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The closing plenary convened Friday afternoon, 28 April 1995.

CHAIR'S SUMMARY OF THE HIGH-LEVEL SEGMENT: In his summary of the High-Level Segment, the Chair noted that over 50 ministers participated, including representatives of the ministries of: the environment, finance, planning, development cooperation, forestry, agriculture, labor and infrastructure. High-Level meeting participants described a number of encouraging initiatives, including action taken to phase out lead in gasoline. In this respect, the Commission has encouraged the exchange of national experiences, particularly among developing countries, in the use of environmentally sustainable technologies such as the use of ethanol and biomass as sources of energy.

One of the continuing areas of concern remains financial support for national efforts in developing countries and countries with economies in transition. The setting up of an Intergovernmental Panel on Forests was unanimously supported. This decision was regarded as a real achievement, demonstrating the level of credibility attained by the CSD in fulfilling one of the main decisions reached at UNCED. Participants also highlighted the importance of documenting efforts and progress made at the national level in implementing Agenda 21. Fifty-three States and two organizations submitted national reports to the Secretariat. The presentation of national experiences during this session was also considered a valuable complement to the written reports and deserves follow-up at future sessions. The related work on indicators forms an important element in the reporting process. The participants also expressed their appreciation for the continued participation of major groups in the Commission's work. Many noted the crucial role of women, as well as youth and indigenous people and local communities in decision making.

Following the pattern of the previous intersessional period, two ad hoc open- ended intersessional working groups will be set up to address the sectoral items programmed for 1996, namely atmosphere, oceans and related technology issues, and the cross-sectoral issues of financial resources and mechanisms and changing production and consumption patterns. A special effort will be made at the Bureau level to prepare for the 1997 review.

ADOPTION OF THE AGENDA FOR THE FOURTH SESSION: Delegates then adopted the provisional agenda for the fourth session of the CSD (E/CN.17/1995/L.13). The provisional agenda includes: election of officers; adoption of the agenda and organization of work; cross-sectoral issues, with particular reference to Agenda 21, Chapters 2-5 (trade, environment and sustainable development, combating poverty, changing consumption patterns and demographic dynamics); financial resources and mechanisms; education, science and the transfer of environmentally sound technology, with particular reference to Agenda 21, Chapters 34 (technology), 36 (education) and 37 (capacity-building); review of sectoral clusters, including Chapters 9 (atmosphere) and 17 (oceans and all kinds of seas), the progress report on the Intergovernmental Panel on Forests, and the progress report on the implementation of the CSD's decisions at its second and third sessions; progress in the implementation of the Programme of Action for the Sustainable Development of Small Island Developing States; and the high-level meeting.

ACTION ON DRAFT DECISIONS: The Commission then adopted all of the draft decisions that had been negotiated by the drafting groups.

Drafting Group A:

Drafting Group B:

Drafting Group C:

  • E/CN.17/1995/L.2 ' Overall Considerations
  • E/CN.17/1995/L.3 ' Integrated Approach to the Planning and Management of Land Resources
  • E/CN.17/1995/L.4 ' Managing Fragile Ecosystems ' Combating Desertification and Drought
  • E/CN.17/1995/L.5 ' Sustainable Mountain Development
  • Combating Deforestation (unedited text)
  • Promoting Sustainable Agriculture and Rural Development (unedited text)
  • Conservation of Biological Diversity (unedited text)
  • Environmentally Sound Management of Biotechnology ' (unedited text)
  • Progress in the Implementation of Decisions on the Sectoral Issues Adopted by the Second Session of the CSD (unedited text).
Gabon said that it could not accept the decision on forests since the document has not been translated into French. France agreed that it will only give its final approval to these texts when the French versions can be verified. Morocco added that this has been a problem in the CSD before and each year delegates are told that the problem will be rectified. Under-Secretary-General Nitin Desai assured delegates that the situation would be reviewed. With regard to the decision on financial resources, the US noted that it has not affirmed or reaffirmed a commitment to the UN target of 0.7% of GNP for ODA. With regard to the financial implications of the Forest Panel, the additional resources needed in 1996-97 should come from savings and other adjustments in the budget.

AD HOC OPEN-ENDED INTERSESSIONAL WORKING GROUPS: The Chair then proposed establishing two intersessional working groups to prepare for the fourth session of the CSD. The group on sectoral issues will deal with protection of the atmosphere (Chapter 9) and protection of the oceans, all kinds of seas and coastal areas (Chapter 17). The other group will address financial resources and changing consumption patterns. Both groups will discuss transfer of technology, cooperation and capacity-building. The Bureau will consult with members of the Commission on the agenda and organizational modalities.

Morocco asked about the dates for the working groups and insisted that the schedule take into account other sustainable development meetings. Desai responded that the dates will be set in consultation with the Bureau.

ADOPTION OF THE REPORT OF THE COMMISSION ON ITS THIRD SESSION: The rapporteur, Yordan Uzunov (Bulgaria) then introduced the report of the Commission on its third session, as contained in E/CN.17/1995/L.1 and addenda 1-4. After adoption of the report and closing statements by the US, Canada, France (on behalf of the EU), the Philippines (on behalf of the G-77 and China), Papua New Guinea, Nitin Desai and the Chair, Henrique Cavalcanti, the third session of the Commission on Sustainable Development came to a close.

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