Report of main proceedings for 30 April 2003
On Wednesday morning, delegates heard statements by ministers and other high-level representatives on "Visions for the future CSD." They also attended an interactive ministerial round table, which considered means of implementation and an institutional framework for sustainable development. In the afternoon, delegates participated in three regional implementation forums focusing on the Economic Commission for Africa (ECA), Economic and Social Commission for West Asia (ESCWA) and Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP) regions. In the late afternoon, Chair Moosa presented his summary of the high-level segment.
MINISTERIAL STATEMENTS: On Wednesday morning, ministers and other high-level government officials continued to present their views on the future modalities and work programme of the CSD. Many speakers supported a practical and flexible work programme for the CSD, and emphasized the need for its work to focus on implementation. Several delegates also stressed interagency coordination, and monitoring of progress in the implementation of commitments. LESOTHO urged development of globally-recognized indicators of sustainable development. MONGOLIA recommended that CSD sessions include the exchange of best practices, information dissemination and capacity building activities. FIJI, on behalf of the PACIFIC ISLANDS FORUM, proposed that the CSD act as the preparatory process for the 10-year review of the Barbados Programme of Action.
On the selection of issues for future CSD sessions, many speakers supported water and energy. MALAWI suggested a focus on African issues and LIBYA stressed the need to address NEPAD priorities. The MARSHALL ISLANDS, on behalf of SIDS, urged that climate change be accorded the highest priority. DENMARK supported addressing each theme through the cross-cutting issues of poverty eradication, gender equality, and sustainable consumption and production.
On regional implementation, COTE D’IVOIRE said NEPAD is an appropriate framework, and ICELAND outlined how the Arctic Council can contribute to implementation of WSSD outcomes.
A number of speakers called for broader participation by Major Groups and other stakeholders in the CSD process, with KENYA suggesting that educators and scientists be involved in panel discussions, and that multi-stakeholder dialogues be interspersed throughout the CSD session, and not organized as stand-alone segments. The HOLY SEE called for criteria and guidelines for monitoring the implementation of partnerships. CHILE proposed that the CSD develop a clearinghouse for recording and monitoring partnerships. EGYPT urged the CSD to prioritize the needs of developing countries, and SYRIA and MALAWI stressed financial resources, capacity building, and technology transfer. IRAN said developed countries should report on the implementation of financial and technical commitments, and the DOMINICAN REPUBLIC called for an increase in ODA.
INTERACTIVE MINISTERIAL ROUND TABLE: Means of implementation and an institutional framework for sustainable development: Speakers discussed a variety of issues, including ODA, private sector investment, partnerships and collaboration, national strategies for sustainable development (NSSDs), governance, and technology transfer.
On ODA, several speakers noted that an additional US$50 billion per year is required to meet the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). The MILLENNIUM PROJECT emphasized that these goals are achievable, and called for a significant increase in ODA, improved market access and technology transfer. UNDP confirmed the "quantum jump" required in ODA, adding that "we can’t pretend the private sector can substitute for that." He reported on the World Solidarity Fund, which is seeking to secure additional resources, and drew attention to a UK proposal to borrow money to meet agreed targets, which would be repaid after 2015. The EU reaffirmed its commitment to increasing ODA. The US said resources could not come from governments alone, and supported a framework encouraging private sector investment. He also called for an end to trade-distorting subsidies in the agricultural sector. JAPAN and GERMANY highlighted the need for increased FDI.
On collaboration and coordination, a number of speakers supported improved cooperation within the UN system and between the UN and other organizations. DESA said it was necessary to determine how existing instruments and mechanisms can be used in meeting goals under the JPOI. ECLAC said the UN regional commissions could be put to good use by employing the available regional and subregional architecture, and by facilitating interregional cooperation.
On actions at the national level, many speakers stressed the importance of integrated NSSDs, with FRANCE suggesting peer reviews of NSSDs. The WORLD BANK supported country ownership and stewardship in achieving implementation and the GEF drew attention to its support for national capacity building needs assessments.
REGIONAL IMPLEMENTATION FORUMS: Three regional implementation forums took place on Wednesday afternoon, with participants discussing initial steps taken in the ECA, ESCWA and ESCAP regions to implement the JPOI.
ECA: This session was chaired by Babacar Ndiaye, Honorary President of the African Development Bank. In his opening remarks, Wiseman Nkhulu, NEPAD, noted that NEPAD is Africa’s vehicle for implementing the WSSD. Josue Dione, ECA, highlighted programmes addressing integrated water resources management, land-related policies, science and technology for agricultural development, and monitoring of progress on sustainable development. Bakary Kante, UNEP, reported that UNEP is addressing the implementation of the African chapter of the JPOI with a focus on institutions, priority issues, and partnerships. Fatou Ndoye, Network for Environment and Sustainable Development in Africa, highlighted the establishment of the Forum for African Civil Society, which aims to support civil society in monitoring the MDGs and WSSD’s outcomes.
In the ensuing discussion, SENEGAL highlighted NEPAD’s environmental initiative and its focus on priority actions addressing drought and desertification, wetlands, alien species, coastal and marine resources, climate change, and water resources. SOUTH AFRICA emphasized the need to ensure integration and links between the CSD, NEPAD and the African Union. He stressed international agency and donor coordination in WSSD follow-up. To accelerate the fight against poverty, KENYA called on developed countries to enhance aid flows to Africa. The US voiced concern with the Secretariat’s proposal to organize the regional implementation forums around the UN regional commissions. She proposed subregional breakout discussions prior to CSD sessions as a key element of a global and regional review session at UN headquarters. ZIMBABWE emphasized the need for sectoral and institutional integration. NIGERIA, SUDAN and ALGERIA addressed the relationship between the NEPAD secretariat and the UN Special Advisor on Africa.
ESCWA: This session was chaired by Hisham Khatib, former Jordanian Minister of Planning and former Chair of the World Energy Council. Hosny Khordagni, ESCWA, outlined steps taken in the region to implement the JPOI, and reported on restructuring within ESCWA, which he said would strengthen its role in supporting implementation. Imad Moustapha, College of Informatics, Syria, noted difficulties in implementing sustainable development, highlighting wars and conflicts that have disrupted the region in recent decades. In particular, he referred to "sub-human conditions" endured by many Palestinians, and to the situation in Iraq. Mohammed Hamel, OPEC, explained his organization’s role in promoting sustainable development in the energy sector. Lynne van Dyke, UNEP, informed participants of the joint Secretariat established by UNEP, UNDP, and the Council of Arab Ministers Responsible for the Environment, to implement the Arab initiative presented at the WSSD. She also stressed the need for coordination of the initiative with NEPAD.
In the subsequent discussion, the WORLD SUSTAINABLE ENERGY COALITION called on all stakeholders to seize every opportunity to cooperate on sustainable development. EGYPT suggested that the CSD assists in implementing Rio Principle 23 regarding the protection of the environment for people under occupation. JORDAN stressed the need for coherence in national government policies. LEBANON announced that it will host this year’s World Environment Day. SYRIA referred to continuing occupation, the plight of Palestinians, and high regional military expenditures, as major obstacles for sustainable development.
ESCAP: This session was chaired by R.K. Pachauri, Director General of TERI. Ravi Sawhney, ESCAP, reported on concrete actions in the area of sustainable development undertaken by ESCAP since the WSSD. Russell Howorth, South Pacific Applied Geoscience Commission, noted that SIDS do not fall under UN regional groupings, but are coordinated through AOSIS. He stressed that the international community should utilize existing structures, and not request SIDS to report to UN regional commissions. Anita Nirody, UNDP, described Capacity 2015 (UNDP’s initiative on capacity development) and outlined activities underway in the region. Jai Ok Kim, Citizen’s Alliance for Consumer Protection for Korea, emphasized the role of civil society in implementing the JPOI, particularly in the areas of sustainable production and consumption, and awareness raising. She said regional implementation forums should be held in their respective regions.
In the ensuing discussion, the REPUBLIC OF KOREA emphasized the role of national councils for sustainable development. Reflecting on how regional implementation might be integrated with the CSD process, AUSTRALIA, supported by FIJI, NEW ZEALAND, PAPUA NEW GUINEA and TUVALU, stressed the need to recognize subregional and trans-regional groupings, with SAMOA adding that SIDS should not be subsumed under the UN regional commissions. ESCAP noted its role in promoting interregional and subregional cooperation.
SUMMARY OF THE HIGH-LEVEL SEGMENT: On Wednesday afternoon, Chair Moosa presented his summary of CSD-11’s high-level segment. He noted delegates’ endorsement of CSD’s role supporting coordination and implementation of sustainable development objectives, and a commitment to a revitalized CSD with an action-oriented work programme. He referred to numerous statements highlighting the importance of NSSDs, and drew attention to the 2005 deadline for completing these.
Chair Moosa noted delegates’ approval of a two-year work cycle consisting of a review and a policy year, with one overarching focus area for each cycle. He indicated support for addressing water issues during the first cycle, and energy in the second. While every cycle would have a key theme, he also acknowledged that each cycle should allow for progress to be assessed in all JPOI areas, and that the CSD should be able to examine any urgent issues that might emerge. He highlighted agreement that the WSSD theme of sustainable development for poverty eradication should continue to guide the CSD in its future work, with various cross-cutting issues also being taken into account. Special attention would be given to Africa, SIDS and LDCs in each cycle.
Chair Moosa also highlighted participants’ support for: an ongoing political commitment to the CSD process; sustained and strengthened multi-sectoral involvement; and a gender focus. While reporting strong support for regional implementation forums, he also took note of some countries’ concerns that existing UN regions might not be ideally-suited to this work. He also highlighted statements endorsing the CSD’s role as a focal point for partnership initiatives, and greater coordination within the UN. Thanking participants for their constructive, action-oriented and focused contributions, he said the high-level segment had provided valuable political direction for the CSD.
IN THE CORRIDORS
Chair Moosa’s summary of the high-level segment provoked a great deal of talk in the corridors late Wednesday afternoon. It received resounding applause from many ministers and other delegates, which some suggested showed a consensus developing on the outcomes of CSD-11. However, a number of delegations were baulking at the suggestion to identify climate change and renewable energy as priority issues under the second cycle. In addition, his suggestion to include sustainable consumption and production as a cross-cutting issue was not well received by some countries. While these countries are open to discussing this as a key focus area at some future work cycle, the idea of addressing it at every CSD does not seem to have universal support. With the Chair’s draft decision due to be released Thursday, it remains to be seen how his oral summary will translate into specific text. As one delegate observed, with the ministers gone, the experts are eager to sink their teeth into the text, and get down to detailed negotiations.
THINGS TO LOOK FOR TODAY
CHAIR’S SUMMARY OF THE HIGH-LEVEL SEGMENT: A copy of the Chair’s summary of the high-level segment will be available at 10:00 am in Conference Room 1.
MULTI-STAKEHOLDER DIALOGUE: Major Groups will present their views on the future work programme, including arrangements for the involvement of Major Groups and other stakeholders, from 10:00 am - 1:00 pm in Conference Room 1.
PRESENTATION OF DRAFT DECISION: Chair Moosa will present the session’s draft decision in Conference Room 4. Exact time is to be determined.