Daily report for 3 September 2002
Delegates to the World Summit on Sustainable Development (WSSD) met in Plenary to hear speeches from Heads of State and Government and senior officials throughout the day. Round Tables convened in the morning and afternoon to discuss the theme "Making It Happen." The Vienna setting met in the morning where it reviewed and adopted revised language in the draft Plan of Implementation. The Main Committee convened at 12:45 am on 4 September to review and adopt the text.
Editor’s Note: For text and video coverage of speakers visit http://www.un.org/events/wssd/statements/
The following Heads of State and Government and Prime Ministers addressed the Plenary: Leo A. Falcam, Micronesia; Natsagiin Bagabandi, Mongolia; Nursultan Nazarbayev, Kazakhstan; Jan-Peter Balkenende, the Netherlands; Zhu Rongji, People’s Republic of China; Alexander Kwásniewski, Poland; Maumoon Abdul Gayoom, Maldives; Leonid D. Kuchma, Ukraine; Mathieu Kerekou, Benin; Lyonpo Kinzang Dorji, Bhutan; Göran Persson, Sweden; Fatos Nano, Albania; Jean-Bertrand Aristide, Haiti; Laisenia Qarase, Fiji; Bernard Makuza, Rwanda; Pedro Verona Rodrigues Pires, Cape Verde; Isaias Afwerki, Eritrea; Vicente Fox, Mexico; Joaquim Alberto Chissano, Mozambique; Gustavo Noboa Bejarano, Ecuador; Tuilaepa Sailele Malielegaoi, Samoa; Teburoro Tito, Kiribati; Kjell Magne Bondevik, Norway; Benjamin William Mkapa, Tanzania; Bertie Ahern, Ireland; Dragan Mikerevic, Bosnia and Herzegovina; N’Guessan Affi, Côte d’Ivoire; Anerood Jugnauth, Mauritius; Obiang Nguema Mbasogo, Equitoreal Guinea; Marc Ravalomanana, Madagascar; Lamine Sidime, Guinea; Pierre Charles, Dominica; and Girma Wolde Giorgis, Ethiopia.
Vice-Presidents and Deputy Prime Ministers representing the following countries spoke: Argentina, Belize, Hungary, Israel, Kyrgyzstan, Malta, Nicaragua, Panama, People’s Republic of Korea, Russian Federation, Solomon Islands, Tonga, United Arab Emirates and Viet Nam.
Ministers and other representatives from the following countries also addressed the Plenary: Austria, Azerbaijan, Bangladesh, Barbados, Chad, Chile, Congo, Cuba, Cyprus, Djibouti, Egypt, El Salvador, Georgia, Guatemala, Libyan Arab Jamahiriya, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Myanmar, Nepal, Oman, Paraguay, Pakistan, Philippines, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saudi Arabia, Sierra Leone, Singapore, Slovak Republic, Somalia, Sri Lanka, Suriname, Syria, Thailand, Trinidad and Tobago, and Yemen.
Most speakers underscored the calamitous nature of the environmental crisis and the failure to deliver on Rio promises. Several called for the WSSD to catalyze concrete time-bound actions accompanied by financial commitments and follow-up processes. Many countries expressed commitment to the Millennium Development Goals and highlighted poverty reduction. Several underscored the importance of partnerships and regional cooperation in achieving sustainable development. Some speakers stressed that security and sustainable peace are necessary preconditions to sustainable development. Some countries noted the significance of the International Year of the Mountains (2002).
Least developed, developing and transition countries called for increased market access, debt relief and elimination of trade barriers and protectionist and trade-distorting practices, such as agricultural subsidies in industrialized nations. LDCs and developing countries also highlighted the principle of common but differentiated responsibilities and noted the lack of political will in developed countries. Many speakers stressed the need for capacity building, technology transfer, scientific cooperation and micro-credit programmes. A few speakers underscored the importance of small-scale renewable energy, clean water and food security. Two speakers suggested diverting a percentage of current military expenditures to sustainable development.
Small Island Developing States (SIDS) highlighted their vulnerability and expressed concern about the transport of radioactive materials, over-fishing, coral reef damage and adverse effects of climate change, including rising sea levels. Several SIDS requested preferential treatment, and called for sustained support for the Barbados Programme of Action. All SIDS, with others, called for early and universal ratification and implementation of the Kyoto Protocol.
Many African countries urged the international community to support the NEPAD initiative, address drought, combat desertification, and support the fight against HIV/AIDS and other epidemics by contributing to the Global Fund. Some African countries called for access to new information and communication technologies. Many countries highlighted the importance of people-centered development and human rights, noting the right to develop, to live in healthy environments, and gender equality. Some stressed intergenerational equity, NGO participation, gender equity, respect for indigenous peoples and children, and the need to fight environmental racism.
Many developed countries reiterated their commitment to reaching the target of 0.7% GDP for ODA, and some highlighted the need to share the benefits of globalization. Several developed country speakers highlighted the importance of involving the private sector, reducing unsustainable production and consumption, phasing out subsidies and shifting from fossil fuels to renewable energy sources.
Specific proposals included: a World Environment Agency; an international center for sustainable development to gather scientific data; a 0.1% development tax on international financial transactions; allocation of 50% of current military expenditures to a sustainable development fund; development of a new financial architecture and demolition of the IMF; an adaptation programme for developing countries to adjust to globalization; and a venture capital fund for energy services.
ROUND TABLE 2 – "MAKING IT HAPPEN"
Masomeh Ebtekar, Vice President of the Islamic Republic of Iran and Chair of Round Table 2, pressed participants to address the specific ways and means to implement WSSD decisions upon returning to their countries.
VENEZUELA, with others, proposed establishing an international humanitarian fund financed from the cancellation of external debt, funds confiscated from illegal activities and a tax on major financial transactions. BRAZIL underscored the vulnerability of developing countries to financial crises, supported a 10% renewables target and highlighted the interests of megadiverse countries. INDIA advocated a two-track approach for curbing consumption in developed countries and supporting sustainable consumption in developing countries.
JAPAN stressed investment in education and human resources as the basis for poverty eradication. CHINA supported improved cooperation in science, technology and trade. MALAYSIA highlighted centers of excellence and technology transfer, while noting that the digital divide could exacerbate poverty. The MALDIVES and MONGOLIA highlighted the impacts of climate change on small island and vulnerable States. ARMENIA discussed access to energy and safety concerns regarding nuclear energy facilities.
HUNGARY addressed gender issues and equitable representation. SLOVAKIA called for prioritization of limited resources and noted the importance of an integrated approach to sustainable development at the national and international levels. The CENTRAL AFRICAN REPUBLIC called for technology transfer, capacity building, peace and stability. GABON called for debt relief, changes in loan conditions and a "Marshall Plan" approach to development. GHANA underscored the need to repatriate certain government funds and to control commodity prices.
NEW ZEALAND supported peer review to track compliance with sustainable development agreements. CUBA highlighted the financial flow from developing to developed countries for loan interest. KIRIBATI emphasized the importance of cultural identity, an increase in financial resources and depletion of fish stocks. NEPAL called for heightened attention to the most vulnerable peoples and ecosystems, including mountains. FINLAND emphasized the need for increased cooperation among domestic agencies, and suggested experimenting with a global tax.
The WHO said that disease is an economic drain which requires a five-fold increase in ODA. The UNFCCC highlighted the Kyoto Protocol’s Clean Development Mechanism as a new financial resource, based on partnerships among developed and developing countries, NGOs and others. ICSU recommended drawing on the experience in climate change for lessons on how to improve integration of science and policy within the UN. ESCWA called for increasing coordination among UN agencies. The Round Table included a debate about the forum’s goals.
ROUND TABLE 3 – "MAKING IT HAPPEN"
Göran Persson, Prime Minister of Sweden and Chair of Round Table 3, moderated the session.
IRELAND, the NETHERLANDS and NIGER stressed the importance of increasing and/or using ODA more strategically. TUNISIA suggested creating a global grant-giving foundation. SWAZILAND called for increased foreign direct investment and support for agro-industries. ARGENTINA and NIGER supported debt relief. MACEDONIA noted insufficient economic development and increasing unemployment as major barriers to sustainable development. A number of speakers supported Venezuela’s earlier proposal for a world solidarity fund, and others for implementation of the Millennium Development Goals.
MACEDONIA stressed strategic leadership, equal participation in decision making, decentralization and strengthening the capacity of local authorities. MOZAMBIQUE emphasized the need for attention to local cultural practices in order to apply aid and technology transfer appropriately. SUDAN stated that the poor are willing to help themselves and called for international organizations to establish closer relationships with poor people in target communities. GUATEMALA highlighted the recognition of traditional and local customs and called for the development of a new water culture in Latin America. MAURITANIA stressed the impact of desertification and land degradation on efforts to eradicate poverty and noted the need for further resources to combat desertification in the Sahel region.
The NETHERLANDS underscored the need for links between Type I and Type II outcomes, the draft Plan of Implementation, and the WEHAB papers. IRELAND stated that partnerships should not lead to decreased aid; warned against imposition of donors’ agendas; and expressed its intent to create a communications technology partnership with developing countries. LUXEMBOURG suggested integrating science in decision making and bringing together donor institutions in developed countries, developing countries with innovative technologies and recipient countries. ISRAEL endorsed the WSSD as recognition of all humanity’s attention to life, and called for a world NGO to address sustainable development challenges in the absence of such a global governmental body. The US introduced partnerships to address water, energy, forests and indoor and outdoor air pollution, all of which emphasize children. Several speakers supported establishing WSSD follow-up processes.
YOUTH welcomed the Summit as a success and called for clear action on the water and sanitation targets. FARMERS and YOUTH supported elimination of agricultural subsidies. TRADE UNIONS highlighted the need to change the situation of workers through the creation of decent work. BUSINESS AND INDUSTRY welcomed finalization of the draft Plan of Implementation and stated that business was committed to the integration and implementation of the Doha, Monterrey and Johannesburg outcomes. The SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGICAL COMMUNITY called for increased investment in capacity building and knowledge development and highlighted the need for urgent action to ensure universal education.
Ambassador Dumisani Kumalo (South Africa) reconvened the final Vienna setting in the morning to adopt the outcomes of the Ministerial meetings, contact groups and informal consultations. Three new documents were presented: Part I - paragraphs agreed in the Vienna setting; Part II - paragraphs agreed in ministerial meetings, and Part III - paragraphs agreed in the ministerial meeting dealing with sustainable development in a globalizing world. Chair Kumalo opened the floor for technical corrections. Several delegations proposed minor changes, which were agreed. At 12:10 pm Chair Kumalo gavelled and the text was adopted by acclamation.
Chair Kumalo noted that outstanding issues on paragraphs 6(d), 58(a) and 47 would be addressed in the evening session of the Main Committee. While not allowing discussion on outstanding issues, the Chair gave a developed country an opportunity to present its proposal, for information purposes, on promoting women’s equal access to health care and related services (6(d)). Kumalo requested delegations preparing interpretations for inclusion in the final report to transmit them in writing to the Secretariat within a week.
Kumalo adjourned the Vienna setting at 12:30 pm.
Chair Emil Salim (Indonesia) convened the Main Committee at 12:45 am to consider and endorse the draft Plan of Implementation.
South African Minister Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma presented a "package" on the outstanding paragraphs relating to health. Paragraph 6(d) promoting women's access and participation, eliminating violence and discrimination, and improving their status, was presented without the Canadian amendment relating to delivery of basic "health services" "in conformity with all human rights and fundamental freedoms." Paragraph 47 on strengthening the capacity of health care systems was amended such that it would deliver "health-care services" rather than "health services," and this would be "in conformity with human rights and fundamental freedoms, consistent with national laws and cultural and religious values." Paragraph 58(a) was amended such that it would promote "equitable access to health-care services" rather than "health-care and services." The package was adopted as presented.
After the Secretariat presented minor edits to the draft Plan of Implementation, the Chair presented it for endorsement. Delegates endorsed the draft Plan of Implementation at 1:15 am, which will be presented to the closing Plenary for formal adoption. Numerous countries recorded their desire to enter declarations and/or statements to the draft Plan of Implementation at the closing Plenary.
The Secretariat read out a statement from the Contact Group on Means of Implementation reflecting their understanding that Paragraph 45ter regarding corporate responsibility and accountability refers to existing international agreements. ETHIOPIA pointed out that the terms of 45ter that refer to the "full development and effective implementation of intergovernmental agreements" were incompatible with this statement. NORWAY added that an informal contact group does not possess the authority to present an interpretative statement. Chair Salim decided to retain 45ter as is, and noted that the statement would not alter the nature and spirit of 45ter.
Delegates sought guidance on whether the draft Political Declaration would be considered in the Main Committee or in the closing Plenary. Minister Zuma promised that the draft Political Declaration would be available in the morning of 4 September, and Nitin Desai, WSSD Secretary-General, added that a decision would be taken after consultations with the Presidency, and delegates would be informed thereafter.
IN THE CORRIDORS
With the Plan of Implementation out of the way, delegates’ attention has focused on the Political Declaration, "The Johannesburg Commitment on Sustainable Development." The South Africans quietly continued to solicit views from key players on the paper, submitted officially on 2 September by the President of the Summit, as document A/CONF.199/L.6. Clearly this was not to be the last version. There were indications that friendly coaxing was in progress throughout the day to put across coveted positions, from adding gloss to language on globalization to airbrushing the text to a deeper shade of green. As one delegate observed, the paper would stand a better chance of being whisked through by acclamation if it embraced points that had evolved in the Plan of Implementation, rather than slipping in partisan views so late in the day. The authors are playing a deft game against a tight deadline and will offer a new text on Wednesday morning.
THINGS TO LOOK FOR TODAY
PLENARY: The Plenary will start at 9:00 am in the Plenary Hall to resume addresses by Heads of State and Government and senior officials.
ROUND TABLE: The final Round Table on the theme, "Making It Happen," will meet at 10:00 am in Ballroom 3.
POLITICAL DECLARATION: Check the Journal for information on whether the revised draft Political Declaration will be discussed in the Plenary or the Main Committee.
CLOSING PLENARY: The closing Plenary is scheduled to start at 3:00 pm (check the Journal) in the Plenary Hall and to adopt the draft Plan of Implementation, the draft Political Declaration and the report of the conference. The Plenary will also include: a Multi-stakeholder event; a report from the Credentials Committee; and the closure of the WSSD.