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Briefing for Wednesday, 21 April

Multi-stakeholder Dialogues Hit the Right Note for Upton

The Multi-stakeholder Dialogues on Tourism at the seventh session of the Commission on Sustainable Development produced a stream of ideas and straight talking Tuesday. Proposals for video and musical productions were accompanied by straight talking by trade union representatives about the working conditions of women and young workers in the tourism industry, including employees of a multinational entertainment complex. The Dialogues certainly lived up to CSD-7 Chair Simon Upton�s hopes that participants would avoid another round of "common denominator" recommendations to be taken up by ministers when the high level discussions begin Wednesday.

During the Tourism Dialogue on changing consumer behavior, local authority representatives invited industry, NGO and trade union stakeholders to join an initiative to develop a short in-flight education video on sustainable tourism. During a Dialogue on safeguarding the integrity of local cultures and protecting the environment while promoting sustainable tourism, trade union representatives detailed an initiative to mobilize artists and musicians behind the messages of Agenda 21. They also called for an equitable distribution of the costs associated with environmental protection and spoke out against wage levels for many women and youth and sweat shop conditions. Industry representatives highlighted a general recognition of the need for an overall policy framework reflecting Agenda 21 and incorporating processes such as Local Agenda 21. Non governmental organizations welcomed a proposal for a multi-stakeholder working group. At the close of the afternoon meeting, Chair Upton said the participants had produced some "good nuggets" today.

Chair Upton was less upbeat about the number of ministers lined up to deliver speeches at the CSD Wednesday. This in spite of his hopes that ministers would agree to forego formal speeches in favor of a free wheeling dialogue in what Upton described as a potentially "inspired engagement".


Discussions held since the CSD Intersessionals on the upcoming review of the Programme of Action on Small Island Developing States have resulted in a new text, which will form the basis of negotiations at CSD-7. Representatives of the G-77/China and the EU have also been in contact to clarify their respective negotiating positions after the CSD Intersessionals. Delegates report that the informal contacts produced little progress.

Photos and RealAudio from 20 April

Multi-stakeholder Dialogue Segment on Tourism

Estafania Blount, ICFTU, on behalf of Trade Unions, said a sustainable tourism industry requires modifying the model on which tourism is based as well as individual tourist behavior.
Kenneth Hine, CEO, International Hotel and Restaurant Association; Geoffrey Lipman, President of the World Travel and Tourism Council and a dodo (from left to right). Dodo is both the mascot and the name of the WTTC's environmental awareness and education programme for employees

NGO Tourism Caucus Statement on "Influencing Consumer Behaviour to Promote Sustainable Tourism"

Closing remarks from the morning session from representatives of:



Local authorities

Trade unions

Jeremy Harris, Mayor of Honolulu, highlighted problems related to growth-based tourism economies and recommended shifting to steady-state models where the number of hotels and tourists are limited. He said industry cannot self-regulate in this regard and stressed local governments' role in setting optimum capacity.

Special event: Commemoration of Victims of Unsustainable Production

Above, left and below: Scenes from the musical programme to commemorate female, young and old workers. This event was held as a part of the Fourth International Day for Dead and Injured workers, and was organized by the International Confederation of Free Trade Workers.


Global tourism: New Colonization? Ugandan delegate studies one perspective on international tourism.

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Earth Negotiations Bulletin, 1999. All rights reserved.