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Thirteenth Session of the Commission on Sustainable Development (CSD-13)
11-22 April 2005 | United Nations Headquarters, New York

 Earth Negotiations Bulletin

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18 April
22 April &

Photo: UN Secretary General Kofi Annan addresses the CSD during an interactive panel discussion with Finance and Development Cooperation Ministers and experts


Highlights from Monday, 18 April

On Monday morning, delegates convened briefly in Plenary to consider the organization of work for discussions on the Chair's draft elements for CSD-13's negotiated outcome. In the afternoon, CSD-13 reconvened in two parallel sessions to work on the Chair's text, following informal consultations within the various negotiating groups. A special panel of finance and development cooperation ministers and experts took place later in the afternoon.

Interactive panel discussion with Finance and Development Cooperation Ministers and experts
Jose Antonio Ocampo, Under Secretary-General for Economic and Social Affairs, Secretary-General Kofi Annan, and CSD Chair John Ashe


Carlos Fortin, Officer-in-Charge and Deputy Secretary of the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development, highlighted the results of efforts to privatize, market and profit from the provision of water. Given that only five percent of water in developing countries is supplied by the private sector, he suggested that the first priority is to strengthen government water programmes, which could subsequently be followed up with an exploration of the role of public/private partnerships.

UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan addressed the panel, noting a “gathering momentum” around the global development agenda and positive signals on official development assistance from the EU, Japan and others. He drew attention to the upcoming Millennium Review Summit and to his new report, In Larger Freedom , which aims to assist member states in their deliberations. He also proposed an International Finance Facility to establish timetables to achieve the target of 0.7 percent of gross national income in development assistance. Noting that the issues on CSD-13's agenda are central to delivering the MDGs, he pointed out that finance ministers and others at this meeting have a crucial role to play in reaching a global deal to promote development, security and human rights for all people.

Ian Johnson, Vice President of the World Bank's Environmentally and Socially Sustainable Development Network, discussed issues of water resource management and economic development. He highlighted the need to focus on water infrastructure, stressing that developing countries are generally undercapitalized in this regard. On financing issues, he observed that no one model can be applied universally. He also highlighted the importance of water management in agriculture, noting that this sector uses 70 percent of water resources.


Co-Moderator Hilde Johnson, Minister of International Development, Norway, pointed out that the current levels of investment in water are less than half of what is required. She said future efforts should include such issues as registration/regulatory frameworks, pricing policies, a clear division of labor between central and local water authorities, and the right mix of public, non-profit and for-profit entities. Co-Moderator Trevor Manuel, Minister of Finance, South Africa, highlighted cost recovery and industrialized countries' agricultural subsidies, and raised a range of questions for panelists, including whether MDGs should be prioritized.
Adolfo Franco, US Agency for International Development, noted that the involvement of the private sector is just another “arrow in the quiver” of approaches to providing water and sanitation services. He stated that if public-private partnerships are be an option, transparency and reduction in corruption will be needed to attract capital. Carin Jämtin, Minister for International Development Cooperation, Sweden, focused on the need to pay attention both to urban and rural services, to acknowledge CSD-13's themes as gender issues, and to empower local authorities. Len Good, Chair and CEO of the Global Environment Facility, supported ecosystem maintenance and stressed the importance of coherent country and transboundary resource management.
Suma Charkrabarti, Permanent Secretary of the Department for International Development, UK (left), called for CSD-13's themes to be integrated into Poverty Reduction Strategy Programmes, and said the issue of privatization should be decided upon at the national level. He also suggested that donors target countries that have the least amount of access to water and sanitation. Errol Cort, Finance Minister of Antigua and Barbuda (right), underscored that water is a fundamental resource that should remain under government control. He stressed the need for policy decisions to prevent new slums and their expansion
John Ashe greets Secretary-General Kofi Annan (left) and Hilde Johnson, Norway (right)

Delegates work on the Chair's text




CSD Chair John Ashe with members of the G-77/China, the EU and the US
CSD Vice-Chairs Boo Nam Shin and Dagmara Berbalk

Genevieve Verbrugge, France, during the morning Plenary session (left) and Chair Ashe with Espen Ronneberg

Side Event: Unheard Voices of Women: aspirations, priorities and visions of women in accessing safe water, basic sanitation and healthy shelter

This event was facilitated by Anna Tibaijuka, UN-HABITAT, and opening remarks were made by Nane Annan. Participants heard women's voices from Africa, Asia, Latin America and the Caribbean, and then listened to a Panel of Ministers and Vice-Ministers from both developing and developed countries.

Nane Annan, Anna Tibaijuka, Executive Director, UN-HABITAT, and Hilde Johnson, Norway's Minister for International Development

Maria Mutagamba, Minister of State for Water, Uganda and Chair of the African Ministerial Council for Water (AMCOW), proposed that CSD-14 be held in Africa; Carmen Arevalo, Vice-Minister, Ministry of Environment, Colombia; and Nane Annan
Penelope Beckles, Minister of Public Utilities and the Environment, Trinidad and Tobago (center) and Anita Miya, Aga Khan Planning and Building Service, India (right)

Miscellanous Photos
ECOSOC: Special High-Level meeting wiht the Bretton Woods institutions, the World Trade Organization and the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development: Mary Whelan, President of the Trade and Development Board (left), Trevor Manuel, Chairman of the Development Committee, and Secretary General Kofi Annan