Daily report for 3 May 1994

Global Conference on the Sustainable Development of SIDS


The Main Committee met in the morning to review the status of alloutstanding issues in the Programme of Action. The Chair noted thatas of the beginning of the day the Committee had 26.5 hours leftand 24 outstanding paragraphs. When the Committee resumed in thelate afternoon, delegates reported that agreement had been reachedon all of the outstanding paragraphs, except for those related tofinance.

PREAMBLE: In a demonstration of their flexibility,AOSIS/G-77 agreed to delete the bracketed text in paragraph 5 andall of paragraph 6, which referred to the responsibility andcustodianship of SIDS toward the marine environment. Paragraphs 15(financing of the Programme of Action) and 16 (the special needs ofthe least developed SIDS) are being considered in the extendedbureau meeting on finance.



III. MANAGEMENT OF WASTES: Agreement was reached onparagraph 22 by day's end. The second sentence on the vulnerabilityof SIDS to contamination by toxic and hazardous wastes andchemicals, and radioactive materials was appended with thefollowing: "is of international concern and of priority concern tosmall island developing States."

Agreement was also reached on the new paragraph A(viii), whichreads: "In conformity with the Basel Convention and relevantdecisions taken by the Parties to that Convention, the small islanddeveloping States should formulate and enforce national laws and/orregulations that ban the importation from OECD countries ofhazardous wastes and other wastes subject to the Basel Convention,including hazardous wastes and other wastes destined for recyclingand recovery operations."


V. FRESHWATER RESOURCES: Australia's proposal for paragraph27 on groundwater resources was merged with the existing paragraph.The paragraph now includes reference to long term managementstrategies for water catchment and storage areas and the need tosupply water for sanitation purposes during times of drought.



VIII. TOURISM RESOURCES: The new paragraph 37.A(iii) oncombatting illicit drug trafficking and money laundering was movedto Chapter X, paragraph 46.C(iv).

IX. BIODIVERSITY RESOURCES: After lengthy negotiations,paragraph 42.A(vii) now reads: "Ensure that the ownership ofintellectual property rights is adequately and effectivelyprotected. Ensure, subject to national legislation and policies,that technology, knowledge and customary and traditional practicesof local and indigenous people, including resource owners andcustodians, are adequately and effectively protected and that theythereby benefit directly, on an equitable basis and on mutuallyagreed terms, from any utilization of such technologies, knowledgeand practices or from any technological development directlyderived therefrom."



XII. TRANSPORT AND COMMUNICATION: After consultations onparagraph 52.C(v), the following text was accepted: "Promoteimproved international telecommunications at the lowest possiblecost for small island developing States, while recognizing the needto create an environment conducive to the investment intelecommunications infrastructure and service to benefit localbusiness and people."


XIV. HUMAN RESOURCE DEVELOPMENT: After six hours of intensenegotiation, consensus was reached on paragraph 58. The secondsentence now reads: "Poor health and social services and nutritionand housing, low levels of female participation in development,current insufficiency of education, information and means, asappropriate, for the responsible planning of family size, andinadequate family planning services demonstrate the need forattention to human resource development issues."

Paragraphs 61.A(iii) and (iv) remain in the text as they appear inA/CONF/167/L.1. However, a new paragraph 61 bis was added.It reads: "The recommendations and language contained in thischapter should in no way prejudice discussions at the InternationalConference on Population and Development to be held in Cairo inSeptember 1994." This is similar language to that used in Chapter5.66 of Agenda 21.

XV. IMPLEMENTATION, MONITORING AND REVIEW: In the morning,Australia announced that agreement had been reached on paragraph91, as read out Monday, with a small amendment. The last sentencenow reads: "Towards this objective, special consideration should begiven, where appropriate, to the local value added criteriaapplicable to the exports of SIDS."

Agreement was also reached on the two paragraphs on intellectualproperty rights. Paragraph 71 encourages enhancing the capacity forthe development of indigenous technology, while adequately andeffectively protecting intellectual property rights. Paragraph 95refers to the need to improve the endogenous capacity of SIDS toabsorb, manage and utilize environmentally sound technologiesthrough education and training. The paragraph also ensures transferof technologies on favorable, concessional and preferential terms,as mutually agreed, while protecting intellectual property rights.

The paragraphs on finance in Chapter XV and the Preamble, as wellas the US proposal for a new paragraph on reporting to the CSD onimplementation of the Programme of Action, were still beingdiscussed by the extended bureau. This group reconvened at 7:30 pmTuesday and was expected to reach agreement before daybreak.


The contact group drafting the Barbados Declaration met all day andinto the night in Conference Room 3. The group continued to workthrough the remaining paragraphs of the draft provided by the Chairon Monday morning. The Chair also introduced a new updated workingpaper -- a reformulation of the first paragraphs, based on Monday'sdiscussions.

During the morning session the group discussed the quality of NGOparticipation, specifically the degree to which Agenda 21 and theProgramme of Action of this Conference enshrine a new concept ofpartnership between governments, NGOs and other major groups.Despite warnings from some members of the group that it should notrenegotiate either instrument, let alone the Rio Declaration, thetemptation at times was too great. The group also agreed on theconcept of partnership between governments in implementing theProgramme of Action, once again after considerable delay. Otherconcepts also proved problematic. While some expressed ignorance inthe morning as to the meaning of "gender sensitivity," by afternoontext referring to gender equity as a guiding principle ofsustainable development emerged.

It was also agreed to call attention to the special roles of youthand indigenous people. Paragraphs referring to the commitments toaction of SIDS and the international community proved contentious,with the group once again veering into re-negotiation of conceptsalready agreed to in the Main Committee, if not in Rio. A sub-groupthat met through the lunch break organized these concepts into adeclaration of commitments at national, regional and internationallevels. Those issues that had proved most controversial in theProgramme of Action also proved contentious here and theparticipants agreed to disagree and wait until negotiations werecomplete in the Main Committee.

The contact group was scheduled to reconvene at 7:00 pm to continuedeliberations.


Some NGOs at the Conference have expressed their intention tosurface the long submerged issue of whaling, specificallyparticipation in the International Whaling Commission (IWC) and theJapanese efforts to lift the ban on commercial whaling. Some SIDShave apparently agreed to join the IWC and have demonstrated theirintention to vote against extending the moratorium and,consequently, have been accused by some of having sold out toJapanese interests in exchange for increased ODA and other forms ofassistance. The International Wildlife Coalition has called for aboycott of the tourism industries of four "designated" SIDS in theCaribbean. While most NGOs present at this Conference have rejectedthis boycott, they have been lobbying the new entrants to the IWCto maintain the moratorium and to support the establishment of awhale sanctuary in the southern ocean surrounding Antarctica. TheIWC will meet at the end of May.


MAIN COMMITTEE: The Main Committee is scheduled to meet thismorning in a formal session at 11:00 to complete its work, providedthere is agreement on finance and the entire Programme of Actionhas been translated into the six working languages and duplicated.If this is not the case, the Chair will be forced to makealternative plans.

BARBADOS DECLARATION: While most of the substantive pointshave been discussed at some point during the three days of debateon the Declaration, there is still confusion over what format theDeclaration should take. Anxious to avoid what one delegate called"Second Committee gibberish," delegates still have to incorporatea declamatory style and develop a logical structure. Expect someserious "shaping-up" as delegates prepare the text for the eyes ofMinisters and Heads of State and Government. The contact group maymeet again this morning before the Barbados Declaration isdiscussed in an informal session of the Plenary at 6:00 pm.

PLENARY: NGOs are happy to have finally secured a two-hourslot at 10:00 am in Plenary to present their reports of the NGOForum. The time slot was originally intended for the BarbadosDeclaration, which is still under negotiation. Following the NGOreports, the Plenary is expected to adopt the report of theCredentials Committee (A/CONF.167/7), reopen the general debate tohear a few more statements, and hear a presentation of a case studyof the early warning capabilities of the Caribbean MeteorologicalOrganization and the Caribbean Disaster Emergency Response Agency(A/CONF.167/CRP.7).

AOSIS SUMMIT MEETING: The Alliance of Small Island States willhold a Summit Meeting in Conference Room 1 this afternoon at 3:30.The meeting is open only to AOSIS members and observers. AOSIScalled the meeting to take advantage of the presence of high levelisland officials and to discuss the future direction of AOSIS,follow-up to the Conference, and Agenda 21 implementation. AOSISwill issue a statement following the meeting, at approximately 6:30this evening.

ON THE BEACH: If the corridors seem empty this afternoon,look on the beaches. Conference services and security have ruledthat no other meeting may take place while the closed AOSIS summit meets from 3:30-6:00 pm.