Report of main proceedings for 22 April 2004
In the morning, delegates in Conference Room 1 discussed sanitation, focusing on creating demand for sanitation and hygiene, and sustainable sanitation. Delegates in Conference Room 2 addressed human settlements, focusing on urban poverty, and women in human settlements development. In the afternoon, delegates in Conference Room 1 discussed human settlements, focusing on status of implementation, and housing rights and secure tenure. Delegates in Conference Room 2 addressed sanitation, focusing on financing, and small entrepreneurs.
CONFERENCE ROOM 1
THEMATIC DISCUSSION ON SANITATION: Creating a demand for sanitation and promoting hygiene: CSD-12 Chair Børge Brende (Norway) chaired this morning session. Bindeshwar Pathak, Sulabh International Social Service Organisation, India, highlighted the need for appropriate, affordable, indigenous and culturally-acceptable technologies. Peter Kolsky, World Bank, said that under a market approach, governments need to stimulate demand, create enabling environments, and promote information campaigns and capacity building.
Discussion: Many delegates outlined sanitation conditions in their countries, highlighting national policies and measures to reach the sanitation target. NORWAY stressed the integration of sanitation into PRSPs. The EU said more attention should be given to the links between sanitation and the MDG health targets. The UK, supported by the REPUBLIC OF KOREA, suggested additional research on the appropriateness of subsidies. SOUTH AFRICA stressed that dignity and comfort are as important as health considerations. INDIA emphasized the role of government as a facilitator instead of a sole provider of sanitation services. UGANDA mentioned the challenge of addressing displaced populations in emergency situations. CUBA said water supply and wastewater disposal are areas requiring financial resources and technology. CÔTE D’IVOIRE noted the importance of UNEP’s Regional Seas Programme in addressing sanitation.
From wastewater to sustainable sanitation: This session was chaired by Vice-Chair Toru Shimuzu (Japan). Kolsky said that sanitation needs to become an industry, financed from the local economy, to be sustainable. Lee Yee Cheong, MDG Task Force on Science, Technology and Innovation, urged addressing the MDGs in an interconnected way. Paul Reiter, International Water Association, highlighted the importance of developing full scale demonstration projects and educating communities about alternatives to high cost sanitation. Veerle Vandeweerd, UNEP GPA, said the sanitation target should not be restricted to “taps and toilets,” but should include protection of the environment and coastal areas.
Discussion: Many delegates addressed the need for appropriate low cost technologies, and several delegations shared their experiences at the community level. The EU said there was a need to recognize treated wastewater as a resource and called for more effective and affordable eco-sanitation approaches. FIJI called on the international community to support SIDS-appropriate technologies for treating wastewater. The IUCN called for national and subnational sanitation targets. INDIGENOUS PEOPLES said service delivery should remain in the public sector, and BUSINESS AND INDUSTRY stressed the need for locally-based sanitation enterprises that can support rural economies. WOMEN called for eco-sanitation guidelines and said CSD-13 should address this issue.
THEMATIC DISCUSSION ON HUMAN SETTLEMENTS: Status of implementation of MDG/JPOI goals: This afternoon session was chaired by CSD-12 Chair Brende. Anna Tibaijuka, UN-HABITAT, described adaptive and proactive strategies to address city slums. She said that current slum statistics are “the tip of the iceberg,” and the MDG/WSSD targets “are not good enough.” Eliot Sclar, MDG Task Force on Slum Dwellers, said rapid urbanization is the main challenge of the 21st century, and called for an end to socially divided cities. He urged a focus on security of tenure, infrastructure and transportation.
Discussion: Many delegates highlighted national experiences in slum upgrading, access to housing, rural-urban migration, capacity building, and the role of local authorities. Various delegations expressed the need to guarantee security of tenure and access to land. The EU called for reliable monitoring, and warned that the world is not on track to meeting the MDG/WSSD target. SOUTH AFRICA said slum dwellers are excluded from the urban economy, and called on governments to make formal declarations for upgrading slums. The HUMAN SETTLEMENTS CAUCUS identified illegal and forced evictions as obstacles to slum improvement. PAKISTAN said slums have become an integral part of the urban fabric and underscored the importance of upgrading slums. INDONESIA stressed the need for community- based and people-centered approaches. The NETHERLANDS welcomed the linking of the CSD and HABITAT agendas. The RUSSIAN FEDERATION highlighted the use of environmentally-sound construction technologies. IRAN, with VENEZUELA, urged consideration of the impact of natural disasters. TRADE UNIONS noted the need to address women’s land ownership.
Housing rights and secure tenure: This session was chaired by Vice-Chair Bolus Paul Zom Lolo (Nigeria). Glyn Khonje, Ministry of Local Government and Housing, Zambia, introduced the issue, stressing access to land and security of tenure as strategic prerequisites for helping the urban poor. Jane Mumbi Weru, Pamoja Trust, Kenya, gave a description of the situation in Nairobi’s Kibera slum. Miloon Kothary, UNHCR, suggested a response to the problems of human settlements from a human rights perspective, and identified “land mafias,” forced evictions, privatization of services and housing as major concerns.
Discussion: SENEGAL, PERU and NORWAY described national experiences. VENEZUELA noted that water is a scarce resource to be conserved. The EU stressed the right to adequate housing. The US reminded delegates that certain rights and goals are not internationally-agreed, and that objectives will not be reached unless democratic freedoms and entrepreneurship are “unleashed.”
CONFERENCE ROOM 2
INTERACTIVE DISCUSSION ON HUMAN SETTLEMENTS: This morning session was chaired by Vice-Chair Lolo.
Slums and urban poverty: Lars Reuterswärd, UN-HABITAT, highlighted the unprecedented extent of urbanization, noted that UN-HABITAT focuses on tenure and housing rights, governance and investment, and suggested strategies involving different timeframes. David Satterthwaite, International Institute for Environment and Development, provided examples of how the lives of slum dwellers have been improved through national, city-level and community programmes. He underscored the effectiveness of community initiatives, and called for their replication. Timothy Mahoney, USAID, provided an overview of livelihoods research, stating that poverty is multidimensional. He outlined ways to mobilize the financial and social assets of the urban poor, including through the establishment of frameworks to recognize, generate and protect such assets.
Discussion: The EU stressed the importance of land legislation reform and employment generation. GERMANY highlighted the benefits of inter-municipal cooperation. INDONESIA encouraged fostering self-reliance among slum dwellers. The UK called for clear definitions of urban and rural areas. Several participants, including SAUDI ARABIA, underscored addressing rural development to mitigate urban migration. MAURITIUS noted that formal codes of planning and taxation do not apply in informal settlements. FINLAND stressed the need for transportation planning. JAPAN considered human settlements from the point of human security, and stressed the role of education. YOUTH cautioned against exporting unsustainable settlement and consumption patterns to developing countries. Reuterswärd suggested property tax reform as a means of generating financial resources. The PHILIPPINES outlined the benefits of integrated urban planning and micro-lending.
Women in human settlements development: Sheela Patel, Society for the Promotion of Area Resource Centre, India, drew from her experience of working with women in informal settlements, calling attention to the potential for addressing violence and governance through empowering women. Grace Wanyonyi, Ministry of Roads and Public Works, Kenya, provided an overview of the housing situation in Kenya and highlighted the constraints facing women in slum areas, including lack of access to tenure, skills and credit.
Discussion: WOMEN highlighted the need to support their role in responding to HIV/AIDS and disasters, and drew attention to the need for assisting poor women in the North. The US noted the intersection between HIV/AIDS, women and shelter. The EU called for the recognition of women as agents of change and said mainstreaming gender perspectives is central to achieving the MDG on slum dwellers. SOUTH AFRICA and BURKINA FASO urged recognition of women as developers of housing projects.
INTERACTIVE DISCUSSION ON SANITATION: This afternoon session was chaired by Vice-Chair Shimizu.
Financing sanitation: Ravi Narayanan, WaterAid, underscored the need for coordination between sectors, vigorous demand creation, and mobilization of local resources. Piers Cross, Water and Sanitation Programme, provided a framework to close the sanitation financing gap, which called for marketing to stimulate demand, and providing an environment for small-scale providers to meet this demand. Passy Washeba, Ministry of Finance, described Uganda’s experience with financing sanitation, noting that while there are laws and political will, there is need for inter-ministry coordination.
Discussion: TRADE UNIONS called attention to the conditions of poor people working in transnational companies, and said sanitation provision is a state responsibility. KENYA mentioned it was considering mechanisms such as cost-sharing, trust fund creation and application of the polluter pays principle. BURKINA FASO distinguished between peri-urban and rural areas, drawing attention to the need for subsidizing rural areas. The NETHERLANDS raised the need to promote opportunities for PPPs, and SWITZERLAND underscored the need for initial financing to stimulate innovation and investment. Narayanan said subsidies should not be dismissed, as they can be effective if appropriately applied. MAURITIUS highlighted the vulnerability of SIDS to contamination from inadequate wastewater treatment. SOUTH AFRICA cautioned against using a lack of resources to excuse failure to achieve the JPOI target. EGYPT advocated capacity building for the national production of sanitation technologies. The REPUBLIC OF KOREA outlined mechanisms to mobilize financial resources for sanitation, and ZAMBIA highlighted the need for public conveniences.
Reaching the poor through small entrepreneurs: Cross highlighted the key role that small-scale providers play in servicing informal settlements, and outlined concrete means to engage them and to formalize higher service standards. Dennis Mwanza, Water Utility Partnership, Côte d’Ivoire, stressed the need for clear sanitation policies. Diana Iskreva, Earth Forever, Bulgaria, noted that while sanitation provides employment opportunities, sanitation workers require training to reduce occupational and health risks.
Discussion: Noting that sanitation responsibilities overlap sectors, FIJI underlined the need for clear policies to prevent sanitation “falling through the cracks.” CÔTE D’IVOIRE drew attention to the need to sustain small-scale entrepreneurs, and FRANCE identified the need for private sector engagement. BURKINA FASO described its concrete experience of training and engaging small-scale entrepreneurs, and noted the problem of access to slum areas for infrastructure development. GERMANY called for research and development in low cost technologies.
IN THE CORRIDORS
Following four days of thematic and interactive debate, some observers have noticed that levels of participation have somewhat dwindled in the Conference Rooms, as delegates seem to prefer taking the opportunity to attend the Learning Center and Partnerships Fair, and utilize the corridor spaces to engage in bilateral discussions.
However, according to one delegate, the last few day’s discussions on emerging rights-based approaches have reinforced the CSD’s relevance as the high-level political body for addressing sustainable development in the UN system, thus allaying concerns that the review session would be a technical forum for exchanging best practices and experience.
THINGS TO LOOK FOR TODAY
CONFERENCE ROOM 1: In the morning, delegates will discuss human settlements, focusing on financing, and urban governance. In the afternoon, delegates will hear a review of progress in implementation in the UNECA region, and overall review statements on implementation.
CONFERENCE ROOM 2: In the morning, delegates will discuss sanitation, focusing on hygiene, sanitation and water management at the household and community levels, and eco-technologies. In the afternoon, delegates will address human settlements, focusing on planning the sustainable city, and reconstruction and recovery following conflicts and disasters.
PARTNERSHIPS FAIR AND LEARNING CENTER: The Partnerships Fair will take place near the Vienna Café and in Conference Room 6. The Learning Center will be held in Conference Room D. Check CSD Today for details or visit http://www.un.org/esa/sustdev/csd/csd12/csd12.htm for details.