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8th Meeting of the Commission on Sustainable Development
New York, USA; 24 April - 05 May, 2000
 
| Monday 24 | Tuesday 25 | Wednesday 26 | Thursday 27Friday 28 |
| Monday 01 | Tuesday 02 | Wednesday 03 | Thursday 04 | Friday 05 |

| Lundi 24 | Mardi 25 | Mercredi 26 | Jeudi 27 | Vendredi 28 |
| Lundi 01 | Mardi 02 | Mercredi 03 | Jeudi 04 | Vendredi 05 |

Highlights from Tuesday 25 April

In the morning, delegates participated in a Multi-stakeholder Dialogue on Knowledge for a sustainable food system: identifying and providing for education, training, knowledge shoaring and information needs. In the afternoon, delegates participated in a Multi-stakehloder Dialogue Segment on Globalization, trade liberalization and investment patterns: economic incentives and framework conditions to promote sustainable agriculture.

Photo: Nitin Desai, Under-Secretary General for Economic and Social AffairsCSD-8 Chair and Colombian Environment Minister Juan Mayr Maldonado

For a Programme of Work and Activities for the CSD-8, please visit the UN-CSD website at http://www.un.org/esa/sustdev/csd8/csd8pow.pdf 

Click here for the following side events:

  • Worldwatch Institute briefing on trade and finance, biotechnology and sustainable agriculturre
  • Global Environmental Negotiations: Southern Perspectives on trade environment, climate and desertification
  • UNEP and UNCTAD Capacity Building Task Force on Trade, Environment and Development (CBTF)
  • Initiation Ceremony for victims of unsustainable production
  • FAO Expert Panel Discussion on Global Partnership for Sustainable Land Management: Ensuring Food Security

 

 

Multi-stakeholder Dialogue Segment on Knowledge for a sustainable food system: identifying and providing for education, training, knowledge shoaring and information needs

Ajaz Vashee, President, Zambia National Farmers’ Union spoke on behalf of Farmers underscoring that generations of knowledge are contained in agricultural biodiversity, and that training methods should respect and seek only to enrich local knowledge. The exchange of information among farmers, rural extension initiatives, public-sector research and participatory processes were all encouraged. Vashee went on to encourage recognition through publication of this combined knowledge by organizations such as UNESCO, and targeted funding by organizations such as the World Bank.

 

Peter Hurst, Health, Safety and Environment Co-ordinator of the IUF (the Internatoinal Union of Food, Agricultural, Hotel, Restaurant, Catering, Tobacco and Allied Workers’ Associations) represented Trade Unions and stated that agricultural workers in waged employment tended to be the poorest, least organized, least literate, and most oppressed workers. Conversely, as a skilled workforce with generations of knowledge in crop growth, farm operation, and agriculture, their knowledge remained largely ignored, unrecognized, untapped, and as peoples, they remained socio-economically marginalized, with collective bargaining and basic human rights absent, and invisible in Agenda 21. Trade Unions thus advised education, training on sustainable agriculture and organic systems, employment standards, and expansion in cooperative efforts with all stakeholders.

 
Maria Jose Guazzelli, Centro Ecologico (Brazil) noted on behalf of NGOs that small farmers and workers comprise the vast majority of food producers, and they have not had a place at the decision making table. She refocused attention on food, not just as a commodity, but as our most direct link with the natural world, and suggested that the knowledge and work behind its production be highly valued and represented in Agenda 21. Efforts need to be strengthened in the dissemination of knowledge, to recognize small farmers in research, to encourage farmer-to-farmer exchange, to undertake action-research in the field, promote training programs.

Roberto Rodriguez, Industry

During the open dialogue, he highlighted the importance of the internet as an instrument of transition of knowledge for cooperatives and farmers.


Open Dialogue and Recommendations

Nigeria, for the G-77/China, stressed the importance of: increased stakeholder support and government funding for agricultural training, research and capacity-building; technology generation, adaptation and dissemination; and the participatory approach, supported by government and the private sector, in research and extension programmes.

 

Germany gave a developed country perspective and identified four issues related to sustainable agriculture: consumer education and knowledge; the inclusion of farmers in research activities and the incorporation of traditional knowledge into extension services; the risk of denying access by small-scale farmers to research results due to the current intellectual property rights (IPR) regime; and workers’ right to a living wage and safe working conditions.

 

Moises Gutierrez, Aymara Nation (left) and Tito Livio Martinez, Kuna Youth Movement/International Indian Treaty Council, discussed the importance of traditional knowledge

The represenatives of Indigenous People recommended: acknowledgement of the scientific and technical knowledge of indigenous people as a contribution to sustainable agriculture; provision of financial resources to develop knowledge through indigenous peoples’ institutions; the continuation of stakeholder dialogue at CSD sessions; participation of indigenous people in decision-making at the national level, including a sustainable development clearing-house mechanism managed by indigenous people; CSD promotion of the legal recognition of indigenous land and territories; and adoption by the CSD of the principle of prior informed consent and the right of indigenous people to refuse access to their knowledge.

William N. Witting, representing the Citizens Network, an NGO working closely with industry (left)

Victoria Sebageraka, Uganda National Farmers Association

Recommendations: Industry called for: improved budgets for agricultural research; and recognition of the role of the internet in information dissemination, and that of agricultural cooperatives in knowledge and technology sharing. NGO representatives called for: professional training in indigenous science and agro-ecology; stronger indigenous farmers’ networks; recognition that the maintenance of knowledge and biodiversity in the public domain are key to SARD objectives; attention to issues surrounding the ownership of knowledge; a shift in the use of resources to support sustainable food systems; and full access to product information for consumers. Farmers called for: recognition that local and traditional knowledge is a fundamental basis of scientific research; partnerships; the popular dissemination of knowledge; farmer-to-farmer processes to encourage innovation; a global system to make information freely available; and support for negotiations on free access to genetic resources.

Jasna A. Petrovic, Women's Network, International Confederation of Free Trade Unions (left)

Kathy Lawrence, Just Food

Sharon Abreu, a musician and member of the Local 1000 N.A. Traveling Musicians Union, discussed the promotion of the World Harmony Network, and the role of the arts in education about environmental and sustainable development issues.

Recommendations: Trade Unions recommended that: multinational companies and governments fund education and communication programmes; workers enjoy the right to refuse dangerous work, to have access to information and training on pesticide use, and to collective bargaining; and highlighted the role of the artistic community in supporting education for sustainable development. NGOs called for: professional training in indigenous science and agro-ecology; stronger indigenous farmers’ networks; recognition that the maintenance of knowledge and biodiversity in the public domain are key to SARD objectives; attention to issues surrounding the ownership of knowledge; a shift in the use of resources to support sustainable food systems; and full access to product information for consumers.

Multi-Stakeholder Dialogue on Globalization, trade liberalization and investment patterns: economic incentives and framework conditions to promote sustainable agriculture

Sarah Fogarty of the Grocery Manufacturers of America expressed the interests of Industry and Trade to improve the quality of life in developing and developed countries. Key issues included allowing alignment of food prices at world levels, harmonizing food regulatory systems, promoting private initiatives in land ownership, providing access to markets, the promotion of investment in the agricultural sector.

 

Mr. G.J. Doornbos (Netherlands), President of the International Federation of Agricultural Producers (IFAP) spoke on behalf of Farm Producers stating the need for 6 essential elements that comprise a framework condition for sustainable agriculture: (i) a stabile policy environment; (ii) infrastructure development of market systems, telecommunications, energy, healthcare, education; (iii) appropriate regulatory frameworks to provide legal safeguards, effective trade rules; (iv) effective stakeholder participation incorporating democratic processes at all levels, and the strengthening of farmer organizations; (v) agricultural development support in terms of funding and institutional backing; and (vi) effective mechanisms for technology transfers.

Christine Taylor (Canada) of the United Food and Commercial Workers spoke on behalf of Trade Unions noted that in the past decade of the most rapid economic growth and world trade has resulted in the widening of economic gaps, falling levels of nutrition, unsustainable production methods, and growing world debt exacerbated by structural adjustment programs. With this, conditions for workers are deteriorating, and change should incorporate the participation of workers, incorporates labour standards, and calls for the abolition of child labour. The members of the CSD were encouraged to regulate the roles of multinational corporations that control the food system on behalf of consumers, and to endorse the ILO health and safety convention.
Chee Yoke Ling of the Third World Network spoke on behalf of NGOs, and described globalization as a hurdle to development, trade liberalization as a shift in control toward multinational corporations, and economic incentives in the form of aid or investment as a facilitator of developing country dependency.
Open Dialogue and Recommendations
Dirk C duToit, Deputy Minister for Agriculture and Land Affairs (South Africa) gave a developing country perspective to the dialogue. He noted that developed countries talk of agriculture as a lifestyle, whereas developing countries talk about agriculture as a livelihood, and that the real killer disease in developing countries is debt restructuring. Key ingredients in the strategy he outlined included advocating the analysis and integration of social and environmental effects into decision-making, and pursuing the precautionary principle.
Franz Fischler, European Commission for Agriculture, Rural Development and Fisheries 
Bernard Wonder, Deputy Secretary, Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry (Australia), gave a developed country's perspective and agreed that poverty is the biggest impediment, which signaled a need for economic growth, and building the capacities of land-owners.

Paul Clements-Hunt, International Chamber of Commerce (left)

Martin Khor, Third World Network (right)

Regarding the issue of subsidies, Industry representatives supported: the reduction of subsidies and the end of protectionism; a more cohesive international framework for trade and sustainable development; and a clear dispute system regarding issues arising at the WTO and in the multilateral environmental agreements. NGOs called for an in-depth evaluation of the impact of trade liberalization and a moratorium on WTO negotiations in the interim. Trade Union representatives supported: differentiated subsidies; a review of trade and investment rules to protect the rights of workers, small farmers and consumers; a determination by delegations at CSD-8 to incorporate sustainable development practices, including core labour standards, into trade agreements and guidelines at the IMF and the World Bank; and an open process for public debate during trade negotiations to ensure participation before agreements are imposed unjustly on workers, consumers and farmers. Farmers' representatives underlined the need to distinguish between trade distorting and non-trade distorting subsidies, and outlined the need for different levels of government involvement in policies to address the impacts of trade on agriculture, ecology and society.


ENB Summary of Ad Hoc Open-Ended Intergovernmental Group of Experts on Energy and Sustainable Development
CSD-8 Intersessionals
Linkages CSD page
UN - CSD website with official documents 
ENB's "Introduction to CSD"

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