The fourteenth session of the United Nations Commission on Sustainable Development (CSD-14) will open today and continue through 12 May 2006, at UN headquarters in New York.
The CSD meets annually, in two-year “Implementation Cycles,” with each cycle focusing on thematic clusters alongside cross-sectoral issues. This approach was outlined in a multi-year programme of work (2004-2017), adopted at CSD-11 in 2003. Each cycle is comprised of a Review Year and a Policy Year. As this is the first year of the second implementation cycle (2006-2007) of the programme of work, CSD-14 will review progress in energy for sustainable development, industrial development, air pollution and the atmosphere, and climate change, together with cross-cutting issues. Specifically, CSD-14 has been tasked with evaluating progress in implementing Agenda 21, the Programme for the Further Implementation of Agenda 21, and the Johannesburg Plan of Implementation, while focusing on identifying barriers and constraints, lessons learned and best practices in implementation in the thematic cluster.
There will be two main outputs from CSD-14: a Chair’s summary of the opening and general statements on the progress of implementation and High-level statements; and a record of the Partnerships Fair, the Learning Center, and the Multi-stakeholder dialogue session.
The work of CSD-14 has been organized in four parts: opening and general statements, and a multi-stakeholder dialogue; thematic discussions and regional discussions; a day on Small Island Developing States (SIDS); and a High-level Segment. Following CSD-14’s opening session, delegates will move to general statements on implementation of sustainable development, including reference to the Mauritius Strategy for the Further Implementation of the Programme of Action for the Sustainable Development of SIDS, reports on intersessional activity, and thematic discussions. The thematic discussions, in interactive format and led off by a panel of UN agencies, funds, programmes, intergovernmental organizations and Major Groups, will take place throughout the first week. Regional discussions will take place in parallel on Tuesday and Wednesday, 2-3 May. There will be a multi-stakeholder dialogue on the role of Major Groups in promoting implementation through education, raising public awareness and information dissemination, on Wednesday, 3 May.
It was decided at CSD-13 that one day of each CSD review session should focus on the Programme of Action for the Sustainable Development of SIDS, with discussion guided by the CSD’s mandated themes. SIDS Day at CSD-14 will be on Monday, 8 May. A three-day High-level segment will commence on Wednesday, 10 May, with an official opening to be addressed by Kofi Annan, the UN Secretary-General and, via video link, Pascal Lamy, Director-General, World Trade Organization.
A BRIEF HISTORY OF THE CSD AND THE INTERNATIONAL AGREEMENTS ON ENERGY FOR SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT, AIR POLLUTION AND CLIMATE CHANGE
The Commission on Sustainable Development emerged from Agenda 21, the programme of action for sustainable development adopted in June 1992 by the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED), also known as the “Rio Earth Summit.” 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 adopted resolution 47/191, which established the CSD’s terms of reference and composition, organization of work, relationship with other UN bodies, Secretariat arrangements, and guidelines for the participation of Major Groups. 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. Agenda 21 highlights the fact that current levels of energy consumption and production are not sustainable. Many of the issues discussed in Chapter 9 of Agenda 21 on “Protection of the Atmosphere,” are addressed in international agreements on the protection of the ozone layer, climate change, and regional instruments.
UNGASS-19: In June 1997, five years after 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.
THE KYOTO PROTOCOL: In December 1997, delegates at COP 3 in Kyoto, Japan, agreed to a Protocol to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) that commits developed countries and countries making the transition to a market economy to achieve emissions reduction targets. These countries, known under the UNFCCC as Annex I Parties, agreed to reduce their overall emissions of six greenhouse gases by an average of 5.2% below 1990 levels between 2008 and 2012 (the first commitment period), with specific targets varying from country to country.
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. The themes 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. 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 importance of energy security for achieving sustainable development and the MDGs was affirmed by the WSSD.
CSD-9: The ninth session of the Commission on Sustainable Development took place at UN headquarters in New York from 16-28 April 2001.The session reviewed the sectoral themes of energy and atmosphere, the economic theme of transport, and the cross-sectoral themes of information for decision making and participation and international cooperation for an enabling environment. This decision on energy contained six sections on general considerations, issues and options, overarching issues, regional cooperation and international cooperation, which dealt with diverse issues relating to, inter alia: energy efficiency, renewable energy and advanced fossil fuels, making markets work for sustainable development and international endeavors. When adopting the decision, text was deleted where consensus was not possible, including: energy efficiency codes and standards, the phase-out of harmful subsidies in developed countries, promotion of atmospheric pollutant reductions, and references to the development of policies supporting energy for sustainable development.
WSSD: The World Summit on Sustainable Development met from 26 August to 4 September 2002, in Johannesburg, South Africa, and adopted two main documents: the Johannesburg Plan of Implementation (JPOI) and the Johannesburg Declaration on Sustainable Development. The Johannesburg Plan of Implementation addresses energy in the context of sustainable development, and calls for action on access to energy services, recognition of the linkage between energy provision and poverty eradication, alternative energy technologies, and diversity of supply.
CSD-11: The eleventh session of the CSD (CSD-11) took place from 28 April to 9 May 2003, at UN headquarters in New York. The session set out the Commission’s multi-year programme of work for the period 2004-2017 and decided on the modalities for reporting, partnerships, and enhancing both UN system coordination and Major Groups’ contributions. A Partnerships Fair and Learning Center 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 (SIDS). The following two weeks (19-30 April) were devoted to the CSD-12 Review Session. CSD-12 focused 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.
CSD-13: The thirteenth session of the United Nations Commission on Sustainable Development (CSD-13) took place from 11-22 April 2005, at UN headquarters. Building on the outcomes of CSD-12 (the Review Year of the first two-year cycle), CSD-13 focused on policies and options to expedite the implementation of commitments in the areas of water, sanitation and human settlements.
REGIONAL IMPLEMENTATION MEETINGS: Prompted by an invitation issued by CSD-11, reports of regional implementation meetings will be conveyed to CSD-14 by the Economic Commission for Africa region (meeting held in Addis Ababa, 26-28 October 2005), the Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia region (Cairo, 13-15 November 2005), the Economic Commission for Europe region (Geneva, 15-16 December 2005), the Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific region (Bangkok, 19-20 January 2006), and the Economic Commission for Latin America and Caribbean region (Santiago, 19-20 January 2006).
UN SYMPOSIUM ON INTEGRATED IMPLEMENTATION OF SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT GOALS: The UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs (UN DESA), in collaboration with the Provincial Government of Jiangxi, China, convened an international symposium on integrated implementation of sustainable development goals and targets in Nanchang, from 11-13 May 2005. The symposium explored practical ways and means of advancing integrated implementation by exchanging lessons learned and best practice, and by identifying gaps and weaknesses in current implementation policies.
GLOBAL FORUM ON SUSTAINABLE ENERGY: The Fifth Meeting of the Global Forum on Sustainable Energy (GFSE-5) was held from 11-13 May 2005, in Austria. The meeting considered the theme of “Enhancing International Cooperation on Biomass.” In particular, GFSE-5 focused on strengthening the institutional capacity to promote South-South cooperation. GFSE-5 also brought together various energy-related partnerships announced at the WSSD.
INTERNATIONAL RENEWABLE ENERGY CONFERENCE: The Beijing International Renewable Energy Conference, convened from 7-8 November 2005, adopted the “Beijing Declaration on Renewable Energy for Sustainable Development.” Highlighting CSD-14’s focus on energy, the Declaration invites the CSD to consider arrangements to review and assess progress towards substantially increasing the global share of renewable energy.
ELEVENTH CONFERENCE OF THE PARTIES TO THE UNFCCC: The eleventh Conference of the Parties (COP 11) to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and the first Conference of the Parties serving as the Meeting of the Parties to the Kyoto Protocol (COP/MOP 1) took place in Montreal, Canada, from 28 November to 10 December 2005. The Conference reached agreement on the Protocol’s operational details and on the process for discussing the post-2012 period.
INTERNATIONAL SYMPOSIUM ON NATURAL GAS AND SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT: The symposium was organized and hosted by the State of Qatar with UN DESA, from 6-8 February 2006, to prepare input to CSD-14. Participants discussed energy policy development with regard to impacts of ongoing energy and gas market reforms, environmental safeguards, projections on natural gas pricing, energy security and international cooperation.
NINTH SPECIAL SESSION OF THE UNEP GOVERNING COUNCIL/GLOBAL MINISTERIAL ENVIRONMENT FORUM (GCSS-9/GMEF): The ninth Special Session of the UNEP Governing Council/Global Ministerial Environment Forum convened from 7-9 February 2006 in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. A major part of GCSS-9/GMEF was the ministerial consultations on several issues, including energy, and recommendations for UNEP and CSD-14. Several ministers emphasized the connection between energy and climate change.
CLEAN ENERGY FOR DEVELOPMENT: Organized by the World Bank from 6-9 March 2006, in Washington DC, this conference formed part of the Bank’s Energy Week. The conference built on the G8 Plan of Action adopted at Gleneagles that outlines the way ahead on clean energy, infrastructure, climate change and Africa. Themes taken up at Energy Week 2006 included: energy security; clean energy and low carbon energy development; governance and anti-corruption in the energy sector; and energy for growth and poverty reduction in Africa.
CLIMATE CHANGE AND SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT - AN INTERNATIONAL WORKSHOP TO STRENGTHEN RESEARCH AND UNDERSTANDING: This workshop, organized by the Ministry of Environment and Forests, India, UN DESA and The Energy and Resources Institute, took place from 7-8 April 2006, in New Delhi. The workshop examined climate change and sustainable development linkages, with a view to informing discussion at CSD-14.