Daily report for 1 June 2002
4th Session of the WSSD Preparatory Committee
Delegates met in an Informal Plenary in the morning, afternoon and into the evening to resolve outstanding issues on the updated Revised Chairman’s Paper, while Working Group III on sustainable development governance met in morning, afternoon and evening sessions to complete the second reading of the revised Vice-Chair’s text on the institutional framework for sustainable development. The contact groups on finance and Africa also met, with contact groups on energy, biodiversity and oceans reconstituted by the Informal Plenary to resolve the remaining unagreed issues. The Informal Plenary also established a new contact group on means of implementation to address pending issues, excluding finance and trade.
Editor’s Note: Coverage of the sessions ended at 6:00 pm.
Chaired by PrepCom Chair Emil Salim (Indonesia), the Informal Plenary met all day and into the evening to resume consideration of the updated Revised Chairman’s Paper and confirm adoption of agreed text.
MEANS OF IMPLEMENTATION: Regarding the establishment of technology clearinghouses, delegates agreed to a G-77/ CHINA-proposed compromise to "enhance existing national institutional capacity in developing countries to improve access to, development, transfer and diffusion of environmentally sound technologies (ESTs) and corresponding know-how." On providing assistance to developing countries to access publicly owned ESTs, AUSTRALIA, supported by the US and JAPAN, proposed an alternative agreed at CSD-6, to "promote the transfer to developing countries of non-patented or non-commercialized technologies resulting from publicly funded research activities, including through technology cooperation." The G-77/CHINA preferred to retain the existing language in brackets pending further consultation. On mechanisms for the development, transfer and diffusion of ESTs to developing countries, the G-77/CHINA supported establishing a mechanism by 2004, while JAPAN, the US and the EU preferred supporting existing mechanisms. The text remains bracketed.
On assisting developing countries in building capacity to access multilateral and global research and development programmes, delegates agreed to building their capacity to access "a larger share of" such programmes, and "in this regard, to strengthen and, where appropriate, create centers for sustainable development in developing countries." Delegates agreed to text amended by the US, and supported by the G-77/CHINA, the EU, and JAPAN, in favor of decision making that includes the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change with the broad participation of experts from developing countries. Delegates adopted language on: enhancing the capacity of developing countries on the formulation and implementation of environmental management and protection policies; using satellite technologies; and addressing financial constraints faced by institutions of higher learning. No agreement was reached on text relating to provision of new and additional resources, on a timeframe for eliminating gender disparity in primary and secondary education, and on placement of text regarding child labor.
Delegates also could not agree on references to monitoring of education action plans, and whether to promote affordability of enrollment to both universities and institutions in developed countries to students of developing countries, "as appropriate." Development of indicators at the national level was another contentious point, with the G-77/CHINA urging CSD-9 language on indicators, and SWITZERLAND, opposed by the US, supporting indicators for measuring impacts of industrialized countries’ consumption and production patterns. Agreement was reached on developing and promoting wider application of environmental impact assessments as a national instrument.
Following the conclusion of the first reading in the Informal Plenary of the agreed paragraphs in the updated Revised Chairman’s Paper, Chair Salim invited Vice-Chair Ihab Gamaleldin (Egypt) to coordinate resolution of pending issues in means of implementation, including provisions on: application of the precautionary principle; references to global public goods; and issues of gender disparity and child labor. Salim re-established contact groups on oceans and energy, to be facilitated by Working Group I Co-Chairs Kiyotaka Akasaka (Japan) and Maria Viotti (Brazil) respectively.
Salim gaveled acceptance of text agreed in the oceans contact group (A.CONF.199/PC/L.1/Rev.1/WG.I paragraphs 27-31) and the energy contact group (A/CONF.199/PC/L.1/Rev.1/WG.1 paragraph 9, 17), skipping bracketed text and sending it to the breakout groups. Richard Ballhorn (Canada) introduced the text resulting from the Africa contact group (A/CONF.199/PC/WGII/CG/ AFRICA/Rev.4), after which Chair Salim gaveled acceptance of already agreed language.
WORKING GROUP III
The Working Group, co-chaired by Ositadinma Anaedu (Nigeria) and Lars-Göran Engfeldt (Sweden), continued negotiation of the revised version of the Vice-Chairs’ text of 27 May (Institutional Frameworks for Sustainable Development), in morning, afternoon and evening sessions.
The Co-Chairs introduced compromise language on several paragraphs, starting with the section on the role and functions of the CSD. Delegates agreed on CSD emphasizing its role in implementation at all levels, including serving as a focal point for discussion of partnerships. The Chair suggested deleting four paragraphs relating to stakeholders and partnerships, the content of which appears in other places in the Vice-Chairs’ Paper, with the US and the EU reserving their positions. The issue of partnerships continuously emerged in the discussion, and several delegations called for a listing of all references to partnerships, to decide on their placing and length, with the G-77/CHINA preferring to locate them in one place and on one page. A number of negotiated paragraphs are dependent on partnership references, still bracketed by the G-77/CHINA.
Language on the CSD focusing on "new and emerging" issues, as part of its programme of work, to be defined by the UN General Assembly, was bracketed by the G-77/CHINA. Most delegates, especially the G-77/CHINA, preferred limiting the CSD sessions to every two years, while the US, supported by Japan, called for four years. The G-77/CHINA bracketed all EU references to the implementation of Rio+5. Text was agreed on more effective use of national reports by the CSD.
There was accord on the chapeau for the practical modalities of the CSD work programme, and on scientific community advice, but language on educators’ contribution and on the use of contemporary methods of data collection and dissemination remains unresolved. Objections were raised by the G-77/CHINA regarding the UN Chief Executives Board developing collaborative networks to facilitate interagency coordination and mainstreaming sustainable development.
Agreement was reached on streamlining the international sustainable development meetings calendar and reducing time spent on negotiations, and on making full use of developments in ICTs. SWITZERLAND proposed to address, elsewhere in the text, references to the UNCCD and GEF, as its financial mechanism, and the Chair deferred discussion.
The paragraph on identifying gaps and eliminating duplication in the international institutional framework for greater coordination was agreed, except for the term "coherence," which is still in brackets. The chapeau to the regional level institutional arrangements section was agreed, but redrafting continued on text relating to the development of regional sustainable development strategies and plans, including through improved cooperation among regional commissions, development banks and other bodies.
A new contact group on means of implementation, chaired by Vice-Chair Gamaleldin, was established in the afternoon to address all outstanding issues, except on issues in the section on trade and finance that are being addressed in the contact group under the facilitation of John Ashe (Antigua and Barbuda). Vice-Chairs Viotti and Akasaka chaired, respectively, the contact groups on energy and oceans that were reconstituted by the afternoon Informal Plenary.
AFRICA: This Group met in the morning, and was chaired by Richard Ballhorn (Canada). Participants accepted a paragraph on sound management of chemicals. No agreement was reached on paragraphs regarding: land tenure issues, with the G-77/CHINA supporting text referring to "access to land and tenure rights"; market access to African goods, with delegates disagreeing on references to least developed countries and to specific trade agreements; and conservation of Africa’s biological diversity, with disagreement over text on references from the CBD. Extensive debate ensued regarding the section’s chapeau, especially references to challenges to Africa’s efforts in achieving sustainable development.
FINANCE: This Group, chaired by John Ashe, met in the afternoon. In a paragraph on implementation of Agenda 21, protracted discussions – both within and outside of the contact group – took place regarding references to the principle of common but differentiated responsibilities, and support for "development and" implementation of national policies and programmes. Delegates also deliberated on a paragraph regarding an enabling domestic environment, and diverged on whether to include Monterrey language.
BIODIVERSITY: This contact group, facilitated by A. Gopinathan (India), held its third meeting on Saturday morning. The Group had focused on five contentious issues regarding: benefit sharing from biological diversity by countries of origin and their local people; a significant reduction of biodiversity loss by 2010; negotiation of the creation of an international regime to effectively promote and safeguard the fair and equitable sharing of benefits arising from the use of biodiversity and its components; and promotion of synergy and mutual supportiveness between the CBD, international trade, intellectual property rights-related agreements and the World Trade Organization.
In addition to the issue of benefit sharing with local communities, particularly in the countries of origin, which had been earlier agreed, the group reached consensus language, pending consultation with capitals, on the issue of synergy, stating: "with a view to enhancing synergy and mutual supportiveness, promote the discussions, without prejudging their outcomes, with regard to the relationships between the obligations of CBD and international trade and intellectual property rights-related agreements, as outlined in the Doha Ministerial Declaration and decisions taken in the framework of those agreements." However, no agreement was reached on the other three issues.
IN THE CORRIDORS I
Amid breaks to watch World Cup football, participants spent Saturday in what one participant referred to as a "neurotic" exercise. The slow pace of progress, overwork and reversion to contact groups earlier in the day, culminated, shortly after midnight, with a discussion of the procedure delegates are expected to follow to resolve issues on which delegations are polarized or disagreeing. The Chair’s explanation that such issues would to be addressed during Monday’s Informal Plenary and in contact groups, provided what one participant referred to as a "fuzzy idea of Monday." Although there is a growing feeling that there is little else the Informal Plenary can yield, there is recognition that the range of unresolved issues is still too broad for resolution by trade-offs in contact groups. Some postulate that the failure to make progress had resulted from procedural breaches as delegations were permitted to re-open agreed text, and the perception by some that there are still five days available to negotiate. Some observers wondered about the fuss surrounding the document, as it is not legally binding...
IN THE CORRIDORS II
While delegates were still consumed with negotiating the programme of action on day eight, speculations ranged widely over what the second week would hold in terms of preparing the political declaration. The method of its preparation, as well as its content, is unclear with some postulating that perhaps it will be drawn from the chapeaux of the programme of action. Chair Salim is said to have received contributions to the document and is preparing a draft that will constitute the basis for discussion.
Meanwhile, the Secretariat is advising delegates to reconfirm their tickets and to avoid changing their flights as they risk losing their seats from the high demand in the region occasioned by the World Cup...
THINGS TO LOOK FOR TODAY
PLENARY: An evening Plenary is scheduled from 8:00 ’ 11:00 pm in the Nusa Indah Hall to resolve all outstanding issues of the updated Revised Chairman’s Paper.
INFORMAL PLENARY: The Informal Plenary will reconvene in Nusantara 1 from 10:00 am ’1:00 pm and 3:00 ’ 6:00 pm to conclude negotiation of the updated Revised Chairman’s Paper. The session is expected to start with the sections that have not yet been considered by the Informal Plenary, notably institutional issues and the finance and trade aspects of the means of implementation, and then take up the sections considered the previous Thursday and Friday. Look for the new consolidated Draft Plan of Implementation for the World Summit on Sustainable Development (A/CONF.199/PC/L.5).
PARTNERSHIPS: Informal Consultations on partnerships will take place from 10:00 am - 1:00 pm in the Geneva Room.