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Report of main proceedings for 27 April 1999


CSD-7 delegates completed a first reading of their decisions on energy and oceans and second readings on decisions on tourism and consumption and production patterns. Informal consultations on outstanding issues in the SIDS decision also took place.


TOURISM: Drafting Group I, chaired by Navid Hanif (Pakistan), further considered tabled amendments and a letter from CSD-7 Chair Upton inviting delegations to consider points from the outcome of the Tourism Segment. On the programme of work on sustainable tourism, the EU opposed a G-77/CHINA proposal to replace a reference to cooperation with interested parties with "consultation." The EU inserted a preamble note of appreciation regarding the multi-stakeholder dialogue and major groups' progress in promoting sustainable tourism. The Chair invited participants to consider welcoming industry initiatives, as noted in the outcome of the Tourism Segment. The EU introduced a number of operative subparagraphs calling for government action. The G-77/CHINA preferred to "encourage" rather than call for government action. On the EU-proposed subparagraph on an appropriate legal, economic, social and environmental framework, the US, supported by RUSSIA, noted difficulties with the promotion of eco-audits and labeling. The G-77/CHINA deleted specific references to elements of a mix of instruments.

The G-77/CHINA expressed serious difficulty with an EU-proposed subparagraph on the exploitation of women and children, especially through sex tourism, and the application of ILO standards in tourism. BRAZIL said these issues were being taken up in other UN fora. The G-77/CHINA proposed new text encouraging governments to consult with major groups at all levels of the tourism development process. CANADA introduced text inviting governments to undertake capacity building work with indigenous people and local communities to ensure transparency in decision making.

On the tourism industry, the G-77/CHINA, opposed by the US, proposed deleting "monitoring" of voluntary tourism initiatives. The G-77/CHINA proposed new text encouraging the industry to develop, within national strategies, environmentally, socially and culturally compatible forms of tourism and to continue voluntary initiatives, though not as substitutes for regulation. On building on existing UN work, the G-77/CHINA, opposed by the EU, proposed deletion of a reference to "the Barbados Plan of Action." The G-77/CHINA proposed new text calling for further clarification of sustainable tourism and eco-tourism. The US and the EU supported clarifying the concept of sustainable tourism. On capacity building, the G-77/CHINA proposed the addition of "multilateral and bilateral" financial and technical assistance and "appropriate technologies" for all aspects of tourism.

The EU, supported by the US, opposed a G-77/CHINA proposal to reference natural disasters in a paragraph on exchange of information. The EU, supported by the US and RUSSIA, proposed merging text on developing indicators for sustainable tourism, taking into account work by the WTO. The G-77/CHINA objected. The US proposed multi-stakeholder participation in the development of indicators. On a comprehensive assessment of voluntary tourism initiatives, the US proposed deleting references to the CSD-6 process on voluntary initiatives. CANADA added text noting that the assessment is being undertaken to raise awareness. The EU supported both amendments. The US proposed eliminating a subparagraph on elaborating a set of guidelines for sustainable tourism development. The G-77/CHINA reserved on AUSTRALIAN and EU-proposed text on reducing environmental impacts associated with travel and tourism. CANADA added text inviting agencies, especially the IMO, to investigate the sufficiency of existing marine pollution regulations and compliance.

CONSUMPTION AND PRODUCTION PATTERNS: Drafting Group I considered a compilation of amendments during the afternoon. The EU preferred restricting references to Agenda 21 to the preamble. CANADA introduced a new preamble with references to Agenda 21, UNGASS, common but differentiated responsibilities, finance and transfer of ESTs, and noting that sustainable consumption and production can reduce costs and enhance competitiveness.

In the introduction, the G-77/CHINA added text noting that developed countries will take the lead and insisted on retaining a reference to "developing countries adversely affected by the process." The G-77/CHINA objected to an EU-proposed sentence noting the particular importance of the affluent consumer. The EU and US supported calling for industrialized rather than developed countries to take the lead. The G-77/CHINA objected to "industrialized" and to EU amendments calling for support for "international development targets" and governments ensuring minimum standards of consumption. In place of the latter, delegates agreed that "governments should ensure that the basic needs of the people are met."

On priorities for future work, the G-77/CHINA suggested deleting a call to review consumption patterns in "specific economic sectors" and said the review should be conducted "in keeping" with general objectives and principles of sustainable consumption and production patterns. CANADA, supported by AUSTRALIA, objected and insisted that the review be "connected to" the general objectives and principles. On effective policy development and implementation, in response to the G-77/CHINA's proposed reference to action "taking fully into account the principle of common but differentiated responsibilities," the US suggested moving references to Rio Declaration principles to the preamble. CHINA, supported by BOLIVIA, objected. The G-77/CHINA objected to the NORWEGIAN-proposed call for "more efficient consumption and production," proposing instead "affordable eco- efficient consumption and production." In reference to the call for a policy mix for this purpose, the G-77/CHINA proposed that voluntary agreements and initiatives be "applied in the light of country-specific conditions." MEXICO and BRAZIL proposed adding reference to the WTO Committee on Technical Barriers to Trade to text calling for policy approaches to take into account the deliberations of the WTO Committee on Trade and Environment.


OCEANS: Drafting Group II, chaired by Alan Simcock (UK), considered oceans during the morning. On land-based activities, the G-77/CHINA requested deleting the text welcoming decisions by the UNEP Governing Council on implementing the GPA. The EU said these decisions should be "endorsed" instead of "welcomed." The US proposed text noting the potential of regional partnership meetings to mobilize resources and efforts for the GPA. The G-77/CHINA proposed calling for adequate expertise and resources, on concessional and preferential terms, to developing countries for developing and producing alternatives to POPs. CANADA objected to "concessional and preferential terms." The EU suggested welcoming further international work on continuous reduction of discharges, emissions and leakages of hazardous substances.

On marine science, the EU proposed establishing means for GESAMP to interact with NGOs as well as scientific representatives of governments. AUSTRALIA noted the value of collecting data from the Global Coral Reef Monitoring Network as well as the Global Ocean Observing System. The EU added text noting the importance of scientific work done in scientific committees in existing fisheries organizations. Regarding the impact of El Nio Southern Oscillation (ENSO), CANADA suggested referencing "oceans-atmospheric variability," AUSTRALIA proposed "assessing" the damage caused by ENSO, and the US added reference to the impact on coral reef ecosystems. Regarding improved knowledge of fish stocks, the EU suggested that the FAO strengthen its global monitoring of fish stocks. JAPAN proposed that scientific peer review systems be used "where appropriate." On text regarding other marine pollution, an EU reformulation called for encouraging Flag States to implement international agreements on shipping standards, asking the IMO to develop a binding instrument and preparing criteria for port-state control, and supporting the IMO's work to create regional port-state control networks. NGOs, supported by RUSSIA, proposed inviting the IMO to develop a legal mechanism to ensure that all Flag States ensure that vessels flying their flags meet international standards and develop a mandatory instrument on vessel registration. The G-77/CHINA added text reiterating a State's right to prohibit the transboundary movement of hazardous waste within its jurisdiction and noting the need to provide expertise and resources, on concessional and preferential terms, for the development of alternatives to anti-fouling paints. CANADA bracketed "concessional and preferential terms." The G-77/CHINA proposed that the International Seabed Authority work on a draft mining code rather than proposals to protect the marine environment from the impact of seabed exploration and mining. The EU added text calling on the IMO to look into the issue of ship scrapping.

On international cooperation and coordination, CANADA called for "collaboration" as well, the EU proposed annexing a position paper, and MEXICO, PAPUA NEW GUINEA and the G-77/CHINA indicated more time was needed to wrap-up informal consultations. Additional comments included AUSTRALIA's note that, when managed sustainably, fisheries and aquaculture can contribute significantly to food security and income generation. The US called for environmentally sound aquaculture, particularly shrimp aquaculture.


Drafting Group III, chaired by George Talbot (Guyana), considered ECOSOC proposals on preparations for CSD-9 on energy issues (E/CN.17/1998/8), specifically an UNGASS decision that preparations utilize an open-ended intergovernmental group of experts on energy and sustainable development. The EU called for speedy progress including nomination of co-chairs for the new expert group. The G-77/CHINA raised issues of participation and input including participation by developing country experts. NORWAY called for clarity on a number of issues including the budget and arrangements for adequate participation by developing countries, and, supported by the G-77/CHINA and the EU, proposed that the open-ended Intergovernmental Group of Experts be "ad hoc" to underline the limited time scope for the Group's work. She also proposed that membership be "open to all countries represented in the UN." Responding to the G-77/CHINA, the Secretariat explained that the GA intended that the intergovernmental group should meet separately but back-to-back with CSD’s ISWG. The G-77/CHINA said that "substantive discussions" at the Group of Experts' first meeting would be premature. The EU disagreed. The US, opposed by EGYPT, proposed that the Group’s second session last for one week. The G- 77/CHINA, supported by the EU, proposed a revised paragraph, inviting the Committee on Energy and Natural Resources for Development to transmit a report to the CSD. The EU objected to a G-77/CHINA proposal to delete a paragraph welcoming the intention of UN entities to make an active contribution to the group of experts. The US proposed moving the text to the preamble. On UN organizations preparing documents for consideration by the Group of Experts, Norway suggested paragraphs on funding and participation of major stakeholders.


Due to continued disagreement in the informal consultations on the review of the implementation of the Barbados Programme of Action (POA) regarding the impact of globalization and trade liberalization on SIDS, the Chair developed text attempting to reconcile two alternatives. The Chair's draft still contains bracketed text on possible benefits deriving from globalization and trade liberalization for SIDS and on the role of the international community in facilitating the integration of SIDS into the world economy. An observer noted that this issue is one of the major bones of contention and, when resolved, may bring the Special Session preparations close to a conclusion.


DRAFTING GROUPS: Drafting Group I is expected to convene informally during the morning to consider tourism and in the evening to consider consumption and production. Drafting Group II is expected to begin considering the compilation text on oceans during the morning. Drafting Group III will also meet.

SIDE EVENTS: Check CSD Today for today's side events.

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