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December 2001

Global Conference on Oceans and Coasts at Rio+10: Toward the 2002 World Summit on Sustainable Development in Johannesburg

7 December 2001: The Global Conference on Oceans and Coasts at Rio+10: Toward the 2002 World Summit on Sustainable Development in Johannesburg, took place from 3-7 December 2001 at the Headquarters of the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) in Paris, France. The Conference, which was originally initiated by NGOs, was co-organized by UNESCO's Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission (IOC) and the University of Delaware's Center for the Study of Marine Policy (CSMP), with the support of numerous international and national organizations involved or interested in oceans-related issues. The Conference was attended by more than 400 participants from over 60 countries, including 13 ministers and vice-ministers and ocean experts from governments, intergovernmental organizations (IGOs), NGOs, academic and scientific institutions, and industry. Conference participants sought to: provide an overall assessment of progress achieved on oceans and coasts in the ten years since the UN Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED) in Rio; identify new and continuing challenges; examine cross-cutting issues among various ocean and coastal sectors; consider options for concerted action on outstanding cross-sectoral issues; and provide recommendations for the WSSD on oceans and coasts issues. The Conference was organized into 17 panels, with presentations on selected topics followed by discussion periods. Eight Working Groups composed of NGO, IGO and government representatives also met in morning, lunchtime and evening sessions throughout the week to assess information presented by the panels and prepare recommendations on: harmonization of international agreements; targeting of donor aid; assessment and management of the marine environment; marine biodiversity and protected areas; integrated ocean and coastal management; sustainable fisheries and aquaculture; regional and small island perspectives; and capacity building. Outputs from the proceedings were contained in a Co-Chairs' Draft Concluding Statement and Working Group Draft Reports, which were subsequently developed into a Co-Chairs' Summary to be presented in January 2002 to the WSSD PrepCom II. Future planned outputs also include a volume on ministerial perspectives presented at the Conference and several volumes and journals of position papers submitted to the Conference. The IISD RS Sustainable Developments report outlining these discussions in detail can be found at: http://enb.iisd.org/linkages/sd/ocrio+10/
Sixth Meeting of the WSSD Bureau

7 December 2001: The sixth meeting of the CSD-10 Bureau took place on 7 December 2001 in Washington, DC. The Bureau reviewed preparations for the "brainstorming sessions" scheduled to take place from 16-17 January 2002 in New York. The Bureau agreed that, although the brainstorming sessions are primarily meant to facilitate governments' preparations for the second PrepCom, CSD rules will apply to the participation of Major Groups. The brainstorming sessions will address: key themes for the Summit emerging from the regional preparatory processes; possible outcomes of the WSSD, with a focus on strengthening implementation and launching partnerships at the global, regional and national levels; and implications for the institutional framework for sustainable development. The Bureau met with Washington-based NGOs to inform them about the Summit preparatory and multi-stakeholder process and to exchange views on the emerging themes and desired outcomes of the Summit. The Bureau also met with the Global Environment Facility (GEF) Council and representatives of the World Bank. The GEF announced its contributions to the Summit preparations, including roundtables on energy and climate change, forests and biodiversity, and land, water and food security. The GEF will also organize two Ministerial Roundtables on financing for environmental sustainability, with an emphasis on non-ODA finance, to be held in conjunction with the Conference on Financing for Development and the fourth WSSD Preparatory Committee in Jakarta, Indonesia. Each of those roundtables will submit a report with recommendations to the WSSD Preparatory Committee. In discussions with the World Bank, it was suggested that the Summit focus on a limited number of priority themes to maximize its impact. The World Bank also announced its inputs to the Johannesburg process, including a study on innovative financing for sustainable development being conducted in cooperation with UNEP and IMF, research on poverty-environment linkages in cooperation with UNDP and DfID (UK), and an investigation into land and water management for food security, to be carried out in cooperation with GEF and the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research (CGIAR). The next Bureau meeting is expected to convene on 14 January 2002 in New York. More information on this meeting is available online at: http://www.johannesburgsummit.org/html/documents/note_6thbur...

November 2001

Asia-Pacific Roundtable on Sustainable Development and the High-Level Asia-Pacific Regional Meeting for the WSSD

29 November 2001: The Asia-Pacific Roundtable on Sustainable Development and the High-Level Asia-Pacific Regional Meeting for the World Summit on Sustainable Development (WSSD) took place in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, from 27-29 November 2001. The Roundtable and Regional Meeting were attended by over 190 representatives from 46 Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP) States, two associate members of ESCAP, four non-ESCAP UN member States, and over 220 representatives from UN agencies, multilateral financing institutions, NGOs and other stakeholders. The Regional Meeting produced two outcomes: a Chair's Summary of the Roundtable; and the Phnom Penh Regional Platform on Sustainable Development for Asia and the Pacific, which includes a regional assessment of Agenda 21 implementation, key issues and priorities for sustainable development, follow-up actions, and financing for sustainable development. Delegates engaged in marathon negotiations that stretched early into the morning hours on the last day to produce a Platform that many described as perhaps the best of the products coming out of the five regional preparatory meetings for the WSSD. The Earth Negotiations Bulletin outlining these discussions in detail can be found at: http://enb.iisd.org/linkages/2002/wsasi/

October 2001

Latin America and the Caribbean Regional Preparatory Meeting for WSSD

24 October 2001: The Latin America and Caribbean Regional Preparatory Conference for the WSSD took place at Rio Centro in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, from 23-24 October 2001. Representatives of 27 Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC) States, three associate members of ECLAC, five non-ECLAC UN member States, and representatives from UN agencies, multilateral financial institutions, and NGOs attended the Conference. Delegates considered progress achieved in implementation of Agenda 21, discussed the document regarding "The sustainability of development in Latin America and the Caribbean: Challenges and opportunities," and heard statements by ministers and representatives of international organizations and civil society. A Special Session, during which Brazilian President Fernando Henrique Cardoso spoke, was held on Tuesday, 23 October, and a high-level Panel on Financing Sustainable Development was convened on the same day. At the end of the meeting, delegates adopted the "Rio de Janeiro Platform for Action on the Road to Johannesburg 2002," which includes sections on: reaffirmation of principles and commitments; obstacles and lessons learned; present considerations; and future commitments. The Earth Negotiations Bulletin report outlining these discussions in detail can be found at: http://enb.iisd.org/linkages/2002/wslac/

September 2001

UNECE Regional Ministerial Meeting for the World Summit on Sustainable Development

25 September 2001: The UN Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) Regional Ministerial Meeting for the 2002 World Summit on Sustainable Development (WSSD) took place from 24-25 September 2001 in Geneva, Switzerland. More than 500 participants attended the session, including government Ministers and other high-level officials, intergovernmental organizations, NGOs and other major groups and stakeholders. Those in attendance represented the diverse range of countries within the UNECE region, which includes the members of the European Union, as well as Switzerland, the Transition Countries of Eastern Europe and Central Asia, the US, Canada, Turkey and Israel. Observers from South Africa - the host government for the WSSD - were also present. The meeting aimed to outline key regional policy issues, priorities and follow-up actions for the WSSD, to provide substantial inputs to its preparatory process, and to forward regional views on international co-operation for sustainable development at the regional and global levels. Participants debated and adopted the Ministerial Statement to the WSSD, and considered follow-up to the UNECE/World Health Organization High-level Meeting on Transport, Environment and Health held in Geneva on 4 May 2001. Two Ministerial Panels were held, focusing on governance and sustainable development and on poverty and sustainable development. The results from this regional preparatory meeting will feed into the second preparatory session for the WSSD, scheduled for 28 January-8 February 2002 in New York. The Earth Negotiations Bulletin outlining these discussions in detail can be found at: http://enb.iisd.org/linkages/wssd/WSEUR/
Third Meeting of the Bureau of CSD-10

6 September 2001: The third meeting of the Bureau of the tenth session of the Commission on Sustainable Development (CSD 10) acting as the Preparatory Committee for the WSSD took place from 5-6 September 2001, in Jakarta, Indonesia. The meeting was chaired by Emil Salim, who is Chair of the WSSD's Preparatory Committee. During this meeting, the Bureau assessed the state of preparations for the Johannesburg Summit, focusing on the regional and sub-regional levels. It also considered the specific details of the programme of work for the second session of the Preparatory Committee scheduled for early 2002 in New York and decided on the organization of multi-stakeholder dialogues during the second PrepCom session. In addition, participants agreed on the Bureau's activities leading up to the second PrepCom session. In taking stock of the state of regional preparations, members of the Bureau raised concerns that regional assessments are not always based on national assessments, that they did not place enough emphasis on the economic and social pillars of sustainable development and that some regional processes were concentrating primarily on global issues rather than regional platforms. The Bureau underscored the need for the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) to go beyond supporting countries in undertaking their national assessments and to become more actively involved in the Johannesburg Summit preparatory process. It also highlighted governance as an important issue on the WSSD's agenda. More information on this meeting is available online at: http://www.johannesburgsummit.org/web_pages/jakarta_bureau_n...