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CSD 13 Intergovernmental Preparatory Meeting (IPM)

The Intergovernmental Preparatory Meeting (IPM) for the thirteenth session of the Commission on Sustainable Development (CSD-13) will be held from 28 February to 4 March 2005, at UN headquarters in New York. The IPM’s objective is to discuss policy options and possible actions to enable the implementation of measures and policies concerning water, sanitation and human settlements – the thematic cluster of issues for the CSD-12/CSD-13 Implementation Cycle.

CSD-13 is the policy session of the first Implementation Cycle of the CSD work programme agreed at CSD-11, when the Commission decided that its multi-year programme of work from 2004-2017 would be organized on the basis of two-year “Implementation Cycles.” Each Implementation Cycle is comprised of a Review Year and a Policy Year, and focuses on a thematic cluster of issues. Building on the outcomes of CSD-12, which represented the review session of the first cycle, CSD-13 will focus on measures and options to expedite the implementation of commitments in the areas of water, sanitation and human settlements as contained in Agenda 21, the Programme for the Further Implementation of Agenda 21, the Johannesburg Plan of Implementation, and the Millennium Declaration. The output of the IPM will be a Chair’s text, which will form the basis of further discussions during CSD-13, scheduled to meet from 11-22 April 2005, in New York.


The Commission on Sustainable Development emerged from Agenda 21, the programme of action for sustainable development adopted by the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED), also known as the “Rio Earth Summit,” in June 1992. Agenda 21 called for the creation of the CSD to ensure effective follow-up of UNCED, enhance international cooperation, and examine progress in the implementation of Agenda 21 at the local, national, regional and international levels. In 1992, the 47th session of the UN General Assembly set out, in resolution 47/191, the CSD’s terms of refer-ence and composition, guidelines for the participation of Major Groups, organization of work, relationship with other UN bodies, and Secretariat arrangements. The CSD held its first substantive session in June 1993 and has met annually since. During its first five years, the CSD systematically reviewed the implementation of all chapters of Agenda 21.

UNGASS-19: In June 1997, five years following UNCED, the 19th Special Session of the UN General Assembly (UNGASS-19), also known as “Rio+5,” was held to review the implementation of Agenda 21. Negotiations produced a Programme for the Further Implementation of Agenda 21. Among the decisions adopted at UNGASS-19 was a five-year CSD work programme, which identified sectoral, cross-sectoral and economic sector/Major Group themes for the subsequent four sessions of the CSD.

MILLENNIUM SUMMIT: The UN Millennium Summit, held from 6-8 September 2000, in New York, adopted the Millennium Declaration, which contains, inter alia, a number of international development goals. Two of these development goals relate directly to water and human settlements, namely the goals to halve by 2015 the proportion of people who are unable to reach or afford safe drinking water, and to have achieved by 2020 a significant improvement in the lives of at least 100 million slum dwellers. These and other development and poverty-related goals contained in the Millennium Declaration were elaborated and developed into the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), as contained in the September 2001 Report of the Secretary-General on the Road Map towards the Implementation of the Millennium Declaration (A/56/326). The MDGs, which have become commonly accepted as a framework for measuring progress in development, comprise eight overarching goals, 18 targets and 48 indicators. The safe drinking water and human settlements goals appear as “targets” under Goal 7 on ensuring environmental sustainability.

WSSD: The World Summit on Sustainable Development met from 26 August to 4 September 2002, in Johannesburg, South Africa, and adopted two main docu-ments: the Johannesburg Plan of Implementation (JPOI) and the Johannesburg Declara-tion on Sustainable Development. In the JPOI, governments reaffirmed their commitment to the safe drinking water and human settlements goals agreed in the Millennium Declaration, and further committed to halve by 2015 the proportion of people who do not have access to basic sanitation. Governments also agreed to develop integrated water resources management (IWRM) and water efficiency plans by 2005.

In addition to the JPOI and the Johannesburg Declaration, over 200 non-negotiated partnerships/initiatives for sustainable development were launched at the Summit, supplementing the commitments agreed to by governments through the intergovern-mental process.

CSD-11: CSD-11 took place from 28 April to 9 May 2003, at UN headquar-ters in New York. The session decided that the Commission’s multi-year programme of work for the period 2004-2017 would be organized as a series of two-year Implementation Cycles, each comprising a Review Session and a Policy Session and considering a thematic cluster of issues and a suite of cross-cutting issues. The CSD further decided on the modalities for reporting, partnerships, and enhancing both UN system coordination and Major Groups’ contributions. A Partnerships Fair and Learning Centre courses took place concurrently with the session.

CSD-12: CSD-12 was held from 14-30 April 2004, at UN headquarters in New York. The first three days of CSD-12 (14-16 April) served as the preparatory meeting for the International Meeting on the 10-year Review of the Programme of Action for the Sustainable Development of Small Island Developing States. The following two weeks (19-30 April) were devoted to the CSD-12 Review Session.

CSD-12 undertook an evaluation of progress in the implementation of Agenda 21, the Programme for the Further Implementation of Agenda 21, and the JPOI, focusing on identifying constraints, obstacles, successes and lessons learned with regard to water, sanitation and human settlements. The Commission also heard reports from the UN Regional Commissions on the status of implementation, and from the Major Groups on their contribution to implementation. A high-level segment, attended by over 100 ministers and addressed by UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan, was held from 28-30 April. At the conclusion of CSD-12, the Commission adopted the report of the session, which includes a Chair’s Summary, reflecting inputs from the session and records of activities held as part of the Partnerships Fair and Learning Centre.


Between CSD-12 and the IPM, several key meetings took place focusing on water, sanitation and/or human settlements issues, the outcomes of which will be presented to the IPM.

WORLD WATER WEEK – SEMINAR ON PREPARATIONS FOR CSD-13: The Norwegian Ministry of the Environment and the Stockholm International Water Institute convened a seminar on preparations for CSD-13 during World Water Week held from 16-20 August 2004, in Stockholm, Sweden. The seminar, which took place on 19 August, discussed options for responding to the challenges identified by Ministers at CSD-12, and exchanged views on how best to ensure that the outputs of CSD-13 are focused and operational.

WORLD URBAN FORUM: Organized by UN-HABITAT, the second session of the World Urban Forum met from 13-17 September 2004, in Barcelona, Spain. Participants discussed a range of human settlements issues, including: outstanding policies and legislation in implementing the Habitat Agenda and attaining the MDGs; urban resources and governance; improving the lives of slum-dwellers; and engaging the private sector in delivering urban services, such as water and sanitation.

FIFTH ORDINARY SESSION OF THE AFRICAN MINISTERS’ COUNCIL ON WATER (AMCOW): The fifth AMCOW session was held from 4-6 November 2004, in Entebbe, Uganda. Ministers held dialogues on water policy challenges in Africa, including: achieving the goals of the African Union and the New Partnership for Africa’s Development through sustainable water management; meeting financing challenges of the water sector in Africa; and strategies for achieving water and sanitation targets.

GLOBAL WASH FORUM: Organized by the Water Supply and Sanitation Collaborative Council, the first Global Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) Forum met from 29 November to 3 December 2004, in Dakar, Senegal. The meeting sought to accelerate action in the areas of water, sanitation and hygiene with a view to achieving the MDGs. At the conclusion of the Forum, delegates adopted the Dakar Statement, which outlines actions currently being undertaken at the household, local and national levels that need to be scaled-up to achieve the international goals on water and sanitation.

INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE ON INTEGRATED MANAGEMENT OF WATER RESOURCES: Organized by the Japan Water Forum, this conference was held from 6-9 December 2004, in Tokyo, Japan, and produced recommendations on the development of IWRM and water efficiency plans.

FIRST AFRICA MINISTERIAL CONFERENCE ON HOUSING AND URBAN DEVELOPMENT (AMCHUD): The first AMCHUD convened from 31 January to 4 February 2005, in Durban, South Africa. The session sought to discuss policy tools for addressing the challenges of urbanization in Africa, and to forge a common African position on human settlements issues for CSD-13 and the Millennium Review Summit to be held in September 2005. The conference adopted, among other outcomes, the “Enhanced Framework of Implementation and Related Outputs.”

FAO/NETHERLANDS INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE ON WATER FOR FOOD AND ECOSYSTEMS: Organized by the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and the Dutch Ministry of Agriculture, Nature and Food Quality, this conference took place from 31 January to 4 February in The Hague, the Netherlands. The meeting sought to help governments identify management practices and enabling environments necessary for sustainable water use and the harmonization of food production and ecosystem management. The conference adopted its report, which contains recommendations on implementing IWRM.

UNEPGC-23/GMEF: The 23rd session of the UN Environment Programme’s Governing Council/Global Ministerial Environment Forum (GC/GMEF) took place from 21-25 February 2005 in Nairobi, Kenya. Ministerial consultations were held on poverty and environment, environmental sustainability, and gender and environment, the outcomes of which are reflected in a President’s summary.

CSD BUREAU MEETINGS: The CSD-13 Bureau met five times between September 2004 and the IPM to advance preparations for the session. It addressed: the organization of work of the IPM and the main policy session; documentation; Major Groups’ participation; and planning for the Partnerships Fair, Learning Centre and side-events.

Further information