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COW Chair Tolba chaired afternoon negotiations on the draft political statement. On paragraph 1 (purpose of UNGASS), CANADA and AUSTRALIA proposed deleting the “long-term” goal of sustainable development, noting that immediate steps are also needed. The G-77/CHINA objected that sustainable development cannot be completed in the short-term.

On 2 (reaffirmation of UNCED), the G-77/CHINA proposed redefining the global partnership for sustainable development as one that respects the “indivisibility of environmental protection and the development process.” CANADA preferred the existing “economic and social development interests of all.” The US proposed using the definition of sustainable development used throughout the political statement. The EU proposed avoiding definitions since countries could not agree. The G-77/CHINA also proposed reaffirming that “sustained economic growth” as well as sustainable development must be considered long-term goals. The US proposed that sustained economic growth should be “in the context” of sustainable development, but the G-77/CHINA objected.

On 3 (recommitment to Rio principles), the G-77/China called for countries to “recommit” rather than “commit” to “work together to meet development and environmental needs.” This was not opposed. The group also called for reference to “incremental cost” but it was decided to include this elsewhere. On 4 (humans at the center of sustainable development), CANADA supported the listing of major groups, but a number of countries suggested deleting the list and/or changing the formulation of indigenous people[s]. At CHINA’s request, delegates deleted a reference to “civil” society.

On 5 (past and future progress), the G-77/CHINA deleted the reference to the achievement of positive results at the “international” level. The US objected. International results were to be included in an additional sentence. The G-77/CHINA proposed deleting the listing of environmental problems and added a reference to new and additional financial resources. The US said such repetition is unnecessary. The CHAIR said his version calling for adequate and predictable financial resources was agreed in the other draft document.

On 6 (problems), the G-77/CHINA deleted the reference to the growing gap between developed and “most” developing countries and growing disparities between rich and poor “within countries.” The US added rich and poor “within and among” countries. The G-77/CHINA added a reference to unsustainable patterns of production and consumption “particularly in developed countries,” but the US objected. The G- 77/CHINA reintroduced previous amendments regarding common but differentiated responsibilities and the sovereign right to exploit resources. On 7 (integration), the G-77/CHINA proposed: referring to “implementation of Agenda 21" rather than sustainable development; adding language on economic growth; and deleting a sentence on democracy and human rights. The US proposed using the outcome of discussion on paragraph 17 (integration) of the proposed Programme for the Future Implementation of Agenda 21. The US, the EU and CANADA proposed deleting the final sentence on coercive economic measures and foreign occupation, but SYRIA argued for its retention.


Vice-Chair John Ashe (Antigua and Barbuda) chaired morning and evening negotiations on outstanding cross-sectoral issues.

Implementation in areas requiring urgent action: On 17 (integration of economic, social and environmental objectives), the G-77/CHINA objected to bracketed text on, inter alia: the interdependent nature of economic development and environmental protection; sustained economic growth; broad-based benefits; and democracy. The G-77/CHINA disagreed with the US and the EU on removal of the brackets and the paragraph remained unresolved. On 18b (policy instruments), NEW ZEALAND and NORWAY disagreed on bracketed text referring to indigenous people[s] and the paragraph was not agreed. The G-77/CHINA proposed deleting 18c (job creation), but NORWAY, SWITZERLAND, the US, the EU and CANADA supported retaining the paragraph, noting the importance of workers rights and poverty eradication. On 21(e) (impact of poverty on women), the EU maintained brackets on text regarding the report of the Fourth World Conference on Women.

The chapeau to 22, “Changing consumption and production patterns,” was agreed ad referendum. On 22, the G-77/CHINA disagreed with the EU, the US, SWITZERLAND and NORWAY on the removal of brackets from two sentences noting unsustainable patterns in developing countries and emerging unsustainable patterns in higher income groups in developing countries. The PHILIPPINES proposed noting the emerging patterns in “other” countries, rather than developing countries, which was accepted. Subparagraphs 22(a) (unsustainable patterns of production and consumption) and 22(b) (role of business in shaping patterns of consumption) were agreed ad referendum. On subparagraph 22(f) (programmes on energy and material efficiency), delegations agreed to remove brackets from an EU- proposed text on ten-fold and four-fold improvements in resource productivity in industrialized countries. In subparagraph 22(g) (Governments lead in changing consumption patterns), CHINA agreed ad referendum to the CHAIR’s reformulation of bracketed text, stating that “Governments in developed countries, in particular, should take the lead in this regard.” No agreement was reached on subparagraph 22(j) (eco-efficiency measures), where references to “the need to avoid” negative impacts on developing country export opportunities and “as appropriate, for countries with economies in transition” remain in brackets. In subparagraph 23(f) (strengthening cooperation between UN agencies, WTO and other bodies), INDIA said it wanted to keep a reservation.

Means of Implementation: The G-77/CHINA reformulated paragraph 103 (high-tech info-communication) to note that a supportive environment needs to be established to enhance national capacity and capabilities for information collection, processing and dissemination, especially in developing countries, and that international cooperation is essential.

On paragraph 104 (Environmental Impact Assessment), the EU and US introduced an introductory reference to Principle 17 of the Rio Declaration. The G- 77/CHINA proposed that EIAs be undertaken for activities that are likely to have significant adverse impacts on the environment “and” (CANADA) subject to a decision of a competent national authority. A NORWEGIAN- proposed text on environmental values and EIAs of national or international investment programme[s] remains in brackets.

On 105 (set of indicators), the text calls for a “practicable and agreed (EU)” set of indicators “suited to country specific conditions (G-77/CHINA),” to be used “on a voluntary basis by the year 2000 (EU).” The G-77/CHINA proposed changing “should” to “could” in reference to the role indicators play in monitoring progress. The US and EU objected to changing unbracketed text. Paragraph 106 (indicators of sustainable development) was deleted.

On paragraph 107 (national reports on implementation), delegates agreed to the original Co-Chairs’ draft and dropped all amendments. The G-77/CHINA agreed ad referendum.

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