Equity for a Small Planet
IIED's 30th Anniversary Conference

London, UK; 12 - 13 November 2001


Coverage of the previous day's events: Monday, 12 November

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Tuesday, 13 November
The International Forum on the WSSD convened on Tuesday, 13 November 2001, at the Congress Hall of the Trade Union Conference in London, UK. This event marked IIED’s 30th anniversary, and carried a theme of Equity for a Small Planet

David Runnalls

Nigel Cross, IIED Executive Director, welcomed participants to the Conference and thanked the governments of the UK, Canada, Sweden, and Denmark for their support. He stated that the IIED Conference is part of an ongoing process of developing ideas and discussion on issues of sustainable development

Listen to the RealAudio


Introducing the session’s speakers, David Runnalls, President and CEO of the International Institute for Sustainable Development, reminisced about the late Barbara Ward, noting that she would have approved of the Conference’s title given that equity in world affairs was a matter she devoted her life to. He noted IIED’s past contributions to the agenda of the 1972 UNCHE, 1989 Brundtland Commission, and 1992 Earth Summit, in particular its emphasis on a different environmental perspective from the South

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Nigel Cross

Moss Mashishi

Moss Mashishi, CEO of the Johannesburg Summit, compared WSSD to the World Conference Against Racism, Racial Discrimination, Xenophobia and Related Intolerance, calling for urgent consideration of the substantive issues on the WSSD agenda during the coming months. He discussed the Summit’s website and explained particular goals of the conference from the South African perspective. He expressed commitment to eradicating poverty and inequality, and recognized the need to address inequalities arising from globalization and trade. He stated that the success of the Johannesburg Summit would depend on properly managed global consensus, excellent logistics, security, and the success of meetings feeding into the WSSD process

Listen to a selection of the Question and Answer interaction

Margaret Beckett, Secretary of State for the Department of Environment, Food, and Rural Affairs, UK, expressed appreciation for IIED’s ability to convene stakeholders in London, but emphasized that global dialogue alone is not sufficient. She stressed the need for action, acknowledged the importance of solving global problems such as terrorism, climate change and disease, and supported the WSSD as the venue for reaching a balance of all sectors and addressing problems in a holistic manner

Listen to the RealAudio segment

Margaret Beckett

Saskia Sassen

Saskia Sassen, University of Chicago, described the architecture of the global economic system in order to increase understanding of how to intervene in the struggle for environmental sustainability, noting that: the liberal economic system is complex with multiple sites for intervention; there is a need for an equally complex environmental system; and economic liberalization has managed to destabilize states, as well as order and formal hierarchies of power, thus creating openings for new actors. She underscored five relevant issues:

* the emergence of strong sub-national and local levels, coinciding with a weakening of the state;

* the existence of "tight and strategic cross-geographic organizational power sites" that transcend North-South barriers, through which accountability can be demanded;

* the impact of social forces on technology and the use of global financial market management structures as sites through which to demand accountability of these markets;

* research findings that sustainable methods of production and distribution are labor intensive; and

* the emergence of local, non-cosmopolitan forms of politics that have global impact

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Emphasizing that the key to sustainable development is inclusion, David Anderson, Canada’s Minister for the Environment, explained Canada’s preparatory processes and themes for the WSSD. He elaborated on the value of international environmental governance and called for the revitalization of institutions, a rethinking of environmental capacity and serious political commitment to turn uneven progress into steady progress

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David Anderson

Ashok Khosla, Chair of the IIED International Workshop held the previous day, said the Workshop title raised issues of social justice and fairness for civil society and of a share of ownership and stake in the future for the corporate world. He reiterated that the 2002 WSSD in Johannesburg should address the creation of jobs and deal with sustainable livelihoods, and presented the results of the Workshop, which addressed standards and certification, market access for small producers, markets for environmental services, and on investment for sustainable development. Khosla said two important agenda items for the Johannesburg Summit are how to get governments to develop the means, infrastructure and technologies to create sustainable development, and to develop systems of accountability of the international system

Listen to the RealAudio

Ashok Khosla

Members of the panel, nearest the camera: Kristalina Georgieva, Mark Moody-Stuart, John Edmonds and Simon Upton (at the podium)

John Edmonds

John Edmonds called for networks that could promote agreement between business and trade unions


Mark Moody-Stuart observed that markets do not have to destroy culture, and said communities should try to seize opportunities to use the market

Mark Moody-Stuart

Simon Upton

Panel Discussion - Who Benefits from Globalization?
Listen to a RealAudio segment of the discussion (35 min)
Derek Osborn, Chair, International Institute for Environment and Development, overviewed the discussions held Tuesday, 12 November, noting concerns raised about growing inequalities, the impact of globalization and the role of markets. He highlighted key ideas expressed during the Panel session on: involving all parts of society in the WSSD process; clarifying the process by which different players can make their contributions; developing indicators to evaluate implementation; working towards sustainable livelihoods; and recognizing the diversity of cultures

Steve Bass, Director of Programmes, IIED

Chris Church, Co-Chair ANPED, the Northern Alliance for Sustainability, UK, during the Question and Answer session

Michael Odhiambo, Executive Director, RECONCILE, Kenya

Dan Nielsen, Ambassador, Environment and Sustainable Development, Royal Danish Ministry of Foreign Affairs, stressed Denmark�s support for a �Global Deal� at the Johannesburg Summit, which would include a new balance between sustainable development themes and collaboration among governments and major stakeholders especially trade unions

Listen to the RealAudio

In a speech delivered by videoconference link, Nitin Desai, UN Under-Secretary-General for Economic and Social Affairs noted IIED�s valuable advocacy- and action-oriented research, and invited IIED to bring together similar research institutions to identify how to effectively carry out this type of research. He reiterated the WSSD objectives, described avenues for stakeholder participation in the Summit process, highlighted Agenda 21 implementation achievements, elaborated on the concept of operationalizing Agenda 21 and emphasized the need to examine the Agenda 21 implementation challenges

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The ENB writing team, nearest the camera: John Gagain, Tonya Barnes and Wagaki Mwangi

In his closing remarks, session Chair Osborn Likened the Johannesburg Summit to a market place, noting that the secret of the market is "not simply to make demands but to make offers as well." He reiterated Nitin Desai�s statement urging participants to "ask not only what Johannesburg can do for them, but what they too can do for Johannesburg." He thanked participants for their participation, and the volunteers for their support, and called the Forum to a close at 5:03pm

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