Report of main proceedings for 22 June 1993

CSD-1

Amb. Razali Ismail circulated the revised draft decision on initialfinancial commitments, flows and arrangements that incorporated thediscussions held in Negotiating Group II and Plenary on documentL.5. On paragraph 1 (concern about the low level of funding), theEC recommendation to include language from the Basis for Actionsection in Chapter 33 of Agenda 21 was accepted, as was theproposal by the G-77 that the inadequacy of financial resources was"a" and not "the" major constraint for Agenda 21 implementation.Paragraph 2 (the importance of a supportive international anddomestic economic climate) was modified to include reference tospecial attention to countries with economies in transition, asmentioned in paragraph 33.6 of Agenda 21. Japan had difficultieswith references to "debt cancellation" in paragraph 4 and Pakistanproposed a reformulation. Razali asked these two governments todiscuss the paragraph with other delegations. Paragraph 5 wasdeleted, as its reference to economies in transition was added toparagraph 2.

Paragraph 6 (the role of UN agencies and international financialinstitutions) resulted in a debate on the phrase "without imposingconditionalities on developing countries." Developed countriescalled for the deletion of this phrase as it was not relevant tothe paragraph, while the G-77 argued for its retention. Razaliasked interested delegations to discuss this further. Paragraph 7(OECD cooperation) was easily accepted. Paragraph 8 (theestablishment of an intersessional working group) generatedcomments on the nature of the group's tasks, specifically on themonitoring of national policies and priorities in 8(ii) and thedesign of sustainable development strategies in 8(iii).

The afternoon session began with consideration of paragraph 10(support for the working group). Japan was concerned aboutoverloading the Secretariat and about budget implications if ad-hocintersessional working groups were set up to discuss bothtechnology transfer and financial resources. Morocco thought thatthe subsidiary body would have the same rights as the parent body.In paragraph 11 (information provided by governments related tofinancial aspects of monitoring implementation of Agenda 21),Iceland thought that information should relate to the programmeareas of Agenda 21. Australia asked to return to proposed paragraph10 bis on NGO consultations. Australia's text, modified byColombia, Canada, and China, and supported by Brazil, called forconsultations with representatives of NGOs and major groups underthe relevant UN rules and procedures, ensuring equitableparticipation from all regions.

Paragraph 12 (information on implementation of Agenda 21) wasagreed to without difficulty. In paragraph 13 (the GEF), Denmark,speaking on behalf of the EC, with strong support by Norway and theUS, thought that reference to the linkage of global and localenvironmental issues should be deleted. Colombia, on behalf of theG-77, could not agree with the argument that the formulation ofthis linkage is outside the context of the paragraph. Paragraph 14(programme budgets of governing bodies of UN agencies) was agreedto without difficulty.

Having completed its first reading of the draft decision, thePlenary then returned to the unresolved paragraphs. Paragraph 2(supportive economic climate conducive to sustainable development)met with concern from Japan and Austria on domestic economic andfinancial policies. Pakistan said that there should be mention ofdebt relief for developing countries. The Russian Federationthought that paragraph 5 (economies in transition), which had beendeleted, should be restored and paragraph 2 left as originallyformulated by the Chair. Japan wanted a balance between internaland external financial flows. France, supported by Poland, urgedadoption of the Chair's text. In paragraph 4 (debt relief),Pakistan called for adequate response to the problems of low andmiddle income countries.

Paragraph 6 (role of international financial institutions) wasaccepted on the basis of informal discussions during the lunchbreak. Activities at the national level were taken into account inparagraph 8 (intersessional ad hoc working group). Paragraph 10 bison dialogue and interaction with NGOs was agreed to. Morocco,supported by Bolivia, expressed concern about unequal treatment ofsubsidiary bodies of the CSD in paragraph 11. France thought thatany subsidiary body should add to the effectiveness and efficiencyof the CSD. In paragraphs 12 and 13 on the GEF, Denmark commentedthat the GEF should not design funding activities. By the end ofthe afternoon, there was still no consensus on paragraphs 2 and 5and on Morocco's concerns about travel for the governmental expertsto attend intersessional meetings.

PLENARY

Amb. Razali Ismail circulated the revised draft decision on initialfinancial commitments, flows and arrangements that incorporated thediscussions held in Negotiating Group II and Plenary on documentL.5. On paragraph 1 (concern about the low level of funding), theEC recommendation to include language from the Basis for Actionsection in Chapter 33 of Agenda 21 was accepted, as was theproposal by the G-77 that the inadequacy of financial resources was"a" and not "the" major constraint for Agenda 21 implementation.Paragraph 2 (the importance of a supportive international anddomestic economic climate) was modified to include reference tospecial attention to countries with economies in transition, asmentioned in paragraph 33.6 of Agenda 21. Japan had difficultieswith references to "debt cancellation" in paragraph 4 and Pakistanproposed a reformulation. Razali asked these two governments todiscuss the paragraph with other delegations. Paragraph 5 wasdeleted, as its reference to economies in transition was added toparagraph 2.

Paragraph 6 (the role of UN agencies and international financialinstitutions) resulted in a debate on the phrase "without imposingconditionalities on developing countries." Developed countriescalled for the deletion of this phrase as it was not relevant tothe paragraph, while the G-77 argued for its retention. Razaliasked interested delegations to discuss this further. Paragraph 7(OECD cooperation) was easily accepted. Paragraph 8 (theestablishment of an intersessional working group) generatedcomments on the nature of the group's tasks, specifically on themonitoring of national policies and priorities in 8(ii) and thedesign of sustainable development strategies in 8(iii).

The afternoon session began with consideration of paragraph 10(support for the working group). Japan was concerned aboutoverloading the Secretariat and about budget implications if ad-hocintersessional working groups were set up to discuss bothtechnology transfer and financial resources. Morocco thought thatthe subsidiary body would have the same rights as the parent body.In paragraph 11 (information provided by governments related tofinancial aspects of monitoring implementation of Agenda 21),Iceland thought that information should relate to the programmeareas of Agenda 21. Australia asked to return to proposed paragraph10 bis on NGO consultations. Australia's text, modified byColombia, Canada, and China, and supported by Brazil, called forconsultations with representatives of NGOs and major groups underthe relevant UN rules and procedures, ensuring equitableparticipation from all regions.

Paragraph 12 (information on implementation of Agenda 21) wasagreed to without difficulty. In paragraph 13 (the GEF), Denmark,speaking on behalf of the EC, with strong support by Norway and theUS, thought that reference to the linkage of global and localenvironmental issues should be deleted. Colombia, on behalf of theG-77, could not agree with the argument that the formulation ofthis linkage is outside the context of the paragraph. Paragraph 14(programme budgets of governing bodies of UN agencies) was agreedto without difficulty.

Having completed its first reading of the draft decision, thePlenary then returned to the unresolved paragraphs. Paragraph 2(supportive economic climate conducive to sustainable development)met with concern from Japan and Austria on domestic economic andfinancial policies. Pakistan said that there should be mention ofdebt relief for developing countries. The Russian Federationthought that paragraph 5 (economies in transition), which had beendeleted, should be restored and paragraph 2 left as originallyformulated by the Chair. Japan wanted a balance between internaland external financial flows. France, supported by Poland, urgedadoption of the Chair's text. In paragraph 4 (debt relief),Pakistan called for adequate response to the problems of low andmiddle income countries.

Paragraph 6 (role of international financial institutions) wasaccepted on the basis of informal discussions during the lunchbreak. Activities at the national level were taken into account inparagraph 8 (intersessional ad hoc working group). Paragraph 10 bison dialogue and interaction with NGOs was agreed to. Morocco,supported by Bolivia, expressed concern about unequal treatment ofsubsidiary bodies of the CSD in paragraph 11. France thought thatany subsidiary body should add to the effectiveness and efficiencyof the CSD. In paragraphs 12 and 13 on the GEF, Denmark commentedthat the GEF should not design funding activities. By the end ofthe afternoon, there was still no consensus on paragraphs 2 and 5and on Morocco's concerns about travel for the governmental expertsto attend intersessional meetings.

INFORMAL NEGOTIATING GROUP II

The discussion on the draft decision on technology transfer beganat 11:00 am as the Chair, Arthur Campeau, was waiting for copies ofa revised draft to be distributed. This revised draft was based onthe discussions held Monday afternoon. However, just after Campeauintroduced his new text, the G-77 and China distributed their owndraft decision for this item. Thus, one of the problems thatplagued the morning session was how to deal with the competingdrafts. Campeau suggested working off of Rev.1 of the Chair's text.Yet as soon as discussion began on paragraph 1, which mentions thecritical importance of the transfer of environmentally soundtechnologies, cooperation and capacity building, Colombia, onbehalf of the G-77 and China, said that its paragraph 1 betterreflects the Rio mandate. The US was concerned with the phrase"operationalizing agreements and commitments made at Rio." Colombiaexplained that the idea is to put the agreements and commitmentsinto practice. Campeau suggested that the US and Colombia discussthis further.

China requested a break to examine the two texts. Campeau agreedand the meeting adjourned for 20 minutes. Upon reconvening, thegroup discussed paragraphs 2, 3 and 4 of Rev. 1, in conjunctionwith the corresponding paragraphs of the G-77 draft. There was noagreement on the reference to countries with economies intransition in paragraph 2 and there was no agreement on whether touse the Chair's or the G-77's draft of paragraphs 3 and 4. Campeauproposed that interested delegations meet during the lunch break tofurther discuss these two paragraphs.

When this small group of delegates met, however, they decided toredraft the Chair's text to encompass many of the ideas expressedin the G-77 text, as well as other proposals that had not beenadequately addressed in either text. At 4:00 pm the small groupfinished and, while copies were being made of the revised text,consultations took place among regional groups. When NegotiatingGroup II resumed at 5:00 pm, it was presented with a new drafttext, Rev.2.

The group was able to agree on the following paragraphs: 1 (thecritical importance of the transfer of environmentally soundtechnologies, cooperation and capacity building); 4 (requesting theSecretary-General to prepare proposals on ways and means toimplement elements of Chapter 34 of Agenda 21); 5 (theestablishment of environmental technology centres); 6 (provision ofinformation on the implementation of science and technologyprovisions of Agenda 21); 8 (collaborative arrangements withintergovernmental bodies); and 9 (the implementation ofenvironmental conventions with respect to technology transfer).Consensus was not achieved on four paragraphs.

In paragraph 2, the reference to economies in transition remainedbracketed. The Chair tried to resolve this issue by suggesting afootnote or placing the reference to these countries in the firstpreambular paragraph, but consensus remained elusive between theRussian Federation and the G-77. The US mentioned that there shouldbe a comma after the bracketed text. India wanted clarification ofthe comma's placement, reminding delegates that a comma wasbracketed in Rio, and then requested that this comma be bracketedas well.

Paragraph 3, which urges bilateral and multilateral financialinstitutions and national governments to undertake certain tasks topromote and facilitate the transfer of environmentally soundtechnologies, generated many comments. Denmark wanted to delete"removal of barriers" as a focus of the Commission. Colombia andthe US said that the consensus reached in the informal group was toretain this text. Cuba disagreed with the text in 3(b) bis, arguingthat stimulating a favorable climate for public and private sectorinvestment was not part of Agenda 21. India proposed a newformulation, which was not acceptable to Cuba. Campeau askedDenmark, India, US and Cuba to try to work this out. In 3(h), theUS opposed mention of biotechnology and proposed replacing it with"new and emerging technologies." Benin disagreed and Colombiamentioned that he thought there had been consensus on this. The USsaid she would discuss this with Benin.

Paragraph 7, on the establishment of an intersessional workinggroup, still posed problems for Austria who said that it is afallacy to think that by creating a new body, the CSD will solveanything. She commented on the proliferation of meetings and thefinancial implications and proposed that the CSD should furtherstudy the establishment of such a group, based on the experiencesin the intersessional group on finance.

Paragraph 10, which addresses the importance of dialogue withintergovernmental organizations, NGOs and the private sector, alsomentioned biotechnology and the US could not accept this.

EVENING PLENARY

When Plenary resumed for its evening session, L.6, the draftdecision on progress in the incorporation of recommendations ofUNCED in the activities of international agencies was dealt withquickly. Ghazi Jomaa, Chair of Negotiating Group I, introduced thedocument and it was adopted without discussion.

Returning to the draft decision on finance, the Chair askedColombia, on behalf of the G-77, to repeat the Group's position inNegotiating Group II on reference to countries in transition tomarket economies. Colombia explained that it could not givepreference to any particular group of countries when many G-77countries had lower per capita incomes. On a light note, Pakistansuggested that the situation could be resolved if the economies intransition joined the G-77. The text in question was left inbrackets.

Plenary then turned to consideration of the draft decision onprogress achieved in facilitating and promoting the transfer ofenvironmentally sound technologies, cooperation andcapacity-building. Colombia announced that agreement had beenreached on a new formulation of paragraph 3(c) (formerly 3(b)bis)that would urge all governments "where appropriate and taking intoaccount national strategies" to identify and implement measures "toencourage and support investment" to promote access to and transferof environmentally sound technologies. Bracketed references to"biotechnology" were dropped in paragraphs 3(i) (formerly 3(h)) and10 and a new paragraph 3(j) was introduced that stated: "theCommission recognized the positive initiatives of developingcountries in the field of environmentally sound technologies, forexample in biotechnology, and urged developed countries and the UNsystem to support such initiatives." These paragraphs were adopted.

Austria then restated its proposal regarding the intersessionalworking group. Korea complained about the proliferation of meetingsand the lack of substance in the discussions. Germany mentioned theneed to include the private sector in discussions on technologytransfer. Sweden proposed that an intersessional group be set upprovisionally and that it be reviewed at the second session of theCSD. The US proposed a small group or roundtable that would preparefor the next session. Colombia supported the Swedish proposal fora trial period, saying that the objective of the group would be toprovide technical input so that the CSD could make politicaldecisions. Following a clarification from the US that this groupwould use existing resources, paragraph 7 was approved.

Following discussions with Colombia, the Russian Federationproposed new language regarding countries with economies intransition. Colombia was not in a position to agree to this untilthe G-77 could meet and discuss it. As there are still someunresolved issues and the documents are not yet available in alllanguages, the final adoption of these documents will take placelater in the week.

THINGS TO LOOK FOR TODAY

HIGH-LEVEL SEGMENT: The high-level segment will begin thismorning in the Trusteeship Council Chamber. The two-day segmentwill be open to NGOs and other observers. 49 ministers from 45countries (including 9 women) are expected to attend, including:Antigua and Barbuda, Australia, Austria, Barbados, Belgium,Bulgaria, Burkina Faso, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Cuba, CzechRepublic, France, Germany, Hungary, Iceland, India, Indonesia,Italy, Japan, Madagascar, Malawi, Malaysia, Mexico, Namibia,Netherlands, Nigeria, Norway, Philippines, Poland, Republic ofKorea, Russian Federation, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Tunisia, UnitedKingdom, United States, Uruguay and Venezuela. Ministers from thefollowing non-CSD member countries will also attend: Botswana,Finland, Malta, Sweden, Switzerland and Zimbabwe.

CSD Chair Razali Ismail and Under-Secretary-General Nitin Desaiwill give introductory statements and then the floor will be openedfor a dialogue among the ministers. There will not be a speakerslist. Although many had hoped that the high-level segment would notconsist of formal statements, it appears as though many ministershave prepared statements and it is questionable whether or not asubstantive inter-ministerial dialogue will actually take place.

Participants

Negotiating blocs
Group of 77 and China
Non-state coalitions
NGOs

Tags