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8th Meeting of the Commission on Sustainable Development
New York, USA; 24 April - 05 May, 2000


| Monday 24 | Tuesday 25 | Wednesday 26 | Thursday 27Friday 28 | April
| Monday 01 | Tuesday 02 | Wednesday 03 | Thursday 04 | Friday 05 | May

| Lundi 24 | Mardi 25 | Mercredi 26 | Jeudi 27 | Vendredi 28 | Avril
| Lundi 01 | Mardi 02 | Mercredi 03 | Jeudi 04 | Vendredi 05 | Mai

Highlights from Thursday 04 May

Delegates at the Commission on Sustainable Development met throughout Thursday and into the early hours morning hours on Friday. Drafting Group I met briefly in the morning to convene two contact groups to address biotechnology and genetic resources, and the multifunctionality of agriculture. In the afternoon, the Drafting Group heard reports from the contact groups. A contact group on Integrated Planning and Management of Land Resources convened in the evening. Drafting Group II met in the morning to discuss a revised draft on Financial Resources and Mechanisms and in the afternoon to deliberate on a revised draft on Economic Growth, Trade and Investment. The group reconvened in the evening to discuss revised drafts on both issues, and adjourned at approximately 2:30 am. Drafting Group III met in the afternoon to discuss Rio+10 preparations and "other matters."

Photo: Navid Hanif, Pakistan, facilitated the contact group on land and agriculture. Pictured here with Chair Patrick McDonnell and Dympna Hayes, Ireland

In the Corridors: "Informal, informal, informal" discussions were reported to be proceeding in the early hours of Friday morning on the issue of the multifunctional character of agriculture. At a contact group on Thursday, one developing country participant described the issue as a "spectre haunting CSD-8" as he supported a G-77/China proposal to delete any reference to the concept from the draft agriculture text. A Cairns ally of the G-77/China position clarified that the problem with multi-functionality is not conceptual but political: a number of countries believe it is a "cloak for protectionism." Some opponents also questioned the CSD-8's mandate to introduce the concept for discussion, as no consensus to put multifunctionality in the Co-Chairs' elements for discussion emerged at the CSD Inter-sessional Working Group.

Click here for the following side events:

  • Roundtable discussion on outcomes of the multi-stakeholder dialogue and looking towards Rio+10
  • Briefing on results of Ad Hoc Panel on Energy and Sustainable Development


Drafting Group I on land management and agriculture

Navid Hanif (Pakistan) reported that the contact group on biotechnology and genetic resources had reached agreement on: exploring the potential of biotechnology, using transparent, science-based risk assessment procedures as well as risk management procedures; applying the precautionary approach; encouraging governments to develop legal frameworks and other measures for the risk analysis and management of living modified organisms; promoting only those applications of biotechnology that do not pose unacceptable risks, bearing in mind ethical considerations; and urging governments to finalize negotiations on an International Undertaking on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture "as soon as possible." The group agreed to delete a paragraph on labelling genetically modified products.

JoAnne DiSano, Director, Division of Sustainable Development, with Dr. Fernandez Modesto, Cuba, (center)

At an early evening meeting of Drafting Group I, Chair McDonnell invited Dr. Fernandez Modesto, Cuba, (center), to report on the contact group covering the multifunctional "character" of agriculture. Dr. Modesto said the issues will continue to be controversial. The contact group conducted a twenty-minute conceptual discussion and decided to refer the issue back to the Drafting Group.

Nigeria, speaking for the G-77/China, in consultations with Australia (above left) Egypt (right) intervenes on the issue of water. . The US proposed adding language on the critical importance of water resources. Egypt agreed but stated, with support from TURKEY, that importance "at the national level" should be specified. Delegates also agreed on a G-77/China-proposed reference to watershed management providing "one of the commonly understood" frameworks for achieving a holistic approach to sustainable development.


The US intervenes on agriculture

Regarding agriculture and on data collection and indicators, the G-77/CHINA proposed deleting reference to "gender disaggregation" and, opposed by the EU, deleting reference to the Convention on Biological Diversity. The US proposed keeping the reference and stated that this was the only way to monitor progress for women in agriculture. BENIN described gender disaggregation as a new concept.

The EU and the G-77/China consult in the early morning hours

Drafting Group I on finance and trade

New Zealand (left) facilitated a contact group which discussed the establishment of an ad hoc intergovernmental panel to study fulfillment of financial commitments. The text remains bracketed.

The EU consulting on outstanding issues related to finance. Delegates agreed to a paragraph on the GEF.
Chair Seok-young with the US, Indonesia and Brazil after informal consultations between groups on trade late in the evening. The US opposed reference to the Precautionary Principle, the Polluter Pays Principle and the Principle, noting that it is not universally agreed that these are all "principles." Regarding MEAs and trade agreements, the US said whether or not they were on equal footing need to be determined on a case by case basis.

Drafting Group III on Preparations for Rio+10 and other matters
Delegates met into the early morning hours on Thursday to discuss preparations for Rio+10. On the relationship between CSD-10 and Rio+10, and on financial details, the Secretariat referred to a note describing CSD-10 structure and funding. She said a back-to-back meeting with CSD-9 could begin preparations and CSD-10 will be devoted to Rio+10 preparations. Many delegates expressed concern with the CSD setting the Rio+10 agenda. It was agreed that the review focus on areas where further efforts are needed to implement Agenda 21 and other outcomes of UNCED, and result in action-oriented decisions. Regarding the location of Rio+10, delegates agreed that the event be "preferably"in a developing country. The US noted that in terms of current policy, the US would not be able to pay its share of UN funding for a UN.
The United Kingdom introduced, on behalf of the EU, introduced a Proposed Draft on Freshwater, but it was withdrawn, following expression of concern from many delegations on the existing CSD-9 workload.

The Netherlands, on behalf of the EU, introduced the EU Draft Decision on Education, Public Awareness and Training. Delegates were invited to resolve differences of opinion regarding this in an informal session before the Friday Plenary.

The Sudan stressed the importance of participation of non-CSD members in negotiations and decision making.

ENB Summary of Ad Hoc Open-Ended Intergovernmental Group of Experts on Energy and Sustainable Development
CSD-8 Intersessionals
Linkages CSD page
UN - CSD website with official documents 
ENB's "Introduction to CSD"

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