 

46.   ADDRESS BY PRESIDENT OF THE REPUBLIC OF INDONESIA AT THE FOURTH PREPARATORY COMMITTEE MEETING FOR THE WORLD SUMMIT ON SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT

47.   PROGRESS WILL DEPEND ON ACTIONS BY ALL THROUGH PARTNERSHIPS, AVAILABILITY OF RESOURCES, DEPUTY SECRETARY-GENERAL TELLS BALI PREPARATORY MEETING United Nations Press Release 5 June 2002

48.   GOALS AT THE WORLD SUMMIT ON SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT Paula J. Dobriansky, Under Secretary of State for Global Affairs Remarks to the Fourth Session of the Preparatory Committee for the World Summit on Sustainable Development Bali, Indonesia 5 June 2002

49.   FOURTH SESSION OF THE PREPARATORY COMMITTEE FOR THE UN WORLD SUMMIT ON SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT, MAY 27-JUNE 7, 2002 Jonathan A. Margolis, Head of the United States Delegation Remarks to the Fourth Session of the Preparatory Committee (Ministerial Level) Bali, Indonesia 27 May 2002

50.   OPENING REMARKS MR. NITIN DESAI SECRETARY-GENERAL FOR WORLD SUMMIT ON SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT FOURTH PREPARATORY COMMITTEE FOR THE WORLD SUMMIT ON SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT United Nations 27 May 2002

 

ON THE WEB

 

51.   FACTBOX - What's on table at talks for "Earth Summit 2" (Reuters via Planet Ark 7 June 2002)

52.   Global water "crisis" high on Earth Summit Agenda (Reuters via Planet Ark 7 June 2002)

53.   US, poor nations face off at Earth Summit talks (Reuters via Planet Ark 7June 2002)

54.   Ministers Struggle to Wrap Up Earth Summit Talks (Reuters 7 June 2002)

55.   Big cities a headache UN summit wants to address (Reuters via Planet Ark 6 June 2002)

56.   Business says states not living up to Rio promise (Reuters via ENN 5 June 2002)

57.   EU warns Earth Summit agenda unrealistic (Reuters via Planet Ark 5 June 2002)

58.   U.N. Urges Governments to Finish Earth Summit Plan (Reuters 5 June 2002)

59.   Bali village eyes tourists but puts environment first (Reuters 4 June 2002)

60.   Ministers to add muscle to Bali Earth Summit talks (Reuters via Planet Ark 3 June 2002)

61.   Negotiators Try to Wrap Up Earth Summit Plan (Reuters 3 June 2002)

62.   Ministers to add muscle to Bali Earth Summit talks (Reuters 2 June 2002)

63.   EU Ratifies Global Warming Pact, Slams Washington (Reuters 31 May 2002)

64.   Delegates closer to deal on Earth Summit plan (Reuters 31 May 2002)

65.   Bush Yet to Decide if Will Attend 'Earth Summit 2' (Reuters 31 May 2002)

66.   Delegates Inch Closer to Deal on Earth Summit Plan (Reuters 31 May 2002)

67.   Delegates Close in on Earth Summit Plan, NGOs Livid (Reuters 31 May 2002)

 

NEWS ARTICLES

 

1) BUSH BLOCKS BID TO SAVE MILLIONS OF LIVES              

Independent

2 June 2002

Internet: http://news.independent.co.uk/world/environment/story.jsp?story=301420

European governments have long suspected it. Environmentalists have long proclaimed it. But now there is clear evidence that President George Bush's environmental policy is indeed a load of crap. For the United States is blocking an international plan to halve the number of people, two-fifths of the population of the planet, who have no sanitation. Some 2.4 billion people lack even a bucket for their wastes, and this is one of the main causes of world disease. European and developing nations, meeting in Bali, Indonesia, want the world's leaders to agree to meet this target by 2015. They are proposing that the plan be put in front of the leaders when they meet for a new "Earth Summit" in Johannesburg in August. The summit - officially called the World Summit for Sustainable Development - is to concentrate on the environmental problems faced by the world's poorest people. The Bali meeting, which is the final preparatory conference for the summit, is running into trouble, with the Bush administration, in the words of one top Whitehall source, being "very, very negative". More than 2.2 million people - mainly children - die in the Third World every year from diseases caused by lack of sanitation and by dirty drinking water. The United Nations says that "the incidence of some illnesses and death could drop by as much as 75 per cent" if adequate clean water and sanitation were provided. Margaret Beckett, the Secretary of State for the Environment, who is leading Britain's delegation to Bali, describes dealing with this issue as "absolutely key to any prospect of tackling poverty". The US position is baffling the other countries at the conference because the Bush administration has already agreed a target of halving the number of people without clean drinking water by the same date - and this is seen as inseparable from solving the problem of sanitation. The British officials held a special meeting with the American delegation on Thursday, but did not receive any clear reason for their objection to the plan. The clash over sanitation is only one of a range of issues holding up an agreement on a plan of action to present to the summit. Opec countries are opposing a plan - originating from an initiative by Tony Blair - to halve the number of people, currently two billion, without any modern sources of energy, mainly by tapping into renewable sources. And the US, Canada, Japan and Australia are objecting to European proposals to make energy consumption in developed countries more environmentally friendly. Senior British ministers fear that if the Bali conference fails to reach agreement it will be hard for the Johannesburg summit to succeed - and the best chance of tackling world poverty in two decades will be lost for the indefinite future.

 

2) ACTION PLAN FOR GLOBAL CONFERENCE ON SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT NEARLY COMPLETE: U.N. OFFICIAL

Associated Press

2 June 2002

Internet: http://story.news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story&u=/ap/20020602/ap_wo_en_po/indonesia_development_conference_2

JAKARTA, Indonesia - Delegates at a United Nations summit were close to completing an action plan for an upcoming environmental conference, but were still stuck on several issues, a U.N. official said Sunday. Thousands of delegates have gathered at a fourth preparatory summit meeting in Bali and hoped to finish negotiations on the action plan for the World Summit on Sustainable Development by Sunday night. But talks broke off early Sunday morning, leading U.N. officials to suggest the plan will not be completed until at least Tuesday. "It's gone a little slower than what we expected," said Lowell Flanders, a senior U.N. official tracking the negotiations. "But we are getting there. We're not at loggerheads yet." Sticking points include issues of good governance, transfer of technology and financial resources. About 500 delegates have been meeting since Monday to hammer out a nonbinding agreement and timetables that will be voted on at the conference in Johannesburg in August by the heads of state. Delegates in Johannesburg will also vote on a political declaration that will first be approved next week in Bali. Some 50,000 delegates are expected for what is being dubbed the "Earth Summit 2." The meeting is timed to fall on the 10-year anniversary of the Rio De Janeiro Summit, where the first global agreements on how to protect the environment were reached. Critics say many of the goals governments promised in Rio have not been achieved. Three earlier preparatory meetings for the summit prioritized five areas for negotiation: water and sanitation, energy, health, agriculture and preserving natural ecosystems. Delegates at the Bali meeting are expected to adopt targets agreed at the U.N. Millennium Summit, 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 estimate 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 to achieve its goals. Delegates from rich nations have used the forum to urge poorer countries to address corruption rampant in much of the developing world by enacting laws promoting good governance and through stronger law enforcement. The Bali talks opened on Monday and run for two weeks. Environmental and economic ministers from dozens of countries are due to attend talks June 5-7.

 

3) BRITAIN CRITICIZES U.S. STANCE ON FARM SUBSIDIES AND KYOTO PROTOCOL

Associated Press

2 June 2002

Internet: http://story.news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story&u=/ap/20020602/ap_wo_en_po/britain_us_development_2

LONDON - Environment Secretary Margaret Beckett on Sunday said U.S. decisions to subsidize its farming industry and abstain from the Kyoto protocol on global warming were simply short-term steps in the wrong direction. Speaking before attending a meeting this week in Bali that is paving the way for the United Nations eco-summit at Johannesburg in August, Beckett called on other nations to keep pressure on the United States to fall into line with international agreements on the environment.

"I do agree that the recent American Farm Bill is certainly a step in the wrong direction, but it is not what the administration wanted," Beckett told British Broadcasting Corp. television. "We have seen a short-term step in the wrong direction in America. What we have to do now is try to make sure that they continue to pursue what they say are their long-term goals."

The farm bill, signed by U.S. President George W. Bush last month, increases spending by nearly 80 percent over the cost of existing programs and is estimated to cost around dlrs 190 billion over the next 10 years. It raises subsidy rates for grain and cotton growers and revives a target-price system abolished in 1996 to provide supplemental income. It also brings back subsidies for wool and honey producers and provides new payments for milk, peanuts, lentils and dry peas. Beckett said cuts to agricultural subsidies in the developed world would be good both for Third World farmers, who would gain greater access to lucrative European and American markets, and for First World consumers and taxpayers. Beckett said Bush's refusal to endorse the Kyoto protocol did not sound the death-knell for the agreement to tackle climate change. "Americans are major polluters, but don't forget that this American government has said that they accept that there is a climate change problem and accept that action has to be taken to tackle it in America," she said. "I personally believe that as we go on with the Kyoto protocol ... there is every possibility that in the fullness of time the American business community and interests in America that can see America losing out as a result of some of these things will start to rethink and start to increase the pressure on America itself." The Bali talks to agree on an action plan for the World Summit on Sustainable Development in South Africa opened on Monday and run for two weeks. Environmental and economic ministers from dozens of countries are due to attend the gathering for three days from June 5. Some 50,000 delegates are expected in Johannesburg for what is being called the "Earth Summit 2." The meeting is timed to fall on the 10-year anniversary of the Rio De Janeiro Summit, where the first global agreements on how to protect the environment were reached.

 

4) HOPES FOR KYOTO RISE AFTER JAPAN AND EU RATIFY TREATY

The Guardian

1 June 2002

Internet: http://politics.guardian.co.uk/foreignaffairs/story/0,11538,725841,00.html

The European Union and Japan ratified the Kyoto protocol yesterday, binding themselves to cut greenhouse gas emissions despite America's refusal to have anything to do with the treaty.  The decision, announced on the first day of a meeting in Bali to make final preparations for the Earth summit in Johannesburg in August, is designed to give the talks much-needed impetus.  John Prescott, the deputy prime minister and one of the architects of the Kyoto deal in 1997, was delighted. The Japanese foreign minister, Yoriko Kawaguchi, rang him yesterday to wish him a happy birthday and tell him of her government's surprise decision to ratify. Mr Prescott said: "Mrs Kawaguchi rang me at 8.30am to say she had a birthday present for me. It was a nice way to start the day. She knows how much importance I attach to this, having been so closely involved for so long." It is exactly 10 years since the convention on climate change was first negotiated at the inaugural Earth summit in Rio. The first legally binding cuts were negotiated in 1997 in Kyoto, but agreeing the details proved difficult and the United States, the world's largest greenhouse gas emitter, pulled out when George Bush was elected.  The rest of the industrialised world decided to go ahead with the treaty in Bonn last year and the EU promised to ratify it before the Johannesburg summit. Some of America's allies, particularly Canada and Australia, have been reluctant to proceed. Japan, however, is emotionally attached to the treaty because it was negotiated in one of its cities, and had been keen to push ahead as long as the US was on board. For the Kyoto protocol to enter into force, 55 parties to the convention must ratify it, including industrialised countries accounting for 55% of their total combined carbon dioxide emissions in 1990. As of yesterday the first condition was met but the second was proving more difficult because the US, which alone accounts for 36.1% of the emissions, refuses to take part. Almost all other large industrial countries, including Russia and the eastern European states, need to join. The ratifications have given fresh impetus to the ratification process, increasing the percentage of industrialised country emissions now covered under the protocol from 2.7% to around 35.2%. Mr Prescott said Russia, with 17.4%, had already begun the process, and President Vladimir Putin had promised to complete. More signatories were still required to reach 55%. In ratifying the Kyoto protocol, the EU legally commits itself to reduce greenhouse gases by 8% from 1990 levels in the period 2008 to 2012, and Japan by 6%. Some countries in the EU, such as Spain and Ireland, with developing economies are allowed to increase emissions and others have offered larger reductions. The UK's share is a 12.5% reduction, made easier by the switch from coal to gas, which produces less carbon dioxide for the same amount of heat. Eastern European countries such as the Czech Republic and Romania, each with 1.2% of emissions, are likely to be keen to take part in the Kyoto process. When international carbon trading starts they will both have exceeded emission reduction targets and be able to sell surplus carbon dioxide to countries that cannot reach their targets. Canada, with 3.3% of emissions, and Australia, with 2.1%, are likely to face increasing diplomatic pressure to comply with the Bonn agreement, and to show that even without the US the world is willing to tackle climate change

 

5) CONSUMPTION BAROMETER' TO HELP KEEP JOHANNESBURG SUMMIT GREEN

United Nations Development Programme

31 May 2002
Internet: http://allafrica.com/stories/200206010001.html

Delegates to the upcoming World Summit on Sustainable Development (WSSD) in Johannesburg, South Africa, will be able to consult a "consumption barometer" offering a daily update on how much food, water, energy, paper and other resources they use. Environmental audits carried out before, during and after the summit will chart its impact -- and what it would have been without efforts to stay "green." The Greening WSSD Initiative, launched by the Government of South Africa, UNDP and the Global Environmental Facility (GEF), will showcase environmental best practices to leave a useful legacy for the host country and create greater awareness about environmental concerns championed at the summit. More than 60,000 participants are expected to converge on Johannesburg for the event from 26 August to 4 September. The Greening Initiative is expected to influence how UN and other major gatherings are organized in future. The Department of Agriculture, Conservation, Environment and Land Affairs (DACEL) of Gauteng Province, UNDP and GEF are providing more than US$4 million for the initiative. The South Africa country office of the World Conservation Union is providing technical assistance and managing the initiative. Mary Metcalfe, the provincial member of the executive in charge of DACEL, said: "We must make sure that in our efforts to demonstrate and document the effects of the summit we leave a legacy of greater public awareness, which will positively influence how people relate to the environment in the future." The initiative is a "tangible way of showing that we can learn by putting into action the message of the summit," said John Ohiorhenuan, UNDP Resident Representative and UN Resident Coordinator. Mohamed T. El-Ashry, Chief Executive Officer and Chairman of GEF, said that the project will also demonstrate to participants the "choices that they can make during the WSSD and in their daily lives to minimize the negative environmental impacts of their activities." Over the next few months, extensive awareness campaigns through the media, schools and other channels will educate South Africans about the challenges and opportunities of promoting sound environmental practices and sustainable development. Summit organizers will try to ensure that procurement transactions take into consideration and reflect best environmental practice. Service providers, such as those dealing with waste management and transport, are expected to apply environmentally-friendly standards in their services. Caterers are expected to source and use reusable and recyclable materials as much as possible, and the five "R's" -- reduce, re-use, replace, recover and recycle - will be watchwords for the summit. Specially designed tours will enable delegates to visit field projects that demonstrate the challenges and opportunities associated with sustainable development at the local level. Awards for the hospitality industry will encourage environmentally sustainable operations. For further information please contact Sharon Chetty, UNDP South Africa, or Cassandra Waldon, UNDP Communications Office.

 

6) SPEAKERS AT PREPARATORY MEETING FOR SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT SUMMIT REPORT ON PROGRESS IN NEGOTIATIONS

United Nations Press Release

31 May 2002

Internet http://www.johannesburgsummit.org/html/bali/pressreleases/envdevb10-e.htm

Tibetan Centre for Human Rights and Democracy Denied Accreditation

The fourth and final Preparatory Committee for the upcoming World Summit on Sustainable Development was briefed this morning on the state of negotiations on the Summit implementation plan, with speakers underlining the progress made in the negotiations thus far and outlining the areas that required further deliberation. In other business this morning, the Committee decided to reject accreditation of a non-governmental organization (NGO), the Tibetan Centre for Human Rights and Democracy, by a vote of 90 in favour of no action to 37 against, with 10 abstentions. Representatives have formed two working groups to advance their negotiations on the Chairman's paper, which contains the text of the draft implementation programme (the latest version of the text is contained in documents A/CONF.199/PC/WG.1/2 & WG.2/2), with a third group deliberating on a Vice-Chairman's paper (see document A/CONF.199/PC/L.3) entitled "Institutional Framework for Sustainable Development". 

STATUS OF NEGOTIATIONS

KYOTAKA AKASAKA (Japan) Co-Chair of Working Group I, which is assigned to deal with the first half of the Chairman's paper, said the Group had worked very hard to meet the Chairman's deadline of completion of work by this evening.  About 80 per cent of the text was now agreed upon, within today's deadline.  The text of two "rather large" areas, energy and oceans, had been under intensive consultation and were not included in the latest version of the text.  Even in those cases, good progress had been made, with many differences having been bridged.  More time was needed to complete discussions on those items. Issues remaining in brackets included how to deal with financial and technical issues.  Some of the issues were linked to those being discussed by the other Working Groups, which made it hard to complete discussions without seeing the results of those Groups.

RICHARD BALLHORN (Canada), Co-Chair of Working Group II, which is assigned to deal with the second half of the Chairman's paper, said the latest text contained some reproduction errors -- corrected copies were available at the back of the room.  The first chapter of the section, on sustainable development in a globalizing world, had many bolded and bracketed texts.  Trade and finance issues would have to be dealt with in the relevant contact group.  It was not as unresolvable as it looked. He said chapter 6, on health and sustainable development, was in reasonably good shape.  Chapter 7, on Small Island developing States, was also in reasonable shape.  Discussions were continuing, and there was a good chance that a number of the issues would be resolved perhaps even by this afternoon.  Chapter 8, on sustainable development for Africa, had proceeded at a slightly different pace because there had been less time at the last Preparatory Committee to deal with it. Good progress had been made in a contact group on Africa yesterday, he continued.  It was quite a substantial text and in some cases delegations were having to check with their authorities before they could decide.  He thought a substantial text could be achieved, but that some issues remained to be resolved.  He noted that there was now a chapter 8 bis -- proposals for very concentrated regional initiatives to promote sustainable development. In the final chapter, means of implementation, paragraphs 59 to 70 were the subject of a contact group and required significant further group.  He hoped experts in finance and trade -- where the biggest challenges lay -- could sit down resolve those issues.  Good progress had been made on the remaining issues. IHAD GAMELELDIN (Egypt), Co-Chair of Working Group II, said he was confident that the remaining issues could be resolved.  He noted good process had been made on such issues as capacity-building and science and technology transfer.  Discussions were ongoing in the area of health.  In a nutshell, progress was being made. EMIL SALIM (Indonesia), Chairman of the Preparatory Committee, then urged delegates to undertake a constructive approach to the remaining negotiations.  The time had come "to clean the text by focusing our discussion on the brackets". The representative of Venezuela, for the "Group of 77" developing countries and China, said any paragraph or section absent from the two documents before the Committee didn't mean that they were outside the document in real terms -- they were present in the text, even though they didn't appear in it. The CHAIRMAN assured the Committee that such passages would not be left out.

NON-GOVERNMENTAL ORGANIZATION ACCREDITATION

When the Committee took up accreditation of the Tibetan Centre for Human Rights and Democracy, it had before it a letter from the Permanent Representative of China (see document A/CONF.199/PC/19).  The letter sets out China's firm objection to accreditation of the NGO to the World Summit and its preparatory process, because it was "a separatist organization that is same in nature as 'International Campaign for Tibet' and 'Tibet Justice Center' whose applications for accreditation were resolutely rejected" by the Preparatory Committee. At the outset of the Committee's consideration, the representative of the United States said it was his position that legitimate NGOs, such as the one in question, applying for accreditation could and should be approved.  All well-established and widely recognized NGOs could make positive contributions to the Summit.  The NGO in question was well qualified to be accredited and to participate.  He proposed that the plenary grant the request for accreditation. The representative of Spain, for the European Union and associated States, then said the Union welcomed the participation of NGOs and other major groups at the Summit.  They had an important part to play in the discussions.  A large number would be present at Johannesburg representing a broad range of different views that would help lead to a fruitful exchange of views.  The Union believed that the NGO in question should be able to participate in Johannesburg and he supported its accreditation.  This didn't mean it supported its views, however.  The Union supported the call for a vote just made by the United States delegation. The representative of China next reaffirmed his delegation's objection to the accreditation of the NGO in question.  He moved to take "no action" on the proposal of the United States and requested an immediate vote by roll call.  The Chinese government had consistently supported participation in the Summit of NGOs operating in the spirit of the United Nations Charter.  The NGO in question was a political organization, which had the aim of splitting China's territory.  It had never carried out any activities to help the socio-economic situation of Tibet, he noted.  He strongly appealed to vote yes to China's no action motion and reject the NGO's application for accreditation. Following China's request, both Pakistan and Cuba spoke in favour of the motion.  The United States and Spain, for the European Union, spoke against the motion. The motion was then carried by a vote of 90 in favour to 37 against with 10 abstentions. Also today, the Committee decided to accredit to the current meeting and the World Summit two intergovernmental organizations, the Pacific Centre for Environment and Sustainable Development and the Center for International Forestry Research.

 

7) IMPLEMENTATION OF DESERTIFICATION CONVENTION SEEN AS KEY TO PROMOTING SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT, FIGHTING POVERTY IN DRYLANDS

United Nations

31 May 2002

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

31 May, BALI, Indonesia- The dust blowing across China that assaulted Beijing this year went on to reach Japan and Korea, but it did not stop there: it continued on toward the west coast of North America, disrupting air travel and causing health problems.

Dust storms are increasing, according to Hama Arba Diallo, Executive Secretary of Convention to Combat Desertification, and it is affecting areas that have never though of it as a problem before. In fact, he said, sands blown away from Africa recently landed in Switzerland. Land degradation has often been considered a local issues, caused by poor land management, poor farming techniques, and poor water distribution. But the problem, which affects an estimated 2.3 billion people in over 100 countries is now blowing across national boundaries, and is having an international impact. The issue has emerged as a major issue for the World Summit on Sustainable Development and United Nations Secretary-General identified land degradation, which affects as much as two thirds of the world's agricultural land, as one of the five main areas where the Summit should concentrate efforts to achieve results. The United Nations Environment Programme estimates that every year, 10 million hectares of arable land are being lost to desertification, costing the world close to $42 billion annually. Yet that the price-tag for action to avoid further degradation would only be $2.4 million. "No one is listening, but this is a good investment," Diallo said, but the treaty to halt land degradation, with virtually universal membership, still has little funding. There are proposals presently under consideration in the Bali PrepCom to significantly increase funding to the Desertification Convention through the Global Environment Facility, but there are some concerns that the GEF could be stretched too thin unless donor countries agree to a significant replenishment.

Mostafa Tolba, who presided over the Earth Summit+5, and who is a member of a panel of eminent personalities for the Convention, said it was essential to address the issue of land degradation if the Johannesburg Summit is to succeed. "About 70 per cent of the poverty in Asia and Africa is in rural areas. If you want to address poverty, you have to go where the poverty is. Implementation of the Convention would be a good way." According to Tolba, interest in the desertification issue has flagged because it is not seen as affecting people in developed countries, although dryland areas of Spain, Portugal and Greece are experiencing degradation. Although people see a connection between themselves and climate change and ozone depletion, he said that link is often missing when it comes to desertification. The Desertification Convention, an offspring of the 1992 Earth Summit, calls for a "bottom-up" participatory approach where people in affected communities, including women and youth, identify their problems and their solutions. The process eventually percolates up to the national level where, countries adopt national action plans. To date, 58 countries have adopted these plans, and are now looking to donors for resources to implement them. But desertification has not been a donor priority, Diallo says. Assistance to hot spots, such as Afghanistan, East Timor and Kosovo, Diallo said, are usually the explanation donors give why resources to fight desertification are not forthcoming. Desertification, Diallo said, is not about build barriers to prevent the spread of the desert, but rather, about taking steps to transform fragile ecosystems back into land that can produce food. According to Diallo, restoring degraded lands can also play an important role in mitigating the effects of greenhouse gases by serving as a carbon sink. "What we are saying," Diallo said, "is that dealing with land degradation can lead to win-win scenarios." Partnerships will be important he said, but since land degradation is typically a problem of the poorest of the poor, most of the partnerships will necessarily require the public sector. The development of voluntary partnership initiatives has emerged as a third major outcome of the Johannesburg Summit. The partnerships, it is hoped, will go beyond what governments can and must do to implement sustainable development.

 

8) AT BALI TALKS, NEGOTIATORS HAMMER OUT TEXT FOR ADOPTION AT JOHANNESBURG SUMMIT

United Nations

31 May 2002

Internet: http://www.un.org/apps/news/story.asp?NewsID=3825&Cr=sustainable&Cr1=development

31 May - Negotiators meeting in Bali, Indonesia, today reported progress in their efforts to hammer out draft final documents for adoption by the World Summit for Sustainable Development, which will convene this August in Johannesburg. Reporting to a plenary session of the Summit's Preparatory Committee, Kyotaka Akasaka of Japan, who chaired negotiations on parts of the text, said agreement had been reached on 80 per cent of the language. Two "rather large" sections, on energy and oceans, had been under intensive consultation, he added, noting that despite some progress, more time would be needed to complete discussions on those issues.  Richard Ballhorn of Canada, another chief negotiator, said agreement was still outstanding on sections concerning globalization, trade and finance. Other areas were largely agreed on, including those relating to health and sustainable development.  Negotiator Ihad Gameleldin of Egypt, who is also chairing talks on portions of the document, voiced confidence that remaining issues could be resolved, pointing out that good process had been achieved on issues related to science and technology.  Also today, the Preparatory Committee considered applications from several intergovernmental and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) to participate in the Johannesburg Summit. A motion by China for the Committee to take no action on the application of the Tibet Centre for Human Rights and Democracy, an NGO, was approved by a vote of 90 in favour, 37 against, and 10 abstentions, effectively rejecting the bid for participation.  The Pacific Centre for Environment and Sustainable Development and the Center for International Forestry Research were both accredited without a vote.

 

9) POVERTY STRAINING ENVIRONMENT

The Herald (Harare) via All Africa

31 May 2002

Internet: http://allafrica.com/stories/200205310413.html

AT 66 years old, Ambuya Berita Chanakira from Epworth should be retired and enjoying a pension at some old people's home. But that life is still a fairy tale and a luxury least afforded by most of the people in the Third World where daily chores include warding off the poverty scourge. To expect people who daily endure the ravages of dire poverty, hunger, disease, war and natural disasters such as droughts, floods and earthquakes for many decades to come to understand the advantages of sustainable development in a globalising environment is but a tall order. For Ambuya Chanakira, constant hard work in her small vegetable garden since her husband's death in 1986 has helped her escape the grinding penury that is the order of day for the majority of people in Epworth, a run down settlement that rapidly sprouted after 1980 into a major urban residential area 10km outside Harare. "This is a very poor community, but I have never expected someone to give me food," said Ambuya Chanakira, taking a break from adding fertiliser to the soil in her vegetable garden along a small stream running through the settlement. "I have to struggle everyday to fend for myself." While Ambuya Chanakira's efforts to feed herself have had little effect on the environment, the struggle for survival for many Zimbabweans and others elsewhere on the globe, where poverty reins supreme, has, however, resulted in environment degradation to a point that economic and physical survival is being seriously threatened. "Since the 1970s the environment and key natural resources in most African countries have been increasingly threatened by escalating and unsustainable pressures from fast growing populations and cities as well as expanding agricultural and industrial activities," says the Global Environment Outlook 2000, a report by the United Nations Environment Agency, the United Nations Environment Programme. The UNEP reports that Africa is the only continent where poverty is expected to rise during the next 100 years. This prediction comes at a time when the continent's 500 million hectares of land have been affected by soil degradation; the number of undernourished people has doubled to over 200 million since the 1960s; 50 million hectares of tropical forest have disappeared since 1980; and water scarcity has continued to increase over the years. The UNEP further points out that Africa is also still suffering from economic development policies and patterns, imported by colonial authorities that "largely neglected the adverse impacts on the poor majority of people and on the environment". Says the UNEP: "On achieving independence during and after the 1960s, African governments inherited and maintained centralised economic and sectoral institutions and narrowly-focused growth policies, usually with the encouragement and support of international aid agencies. "These national and international 'development' policies, in combination with rapid population growth and increased poverty, had progressively adverse impacts on the state of the environment and natural resource base." Epworth, a former property of the United Methodist Church-run Mission School but invaded by desperate home-seekers from Harare when Zimbabwe became independent in 1980, is a perfect example of the real dilemmas and obstacles many developing countries are facing to achieve sustainable levels. Recognised as an urban settlement after a Local Government Board was appointed to run the area in 1986, Epworth's population has rapidly increased over the years to more than 45 000 today. Despite the Government's pledge since the mid-1980s to develop the area by installing proper sewerage and water systems, constructing roads and electrifying houses, Epworth has remained an eyesore as more home-seekers continue to invade the settlement consequently throwing planners off course. The majority of people are unemployed, crime and environmental degradation are rampant as people devise means of survival. Sand and wood poachers have wrecked havoc in the surrounding farms, stealing sand to construct their homes and wood for domestic fuel after the cost of paraffin rose to unaffordable levels. The area is now so densely populated that attempts to properly settle the people would actually involve removing everyone and flattening much of the settlement since the present set up has no provision for roads, sewers and electricity power lines. A severe drought that has swept across most of Southern Africa has also exacerbated the plight of the people in Epworth after their small crop fields wilted. By merely multiplying the plight of the people in Epworth by Zimbabwe's 15 major urban areas where similar problems occur the country's economic and environmental problems become a complex jig-saw puzzle. While blaming corrupt governments for the Third World's economic and environmental crises, the International Monitory Fund and World Bank-initiated reforms have so far managed to bring about little relief either. The solutions to the poverty trap, that have ironically ignored the issue of debt relief, have completely failed to reverse the environmental catastrophe facing poor nations. The United Nations hopes that a World Summit on Sustainable Development, due to start in Johannesburg, South Africa, on 26 August this year, will produce "concrete results" on providing clean water and sanitation and energy to developing countries, and health, agriculture and biodiversity issues. The UN conference is a follow-up to the 1992 "Earth Summit" held in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, that put, for the first time, environmental issues on the global political agenda. "The planet is at a crucial crossroads with the choices made today critical for the forests, oceans, rivers, mountains, wildlife and other life support systems upon which current and future generations depend," the latest UNEP global report says. It is, therefore, crucial that world leaders attending the Johannesburg meeting find the political courage and the innovative financing needed to implement the hundreds of declarations, agreements, guidelines and legally-binding treaties made so far, says the UNEP Executive Director Klaus Toepfer. A World Bank official responsible for environmental issues, Mr Ian Johnson, says: "I think one of the themes that will emerge at a political level in Johannesburg is how to make globalisation work for poor countries. "There's quite a lot of evidence to suggest that public opinion is concerned about many of the issues that will be raised at the Johannesburg summit and politicians have yet to grasp how important it is to many people." Balancing these issues and setting priorities right at the global level to achieve sustainable development in a world where the number of poor people continues to rise is definitely going to be a difficult task for the world leaders for some time to come. For a better future to be realised in Africa, the UNEP has, for instance, concluded that: "The key challenge is to reduce poverty. "New approaches that put the poor at the top of the environment and development agenda could tap and release the latent energy and talents of Africans to bring about development that is economically, socially, environmentally and politically sustainable."

 

10) UN REPORTS PROGRESS IN TALKS ON WORLD SUMMIT FOR SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT

United Nations

30 May 2002

Internet: http://www.un.org/apps/news/story.asp?NewsID=3811&Cr=sustainable&Cr1=development

30 May - Negotiators are finalizing documents that are expected to be endorsed by the upcoming World Summit on Sustainable Development, according to a UN official attending the preparatory session in Bali, Indonesia. "Overall, we are progressing quite well," Lowell Flanders, a senior official with the Summit Secretariat, told reporters. He predicted that working groups assigned to negotiate the text would complete the bulk of their talks by Friday evening. The Summit itself will convene in Johannesburg, South Africa, this August.  Critical issues still requiring further deliberation include trade and finance, natural disasters, oceans, water, sanitation, and the establishment of a world solidarity fund for poverty eradication, according to Mr. Flanders. The section of the document related to Africa was also being further negotiated, as was the issue of how best to deal with the issue of climate change. Some of the text currently in brackets, indicating that it is still in dispute, might "go through to Johannesburg" for final consideration, he said. In another development, the UN today released the unabridged version of an article by Kofi Annan on sustainable development which was published yesterday in The Financial Times. Mr. Annan argues that ecological and economic considerations must be integrated in order to achieve sustainable development. He recommends that the Johannesburg Summit pay priority attention to issues linked to water, energy, health, agriculture and biodiversity. Acknowledging that tackling all of those areas may sound either too ambitious or too limited, Mr. Annan says this agenda represents "the essential, achievable start that we must make, if we are to preserve the hope of a decent life for our children and grandchildren."

 

11) DEMAND FUELS ILLEGAL LOGGING, ACTIVISTS AT UN CONFERENCE SAY

Associated Press Writer

30 May 2002

Internet: http://story.news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story&u=/ap/20020530/ap_wo_en_po/indonesia_development_conference_1

JAKARTA, Indonesia - Illegal logging will continue in poor countries unless demand from rich nations drops and law enforcement is stepped up, activists at a U.N. development conference in Bali said on Thursday. Forestry is one of dozens of development and environmental issues being debated by around 6,000 international delegates at the 12-day meeting. Delegates from rich and poor nations are debating a political declaration and action plan to be taken to the World Summit on Sustainable Development in Johannesburg in August. That meeting will mark the 10-year anniversary of the Rio de Janeiro Earth Summit, which was the first international attempt to tackle environmental issues. Environmentalists, also represented at the talks, have already criticized the Bali convention, and accused wealthy nations of trying to wreck it. "We want the political declaration to say governments have to play a bigger role in helping reduce consumption and create good law enforcement," said Farah Sofa from Walhi, Indonesia's leading green organization. Speaking by phone from Bali, Sofa said delegates from wealthy countries were insisting that log-tracking technology and labeling systems under which timber is identified as coming from legitimate sources were the best ways to wipe out illegal logging. Corruption in many poor countries where exporters can easily buy fake documents meant that this approach was ineffective, she said. "If the demand from rich countries is there, illegal logging will continue," Sofa said.

Massive expansion in the plywood, pulp and paper industries over the last 20 years has led to much of the world's forests being wiped out, environmentalists say. Critics say graft within the security forces, and forestry and port officials allows for huge amounts of illegal timber to be sold and shipped throughout Asia. Leading global pulp and paper industries admit as much as 60 percent of the timber they use has been illegally felled, according to a recent study by World Resource Institute. In Indonesia, the World Bank estimate that all of Sumatra's forests will be destroyed by logging in five years. Those in Kalimantan will be wiped out in 10 years.

The Bali meeting, which started on Monday, will peak between June 5-7 when ministerial-level negotiations from U.N-member states are due to be held.

 

12) GOOD PROGRESS MADE IN BALI ON NEGOTIATION OF OUTCOME DOCUMENT FOR JOHANNESBURG SUMMIT

United Nations Press Release

30 May 2002

Internet: http://www.johannesburgsummit.org/html/bali/pressreleases/envdevb9-e.htm

As the final Preparatory Committee for the upcoming World Summit on Sustainable Development continued its session today, government representatives focused their attention on the draft implementation programme 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 official with the Summit Secretariat, said "Overall, we are progressing quite well", and it looked increasingly likely that the working groups assigned to negotiate the text would complete the bulk of their work by tomorrow evening. He informed correspondents that the critical issues still requiring further deliberation included trade and finance, natural disasters, oceans, water, sanitation and the establishment of a world solidarity fund for poverty eradication.  The section of the document related to Africa was also being further negotiated, as was the issue of how best to reflect climate change in the text. If agreement wasn't reached on those issues by the close of this evening, it was possible that Preparatory Committee Chairman Emil Salim (Indonesia) would convene a "committee of the whole" tomorrow morning to try to reach agreement.  He added that it was possible that a few phrases or bracketed text might "go through to Johannesburg" for final consideration. Representatives have formed two working groups to advance their negotiations on the Chairman's paper, which contains the draft (see document A/CONF.199/PC/L.1/Rev.1), with a third group deliberating on a Vice-Chairman's paper (see document A/CONF.199/PC/L.3) entitled "Institutional Framework for Sustainable Development", covering among other things, the question of governance. 

Working group I is dealing with the introduction and chapters on poverty eradication; changing unsustainable patterns of consumption and production; and protecting and managing the natural resource base of economic and social development. 

Working group II is covering the chapters on sustainable development in a globalizing world; health and sustainable development; sustainable development of small island developing States; sustainable development initiatives for Africa and means of implementation. Also today, side events sponsored by civil society representatives were held on such topics as: mining and sustainable development; new strategies for sustainable energy, healthy forests, better land and water management and food security; and habitat and sustainable development. So far, over 3,365 people from 153 countries are participating in the preparatory meeting, including 1,342 government delegates, 931 representatives of non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and 144 journalists.

 

13) RI SEEKS MORE AID IN BALI TALKS

The Jakarta Post

30 May 2002

Internet: http://www.thejakartapost.com/detailheadlines.asp?fileid=20020530.@04&irec=3

Debt payments amounting to 40 percent of the state budget and a chronic budget deficit has driven Indonesia to seek more financial aid and new debt payment options from developed countries at the United Nations meeting in Bali on sustainable development. A member of the Indonesian delegation, Djumala Darmansjah, said developing countries were seeking to include loan and debt payment proposals into the action plan, which delegates were negotiating on.  He said one suggestion was to include some US$30 billion in funds developed countries had promised during a meeting on poverty in Monterey, Mexico, into the action plan.  "Indonesia is actively pursuing its interests during the talks. It was, after all, our proposal to get the Monterey fund into the negotiations," Djumala said on Wednesday.  The country has much to gain from the talks. Debts totaling $130 billion have undermined efforts to create employment, cut poverty or, for that matter, promote sustainable development.  Domestic debt payments outweigh spending on development, of which only a portion is allocated for social welfare programs. While spending has been kept to a minimum, the state budget remains in a deficit, forcing the government to rely on foreign aid to cover the shortfall.

The U.S. and the European Union agreed at a meeting on poverty in Monterey early this year to set aside $30 billion in aid to help reduce poverty worldwide.  Djumala said the means to channel the funds had not been drawn up yet, allowing it to be integrated into the Chairman's Text now under negotiation. Delegates from around the world have gathered in Bali for the fourth preparatory committee meeting that leads up to the World Summit on Sustainable Development in Johannesburg, South Africa in August and September.  The summit is aiming to hammer out a more concrete action plan after the first one agreed at the 1992 summit in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, failed to produce the desired results.  Delegates in Bali expect to finalize negotiations of the Chairman's Text, which is the action plan for world leaders to sign in Johannesburg, South Africa.  Chapter IX of the Chairman's Text will draw the most heated debates, as it outlines the means and implementation of the action plan.  Falling under chapter IX are the issues of loans to finance sustainable development programs, and Djumala said it was obvious that developed countries were defensive on this issue.  "It's their money and they just don't accept other countries telling them how to spend it," he said.  But he added that developed countries could back down on their stance later on during the committee of the whole meeting, where different working groups get together to iron out the final issues. He said Indonesia along with other developing countries also proposed to utilize the International Monetary Fund's (IMF) loans to finance sustainable development programs.  Also called the Special Drawing Rights, the IMF loans cover only a country's balance of payment in cases of a liquidity crisis. Indonesia has been under the IMF's auspices since the country was hit by the 1997 economic crisis.  Other suggestions under negotiation in the Chairman's Text are to loosen financial aid to the least developed countries and promote the use of aid to boost development.  One suggestion accepted by all is the call for action to meet developed countries' targets of allocating 0.7 percent of their gross domestic product (GDP) to overseas development assistance.  Indonesian Delegation head Makarim Wibisono said implementation of the Monterey pledge would bring overseas development assistance closer to its target. At present, he said, the average overseas development assistance stands at 0.39 percent of GDP.  To help cut the debt burden carried by developing countries, they proposed several debt solutions, Djumala said.  These include debt-swapping payments with sustainable development programs or a debt-to-nature swap that would, for instance, protect forest areas from timber companies.  Preliminary talks of a debt-to-nature swap are under way on a bilateral basis, such as with Germany. However, the amount has been relatively small.  So far the only debt relief has come from the rescheduling of Indonesia's foreign debts under the Paris Club group of creditors.  Some NGOs have called for more drastic measures, such as demanding debt reduction. The government, however, is unlikely to entertain such demands, reasoning that the mere mention of a default would condemn Indonesia to isolation from the international finance community.

 

14) OECD CRITICAL OF ITS COMMITMENTS

The Jakarta Post

30 May 2002

Internet: http://www.thejakartapost.com/detailfeatures.asp?fileid=20020530.M07&irec=6

Developed countries have given the cold shoulder to their commitment to help developing countries achieve sustainable development, even at the last leg of meetings before the World Summit on Sustainable Development in Johannesburg later in August and September. Kenneth G. Ruffing, acting director and chief economist at the environment directorate of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), acknowledged on Wednesday that developed countries continued to show reluctance in spending money to support less fortunate countries, despite their rhetorical commitments on sustainable development.  "We would like to see them be more ambitious in targeting goals and promises that they have made. We would like to see a higher level of ambition to protect the earth by promoting sustainable development," Ruffing said on the sidelines of the preparatory committee meeting for the World Summit.  OECD, established in 1960, comprises 30 developed countries, and aims to contribute to the development of the world economy.  However, according to OECD data, in the past 10 years after the Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro, developed countries have failed to fulfill their own commitments to provide the equivalent of 0.7 percent of their gross domestic product to help developing countries.  The only country that managed to fulfill that commitment was Denmark, while the others spent about 0.2 percent of their GDP.  "They always come up with reasons for their lack of ability to fulfill the commitments. Of course, there is no sanctions mechanism in the organization," Ruffing remarked.  One of the main reasons cited by developed countries to avoid commitments is the lack of good governance on the part of developing countries and ineffective use of aid.  He added that it was unhelpful if developed countries made generalizations, as each developing country faced different problems.  Considering the specific situation in each country, Ruffing said that the OECD had adopted a new paradigm to deal with the problem differently in each developing country.  He cited that it would be unfair to ask developing countries to look for alternative energy sources if they could not afford to do so.  In many cases, it would take a while before developed countries brought down the cost of producing alternative energy so that developing countries could change their consumption patterns without paying higher prices, he remarked.  To deal with the problem, OECD is trying to take the lead in initiatives aimed at nature conservation

 

15) CHINA TRIES TO EXCLUDE PRO-TIBETAN GROUP

The Jakarta Post

30 May 2002

Internet: http://www.thejakartapost.com/detailfeatures.asp?fileid=20020530.M05&irec=4

The People's Republic of China (PRC) has again expressed its strong objection that the Tibetan Center for Human Rights and Democracy (TCHRD) be allowed to attend the upcoming World Summit on Sustainable Development in Johannesburg, South Africa. The decision of whether the TCHRD will be allowed to attend the meeting will be decided on Friday during the United Nations (UN)'s plenary meeting here, confirmed Pragati J. Pascale, a senior media officer at the UN.  Norzin Dolma, one of TCHRD's activists, said on Wednesday that the Chinese Permanent Representative to the UN had requested the world organization exclude his group from participating at the World Summit slated to be held from August to September this year.  The organization has already registered with the UN on its participation at the upcoming summit.  In a letter sent to the UN Headquarters two weeks ago, the Chinese representative accused members of the TCHRD group of being separatists who support the independence of Tibet, said Dolma.  The PRC representative has also said that the presence of the group was not relevant to the issue of sustainable development, and they merely wanted to slander the PRC government at the event.  It was the third attempt by the Chinese government, after two previous successful moves to kick out two other pro-Tibet organizations, the International Campaign for Tibet (ICT) and the Tibet Justice Center (TJC), from participating in the next World Summit.  In the UN's General Assembly meeting last April, the majority of UN member countries, including Indonesia, rejected the presence of the two pro-Tibetan organizations in the World Summit.  "Their allegations that we would raise political issues is groundless. We are committed to focusing on various environmental problems in Tibet," explained Norzin at the sidelines of the PrepCom meeting

 

16) AFRICA WELL SET AT UN CONFERENCE

South African Press Association via All Africa

30 May2002

Internet: http://allafrica.com/stories/200206010061.html

Discussions on Africa at the United Nations' final preparatory meeting for the World Summit on Sustainable Development (WSSD), being held on the Indonesian island of Bali, appear to be heading for a "very positive outcome", says a senior South African official.

Four days into the UN conference, delegates are locked in "contact group" negotiations to resolve several sticking points that have emerged, including disputes over corporate accountability, energy, water, sanitation, trade and finance, and agricultural subsidies. The meetings are closed to the media. According to the head of the South African delegation, environmental affairs director-general Dr Chippy Olver, deal-making on many of the issues is likely to continue past Friday, the day the UN hopes a revised version of the so-called Chairman's Text will emerge from the process. The text -- expected to be endorsed by heads of state at the WSSD in Johannesburg later this year -- is a plan of action for countries to curb the over-exploitation of the earth's natural resources and to find a better way of managing development. "The deal-making process that will start on Friday could well go through the night, and continue through the day on Saturday and into that night as well. "I don't know if we will complete the process by the end of the weekend," Olver told Sapa on Thursday. He foresaw "one or two sticking points" carrying over into the conference's second and final week, in which the high-level ministerial portion of the event is scheduled to take place. "When the ministers arrive, they will probably be left with two or three strategic areas in which a deal has to be cut," Olver said. He was up-beat, however, about discussions on Africa, saying these were "going quite well". "It looks like on Africa, particularly because of the build up to the G8 meeting, a lot of the developed countries... are quite keen to make a very positive outcome on the Africa chapter, which we're very happy about." One point of concern was that other regions, particularly Latin America, were coming up with their own initiatives. "But I'm not too worried this will eclipse the focus on Africa, because the process we've got going at heads-of-state level, the work that's gone into Nepad, all of this has laid an incredibly solid basis and I don't think any other region's got... anything to (compete) against that," he said. South Africa itself had six main focus areas -- water and sanitation; energy; health, food security, education; and technology -- and Olver said he wanted to see these included in the revised Chairman's Text. "We need to get a basic set of things into the text, and on the basis of that launch initiatives." Asked if this would include specific targets for each of the six, he said: "Yes, that is precisely what we want."  Olver said sticking points among delegates included the issue of good governance. "There are quite a few developing countries who think that what is being proposed on good governance on a national level is going to be used as 'conditionalities', which will be imposed on them by the North. "Clearly we're going to have to work through this issue, because sound governance is fundamental to sustainable development." There were also sticking points around energy, water and sanitation. "In particular developed countries are trying to back off on any target on sanitation... the sticking point on water is to what extent we launch a global programme of action. "This target was agreed in the Millennium Declaration -- I think the developed countries would like to back out of that if they could. They are now questioning whether one needs a global programme of action." He said this was the result of a "complete difference of approach" on the part of some developed countries. "Particularly Japan, the United States, Canada and Australia; it's part of their intrinsic antipathy to the multilaterals. "I don't think they believe the UN system can co-ordinate and deliver implementation, and while they're happy with broad normative statements of intent, they're more prepared to say 'we will support', rather than 'we will implement'." Asked what type of agreement South Africa would like to see emerge from the Bali conference, Olver said this would have to include a framework for implementation. "This has got to include, at a high level, a global target, a broad outline of the resource strategy, private sector investment, trade benefits, technology issues, and finance issues. "It's got to have some mechanism by which progress is going to be monitored... so that you're able to assess how things are working. "It's also got to have some reference to governance arrangements, and at the very least it's got to talk about what would be an enabling environment to allow initiatives and partnerships, within that broad framework, to take place." Among other things, South Africa was hoping to see a set of forward-looking deals on trade, finance, technology, debt relief and technology transfer. Asked if there was any likelihood of unresolved issues being carried through to the Johannesburg summit, Olver said: "We would like to get closure on the Chairman's Text, and I think most countries are quite committed to that."

However, there remained a possibility some areas would be bracketed, "but we're going to work very hard to avoid that". "We would also like to see a strong political declaration... although would like that this be left slightly open so that heads of state (at the Johannesburg summit) could use it as a mobilisation excercise," he said.

 

17) STAKEHOLDERS' VOICES

The Jakarta Post

30 May 2002

Internet: http://www.thejakartapost.com/detailfeatures.asp?fileid=20020530.M11&irec=10

Unlike the 1992 Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro, which only involved representatives of governments and non-governmental organizations, the World Summit on Sustainable Development in Johannesburg in August and September of this year will be more representative of society as a whole. Among the groups at the summit will be those representing women, children and youths, indigenous peoples, NGOs, local authorities, workers and trade unions, business and industry, scientific and technological communities, as well as farmers. Representatives of these nine major groups are also involved in the Fourth Preparatory Committee Meeting for the Johannesburg Summit currently taking place in Nusa Dua, Bali.  Starting today, The Jakarta Post will present the views and suggestions of these nine major groups on sustainable development, as proposed during the multistakeholders meetings in Bali with government delegations.  NGOs want speedy action, not just written principles The Johannesburg Summit could be the last gateway for people to voice their concerns and hopes, and non-governmental organizations will call for a stronger political will and a real plan of action, with clear targets, time frames, financial resources and coordination, within the concept of a "global deal" on sustainable development.  A global deal must be reached between the rich countries of the North and the poorer countries of the South. Any global deal should serve to bridge the enormous North-South differences on key parameters, including equity, rights, justice, democracy and ethics.  The Johannesburg Summit should recognize the rights of local communities and indigenous peoples to natural resources. This will require a right-based approach that secures access for poor and vulnerable groups to financial and natural resources, including land rights and tenures.  In the field of democracy, NGOs -- represented by the Third World Network, the Environment Liaison Centre International and the Danish 92 Group -- are calling for progress to be made at the local, national, regional and international levels, regarding good governance, democracy and stronger institutions.  In the economic sector, the NGOs believe the domination of economic liberalization at the international, national and local levels is a matter of concern, while sustainable development remains an elusive goal.  The NGOs are calling upon governments to strengthen the existing framework for global governance of sustainable development, to create a more balanced global power structure with a far  more active and internationally oriented civil society. NGOs will campaign for a legally binding framework/convention for corporate accountability and liability under the aegis of the United Nations, with independent mechanisms for monitoring progress and enforcement.  NGOs are also asking the World Trade Organization to live up to its own objective of contributing to sustainable development in a meaningful way. They believe the WTO's work program must not focus narrowly on market liberalization, instead, the focus must be on the need for making trade a tool that serves sustainable development, incorporating social and environmental concerns.  Rich nations have been urged to grant market access to the agricultural and industrial products of the South. Better financing for development is needed through improved and increased development assistance targeting poverty reduction and sustainable development.  To achieve this goal, the NGOs believe developed countries should commit to providing 0.7 percent of their gross national products to development assistance within specific time frames. Businesses prioritize partnerships the world's business community is campaigning for the adoption of partnerships among stakeholders by world leaders during the World Summit on Sustainable Development in Johannesburg in August and September.  The business community, represented by the International Chamber of Commerce and the World Business Council for Sustainable Development, contend that partnerships between and among the stakeholders of sustainable development often deliver more effective and practical solutions than those reached in isolation.  Public-private partnerships are also an effective delivery vehicle for capacity-building, transfer of technology and the linkage of official development assistance and foreign direct investment. Partnerships are expected to be "type two" outcomes of the upcoming World Summit, meaning that they are produced through engagement, and not through negotiations among government delegations.  The challenge, therefore, would be to link this partnership initiative to the Agenda 21, a set of actions to save Earth set out by world leaders during the 1992 Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro, and to ensure that this "type two" initiative supports, strengthens and implements the "type one" process, or the sustainable development agreements among world leaders.  According to the business community, to make the partnerships effective, they must include the three pillars of sustainable development: economic progress, environmental protection and social responsibility. To have the greatest impact, the partnership projects should be replicable, transferable and inspirational -- practical examples to be adapted and emulated elsewhere.  Organizations interested in partnerships are invited to submit suitable projects and initiatives through http://www.basd-action.net/initiatives/index.php. Partnerships for workers: Unions. This time, labor unions are in the same bandwagon as businesses. The unions have given their full support to the partnership initiatives proposed by businesses, although they have provided some indicators on the kind of partnerships.  "Based on experience since Rio, we propose that the World Summit on Sustainable Development promote a variety of partnerships and capacity-building initiatives that involve workers and trade unions," said the trade union report for the multi-stakeholders dialog.  The report was prepared by the International Confederation of Free Trade Unions, the Trade Union Advisory Committee to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development and the International Trade Secretariats.  In the report, they list a number of partnership demands, including partnership for employment, work-based partnership for sustainable development, capacity-building partnerships, public policy and action partnerships, as well as rights partnerships.  In addition, they also expressed a number of commitments, including to undertake initiatives to research the social and employment impacts of change, seeking new ways to adapt successful workplace structures and processes, increasing participation by trade unions in sustainable development and undergoing education to increase awareness on ILO conventions and OECD guidelines for multinational enterprises.  The trade unions also said that they were committed to launching new initiatives to link occupational health with public health, taking steps to increase trade union participation in local Agenda 21 groups and taking steps to expand international cooperation between unions and shareholders.

 

18) DEVELOPMENT TALKS LIKELY TO BE EXTENDED

The Jakarta Post

30 May 2002

Internet: http://www.thejakartapost.com/detaillatestnews.asp?fileid=20020530230107&irec=2

USA DUA, Bali (JP): The preparatory commission meeting of the World Summit on Sustainable Development (WSSD) currently being held in Bali looks likely to extend its Friday deadline due given the varying views remaining on the final chairman's text which will contain governments' commitments to sustainable development. A senior government official on Thursday said the Chairman's Text was originally supposed to be finalized during the third preparatory meeting in New York. "As yet there hasn't been a compromise between the different interests," said the official, who refused to be named. The Chairman's Text, which is being promoted to be called the Bali Commitment, is a set of action plans on sustainable development principles that delegates expect to finalize before the WSSD summit in Johannesburg later this year. Currently negotiations on the 39-page text is divided into three working groups discussing the nine chapters of the text. Djumala Darmansjah representing Indonesia at working group II, admitted that demands to incorporate time targets into sustainable development programs were tough to meet.  He said a number of developed countries, notably the United States and Japan, opposed the measures, while developing countries and the European Union supported the time targets.  Developing countries and many non government organizations view time targets as crucial to get actions on ground.

 

19) BALI MEETING, WORLD SUMMIT TO LIKELY FAIL IN REGULATING COMPANIES

Jakarta Post

29 May 2002

Internet: http://www.thejakartapost.com/detaillatestnews.asp?fileid=20020529232326&irec=2

NUSA DUA, Bali (JP): The upcoming World Summit on Sustainable Development in Johannesburg will likely fail to regulate multinational companies as a demand for a universal code of conduct for them met with strong opposition from the United States. A heated debate ensued on the sidelines of the preparatory committee meeting for the summit here on Wednesday when representatives from international non-governmental organizations (NGOs), delegates from Hungary, Japan, the United Kingdom and Indonesia, faced a representative from the U.S. delegation, Robert F. Cekuta, in an open dialog. The head of the Indonesian delegation, Makarim Wibisono, said that Indonesia as well as the Group of 77 developing countries (G-77) agreed that corporate accountability was important for implementing sustainable development. He said the group was pushing for the inclusion of the wording "enhance corporate responsibility and accountability," in the Chairman's Text, but the possibility it would be inserted into the document was slim. The Chairman's Text, an action plan and basis for implementing sustainable development principles, already accommodates corporate responsibility, but on a voluntary basis.  Voluntary initiatives, however, would not be forceful enough to hold powerful multinationals, Matt Phillips, from Friends of the Earth International, said, adding that corporations would then have the choice of not implementing the initiatives. Multinational companies have been accused of contributing significantly to the practices of unsustainable development. They have been accused of transmitting an environmentally unsound production system, hazardous materials and products to developing countries. Cases of environmental violations by multinational companies abound, particularly by multinational mining giants, such as the States' Freeport McMoran in Irian Jaya and Newmont mining in Peru; the United Kingdom's Premier, and France's Total ElfFina in Burma, according to the California-based NGO, Project Underground.  Felia Salim, the former Indonesian Bank Restructuring Agency (IBRA) deputy chairman, commented that legal systems in most developing countries were too weak to face powerful multinational companies.  "We must take affirmative action at an international level. Not only the management must be addressed but the shareholders must also be addressed directly because companies are accountable to them," she said.  Felia attended the dialog as representatives of the private sector in Indonesia. Head of the Hungarian delegation, Tibor Farago, said also that a global framework was needed to regulate multinationals through an international convention on corporate accountability, otherwise governments would not be able to face them. "An international mechanism is needed to talk to multinational corporations, to question them and make them report (to governments and the people)," he said. Cekuta, the director for policy analysis and public diplomacy at the U.S. Department of State's Bureau of Economic and Business Affairs, called the proposed international convention on corporate accountability "unimportant". He reasoned that local laws were enough to hold multinational corporations accountable for their actions if local governments strengthened the practice of good governance and promoted transparency with multinational corporations. Therefore, there was no need for an international convention, he argued. "The first recourse to hold multinational companies responsible for the damage done in other countries is through the government where the company is located. They (multinational corporations) should behave overseas the same as they would behave in the United States, if not they should be held accountable," he said. The U.S. -- together with Japan, Canada, Australia and New Zealand -- form a powerful negotiation force under JUSCANZ in the deliberations of the Chairman's Text, which contains a set of actions to pursue sustainable development.  JUSCANZ is accused of fighting for the interests of multinational corporations instead of the general public.

 

20) PARTNERSHIP, CAPACITY BUILDING DOMINATE MULTI-STAKEHOLDERS MEETING

The Jakarta Post

29 May 2002

Internet: http://www.thejakartapost.com/detaillatestnews.asp?fileid=20020529231125&irec=3

NUSA DUA, Bali (JP): The governments and its counterparts, the nine major groups, wrapped up their multi-stakeholders dialogue meeting in Bali on Wednesday, with the central issue of partnership and capacity building.  During the three-hour meeting, led by Emil Salim of Indonesia, representatives of the nine major groups -- trade unions, NGOs, women, children and youth, indigenous people, local authorities, scientists, farmers and businesses -- pushed the need for strong action and action-oriented language in the outcome documents.  Concrete action was needed to bring to reality Agenda 21 set up in Rio de Janeiro in 1992, as to which all outcomes of the next World Summit on Sustainable Development should contribute to. The next World Summit on Sustainable Development will be held in Johannesburg from August to September this year.  While touching on partnership, the major groups lashed out at the developed countries, which rejected accepting the demands of the developing countries to impose time-bound measures for the implementation of the action plans set up in Rio concerning sustainable development. Dianne Quarless, the committee vice chair from Jamaica moved ahead, suggesting the establishment of a supervisory body to oversee the partnership.  The major groups also stressed that measures should be taken to ensure that the government did not abdicate its responsibilities for sustainable development. Some of the major groups, especially representatives of the NGOs, demanded that the chairman's text -- to outline the action plan to save the planet -- outline time-bound measures, so that countries would not continue to drag their feet when it came to implementation.  Demands for time-bound measures have been aired several times by various groups at the current preparatory committee meeting for the World Summit, but the demands have fallen on deaf ears from the delegations of developed countries, especially the U.S. The U.S. instead has promoted partnership initiatives. This has already received a warm welcomes from the business group.  Partnerships are seen as a vehicle to improve the implementation of Agenda 21 by involving those stakeholders whose activities have a direct impact on sustainable development, and not just the government.  As of Wednesday, there was no focus and clear thoughts on what the detail and profile of the partnerships would be.  However, the major groups would still have time to move forward on the details of partnerships, as the opportunities were still there for negotiations with the governments, before the high level ministerial meetings on June 5.  On capacity building, a representative from a local government group stressed that local capacity building must be promoted to materialize sustainable development drives.

"Local governments must be empowered so the capacity building drive is a success. The local government could be a pivotal party to facilitate the local and national stakeholders to promote sustainable development drives," said the representative.  It is a common phenomenon at the meeting that the representatives fail to identify themselves, and apparently the chairman lets it go.  Concluding the meeting, Emil Salim stressed the need to close the gap between ideals and realities.  Emil said he hoped that the contributions of the major groups should be taken into account by government delegations during their negotiations to prepare documents for the upcoming World Summit.  "The participants of the meeting, especially the nine major groups would bring their views on the working group meeting, and in that arena the real negotiations would take place," Emil told The Jakarta Post.

 

21) WATER SHOULD BE AT TOP OF JOHANNESBURG AGENDA, PREPARATORY MEETING FOR SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT CONFERENCE TOLD

United Nations Press Release

29 May 2002

Internet: http://www.johannesburgsummit.org/html/bali/pressreleases/envdevb7-e.htm

Water should be put "at the top of the agenda in Johannesburg", Willem-Alexander, Prince of Orange of the Netherlands, said this morning as the fourth and final Preparatory Committee session for the upcoming World Summit on Sustainable Development continued its work. "Water is crucial to development", the Prince stressed.  That could be seen by the fact that while the world population had tripled in the 20th century, the use of renewable water resources had grown six-fold, mostly for use in agriculture.  No single type of intervention had had greater overall impact upon economic development and public health than the provision of safe drinking water and proper sanitation.  He said he knew that there would be many, many issues competing for attention at the World Summit and it was therefore important to focus attention clearly on priority issues.  In his contribution to the report of the Panel of the United Nations Secretary-General in preparation for the Summit entitled "No Water No Future", which was distributed to those present, he had proposed a small number of water targets and actions that could go a long way towards solving the water crisis at the global level. The targets and actions were organized in the four key areas identified by the panel of the Secretary-General -- shared values, the public-private sector nexus, global governance, and science and technology. Concerning shared values, he recommended mandating the World Water Assessment Programme of the United Nations to establish a baseline and monitor progress towards achieving the water-related targets set out at the Millennium Summit.  His recommendation in the area of the public-private sector nexus was to build capacity in local government to assess alternative forms of financing for infrastructure, as alternatives to large-scale investments. Regarding global governance, he recommended that in the international trade negotiations on agricultural subsidies and trade in agricultural products, the World Trade Organization (WTO) should consider the impact on water use in countries importing and exporting food.  On science and technology, his recommendation was to have the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research assess the potential for increased drought tolerance and increased water productivity in agriculture, including the potential use of functional genomics and other tools of modern molecular biology.

He said the water crisis was mainly a crisis of governance -- not of water scarcity.  Overcoming the world water crisis was one of the most formidable challenges on the road to sustainable development.  The Summit should reaffirm the importance of achieving water security and adopt targets and actions that would allow the international community to meet the challenge jointly

 

22) VIEWS EXPRESSED ON ROLE OF CIVIL SOCIETY, CAPACITY-BUILDING, PARTNERSHIPS, AS MULTI-STAKEHOLDER DIALOGUE CONCLUDES

United Nations Press Release

29 May 2002

Internet: http://www.johannesburgsummit.org/html/bali/pressreleases/envdevb6-e.htm

The fourth Preparatory Committee, continuing to lay the groundwork for the upcoming World Summit on Sustainable Development, this morning concluded the "multi-stakeholder dialogue" segment of its work programme, with speakers reporting on yesterday's discussions on capacity-building and partnerships. The three-day dialogue 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. At the outset of this morning's meeting, Richard Bullhorn (Canada), Preparatory Committee Vice-Chair, gave an overview of the morning session of the discussion on capacity-building.  He recognized the depth and the breadth of the analysis presented by all the major groups.  They had noted the central role to be played by governments in promoting capacity-building and the priority they attached to the enhanced role that could be played by each of their groups.

Kyotaka Akasaka (Japan), Preparatory Committee Vice-Chair, said the afternoon dialogue had demonstrated that the major groups had an important role to play in the process, with speakers presenting interesting ideas on how capacity-building could be improved.  There was much shared ground between major groups, but there had also been continuing differences among them and between governments -- that was to be expected.  However, that should not stop "us from continuing our efforts to find further common ground". Following the Vice-Chairs' remarks, representatives of the major groups stressed, among others, the need for a binding United Nations convention on corporate accountability; continued maintenance of the level of participation of indigenous peoples in the sustainable development process; a need to more closely integrate what was happening on the informal level with what was happening at the formal level; the need to strengthen governance; and the importance of networking -- "one of the keys of moving good practice from where it is to where it's needed". Jan Kara (Czech Republic), Committee Vice-Chair, gave a read-out of the morning discussion on partnerships.  The idea of type II outcomes [partnerships and initiatives to implement Agenda 21] enjoyed considerable interest and support even though the concept was not accepted by all.  How to bridge type IIs and

type Is [government-negotiated outcomes] was deemed important.  Type IIs could not become a substitute for strong negotiated outcomes, speakers had stressed.  An underlying concern was how to integrate type II outcomes into the framework of sustainable development.  Dianne Quarless (Jamaica), Committee Vice-Chair, said the discussion had been devoted to the means and modalities of partnerships.  The need to ensure adequate financial resources to ensure sustainability had been stressed.  There had been some "pretty clear signals" emphasizing the need to ensure a truly participatory character to partnerships.  Mechanisms to ensure gender mainstreaming through the use of gender disaggregated information had also been discussed, as had been the need to safeguard the balance of power in monitoring partnerships.  In that regard, a suggestion had been made that an international monitoring body be established to oversee type II partnerships. Representatives of the major groups then took the floor to make their observations on the partnerships discussion.  A number of points were raised, including:  the need for strong, action-oriented language in the outcome document; the role local governments could play as a "round table" around which the participants in partnerships could gather; that partnerships must empower the disempowered; that there must be partnerships between farmers and others, as well as among farmers; and the importance of ensuring that governments did not abdicate their responsibilities for sustainable development. The representative of Norway then expressed his appreciation for all the major groups.  He stressed that efforts to improve governance structures must be based on openness and transparency, with the active involvement of civil society.  He stressed the role to be played by women in governance.  Work on sustainable development must be revitalized. The representative of Spain, for the European Union, said the Union felt the dialogue had been of great interest for the purpose of exchanging views among groups that often worked at a great distance from each other.  Human capacity was essential, and education at all levels was equally vital. The last segment of the meeting was devoted to outlining future priorities.  Among the priorities identified were:  the need to develop public services in rural areas; recognition that investment in science and technology was an investment in poverty reduction and wealth creation; recognition that women's equality and gender justice were fundamental to the achievement of sustainable development; and that local government should be seen by national governments as an equal sphere of governance. Also stressed was the view that genuine concerns, which perhaps could not be included in the political declaration and programme of action, could nevertheless be placed on the table.  Other items of concern included the need to protect the traditional knowledge of indigenous peoples; the importance of cancelling the debt of developing countries; the need to institute accountability measures for corporations; and the importance of ensuring women's rights in the context of sustainable development. The representative of Saudi Arabia then said his Government firmly believed that sustainable development was dependent on the social, economic and environmental pillars of development.  Laws had been enacted to ensure protection of environment and a special anti-pollution law was in place to combat greenhouse gases.  The Kingdom had developed a national biodiversity strategy within the framework of the biological diversity convention.  It was fully committed to the goals of the Summit and felt that poverty alleviation was crucial in the struggle for sustainable development.  He called for the strengthening of the United Nations Environmental Programme (UNEP). Emil Salim (Indonesia), Chairman of the Commission on Sustainable Development, in his closing remarks, stressed the need to close the gap between ideals and realities.  He hoped that the contributions of the major groups would be taken into account as the preparation process for the Summit continued.

 

23) HOW EFFECTIVE ARE DEVELOPMENT FUNDS? Financing for sustainability: Priorities and roadblocks

International Herald Tribune

29 May 2002

Internet: http://www.iht.com/ihtsearch.php?id=59400

Stockholm: Helping developing countries mobilize and effectively use domestic and foreign funds to meet their key investment needs is one of the major issues to be addressed at the World Summit on Sustainable Development in Johannesburg in September. To date, the main sources of funding for sustainable development - development assistance, direct investment, commercial credit, bank loans and trade earnings, as well as a range of economic instruments such as green taxation - have failed to close the gap between the poor and the wealthy. Official development assistance (ODA) has dropped dramatically in recent years; the share of ODA in total financial flows to developing countries declined from 50 percent in 1990 to 18 percent in 1998. Meanwhile, direct investment and commercial credit have increased, but these are often aimed at large-scale industrial and infrastructure projects, not at the small and medium-scale projects needed to create sustainable livelihoods. Foreign direct investment (FDI) worldwide in 2000 totaled $1.1 billion, up from $209 billion in 1990. However, the developing-country share decreased from 35 percent in 1997 to 17 percent in 2000. Meanwhile, statistics on bank loans, portfolio investment and earnings from international trade show that at present too little of this money is benefiting the developing world. The United Nations Environment Program launched a Finance Initiative in 1992, which now includes some 270 financial institutions. A voluntary pact between UNEP and the members builds the business case for banks, insurers and asset managers to become sustainability leaders. This includes encouraging the shift to serve emerging sustainability markets, as well as creating financial tools to meet specific challenges, such as climate change. Closing the gap Among the most powerful of these financial tools, particularly for the developing world, is microfinance, says Hanns Michael Hölz, Deutsche Bank's global head of public affairs and sustainable development and co-chair of the UNEP Financial Institutions Initiative's Steering Committee. ''The financial industry is looking very closely at microcredit as a way to close the gap between the developed and the developing world,'' says Hölz. ''Deutsche Bank, for instance, is active with microlending in Bangladesh, Ghana, India, Mexico and Chile. Our objective is to help these countries leverage the existing economic infrastructure to better address their sustainable development goals.'' Directing financing at rural populations is a strategy embraced by many of the major groups to be represented at the WSSD, particularly women and farmers. Poverty is overwhelmingly rural, with some 70 percent of the poorest people in developing countries living in rural areas. According to David King, secretary-general of the International Federation of Agriculture Producers, sustainable development will not be possible until more funds are directed toward rural agriculture in the developing world. ''Agriculture is the single most important contribution to the economy in most developing countries,'' says King, ''yet only 8 percent of World Bank loans are dedicated to rural agriculture in developing countries. International development assistance to agriculture is the lowest it has ever been, and the national budgets of developing countries rarely devote more than 5 percent to agriculture. In the short term, private investment is not going to be the answer for most developing countries. What we need is a substantial injection of funds from the international community.'' Other major groups participating in the WSSD have a range of views on the best way to finance sustainable development. Indigenous people say that globalization, privatization and the growing dominance of industry are damaging for their communities. Local authorities see the liberalization and deregulation of trade and capital markets shifting authority from the public to the private sector, thus concentrating economic power into fewer economic power centers that are not democratically accountable. Nongovernmental organizations state that inequities and imbalances in the trade regime, including unequal trade terms, are obstacles to sustainable development. Workers and trade unions would like to see industrialized countries accept a new role in promoting employment as a means of enabling the world's poor to work their way out of poverty. Youth groups assert that many young people have been negatively affected by the current trade liberalization and expansion agenda. Scientific and technological communities want more investment in science and engineering, arguing that such investments give substantial economic and social returns. Business supports using a free-market framework that employs market-based approaches and dismantling flawed subsidies. ''If sustainable development were truly prioritized as an outcome, the necessary financial conditions would follow,'' says Jocelyn Dow, president of the Women's Environment & Development Organization. ''Sustainability is denied by poverty and overconsumption. So we are really talking about making choices in production and consumption that create a new value system.'' One place to start would be to enlarge women's decision-making role, Dow says. ''Women are principal carriers of the current financial system, but they are not the financial elite,'' she adds. ''They have fewer vested interests in these current systems that are so jealously guarded. That is why women are such an important force for change."

 

24) STATES ACCUSED OF BLOCKING TARGETS FOR GREEN SUMMIT

Inter Press Service

29 May 2002

Internet: http://www.commondreams.org/headlines02/0530-05.htm

WASHINGTON, May 29 - The United States, Canada and Australia are blocking progress on a global plan of action to protect the environment that is being prepared for the upcoming World Summit on Sustainable Development, environmentalists charge.

As the fourth and final preparatory meeting on the Summit completed its third day on Indonesia's resort island of Bali, advocacy organizations were pessimistic that the gathering would lead to concrete action if the three nations have their way. The countries have not officially responded to the charges. Activists say the nations have focused on voluntary measures and opposed proposals that would require mandatory action by corporations. The three wealthy countries were also consistently blocking proposals for specific timelines, targets and goals, they add. "It is truly depressing to read the texts produced for the Summit so far," said Kim Carstensen, CEO of World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) in Denmark, who has been at the two-week preparatory conference. "If they are not changed substantially over the course of the next two weeks, governments will have failed utterly to fulfill the responsibility given to the Summit by the U.N. General Assembly." In 1999, the General Assembly decided the Summit should focus on taking decisions that would lead to action on a broad range of development and environmental issues, including improving sanitation and access to electricity, reducing poverty, preserving ecosystems, and reforming consumption patterns.

The Summit, to be held in Johannesburg South Africa, Aug. 26 - Sep. 4, falls a decade after the landmark Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro, where nations agreed to balance the world's economic and social needs with environmental protection. But most of the objectives adopted at Rio have not been met, according to UN and environmental groups, which were counting on the upcoming Summit to reinvigorate the process. A draft of the political declaration that nations will sign at the Summit was expected to be completed in Bali. Most of the hard negotiating is expected to take place June 5 - 7 when hundreds of government ministers will arrive. More than 2,900 people from 144 countries have been participating in the preparatory conference. Environmental groups say Washington's decision to not send a representative of ministerial rank to Bali proves it is not serious about the Summit's issues. Paula Dobriansky, undersecretary of state for global affairs, will lead the U.S. delegation in ministerial-level talks next week. The United States wants "to avoid signing up to binding international agreements on quite a wide range of areas on which other people might want to see progress", said Ian Willmore, spokesperson for Friends of the Earth. The international environmental group has been pushing for an agreement that would bind companies to adhere to high social and environmental standards wherever they operate. Ricardo Navarro, chair of Friends of the Earth International, said that key paragraphs on corporate accountability were deleted from a document titled 'Institutional Framework for Sustainable Development', which had been negotiated during a two-day dialogue between environmental organizations, farmers' groups, indigenous people, business and local authorities. Navarro accused the United States and Australia of deleting the relevant text. "These two countries have consistently worked to gut every proposal being put forward by civil society throughout the entire preparatory process," he said. Other nations, including the European Union, were also to blame for lack of leadership in Bali, added Dewi Suralaga, program director at WWF Indonesia. "So far this conference has neither leadership nor vision," said Suralaga. "We are looking to the Indonesian chair of the preparatory conference, Emil Salim, and the government of Indonesia to take the lead in ensuring that this conference can really resolve some of the issues facing the world today." Environmental groups warn that if no concrete steps are taken in Bali, the World Summit will probably not produce measures to halt environmental degradation. "This is their last chance to prove that (governments) are prepared to take a lead and not simply hand control of the planet's populations and resources over to the corporations," said Remi Parmentier with Greenpeace International. UN officials were more optimistic about the outcome of the preparatory negotiations. It is too early for pessimism, said Nitin Desai, UN under-secretary general for economic and social affairs, who is chief of the World Summit. The aim in Bali, he told Agence France Presse, is to "see whether we can come up with a program of action which is clear in terms of goals, in terms of activities to be undertaken and in terms of resources".

 

25) HEALTH IS GREATEST WEALTH Vigorous agenda: The issues affect us all

International Herald Tribune

28 May 2002

Internet: http://www.iht.com/ihtsearch.php?id=59242

Paris: Health issues are inextricably intertwined with all the concerns that will be addressed at the World Summit on Sustainable Development in Johannesburg in August. Ten years ago, the Rio Declaration on Environment and Development made health a top priority in the first principle of Agenda 21: "Human beings are . . . entitled to a healthy and productive life in harmony with nature." The report of the UN secretary-general on health and sustainable development in preparation for the WSSD asks for health issues to be incorporated into all sustainable development plans, saying: "The goals of sustainable development cannot be achieved when there is a high prevalence of debilitating illnesses, and population health cannot be maintained without ecologically sustainable development." This two-way street encompasses a dauntingly wide range of issues, among them hunger, poverty eradication, food and water safety, environmental pollution, climate change and armed conflicts. WHO urges priority action The World Health Organization, the task manager for health at the WSSD, is asking countries to develop priority action plans to meet primary health-care needs, control communicable diseases, protect vulnerable groups, meet the urban health challenge and reduce health risks from environmental pollution and hazards. Partnerships between the major groups attending the WSSD are seen as the best way to tackle these problems. An organization representing each of the major groups has prepared a dialogue paper detailing its viewpoint for the WSSD after consulting with related groups around the world. The International Chamber of Commerce and the World Business Council for Sustainable Development will represent business and industry. Their dialogue paper stresses the need for "voluntary initiatives that pursue clear targets and report on progress" to tackle complex sustainability issues. It advocates "setting realistic environmental health and safety improvement goals, managing environmental impacts and protecting the public's health through policies and measures based on well-defined, scientifically based risk assessment principles." Farmers are on the front lines of the battle for food security. The International Federation of Agricultural Producers' dialogue paper calls for small farmers to increase participation in sustainable development, while international organizations and national governments should increase involvement and investment in agriculture and food production. Sustainable farming will also help to reduce health hazards associated with pesticides. The Indigenous Peoples' Caucus of the Commission on Sustainable Development states that indigenous communities are fighting for survival and "suffer some of the worst health and mortality rates in the world," as a result of high rates of infant mortality, poverty and suicide, among other factors. The paper calls for increased input from indigenous groups in decision-making on such health-related issues as biodiversity, climate change, desertification, sustainable forest management, persistent organic pollutants and hazardous wastes. Local authorities, represented by International Council for Local Environmental Initiatives, point out that they have already made many sustainability advances. The WHO's Healthy Cities Program, for example, has been implemented in more than 1,500 municipalities. In addition, "many local governments have succeeded in reducing greenhouse gas emissions, improving air quality and increasing sustainable transportation and efficient energy use, and, consequently, strengthening their economies," says the dialogue paper. With nearly half the world's population currently living in urban communities, cities can potentially magnify social, economic and environmental problems," says the group, which calls for a strengthening of local governments and increased cooperation with other governments to reach goals. Nongovernmental organizations - represented by the Third World Network, the Environment Liaison Center International and the Danish 92 Group - favor a more active role for NGOs and civil society in government decision-making. "Most NGOs remain outside the decision-making machinery of national, regional and international bodies that determine policies," says the group's dialogue paper. It cites examples of how NGOs have played a leading role in establishing effective programs dealing with issues such as hunger, HIV/AIDS and access to affordable drugs for the poor. The International Council for Science and the World Federation of Engineering Organizations states that "the transition toward sustainable development is inconceivable without science, engineering and technology." Obviously, this community has a major role to play in ameliorating human health in the areas of sanitation, genetics and biotechnology (a recent WHO report says genetic research could save millions of lives in the developing world), agricultural development, sustainable energy sources, and natural disaster prediction and relief. The paper calls on the scientific community to consider "basic human and societal needs" in its research agendas and asks for increased investment from public authorities for research. The Women's Environment and Development Organization notes that women face unequal access to basic health services, disproportionate responsibilities in the family and society, discrimination, violence and unsafe pregnancies. Says Irene Dankelman of the University of Nijmegen in the Netherlands and a WEDO senior adviser on sustainable development: "Limited policy and scientific attention is paid to the gender-specific health effects of environmental pollution and degradation. Women - and their children - are often more susceptible to these than men because of their physical characteristics and their tasks in households and society. Access to appropriate health care - including reproductive and sexual - are of crucial importance for women's lives and sustainable development.'' Healthy workplaces crucial Health is a pressing issue for workers and trade unions. Unsustainable patterns of production result in more than 1.3 million worker deaths per year, including 12,000 children, says the International Confederation of Free Trade Unions. Says Björn Erikson, industrial hygienist for LO, the Norwegian Confederation of Trade Unions and member of the European Environment and Health Committee's steering committee: "Our two major concerns about health and the sustainable workplace are the number of workers being killed, injured or catching diseases (from asbestos, for example, and pesticides among agricultural workers), and the dramatic issue of HIV/AIDS." The disease mainly affects people in their prime working years. The Ad Hoc Working Group for the International Chapter 25 Youth Review, a global coalition of youth organizations, advocates increased educational and employment opportunities for youth. Addressing health-related issues such as AIDS could help combat the continued deterioration of youth's status worldwide.

 

26) ACTION PLANS FOR WATER, SANITATION, ENERGY, POVERTY ERADICATION AMONG KEY ISSUES UNDER NEGOTIATION IN BALI

United Nations Press Release

28 May 2002

Internet: http://www.johannesburgsummit.org/html/bali/pressreleases/envdevb5-e.htm

Government representatives attending the fourth and final Preparatory Committee for the upcoming World Summit on Sustainable Development today in Bali continued their consideration of the draft programme of action to be adopted by the Summit this August in Johannesburg, South Africa. To help with their deliberations, the two working groups had before them a revised Chairman's paper (see document A/CONF.199/PC/L.1/Rev.1), which compiles provisions that have been agreed upon at previous preparatory meetings, as well as passages where consensus has not been reached. In its introduction, the text reaffirms the validity of Agenda 21 -- a 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 draft programme states, establishes the fundamental principles of sustainable development. 

Among the key areas identified for action in the paper are poverty eradication, changing unsustainable patterns of consumption and production, protecting and managing the natural resource base of economic and social development, and health and sustainable development. Speaking at the today's briefing held by the Department of Public Information, Lowell Flanders, a senior official with the Summit Secretariat who is following the negotiations on the outcome text, said good progress was being made and it was hoped that negotiations could be completed by week's end.  A key issue being discussed was whether the document would be a real action programme containing specific decisions or a "more typical kind of conference outcome". He said that among the initiatives and ideas being reviewed were a world solidarity fund for poverty eradication; an action plan for water and sanitation; an action plan aimed at reducing by half those lacking modern energy services; the possible application of International Labour Organization (ILO) labour standards; and a 10-year work programme on energy resources and energy efficiency. He also noted that representatives were discussing, in light of the United States non-accession to the Kyoto Protocol, how best to deal with climate change in the document.  Issues related to trade and finance, oceans and good governance were also being addressed. At a press conference given later in the afternoon by Makarim Wibisono (Indonesia) and other members of the Indonesian delegation, it was noted that negotiations on the draft programme of action were moving forward.  However, some speakers had stressed that a linkage should be established between the commitments undertaken at the Doha trade summit and the International Conference on Financing for Development in Monterrey, Mexico with the Johannesburg Summit.  Speakers had raised the question of how best, for example, to allocate the Monterrey commitment of  $30 billion in new official development assistance (ODA) in a way that would advance implementation of Agenda 21.  Another concept that had been tabled was the use of special drawing rights for development purposes to further Agenda 21. Meanwhile, a third working group took up a Vice-Chairman's paper (see document A/CONF.199/PC/L.3) entitled "Institutional Framework for Sustainable Development".  That document outlines measures to strengthen the "sustainable development governance architecture" at the international, regional and national levels. In other business today, the Preparatory Committee continued its multi-stakeholder dialogue segment, with discussion groups holding daylong meetings to take up capacity-building for sustainable development and framework for partnership initiatives. Also today, a number of side events sponsored by civil society representatives were held on such topics as:  "Education for Our Common Future"; "Wind Power for the World"; and "Disaster Risk and Sustainable Development". So far, over 2,900 people from 144 countries are participating in the preparatory meeting, including 1,156 government delegates, 747 representatives of non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and 134 journalists.

 

27) CHAIRMAN'S TEXT BENEFITS THE NORTH'

The Jakarta Post

28 May 2002

Internet: http://www.thejakartapost.com/detailfeatures.asp?fileid=20020528.L01&irec=0

International non-governmental organizations (NGOs) have demanded that the world delegates currently attending the fourth preparatory committee (PrepCom) meeting on sustainable development here produce time-bound and implementable measures to save the planet. A number of NGO groups have expressed their concerns about the lack of time-bound measures in the Chairman's Text, prepared by the preparatory committee meeting chairman Emil Salim of Indonesia and currently being deliberated by the delegates.  "We don't want a broad political statement that says "Save the world", we want measurable and effective targets within specific time frames, action steps. That's the big problem with the entire chairman's text," Glenn Farred from the South African NGO Coalition (SAWGOCO-South Africa) said. The documents processed here at the PrepCom IV are to be endorsed by the heads of state at the upcoming World Summit on Sustainable Development in Johannesburg in August.  The Chairman's Text -- prepared as a global action plan towards sustainable development -- appeared to be more suitable as a core document for a "northern government summit for unsustainable development," the statement asserted. A civil society statement regarding the Chairman's Text distributed to the media revealed that the United Nations General Assembly itself had asked for action-oriented decisions to implement Agenda 21 and proposed specific time-bound measures to be undertaken. "Instead, it (the Chairman's Text) reads more as a government shopping list than an action program for the sustainability of life on this planet," Farred said reading from the statement. NGOs said that they saw a common corporate threat throughout governmental deliberations, with no responsibility for corporate abuse and no restrictions on the behavior of transnational corporations. "It is uncritically organized around the interests of the countries of the North," it said. Besides the lack of a time frame and steps, the NGOs had also criticized the lack of willingness to include civil society participation in the deliberation of the Chairman's Text, he said. This was demonstrated by the fact that many suggestions delivered by civil society during PrepCom II and III were ignored. The decision-making process for the Chairman's Text remained solely in the hands of government representatives, with civil society assuming nothing but a minor, supplementary role, the statement said. "Is Johannesburg about creating one common agreement between civil society and the governments, or is it two opposing movements - civil society and the government - that's the question," Farred asked. Farred said that the major NGO group was currently networking with the various governments to apply pressure on this issue and get their messages across to delegations at the PrepCom meeting, besides holding dialogues through the Indonesian People's Forum. "It seems that we are here just to legitimize something; we are here but they don't want to negotiate the text, they're saying to us that actually it's non-negotiable," he said.  At several separate events, various groups also expressed concern over the Chairman's Text.  Deling Wang, co-chair of the groups for energy and climate change, for example, said that many parts of the text were contradictory or did not take into account other United Nations documents of recent years.  "In many respects, the text is a regression from the agreements and commitments made in Rio, and it is certainly not worthy of presidents and prime ministers spending their time to travel to Johannesburg to meet at the-so called World Summit," the groups said in a statement. The United Nations conference on environment and development, also called Earth Summit, in Rio de Janeiro in 1992 produced a set of action plans known as Agenda 21 -- a document on the necessary steps to accelerate the sustainable development of nations. However, Agenda 21 failed to achieve the desired results due to various factors including a lack of a specific time frame for implementation and sanctions for failure to comply. The group also said that the Chairman's Text was often contradictory, citing that it still promoted continued use of fossil fuels, while at the same time also showing concern about health, biodiversity, air pollution, and climate change. "Agenda 21 itself doesn't talk about fossil fuels and nuclear power. It is only in the past few years that the two have started to be talked about," Deling said. There were also repeated indications in the Chairman's Text that sustainable development was being recast to suit the globalization agenda, the group said in the statement. Separately, executive director of the national committee for the preparatory meeting, Erna Witoelar, said that the Chairman's Text would not please everybody. "Rather, it is a disparity of disappointment," she said in a media conference here. Erna likened the text to a bottle that has to be filled with water from two other bottles. "Of course, some of the water will be spilled."

 

28) AGENDA 21 UNDER REVIEW IN BALI CONFERENCE

The Jakarta Post

28 May 2002

Internet: http://www.thejakartapost.com/detailfeatures.asp?fileid=20020528.L04&irec=3

From May 27 until June 7 delegations headed by ministers from member states of the United Nations will arrive in Bali to attend the final preparatory meeting ahead of the World Summit on Sustainable Development (WSSD) to be held in Johannesburg, South Africa, in early September 2002. The purpose is to negotiate the Implementation Program document that further elaborates Agenda 21 based on the Rio Principles agreed in the Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil in 1992. The General Assembly of the United Nations has agreed to review and improve the implementation of Agenda 21 after ten years. Agenda 21 contains agreements on various programs of sustainable development as the most significant outcome of the Earth Summit. The programs are intended to give substance to the Rio Principle, which embodied the new approach to sustainable development. While the conventional development model follow a single track along the economic road, the sustainable development model has a triple track of economic, social and environmental development. The development of a nation or business takes on a holistic approach that cuts across all these three dimensions simultaneously. Water is an indispensable resource for human survival. Social development policy must open access to safe drinking water for the billions of the poor who have no access. But water is also resource that is demanded by many sectors, such as agriculture, fisheries, industry, human settlement, tourism, etc. Economic development policy must be geared toward the most efficient use of water to obtain the maximum benefit per drop of water. Water is abundant in the rainy season; it even creates floods that harm people, but is scarce in the dry season. It requires an environmental development policy that conserves nature's capacity to absorb water. Sustainable development requires a comprehensive social, economic and environmental policy that simultaneously assures water for the poor, its efficient use in production and consumption and the conservation of water for its sustained availability. This line of thinking does not only apply for water but all other resources and human activities as well. After ten years of implementing Agenda 21 and the Rio Principle, what has been achieved? The Secretary General of the United Nations, Kofi Annan, in his report Implementing Agenda 21 last December 2001 observed that there are four areas where the gap in implementation is visible.  First, a fragmented approach has been adopted toward sustainable development. Policies and programs, at the national and the international levels, have generally not integrated economic, social and environmental objectives in decision-making. Second, since the 1992 Rio Summit no major changes have occurred in the unsustainable patterns of consumption and production, which have put the natural life-support system in peril. The prevailing value system reflected in those patterns is among the main driving forces, which determine the use of natural resources. Third, there is a lack of mutual coherent policies in the areas of finance, trade, investment technology and sustainable development in this era of globalization. Policy on these issues remains compartmentalized, governed more by short-term rather than long-term considerations. Fourth, the financial resources required for implementing Agenda 21 have not been forthcoming and the mechanism for the transfer of technologies has not improved. These are the four areas that have created the gap between what had been agreed in Rio ten years ago and what has been implemented since. As a consequence of this gap, the world in the year 2000 shows a dramatic increase in economic welfare for 20 percent of the world's population. However, it also shows serious environmental degradation as revealed in global climate change, rise in sea water level, land desertification and degradation, shrinking forest area, deterioration of biodiversity and increase in levels of river and air pollution. Meanwhile 80 percent of the world population is still striving to reach a humane standard of living. More than a billion people live on less than one dollar a day and an estimated 2.8 billion on less than two dollars a day. Close to 800 million people are undernourished in the developing world while food production is sufficient in the world. In education about 120 million primary school-age children are not in school. More than half of them are girls. In higher education, the number of girls reduces sharply. In technology the gap is sharply widening among developed and developing countries as is clearly demonstrated by the digital divide. The list could continue. Suffice it is to demonstrate that the gap is growing into an increasing divergence between the developed and the developing countries and there is an urgent need to change it into convergence. In a special session of the UN General Assembly attended by the heads of state in September 2000, the UN Millennium Development Goal (MDG) had been adopted with the goal to halve the number of people with an income of less than one dollar a day; to halve the number of people who suffer from hunger; to achieve universal primary education, to reduce mortality rates, to combat HIV/AIDS, malaria and other diseases, all by the year 2015. In brief: to eradicate poverty once and for all. This requires financial resources and technology with a conducive economic environment that improves trade, finance and development relations between the developed and the developing countries. In Doha, Qatar, ministers at the World Trade Organization conference in Nov. 2001, agreed on a new round of trade negotiations to be concluded not later than 1 January 2005. This was followed by the adoption of the Monterey Consensus by the heads of state in the International Conference on Financing for Development in March 2002 in Monterey, Mexico. This is to be accomplished by enhancing the coherence and consistency of the international monetary, financial and trading system in support of development. Riding on this wave of development since the declaration of the UN Millennium Development Goals (Sept. 2001), followed by Doha WTO Ministerial Declaration (Nov. 2001) and the Monterey Consensus (March 2002), this World Summit on Sustainable Development puts them all together in Bali into the framework of sustainable development

 

29) GREENPEACE MULLS ACTIONS IN BALI

The Jakarta Post

28 May 2002

Internet: http://www.thejakartapost.com/detailfeatures.asp?fileid=20020528.M06&irec=5

The arrival of the ship Arctic Sunrise in Bali on Monday signals that its owners, Greenpeace, are ready for action if need be to remind the meeting on sustainable development in Bali that actions and not words are what it takes, said a senior Greenpeace activist on Monday. Greenpeace political advisor Remi Parmentier said Arctic Sunrise was the organization's platform to launch various activities for which Greenpeace had earned its infamous reputation among governments worldwide. "It (the ship) has arrived, the platform is here. We'll announce our activities as they unfold," said Parmentier who has been with Greenpeace for 25 years. Thousands of delegates from around the world have begun preliminary talks at the last of a series of meetings ahead of the World Summit on Sustainable Development (WSSD) in Johannesburg, South Africa in late August to September. Aiming to stop the over exploitation of the world's natural resources, the talks in Bali are expected to produce an action plan on sustainable development that world leaders will sign at the Johannesburg summit. But Parmentier warned that what was happening in Bali threatened to erode governments' commitments made during the 1992 world Summit in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. He said the business interests of developed countries had dominated the talks, while developing countries were plagued with weak leadership. "For every issue under discussion, the WSSD must agree on targets and timeframes, means of implementation and financial resources, institutional requirements and monitoring and reporting," a Greenpeace booklet on sustainable development says. The Arctic Sunrise is a means to get this message across to the delegates in Bali. "The ship symbolizes the voice of the people. This is the most effective campaign tool," said Athena Ronquillo-Ballesteros, Greenpeace's Southeast Asia campaign manager.

"It will be the communication center for Greenpeace delegates and our constituencies around the globe so that whatever happens in Bali gets broadcast to the rest of the world." She said Greenpeace's mission here was to pressure the government to stick with the agenda of sustainable development. "The real question for the Bali conference is whether governments are trustworthy, can stick to their words," Parmentier said. The global environment continues to degrade at an alarming rate, whereas it should be the government's duty to reverse that trend, he said. "It is our (Greenpeace) duty as a networking organization to express this, the best we can; and we will and they're not going to get away with this."

 

30) GLOBAL GROUPS SEEK ACTION ON MINING INDUSTRY

Inter Press Service

28 May 2002

Internet: http://story.news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story&u=/oneworld/20020529/wl_oneworld/1032_1022686342

WASHINGTON, May 28 (IPS) - A network of environmental organizations and community-based groups worldwide has launched a campaign to pressure governments and international institutions to develop enforceable environmental and human rights standards for mining companies. While the industry says it takes every precaution to minimize negative impacts on the environment and communities, the coalition of activists - known as the Global Mining Campaign - argue that modern mining practices around the world still lead to the forced relocation of local populations, the polluting of rivers with raw mining waste, and the destruction of landscapes and livelihoods.  "We call on governments to make a commitment to guarantee fundamental human, indigenous and environmental rights, and to put an end to practices that allow the mining industry today to externalize risks and costs to governments and society," says Geoff Evans, director of the Australia-based Mineral Policy Institute.  As part of the campaign, advocacy groups have launched a new website and released two reports here and in Bali, Indonesia, at the fourth and final preparatory meeting for the World Summit on Sustainable Development to be held in Johannesburg in September.

Even a mine designed with state-of-the-art technologies intended to minimize the impact on the environment will have dramatic and lasting impacts on communities, the landscape, clean water and other resources, according to the report, 'Digging Deep: Is Modern Mining Sustainable?'  Technical solutions are not enough to fully address the broader environmental and social issues that the industry faces, including fair compensation for communities, protecting nature preserves and respect for indigenous sacred sites, says Stephen D'Esposito, president of the Washington-based Mineral Policy Centre.  "The more important question is this: What is the most responsible and least polluting and wasteful way for society to provide itself with the material it needs?" says D'Esposito.

The report contains case studies of mines that have contaminated the surrounding environment and harmed local communities.

A gold mine in Valle de Siria, Honduras operated by Entremares Honduras S.A, a subsidiary of U.S.-based Glamis Gold Ltd, for example, has resulted in deforestation, water contamination, and destruction of several tourist sites. National mining and environmental regulations, according to the report, appear to have been ignored.  "The development of this mine, despite community concerns and objections, has resulted in a number of serious environmental and social problems," says Roger Esocber, vice president of the Environmental Committee of the Valle de Siria.  The case studies also include mine proposals that, the critics say, are being pushed through by proponents without the consent of affected communities. One such project is an open-pit gold mine in Tambogrande in northern Peru, proposed by the Canadian company Manhattan Minerals. In an effort to dig out massive sulphide deposits containing gold, silver, copper and zinc, the mine could displace more than half the town's population of about 16,000, according to the report.  More than three quarters of the agricultural district's 37,000 voters have signed a petition to block the mine, and both the town's mayor and the local Catholic archbishop are also opposed, according to Oxfam America.  "The struggle between the people of Tambogrande and the mining company is about more than just the choice between mining and agriculture," says Keith Slack, a policy adviser with Oxfam America. "It's about the right of local communities to protect their livelihoods and have a voice in development decisions that affect them."  Communities in Kaispur, India have been fighting a similar battle against a proposed bauxite mine promoted by the Utkal Aluminum Project Ltd., a joint venture between the Hydro Aluminum of Norway, Indian Aluminum Company and Alcan of Canada. The mine, says the report, could displace three villages.  In response to the project, villagers organized against the project and resisted all activities - including road and bridge building - initiated by the company.  Their grievances and protests have been met with violence from the local police, says Ravi Rebbapragada, an activist with the Hyderabad, India-based group, Mines, Minerals and People. In December 2000, police opened fire at people for having organized a large public meeting. Three tribal members were killed and many seriously injured.  "At its core, the struggle over the Uktal Aluminum Project is an issue of community consent," says Rebbapragada.  Other mines described in the report include: the Bulyanhulu gold mine in Tanzania; the proposed Poboya Park mine in Palu, Indonesia; the Kumtor Gold Project in the Kyrgyz Republic; the Ok Tedi Mine in Papua New Guinea; and the proposed TVI Pacific Mine in the Philippines.  While a different attitude in the industry toward environmental and social issues will be helpful in resolving some of the these problems, the new mining campaign says that far more than voluntary commitments and partnerships between governments, corporations, and civil society will be required to reform the mining sector.  Governments and international institutions need to develop enforceable standards and codes of conduct for mining companies that clearly define unacceptable practices and ensure that the rights of affected community are respected, says the other report released by the campaign: "Digging for Change: Towards a Responsible Minerals Future, an NGO and Community Response."  "Communities affected by mining can then have some confidence that the mining industry's promises are not mere words," says Anna Cody, program coordinator of the New York-based Centre for Economic and Social Rights.

 

31) GREEN ACTIVISTS SAY WEALTHY COUNTRIES WRECKING ENVIRONMENT CONVENTION

Associated Press Writer

28 May 2002

Internet: http://story.news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story&u=/ap/20020528/ap_wo_en_ge/indonesia_development_conference_1

JAKARTA, Indonesia - Environmental activists on Tuesday accused wealthy countries, including the United States and Japan, of blocking moves to include binding agreements at the Earth Summit being held in South Africa in August. More than 6,000 delegates from 130 countries are meeting on the Indonesian tourist island, Bali, to debate an agenda and draft a resolution for the World Summit on Sustainable Development to be held in Johannesburg in August. "Things are not going well (at the Bali conference)" said Remi Parmentier, a spokesman for the conservationist group, Greenpeace. "Every day is getting worse."

The Johannesburg meeting - dubbed Earth Summit II - will mark the 10-year anniversary of the Rio de Janeiro Earth Summit, the first major international attempt to tackle global environmental concerns. Parmentier said delegates in Bali from the United States, Canada, Australia and Japan were blocking moves to include any internationally binding agreements in the final text to be taken to the summit. "The text has no targets, no timetables, no new resolutions. At the moment those who want to destroy (the meeting) are winning," he told The Associated Press by telephone from Bali. Delegates in Bali are expected to endorse a draft resolution that calls for improvements - but very few clear targets - in five key areas: water and sanitation, energy, health, agriculture and biodiversity. Environmental activists at the meeting want world leaders to reaffirm a commitment to halve the number people suffering a lack of safe drinking water and sanitation, as well as poverty and hunger, by 2015. These targets were set at a summit held to mark the millennium last year in New York. But environmentalist group Friends of the Earth said the few goals in the draft resolution were mostly set to be achieved by corporations through voluntary initiatives. "This is a shameful abdication of responsibility by governments, and ignores that big business is one of the key players undermining sustainable development today," the group said in a statement. A senior member of the U.S. delegation in Bali denied Washington was deliberately blocking progress at the talks. The United States believed governments should work together with numerous partners, including business communities, for sustainable development, he said on condition of anonymity. The Bali talks, which began on Monday, will end on June 7. The final two days will include ministerial-level negotiations.

 

32) BALI HOSTS DEVELOPMENT TALKS

BBC

27 May 2002

Internet: http://news.bbc.co.uk/hi/english/world/asia-pacific/newsid_2009000/2009836.stm

Indonesia is hosting a critical international meeting to prepare for the world summit on sustainable development. The meeting, starting on Monday on the holiday island of Bali, is expected to draw up the final agenda and influence the outcome of the world summit due to be held in South Africa at the end of August. Thousands of delegates from around the world are expected to attend this final preparatory meeting, which is due to last two weeks. The critical decisions will be taken in the second week, when ministers from more than 100 countries will be present. Action plan Besides agreeing the agenda for the world summit in Johannesburg later this year, the delegates will also draft a final statement and an action plan. The Johannesburg meeting is a follow-up to the Earth Summit held in Rio de Janeiro 10 years ago. Whilst that meeting succeeded in putting environmental issues on the international agenda, the Johannesburg summit will review what progress has been made since then, as well as shifting to an even broader focus. This time the spotlight will be much more on the problems facing the developing world, in particular poverty eradication. The United Nations Secretary General, Kofi Annan, has already said the summit should focus on five major areas, including water and sanitation, health and agricultural productivity. Poverty and extremism All this has been given much greater urgency since the attacks on the United States last September. Western countries have acknowledged the link between poverty and political extremism, and the need for the West to provide more financial assistance to developing countries. But there are already fears that the summit will only produce vague conclusions and plans, none of which will ever be implemented. Very little of what was agreed at the Rio Summit has ever been enforced internationally. The one significant agreement, which focused on preventing global warming, has now been undermined by the US, which pulled out shortly after President George W Bush was elected

 

33) NEWS AND EVENTS

International Herald Tribune

27 May 2002

Internet: http://www.iht.com/ihtsearch.php?id=59086

The World Summit on Sustainable Development will take place in Johannesburg Aug. 26-Sept. 4. It will bring together tens of thousands of participants, including heads of state and government, national delegates and leaders from nongovernmental organizations, businesses and other major groups to focus the world's attention and direct action toward meeting difficult challenges, including improving people's lives and conserving natural resources in a world that is growing in population, with ever-increasing demands for food, water, shelter, sanitation, energy, health services and economic security. Under the umbrella of the WSSD, the Johannesburg Climate Legacy will measure the CO emissions of the summit, from aircraft flights to electricity used at the summit itself. These emissions will be offset through investments in carbon-reducing sustainable projects across South Africa. For information: www.johannesburgsummit.org Viewers in the 180 million homes Television for the Environment reaches via BBC World TV will be given a unique view into what the 1992 Earth Summit meant for ordinary people. For 10 years, TVE has been covering the fate of eight children who were born at the time of the Rio Summit in 1992. ''Our crews are catching up with the families now on three continents,'' says Robert Lamb, director of TVE. ''I don't think it will come as a surprise to viewers of Earth Report that we can find no evidence at all that the grand plans agreed upon in Rio made any difference at all to their lives or environment.'' The Growing Up films will also be broadcast during the Summit on South African TV. Growing Up is the culmination of a 26 program series, ''Countdown to the Summit,'' that started on BBC World in April. ''I think it's fair to say that by the time the Summit convenes, we will have covered stories on the broad Johannesburg agenda,'' says Lamb. ''No other station or production company has made this kind of commitment.'' The Heinrich Böll Foundation in Berlin published in April ''The Joburg Memo: Fairness in a Fragile World,'' a memorandum for the World Summit on Sustainable Development. Drafted by a group of 16 independent activists, intellectuals, managers and politicians, it is a contribution to the global debate from the civil society perspective. The 80-page memo calls itself ''neither a political platform nor an expert study, but a 'memorandum' in the true sense of the word; it attempts to state what we feel must be kept in mind.'' Its central focus is ''Development, yes, but what kind of development and for whom?''

The memo appraises the 10 years that have passed since the Rio Summit and identifies the themes it considers central for the World Summit on Sustainable Development in Johannesburg in August. These include environmental fairness, livelihood rights, fair wealth and governance issues. The Heinrich Böll Foundation, affiliated with the Green Party, calls itself ''a legally independent political foundation working in the spirit of intellectual openness.'' Through some 200 projects in 60 countries, it seeks to strengthen environmental and civil activism on a global level. The memo can be downloaded at www.joburgmemo.org

 

34) TENSION MOUNTS OVER "EARTH SUMMIT" AGENDA

OneWorld South Asia

27 May 2002

Internet: http://story.news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story&u=/oneworld/20020527/wl_oneworld/1032_1022517738

Environmentalists gathering in Bali, Indonesia, this week to lobby government ministers at talks to prepare for the landmark United Nations "Earth Summit" later this year have lashed out at United States moves to put trade-related issues at the top of the agenda.

Prominent campaigners from within the Asian and international conservation and anti-pollution movements have pledged to oppose any attempt to put trade concerns ahead of the issue of environmental protection at the Bali meeting, the definitive round of talks on the text which will form the basis of the World Summit on Sustainable Development in Johannesburg, South Africa, in August.

"The United States may want the agenda to focus on the market, but we'll fight them," said Poltak Simanjuntak, director of the Indonesia-based Institute for Environment Monitoring Studies. "We are going to be very critical of any attempts to concentrate on trade at the cost of the environment," Simanjuntak said Monday, at the start of the 12 days of talks.  His comments followed a speech in Washington D.C. last week by Undersecretary of State for Global Affairs Paula Dobriansky during which she said the U.S. position for the Johannesburg summit would lay emphasis on creating free markets and spurring the growth of public-private partnerships, among other issues.  Relaxing regulations on inward investment and opening the way for increased trade flows could have harmful effects on the environment of developing countries, said Simanjuntak, who called for delegates at the convention center on the heavily-touristed island to take full account of the impacts of mining and timber industries in the region.  The India-based Centre for Science and Environment said trade was often used as a "lever" to push developing nations to adopt policies that suited the interests of richer industrialized countries, but which could be harmful to the environment.  The group, along with others around the world, has called for legally binding international rules on environmental protection to match those which govern cross-border movements of goods and services under the World Trade Organisation (WTO). Efforts to achieve those protections over the 10 years since the last Earth Summit, in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, will be reviewed in Johannesburg.  Echoing the concerns of groups in Asia, Friends of the Earth International issued a statement Monday accusing the U.S., Australia, Canada, and oil-rich countries of using negotiations in advance of Johannesburg to "give a free hand" to businesses engaged in international trade. The summit's negotiating text, which is scheduled to be agreed in Bali, has been watered down, with previous targets and timetables removed altogether, it said.  "The very few targets that remain in the text, are mostly to be achieved by corporations through voluntary initiatives," according to the statement. "This...is a shameful abdication of responsibility by governments and ignores that big business is one of the key players undermining sustainable development today."  "Bali is the last chance to save the Earth Summit," said the group launching its global campaign, aimed at governments who will participate in Bali under the slogan 'Don't let big business rule the world.'  "Governments have broken the promises they made at Rio in 1992. They must agree to launch negotiations for binding global rules on corporate accountability at the [Johannesburg] summit and must establish that Multilateral Environmental Agreements are never to be subservient to WTO rules."

 

35) NORTH AND SOUTH AT OPPOSITE ENDS IN BALI'S ENVIRONMENT TALKS

The Jakarta Post

27 May 2002

Internet: http://www.thejakartapost.com/detaillatestnews.asp?fileid=20020527223145&irec=2

NUSA DUA, Bali (JP): Two weeks of talks in Bali on sustainable development started off on Monday with countries from the north and south divided over who should implement what and when, while non-governmental organizations called the meeting "mere lip service". Thousands of delegates from around the world have gathered in Bali to draft out an action plan, known as the chairman's statement, that seeks to curb the overexploitation of natural resources. The meeting in Bali is the fourth and last leg of talks prior to the World Summit on Sustainable Development (WSSD) in Johannesburg, South Africa, which will run from late August to September. Delegates must finalize revising the chairman's statement this Friday, ahead of talks on the ministerial level. However, some have expressed pessimism of a solid agreement, citing persisting gaps among countries. "What I am dealing with are efforts to throw out the time commitments (from the chairman's statement)," said Emil Salim, the chairman of the preparatory committee, who drafted the statement based on the results of three previous preparatory committee meetings in New York. Adding timetables and targets into the chairman's statement requires greater commitments from governments to implement the action plan. This has been an unresolved issue throughout the past three rounds of talks. Those countries seen as most rejecting the commitments are developed nations, especially the United States.

 

36) NEED FOR GOOD GOVERNANCE, DEMOCRATIZATION, TRANSPARENCY, EQUITY STRESSED AS MULTI-STAKEHOLDER DIALOGUE BEGINS

United Nations Press Release

27 May 2002

Internet: http://www.johannesburgsummit.org/html/bali/pressreleases/envdevb4-e.htm

A broad range of civil society and government actors in the sustainable development process took the floor this afternoon to express their views, as the fourth and final Preparatory Committee for the upcoming World Summit on Sustainable Development continued its work. During the "multi-stakeholder dialogue" that took place, speakers broached a wide range of subjects related to sustainable development. A representative of business and industry said the issue of governance was fundamental because it provided the framework for sustainable development.  Good governance applied at all levels and to all stakeholders.  There must be better synergies between official development assistance (ODA) and foreign direct investment (FDI) -- but even that would not work without good governance.  Those three aspects were interlinked and mutually reinforcing. The contemporary world was characterized by deep imbalances and by gross inequalities among nations, said a representative of indigenous peoples.  She called for greater democratization, transparency and equity.  It was a deep contradiction to be making policy decisions about poverty and environmental degradation in such beautiful surroundings.  Efforts to prepare statements and engage in dialogue on the part of indigenous peoples had not yet resulted in commitments that would improve their lives, she stressed. A representative of trade unions said the unions shared a vision of how their members could and must become involved in implementing sustainable development at the local, national and international level.  She looked forward to the day when workers could help implement change on the most pressing issues involved in sustainable development.  Trade unions hoped to announce a major initiative at the Summit on workplace assessments, which would be used to engage employers around the world in programmes for change. 

The Summit was about implementation -- about moving from agenda to action, a representative of local authorities said.  The concept of the partnership initiative grew out of the understanding that the job at hand needed the participation of all stakeholders, not just governments.  One of the success stories since Rio was what had happened at the local level.  Local authorities had delivered, she stressed. The representative of the United States said the dialogue was a perfect forum to highlight participants' vision for the Summit and to highlight to crucial role of all stakeholders.  Efforts must be focused on implementing the sustainable development blueprints set out at Rio and the succeeding forums.  No declaration or plan of action would give people access to clean drinking water or education.  That was why this multi-stakeholder dialogue was essential.  Effective partnerships among all stakeholders were the means to deliver concrete results. After the opening statements, a discussion was held on the issues raised. Representatives of women, youth, non-governmental organizations, scientific and technological communities, and farmers also spoke.  Statements were also made by the representatives of South Africa, Spain, speaking on behalf of the European Union, Belgium and Finland. Emil Salim (Indonesia), Chairman of the Commission on Sustainable Development and the Preparatory Committee, opened the meeting and directed questions at participants during the discussion segment. The multi-stakeholder dialogue segment will continue tomorrow at 10 a.m. in two separate discussion groups.

STATEMENTS

EMIL SALIM (Indonesia), Chairman of the Commission on Sustainable Development and the preparatory committee, opened the meeting.  A representative of the women's working group said 10 years ago at Rio, the international community and thousands of women had set out a vision of sustainable development.  All had claimed to have understood the principle that human beings should live in harmony with nature.  That would necessitate a new relationship with nature, men and women.  However, at the global level the international community was more enmeshed in freeing markets than in freeing people.  Agenda 21, with the strong input of women and civil society, had committed to the overarching goal of sustainable development. She called on governments to put in place effective policies for the implementation of sustainable development at all levels.  She underlined the importance of the areas of global governance, gender and governance and transparency.  Good governance required full access for civil society into all the organs of the United Nations.  The United Nations should consider giving permanent status for civil society in its various organs.  Among other things, she urged the adoption of a convention of corporate accountability.  Commitments made at the various forums on gender equality were integral to the achievement of sustainable development. A representative of the indigenous peoples said the contemporary world was characterized by deep imbalances and by gross inequalities among nations.  She called for greater democratization, transparency and equity.  It was a deep contradiction to be making policy decisions about poverty and environmental degradation in such beautiful surroundings.  Efforts to prepare statements and engage in dialogue on the part of indigenous peoples had not yet resulted in commitments that would improve their lives. She stressed the need to respect indigenous peoples rights to self-determination, among other things.  They must be taken on as equal partners in the sustainable development process.  The United Nations must promote the recognition of treaties and agreements between governments and indigenous peoples. A representative non-governmental organizations (NGOs) said it was crucial to turn the principles of the Rio Declaration into broad action.  Governments must not remove reference to rights, which must be applied at all levels.  International financial institutions, including the World Trade Organization (WTO), were the dominant institutions in international governance.  Their dominance threatened the goal of achieving balance among the three pillars of sustainable development.  The outcome of the International Conference on Financing for Development should only be a minimal starting point, not a ceiling.  He called for a better balance between the social, economic and environmental pillars of sustainable development.  He also stressed the need for improved corporate accountability. A representative of trade unions said the unions shared a vision of how their members could and must become involved in implementing sustainable development at the local, national and international levels.  She looked forward to the day when workers could help implement change on the most pressing issues involved in sustainable development.  Trade unions hoped to announce a major initiative at the Summit on workplace assessments, which would be used to engage employers around the world in programmes for change.  Such assessments would identify target areas and assess the progress that could be made.  She challenged all the stakeholders to give the trade unions the tools to make change happen. A representative of local authorities said the Summit was about implementation -- about moving from agenda to action.  The concept of the partnership initiative grew out of the understanding that the job at hand needed the participation of all stakeholders -- not just governments.  One of the success stories since Rio was what had happened at the local level. Local authorities had delivered, she stressed.  Sustainability involved social, economic and environment aspects.  Working in partnership on such issues was part of the daily business of local authorities.  The local level must be acknowledged by governments.  They must be part of the follow-up to the Summit.  Local action moved the world, she said. A representative of business and industry said the issue of governance was fundamental because it provided the framework for sustainable development.  Good governance applied at all levels and to all stakeholders.  The Summit should be more than a meeting of heads of government -- it should be a meeting of all the stakeholders meeting to improve "our collective lot". Whatever the ownership of large business was, all businesses were ultimately local, he noted.  More could be made of what businesses did locally.  There must be better synergies between official development assistance (ODA) and foreign direct investment (FDI), but even that would not work without good governance.  Those three aspects were interlinked and mutually reinforcing. A representative of the scientific and technological communities said existing governance institutions must be transformed to ensure input from the communities.  Successful mechanisms had been developed over the past

10 years at the international level, but they must also be developed at the local and regional levels.  A formal link should be established between the Commission on Sustainable Development and the organizing partners of the scientific and technological communities. To ensure policy relevance, the communities would integrate research that supported the three pillars of sustainable development, he said.  A scientific and technological initiative approach to sustainable development would require the participation of all stakeholders in the process.  Capacity-building for science and technology must be supported at the Summit.  The five areas set out by the Secretary-General were areas where the scientific and technological community had much to offer.  The communities pledged their assistance to help in those crucial areas. A representative of farmers commended the United Nations for consulting with the stakeholders on the issues involved in the lead up to the Summit.  Agriculture was at the heart of all the dimensions of sustainable development.  Yet it was a vulnerable sector, linked to climate and other factors.  That must be taken into account at the international level. He said specific policies must be implemented in the areas of natural resources and rural enterprises.  Food security and safety must be ensured.  All the economic players involved must work together to develop policies, and farmers must be involved at all levels.  The agricultural sector must be strengthened.  It was also necessary to increase the share of developing and least developing countries in global trade. A representative of youth said she had a question for all those present:  "Why are we here and what are we doing 10 years after Rio?"  The Summit was meant to be about action.  Youth wanted to see strong, action-oriented words in the outcome document, not such words as "promote" and "suggest".  The policies of international financial institutions such as the WTO should not supersede the goals of international organizations and arrangements. She noted the immense influence of transnational corporations on the deliberations leading up to the Summit.  In that regard, she called for corporate accountability.  Developed countries should cancel the debts of developing countries.  Ensuring an equal playing field was key.  She went on to say that 50 per cent of the world's population was youth -- they should be involved at all levels of decision-making.  Measures should be taken to ensure that youth living in countries at war could participate in the sustainable development process.  She called for action to be taken now to ensure that another meeting 10 years from now was not needed on the same issues. The representative of the United States said the dialogue was a perfect forum to highlight participants' vision for the Summit and to highlight to crucial role of all stakeholders.  His country was committed to the success of the Summit.  Efforts must be focused on implementing the sustainable development blueprints set out at Rio and the succeeding forums. The plan of action should carry forward the outcome of the Monterrey Conference, he said.  Good governance should be promoted as an essential foundation of sustainable development.  No declaration or plan of action would give people access to clean drinking water or education.  That was why this multi-stakeholder dialogue was crucial.  Effective partnerships among all stakeholders were the means to deliver concrete results. Forging partnerships was not easy -- it meant all must modify the way they were accustomed to doing business, he said.  A blueprint for partnership approaches should be developed.  He hoped the partnerships could continue well beyond the Summit. The representative of South Africa said he agreed with most of the comments made -- the Summit was about implementation and about making Agenda 21 real for people on the ground.  He agreed that Agenda 21 could not be delivered unless the Summit came up with a way to deal with global inequality and poverty.  He agreed that good governance was essential for sustainable development. A successful outcome would not be possible without stakeholders, he said.  Governments could not do it on their own.  The kind of participation seen here must be built on and strengthened.  Access to water and sanitation, improved health and education were among the issues that must be addressed.  Moving beyond the text was the key.  There must be mobilization for delivery and implementation.

DISCUSSION SEGMENT

During the discussion that followed the opening statements, speakers addressed such approaches as thinking globally and acting locally.  One speaker said it would be important to recognize the need to build the capacity of local authorities.  The issue of workplace assessments was taken up again and further developed.  A number of criteria for dealing with such assessments were in place, a speaker noted. The rights and protection of workers to engage in joint actions with the employer and within the community was among them. The importance of ensuring access to safe water and responsible water usage was also taken up, with the opinion being expressed by one speaker that water should not be seen as a commodity.  Another speaker said that water was owned by the public but that water services were an area where privatization could be very effective.  Another speaker noted that privatization of water services had had negative results.  Another speaker stressed the central role to be played by women in the area of water. The representative of Spain, for the European Union, taking the floor during the discussion segment, stressed the need for democracy, respect for human rights and the participation of all stakeholders to promote good governance.  Steps should be taken at the Summit to improve institutional frameworks at all levels.  Local authorities would have a key role to play at that regard.  The Union was working on partnerships with regard to water, energy and health. Efforts that could be made at the local level to ensure sustainable development were also discussed.  Local governance could provide for more cross-sectoral synergies to ensure viable local life, one speaker said on that subject.  The relationship of official development assistance (ODA), foreign direct investment (FDI) and good governance was also mentioned.  A speaker from the private sector said good governance was good for everyone -- whether women or youth.  Returning to the subject of water, the speaker said there was no gainsaying that business in many cases had helped with improving water flow to villages.  Ensuring the rights of women was a key aspect of the sustainable development process. The representative of Belgium took the floor during the discussion.  He said that as a federated State, Belgium needed to ensure synergy between all the levels of power.  At all levels, a contribution must be made to furthering the implementation of Agenda 21.  His Government had worked to develop planning for sustainable development based on law with participation of all the ministries and social groupings.  He underlined the importance of participation by citizens in the sustainable development process.  The social component was a foundation for such development, and it must be made stronger. A proposal to have young people in decision-making structures on sustainable development at the national and local levels was taken up by another speaker.  He was eager to see more awareness-raising programmes on sustainable development.  The possibility of establishing advertisement-free zones was also raised, as advertisement promoted patterns of unsustainable consumption. 

The effects of globalization were also discussed.  A speaker stressed the importance of advertising for business.  Efforts to bridge the gap between governments and science and technological communities were also addressed.  The creation of nuclear waste and its disposal was also brought up.  The speaker stressed the need to ensure sound scientific policies in that regard.  He also stressed the need to examine the world's relationship to the sacredness of the earth. The need for policy frameworks in the area of property rights for farmers was then tabled.  Protecting the rights of small "fisher folk", who were not represented at the current gathering, was crucial, the speaker added.  Both good and bad governance must be defined. The representative of the United States, responding to the remark made by a representative of indigenous peoples on disposal of nuclear waste in the United States, said there had been a great deal of scientific research on the subject.  There were strong opinions on both sides, and the matter was being considered by the United States Congress. To be successful on corporate accountability, cooperation was needed at all levels, another speaker said.  The representative of Finland said he was going to discuss a form of governance that cut across all levels -- partnerships.  His Government had established a very concrete system of partnerships.  The experiences so far were promising.  Capacity-building in terms of shared learning was included in the partnership arrangements, he noted.  Such arrangements provided an excellent platform for advancing sustainable development on a voluntary basis and could complement other efforts undertaken.      The possible negative impact on the sustainable development process of privatization was also addressed.  Globalization became visible at the local level for the average citizen, another speaker noted, pointing out that media brought the world of globalization into the living room.  She asked what kind of rules there were for all the stakeholders.  Local authorities must have a voice in the system of global governance, she stressed. A speaker called for a change of attitude -- health and the equality of all human beings must be ensured.  Another speaker noted the code of corporate governance in South Africa and its role in ensuring a place for all.  Today's world was highly transparent, as business was being held accountable, another speaker said.  All the stakeholders present in the room were holding business accountable.  Business was not one unit -- it was very broad.  Some performed well and others did not.  It was up to society to police those that did not perform well.  Lars-Goran Engfeldt (Sweden), Co-Chair of Working Group III, then summed up the debate.  A wide range of issues that covered the entire chairman's paper had been broached.  The right mix of tools was needed to make sustainable development happen.  Clear measures at all levels were essential.  The discussion had been extremely enriching. Ositadimna Anaedu (Nigeria), Co-Chair of Working Group III, said a number of things had been highlighted that would facilitate the discussions to be held in the coming days.  A balance between business and governance was key, he noted.  He was very happy with the kind of interaction that had been held. Emil Salim (Indonesia) also made concluding remarks and said he had appreciated the diversity of opinions that had been expressed

 

37) STATES ACCUSED OF BLOCKING TARGETS FOR GREEN SUMMIT

Inter Press Service

29 May 2002

Internet: http://story.news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story&u=/oneworld/20020530/wl_oneworld/1032_1022761375

WASHINGTON, May 29 (IPS) - The United States, Canada and Australia are blocking progress on a global plan of action to protect the environment that is being prepared for the upcoming World Summit on Sustainable Development, environmentalists charge.

As the fourth and final preparatory meeting on the Summit completed its third day on Indonesia's resort island of Bali, advocacy organizations were pessimistic that the gathering would lead to concrete action if the three nations have their way. The countries have not officially responded to the charges.  Activists say the nations have focused on voluntary measures and opposed proposals that would require mandatory action by corporations. The three wealthy countries were also consistently blocking proposals for specific timelines, targets and goals, they add.  "It is truly depressing to read the texts produced for the Summit so far," said Kim Carstensen, CEO of World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) in Denmark, who has been at the two-week preparatory conference. "If they are not changed substantially over the course of the next two weeks, governments will have failed utterly to fulfill the responsibility given to the Summit by the U.N. General Assembly."  In 1999, the General Assembly decided the Summit should focus on taking decisions that would lead to action on a broad range of development and environmental issues, including improving sanitation and access to electricity, reducing poverty, preserving ecosystems, and reforming consumption patterns.  The Summit, to be held in Johannesburg South Africa, Aug. 26 - Sep. 4, falls a decade after the landmark Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro, where nations agreed to balance the world's economic and social needs with environmental protection. But most of the objectives adopted at Rio have not been met, according to U.N. and environmental groups, which were counting on the upcoming Summit to reinvigorate the process.  A draft of the political declaration that nations will sign at the Summit was expected to be completed in Bali. Most of the hard negotiating is expected to take place June 5 - 7 when hundreds of government ministers will arrive. More than 2,900 people from 144 countries have been participating in the preparatory conference.  Environmental groups say Washington's decision to not send a representative of ministerial rank to Bali proves it is not serious about the Summit's issues. Paula Dobriansky, undersecretary of state for global affairs, will lead the U.S. delegation in ministerial-level talks next week.

The United States wants "to avoid signing up to binding international agreements on quite a wide range of areas on which other people might want to see progress", said Ian Willmore, spokesperson for Friends of the Earth. The international environmental group has been pushing for an agreement that would bind companies to adhere to high social and environmental standards wherever they operate.  Ricardo Navarro, chair of Friends of the Earth International, said that key paragraphs on corporate accountability were deleted from a document titled 'Institutional Framework for Sustainable Development', which had been negotiated during a two-day dialogue between environmental organizations, farmers' groups, indigenous people, business and local authorities.  Navarro accused the United States and Australia of deleting the relevant text.  "These two countries have consistently worked to gut every proposal being put forward by civil society throughout the entire preparatory process," he said.  Other nations, including the European Union (news - web sites), were also to blame for lack of leadership in Bali, added Dewi Suralaga, programme director at WWF Indonesia.  "So far this conference has neither leadership nor vision," said Suralaga. "We are looking to the Indonesian chair of the preparatory conference, Emil Salim, and the government of Indonesia to take the lead in ensuring that this conference can really resolve some of the issues facing the world today."  Environmental groups warn that if no concrete steps are taken in Bali, the World Summit will probably not produce measures to halt environmental degradation.  "This is their last chance to prove that (governments) are prepared to take a lead and not simply hand control of the planet's populations and resources over to the corporations," said Remi Parmentier with Greenpeace International.  U.N. officials were more optimistic about the outcome of the preparatory negotiations.  It is too early for pessimism, said Nitin Desai, U.N. under-secretary general for economic and social affairs, who is chief of the World Summit. The aim in Bali, he told Agence France Presse, is to "see whether we can come up with a program of action which is clear in terms of goals, in terms of activities to be undertaken and in terms of resources".

 

38) THOUSANDS OF INTERNATIONAL DELEGATES MEET FOR BALI DEVELOPMENT SUMMIT

Associated Press

27 May 2002

Internet: http://story.news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story&u=/ap/20020527/ap_wo_en_ge/indonesia_development_conference_1

JAKARTA, Indonesia - An international development conference opened Monday with the host nation, Indonesia, calling on wealthy countries to write off debt owed by poorer countries. More than 6,000 delegates gathered on the tourist island of Bali for 12 days of talks on how to reduce poverty and environmental degradation. The U.N.-sponsored meeting is to debate and agree upon an agenda and draft resolution to be put to the World Summit on Sustainable Development in Johannesburg in August. That meeting will mark the 10-year anniversary of the Rio de Janeiro Earth Summit, which was the first international attempt to tackle environmental issues, including global warming and over-exploitation of natural resources. Indonesia's Environment Minister Nabiel Makarim said he was confident that delegates would include debt relief in the final draft to be taken to Johannesburg. "I am positive that this is one of the solutions that can go ahead," he told The Associated Press from Bali. Makarim said Germany had agreed to wipe off dlrs 50 million of debt owed by Indonesia by 2002 if Jakarta introduced educational programs that would give millions of poor children a better future. "It's a small start. But other European countries are supportive and Japan, which has so far been reluctant to talk about debt reduction, is now coming round," he said. Many poor countries are burdened by debt repayments. Despite ever increasing international aid, more money now flows from poor countries to rich ones than the other way round. The Bali talks follow three earlier sets of negotiations that agreed to focus on five areas: water and sanitation, energy, health, agriculture and biodiversity. Many delegates in Bali want world leaders to reaffirm a commitment to halve the number people who face poverty and hunger as well as a lack of safe drinking water and sanitation by 2015. The targets were set at a summit held to mark the Millennium last year in New York. The Bali meeting will prepare the documents to ensure that the targets will be reinforced at the Johannesburg summit. Environmental activists, however, complain that agreements are meaningless without the backing of powerful nations, such as the United States. Washington is not sending any one of Cabinet rank to the talks. The Bali meeting will peak between June 5-7 when ministerial-level negotiations from U.N-member states are due to be held.

 

EDITORIALS/VIEWPOINTS

 

39) RICH STANDING BY IDLY WHILE POOR DIE By JEFFREY D. SACHS

Straits Times

Internet: http://straitstimes.asia1.com.sg/analysis/story/0,1870,123037,00.html?

The writer is Galen L. Stone Professor of Economics, and director of the Center for International Development, Harvard University. Copyright: Project Syndicate.

IN A shocking book last year entitled Late Victorian Holocausts, Mike Davis described the British Empire's attitude to famines in India and elsewhere. When monsoons failed, millions of Indians faced imminent death. Food could have been transported by rail within British India to save many starving people, but the British believed in a hands-off, laissez faire policy. Starvation was part of nature. Actually, British attitudes were even more shocking. Its officers believed they were being brave by not being swayed by 'emotions'. They congratulated themselves on their stiff upper lips. Unbelievable nowadays? No, for the United States is doing something similar. America has stood by idly as millions of Africans die of Aids. Recently, the US Treasury Secretary and Health Secretary visited Africa and looked dying people in the eye. Such people are dying not because early death is inevitable, but because they cannot afford the medicines to keep themselves alive. If every American gave US$10 (S$18) per year to this cause, over one million Africans could be saved from Aids death each year, with money left over to fight the disease. As recent studies show, if the one billion people in the rich world gave US$10 per year, the resulting total of US$10 billion could finance a serious battle against Aids, tuberculosis (TB) and malaria. The new Global Fund to Fight Aids, TB and Malaria was started this year, but rich countries contributed less than one tenth of the money it needs. In its first months of operation, the fund committed all of the money that it received from rich countries. Neither the US nor Europe has stepped forward with more money. Every excuse is made to avoid giving what is needed. Senior US officials continue to say that there is no infrastructure to dispense medicines, even as these officials visit hospitals that possess the necessary doctors, clinics, nurses and pharmacies. As doctors explain patiently, what they are missing is medicine, because they lack the money to buy needed drugs. When US Treasury Secretary Paul O'Neill visited an Aids clinic in Soweto, South Africa, doctors told him that they could increase by 10 times the number of people treated with Aids drugs if sufficient money was available. Twenty-two years into the Aids pandemic, the Bush administration insists that it won't let emotion push it into action. We need a plan, says the US; we cannot throw money at the problem. As in the late 19th century, we have the spectacle of the world's superpower treating indifference as a sign of seriousness. The truth is simpler. Africans barely count in American politics. Africans don't vote; they don't buy US products; they don't threaten violence. They are simply poor, hungry and disease-ridden.  Few rich countries do better than the US. I single out America not because it is unique in its neglect, but because it is unique in its capacity to lead. Europe and Japan have also avoided financial contributions to Aids control that could keep millions of HIV-infected Africans alive. In the coming months, rich countries will face three opportunities to mend their ways. Next month, the United Nations' Food and Agriculture Organisation will host the World Food Summit. With nearly 900 million chronically-hungry people around the globe, the summit presents an opportunity to reverse the collapse of financial assistance for food production to poor countries. As with Aids, a few dollars per person of assistance each year could spare millions from hunger. Later in the same month, rich countries will hold their annual G-7 Summit. They have promised to make Africa its centre-piece. More money for Africa rather than more soothing words will be the true test of the summit. In August, political leaders from the entire world will gather in Johannesburg for the World Summit on Sustainable Development. Rich countries will once again have a chance to be true partners of the poor. The rich may feel that clever words will absolve them of responsibility, but the hungry and dying stand witness to the tragic realities.

 

40) WHAT WILL BE THE LIKELY OUTCOME OF JOBURG SUMMIT?

The Jakarta Post

7 June 2002

Internet: http://www.thejakartapost.com/detailfeatures.asp?fileid=20020607.M11&irec=10

Agus P. Sari, Executive Director of Pelangi, an Environmental Research Institute, Based in Jakarta

The Bali preparatory committee meeting was meant to prepare material for the World Summit on Sustainable Development in Johannesburg to address a range of issues from helping millions out of poverty to protecting the environment.

These issues were, among other things, poverty alleviation, changing unsustainable production and consumption, transfers of resources and technology from rich countries to poor countries and preserving natural resources and the environment that development needs of future generations will be dependent upon.  In conclusion, the meeting was to agree on the implementation of sustainable development.  The past week and a half at the Bali meeting, however, has been dominated by economic globalization, trade liberalization and corporatization. Champions of the World Trade Organization (WTO) have been insisting that a globalized world, free trade and the increased role of corporations would contribute to sustainable development. Critics, however, argued that the results would be increased poverty, gaps in income and further destruction of the environment. Against the backdrop of these polarized arguments, Johannesburg will have to come up with an outcome that is acceptable to the stakeholders that the Summit represents, yet worth the papers it produces, the words it forms and the costs it incurs. What will this be?  Remember Seattle? In 1999, the WTO held its annual meeting in Seattle, and the U.S. anti-globalization movement, joined by a number of anarchists, took over the streets and inadvertently incited destructive riots.  This event caught the attention of world leaders. Clinton's speech said that the WTO must take the voice "from the outside" into account. Then there was the meeting in Genoa where one protester was killed, putting heavy pressure on other protesters. Afterwards, there was Doha, where the world leaders finally agreed on the basic terms for free trade. The expansion of the role of corporations is all too noticeable. And the impression that the WTO is just an extension of corporate interests is all too apparent. In the years between 1987 and 1997, foreign direct investment grew drastically from US$88 billion to $400 billion. Overseas Development Assistance, on the other hand, grew from $42 billion to $63 billion over the same period.  Social and environmental impacts made by these corporations have been felt mainly by local communities while overseas executives and shareholders have enjoyed large profits. The piecemeal programs by these multinationals, in the name of community development, have failed to address the longer term problems of corporate responsibility and good governance. A viable longer term solution to this is urgently needed.  There is an unspoken agreement that, given the global and corporate world that we live in now, there is a need to balance the power of the WTO -- to complement it, and more importantly to undertake tasks that the WTO cannot undertake. While the WTO is good at promoting free trade and investment, it is not well-situated to address poverty, equity and environmental protection. These tasks should be undertaken elsewhere, not through the WTO framework.  The United Nations Environment Program (UNEP) for a while tried to champion international environmental governance, with a likely outcome of forming an organization, such as the world environment organization. This idea, though it gained momentum in its time, failed to materialize because it failed to address the most pressing developmental issues, such as poverty alleviation and equity. Nevertheless it has started a discourse on global sustainable development governance.  Along these lines, proposals to establish the likes of a world environment and development organization and a world sustainable development organization have been put forth. Johannesburg may be a process striving to achieve just that: to establish an institution with a set of rules, mechanisms and agreements. The institution may not necessarily be an organization, which at first competes with and is the anti-thesis to the WTO, but in the end it would work alongside the WTO, complementing its undertakings in areas where the WTO cannot go.  At the same time, in response to global world problems, civil society has become increasingly globalized as well. Alongside the worldwide non-governmental organizations (NGOs) such as Greenpeace, World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) and Friends of the Earth, numerous smaller NGOs have established international networks among themselves according to common interests.  Institutionalized rules and mechanisms to govern sustainable development will have to comprise a range of multi-stakeholders and governments. The old model of intergovernmental mechanisms can no longer work. In conclusion, even though the WTO is currently the only game in the global town, it should not be.  Mechanisms to make the corporate world accountable and responsible for its conduct everywhere in the world will have to prevail and the constituency for it among governments as well as civil society is growing. The shape of this new model of multi-stakeholder mechanisms will be determined at Johannesburg. Bali started the move, and Johannesburg must finish it.

 

41) A CALL TO ACTION FOR THE PLANET By Guy Tousignant and Claude Martin

CARE International /WWF International.

5 June 2002

Internet: http://panda.org/news/features/story.cfm?id=2961

*Guy Tousignant is Secretary General of CARE International. Claude Martin is Director General of WWF International.

The second week of negotiations in the fourth and final preparatory meeting for the upcoming World Summit on Sustainable Development is well underway. Ministers have now arrived for the high-level segment which begins today, 5 June. CARE and WWF hope that this will be a crucial turning point for the meeting, which has so far been characterized by a lack of political will to address its objective - creating a Plan of Action to end poverty and preserve the environment. Ten years ago, the exuberant city of Rio de Janeiro captured the world's attention with the historic Earth Summit. The first of its kind, the Earth Summit firmly placed environmental, social, and economic responsibilities on the international policy agenda and unfurled Agenda 21 - a blueprint for ending poverty and preserving the environment that was adopted by more than 178 governments. Developed in the glow of the post-Cold War era, Agenda 21 was a ground-breaking plan to combat poverty, hunger, ill health, illiteracy, and the deterioration of the planet's ecosystems. By integrating environmental and development concerns at the global, national, and local levels, it was designed as a global partnership for sustainable development that would lead to improved living standards for all, better protected and managed ecosystems, and a safer, more prosperous future. Tragically, implementation of Agenda 21 has been at best feeble, and at worst completely inadequate to deal with the social and environmental crises that we face. Ten years on, 2 billion people - one-third of the world's population - live in extreme poverty, lacking clean water, adequate sanitation, and access to energy. 130 million children of school age are not enrolled, and are not likely ever to be. Many of the world's poor also suffer from the effects of land degradation, which has reduced the productivity of up to two-thirds of the world's agricultural areas. The environment has not fared any better. The crisis facing the world's rainforests had already become a worldwide cause before the Earth Summit, but since then land clearing has continued unabated and half of the world's tropical rainforests and mangroves are now lost forever. And while the debate on climate change and global warming gathered momentum in the last 10 years and many countries have ratified the Kyoto Climate Treaty, the US -the biggest producer of greenhouse gases - refuses to be part of an international effort to address the problem. But perhaps even more tragic than the broken promises of Agenda 21 is that governments preparing for the follow-up World Summit on Sustainable Development (WSSD or Rio+10) are now unwilling to commit to the promises of 10 years ago, let alone tackle the issues facing the world today. Representatives of the same governments that signed Agenda 21 in 1992 are this week assembled in Bali, Indonesia, for the final preparatory meeting ahead of the WSSD, which will be held at the end of August in Johannesburg, South Africa. Under mandate by a 1999 UN General Assembly resolution, they are expected to leave this meeting with an action plan - with teeth - to fix Agenda 21. This plan should ensure the well-being of people and the health of the planet. It should address the problems that led to inaction on Agenda 21. Its "teeth" should consist of tangible goals, specific time-frames and financial commitments for implementing these goals, and means for monitoring compliance with them. It should also be accompanied by a bold political declaration to reinforce the resolve of Heads of State when they gather in Johannesburg.

Earlier this month, we and other leaders of nongovernmental organizations addressed a letter to 189 Heads of State, urging them to ensure that targets and time-frames are an integral part of the draft plan of action, and to ensure financing and monitoring mechanisms for their implementation. But instead, the government representatives gathered in Bali have systematically removed most of the time-frames and targets from the draft plan of action. In addition, many of the more prosperous states have dodged the crucial commitment for financing the plan - a contributing factor to the inaction on Agenda 21. There is still time for governments to demonstrate real moral leadership. Before they set off each morning in Bali for another round of negotiations, government ministers and their staff could well have a look at the photos of their children and grandchildren that they packed for this trip. These young people will be the ones who judge the 2002 plan of action and its success in ending poverty and preserving our fragile planet.

 

42) CATASTROPHE IS NOT INEVITABLE JANE GOODALL

Bangkok Post

5 June 2002

Internet: http://www.bangkokpost.com/News/05Jun2002_news31.html

Jane Goodall is the founder of Jane Goodall Institutes worldwide, which advocate for the conservation of chimpanzees and other wildlife. She is also a Messenger of Peace for UN secretary-general Kofi Annan.

The rich variety of animal and plant life is shrinking all the time _ rapidly. And not enough people seem to be particularly concerned. This has to change. Today, June 5, marks the 30th commemoration of World Environment Day. If only we could mark the day with a celebration of humanity's efforts to protect the world's natural environment and its diverse range of species. Instead, we must recognise that today the world is poised on the brink of an environmental catastrophe. A recent report by the UN's Environment Programme predicts that in the next 30 years a quarter of the world's mammals could become extinct, along with alarming numbers of plant and other animal species. I see this clearly in the chimpanzee population. Some two million of them lived in Africa at the turn of the last century. Now, reckless development and the destruction of their natural habitats along with commercial hunting for food have cut their numbers to less than 1/10th of that. Man may, quite literally, destroy his closest animal relative, and countless other species, too. It's not just the natural world that will suffer _ we will too. The human population is set to grow by 2 billion by 2032. The lowering of water tables and the on-going desertification of the land will lead to severe water shortages for nearly half of humanity by this time. Serious health problems will escalate due to malnutrition, extreme poverty, polluted air, water and food, and viruses resistant to antibiotics. Environmental degradation is already affecting many people's lives. Forest clearing and burning in Asia have driven bats infected with the previously unknown Nipah virus from their habitats into contact with human populations. A lack of access to clean water kills more than 2 million people every year. In Florida, Australia and Asia, pollution from the mainland is killing coral reefs _ nurseries for hundreds of species of fish _ and endangering multi-billion-dollar fishing and tourist industries. It's not a pretty picture, but there are reasons for hope. The fact is all these problems can be solved if our leaders take action.  We already have an excellent blueprint to combat these alarming trends, which will benefit all parts of the world, not just rich nations or developing countries. But tragically, this important document has been sitting on a shelf, largely unimplemented, since it was approved by world leaders at the Rio Earth Summit in 1992. The plan, called Agenda 21, promotes a sustainable form of development that will improve global living standards while preserving environmental assets for future generations. All we need now is the political commitment to make it happen. These plans can and do work. I've seen it with our institute's Roots & Shoots programme, which involves young people around the world in helping improve the quality of life in their communities and make them compassionate and environmentally aware citizens. And I've seen it work through our TACARE Project, which is helping to halt the depletion of natural resources in Tanzania. More than 30 villages are improving the quality of their farmland, managing tree nurseries, and protecting their forests from clear-cutting, while launching income-generating activities, improving preventative health care for members of the community, and offering women chances for furthering their education. This summer, 10 years after Rio, world leaders will meet in Johannesburg from Aug 26 to Sept 4 for the UN World Summit on Sustainable Development. The decisions made at this conference will be critical for our future and could lead to actions that change, for better or worse, the world that we leave to our children, and theirs. But it is not just up to world leaders to avoid a ``doomsday'' scenario for life on Planet Earth. We all have a vital role to play. For each of us can implement simple but highly effective changes in our lives that will protect the environment. For example, if you skip one 30km car trip each week (or several trips totalling 30km), you can reduce your production of greenhouse gases by nearly 500kg of carbon dioxide annually. Choose to buy products only from environmentally responsible companies. Be assured that our individual actions, collectively, make a huge difference. Above all, we must push our elected leaders to do their part at the Johannesburg Summit by turning the plans of Rio into reality. I'll be there because I know it's our best hope for finding a way to preserve our own precious habitat _ and thus the future of mankind.

 

43) WORLD SUMMIT NOT MORE HOT AIR by Aubrey Matshiqi

Business Day via All Africa

5 June 2002

Internet: http://allafrica.com/stories/200206050098.html

Aubrey Matshiqi Johannesburg Matshiqi is an independent political analyst.

A decade after the Rio Summit, SA is hosting the United Nations' World Summit on Sustainable Development. Undoubtedly, Johannesburg being the venue for the summit is significant for all South Africans because the project of ensuring "a better life for all" is developmental in nature. Improving the lot of our citizens is an imperative inextricably bound to the global agenda of sustainable development. It is disturbing to see more attention being lavished on the soccer World Cup than on an event aimed at preventing the extinction of humankind. The fact that 1,2-billion people, mainly in the developing south, live in abject poverty and have to eke out a living in conditions of worsening ecological crises is no exaggeration. The goal of ensuring sustainable development "meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs" might become a mirage if ordinary citizens continue being treated as spectators. Urgent action on the part of ordinary citizens is needed if the negative effect of globalisation and economic liberalisation is to be arrested and ultimately reversed. Several theories have been put forward to try to explain our citizens' apparent lack of interest in environmental affairs. Some have even suggested black South Africans, unlike their white counterparts, do not care about the environment. Of course, this is as ludicrous as the opinion of some that whites are racist tree huggers with too much money, who care more about animals than the plight of the poor. Both views miss the point. A majority of South Africans has become alienated from the land, and so the environment, as a result of colonisation and apartheid. This alienation has been deepened by the tension between profit-making of transnational firms and the need for forms of sustainable development to ease conditions for poverty-hit people in the developing world. Ten years after the Rio summit, the gap between the wealthiest and poorest countries is still not lower than the 72 to 1 measured in 1992. The consumption patterns of the world's richest countries reflect this inequality more starkly. The World Conservation Union says 20% of the people of the highest-income nations are responsible for 86% of total global private consumption, while the poorest 20% account for 1,3%. The environmental devastation seen in many a developing nation is a direct result of such consumption patterns. Developing countries, on the other hand, are constantly encouraged to green parts of their environment for the benefit of tourists. It is this state of affairs which may have spawned the apathy and cynicism of many about the Johannesburg Summit. The road from Rio to Johannesburg has been characterised by what some in the nongovernmental organisation (NGO) sector have called a crisis of implementation. The balance of power between governments and international private corporations has seldom advanced environmental justice and the interests of the poor. Popular, as opposed to populist, participation by masses of the environmentally disenfranchised has been the exception rather than the norm. This means governments, the NGO sector and social movements have inadequately mobilised global and local resistance to the pernicious effects of economic liberalisation which, in many cases, has led to the globalisation of poverty. Does this mean the summit is nothing to enthuse about? The answer lies between two choices we, as South Africans, must make. We can wallow in cynicism, or commit ourselves to Agenda 21's overall aims.

Agenda 21, a product of the previous Earth Summit in Rio, commits us all to finding a path to poverty eradication and economic growth which strikes a healthy balance between humanity's needs and those of the very environment on which sustainable development depends. Success on this score demands that we, as ordinary citizens, refuse to be pushed to the sidelines of environmental security and sustainable development. We must demand access to governmental processes to make sure we influence the decisions and actions of all institutions of international environmental governance. If this summit delivers nothing more than a reaffirmation of prior agreements, that should still not be an excuse for apathy. There must come a time when no political party can achieve electoral success unless it is able to link a better life to sustainable development and environmental justice.

There can be no greater love than bequeathing a healthy environment to our children.

 

44) ISSUE IS NOT ENVIRONMENT VERSUS DEVELOPMENT, BUT HOW TO INTEGRATE THEM, SECRETARY-GENERAL SAYS

United Nations Press Release

30 May 2002

Internet: http://www.johannesburgsummit.org/html/bali/pressreleases/envdevb8-e.htm

Secretary-General Kofi Annan is the author of the following text entitled "A chance to secure our future":

Imagine a world of relentless drought, storms and famine; of islands, deltas and coastal regions flooded by rising sea levels; a world where millions die of air and water pollution, while millions more flee in search of safer places to live, and yet others fight each other for scarce natural resources. Alternatively, imagine a world of clean water and air; of green technologies, where homes, transport and industry are all energy-efficient; where everyone shares the benefits of development and industrialization, and of the earth's natural resources, yet those benefits can be sustained from one generation to the next.  The choice between those visions is ours to make. One school of thought depicts all economic growth and development as leading inexorably to the apocalypse.  Another downplays the real ecological problems we do face, or assures us that some spontaneous technological breakthrough will come to our rescue.  Neither approach is helpful, and neither is accurate.  We human beings can thrive in the future, as we did in the past, by living in harmony with our natural environment.  But, at present, we are failing to do so.  Over the past two centuries, remarkable gains in living standards encouraged some of us to believe that natural limits to human well-being had been conquered.  But now the sheer number of human beings, the natural desire of all of them to share the prosperity so far enjoyed only by a few, and the unprecedented rates at which we are using energy and other resources, have taken us into uncharted territory.  We should no longer imagine either that one fifth of humanity can indefinitely enjoy prosperity while much larger numbers live lives of deprivation and squalor, or that patterns of production and consumption, which destroy the environment, can bring us lasting prosperity.

The issue is not environment versus development, or ecology versus economy.  It is how to integrate the two. We thought we had found a way out of this predicament 10 years ago, with the agreements reached at the Earth Summit in Rio.  But progress since then has been slower than we hoped.  Developed countries, especially, have not lived up to the promises they made -- either to protect the environment or to help the developing world.  Discussions on finance and the economy, from the local to the global, still treat the environment like an unwelcome guest. Now we have another chance to get this right:  the World Summit on Sustainable Development, to be held in Johannesburg, South Africa, in three months' time. Of course, one summit by itself will not change history.  But I believe this summit will be seen to have marked a turning point, if we win clear commitments to change, and new initiatives to make it happen, in five specific areas: Water -- In order to save the more than 3 million people who die each year from water-related diseases, we must improve water and sanitation services, and access to them, by finding new money for water development and management.  And in order to save two thirds of the world's population from facing serious water shortages in the decades ahead, we must reduce leakage and waste, especially in agriculture ("more crop per drop"); and provide for regional management of watersheds that are vital to more than one country.   Energy -- In order to give poor people a chance to escape from poverty, we must provide clean energy for the 2 billion people who now lack it.  And in order to make sure this advance is not accompanied by disastrous climate change, we must improve energy efficiency, use more renewable energy, implement the Kyoto Protocol, put an end to perverse subsidies and tax incentives, and fund research on new types of clean energy and carbon sequestration.  Health -- In order to save the lives of millions who die each year from an unsafe environment -- dirty water, indoor air pollution, toxic wastes, insects that transmit deadly diseases -- we must redouble our efforts to create a safe environment, make immunization and treatment available to all, and increase our research on tropical diseases which impose huge human and economic burdens in the world's poorest countries.  Agriculture -- In order to ensure that food production keeps pace with the number of mouths to feed, we must find ways to halt land degradation and reverse the sharp decline in agricultural productivity, especially in Africa.  That means planning and managing land use more responsibly, implementing the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification, and funding research on new drought-resistant crops. Biodiversity -- And in order to halt the galloping extinction of other species, which has devastating implications for human life, we must clamp down on illegal and unsustainable fishing and logging practices; we must help people who currently depend on such activities to find other, more sustainable ways of earning their living; and we must fund new research on ecosystems and biodiversity. In all these areas, there are things we can do now -- with the technologies already at our disposal, provided we give the right incentives.  But science will bring us many more solutions if we make the right investment in research.  Knowledge has always been the key to human development.  It will also be the key to sustainability. This agenda will sound impossibly ambitious to some, disappointingly narrow to others.  But I believe it represents the essential, achievable start that we must make, if we are to preserve the hope of a decent life for our children and grandchildren.  And that is what Johannesburg is all about.

 

45) CONCRETE RESULTS ARE ACHIEVABLE' Viewpoint: Nitin Desai, secretary-general, World Summit on Sustainable Development

International Herald Tribune

27 May 2002

Internet: http://www.iht.com/ihtsearch.php?id=59077

Three months from now, world leaders will meet in Johannesburg at the World Summit on Sustainable Development to try to find practical ways for humanity to improve the lives of all human beings, while protecting the environment. We expect that they will move from the many commitments they have made in the past to action. At the top of the agenda, two areas where concrete results are achievable are water and sanitation and energy resources. In a recent statement, Kofi Annan, the UN secretary-general, stressed: ''Unless we take swift and decisive action, by 2025 as much as two-thirds of the world's population may be living in countries that face serious water shortage. We need to improve access. We need to improve the efficiency of water use. We also need better watershed management, and to reduce leakage, especially in the many cities where water losses are an astonishing 40 percent or more of total water supply.'' Energy is essential for development, yet 2 billion people currently go without access to energy sources. The secretary-general recently emphasized the need to make clean energy supplies accessible and affordable. He said: ''We need to increase the use of renewable energy sources and improve energy efficiency. And we must not flinch from addressing the issue of overconsumption - the fact that people in the developed countries use far more energy per capita than those in the developing world.'' When the world's heads of state met at the Millennium Summit in 2000, they committed themselves, inter alia, to halve, by 2015, the proportion of people who live in poverty and the proportion of people who are unable to reach or to afford safe drinking water. They also pledged to stop the unsustainable exploitation of water resources by developing water management strategies to promote both equitable access and adequate supplies. Quantity and quality Over 70 percent of the world's poor live in the rural areas of the Third World, and a substantial proportion of those people live in water-stressed areas. The plight of the world's poor cannot be alleviated without addressing the quality of the resource base upon which they depend: land and water resources. In the context of poverty, the issue of water is both crucial and strategic. If we manage water use wisely, at the community, regional and global level, this will inevitably have positive consequences on land use, forest use and other biotic resources as well. The improvement of water use is central for all of the other dimensions of sustainable development. Huge amounts of internal and external resources have to be generated if we are to reach universal safe water and adequate sanitation in the foreseeable future, to improve water use efficiency and integrated water management. There may be good potential for increasing private-sector intervention in water and sanitation services to urban areas of the developing world. The private sector, however, would be less interested in extending services to the poor in urban and rural areas, where water services often depend on subsidies and where it would be difficult to generate a fair return on investment. The pressures on freshwater supplies portend rising water costs and an urgent need to improve water-use efficiency. Water-intensive industries will have difficulties locating in water-short countries or areas. Demand management through progressive water tariffs should increase conservation and reduce waste and pollution. This is good for the environment and could attract private investment for essential water infrastructure. Water scarcity may create a competitive advantage for businesses with water-efficient processes in a water-stressed world. Energy, as a major driver of socioeconomic development and the source of significant levels of global, regional and local pollution, poses a great challenge to efforts aimed at achieving sustainable development. The ability to harness energy from fossil fuels was the force behind the Industrial Revolution and is the factor underlying high standards of living in developed countries today. Developed countries have grappled with associated pollution during much of the latter half of the last century. While advances have been made in terms of standards, regulations and technological improvements and many local pollution problems have been addressed, emissions of greenhouse gases remain a serious problem. For developing countries, energy use is vital for socioeconomic growth and reducing widespread abject poverty. In absolute terms, commercially traded energy consumption per person is almost six times higher in developed countries than in developing countries, despite the fact that since 1970, energy consumption per person grew by only 2.7 percent a year in developed countries, compared with 7.5 percent a year in developing countries. Emissions from energy use affect health and living conditions at the local level, especially in growing urban areas. Lead, particulates, sulfur oxides and nitrogen oxides are a few of the pollutants adversely affecting living conditions for people, especially children, in developing countries.

Addressing energy needs in a sustainable way in the 21st century will not be an easy task. Everyone is affected by decisions related to both production and use of energy services, and it is in everyone's interest to move quickly toward more sustainable energy patterns. Everyone must be involved in the solution

 

SPEECHES/STATEMENTS

 

 

46) ADDRESS BY PRESIDENT OF THE REPUBLIC OF INDONESIA AT THE FOURTH PREPARATORY COMMITTEE

MEETING FOR THE WORLD SUMMIT ON SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT

Denpasar,

5 June 2002

Internet: http://www.johannesburgsummit.org/html/bali/pressreleases/megawati.pdf

Excellencies,

Ladies and Gentlemen,

At the outset, allow me to welcome you all to Indonesia. On behalf of the people and the Government of Indonesia, I wish to convey my appreciation and gratitude to the United Nations for the confidence extended to us to host this very important gathering. I sincerely hope that Bali, with all its nuances of cultural beauty, would give more impetus to our joint effort to make this preparatory committee meeting a success. I believe we all have put our high hope in the success of the Conference on Sustainable Development to be held in Johannesburg in September this year. I therefore have conviction you would share with me that whatever agreement we could reach at this meeting will significantly affect the final outcome of the Conference in South Africa.

In Indonesia, we have been attentively following the deliberation on the issue from the previous meetings. My government

is hence determined to do its utmost for the success of this very meeting. It is all based upon our awareness and

understanding that this fast changing and more globalized world, with all its immense influence in the existing value system, has

affected the approach and perspective of many nations in developing their ideals and in pursuing their future as well as their

vision as to how the chain of humanity should continue. I believe that we all share the same perception and dreams

about an advanced life that is prosperous, just, independent and dignified. A life that communally reflects the harmony of

nations with all the diversity in their social structure, culture and their political system, as well as a life that maintains

harmony with surrounding nature. Each nation has certain condition and capacity in managing its social, cultural, economic and political development. This, in turn, will determine the level of its achievement and accomplishment. Whatever system the nations may apply in their respective national lives, we witness the difference. A nation will enjoy high quality of life if it has qualified

human resources and sufficient ability to master, develop and apply the science and technology. With such capacity at their

disposal, nations will be able to develop their economic strength and accomplish their well being. They are even in position to

develop themselves into strong and well-developed nations in every aspect of life. These nations effectively manage their

natural resources --however limited such resources in their possession ,- and conserve them. In real term, they are able to live

inharmony with nature. They soon become the inspirer, the driver, and later act as the supervisor for other nations about

the importance of managing and benefiting from natural resources for development. Meanwhile, human history also presents realities about other group of nations, which in fact constitute the majority in the world community. While the cause and background cannot be precisely comprehended, these nations are endowed neither with fortunate level of the quality of life nor with better level of advancement. Many of them see the poor capacity of their human resources as an obstacle, particularly in relation with the level of social discipline or with the ability in mastering, developing and implementing science and technology. While some

others associate the obstacle with the incapacity of the existing social system, particularly politics to accommodate the need for

human resources development. We are here not to seek too far the cause and background, let alone to prejudge. However we witness how those nations still depend much their struggle to build the future on the natural resources. Some of them are fortunate enough to enjoy the value added of their limited natural resources by making them into processed materials. Those who are not fortunate, will have to directly sell them as raw materials. They often see the issue of conservation as a luxury. To a number of nations, the ideals of living in harmony with environment can only be enjoyed at the stage of ideas. In many cases, such a condition is the only choice available. For them, dilemma is part of their difficult reality that they have long experienced.

We still witness the continued exploitation of natural resources that tends to disrupt the conservation of sustainable environment. We are so concerned. Nevertheless, we should try to understand. Even when we are not in the position to help find the solution, we can always share our vision about conservation. However small, it is better to offer tolerance rather than to punish or alienate the doers. After all, they need to have the safety net and funding resources to secure their plans and development programs. 'I am convinced that they are in fact worried about the decline of the quality of the environment as well as the depletion of their natural resources,' particularly those that are non-renewable. I understand that we have long discussed and even argued about the disruption of natural balance and environment. The tendency to blame one another has become part of any discussion about environment. The destruction as a result of uncontrolled exploitation of natural resources, as in the case of forest exploitation, has been blamed as the main cause of the global climate change. However, we must not forget that similar devastation has actually taken place as a result of experiments or excessive utilisation of a technology product. The bottom line is that the differences in approach as well as ways and means in pursuing a better and more advanced life are problematic in themselves and in some instances become the sources of conflict and instability in some regions of the world. Nevertheless, those differences have also provided us with a lesson that in this more globalized and rapidly changing world, efforts by any nation to materialize its dreams for better life will only be effective if they carry close cooperative endeavours as well as mutual support and help from other nations.

Obviously, we have further lesson to learn, namely that interdependence is real and cooperation is imperative in our global village.

Excellencies Ladies and Gentlemen, Our understanding about the problem is not merely derived from our observation or analysis over the events happening around us. We have actually experienced it. For more than three decades we pursued our development by primarily relying on our natural fortune. The implication of such a model and the consequences of its application have in turn led us to reconsider our approach to and our basic concepts on development. Based upon our long experience, we believe in what we

have realized from the outset that development is a process; a sustainable process. It necessitates efforts to ensure the sustainability of resources, both natural and biological to support the process of development. It requires sustained steps to

build the capacity of human resources ready to manage the development in the right way. In the early 1960's, when the world went through the uncertain period of the cold war, Indonesia's first President, who happened to be my father, addressed the General Assembly of the United Nations. He called on the international community and entitled his address "To Build the World Anew." The

content was certainly related to particular situation and challenges of the world of the time. We however believe that the spirit and principles of the address remain relevant to our current situation and challenges, especially in building the world anew through sustainable development. Should we manage to make the concept work, it would simply mean that we actually materialize the ideals of building the world anew. Against the afore-mentioned description, I then come to a conclusion that we cannot but work together, mutually complement, support and help each other, for we share the same perception and ideals. We all want to make our national life better, prosperous, just, independent and dignified. We all concur that it must go through development. We also share common understanding about the importance we should attach to maintain and sustain the development process.

To that end, we should have determination to work on feasible and workable program. I believe we have similar and simple guidance to follow, namely to utilize natural resources in such a way that both supports development activities and serves utmost function of our ecosystem. In addition; the- science and technology should be easily accessible and affordable with a view to meeting development necessity and, at the same time, to sustaining conservation measures over natural resources and environment as the common heritage of mankind. Ten years have passed since we adopted Agenda 21. It is timely for us to follow it up with concrete programs and activities. If we can work on them at this preparatory meeting and agree on them in the forthcoming Conference in Johannesburg next September, I am convinced that not only do we build solid foundation for sustainable development, but also make real contribution to humanity. In conclusion, in the name of God, Most Gracious Most Merciful, I declare open the Ministerial Segment of the Fourth Preparatory Committee for the World Summit on Sustainable Development. May God always bestow us with guidance and strength in discharging this noble task. Thank you.

 

47) PROGRESS WILL DEPEND ON ACTIONS BY ALL THROUGH PARTNERSHIPS, AVAILABILITY OF RESOURCES, DEPUTY SECRETARY-GENERAL TELLS BALI PREPARATORY MEETING

United Nations Press Release

5 June 2002

Internet: http://www.johannesburgsummit.org/html/bali/pressreleases/envdevb14-e.htm

Following is the address by the Deputy Secretary-General Louise Fréchette to the fourth session of the Preparatory Committee for the World Summit on Sustainable Development in Bali today:  First, I would like to thank the Government and citizens of Indonesia and Bali for hosting this United Nations conference with such generosity and graciousness.  You have made us feel utterly welcome.  We hope to finish our work quickly so that we can enjoy the splendid beauty of this island. Almost two years ago, at the Millennium Summit, the world's leaders agreed on an ambitious yet achievable agenda for peace and progress in the 21st century.  They decided in particular that the first 15 years of this century should be used for a major onslaught against the terrible poverty that afflicts so many members of the human family.  Towards that end, they established a set of specific, time-bound objectives, known to you all as the Millennium Development Goals. But let us not forget that the Millennium Declaration was not only about lifting people out of poverty, and not only about securing them from violence and armed conflict.  Equal footing was given to protecting our common environment and the commitment to "spare no effort to free all humanity . . . from the threat of living on a planet irredeemably spoiled by human activities". We are here today because we face great challenges on both sides of the development-environment equation.  Three billion of our fellow human beings suffer the dehumanizing conditions of poverty, eking out a living on less than $2 a day.  And United Nations Environment Programme's (UNEP) latest Global Environment Outlook report -- GEO 3 -- depicts a world at risk, showing us yet again that the prevailing model of development may not be sustainable, even for those who are most enjoying its benefits. Johannesburg is meant to find another way, a path that improves standards of living while protecting the environment, a path that works for all peoples, today and tomorrow.  That relationship -- between human society and the natural environment -- is the core concern of Johannesburg, and is what sets Johannesburg apart from other United Nations conferences and summits. The Secretary-General has proposed five key areas for particular focus as we move ahead:  water and sanitation, energy, agriculture, biodiversity and ecosystem management and health.  Why these five from among a multitude of worthy possibilities?  Because they are widely considered to be the most central to sustainability.  Because progress is possible now, with the knowledge and technologies already at our disposal.  And because the five are so intricately connected -- call it a multiplier effect or a virtuous circle -- that progress in one will generate progress in another.  I see with pleasure that the five priority areas feature prominently in the plan of implementation.  It is important to have firm targets and timelines, as well as concrete commitments in these areas so as to generate real momentum for action. Your work, so far, at this session of the preparatory committee has made important progress.  You are coming close to agreeing on a plan of implementation.  And a crucial set of specific partnerships, meant to give practical expression to the plan of implementation -- the so-called "type 2" initiatives -- is also taking shape.  But some critical work remains to be done over the next three days.  Full agreement has to be reached on the implementation plan before we leave Bali.  Only then, will we have established a firm foundation for the vital work that remains to be done between Bali and Johannesburg, in particular with regard to the partnerships, linked to the plan of implementation. The success of Johannesburg will not only be measured by the plan of implementation.  Today, you will begin to provide elements for a political declaration.  The political declaration will be the primary tool for the heads of State and government to convey to the world their vision for a sustainable world.  We need a credible political declaration that commits leaders to act and inspire all actors to recognize their own responsibilities.  The political declaration is the place for commitments to action in key areas, global and local, and for providing a sense of the values that underpin the concept of sustainable development and instigate actions. It has become a truism that governments cannot "do the job alone", but there is a great deal that they, and only they, can and must accomplish.  It is governments that set national policies and priorities.  It is governments that establish frameworks of laws and incentives.  It is governments that create institutions to provide public services and meet a nation's diverse needs.  And it is governments that must deliver on the promises they made throughout the conference cycle of the 1990s, culminating in the Millennium Summit. In this connection, I want to make a special appeal to your governments and to your parliaments to ratify the treaties that underlie our efforts in the area of sustainable development.  We invite you to do so between now and Johannesburg as a concrete, immediate step towards the implementation of Agenda 21. Of course, governments need partners.  Sustainable development will not be achieved without non-governmental organizations (NGOs), which have formidable expertise in programme design, deep knowledge of their communities, great skills in organizing people, and unflagging energy in advocating the causes in which they believe. And sustainable development will remain only a distant dream without the involvement of the private sector.  Corporate philanthropy, welcome as it is, is not the only and certainly not the most important face of corporate citizenship.  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 costs of change, but also the costs of the status quo.  I am pleased to say that many enlightened business leaders have already accepted this, and have involved themselves in the Johannesburg process on that basis. International organizations also have a critical role to play.  The whole United Nations system stands ready to assist in making development sustainable.  This is a goal that the Secretary-General has embraced as a personal priority. Progress towards implementation will depend on actions by all actors, separately and jointly by way of partnerships.  Progress will also depend on the availability of resources.  Governments must sustain the momentum generated by the Monterrey Conference, particularly in the area of official development assistance.  The additional money pledged can also be used to mobilize other resources.  Likewise, governments must make good on their commitment in Doha to make the new negotiations on trade a true "development round" that opens markets to developing-country goods and allows them to compete fairly.  The Summit in Johannesburg is truly a chance to set a more hopeful course of development for all humanity.  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 us move ahead.          Today, on World Environment Day, the preparatory process has reached a decisive moment.  I wish you every success in your important deliberations.

 

48) GOALS AT THE WORLD SUMMIT ON SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT Paula J. Dobriansky, Under Secretary of State for Global Affairs Remarks to the Fourth Session of the Preparatory Committee for the World Summit on Sustainable Development Bali, Indonesia

5 June 2002

Internet: http://www.state.gov/g/rls/rm/2002/10836.htm

I would first like to begin by thanking you on behalf of the United States government for all of the hard work you, your colleagues, and the Government of Indonesia have done as we join forces to make the World Summit on Sustainable Development a success. We could not have progressed this far without your hospitality and your able guidance and that of the rest of the Bureau and the Secretariat. Thank you. It is appropriate that our first formal dialogue among Ministers here in Bali address the question of implementation. The Johannesburg Summit and our work beyond must be about implementing concrete actions to make a visible difference in people's lives in such areas as energy, water, health, education, oceans, forests and sustainable agriculture and rural development.  The United States has been working and will continue to work tirelessly to achieve a consensus outcome for the Johannesburg Summit. We must carry forward the outcome of last year's Doha WTO Ministerial as well as the Monterrey Consensus concluded only three months ago. We must strive to achieve internationally agreed development goals, including those in the Millennium Declaration.  It is time to rededicate ourselves to implement these Millennium goals, including the goal of cutting in half by 2015 the proportion of people without access to safe drinking water and cutting in half by the same date the proportion of people whose income is less than one dollar a day. To achieve these and other goals, we must reaffirm the critical roles of international assistance and national action in implementing sustainable development. As embraced by the international community in Monterrey, we strongly believe sustainable development begins at home. This means: * A strong national commitment to ruling justly by upholding the rule of law, rooting out corruption, protecting human rights and promoting political freedom. * A strong national commitment to invest in people, including effective investments in education and health care.

* A strong national commitment to promote economic freedom and entrepreneurship through open markets and trade liberalization, and sound fiscal and monetary policies. But articulating a vision of sustainable development is not enough. No declaration or plan of action, no matter how well-intended or eloquent, will by itself give people access to drinking water, halt the spread of HIV/AIDS, or ensure access to primary education.  Our second critical mission here is to set a plan of action to make our sustainable development vision a reality. Partnerships - involving donor and developing countries, elements of civil society, businesses, international organizations, and others - are the best means to deliver concrete results. Partnerships add to development assistance commitments, multilateral funds, and other forms of cooperation. Building upon and linked to the Millennium Goals, the United States is committed to building effective partnerships for implementing sustainable development. We are actively exploring initiatives in such key areas as energy, water, health, education, oceans, forests, and sustainable agriculture and rural development, and look forward to working closely with all delegations here in this effort.  In Bali, in Johannesburg, and beyond, we must reaffirm our commitment to concrete solutions to address the economic, social, and environmental conditions for sustainable development. We owe the next generation of world citizens nothing less.

 

49) FOURTH SESSION OF THE PREPARATORY COMMITTEE FOR THE UN WORLD SUMMIT ON SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT, MAY 27-JUNE 7, 2002 Jonathan A. Margolis, Head of the United States Delegation Remarks to the Fourth Session of the Preparatory Committee (Ministerial Level)

Bali, Indonesia

27 May 2002

Internet: http://www.state.gov/g/oes/rls/rm/2002/10524.htm

Multi-Stakeholder Dialogue

Thank you very much Mr. Chairman.

This multi-stakeholder dialogue is a perfect forum to highlight the United States vision for the Summit and the critical role that governments at all levels, non-governmental organizations, the private sector, labor unions, and all other stakeholders must play in making Johannesburg a success. The United States is committed to the success of the World Summit on Sustainable Development. We believe it provides an important opportunity to build a new, results-oriented vision -- shared by developed and developing countries -- for reducing poverty and fostering sustainable development to improve the lives of millions around the world.

For the Johannesburg Summit to carve a place in history, we must focus our efforts on implementing the sustainable development blueprint that we have established at Rio and in the 10 years since. For Johannesburg to be a success, it should produce concrete results visible to people around the world, not merely high-sounding rhetoric. The U.S. will work tirelessly to achieve a consensus outcome at the Johannesburg Summit. The Johannesburg Plan of Action should carry forward the Monterrey Consensus and should reflect the internationally agreed development goals, including those in the Millennium Declaration. It should emphasize the importance of good governance -- which includes elements such as transparency, access to information, and the rule of law -- as an essential foundation of sustainable development. No declaration or plan of action, however, will give people access to drinking water, halt the spread of HIV/AIDS, or ensure access to primary education. That is why this multi-stakeholder dialogue is particularly important. The UN has provided us with a new and potentially extremely useful mechanism to help us achieve our goals for implementing sustainable development. We believe that effective partnerships among governments at all levels, businesses, NGOs, and other stakeholders are the means to deliver concrete results. All of the stakeholders assembled here have a special role in our collective pursuit of sustainable development. The quality and breadth of the partnerships are a key yardstick for success of the Summit. Johannesburg will be deemed a success if it catalyzes partnerships to implement concrete solutions to sustainable development problems in such key areas as energy, water, health, education, oceans, forests, food security, sustainable agriculture, and rural development. Partnerships, better than any declaration, will demonstrate our commitment to sustainable development and to achieving measurable results. This type of work is not easy. It requires all of us -- governments, major stakeholder groups, and the UN system -- to modify the way we are accustomed to doing our business in fora like this meeting in Bali. For example, governments need to add new types of experts to our delegations, people who can talk about substantive projects, in addition to those who negotiate texts. We need to create new types of processes in our capitals to build and develop these partnerships. It also requires that we sufficiently develop a blueprint for the partnerships approach that allows us to demonstrate our commitments but is not so prescriptive that it precludes others from joining our efforts.

The U.S. would like to see these partnerships continue well beyond the World Summit. We would hope and expect that partnerships will provide information on their progress and lessons learned. We believe the Commission on Sustainable Development could play a useful role in providing the forum where reports from partnerships could be shared and discussed.

 

50) OPENING REMARKS MR. NITIN DESAI SECRETARY-GENERAL FOR WORLD SUMMIT ON SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT FOURTH PREPARATORY COMMITTEE FOR THE WORLD SUMMIT ON SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT

United Nations

27 May 2002

Internet: http://www.johannesburgsummit.org/html/documents/prepcom4docs/bali_documents/desai_statement.pdf

Mr. Chairman, Honourable Minister, Excellencies, Distinguished Delegates and Friends,

Let me begin by expressing my thanks to the many people who have been involved in organizing this meeting in Bali in the language of Indonesia: terimakasih Bali, terimakasih Indonesia. You have made excellent arrangements for us, and we truly appreciate it. Mr. Chairman, Our agenda for this two-week session is a very challenging one; it includes many elements. I

do not propose to touch on all of these elements, but just to focus on one: we will be busy this week with coming to closure on the programme of strengthening implementation of Agenda 21 that is under discussion and negotiation. We can see that a great deal of useful progress has been made over the past few days in the informals and we can look forward to a lot of hard work over the rest of the week. As the distinguished Minister put it, I hope we will not follow the usual U.N. procedure of decision by exhaustion, but rather are tempted a little bit more by a quick decision for fear of pleasures foregone and that we will truly come to an early conclusion. Mr. Chairman, The central point of my statement is quite simply this: the issue is not only closure of negotiations on the programme of action, the issue is also one of whether what we come out with, is bold and firm enough to meet the high expectations that people have for the Johannesburg Summit in the end. That is the real challenge - the challenge is not just of agreeing, but also of agreeing on something that the world recognizes as being a major step forward for sustainable development. I want to try to spell out what this challenge is. First, many people see the Johannesburg summit as part of a set of conferences that are defining a new multilateralism. We of course have the Millennium Summit, which outlined the Millennium Goals stemming from all of the U.N. conferences held in the nineties. In Doha, we saw a major step forward in the way in which at least some of the concerns of developing countries were give a central place in the world trade agenda. This is perhaps the first time that we will have a trade round whose primary focus is going to be the concerns of developing countries. Then we came to the Finance for Development conference in Monterrey, which sought to do the same thing for the world of finance – to put development at the center of the world of global finance. In large measure we succeeded in doing that in the Monterrey consensus. Even more than that, Monterrey was also marked by major commitments of additional resources by the European Union, the United States and others, reversing what has been nearly a decade of decline in ODA and reversing it in a very substantial fashion with a total increase in assistance pledged that could amount to as much as l2 to 13 billion dollars extra by 2006. Johannesburg is the third leg of this exercise, where we are going to define how sustainability can be put into development in order to give the new multilateralism a programmatic basis for cooperation. This is your first challenge: to ensure that what comes out of Johannesburg is seen as a major step forward in outlining a new programmatic basis for development cooperation drawing on the principles that were set out in Rio and subsequently. What does this mean? It means that this conference, as we all have accepted, is not about renegotiating policy frameworks. We have done a great deal of that from Rio and beyond. Our real challenge at this conference is to see how we can put a commitment to credible action in what we negotiate. This focus on action, and this focus on implementation, which is universally accepted by all participants, has to have clarity about ends and means. Yes, it is true that in many cases, we are talking about changes of policy, reorientation of policy and, in this, our statements will often essentially be qualitative in nature. But, there are also many areas where we are talking about programmatic matters and here we must be clear about ends and

means, about goals and resources. I urge you to note this. That is what the world outside is expecting. Let me read to you just one passage, just one small part of a document which the World Wide Fund for Nature has been circulating. I do not do this for any special reason but simply because it is a compact statement and I believe it reflects the sentiments and concerns of many of the

nongovernmental organizations which will be participating in this meeting. Let me read this: “The Summit will be a failure if government leadership is not shown in the form of a strong action plan with targets and timetables, and commitment to the resources needed to support implementation of the action plan. New monitoring and reporting mechanisms are also essential to ensure responsibility and accountability.” The same message is coming from other groups who are participating in this exercise

and I urge you to note that this is what the world out there is expecting. This is going to be their measure of success of the extent to which the programme that you will come to closure on at the end of this week reflects a credible commitment to action.

From the side of the United Nations, very recently the Secretary-General, in a speech at the American Museum of Natural History, outlined five areas. Five key strategic areas where we must have a sense that at the end of Johannesburg we have committed ourselves to action which goes beyond incremental action - action which truly marks a quantum change of effort. The five areas that he had identified (which we put in the acronym WEHAB) are: water, energy, health, agriculture and bio- diversity, standing more broadly for eco-system management. I am not going to spell out the case for each one of these. This has been done several times

earlier. It was highlighted in the S-G’s speech and earlier it had its place even in the report that we had submitted to the Preparatory Committee for this conference. It is there in your programme of action that you are looking at now and it is very important that we would be able to say after you finish your work on this programme, that at least in these areas, in these five strategic areas, without which we cannot talk about moving towards sustainability, without which we cannot talk credibly about reaching the Millennium Declaration Goals and targets, we have a programme that truly marks a forward step in the commitment to action by the world community. Mr. Chairman, I am stressing this point because the World Summit on Sustainable Development has not been called to endorse business as usual in public policy or private activity. The Summit has been called because people want change in public policy and in private activity and we have to reflect this desire for change in what we negotiate here as well as in the various partnerships initiatives, which will come out of the process. We have to signal a commitment to change. We have to signal that there is a credible mechanism for ensuring that these changes will take place in the years beyond Johannesburg.

That we will not meet ten years after Johannesburg with the same concerns that we have not been able to put sufficient energy into the implementation of what we agreed in Johannesburg; that we have not able to retain high level political attention on what we agreed in Johannesburg; and that we have not been able to find resources to implement what we agreed in Johannesburg.

This is real challenge before us and I believe the challenge is great. But I am also convinced that the challenge can be met. Because in this process we have seen a spirit of accommodation to each other. Now, what we have to add to that spirit of accommodation is a boldness and a vision which seeks not simply agreement but seeks agreement at a higher level of commitment. What we have to aim for therefore, during this week, is for a programme for the implementation of Agenda 21 that we

can feel proud about, that we can refer to with a sense of achievement as the Bali Commitment. That, I believe is the challenge for this week before you and in the language of Indonesia I wish you good luck “semoga berhasil” Thank you.

 

ON THE WEB

 

51)   FACTBOX - What's on table at talks for "Earth Summit 2" (Reuters via Planet Ark 7 June 2002) http://www.planetark.org/dailynewsstory.cfm/newsid/16322/story.htm

52)   Global water "crisis" high on Earth Summit Agenda (Reuters via Planet Ark 7 June 2002) http://www.planetark.org/dailynewsstory.cfm/newsid/16323/story.htm

53)   US, poor nations face off at Earth Summit talks (Reuters via Planet Ark 7June 2002) http://www.planetark.org/dailynewsstory.cfm/newsid/16309/story.htm

54)   Ministers Struggle to Wrap Up Earth Summit Talks (Reuters 7 June 2002) http://reuters.com/news_article.jhtml;jsessionid=UP3W24LW1DOXYCRBAE0CFFAKEEATGIWD?type=sciencenews&StoryID=1060655

55)   Big cities a headache UN summit wants to address (Reuters via Planet Ark 6 June 2002) http://www.planetark.org/dailynewsstory.cfm/newsid/16295/story.htm

56)   Business says states not living up to Rio promise (Reuters via ENN 5 June 2002) http://www.enn.com/news/wire-stories/2002/06/06052002/reu_47436.asp

57)   EU warns Earth Summit agenda unrealistic (Reuters via Planet Ark 5 June 2002) http://www.planetark.org/dailynewsstory.cfm/newsid/16270/story.htm

58)   U.N. Urges Governments to Finish Earth Summit Plan (Reuters 5 June 2002) http://www.miami.com/mld/miami/news/world/3401914.htm

59)   Bali village eyes tourists but puts environment first (Reuters 4 June 2002) http://asia.reuters.com/news_article.jhtml;jsessionid=2SO32UKF2WI1GCRBAEZSFFAKEEATIIWD?type=topnews&StoryID=1043285

60)   Ministers to add muscle to Bali Earth Summit talks (Reuters via Planet Ark 3 June 2002) http://www.planetark.org/dailynewsstory.cfm/newsid/16224/story.htm

61)   Negotiators Try to Wrap Up Earth Summit Plan (Reuters 3 June 2002) http://www.reuters.com/news_article.jhtml;jsessionid=V1AJZBT5C05G2CRBAEZSFFAKEEATIIWD?type=worldnews&StoryID=1041091

62)   Ministers to add muscle to Bali Earth Summit talks (Reuters 2 June 2002) http://asia.reuters.com/news_article.jhtml;jsessionid=SL4TH4GZ0MNKMCRBAE0CFFAKEEATGIWD?type=topnews&StoryID=1038132

63)   EU Ratifies Global Warming Pact, Slams Washington (Reuters 31 May 2002) http://reuters.com/news_article.jhtml;jsessionid=K2QSXPXKSZBE4CRBAEKSFEYKEEATIIWD?type=sciencenews&StoryID=1036273

64)   Delegates closer to deal on Earth Summit plan (Reuters 31 May 2002) http://www.kansascity.com/mld/kansascity/news/local/3368950.htm

65)   Bush Yet to Decide if Will Attend 'Earth Summit 2' (Reuters 31 May 2002) http://www.reuters.com/news_article.jhtml;jsessionid=3E1HSDN2GT1QKCRBAE3CFFA?type=politicsnews&StoryID=1032924

66)   Delegates Inch Closer to Deal on Earth Summit Plan (Reuters 31 May 2002) http://reuters.com/news_article.jhtml;jsessionid=HK1NCO2UEVSXMCRBAE3CFFA?type=sciencenews&StoryID=1032197

67)   Delegates Close in on Earth Summit Plan, NGOs Livid (Reuters 31 May 2002) http://www.reuters.com/news_article.jhtml;jsessionid=NXX3DFQMUBPKQCRBAE3CFFA?type=worldnews&StoryID=1034358

 

 

 

 

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