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The World Summit on Sustainable Development
Second Preparatory Committee (PrepCom-II)
New York, 28 Jan - 8 Feb 2002

Tuesday 29 January:

In the morning session, delegates heard presentations during a panel discussion of Executive Heads of UNCHS, UNEP, UNDP, WMO, UNFPA, CCD, CBD, the World Bank, GEF, IFAD, UNESCO and FAO. In the afternoon, PrepCom-II participants met in the Hall of the General Assembly for the first meeting of the multi-stakeholder dialogue. Statements were made by representatives from women's organizations, business, NGOs, indigenous peoples, trade unions, farmers, the scientific community, youth and local authorities.


Panel Discussion of Executive Heads

The questions posed to the Panel were: What are the key challenges for the WSSD in the view of the respective organizations; and what are contributions that the respective organizations can make?

Anna Tibaijuka, UNCHS Executive Director, said the main challenge was promoting sustainable urbanization and, highlighting the urgent needs of the urban poor, outlined Habitat's strategy to address this issue. She said Habitat's contribution to the WSSD would be based on a partnership approach, highlighting the role of local authorities, the World Bank, UNITAR and UNEP.
Klaus Toepfer, UNEP Executive Director, said that WSSD should be a conference of implementation and partnerships. He urged that consideration be given to responsible prosperity, wherein consumption patterns are made sustainable. He called for emphasis to be given to chemical management and food security.
Thoraya Obaid, Executive Director, UN Population Fund (UNFPA), said the main contribution of UNFPA is its experience in helping countries to incorporate population in development policies, to improve reproductive health and promote gender equality.
John Westley, Vice President, International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), stated that one of the main challenges for WSSD will be to restore priority to rural poverty reduction, and that it could achieve this by calling for new investments that empower the rural poor to take a lead in overcoming their poverty.
Ian Johnson, Environmentally and Socially Sustainable Development, World Bank, noted that globalization is inevitable and here to stay, and that it should be recognized that it does not lead to loss of identity, culture or livelihoods. He stated, "If we don't take serious concerted action now, can we even think about of the future? Action must be based on a shared vision, and a long-term approach to sustainable development."
Mark Malloch Brown, UNDP Administrator, emphasized achieving concrete, plausible and practical outcomes in Johannesburg. He outlines his organization's major emphasis on capacity building for sustainable development, the Capacity21 initiative being a prime example. He urged delegates to not view WSSD as an isolated, one-off event.
G.O.P. Obasi, World Meteorological Organization, said that the preservation of the global climate must be a central focus of WSSD. He called for the adoption of a new paradigm for scientific inquiry, that of "sustainability science."
Hama Arba Diallo, Executive Secretary of the UN Convention to Combat Desertification, noted that the wide adoption of the CCD was evidence of the global community's commitment and that an important outcome of WSSD must be the guaranteeing of financial resources for implementation of the CCD. He said that implementation should not be entrusted to international organizations and that States must take ownership of their commitments.

Mohammed El-Ashry, CEO, GEF, said the GEF was a model for partnership and collaboration, and urged that organizations work in their respective comparative advantages. He called attention to three high level roundtables it will be convening in preparation for the WSSD on: sustainable energy at PrepCom-2; forests at UNFF-2; and on land, water and food security at PrepCom-3. He also said a ministerial roundtable on finance and sustainable development would be held.

Hamdallah Zedan, Executive Secretary, CBD, said contributions of the CBD include: advancing international environmental law and use of the precautionary principle with the adoption of the Cartagena Protocol; and creating a forum for indigenous and local communities. He urged countries to increase efforts to incorporate biodiversity into cross-sectoral policies.
A UNESCO representative (left) noted its contribution in the fields of education and science, asked how education and science would be clearly understood at the Summit and reflected in its outcomes as cross-cutting and relevant to "everything," and said it would also contribute in other competent fields, namely communication and information , and culture.
A representative of the FAO said, inter alia, conservation agriculture, integrated pest management and best agricultural practices should take a central position on the WSSD agenda, and highlighted features of the poverty and food insecurity challenge that should be addressed by the WSSD.

Multi-Stakeholder Dialogue

Chair Salim opened the first session of the multi-stakeholder dialogue (MSD). He reminded participants of the history, goals and methods that make the MSD a unique contribution of the CSD to policy dialogue.

Chief Ogunleye, speaking for women's organizations, reminded participants that Agenda 21 recognizes women as custodians of natural and human resources. She noted that very few countries have ministries of women, and, of the few that do, most lack the financial resources to be effective promoters of women's rights. She expressed surprise that the Secretary-General's report on progress in implementing Agenda 21 was gender-neutral.

Youth representatives Linabel Segovia-Sarlat, UNEP Youth Advisor for Africa, and Shalala Oliver Sepiso, UNEP Youth Advisory Council from Mexican Youth Environmental Network, lamented that most countries lack effective processes to incorporate input from youth into their policy development processes, voiced a demand that children be recognized as a major group, and that children and youth be given two hours at WSSD for their presentations and contributions.
Martin Khor, speaking on behalf of NGOs, called for the principle of common but differentiated responsibilities to be reviewed and operationalized, similar to WTO's present exercise on its principle of preferential trade status. He called for a revival of the North-South deal, and a taming of the unfettered forces of globalization.
Indigenous People's representatives Victoria Tauli Corpuz and Tom Goldtooth, said that even with some laws in place to protect the rights of indigenous peoples, poverty is still widespread, and called on governments to work with indigenous peoples, not against them.

G.J. Doornbos, speaking for farmers, urged, inter alia, stopping the drain of resources away from agriculture, mainstreaming of sustainable agriculture, better organization, building up capacity of farmers' organizations, strengthening market power relative to other food chain partners, and strengthening of family farm agriculture.

Mark Moody-Stuart, Chairman, Business Action for Sustainable Development, supported the idea that sustainable development is best achieved through open, competitive, rightly-framed international markets that encourage efficiency and innovation. He said the business contribution to the eradication of poverty will come from sectoral efforts in such fields as energy and transportation, mining and natural resources, and water.

Thomas Rosswal, Executive Director, International Council for Science, spoke on behalf of the Science and Technology Community, said the new challenge is to develop scientific understanding and technological options that address environmental, economic and social aspects with a focus on local and regional contexts.

Kaarin Tailpale, speaking for local authorities, stated that 6416 local governments in 113 countries had adopted Local Agenda 21 plans, through long term planning and involvement in decisionmaking processes. She stressed, inter alia, accelerating the transition to sustainable communities and cities, decentralization and integrated resource management.
Lucien Royer, representing Trade Unions, stated that deregulation and lack of standards go against the goals of sustainable development; and said that voluntary agreements should supplement regulation, not replace it. He expressed a key concern that other speakers also alluded to: the promotion of peace and security.

Miscellaneous Photos      
The General Assembly Hall during the afternoon multi-stakeholder dialogue


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