Daily report for 3 June 2002
4th Session of the WSSD Preparatory Committee
Delegates met in morning and afternoon informal-informal consultations to consider the Draft Plan of Implementation for the WSSD, released Sunday evening, 2 June. The Draft Plan is the consolidated text of the updated Revised Chairman’s Paper and Vice-Chairs’ paper on institutional issues. Working Group III continued its consideration of sustainable development governance in sessions throughout the day. Partnerships were discussed in a morning session. The contact groups on Africa, regional issues, sustainable development for a globalizing world, means of implementation and good governance also met during the course of the day. A scheduled evening Plenary and a contact group meeting on trade and finance were cancelled.
Editor’s Note: Coverage of Working Group III ended at 11:00 pm.
Following a brief procedural presentation by PrepCom Chair Emil Salim, the Informal Plenary scheduled for the morning was suspended and participants reconvened in an informal-informal consultation on outstanding issues in the draft plan from Working Groups I and II.
Delegates considered the first seven sections of the Draft Plan of Implementation for the WSSD (A/CONF.199/PC/L.5), in an attempt to resolve the remaining contentious text, with Co-Chairs Kiyotaka Akasaka (Japan) and Maria Viotti (Brazil) co-chairing discussion of the first four sections, and Ihab Gamaleldin (Egypt) chairing discussion of the remaining sections. Chair Akasaka reminded delegates that no new text or brackets would be accepted, unless agreed by everyone, and that previously agreed text would not be reopened.
All paragraphs referring to timelines, finance, trade and technology transfer were left pending, as they were considered to be of a crosscutting nature, and under consideration by contact groups.
INTRODUCTION: A contact group facilitated by Makarim Wibisomo (Indonesia) is discussing the pending issues on: recognizing respect for human and cultural diversity; ending foreign occupation to facilitate sustainable development; and putting an end to the adoption and application of unilateral coercive measures inconsistent with the UN Charter.
POVERTY ERADICATION: Issues still pending include: establishment of a world solidarity fund; access by indigenous people to economic activities; provision of adequate and predictable resources to implement the UNCCD; provision of assistance to increase income-generating employment opportunities; child labor; sustainable consumption and production; a life-cycle approach; and whether consumer information tools should be voluntary.
CHANGING UNSUSTAINABLE CONSUMPTION AND PRODUCTION PATTERNS: On the issue of energy, there was agreement to use agreed language from CSD-9, and for deletion of all references to "as appropriate" that were bracketed in the section. Consequently, agreement was reached on: the increased use of renewable energy sources; promotion of, inter alia, energy efficiency and conservation; and language on the ratification of the Stockholm and Rotterdam Conventions "so that" each "can enter into force" on their due dates. There was agreement to hold informal consultations on an alternative text proposing to: "promote partnership cooperation at all levels, including public-private partnerships, including within voluntary intergovernmentally-agreed frameworks that promote, inter alia, corporate social responsibility, to supplement the implementation of the key issues identified in CSD-9 by facilitating the development of innovative voluntary initiatives as part of the outcome of WSSD, to promote economically viable, socially acceptable and socially sound access to energy and energy-efficient technologies, renewable and advanced energy technologies, including advanced fossil fuel technologies."
Brackets remain around text on: promoting "coordination and" cooperation between international institutions and bodies dealing with different aspects of energy for sustainable development through "division of labor based on comparative advantage."
No agreement was reached on any of the outstanding issues on transportation.
PROTECTING AND MANAGING THE NATURAL RESOURCE BASE OF ECONOMIC AND SOCIAL DEVELOPMENT: Agreement was reached on: improving water resource management and providing capacity building and the transfer of technology "as mutually agreed"; alloting more time to consult regarding combating illicit "drug" crops; recognizing the rights of local and indigenous communities who are holders of traditional knowledge, subject to national legislation; and promoting discussion with a view to enhancing synergy and mutual supportiveness between the CBD, international trade, intellectual property rights-related agreements and the Doha Ministerial Declaration. They also agreed to defer discussion on the sections on oceans.
There was agreement to hold informal consultations on an alternative text proposing to: "achieve the Millennium Declaration targets to halve, by the year 2015, the proportion of the world’s people who suffer from hunger and realize the right to adequate food including by promoting food security and fighting hunger, in combination with measures which address poverty, consistent with the outcome of the World Food Summit and for State parties with their obligations under article 11 of the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights.
SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT IN A GLOBALIZING WORLD: Discussion of this issue was deferred pending the outcomes of the contact group.
HEALTH AND SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT: Objecting to the procedure used to reach agreement on strengthening the capacity of health care systems to deliver basic services, and noting that the agreement reached had deviated from agreed text from past international conferences, one delegation, supported by several countries, reserved the right to re-open discussion on this issue in Plenary.
SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT OF SMALL ISLAND DEVELOPING STATES: Agreement was reached regarding: accelerating national and regional implementation of the Barbados Programme of Action for the Sustainable Development of SIDS (BPA), with "adequate" financial resources; deleting the reference to "supporting the promotion of conservation and management of highly migratory fish stocks"; and requesting the 57th UN General Assembly to consider "an international meeting for the sustainable development of SIDS."
WORKING GROUP III
The Working Group, co-chaired by Lars-Göran Engfeldt (Sweden) and Ositadinma Anaedu (Nigeria), negotiated, in morning, afternoon and evening sessions, the text on the institutional framework for sustainable development, now incorporated as Chapter X in the Draft Plan of Implementation for the WSSD.
The Co-Chairs proposed new language for some previously discussed text in the "regional level" section. In the course of debate, several paragraphs were merged, while others were deleted. As a result, the Working Group agreed on language regarding: developing regional sustainable development strategies and action plans; integrating the three dimensions of sustainable development into the work of UN Regional Commissions, which should enhance their capacity through internal action and be provided with external support; facilitating the exchange of best practices, case studies and partnership experiences; and mobilizing technical and financial assistance to implement regional and sub-regional sustainable development programmes, including the objective, suggested by NORWAY, of eradicating poverty.
The repeated mention by the G-77/CHINA of "Agenda 21 and the WSSD outcomes," and by the EU of "Rio+5," was resolved by a US proposal to add a footnote to the chapeau of the objectives section, which explains that "references to Agenda 21 in the Chapter shall be deemed to include references to Rio+5 and WSSD outcomes." However, the G-77/CHINA insisted on retaining references to Agenda 21 in those paragraphs where it is essential.
Consensus was reached on the role of the CSD, specifically, on: providing a forum for interaction among Ministers at high-level segments; addressing new challenges related to Agenda 21 implementation; reviewing the number of themes of each session; scheduling and duration of meetings; serving as a focal point for discussion of partnerships, sharing lessons learned and best practices; exchanging experiences to assist development planning and using national reports; and providing for more involvement by international organizations and major groups.
Reference to "coherence" remains contentious in the introductory paragraph to the section, as well as the periodicity of CSD negotiating sessions - two or four years. Language was unresolved on: the CSD cooperating with other bodies, taking into account legal developments; addressing unfulfilled CSD mandates; and furthering the contribution of educators as "a major group" - a designation objected to by the G-77/CHINA.
In the evening, the Working Group agreed to delete a paragraph on the CSD providing a meeting point for governments, international organizations and stakeholder interests relevant to sustainable development. Delegates accepted a paragraph on undertaking further measures to promote best practices and lessons learned. Prolonged debate continued into the night on text regarding the role of ECOSOC.
The first informal consultation on partnerships/initiatives was facilitated by Jan Kára (Czech Republic) and Diane Quarless (Jamaica), and later attended by WSSD Secretary-General Nitin Desai. Both Vice-Chairs noted that this consultation was now "in the shadows" of the negotiations, particularly upstaged by Working Group III. Kára explained the history of Type 2 outcomes, expressing hope that these outcomes will mobilize additional capacities to implement Agenda 21 and other sustainable development goals. Co-Chair Quarless noted issues needing further explanation: equity, accountability, institutional oversight and framework.
AUSTRALIA requested clarification of the definition of a "new" partnership. Co-Chair Quarless stated that initiatives should not be a repackaging of existing ones, but should have true added value, with international relevance and impact. The EU introduced a non-paper proposing guiding principles and options for formalizing such principles, further emphasizing the need for developing a follow-up mechanism. JAPAN underscored ownership and concrete actions. The US expressed strong support for Type 2 partnerships as a critical outcome of the WSSD, stressed the importance of creativity and imagination, and with the EU, ICELAND and JAPAN, opposed strict criteria frameworks. The Co-Chairs said that there will be a quality check, as opposed to screening, of partnerships. With respect to follow-up mechanisms, the US mentioned that CSD could play an important role and should provide access to information and facilitate new partnerships within existing resources. The EU suggested that the CSD could give technical advice and guidance for partnerships initiatives. Both countries suggested another consultation on follow-up mechanisms.
The PHILIPPINES underlined that Type 2 should be a way of bringing in new funds and not a means to shift existing resources, further expressing his reservations that Type 2 could be a "trap" imposing conditionalities defined by donor governments. He also noted a qualitative change from discussion at Rio, highlighting the recent focus on local, community-based actions, and stressed that Type 2 initiatives must be responsive to local needs. An NGO questioned the US focus on market-based incentives, as opposed to government regulation. The US emphasized that partnerships should be commensurate with the variety of countries and conditions, although they would be "tethered to" the Type 1 outcome. He also described markets as a social construct. UNEP recalled that partnerships are a means, not an end, to achieve sustainable development, NORWAY highlighted NGOs and civil society as important partners, and UNICEF warned against neglecting existing partnerships. CANADA said existing partnerships should have clear added value, and that both donors and recipients have to be effective partners.
The INTERNATIONAL CHAMBER OF COMMERCE stated that Type 2 outcomes could fill an implementation gap not achieveable under Type 1. He further cited the example of rural electrification, noting that for a profit and given the right of way, businesses could do what individual countries might not be able to. AUSTRALIA called for a distinction between a commercial relationship and a partnership. The STAKEHOLDER FORUM FOR OUR COMMON FUTURE noted the distinction between partnerships and initiatives. CANADA highlighted how official development assistance can build better synergies with foreign direct investment, and CHINA expressed hope that more attention will be paid to Chinese civil society.
Concluding, Desai emphasized that partners should have an equal state in knowledge and capacity, encouraged delegates to conceive a programme to strengthen negotiating capacity, and suggested that the UN provide a clearinghouse for partnership guidelines. He stated that the first week of the WSSD will devote sessions to partnerships, and mentioned his preference for a thematic approach.
A number of contact groups met in the course of the day. No agreement was reached on the pending issues on Sustainable Development Initiatives for Africa.
REGIONAL INITIATIVES: A contact group, chaired by Richard Ballhorn (Canada), convened to discuss new paragraphs on regional initiatives for Latin America and the Caribbean, Asia and the Pacific, West Asia, and the UNECE. Several delegations opposed addition of these new paragraphs, given their late submission, but eventually agreed on a brief chapeau for all new sections.
GOOD GOVERNANCE: Facilitator Koen Davidse (the Netherlands) circulated a new version of his text. A delegation recalled their preference to address international governance, and another delegation expressed readiness to discuss its inclusion. Delegates agreed that placement of the text would determine its formulation. In the evening, delegates agreed to consider new text to be drawn up by the Chair. Elements on human rights and global governance from Monterrey will be proposed for the introductory section of the Draft. Action points will be proposed for the section on institutions. One delegate underlined the importance of the issue for his Head of State.
GLOBALIZATION: This group, chaired by John Ashe (Antigua and Barbuda), met in the afternoon. There was agreement on a paragraph calling for the continued promotion of a rules-based trading system to benefit all countries pursuing sustainable development. On the WTO’s contribution to sustainable development, differences remained on how to reference the Doha work programme. There was agreement on a paragraph that supports enhanced capacity for developing countries to "benefit from" liberalized trade opportunities. One delegation announced the formation of a contact group on the precautionary approach.
There was no agreement on alternative proposals on environmentally harmful subsidies. On financial volatility, developing countries supported the deletion of two optional paragraphs. One group supported the encouragement of national efforts to adopt better and more transparent forms of financial market regulation, including, inter alia, implementation of the Monterrey Consensus. Language from Monterrey was also introduced to advance discussion on a paragraph on the role of multilateral financial institutions in capacity building.
IN THE CORRIDORS I
Formal deliberation on a draft political declaration failed to materialize as scheduled on Monday morning. No doubt conscious of the collapse of discussions on an UNGASS (Rio+5) declaration in 1997, Chair Salim has determined that discussions on a declaration at PrepCom IV should not commence until negotiating efforts on the Draft Plan of Implementation for the WSSD have been exhausted. Some have suggested that a premature attempt to agree a political declaration in Bali could launch the meeting into an ugly set of overlapping negotiations and trigger a round of hostage taking. The Vice-Chairs are expected to float some proposals, but avoid any risk of subjecting these to the imbroglio of a traditional no holds barred sustainable development negotiation. Input to the Declaration, together with discussion on partnerships, is expected to occupy a good deal of Ministerial time and effort, alongside their "in the corridors" work on attempts to resolve outstanding issues. Near the top of their corridors agenda will be trade and finance, including the latest take on the issue of new and additional resources. Negotiations on trade and finance were abandoned Monday evening when it emerged that certain delegations were still waiting for final directions from their capitals.
IN THE CORRIDORS II
After being held in abeyance for a week, the informal consultations on partnerships finally took place on Monday morning, 3 June. At the request of the US and the EU, another session is now planned for Tuesday afternoon. It has been suggested that discussions were deferred in the first week due to quiet preparations of partnership guides that have been undertaken by the WSSD Secretary-General’s office. The guides are expected to cover the five "WEHAB" areas identified by UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan – water, energy, health, agriculture and biodiversity. The first of these guides, on energy, crept into the Type 1 outcomes in the contact group on energy; water is next in line, and it is anticipated language on the rest will find its way into the text. Informed sources say this approach has been taken due to concerns raised that the guides are far from complete, and work on them may not be concluded by Johannesburg. Some participants have voiced concern about the lack of transparency in this process.
In addition, there were signals that the fate of partnerships and regional initiatives may take a new turn; discussions in the Working Group on partnerships and contact group on regional initiatives charged that progress has been "held hostage" as deliberation takes place on related issues in Working Group III, which is considering institutional mechanisms for implementation.
IN THE CORRIDORS III
The PrepCom Secretariat has been making special efforts to quell misplaced notions of a further opportunity to reconvene negotiations in the run-up to the WSSD in Johannesburg. Inter-sessional activities will be limited to a mini-summit in Rio on 26 June, when Brazil will hand over the ‘Earth Summit’ torch to South Africa, and Heads of State are expected to issue a communiqué designed to encourage their peers to join them in Johannesburg. Heads of State and Government are also expected to focus on the WSSD agenda at upcoming meetings of the G-8 and the leadership of the European Union.
THINGS TO LOOK FOR TODAY
PLENARY: Plenary will convene in the Nusa Indah room following the Informal Plenary, and is expected to adopt the draft implementation document.
INFORMAL PLENARY: Delegates will meet in an informal Plenary at 11:00 am in the Nusa Indah room to discuss the outstanding contentious issues in the draft plan.
PARTNERSHIPS CONSULTATIONS: Informal partnerships consultations are scheduled to take place at 3:00 pm. Check the UN Journal for the venue.
CONTACT GROUPS: Trade and finance will meet in morning, afternoon, and evening sessions in the Orchid Room. The contact group on good governance is expected to reconvene at 10:00 am in Bandung room. Look for the Facilitator’s revised text on this issue in the Bandung room at 9:00 am.