Report of main proceedings for 2 May 2000
Delegates to the Commission on Sustainable Development met in three drafting groups throughout the day to consider various revised draft decisions and a G-77/CHINA paper. Drafting Group I met in the afternoon to consider the first revised draft on Integrated Planning and Management of Land Resources. The first revised draft on Agriculture was also circulated. Drafting Group II convened in the afternoon to consider the first revised draft on Finance, Trade, Investment and Economic Growth. Drafting Group III met in the morning to consider the G-77/CHINA proposals on Preparations for the 2002 Review of Agenda 21. Revised draft decisions on the Rio+10 preparations and on the Report of the Intergovernmental Forum on Forests were circulated.
DRAFTING GROUP I
INTEGRATED LAND MANAGEMENT: Drafting Group I Chair Patrick McDonnell (Ireland) opened the afternoon meeting to consider the first revision of the draft on Integrated Planning and Management of Land Resources. In the draft introduction, the G-77/ CHINA proposed text on the need for countries to ensure access to land, water and other natural resources. The EU and the US supported inclusion of text on equal access to land. The G-77/CHINA opposed language on participatory, transparent and accountable decision-making, conflict resolution, an enabling environment and good governance. The EU noted that this was agreed language from the International Conference on Population and Development.
On priorities for future work, the US proposed moving references to mining and rehabilitation to the section on land degradation. The G-77/CHINA proposed deletion of references to arid land and to minerals and metals, and supported reference to critical sectors and issues.
On prevention and/or mitigation of land degradation, the G-77/ CHINA, with BRAZIL, proposed replacing text urging the undertaking of concerted efforts to alleviate poverty, with new text acknowledging concerted efforts to eradicate poverty in developing countries. CANADA preferred referencing efforts to reduce poverty. The EU supported poverty eradication, adding reference to overcoming systemic patterns of production and consumption. The G-77/CHINA, with BRAZIL and EGYPT, proposed deleting reference to the protection and enhancement of greenhouse sinks. The EU supported reference to sinks. The US preferred "carbon sinks." JAPAN supported reference to the prevention of natural disasters. The G-77/CHINA, supported by BRAZIL and EGYPT, and opposed by the EU, suggested deleting a proposed paragraph on water resources. TURKEY opposed reference to "political stability" in the context of ensuring protection of water resources. The US, with CANADA, supported reference to protecting and improving freshwater and coastal ecosystems as discussed during the Hague meeting on Water Security in the 21st Century. The G-77/CHINA, supported by BRAZIL and EGYPT, and opposed by the US, proposed deleting reference to gender disaggregation in text encouraging consideration of other organizations’ work.
On access to land and security of tenure, the US agreed to proposals to rename the section: Equal Access to Land and Legal Security of Tenure, and, with the EU and CANADA, opposed a G-77/CHINA proposal to link the adoption of policies to constitutions, culture and traditions. With the EU, the US expressed difficulty in understanding a COLOMBIA-proposed paragraph calling on the international community and UN-related agencies to support the alleviation of socio-economic disadvantages obstructing government action on land and tenure issues. The G-77/CHINA opposed the amendments to the section title. On developing land administration systems, he added "where appropriate." The EU supported the proposed section title amendment stating that it is in line with the Habitat Agenda, and called for improved "equal" access to land and legal security.
On biodiversity, the G-77/CHINA, supported by the US and opposed by NORWAY, proposed deleting text calling on governments and the international community to fully explore the effects of biotechnology products on health and the environment, and urging governments to ensure entry into force of the Cartagena Protocol. JAPAN preferred retaining the original text and supported the view that any effects should be fully explored before biotechnology products enter the market. On forests, CANADA, with AUSTRALIA and the US, supported an amendment urging the international community to implement proposals for action from the Intergovernmental Panel on Forests/Intergovernmental Forum on Forests "to promote the management, conservation and sustainable development of all types of forests." JAPAN preferred the "sustainable" management and development of all forest types. On wetlands and coastal zones, VENEZUELA called for reference to the Global Plan of Action for the marine environment as recognized in Chapter 17 of Agenda 21. On natural disasters, the G-77/CHINA supported a call for governments to formulate "and implement" strategies, recognizing the "socio-economic impacts." He also called for financial and technical support for developing countries and EITs in developing early warning systems.
DRAFTING GROUP II
FINANCE, TRADE, INVESTMENT, AND ECONOMIC GROWTH: In the afternoon, Drafting Group II reviewed text distributed by Chair Seok-young on Finance, Trade, Investment, and Economic Growth. AUSTRALIA requested a more balanced document acknowledging the potential environmental benefits of economic growth. The EU emphasized the need to "break the linkage" between economic growth and environmental degradation. NEW ZEALAND and US proposals on ensuring that economic growth does not result in environmental degradation were bracketed. On the principle of common but differentiated responsibilities, the EU, with the US, proposed deleting or relocating the text, or citing its origin. EGYPT, opposed by the EU, recommended relevant language taken from Agenda 21. The text remains bracketed.
On globalization, the G-77/CHINA’s proposed text on the need to "reform" the international financial system, and manage the "financial" crises, was bracketed. Several delegations queried the logic of the Chair’s text on declining ODA, and NEW ZEALAND’s proposed reformulation of this text was bracketed.
On financing Agenda 21 implementation, G-77/CHINA recalled its earlier submission, highlighting the financial commitments of developed countries. Delegates agreed to include this proposal as an alternative, along with the Chair’s existing revised text. In response to requests from SUDAN, BRAZIL and KENYA, Chair Seok-young undertook to produce compilation text for reference purposes. On future discussion of financial resources and mechanisms, the EU noted that the topic would not be an overriding issue at CSD-9. The CSD Secretariat stated that the main CSD-9 themes were cross-referenced to the Agenda 21 chapter on financial resources and mechanisms.
On priority areas for future work, the EU proposed language on "further" promotion of international finance for sustainable development. The US preferred reference to improvement of institutional "aspects" over "frameworks." The G-77/CHINA suggested that strengthening existing financial mechanisms should be placed before exploration of new ones, and requested clarification on the meaning of institutional aspects. SUDAN proposed using UNCED language. The text remains bracketed.
On promoting an enabling environment for mobilizing resources, the EU, supported by the US, NORWAY and JAPAN, argued in favour of retaining reference to "good" governance, rather than "transparent, effective and accountable" governance. Both proposals remain bracketed.
The G-77/CHINA, with the US, stressed the need for a participatory "process for" development. On capital flight, the G-77/CHINA and the US suggested deleting text on capital repatriation. The RUSSIAN FEDERATION and SOUTH AFRICA opposed. The text remains bracketed. The US and the G-77/CHINA requested clarification of the meaning of "environmental finance." The phrase remains bracketed.
The EU, with the US and NEW ZEALAND, proposed moving text on National Sustainable Development Strategies to a new paragraph. NEW ZEALAND, supported by a number of other delegations, proposed reference to "elimination," rather than "gradual phasing out," of trade-distorting and environmentally harmful subsidies. JAPAN proposed text to "address" subsidies. The existing language remains bracketed.
DRAFTING GROUP III
PREPARATIONS FOR THE TEN-YEAR REVIEW OF UNCED: During the morning session, Drafting Group III reviewed a paper circulated by the G-77/CHINA outlining recommendations for Rio+10. On limiting the focus of Rio+10 to the implementation of Agenda 21, CANADA, with JAPAN, urged consideration of other outcomes. JAPAN proposed coverage of globalization and technological progress. The G-77/CHINA suggested that emerging issues be considered within the context of Agenda 21 implementation. SWITZERLAND stressed that Rio+10 should not renegotiate Agenda 21, but should evaluate changes since UNCED and address challenges to implementation. On international preparations for Rio+10, COLOMBIA expressed concern with the proposal to begin in January 2001. CANADA, with the RUSSIAN FEDERATION, stated that countries and NGOs should not be constrained by a specific date, and with NEW ZEALAND, noted the importance of regional preparations.
The US expressed reservations regarding the G-77/CHINA suggestion to convene Rio+10 in a developing country. The G-77/CHINA reiterated its desire to have Rio+10 in a developing country. CANADA, supported by a number of delegations, suggested consideration of environmental conventions. MEXICO proposed addressing synergies between the conventions. The EU, supported by AUSTRALIA, CANADA and the US, emphasized the participation of major groups. EGYPT and CUBA noted that although major groups make significant contributions, they are not equivalent to governments. Regarding a trust fund to ensure the participation of developing countries, CANADA asked if it would finance regional processes, and, supported by KENYA, called for a separate fund for major groups. JAPAN asked for clarification regarding trust funds during UNCED. The Secretariat stated that two trust funds were established before UNCED: one for developing countries and the other for substantive preparations and major group participation. MOROCCO noted the lack of developing country participation at international conferences, drawing attention to the empty seats at CSD-8. BRAZIL emphasized that the GA is the proper forum for discussion on the Rio+10 agenda, timing and venue.
IN THE CORRIDORS
Major group representatives have reported progress in their efforts to garner support for the formation of an informal ad hoc open-ended working group to assess and showcase SARD in action. With a modified proposal to involve all the major groups together with governments and international organizations, within existing institutional structures and resources, NGOs are hoping to build on the precedent of the Voluntary Initiatives working group. The Voluntary Initiatives group is continuing to engage business and industry in a multi-stakeholder dialogue launched at CSD-6 and is reportedly about to invite the participation of the World Business Council for Sustainable Development as the new industry representative in the steering group.
THINGS TO LOOK FOR TODAY
DRAFTING GROUP l: Drafting Group I will reconvene at 10:00 a.m. in Conference Room l to consider the revised draft on Integrated Planning and Management of Land Resources.
DRAFTING GROUP II: Drafting Group II will reconvene at 3:00 p.m. in Conference Room 3 to consider the revised draft on Finance, Trade, Investment and Economic Growth.
DRAFTING GROUP III: Drafting Group III will reconvene at 10:00 a.m. in Conference Room 3 to consider the revised draft on preparations for Rio+10.