Report of main proceedings for 3 May 2000
Delegates to the Commission on Sustainable Development met in three drafting groups to consider revised text. Drafting Group I met in the morning to continue consideration of the draft on Integrated Planning and Management of Land Resources, and in afternoon and evening sessions to consider the draft on Agriculture. Drafting Group II met in the afternoon to discuss a revised draft on Financial Resources and Mechanisms and in the evening to deliberate on a revised draft on Economic Growth, Trade and Investment. Drafting Group III met in the morning and evening to continue discussions on preparations for the ten-year review of UNCED.
DRAFTING GROUP I
INTEGRATED PLANNING AND MANAGEMENT OF LAND RESOURCES: Delegates convened in the morning to consider the revised draft on Integrated Planning and Management of Land Resources. On rural-urban interactions, the G-77/CHINA proposed, and the EU opposed, deleting references to governments "at all levels." References remain bracketed. The US proposed, while the EU supported, and TURKEY and the G-77/CHINA rejected, references to transboundary effects. Text remains bracketed. The EU, opposed by the G-77/CHINA, supported a new paragraph on land use indicators. TURKEY, supporting the EU, added reference to best practices. No consensus was reached on: including farmers and agro-food industries in reference to land users; using general over specific references to relevant conventions; and reference to ratifying the Kyoto Protocol by 2002.
AGRICULTURE: Drafting Group I met in the afternoon and continued in the evening to consider the revised draft on Agriculture. On the role of agriculture, the G-77/CHINA proposed deleting references to: food "safety"; the maintenance of the countryside or open space; and conservation of nature/land and natural resources. The EU, supported by JAPAN, proposed that agriculture has a "unique" place in society; is "essential" for food security; and contributes to the maintenance of the "countryside," and ensures "spatially balanced development." On food security and poverty, delegations agreed to use the phrase "poverty eradication" rather than "poverty reduction." On SARD, the G-77/CHINA, opposed by the EU, proposed deletion of reference to food "safety and quality of food."
The EU supported a G-77/CHINA proposal to delete reference to crop production systems, but opposed deletion of reference to carbon sequestration.
The US proposed, and the G-77/CHINA opposed, language on development and use of quantitative assessments in pursuing an ecosystem approach to SARD. The G-77/CHINA suggested deleting a proposed paragraph on the social dimensions of SARD. The G-77/ CHINA proposed, and the US opposed, deleting references to the effects of agricultural practices on human safety and on the health of farmers, their families and employees. The EU noted that these elements reflected recommendations from the Multi-Stakeholder Dialogue and the High-Level Segment, and supported their inclusion. On access to other resources, the EU preferred a formulation including Habitat language, while the G-77/CHINA, with BRAZIL, opposed.
On financing SARD, the EU, with the US, opposed text because it appeared to suggest that domestic resources might never become the main source of finance, while the G-77/CHINA proposed that domestic resources will continue to be the main source in some countries. On strategies to promote private capital and investment in sustainable agriculture in developing countries, the US reserved its position on a proposal to "support the direction" rather than guide a larger share of this capital. On technology transfer and capacity building, the US supported fostering SARD and questioned why the G-77/CHINA sought to remove the word "sustainable." The US reserved its position on a G-77/CHINA proposal urging developed countries to meet the needs of developing countries regarding ESTs. On integrated pest management and integrated plant management, the EU supported an alternative paragraph focusing on the elimination of unsustainable use of plant products and fertilizers and referring to stakeholders, including agricultural workers, farm workers and consumer groups. CANADA preferred a reformulation urging governments to develop and use transparent, science-based risk assessment and management procedures.
DRAFTING GROUP II
FINANCIAL RESOURCES AND MECHANISMS: In the afternoon, Drafting Group II reviewed a revised draft on Financial Resources and Mechanisms. On governance, proposals relating to "good" and "participatory" governance were bracketed. An EU proposal to replace the "effectiveness, efficiency" of ODA with "quality" was bracketed. On mobilizing ODA, an EU-proposed sentence on improving allocation of ODA and on targeting resources to developing countries with, inter alia, good governance, was bracketed.
Reference to "multilateral debt relief" was bracketed, following an EU suggestion to delete the text. JAPAN’s proposed inclusion of a provision for cancellation "and equivalent relief" of bilateral official debt was bracketed. Reference to the international community’s consideration of the means for identifying unpayable debt for possible action by creditors, was deleted. NEW ZEALAND’s proposal on "taking into account" special and differential treatment was bracketed. The entire text on the role of trade liberalization in the context of debt relief was bracketed, pending discussion on trade. Changes to text were accepted to reflect the need to address the recurrence of financial crises arising from volatile movements of private capital. Following the G-77/CHINA rejection of an EU-proposed deletion of reference to the UN Convention to Combat Desertification funding mechanism, the paragraph was bracketed. The G-77/CHINA stated that it could not accept any formulation of the paragraph on the Clean Development Mechanism. Delegates deleted EU-proposed text identifying the GEF as the principal mechanism for funding sustainable development in developing countries. The G-77/CHINA’s proposed text to "strengthen and broaden" the GEF was bracketed. Delegates accepted G-77/ CHINA proposals: to delete a paragraph on reforming international financial institutions; and stating the private sector "can play a major role," as opposed to "be a main force," in sustainable development. A contact group was established to review text on the establishment of an ad hoc intergovernmental panel to study the fulfillment of financing commitments.
ECONOMIC GROWTH, TRADE AND INVESTMENT: In the evening, Drafting Group II reviewed a revised draft on Economic Growth, Trade and Investment. A G-77/CHINA proposal to use Agenda 21 language, identifying unsustainable consumption and production patterns, particularly in industrialized countries, as the main cause of environmental deterioration, was bracketed. Following discussion, Chair Seok-young proposed deleting text referencing poverty eradication. The US proposed text on the right of host countries to determine the type and pace of investment liberalization, "in accordance with international obligations." CANADA suggested inserting "as appropriate." Text remains bracketed. Delegates accepted a G-77/CHINA proposal on investment to "promote" sustainable development. On promoting sustainable development through trade and economic growth, delegates agreed to language on "sustainable resource management." The EU suggested text calling for the equitable distribution of gains from trade between nations, to achieve sustainable development. NEW ZEALAND proposed "equitable distribution between nations of gains from trade." The EU questioned the relevance of G-77/CHINA-proposed text on the decline of commodity prices. Chair Seok-young suggested delegates resolve the matter informally.
On the objective of trade liberalization, the G-77/CHINA, opposed by the EU and CANADA, suggested text referring specifically to developed countries. The phrase remains bracketed. The G-77/CHINA opposed reference to "unjustifiable" non-tariff trade barriers. The term was bracketed. On trade-distorting policies, the EU proposed replacing reference to "continued elimination" with "progressive reduction" and both phrases were bracketed. JAPAN agreed to meet informally with the EU, the US, and the G-77/CHINA in a contact group to discuss this language.
On market access, NEW ZEALAND, with the EU, suggested text on modernization and operationalization of special and differential treatment, and proposed using UNCTAD-X language. The US opposed this.
DRAFTING GROUP III
PREPARATIONS FOR THE TEN-YEAR REVIEW OF UNCED: In the afternoon, Drafting Group III discussed preparations for Rio +10 based on the draft of Chair Basmajiev (Bulgaria). SUDAN, with the EU, proposed a chapeau identifying the document as a recommendation to ECOSOC and the UN General Assembly (GA). The G-77/CHINA, with others, expressed concern with text indicating that the agenda be set from the outset, and emphasized that focus areas be taken from regional and national processes. SUDAN, with EGYPT, suggested that the GA set the focus. The EU proposed inviting the preparatory support of secretariats of conventions related to "sustainable development." BRAZIL and SUDAN suggested conventions on "environment and sustainable development." On contributions from major groups, AUSTRALIA, with the EU, supported language on their participation in the preparatory process and at Rio+10. CHINA, supported by CUBA, the G-77/CHINA, EGYPT and SUDAN, stated that arrangements for participation adhere to UN regulations. On the relationship between CSD-10 and Rio+10, and on financial details, the Secretariat referred to a note describing CSD-10 structure and funding. She said that a back-to-back meeting with CSD-9 could begin preparations and CSD-10 will be devoted to Rio+10 preparations. Delegates reconvened at 10:00 p.m. to consider the first revision of the Chair's draft. The G-77/CHINA, with BRAZIL and SUDAN, reemphasized concern with the CSD setting the Rio+10 agenda. It was agreed that the review focus on areas where further efforts are needed to implement Agenda 21 and other outcomes of UNCED, and result in action-oriented decisions. CANADA requested consistency in distinguishing between the "review" and "event." It was agreed that the CSD will encourage "contributions for, and involvement of all major groups," and that the secretariats of "relevant conventions" will be invited to participate, with the GA in clarifying the relevant conventions. On the Secretary-General's report to the GA, it was agreed that this should take account of the views expressed during the Hig-Level Segment. On the location of the event, it was agreed that this be "preferably" in a developing country. The US noted that in terms of current policy he would not be able to pay his share of UN funding for a UN conference outside New York.
IN THE CORRIDORS
NGOs participating in the review of the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) at UN Headquarters are planning to seek the support of CSD-8 on Friday for their efforts to promote sustainable energy, ruling out the nuclear option, "peaceful" or otherwise. Campaigners are disappointed that nuclear power appears in the report of the Co-Chairs of the CSD open-ended ad hoc Working Group on Sustainable Energy.
THINGS TO LOOK FOR TODAY
DRAFTING GROUP I: Drafting Group I will convene to take up consideration of the second revised draft on Integrated Planning and Land Management at 12:00 p.m. in Conference Room I. The Contact Group dealing with outstanding issues on agriculture will convene from 10:00 a.m. until 12:00 p.m. in Conference Room 1.
DRAFTING GROUP II: Drafting Group II will reconvene at 10:30 a.m. in Conference Room 3 to consider the revised text on Financial Resources and Mechanisms and at 3:00 p.m. to examine the revised text on Economic Growth, Trade and Investment. Various informal Contacts Groups will meet to discuss sustainability assessments, trade-distorting policies and commodity prices.
DRAFTING GROUP III: Drafting Group III will reconvene at 4:00 p.m. subject to completion of work by one other drafting group.