Daily report for 11 May 2010

CSD 18

Delegates to CSD 18 convened in a multi-stakeholder dialogue on partnerships for sustainable development during the morning, and a multi-stakeholder dialogue on advancing the implementation of CSD decisions in the afternoon. They also offered comments on the Chair’s Summary (Part I) during the afternoon.


PARTNERSHIPS FOR SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT: Vice-Chair Jaeckel opened this session, noting that partnerships present an opportunity for governments, civil society and the private sector to bring their unique skills to the table. DSD Director Tariq Banuri introduced the Secretary-General’s report on partnerships for sustainable development (E/CN.17/2010/13).

Panelist Maleye Diop, Public Private Partnership for the Urban Environment (PPPUE), UNDP, said the PPPUE is targeted at members of local level government, business and community organizations interested in an innovative approach to the problems of service delivery, especially to the poor. Panelist Heather Allen, International Association of Public Transport (UITP), Belgium, presented a partnership on sustainable low carbon transport (SLoCaT). She said the partnership’s activities improve knowledge on sustainable low carbon transport, help develop better policies and catalyze their implementation.

Panelist Mauricio Fernandes, Development Committee of the International Year of Planet Earth, said Planet Earth’s mission must be communicated to the public through a variety of activities including television, mass media and science for the public. Amir Dossal, Executive Director of the UN Office of Partnerships, said “Smart Philanthropy” such as the Haiti Hopes Project should be encouraged. He also noted that although “Wall Street has fallen,” over the last five years there has been increased investment through public-private partnerships. Christian Brodhag, School of the Mines of Saint-Etienne, said global, instead of sector-based, partnerships are needed, and identified the International Task Force on Sustainable Tourism Development as a global partnership on SCP. Panelist Ronald Jumeau, Permanent Representative of Seychelles to the UN, presented on the Global Island Partnership (GLISPA), which assists islands in building bridges to conserve and sustainably use their natural resources, and brings together island countries and countries with islands, developing and developed, including some donors, through sharing skills, knowledge, and technologies in a sustainable way.

WOMEN lamented the lack of gender mainstreaming in partnership arrangements, and appealed for equality for women, as well as for seed money and institutional support. CHILDREN AND YOUTH urged their broader inclusion in government delegations and decision-making. INDIGENOUS PEOPLES noted their sparse representation in the CSD, asked for capacity building and better information, and emphasized the need for greater partnership cooperation with governments.

The EU emphasized strong major group participation in the CSD and the importance of their initiatives. He voiced an interest in organizing input to the UNCSD preparatory process on all themes, before the CSD Intergovernmental Preparatory Meeting early next year, and suggested that voluntary actions on SCP can be carried further to more formal arrangements. EGYPT discussed raising the living standards of the poor, population pressure, and the importance of partnerships.

 FRANCE highlighted its support for the Marrakech Process. NGOs underscored the need for criteria, goals, timetables and accounting for UN partnerships. LOCAL AUTHORITIES outlined the successes of The Global Alliance for Ecomobility and European Sustainable Cities partnerships. WORKERS AND TRADE UNIONS discussed the concept of environmental rights. The US highlighted its successful partnerships, including the Clean Fuels and Vehicles partnership. SENEGAL discussed the New Partnership for African Development (NEPAD) and invited development partners to provide support. SWITZERLAND stressed the need for quality criteria to ensure concrete outcomes are achieved. BUSINESS AND INDUSTRY said the CSD should continue to serve as a forum for ideas and learning. The SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGICAL COMMUNITY noted that 2011 is the International Year of Chemistry and said it would strive to build a partnership around this event. FARMERS described partnerships to improve supply chain efficiency and to increase the level of education on agricultural waste.

INDIA presented its experience in partnerships involving the government, industrial associations, centers of excellence, and scientific and education communities. MAURITANIA said areas of energy and education should not be marginalized in partnerships.

GLOBAL ECOVILLAGE NETWORK said the partnerships his organization is involved in focus on promoting SCP in rural areas. NGOs said the UN itself is a partnership, but it needs to bring a common vision to encompass everyone. WORKERS AND TRADE UNIONS emphasized the need to consider all aspects of social development, involving enterprises, corporations and donors. 

ADVANCING THE IMPLEMENTATION OF CSD DECISIONS: This session was lead by Vice-Chair Raguž. Luc Gnacadja, Executive Secretary, UN Convention to Combat Desertification, noted weak interaction between the CSD and UN operation apparatus and the need for improved coherence between the CSD process and the three Rio Conventions. Thomas Foster, International Partners for Sustainable Agriculture, highlighted local projects including the SARD-Kenya Livestock working group and urban-rural linkages for food security. Felix Dodds, Executive Director, Stakeholder Forum for Our Common Future, noted a temporal decline in the importance of the CSD in government and stakeholder priorities, which he said was partially related to the failure of the energy cycle. He called for Rio+20 to “re-boot” sustainable development by, inter alia: re-establishing national processes; bringing the government ministries “with the money” to the table; and creating a high-level group to help guide the CSD.

Panelist Kaire Mbuende, Namibia, focused on means of implementation and the role of the UN. He said building capacities, including institutional, and technology transfer are key to implementation. He emphasized partnerships and the importance of South-South cooperation. Mentioning crises, he called for preventive actions.

The EU said it supported a strong CSD, and that all stakeholders have a role in implementing CSD 17 decisions. He described the EU’s focus on poverty eradication, and suggested that an ambitious SCP agreement can be implemented. FARMERS, speaking also for BUSINESS AND INDUSTRY and the SCIENTIFIC AND TECHNOLOGICAL COMMUNITY, highlighted the importance of agriculture, called for facilitating partnerships, and proposed that all organizations should review CSD 17 decisions. WOMEN urged greater involvement of all stakeholders and emphasis on interlinkages, and lamented the limited discussion of means of implementation. BENIN addressed the need for consistency and coherence among UN operational agencies, as well as at local level.

NIGERIA said there is a lack of strong leadership in the UN on sustainable development, the DSD is “deemphasized,” UN agencies are “delinked” from the CSD, and ministers of finance and development are absent. NGOs urged involvement of all relevant ministers, and CHILDREN AND YOUTH emphasized clear targets for implementation and monitoring, as well as youth empowerment.

ZAMBIA noted the importance of capacity building, implementation of SCP initiatives, information exchange, establishment of partnerships, and finance and technology. SENEGAL suggested linking implementation of CSD decisions with MDGs and implementation of multilateral environmental agreements. The US listed its priority areas of implementation, including: agriculture and food security; strengthening urban and rural linkages; and strengthening knowledge-based practices. INDIA said sustainable development also contributes to combating climate change and highlighted the importance of knowledge and experience sharing between countries.

WHO suggested that CSD should position itself to make more substantive contributions to meeting the objectives of sustainable development and MDGs. LOCAL AUTHORITIES said effective CSD decision implementation depends on local efforts. WORKERS AND TRADE UNIONS stressed that civil society organizations, especially workers and trade unions, have an important role to play in implementation. The SCIENTIFIC AND TECHNOLOGICAL COMMUNITY said an interagency community dedicated to the coordination of sustainable development strategies and implementation of the UN system is required. BRAZIL said the eradication of poverty and hunger should remain central priorities. Panelists noted the need to: consider returning to a one-year CSD cycle; promote cross-fertilization between CSD processes and processes of the Rio Conventions; elevate the CSD’s status; and understand the CSD “hot zones.”  


Chair Ferraté introduced the Chair’s summary, reminded delegates that CSD 18 is a review session, and invited succinct comments. Most delegates said the Summary provided a good overview of the discussions and offered specific comments on its contents. Yemen, for the G-77/CHINA, stressed the need to maintain the integrity of both the CSD 18 and the UNCSD. Highlighting the repetition of calls for further resources, the EU said the Summary should also reflect the low-cost solutions offered. ARGENTINA and BRAZIL highlighted the need to further reference the green economy concept, and CUBA said the concept requires clarification. EGYPT stressed further references should be made to the difficulties faced in the occupied territories. CHILE said mining is a “motor for sustainable development.” GHANA stressed that mining is inherently unsustainable, and that references should not be made to making mining sustainable.

SAUDI ARABIA said the summary should be written in the third person. SWITZERLAND stressed that the chemicals section should reflect the need to make use of existing instruments, rather than suggesting new ones. JAPAN suggested reference to the regional 3R Forum. INDONESIA stressed reference to enhancing regional initiatives promoting 3Rs. CANADA requested reference to the work of the Intergovernmental Forum on Mining to Promote Sustainable Development and exploration of innovative solutions to fill gaps in funding and technical assistance. MEXICO suggested referring to the Basel Convention Regional Centres. NIGERIA contested references to progress in transport infrastructure with development partners in Africa, noting progress was not being made. NORWAY stressed that good governance is a prerequisite for sustainable development. The US and CANADA suggested the document should include a chapeau explaining that it is not negotiated and reflects the views of the Chair. The US underscored the need to implement existing programmes and mechanisms, as well as develop innovative financial mechanisms. BRAZIL underscored that the discussions to include mercury in the synergies process had been “rejected.” CAMBODIA proposed additional references to sound mining management, as well as the need to ensure fair distribution of benefits and revenue. 

INDIGENOUS PEOPLES said hazardous waste is also a problem in developed countries, with dumping common on indigenous lands. FARMERS said the role of sound science and engineering is under-referenced in the Summary. WORKERS AND TRADE UNIONS highlighted the opportunities for decent work in mining. CHILDREN AND YOUTH said non-formal education should be referenced.


While delegates were making factual comments on the Chair’s Summary (Part I) in Conference Room 1, more substantive discussion was going on in the corridors. Some questioned the suggestion by others that sustainable consumption and production should be more firmly embedded in the UN system, with one asking “How could one do this when there is no global programme on SCP?” Whether SCP should rely on a bottom-up or top-down approach was also a matter of discussion, with a supporter of the former stating that measures such as improving energy and resource efficiency should be adopted at local levels instead of developing global or national strategies and programmes on SCP. Meanwhile, on the green economy, several delegates emphasized the need to define the term and said this need was not fully reflected in the Chair’s Summary.

This issue of the Earth Negotiations Bulletin © <enb@iisd.org> is written and edited by Stephanie Aktipis, Ph.D., Melanie Ashton, Andrey Vavilov, Ph.D., Lynn Wagner, Ph.D, and Kunbao Xia. The Digital Editor is Leila Mead. The Editor is Pamela S. Chasek, Ph.D. <pam@iisd.org>. The Director of IISD Reporting Services is Langston James “Kimo” Goree VI <kimo@iisd.org>. The Sustaining Donors of the Bulletin are the United Kingdom (through the Department for International Development – DFID), the Government of the United States of America (through the Department of State Bureau of Oceans and International Environmental and Scientific Affairs), the Government of Canada (through CIDA), the Danish Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), the German Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety (BMU), the Netherlands Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the European Commission (DG-ENV), and the Italian Ministry for the Environment, Land and Sea. General Support for the Bulletin during 2010 is provided by the Government of Australia, the Austrian Federal Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry, Environment and Water Management, the Ministry of Environment of Sweden, the New Zealand Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade, SWAN International, Swiss Federal Office for the Environment (FOEN), the Finnish Ministry for Foreign Affairs, the Japanese Ministry of Environment (through the Institute for Global Environmental Strategies - IGES), the Japanese Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (through the Global Industrial and Social Progress Research Institute - GISPRI), the Government of Iceland, the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), and the World Bank. Funding for translation of the Bulletin into French has been provided by the Government of France, the Belgium Walloon Region, the Province of Québec, and the International Organization of the Francophone (OIF and IEPF). Funding for translation of the Bulletin into Spanish at this meeting has been provided by the Spanish Ministry of the Environment and Rural and Marine Affairs. The opinions expressed in the Bulletin are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of IISD or other donors. Excerpts from the Bulletin may be used in non-commercial publications with appropriate academic citation. For information on the Bulletin, including requests to provide reporting services, contact the Director of IISD Reporting Services at <kimo@iisd.org>, +1-646-536-7556 or 300 East 56th St., 11A, New York, New York 10022, USA. The ENB team at CSD-18 can be contacted by e-mail at <lynn@iisd.org>.