Published by the International Institute for Sustainable Development
Vol. 06 No. 109
Friday, May 1 1998
THURSDAY, 30 APRIL 1998
CSD-6 participants met into the night as they attempted to conclude negotiations in
three Drafting Groups. They also heard statements in the High-Level Segment.
Chair Habito reported that the informal morning Ministerial meeting featured a
presentation by the OECD Director-General. It was noted that there must be an attempt to
monitor the extent to which FDI from OECD countries supports or deters sustainable
development. The meeting also focused on indicators and stronger developing country
involvement in trade agreements.
On freshwater, many developed countries, such as the US, AUSTRIA, GREECE and AUSTRALIA,
highlighted, inter alia, their national actions and laws to address freshwater problems,
international development assistance efforts and sponsorship of meetings. IRELAND
stressed: developing locally responsive and participatory management, increasing public or
private sector funds, and retaining the right to determine cost recovery plans. The CZECH
REPUBLIC called on the CSD to endorse an agreement that ensures drinking water for all.
NORWAY called for well-coordinated technical assistance from multilateral and bilateral
donors and urged CSD-6 to help overcome the inertia of the "overly complicated"
ACC Sub-committee system. Many developing countries, including KENYA, MOROCCO, GABON,
BENIN, GUYANA and IRAN, focused on national water scarcity problems, highlighted national
programmes and stressed the need for assistance in water management. GABON, on behalf of
Francophone countries, recalled the Paris expert meeting and supported establishment of an
international water academy.
Several developed and developing countries praised the industry segment.
Recommendations for further CSD action included: requesting UNEP to examine the
establishment of minimum international environmental standards (GERMANY); articulating the
conditions necessary for corporate pursuit of sustainable development (US); and launching
a multi-stakeholder review of the efficiency of voluntary initiatives (SWITZERLAND, NORWAY
and the PHILIPPINES). AUSTRIA highlighted the Factor 4/Factor 10 concept, which seeks
increased resource productivity to increase efficiency four-fold in the short term and
ten-fold in the long term. SWITZERLAND said introducing environmental, social and
workers rights into international agreements does not invite protectionism. ICELAND
highlighted the links between freshwater management and oceans issues. UKRAINE advocated
an EST database under UN auspices. With RUSSIA and BELARUS, he called on the international
community to assist with recovery from the Chernobyl disaster.
AUSTRALIA, the EUROPEAN COMMUNITY, GERMANY, AUSTRIA, IRELAND, GREECE, FINLAND, NORWAY
and MONACO announced they had signed the Kyoto Protocol. HUNGARY emphasized raising public
awareness on sustainable development. SLOVENIA and the CZECH REPUBLIC highlighted the
importance of communication, meetings and assistance. KYRGYZSTAN focused on sustainable
NEW ZEALAND said there was no reason why ideas and recommendations arising from the
Intersessionals or the industry segment should not be incorporated into the deliberations
of drafting groups. EGYPT said he had not heard many new ideas and suggested, inter alia:
presenting ministers with specific questions; presenting documents early; and attracting
industry ministers. With the PHILIPPINES, he stressed the need to include developing
country industry representatives.
DRAFTING GROUP I
Strategic Approaches to Freshwater Management: On 28 (strengthening capacity),
delegates agreed on Agenda 21 language to state that "indigenous people and local
communities" require equal access to education and training. On 29 (enabling
environment), delegates replaced text specifying the World Water Council as a global-level
forum for debate with a general reference to "appropriate existing mechanisms."
On 32 (technology transfer), the G-77/CHINA called for technology transfer "on
favorable terms, including on concessional and preferential terms." The US objected
and delegates agreed to cite Agenda 21 regarding terms of technology transfer. In 36 (best
practices), the G-77/CHINA, UGANDA, COLOMBIA and INDIA expressed concern at the lack of
definition of the term "best practices." Delegates accepted COLOMBIA's addition
of "taking into account local conditions." On 37 (EST centers), delegates
deleted a call for promotion of "know-how and technology exchange, including among
developing countries." Delegates added text on promoting local and traditional
technology and knowledge and encouraging South-South cooperation from 32.
On 39 (EST transfer), the G-77/CHINA and INDIA deleted text specifying the Global Water
Partnerships Technical Advisory Committees as less formal arrangements that may have
a role to play. Delegates also deleted text on facilitating EST transfer including private
and publicly-owned technology on favorable terms.
In 40 (new and additional resources), the G-77/CHINA proposed stating that effective
use of current resources "is also important," rather than "would help to
mobilize additional finances from public and private sources." The US objected.
Delegates agreed that effective and "efficient" use "is also important and
could contribute in helping to increase the flow of finances from public and private
sources." On 41 (ODA), the G-77/CHINA proposed deleting programmes "aimed at
creating participatory frameworks" and "for safeguarding human health." The
EU said programmes must be designed to create frameworks that will promote, inter alia,
safeguarding of human health. Regarding donors meeting ODA targets, the EU said donors
should "aim to" meet "international development" targets. The US
preferred "targets as agreed." The EU proposed using agreed UNGASS language.
On 42 (private sector), the G-77/CHINA, with SYRIA, objected to text on ODA's role in
assisting developing countries to adopt appropriate policy frameworks that encourage
private sector participation. AUSTRALIA preferred its retention. Delegates accepted the
CHAIR's formulation that "adoption of an enabling financial framework contributes to
the promotion of private sector finance mobilization." On 43 (cost recovery), the
G-77/CHINA deleted transparent "and well-targeted" subsidies. The EU said such
subsidies are "appropriate" rather than "required" in some countries,
and costs can be covered either by cost recovery or from public sector budgets. On 45
(initiatives to mobilize more resources), the G-77/CHINA added recycling, energy,
irrigation and water hyacinth control to a list of areas requiring resources. The EU
deleted a sentence recommending focusing resources on programmes consistent with
countries' policies and a reference to WSSD commitments. The US objected to referring to
"commitments" of recent UN conferences and bracketed the text.
On 47 (using economic instruments), the G-77/CHINA deleted the need to consider the
specific conditions of each region and user pays systems. In 48 (review of existing
financial support arrangements), the G-77/CHINA said a review should aim at mobilizing
"international" financial resources. AUSTRALIA objected, preferring resources
"from all sources." Delegates agreed to mobilizing "financial resources
from all sources, particularly international resources," and replaced the potential
role of "sub-regional and regional arrangements, including those of the Global Water
Partnership" with "formal and informal arrangements." Four paragraphs under
Financial resources and mechanisms and the entire Follow-up and Assessment section
remained pending at 10:45 pm.
DRAFTING GROUP II
Industry and Sustainable Development: In the morning, the Chair circulated a new
three-page draft, reduced from eighteen pages. At an informal meeting countries added FDI
to the objectives of policy reforms to create an enabling environment. On ODA, a proposal
on leveraging FDI was dropped after meeting resistance. The word "core" was
dropped from references to labor standards. On maximizing the positive influence of
industrial activities, countries agreed to include "enforcement" in support of
environmental protection efforts and to encourage wider implementation of voluntary
initiatives. On environmental performance, industry is invited to increase efforts in the
area of responsible entrepreneurship and corporate management tools. A sentence calling
for a scheme on multilateral recognition of certification was deleted. Countries agreed to
recognize "the value of the interactive dialogue" between governments and major
groups at the CSD, discussed whether they "should" or "could" be held
in the future, and agreed on the need for balanced representation of major groups from
developed and developing countries. On a review of voluntary initiatives, it was agreed
that: major groups should identify elements for consideration; DESA could assist in this
regard; DESA, with UNEP and UNIDO, would examine how initiatives could contribute to CSD
work; and DESA should report to CSD-7. On voluntary commitments and initiatives in the
financial sector, countries agreed to invite UNEP to report on its work and call for
further development of work in the sector.
Guidelines for Sustainable Consumption: The Chair introduced a new draft ECOSOC
decision on Consumer Protection Guidelines for Sustainable Consumption at an informal
morning meeting. The Chair conducted further consultations on an invitation to the Bureau
to organize open-ended consultations among States after several countries queried the
purpose and scope of the consultations or meeting envisaged. Others agreed on the need for
preparation ahead of the intersessional. At an evening informal, the Chair introduced a
new draft. Countries agreed to: note the Secretary-General's report and delete a reference
to using it as the basis for deliberations; and "have regard" for the report in
the course of open-ended consultations. Drafting Group II convened at 10:30 pm to complete
DRAFTING GROUP III
Information provided by governments and the exchange of national experiences:
Delegates considered this draft decision, on which MEXICO had conducted extensive
consultations. The EU proposed reaffirming the importance of continued work by the CSD
Secretariat to streamline national reporting requirements. Delegates modified this
proposal and accepted the decision.
Transfer of ESTs, Capacity Building, Education and Public Awareness, and Science for
Sustainable Development: Delegates cleared all brackets by 8:45 pm. In the chapeau,
EU-proposed text on the overarching themes of poverty eradication and sustainable
consumption and production patterns was reformulated to, inter alia, reaffirm their
importance, reaffirm the urgent need to implement all relevant commitments, and note
efforts to achieve the target to reduce by one-half by 2015 the proportion of people in
extreme poverty. On technology transfer, the EU, NORWAY and SWITZERLAND supported the
reference to CSD consideration of policies to promote eco-efficiency. The G-77/CHINA
objected. Delegates agreed to CSD consideration of policies to promote sustainable
production patterns, and in this context to consider the concept of eco-efficiency and
examples of its application in developed and developing countries.
On education, delegates accepted the EU deletion of the reference to UNESCO follow-up
of recommendations resulting from its survey of existing regional and national strategies.
The G-77/CHINA called for task managers to raise awareness of implications of
unsustainable patterns of production and consumption, "in particular in developed
countries." The EU objected. Delegates accepted the reference along with the
US-proposed additional reference to education "in all countries" in the section
heading. Compromise text on promoting investments for education calls on UNDP and
financing institutions to consider current levels "with a view to (US) develop a
strategy or policies for mobilizing new and additional resources (G-77/CHINA) from all
sources (EU)." Delegates added a HUNGARIAN-proposed section entitled "Raising
IN THE CORRIDORS
Those tending display stands on aspects of sustainable development discovered that
diplomatic sensitivities extend to the corridors of the UN building this week, according
to an industry observer. One industry stand complete with a world map was, reportedly,
forced to close down by a member State who discovered that the map was "PC
challenged" and included Taiwan.
THINGS TO LOOK FOR TODAY
HIGH-LEVEL SEGMENT: The High-Level Segment is expected to begin at
10:00 am in Conference Room 1.
CLOSING PLENARY: Delegates are expected to consider the draft
decisions for adoption during a closing Plenary in the afternoon.
CSD-7 ELECTIONS: CSD-7 will convene to elect the new CSD Bureau.