Report of main proceedings for 5 June 2002
4th Session of the WSSD Preparatory Committee
Delegates met in a High-Level Ministerial segment comprised of a brief morning opening Plenary to hear keynote speeches, and a morning and afternoon interactive ministerial dialogue on the issue of implementation. An Informal Plenary was held in the evening to consider elements for a political declaration and the modalities of work at the Summit. Working Group III met in an afternoon session to discuss sustainable development governance. Discussion of partnerships was held during the afternoon, and informal-informal consultations to resolve outstanding issues on the Draft Plan of Implementation for the WSSD took place throughout the day and into the evening.
OPENING PLENARY: Following a video presentation on the state of the world’s peoples and environments, and the need for sustainable development, PrepCom Chair Emil Salim officially opened the High-Level Ministerial Segment.
Louise Fréchette, Deputy Secretary-General of the United Nations, shared findings from UNEP’s Global Environment Outlook, elaborating on how the prevailing model of development was not sustainable, "even for those living out its benefits." Fréchette underscored the human-environment relationship as a core concern for Johannesburg, stressed concrete targets and timelines, and partnerships linked to the implementation plan. She underlined the role of governments, civil society and the private sector in ensuring sustainable development, calling on businesses to move beyond philanthropy and change current practices. She urged "matching aspirations with actions."
Her Excellency Megawati Soekarnoputri, President of the Republic of Indonesia, welcomed everyone to Indonesia, and expressed hope that success in Bali will lead to success in Johannesburg. She called for cooperative efforts for sustainable development, including capacity building and accessible and affordable science and technology.
Chair Salim invited statements from three Co-Chairs of the Global Environment Facility (GEF) Ministerial Roundtable on Financing for Sustainable Development.
Mohammed Valli Moosa, Minister for Environmental Affairs and Tourism, South Africa, noted that the Summit can ensure that actions for environmental sustainability achieve Millennium Development goals, and elaborated on the two sessions of the GEF Roundtable on Financing for Sustainable Development. Kjell Larsson, Minister for the Environment, Sweden, reported that the Roundtables called for actions concerning finance, policies and partnerships, underscoring that sustainability cannot be achieved by marginal financing.
Precious Ngelale, Minister of State of Water Resources, Nigeria, on behalf of the African Ministers Conference on Water, noted water and sanitation as Africa’s main crises, highlighted the connections to water in the UN Secretary-General’s five focal areas, and stated that social, economic and environmental security are all linked to water. He presented the Abuja Ministerial Declaration on Water produced at the April 2002 meeting in Nigeria.
Chair Salim outlined the procedure for the interactive dialogue, and urged delegates to avoid making speeches. He stressed the need to finalize all documents and agree on an implementation plan - the Bali Commitment - to make Johannesburg a success.
INTERACTIVE DIALOGUE: JAPAN noted its initiatives in global mapping projects and hosting the World Water Forum. NORWAY stressed: the importance of ratifying and implementing treaties; not reopening negotiated text; transparency; and good governance. He noted that states had agreed to the precautionary principle in Rio, and questioned why it is currently being debated. Venezuela, on behalf of the G-77/CHINA, stated that "we cannot have another Summit without the commitment to act," stressed adherence to the Rio Principles, and emphasized: respect for indigenous peoples; redress of external debt; access to international markets; efforts to combat HIV/AIDS; and assistance to Africa in fighting desertification. Seeking a coherent, mutually reinforcing policy among all outcomes, Spain, for the EU, stressed formulating a way of achieving progress and elaborated on its concrete goals for sustainable development. COLOMBIA emphasized ethics in sustainable development, EGYPT stressed implementing Rio recommendations, and not adopting new ones, while LIBYA questioned why there was no solidarity in the drive against eradication of poverty and famine.
CHINA stressed that inter- and intra-generational equity have not been realized. SWITZERLAND said the PrepCom must not call into question what was agreed at, inter alia, Rio, Cairo and Beijing. SLOVAKIA emphasized that sectoral policies have prevailed in protection of land resources, and called for an integrated approach. The DOMINICAN REPUBLIC urged countries to ratify the Kyoto Protocol and other agreements before the WSSD. UNITED ARAB EMIRATES said that wars, conflicts and occupation undermine sustainable development goals, and that women and youth must be engaged in the development process. INDONESIA appealed to delegates to build on the Monterrey Consensus and Doha Ministerial Agreements to implement Agenda 21. ECOSOC highlighted the establishment of the Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues and the upcoming ECOSOC session in July. GERMANY contended that the Kyoto Protocol is a manifestation of the precautionary principle, and that the deficit in implementation must be overcome.
BHUTAN called for capacity building, financial and technical support to compensate for foregone development opportunities through environmental conservation and urged the mention of mountain ecosystems in the political declaration. Highlighting the constraints to implementation, NIGERIA called for: time-bound targets; progress beyond Doha and Monterrey; and support for the New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD). ROMANIA called for: an implementation monitoring system; stronger enforcement of post-Rio multilateral environmental agreements; and support for the international environmental governance. UGANDA highlighted the plight of least developed countries, and urged support for NEPAD and a financial mechanism for the UNCCD. Elaborating on the scourge of poverty, BRAZIL called for a new world economic order and urged support for NEPAD.
The UK called for consideration of: advancement of the Doha agenda; the impact of trade relations; and concrete action through measurable, targeted action plans. ICELAND highlighted the role of women and the utilization of marine living resources and renewable energy. SAMOA noted impacts of climate change on SIDS, and called for bringing the Kyoto Protocol into force and replenishing the GEF. The US said the Summit must be about implementing concrete actions to achieve internationally agreed goals, and that sustainable development begins at home.
The IUCN articulated concern over preparations for WSSD, questioning the value added by a Summit when many existing commitments are not being implemented. The DEMOCRATIC PEOPLE’S REPUBLIC OF KOREA urged practical, action-oriented steps for poverty eradication and the creation of a political environment for sustainable development.
Concurring with Norway on the need to go beyond commitment to implementation, FINLAND elaborated on the measures needed to attain sustainable development. SWEDEN supported Finland on the need for time-bound targets and decoupling economic growth from environmental impacts, and proposed an international framework for corporate accountability and the establishment of a task force on global public goods. The ORGANIZATION FOR ECONOMIC COOPERATION AND DEVELOPMENT proposed domestic cross-sectoral action and a system to monitor implementation of Type 1 and 2 outcomes. MALAYSIA highlighted the constraints on Agenda 21 implementation, and supported poverty eradication and time-bound targets. CÔTE D’IVOIRE emphasized strengthening aid and technical assistance structures, poverty and debt reduction and South-South cooperation. BANGLADESH noted the importance of poverty reduction and access to water and called for time-bound targets.
UZBEKISTAN, for Central Asian countries, reaffirmed commitment to Rio principles and establishment of national conditions for Agenda 21 implementation, and drew attention to Aral Sea problems. The CZECH REPUBLIC called for reduced dependence on foreign assistance, design of market instruments for sustainable consumer behavior, application of the precautionary principle, and sustainable development education. IRAQ called for ending foreign occupation, sanctions, and obstacles to sustainable development. MOROCCO highlighted contributions of the Marrakesh climate change declaration to the WSSD.
IRAN stressed: new and additional resources; globalization that works for developing countries; good global governance; and inclusion of the global community’s vision in the political declaration. MAURITIUS emphasized, inter alia, GEF replenishment, GEF as the UNCCD financial mechanism, and the establishment of a world solidarity fund. Noting a correlation between poverty and desertification, NIGER supported GEF as a UNCCD financing mechanism. The FORMER YUGOSLAV REPUBLIC OF MACEDONIA noted non-agreement on implementation targets and listed issues needing action. ANDORRA said the Rio and Millennium Declaration standards should not be lowered and sustainable development should not be reinterpreted, and supported water and sanitation targets. ALGERIA urged Agenda 21 implementation and its use as the yardstick for negotiation.
CUBA called for serious and responsible commitments, new and additional resources, cleaner technologies on a concessional basis, and South-South cooperation. PORTUGAL supported realistic targets and action-oriented work plans, reduction of poverty, particularly in Africa, and ratification of the UN Convention on Non-Navigable Uses of International Watercourses. ARMENIA emphasized creating an enabling environment and elaborating national plans for sustainable development. KENYA outlined challenges in Agenda 21 implementation, including: mobilizing resources to address poverty; health, particularly HIV/AIDS; inadequate access to energy; and capacity building.
The INTER-PARLIAMENTARY UNION said members of parliament should be mentioned in the implementation plan and announced that there will be a meeting for parliamentarians in Johannesburg on 29-30 August.
Chair Salim facilitated the evening session on inputs for consideration in a political declaration.
The EU suggested, inter alia: an assessment of accomplishments since Rio; renewal of Agenda 21 commitments; emphasis on peace and security, democracy, good governance, respect for human rights, ethics, and the fight against corruption and terrorism; commitment to the Global Deal and new partnerships; linkages between poverty and environmental degradation; the negative impact of unsustainable patterns of production and consumption on poverty and the environment; and gender equality. CANADA supported a pithy political declaration that is comprehensible to the average person, and, with BRAZIL, SWITZERLAND, and the REPUBLIC OF KOREA, urged brevity. The HOLY SEE noted the importance of recognition of human dignity. KENYA urged poverty eradication as a central theme.
BRAZIL said the political declaration should be able to be published in a newspaper, and should reaffirm Rio agreements, and with COLOMBIA, highlighted the ethical dimension of sustainable development. SWITZERLAND said the political declaration should: be action-oriented, based on, but not reiterating, the implementation plan and overarching objectives of poverty eradication and sustainable patterns of production and consumption; express renewed political commitment to implementing Agenda 21; refer to the major conferences of the past decade; and commit to providing means for the implementation plan.
ALGERIA supported an action-oriented declaration and called for addressing water as a key sustainable development issue. The REPUBLIC OF KOREA said the declaration should be understandable by Heads of State and laypeople, emphasize partnership initiatives, and support creating an enabling environment for the implementation plan. IRAN said the declaration should reinforce the commitment of the international community to means of Agenda 21 implementation, as well as respect for cultural diversity, noting that peace and sustainable development are interlinked.
PAKISTAN said the political declaration should be linked to the implementation plan, be inspiring and positive, support implementation of the Millennium Declaration goals, Agenda 21, and North-South partnerships, and reiterate that poverty eradication is indispensable to sustainable development.
The US said the declaration should start with visionary statements, followed by, inter alia: concrete actions for poverty eradication; references to previous conferences; reference to good governance; and the resources needed to achieve the vision. The PHILIPPINES emphasized including references to full Agenda 21 implementation, the need to strengthen regional UN organizations, and the contribution of partnerships toward sustainable development. JAPAN stated that to achieve sustainable development: ownership and partnerships should be secured; the private sector, local communities and business should be involved; and production and consumption patterns be changed. CYPRUS emphasized operationalizing sustainable development and spreading the message of sustainable development to civil society. CHILE called for modernizing public policies, eradicating corruption, and assuring public participation in decision making.
The informal consultations on partnerships, co-chaired by Diane Quarless (Jamaica) and Jan Kára (Czech Republic), focused on the explanatory note regarding the draft guidance principles for partnerships, released 5 June. Kára said the draft guidelines reflect inputs provided through the Multi-Stakeholder Dialogues and various consultations held during the course of the PrepCom. SWITZERLAND expressed support for a central mechanism by which partnerships can be organized. UN-HABITAT suggested that the idea of having the CSD as a focal point be elaborated. HUNGARY said that partnerships should be defined in accordance with WSSD outcomes or Agenda 21 goals, the EU proposed adding reference to standardization of reporting, and the UK called for text stating that ownership of the process and outcomes is shared among partners. The FAO described their experience in partnerships. The US asked that text reflect potential capacity building needs. An NGO representative advised that some partnerships may be transferable to other parties, and provision should be made for this. The PHILIPPINES called for further input from the G-77/China and emphasized communities as important partners. UNITAR said ownership should belong to recipients, and should not be exclusive.
The NATURAL RESOURCES DEFENSE COUNCIL sought clarification about the linkages between the two types of outcomes, and said that governments had accepted primary responsibility for sustainable development at Rio and the Millennium Summit, and that partnerships should be a mechanism by which their commitments can be fulfilled. He further noted that governments have been on the receiving end of the partnerships proposed so far. The STAKEHOLDER FORUM FOR OUR COMMON FUTURE suggested finding a clearer, "better name for Type 2s," and stressed: partnerships continuing beyond Johannesburg; bottom-up participation; and participation in follow-up mechanisms, further suggesting that follow-up should entail global assessments, and not detailed intervention in projects. A representative from NGOs noted the lack of linkage between governmental policy and civil society concerns, and described the "deep despair" among NGOs that their efforts, preparations and concerns throughout the PrepComs have gone unheeded.
CANADA suggested strengthening the new guidelines by giving partners the option for external review and documenting "ingredients" of successful partnerships, and stressed "equal footing" among partners, not a repackaging of existing donor-recipient relationships. NEW ZEALAND proposed that the guidelines should be developed to consider partnerships at all levels and noted that there was a level of suspicion and an "image problem" of partnerships being owned by the UN. CHINA questioned the real benefit of partnerships. The EARTH COUNCIL suggested that the document state benefits of partnerships for developing countries, and with Vice-Chair Quarless and several other delegates, noted the lack of representation in the consultations of delegates from developing countries. Quarless emphasized that partnerships are a means to add value to the intergovernmental process and enhance the quality of Agenda 21 implementation by involving multiple partners, and added that the WSSD will give partners greater recognition for their efforts.
The ROYAL INSTITUTE OF INTERNATIONAL AFFAIRS said that without a reporting mechanism, assessing progress would be difficult. AUSTRALIA suggested that the best value the CSD could add is to provide some overview and guidance on broader lessons emerging from partnerships. The GEF Small Grants programme described its success in linking global and local level activities.
WORKING GROUP III
The Working Group, co-chaired by Ositadinma Anaedu (Nigeria) and Lars-Göran Engfeldt (Sweden), resumed its work following a late night meeting on Tuesday. In an afternoon session, the Working Group attempted to resolve remaining differences over text in Chapter X of the Draft Plan of Implementation for the WSSD.
Texts were finalized on: enhancement of the participation of civil society and other relevant stakeholders in the implementation of Agenda 21; promotion of transparency and broad public participation; the CSD taking into account significant legal developments in promoting the implementation of Agenda 21; and significantly strengthening UNDP capacity building programmes. There was near consensus on the paragraph on corporate responsibility, based on a US proposal, but AUSTRALIA insisted on keeping the word "voluntary," and NORWAY insisted on retaining a reference to using various "tools," such as internalization of external costs.
No agreement was reached on: collaboration within and outside the UN system, taking into account the work of the Chief Executives Board (CEB) and the Environmental Management Group (EMG); integration of the social dimension in sustainable development policies and programmes; two- or four-year intervals between CSD negotiating sessions; recognition of educators as a major group, as suggested by CANADA, but opposed by the G-77/ CHINA and the EU; and strengthened cooperation among UNEP, other UN bodies, Bretton Woods institutions and the WTO, within their mandates.
Short text on encouraging partnership initiatives for implementation by all relevant actors, as suggested by the Chair, was supported by the US and JAPAN, but opposed by the EU, HUNGARY and NORWAY, who insisted on referring to establishing modalities or guiding principles. SWITZERLAND made suggestions, based on consultations, on keeping or replacing the term "coherence," which appears in a number of paragraphs. Some delegates indicated which instances were acceptable, and the EU conditioned its agreement on acceptance of the whole package by all delegations.
The Chair announced that the Group will continue as a facilitator’s group to clean up remaining text at 10:00 am on Thursday, 6 June, with the issues of good governance, trade and means of implementation to be taken up in the "Vienna Group," convened on Wednesday, 5 June at 8:00 pm.
IN THE CORRIDORS I
The Friends of the Chair contact group was reconstituted on Wednesday as an informal-informal consultation, and access for delegations permitted, following vehement complaints by some interest groups about the lack of transparency in the way the FOC had gone about resolving the copious amount of bracketed text in the Bali Commitment. Negotiators are applying the so-called "Vienna rules," whereby delegates sit around a table and one person speaks on behalf of each key negotiating group. The model is reportedly not working well due to the disparate positions within groups. Apparently, the establishment of the FOC contact group on Tuesday aggravated the growing mistrust in nearly all regional groups, which began to emerge when the troika (the EU, G-77/ China and US) "secretly" reached agreement earlier in the week on the contentious issue of health.
IN THE CORRIDORS II
Ministers did not turn up in large numbers for a "no food" breakfast meeting with Chief Executives of UN agencies scheduled for Wednesday morning. The ministers who spoke stressed their country positions on issues under discussion, from domestic governance to GEF replenishment to the three pillars of sustainable development. There were strong calls for better coherence, cooperation, coordination and even "ownership" from the UN family, of the WSSD outcomes. One country suggested the preparation of a plan encompassing the UN system. The calls raised eyebrows among UN Agency staff, who feel they have not been invited to actively participate in the drafting process for the Bali Commitment, which they are now being asked to implement. Agencies have also noted that they are rarely cited in the text.
IN THE CORRIDORS III
Plans by Indonesian NGOs to mark World Environment Day with a demonstration outside the Bali International Conference Center were reportedly foiled on Wednesday. A representative of the Indonesian National Coordination team for the WSSD has indicated that NGOs are likely to sue their Government after police intervened to prevent demonstrators from approaching the Convention Center, allegedly infringing constitutional rights to freedom of speech and assembly.
THINGS TO LOOK FOR TODAY
HIGH-LEVEL INTERACTIVE DIALOGUE: Ministers will meet from 10:00 am – 1:00 pm and from 3:00 – 6:00 pm in Nusa Indah for an interactive dialogue on partnerships.
INFORMAL PLENARY: The Informal Plenary will meet in Nusantara 2 from 8:00 – 11:00 pm to continue discussions on the political declaration and modalities of work for the Summit.
FACILITATORS’ GROUP MEETING: A facilitators’ group on the institutional framework for sustainable development will meet at 10:00 am in the Geneva Room to discuss the remaining issues in Chapter X of the draft implementation plan.