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The high-level segment of the CSD began Wednesday, 23 June, in the Trusteeship Council Chamber and continued through the following day. The report by the Secretary- General (E/CN.17/1993/12) suggested that discussions focus on the critical dimensions of sustainability such as an international economy supportive of environment and development goals, changes in consumption patterns and measures to ensure compatibility between demographic dynamics and sustainability. Further, the report noted that issues such as national implementation and decision- making structures, including preparation of national reports and national coordinating structures for the follow-up of Agenda 21, financial resources, technology transfer, and UN system implementation should also be discussed.

During the course of the segment, 38 ministers from CSD member states, 8 ministers from observer countries, 10 ambassadors and 4 NGOs gave speeches. CSD Chair Razali opened the session and said that the high-level segment is an integral part of the Commission's work and stressed the need to provide the political impetus to propel Rio forward. He noted the achievements of the CSD at this session and said that it must not only monitor but serve as a mechanism for problem solving. Adding that the CSD will not replicate itself as just another UN commission, he said he hoped that the high-level segment would build on the work of the session and that the ministers would reinforce that the commitments made in Rio were still alive. He encouraged ministers to establish a dialogue at this meeting and to give the CSD clear guidance for its future work.

Under-Secretary-General Nitin Desai said that the ministers should consider both national implementation and international cooperation, adding that while the task in Rio was policy development, the CSD's focus is policy implementation. He said that there are three core issues where we must succeed in order to determine if Rio has been a success: poverty, population growth and consumption patterns. Agenda 21 must be implemented at the national level. The Secretariat will support the Bureau in guiding the intersessional process. [Return to start of article]