Earth Negotiations Bulletin
afternoon, 1 February 2005, delegates at UN headquarters in New
York were briefed on preparations for the upcoming thirteenth
session of the Commission on Sustainable Development (CSD-13)
and its intergovernmental preparatory meeting. The briefing was
presented by CSD-13 Chair John Ashe (Antigua and Barbuda).
opened the meeting at 1:15 pm, reporting on discussions during
the fourth meeting of the CSD-13 Bureau held earlier in the day.
He explained that the Bureau had discussed the organization of
work, and announced that the 2004 Nobel Peace Laureate Wangari
Maathai of Kenya and World Bank President James Wolfensohn had
accepted invitations to participate in CSD-13. He also noted
plans to discuss the CSD-13 themes of water, sanitation and
human settlements in the context of disaster prevention and
preparedness, reflecting a desire to make CSD as topical as
possible. Regarding national statements at CSD-13, he reminded
delegates that the three minute time limit would need to be
then reported on the Bureau’s discussions on CSD-13’s outputs,
highlighting that the Bureau had reaffirmed
that there would be a negotiated
outcome containing policy decisions on practical measures
and options to expedite implementation of commitments in water,
sanitation and human settlements contained in Agenda 21, the
Programme for the Further Implementation of Agenda 21 and the
Johannesburg Plan of Implementation, as well the Millennium
Declaration. He added that there would also be non-negotiated
outcomes and that voluntary commitments that are announced at
the session will be posted on the CSD website (http://www.un.org/esa/sustdev/csd/csd13/csd13.htm).
Chair Ashe then invited comments and questions.
Responding to a request from the US for further clarification on
the non-negotiated outcomes, JoAnne
DiSano, Director of the UN Division for Sustainable Development,
drew attention to a diagram provided on the CSD website on the
organization of work that she said reflected the wish to
delineate the differences between the negotiated output and
other outcomes. She highlighted the various organizational
arrangements designed to capture the range of important matters
that will be considered at CSD-13, including the time allocated
for regional perspectives to be presented. She said the
Secretariat would seek to ensure that the entire range of
positive developments and outcomes from CSD-13 are captured.
In response to a question on arrangements to link
CSD-13 with the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), Chair Ashe
announced that the Swedish Government would be hosting a lunch
with ministers to discuss the MDGs in the context of the
thematic issues on the agenda at CSD-13. On a query about the
planned panel of finance ministers, Chair Ashe confirmed that
the panel would take place on Monday afternoon, 18 April 2005,
that the World Bank would be involved, and that UNCTAD would be
asked to provide input to the panel.
The US reminded participants of the agreement
made at CSD-11 that policies should help mobilize action at all
levels, and stressed that the package of outputs from CSD-13
should reflect this agreement by catalyzing actions and
producing innovative reforms. He said he would study with care a
new document from the Bureau that Chair Ashe had indicated will
be available on the CSD website shortly.
participants for their attendance, Chair Ashe closed the meeting
shortly after 1:30 pm.
The next meeting of the CSD Bureau is currently
scheduled for 27 February 2005. It will take place immediately
prior to the Intergovernmental Preparatory Meeting for CSD-13,
which will be held from 28 February to 4 March. The CSD-13
session will take place from 11–22 April. All meetings will be
held at UN headquarters in New York.