Report of main proceedings for 28 April 1998
CSD-6 participants negotiated decisions on cross-sectoral themes, strategic approaches to freshwater management, implementation of the Programme of Action for SIDS and industry and sustainable development during morning, afternoon and evening meetings.
DRAFTING GROUP I
Strategic Approaches to Freshwater Management: On 37 (new and additional financial resources), the US stipulated resources "from all sources." The G-77/CHINA deleted text calling for effective use of existing resources, which should help mobilize additional finance. The US objected.
On 38 (ODA), a G-77/CHINA reformulation said ODA should "be provided and complement," rather than "complement and focus on" programmes to meet basic human needs, and deleted "structural reform." The EU preferred programmes designed to create participatory enabling frameworks for meeting basic human needs, safeguarding public health, and for conservation and sustainable use of ecosystems and capacity building.
On 39 (private sector), AUSTRALIA added text on ODA's important role in assisting developing countries to adopt sound policy frameworks encouraging private sector participation. The G-77/CHINA deleted text stressing the importance of enabling financial framework conditions to mobilize private sector finance.
On 40 (donor cooperation), the G-77/CHINA said the CSD should "invite" rather than "urge" governments to strengthen consultative mechanisms to improve donor schemes. In 41 (cost recovery), the G-77/CHINA deleted text stating that all costs must be covered to make water provision viable and added text emphasizing the importance of government regulation in freshwater allocation in developing countries. The US added language on making resource and cost allocations through transparent and participatory processes. The EU, supported by JAPAN, stipulated that subsidies for specific groups should be transparent and well-targeted. SWITZERLAND added that additional incentives are necessary to protect sensitive areas' freshwater resources.
On 42bis (public funds for water supply and sanitation), the G-77/CHINA called for full support from the international community. On 43 (economic instruments), the EU added the polluter pays principle and user pays system to a list of considerations when using economic instruments. On 44 (review of existing financial arrangements), the G-77/CHINA deleted a reference to removing constraints on the development of local and national water management systems. CANADA called for a review to enhance efficiency and effectiveness.
On 45 (creating a financial mechanism), the EU opposed the creation of a new financial mechanism, noting that such action may not increase funding, but will increase bureaucracy. To a list of issues for CSD consideration, he proposed: deleting "allocation" of financial resources; substituting "inclusion" of resources with "identification;" and inviting the Global Water Partnership to work with developing countries. The US proposed deleting the paragraph.
Regarding follow-up and assessment (46-52), the G-77/CHINA's reformulation of the Chair's text: deleted a reference consolidating the work of the Committee on Natural Resources (48bis); replaced "ways and means to encourage" with "concrete ways of enhancing" international action (chapeau of 49); deleted a call to identify benchmarks and timeframes for implementation (49(f)); and called on UNEP to play a vital role in giving environmental inputs to freshwater issues through technical and scientific advice (50). The EU's formulation, inter alia, addresses regional and sub-regional follow-up through sharing know-how, training and mobilization of resources, and invites the Sub-Committee on Water Resources of the Administrative Committee on Administration (ACC) to develop appropriate arrangements. He preferred action by the ACC and the UNEP Governing Council over the draft's proposal for international implementation. He also proposed: inviting governments to organize intersessional initiatives; establishing a basis for measuring progress; and developing a coordinated picture of intergovernmental work.
MEXICO said the Secretary-General's reports should make more comprehensive use of the information provided in governments' national reports. AUSTRALIA combined the draft and EU texts and proposed tasking the ACC to report on progress to the CSD in 2000. The US shared the EU's concern with the workload for 2000 and said the proposed ACC report should be a background document. He called for tasking separate UN agencies, not just the ACC, to provide leadership for each objective. NORWAY called for ensuring that the ECOSOC resolution on mainstreaming the gender perspective is followed up.
Implementation of the SIDS Programme of Action: Delegates agreed on the first 32 paragraphs of the SIDS draft text as amended by an informal drafting group in the morning. On 5 (national strategies), amendments stressed that development strategies should take into account links between economic statements and social and environmental indicators and policies. On 7 (donors' conference), delegates agreed that the donors' conference should consider proposed project portfolios that reflect progress in implementing the Programme of Action. On 9 (constraints on SIDS), new text referring to the 1999 review of the Programme of Action recommended including an assessment of changes in financial flows to SIDS.
In 24 (integrated approach to freshwater management), the amended text emphasized the importance of women's involvement and the need to ensure the sustainable use of water resources through appropriate demand management policies, including pricing.
On 26 (UN SIDS programmes), text calling on the international community to "provide additional and adequate" support was amended to "continue to provide" support to regional and national efforts to promote sound assessment and monitoring procedures.
In 28 (institutional strengthening), SIDS are encouraged to create appropriate environment and resource databases including GIS. On 29 (improved land use management), the international community is called on to help strengthen existing regional institutions' ability to assist SIDS in improving land use management. In 31 (technological and human capacity building), text emphasizing effective training programmes in key areas with regional support was moved to the section on human resource development.
DRAFTING GROUP II
Drafting Group II met in an informal-informal evening session. Areas of disagreement included: references to access for developing country industrial products to developed country markets; the relation between social and industrial development; and the role of "per capita" levels of production and "population growth" in the context of industrial impacts on health and the environment.
DRAFTING GROUP III
Capacity building, Education and Public Awareness, Science and Transfer of EST: In 1 (CSD), the EU, supported by the US, reaffirmed the importance of poverty eradication, sustainable production and consumption and adoption of international development targets. The G-77/CHINA requested more prominence for EST transfers. On critical enabling elements, the G-77/CHINA, opposed by the EU, replaced enabling "framework" with "efforts." The EU replaced a reference to economic growth with the components of sustainable development.
In 2(b) (national sustainable development strategies), the G-77/CHINA changed the call for implementation of national strategies by 2005 to full implementation, taking into account the needs of countries. In 2(g) (monitoring and evaluation), the G-77/CHINA deleted references to UNDP monitoring and evaluation. The EU supported that UNDP role and called for information dissemination and for UNDP reporting to CSD. On 3 (adequate education), the EU added a call for life-long education. HUNGARY proposed new text on public awareness, information and participation in decisions. On major groups, CANADA included youth initiatives.
On 4 (UNESCO's work on Innovative Education), the EU said the project may not be entirely comprehensive. SWITZERLAND added new text calling on governments to strengthen education networks. In 4C (incorporating education into national strategies), the EU deleted the call for UNESCO to follow up recommendations from its survey of existing strategies. The G-77/CHINA called on the international community to assist developing countries with the necessary resources to integrate education into strategies.
In 4D (education for consumption and production patterns), the EU called for continued work on indicators for sustainable consumption and production. The US, supported by the EU, reformulated text to call for promotion of sustainable consumption and production patterns. The G-77/CHINA added "in developed countries" to references to unsustainable consumption and production patterns. The EU and G-77/CHINA offered amendments to expand the participation of business beyond the WBCSD and ICC. On redirecting investments for education the EU, objected to a G-77/CHINA call for "new and additional resources." On innovative practices, the EU added new approaches including distance learning. HUNGARY inserted new text on public awareness. The G-77/CHINA added text on encouraging traditional knowledge and innovation.
On 5 (reporting), the EU, supported by the G-77/CHINA, combined two subparagraphs calling on UNESCO to accelerate the work programme on education and requesting the UN Secretary-General to report progress to CSD-7. The US amended 6 (science) to reflect that gaps in capacity are not limited to developing countries. The US objected to a G-77/CHINA suggestion that the paragraph call on "donor" governments and agencies to strengthen capacity.
In 7 (technology transfer), the US proposed new text noting that, inter alia, public-private partnerships offer promising means to increase access to ESTs and focus government action in useful directions, rapid commercialization of promising technology should be a goal, and strong IPR will encourage firms to introduce innovative technology. The G-77/CHINA reformulated text on access to and finance of ESTs to urge the international community, as called for at UNGASS, to fulfill all commitments for EST transfer. The G-77/CHINA deleted a reference to protection of IPR. The EU and US objected.
In 8 (future work), the G-77/CHINA deleted the reference to eco-efficiency. The EU and AUSTRALIA supported the concept. The PHILIPPINES asked the Secretariat if there is an internationally agreed definition. The G-77/CHINA invited governments to take sustainable development into account when they review the TRIPS Agreement in 2000.
In 9 (recommendations), the G-77/CHINA added a call on the private sector and research and development institutions, together with governments, in developed countries to identify barriers and restrictions to transfers. The US inserted protection for IPR. The EU replaced a reference to pollution control with "eco-efficiency" in a subparagraph on strategies for developing countries and those with economies in transition. SWITZERLAND invited UNIDO and UNEP to undertake, with DESA, a pilot project on incentives to encourage clean production. The G-77/CHINA and the REPUBLIC OF KOREA disagreed with a US proposal to focus a paragraph on a pilot project on publicly-funded ESTs on commercialization. The US replaced text on the transfer of publicly-funded and -owned ESTs to developing countries and economies in transition with transfers "from the public to the private sector." The REPUBLIC OF KOREA, RUSSIA and the G-77/CHINA preferred the original text. RUSSIA and UKRAINE objected to a G-77/CHINA proposal to delete references to economies in transition.
IN THE CORRIDORS
The 18-member task force on UNEP and Habitat reform met early this week at UN Headquarters to continue the "open and frank" discussion it began in New Delhi at the First GEF Assembly. One idea it is reportedly considering is transforming the Trusteeship Council into the Trusteeship for Global Environment. A report on its recommendations is expected by June 15.
THINGS TO LOOK FOR TODAY
HIGH-LEVEL SEGMENT: The High-Level Segment is expected to commence in Conference Room 1 during the morning and afternoon.
DRAFTING GROUPS: Conference Room 2 has been reserved for morning and afternoon meetings of the Drafting Groups. Freshwater is expected to be considered in the morning and cross-sectoral themes during the afternoon.