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The task managers then introduced the Secretary-General’s Reports and documentation relevant to CSD-4 consideration of several cross-sectoral issues.

UNCTAD introduced the Secretary-General’s report on trade, environment and sustainable development (E/CN.17/1996/8 and Add.1). UNFPA introduced the report on demographic dynamics (E/CN.17/1996/10 and Add.1). UNESCO introduced the report on education (E/CN.17/1996/14 and Add.1). UNDP introduced the report on capacity building (E/CN.17/1996/15 and Add.1). JOKE WALLER-HUNTER introduced DPCSD- prepared reports on the following issue areas: combating poverty (E/CN.17/1996/9); integrating environment and development in decision making (E/CN.17/1996/11 and Add.1); national reporting (E/CN.17/1996/19); roles of major groups (E/CN.17/1996/12 and background paper #2); transfer of environmentally sound technology (E/CN.13/1996/13, Add.1 and background paper #5); international legal mechanisms (E/CN.17/1996/17, Add. 1 and background paper #3); information for decision-making (E/CN.17/1996/18 and Add.1); and institutional arrangements (E/CN.17/1996/16).

SWITZERLAND called delegates’ attention to a Swiss publication, “Passport to the Future,” regarding education. The EU suggested that the CSD could recommend that States take into account: establishing programmes to reinforce all groups’ awareness of sustainable development; promoting increased participation by major groups; developing the role of national CSDs; encouraging the synergy between different components of major groups; and assisting cooperation between major groups. The NETHERLANDS highlighted a recent expert meeting on National Technological Needs Assessments (NTNAs), which will contribute to the ongoing discussions on technology transfer and capacity building. The meeting identified the value-added of NTNAs, provided that they are properly followed-up by capacity-building actions and technology transfer projects.

SWEDEN underlined its commitment to education and described recent national initiatives, such as new national curricula that directly refer to the global approach. He also looked forward to renewed efforts by UNESCO and others to produce proposals that will allow the special session to develop further ideas for sustainable development. CANADA said the CSD should further explore issues germane to poverty and environmental degradation, such as the health of the urban poor, environmental protection and resource management, afforestation and reforestation, and the development of sanitary sewage disposal. He urged the CSD to recommend confirmation of the roster status of the CSD NGOs and explicitly invite major groups to participate in the special session preparations. He said the positive impact of trade liberalization initiatives on sustainable development will be maximized if accompanied by appropriate environmental policies.

The US called for attention to women and children in studies and measurements of poverty. He encouraged NGO and major group involvement, but stated that funding should not impose additional demands on the UN budget. CHINA stated that, in the field of international trade, countries should consult on an equal footing and should not create barriers to trade with developing countries. VENEZUELA noted national efforts in support of Agenda 21, including efforts to increase private enterprise participation and recycling. The REPUBLIC of KOREA suggested that programmes to combat poverty be geographically and ecologically specific. He noted a recently announced national “environmental vision,” which will include the pursuit of preventive environmental policies.

DENMARK stated that one of the most difficult challenges in national implementation has been the need to change consumption and production patterns. CUBA noted the importance of international trade and transfer of science and technology, and stated that protectionist policies create impediments for exports from developing countries.

The EU noted priorities for efforts to combat poverty, including basic health services, capacity building and support to women. He stated that the World Summit for Social Development follow-up should be coordinated by the Commission on Social Development, and that ECOSOC should consider the division of work between the two commissions.

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