11th Session of the Commission on Sustainable Development 
UN Headquarters, New York, 28 April - 9 May 2003

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CSD11 Highlights, Wednesday, May 7th

Richard Jolly, Chair, Water Supply and Sanitation Collaborative Council; Prince Willem Alexander of the Netherlands; Ronnie Kasrils, Minister of Water Affairs and Forestry, South Africa

Delegates convened in two parallel working groups in the morning and afternoon to continue negotiating the Chair's draft decision on the future programme, organization and methods of work of the Commission. Working Group I discussed the CSD's multi-year work programme and the future organization of work, while Working Group II considered reporting, partnerships, and the future bureau. In the morning, participants also viewed a presentation on the International Year of Freshwater, while an informal consultation took place in the morning and afternoon to finalize the draft decision on the preparations for the 10-year review of the implementation of the Barbados Programme of Action (BPOA).


Ronnie Kasrils, South Africa's Minister of Water Affairs and Forestry


Crown Prince Willem Alexander, Netherlands


This panel discussion was chaired by Ronnie Kasrils, Minister of Water Affairs and Forestry, South Africa. In his keynote address, Willem Alexander, Crown Prince of the Netherlands, said improving sanitation required special effort, and that a new agricultural revolution was needed,. He noted the vital role of the UN, lauded the work of UN agencies, and commended the CSD's emphasis on water. Ambassador Rashid Alimov, Tajikistan, the country which initiated the International Year of Freshwater, said that sustainability of water resources and access must be ensured and provided for future generations.

Rashid Alimov,
Ambassador of Tajikistan

Albert Wright, Co-chair, Water and Sanitation Task Force, Millennium Project
Richard Jolly, Chair, Water Supply and Sanitation Collaborative Council
  Albert Wright, Co-Chair, Water and Sanitation Task Force, Millennium Project, presented a status report on the Millennium Project Task Force on Water and Sanitation, and discussed concrete work on the ground in developing countries. Richard Jolly, Water Supply and Sanitation Collaborative Council, noted the need for social mobilization, mobilization of the media, and a focus on people, households and communities.

Koichi Haraguchi, Ambassador and Permanent Representative of Japan to the United Nations

William Cosgrove,
Vice-President, World Water Council
  Koichi Haraguchi, Ambassador and Permanent Representative of Japan to the UN, in discussing outcomes of Kyoto, expressed disappointment at the lack of commitments to new actions and commitments made by developing countries. William Cosgrove, Vice-President, World Water Council, in discussing outcomes of Kyoto, expressed disappointment at the lack of commitments to new actions and commitments made by developing countries.

Nitin Desai ,
UN Under-Secretary-General for Economic and Social Affairs

Jennifer Francis,
Executive Secretary, Gender and Water Alliance

  Jennifer Francis, Gender and Water Alliance, called for a gender sensitive strategy.
Nitin Desai
, UN Under-Secretary-General for Economic and Social Affairs, emphasized an integrated view of water resource use and management, addressing pollution and impacts of water usage, and innovative organization and technical solutions.

During the ensuing discussion, Bhutan stressed the importance of creating water infrastructures and increased ODA. The US stated that work at the grassroots level should filter up to other levels. Lebanon noted it would host World Environment Day in 2003, and emphasized increasing stress on water resources in the Middle East. In his closing remarks, Chair Kasrils said multilateralism is alive and well and commended the focus in Kyoto on the household level.

Delegate from the US
Delegate from Lebanon
Delegate from Bhutan

Prince Willem shaking hands with Nitin Desai
Chair Ronnie Kasrils closing the meeting




The presentation of the World Water Development Report (WWDR) was chaired by Pradeep Aggarwal, Head of Isotope Hydrology, International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA). (In photo on immediate left.)

Andras Szollosi-Nagy, Deputy Assistant Director General, UNESCO, provided a summary of steps leading to the production of the WWDR, noting it is a result of the work of 23 UN agencies.

Andras Szollosi-Nagy, Deputy Assistant Director General, UNESCO
Gordon Young, Coordinator, World Water Assessment Programme
   Gordon Young, World Water Assessment Programme, discussed the report's contents, described the nature of the water crisis, and highlighted challenge areas, including governance. Manuel Dango, DESA, emphasized the WWDR could be used by the CSD as a monitoring tool and as a baseline document.


Delegates from the US, New Zealand and Canada

  MULTI-YEAR PROGRAMME OF WORK: Regarding the paragraph addressing the three main themes of poverty, consumption and production, and the natural resource base, the G-77/ CHINA expressed its preference for deleting it, or rewording it using exact language from the JPOI .
FUTURE ORGANIZATION OF WORK: On text addressing the contribution of the CSD's organization of work to the implementation of sustainable development, the G-77/CHINA, opposed by NORWAY, SWITZERLAND, AUSTRALIA, the US and EU, called for a reference to the principle of common but differentiated responsibilities. The working group agreed that the Commission's work will be organized as a series of two-year action oriented "Implementation Cycles," with a "Review Session" and "Policy Session."

Representative of the G77/China

  On contributions from Major Groups, delegations accepted language proposed by Co-Chair Meybodi and amended by the G-77/CHINA. On text proposing an Intergovernmental Action Forum, the REPUBLIC OF KOREA proposed that it should be held in February in the second year of a cycle; it also bracketed reference to the Forum's "two weeks" duration. Together with the EU and G-77/CHINA, it voiced concern over the imbalance in the number of meetings in the two year cycle of work. JAPAN reminded the Secretariat of its request that delegates be briefed on the budgetary implications of the various proposals regarding the schedule of meetings.

Representatives of the EU considering the text projected on a screen

Comparing the printed draft text with the text on the screen


Delegate from China


Working Group II continued negotiating the Chair's draft decision, which had been further revised in a compilation text incorporating the outcome of discussions held on Tuesday. Following a brief discussion of various proposals to amend the title of one section, delegates agreed to remove all section titles from the draft.

The G-77/CHINA proposed text for a preamble at the beginning of this section. The EU agreed to this, while AUSTRALIA, CANADA, the US and JAPAN objected. Delegates then discussed a paragraph reiterating that partnerships are an important complementary instrument to enhance implementation of Agenda 21 and the JPOI. The G-77/CHINA introduced language clarifying that "partnerships are not intended to substitute commitments made by governments, but to supplement the implementation of JPOI."

Delegates New Zealand (above left) and Canada (center)


Delegates devoted considerable attention to a paragraph emphasizing the importance of a reporting system for evaluating progress in implementation. Much of the debate focused on whether to retain references to "an effective system" of reporting, which was preferred by the EU, and also on including language on "evaluating and monitoring." The working group then discussed a paragraph on reporting to the CSD, starting with text proposed by the G-77/CHINA. Following amendments by the EU and US to this text, language was accepted that "encourages countries to present, on a voluntary basis, national reports, in particular to the Review Session of the CSD, focusing on concrete progress in implementation, including achievements, constraints, challenges and opportunities."

Photo (left to right): Delegates from China, South Africa and Morocco

Delegate from Australia



The Millennium Project: Addressing environmental sustainability


The Millennium Project, directed by Jeffrey Sachs, is an independent advisory body to UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan. Its purpose is to propose the best strategies for meeting the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), including frameworks for implementation.

Photo (left to right): Guido Schmidt-Traub, Millennium Project Secretariat, Albert Wright, Africa Water Task Force, Coordinator of Task Force 7 on Water and Sanitation, Roberto Lenton, International Research Institute for Climate Protection, Columbia University, Coordinator of Task Force 7 on Water and Sanitation, and Charles McNeill, Environment Programme Team Manager and Biodiversity Conservation and Poverty Reduction Advisor, Environmentally Sustainable Development Group, UNDP, Member Task Force on Environmental Sustainability

  This involves reviewing current innovative practices, prioritizing policy reforms, identifying means of policy implementation, and evaluating financing options. For more information, visit: www.unmillenniumproject.org

Interlinkages: The WTO, Millennium Development Goals and the Johannesburg Plan of Implementation

Photo above (left to right): Christian Ossa, Financing for Devlelopment, Yin Shao Loong, Third World Network, Rene Vossenar, UNCTAD, Vicky-Corpuz, Tebtebba Foundation



Healthy Environments for Children: Opportunities for Action in a Global Alliance

The Healthy Environments for Children Alliance is a world-wide alliance to intensify global action on environmental risks to children’s health that arise from the settings where they live, learn, play and earn, by providing knowledge, increasing political will, mobilizing resources, and catalyzing action.

Photo (on left): David Nabarro, Executive Director, Sustainable Development and Healthy Environments, WHO

Photo (left to right): Moderator Robert Musil, Executive Director and CEO, Physicians for Social Responsibility, Adnan Amin, Director, New York Office, UNEP, Vanessa Tobin, Chief, Water, Environment and Sanitation Section, UNICEF, and Susan West Marmagas, Environmental Health Programme, Physicians for Social Responsibility



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Links to further information:  

*The UN home page for CSD-11

*ENB coverage of WSSD

*ENB coverage of previous CSD sessions
*Linkage's Portal to the Johannesburg Summit 2002

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