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The World Summit on Sustainable Development

, South Africa | 26 August - 4 September 2002


Highlights from Tuesday, 27 August 2002

Delegates to the World Summit on Sustainable Development (WSSD) convened in two Partnership Plenaries to address agriculture and cross-sectoral issues. The Vienna setting met in morning, afternoon and evening sessions to continue negotiations on outstanding paragraphs in the draft Plan of Implementation. The contact groups on means of implementation and institutional arrangements also continued their deliberations.

Above and right photos: Jan Pronk, Special Envoy of the Secretary General to the WSSD, moderated the interactive dialogue during the Partnership Plenaries on agriculture and cross-sectoral issues.

Daily Web Coverage

24/25 August 31 August
26 August 1 September
27 August 2 September
28 August 3 September
29 August 4 September
30 August Summary

Links to Resources


UN Official Summit website
 UN WSSD Live Website
 South African/JOWSCO website

Key documents
 Draft plan of implementation, 26 June
 Political declaration, proposed elements
 Preliminary prog of meetings & activities
 Link to other key WSSD documents

 WEHAB Framework Papers

Partnerships/Type 2 Outcomes
 Background information and resources
 Vice-Chair's summary on partnerships, annex: Guiding principles for partnerships

ENB's coverage of:

PrepCom IV
 PrepCom III
 PrepCom II
 Prepcom I
 Regional preparatory meetings
 Introduction to the WSSD
- a CSD primer.
 Linkage's portal to the WSSD
- includes background info, photo gallery of key players, WSSD news, publications, calendar, and other online resources.


Partnerships: Agriculture

M.S. Swaminathan, (M.S. Swaminathan Research Foundation), highlighted agriculture’s role in guarding against poverty and the polarization of agribusiness and small-scale farming cultures.

Pedro Sanchez, (Millennium Development Goals Hunger Task Force), stated that declining soil fertility is a leading cause of underproduction and hunger, and recommended that small farmers grow high-value crops and that large-scale farmers grow lower-value crops such as grains.

Vandana Shiva, (Research Foundation for Science, Technology and Natural Resource Policy), noted that most farmers are women and said that they are key to solving problems such as the elimination of privatised water, genetic pollution and land tenure.

Joji Cariño, Indigenous Peoples emphasized the complementarity of science and traditional knowledge, but added that many research and education institutions are ill-equipped to deal with such diversity of information.
Adnan Amin, UNEP (left) stressed the link between science and policymaking, noting the successful linkage that resulted in the Vienna Convention for the Protection of the Ozone Layer.
Main Committee:

In the afternoon delegates convened again in the Vienna setting where they held considerable deliberations regarding outstanding language on energy and renewables. Key points of contention include: a target to increase global use of renewables to 15% by 2010, and use within industrialized countries by 2% by 2010; the adoption of national policies with timetables for phasing out energy subsidies; and more specific language on future actions for implementation. The group also reviewed language on Africa and sanitation. In the evening the Main Committee convened to review work to date.
An afternoon session of the contact group on institutional arrangements addressed issues including: the rule of law, strengthening institutions and human rights; the social dimension of sustainable development and the ILO Declaration on fundamental principles and rights at work; and good governance. The contact group along with the one on means of implementation continued to meet in the evening.
Tuesday, 27 August 2002
as of 4:00 pm (GMT +2)


Delegates considered the issue of agriculture in a lively Partnership Plenary, consisting of expert presentations, commentaries of resource persons and discussion from the floor. Participants addressed a number of issues including small- vs. large-scale farming, the role of women, subsidies and market access. An afternoon Partnership Plenary is scheduled to address cross-sectoral issues, including finance, trade, technology transfer, consumption, education and capacity building.  


As the WSSD entered its second day of official discussions, negotiations on the draft Plan of Implementation proceeded slowly. The �Vienna setting� continued to revisit a number of outstanding paragraphs with a small step forward on language regarding fisheries and the rights, duties and requirements accorded to coastal and developing states. Informal discussions on energy and climate change had yet to bear fruit. Meanwhile, the contact group on institutional arrangements met in the morning and the contact group on means of implementation will convene in the afternoon.


Around Sandton:

With tight security and a limited seating capacity for the Sandton Convention Centre, access has become a key concern for government and NGO delegates alike (left photo). Many Ministers have already arrived in Johannesburg and with Heads of State coming next week, participation concerns will be even higher especially as a multi-tiered security system for access will soon go into effect.

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