Earth Negotiations Bulletin

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 A Reporting Service for Environment and Development Negotiations

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Published by the International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD)

Vol. 05 No. 195
Thursday, 30 October 2003


27-28 OCTOBER 2003

The Commission on Sustainable Development (CSD) at its eleventh session (CSD-11) invited the United Nations Regional Commissions to consider organizing regional implementation meetings in order to contribute to the work of the CSD. In response to this invitation, the UN Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP) convened a Regional Implementation Meeting from 27-28 October 2003, at the UN Conference Centre in Bangkok, Thailand. Approximately 90 participants representing 28 governments and several UN bodies, intergovernmental organizations and Major Groups were in attendance. This forum, which was jointly organized with the UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs and in collaboration with the UN Development Programme, aimed to review the state of implementation concerning CSD-12’s thematic cluster of water, sanitation and human settlements in the region.

Over the two-day meeting, participants heard panel presentations, engaged in multi-stakeholder discussions, and shared experiences and lessons learned in these issue areas. Three break-out sessions took place to focus on experiences in the Asia, Central Asia and Pacific regions. Participants also heard a presentation on and discussed partnerships for sustainable development. The outcome of this meeting will be transmitted to the UN Secretary-General to contribute to the preparations for CSD-12.


The CSD emerged from Agenda 21, the programme of action adopted by the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED) held in June 1992 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Agenda 21 called for the creation of the CSD to ensure effective follow-up of UNCED, enhance international cooperation, and examine progress in implementing Agenda 21 at the local, national, regional and international levels. In 1992, the 47th session of the UN General Assembly (UNGA) set out, in resolution 47/191, the CSD’s terms of reference and its composition, guidelines for the participation of Major Groups, the CSD’s organization of work, its relationship with other UN bodies, and Secretariat arrangements. The CSD held its first substantive session in June 1993 and has continued to meet on an annual basis.

UNGASS-19: In June 1997, the 19th UN General Assembly Special Session (UNGASS-19), also known as "Rio+5," was held to review the implementation of Agenda 21. Negotiations produced the Programme for the Further Implementation of Agenda 21 along with a five-year work programme for the CSD.

GA RESOLUTION 55/199: On 20 December 2000, the General Assembly adopted resolution 55/199 on the 10-year review of progress achieved in the implementation of the UNCED outcomes. The General Assembly decided to organize a 10-year review of UNCED in 2002 to reinvigorate global commitment to sustainable development. The General Assembly accepted South Africa’s offer to host the event, which was called the World Summit on Sustainable Development (WSSD). Among other things, the resolution stated that the tenth session of the CSD (CSD-10) would serve as the open-ended preparatory committee (PrepCom) for the Summit.

WSSD PREPARATORY PROCESS: CSD-10 held four sessions between April 2001 and June 2002. Chaired by Emil Salim (Indonesia), the PrepCom conducted a comprehensive review and assessment of progress achieved in the implementation of Agenda 21. By the conclusion of PrepCom IV, held in Bali, Indonesia, from 27 May to 7 June 2002, a draft Plan of Implementation had been negotiated and transmitted to the Summit for completion. The Bali PrepCom also produced a non-negotiated document containing guidelines, known as the Bali Guiding Principles, for the development of voluntary partnerships – or "Type II" outcomes.

WSSD: The WSSD convened from 26 August to 4 September 2002 in Johannesburg, South Africa. The Summit adopted two main documents: the Johannesburg Plan of Implementation (JPOI) and the Johannesburg Declaration on Sustainable Development. Over 200 non-negotiated partnerships and initiatives for sustainable development aimed at implementing sustainable development goals were also launched. The JPOI is a framework for action to implement the UNCED commitments, and includes a number of new commitments. It contains chapters on poverty eradication, consumption and production, the natural resource base, globalization, health, small island developing States (SIDS), Africa, other regional initiatives, means of implementation, and an institutional framework. The JPOI also states that the implementation of Agenda 21 and the outcomes of the Summit should be effectively pursued at the regional and subregional levels, through the UN Regional Commissions and other institutions and bodies.

CSD-11: Convening for its first substantive session following the WSSD, the Commission held its 11th session from 28 April to 9 May 2003, at UN headquarters in New York. The session comprised a high-level segment, where ministerial-level representatives addressed the future modalities and work programme of the CSD, and engaged in interactive ministerial round tables, with the participation of Major Groups, on the theme "Priority actions and commitments to implement the outcomes of the WSSD." Regional implementation forums also took place to inform delegates of initial steps undertaken in each UN region to implement WSSD outcomes.

CSD-11 concluded with the adoption of the CSD’s multi-year programme of work for the period 2004-2017. The programme of work is organized as a series of two-year action-oriented Implementation Cycles, with a Review Session and a Policy Session in each cycle. Each two-year cycle is expected to consider a thematic cluster of issues, and a suite of cross-cutting issues, with the upcoming 2004-2005 cycle focusing on water, sanitation, and human settlements. Cross-cutting issues include: poverty eradication; changing unsustainable patterns of production and consumption; protecting and managing the natural resource base of economic and social development; sustainable development in a globalizing world; health and sustainable development; sustainable development of SIDS; sustainable development for Africa; other regional initiatives; means of implementation; institutional framework for sustainable development; gender equality; and education.

CSD-11 also invited the UN Regional Commissions to consider organizing regional implementation forums in order to: contribute to sustainable development implementation at the regional level; focus on the thematic cluster of issues; and provide input to the Secretary-General’s report, including identifying obstacles and constraints, new challenges, and opportunities for implementation.

Following the adjournment of CSD-11, CSD-12 held its first session to elect its Bureau. Børge Brende, Norway’s Minister for Environment, was elected Chair of CSD-12 by acclamation. Other CSD-12 Bureau members include: Bruno Stagno Ugarte (Costa Rica), Toru Shimuzu (Japan), Bolus Paul Zom Lolo (Nigeria), and Eva Tomic (Slovenia).

MEETINGS OF THE CSD-12 BUREAU: The CSD-12 Bureau met on 10-11 September 2003, in Oslo, Norway, and on 3 October 2003 in New York. At the first meeting, the Bureau was briefed by the Secretariat on the state of preparation of CSD-12 documentation and on the regional implementation meetings, scheduled to convene between October 2003 and January 2004. At the second meeting, Bureau members learned that agendas of previously scheduled meetings of the UN Regional Commissions have been adjusted to include consideration of the CSD-12 thematic cluster. The outcomes of these regional meetings will be transmitted to CSD-12. The Bureau stated that the three themes of water, sanitation, and human settlements would be accorded equal priority and would be addressed in an integrated manner, taking into account cross-cutting issues.

WEST ASIA REGIONAL IMPLEMENTATION MEETING: Hosted by the UN Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia (ESCWA), the CSD Regional Implementation Meeting for West Asia convened from 19-21 October 2003, in Cairo, Egypt. The meeting was held within the ambit of the Joint Committee on Environment and Development in the Arab Region, a committee composed of representatives from ESCWA, the Technical Secretariat of the Council of Arab Ministers Responsible for the Environment, the UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs (DESA), and the UN Environment Programme’s Regional Office for Western Asia.

Fifty participants from 14 governments, joined by representatives from intergovernmental and academic organizations, industry, and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) attended the meeting. Participants adopted 10 decisions on, inter alia: follow-up measures to the WSSD outcomes and the Arab Initiative for Sustainable Development; follow-up activities to the Abu Dhabi Declaration on the future of the Arab Environment Programme; a work programme for the environment up to 2005; priorities and achievements in the field of sustainable development; incentives to the private sector to invest in environmental projects; and the establishment of an Arab environment fund. A consolidated report on progress made in the areas of water, sanitation and human settlements in the region will be transmitted to CSD-12.


The CSD Regional Implementation Meeting for Asia and the Pacific opened on Monday morning, 27 October 2003. Keiko Okaido, Deputy Executive Secretary of the UN Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP), stated that this meeting seeks to identify major achievements, constraints, and opportunities in implementing the internationally-agreed goals relating to water, sanitation and human settlements, as well as to share best practices and lessons learned. She outlined the current global situation with regard to these issues, highlighted that financing for water and sanitation improvements in Asia alone will cost an additional US$8 to US$13 billion annually, and called for new and innovative means of financing.

JoAnne DiSano, Director of the UN Division for Sustainable Development, highlighted the key role of national, regional and subregional input in the success of the WSSD, and briefed participants on the outcomes of CSD-11 relating to the Commission’s new programme and organization of work. She informed participants that the outcome of this meeting will provide input to the Secretary-General’s report to CSD-12. She highlighted that the situation and diversity in the Asia and Pacific region pose particular challenges for sustainable development, noted successes achieved in this respect, and invited participants to share their experiences.

Robert England, UNDP Resident Representative, recommended that UN agencies support national efforts in implementing the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and WSSD outcomes, and suggested that governments incorporate water and sanitation issues into their poverty reduction strategies and explore the resources provided by the UN development assistance network. He further underscored the need to involve civil society, community-based organizations and women in efforts to improve water and sanitation.

Surachai Sasisuwan, Director of the Department of Water Resources at the Thai Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment, outlined Thailand’s efforts to address the key challenge of increasing village water supply, and highlighted, inter alia, the importance of improving water governance, participation and decentralization, and monitoring performance.

In a video statement, CSD-12 Chair Børge Brende said the regional conferences are prerequisites for engendering a productive debate on reaching the MDG targets and for identifying the obstacles in, and regional contributions to, delivering better water supply, sanitation and living conditions.

Following these opening statements, delegates elected by acclamation Aybi Siddiqi (Bangladesh) and Toru Shimuzu (Japan) as Co-Chairs of the meeting and Adi Sarwako (Indonesia) as Rapporteur.

During the two-day meeting, participants heard panel presentations, multi-stakeholder discussions and break-out sessions on the state of implementation of the internationally-agreed goals on water, sanitation and human settlements in the region. Participants also heard a presentation and exchanged experiences on partnerships for sustainable development. The meeting closed on Tuesday afternoon, 28 October, with the identification of key issues in the CSD-12 thematic cluster of water, sanitation and human settlements. The following report presents the discussions that took place during the meeting in chronological order.


Following the opening plenary, participants heard panel presentations and engaged in multi-stakeholder discussions on the state of implementation of water and sanitation in Asia, Central Asia and the Pacific regions.

PANEL PRESENTATIONS: Asia: David Jezeph, ESCAP Water Resources Division, reviewed the water supply and sanitation situation in South, Southeast and Northern Asia, noting that the region is home to three out of four of the world’s most populated countries and contains the most eroded lands, most polluted cities, and majority of the world’s population without access to safe drinking water and sanitation. He highlighted major implementation challenges, including rapid population growth and urban migration, stressed the need for resource mobilization, and noted projections indicating that water supply and sanitation targets were unlikely to be reached in a number of countries. He proposed identifying and replicating best practices as a solution, and provided several examples of such practices.

Central Asia: Bulat Yessekin, Regional Environmental Center for Central Asia (CAREC), reported on progress reached in the implementation of Agenda 21 in Central Asia, highlighting the key challenges of improving governance, building capacity of governments and civil society, and creating effective partnerships. He outlined CAREC’s work to improve cooperation in the region and described a multi-stakeholder partnership initiative that aims to: ensure conservation of ecosystems at the basin level; improve rational water use; and increase access to drinking water in Central Asia.

Pacific: Presenting on the Pacific island States, John Low, Consultant, noted the special challenges faced by island countries in managing the water sector, highlighting their small size, natural vulnerability, and limited human and financial resources. He reported on the state of national implementation and outlined challenges in the areas of water supply, water resource management, and water governance and awareness. He also presented the Pacific Regional Action Plan on Sustainable Water Management as a way forward.

MULTI-STAKEHOLDER DISCUSSION: A Youth representative underscored the importance of enhancing employment opportunities for youth in the water supply sector, and a Trade Unions representative informed participants that unions are addressing health and occupational safety concerns that relate to water and sanitation issues. A representative of Indigenous Peoples recommended providing financial resources to, and improving participation of, indigenous peoples in the implementation process and in partnerships. He also urged that greater attention be paid to cultural diversity in implementation efforts. A representative of NGOs called for: effective participation of communities and key stakeholders in addressing concerns related to water and sanitation issues; a focus on preventive holistic water management approaches incorporating risk-reduction strategies; and the recognition of the linkages between water and sanitation and other sectoral policies and issues, including food security.


Following the panel presentations and discussions on Monday morning, participants exchanged national and regional experiences in implementing water and sanitation actions.

PRESENTATION ON THE 3RD WORLD WATER FORUM PORTFOLIO OF WATER ACTIONS (PWA): Japan presented a report on the outcomes of the 3rd World Water Forum Ministerial Conference, highlighting the PWA, a compilation of over 500 actions submitted by countries and international organizations. He introduced the newly developed PWA Website Network (, which will be launched on 17 November 2003, and outlined its characteristics, including the ability of contributors to upload and manage the information relating to their actions. Japan also outlined the draft Partnership Project Plan of Water Environment Partnership in Asia designed to promote integrated water management planning in the region.

OTHER PRESENTATIONS: Bangladesh presented the recent national focus in sanitation, describing successful efforts to replace unhygienic latrines and clean polluted water bodies. He highlighted the country’s target of ensuring adequate sanitation for all by 2010 and outlined steps taken and actions needed to meet this goal.

China presented its national assessment report on progress in sustainable development in the areas of water, sanitation and human settlements, outlined the country’s major achievements and expressed its commitment to regional and international cooperation on water issues.

India discussed the challenges in water supply management in urban and rural areas, noting the importance of, inter alia, promoting private sector participation and demand-driven approaches and linking water supply and sanitation problems to the issue of human settlements.

Iran outlined the main components of its sustainable water management plan, including: integrated demand-driven water management; greater efficiency of water use in the agricultural sector; stabilization of groundwater withdrawal; an ecosystem approach to water resource development; water pricing strategies; environmental impact assessments; and a risk management approach.

Australia described its sustainable water management approach, noting, inter alia: an integrated water reform framework; financial assistance for on-the-ground initiatives; strategies to balance environmental and water requirements; water management planning processes; water access entitlements; water trading; private sector participation; and community education.

Malaysia noted challenges in demand-side management, stating the need to construct new infrastructure and reduce non-revenue water losses. On sanitation, he underlined the need to source sufficient funds to implement relevant projects.

The Institute for Global Environmental Strategies (IGES) described the Kitakyushu Initiative for a Clean Environment, and discussed the challenges of urban water management in Asia. He cautioned against economic development without investment in water management, and emphasized the need to bridge the gap between research and policy.


Three break-out sessions took place on Monday afternoon to focus on the state of implementation of the internationally-agreed goals on water and sanitation in the Asia, Pacific, and Central Asian regions. Participants were presented with and responded to four questions concerning:

  • steps taken to promote effective integrated water resources management (IWRM) and water-use plans at the national, river-basin and local levels, including ecosystem protection, pollution control, integrated land and water management, and disaster management;

  • how water resources can be better utilized, including improving access to safe drinking water, equity and affordability, social and gender aspects; water use efficiency; and cross-linkages between water supply, sanitation, health and environment;

  • how effective actions can be better implemented; and

  • what conclusions can be drawn about meeting the challenges of increasing water supply and sanitation, adjusting water consumption patterns, linking access to water with water quality and health issues, and mobilizing local resources to expand water infrastructure.

ASIA: This session, which focused on South, Southeast and Northern Asia, was chaired by R.S. Prasad (India). The rapporteur was Mushtaq Ahmed Memon (IGES).

On steps taken to promote effective IWRM and water use plans, several countries, including Bhutan, China, Indonesia, Lao People’s Democratic Republic, Mongolia, and Thailand, outlined actions and reforms taken at the national, river basin and local levels. China noted that it has recently revised its water law, and outlined its water savings, allocation and protection measures. With regard to disaster management, Japan noted its efforts taken at the 3rd World Water Forum to address flooding, and Iran said it prioritizes risk over crisis management. Bhutan said it has established an inter-ministerial body that coordinates water-related activities and legislation. Thailand and Indonesia noted provisions for public participation, and Viet Nam said it emphasizes rural water supply and sanitation.

On how water resources can be better utilized, many countries highlighted the importance of managing water use and supply at the local level. Iran stressed the need to increase water use efficiency in the agricultural sector and, with Indonesia and China, highlighted the role of water pricing. China reported on its use of a quota system to regulate residential and industrial water usage in urban areas, and a water ticket or trading system to manage water use in rural areas. A representative of Farmers stressed the linkage between water problems in urban and rural areas, stating that while agricultural water wastage impacts urban water availability, water shortages in rural areas encourage urban migration and exacerbate the urban slum problem.

On the effective implementation of actions, Iran noted the need to bridge the gap between high-level decision making and public participation. An NGO representative stressed the role of indigenous practices, such as rainwater harvesting, in lessening the pressure on national governments to provide water. She also called for an evaluation of experiences in private water resource management.

On meeting the challenges of water resources management, China noted the role of private investment, and India stressed community participation in the planning and implementation process. Japan underlined the need to achieve the JPOI targets of developing IWRM and water efficiency plans by 2005 in order to attain the water-related MDGs by 2015. Indonesia said IWRM is a process that needs investment and should be carried out gradually. Stressing the importance of resource mobilization, Malaysia highlighted the gap between the available official development assistance (ODA) and the financing needed for achieving water and sanitation targets.

CENTRAL ASIA: Pulatkhon Umarov (Uzbekistan) acted as Rapporteur for this session. On effective water management, participants underscored the need for legislative, financial and institutional frameworks to ensure inter-sectoral cooperation at the river basin, national and regional levels. Noting that at the regional level, environmental issues are accorded little priority, some participants emphasized the need to allocate more water for ecological needs and called for a shift from the focus on water quantity toward water quality management. They recommended that actions to improve water resources and to increase access to safe drinking water focus on rehabilitating and expanding the existing water supply infrastructure and using preventative approaches for ensuring water quality.

Participants agreed that effective implementation of these actions require: better coordination among all stakeholders; participative water management; improved technology transfer and application; and strengthened capacity building and human resource development at all levels. They also recommended that donor agencies provide targeted financing and take into account cultural aspects and differences among Central Asian countries, as well as the knowledge and opinion of local experts. Participants concluded that, in order to meet challenges related to water and sanitation, it is necessary to improve public awareness and education, investigate opportunities for greater involvement of the international community in Central Asian water affairs, and create water use associations. Noting the lack of investment in water supply infrastructure and funding for water management, they also called for greater use of economic instruments.

PACIFIC: The Rapporteur for this session was Kay Kumaras Kalim (Papua New Guinea). On steps taken to promote effective IWRM and water-use plans, participants noted that the WSSD and 3rd World Water Forum were milestones for the Pacific islands in the identification and prioritization of steps toward IWRM, and in the establishment of proper legislation and mechanisms to this end. On how water resources can be better utilized, delegates noted the need for and the lack of capacity in water resource assessment. On actions to better implement IWRM, participants noted a lack of political will.


Following the break-out sessions on Monday afternoon, the Rapporteurs for each session briefed the Plenary on the outcomes of the discussions of their respective groups. In the ensuing discussion, Japan informed participants of its ODA activities in the water sector and called for the further promotion of ownership-based water management. Participants also discussed the level of funding needed to meet development goals, with some noting that investments should come increasingly from public-private partnerships working at the community level. The International Chamber of Commerce presented its discussion paper that recommends, inter alia, creating an enabling environment for partnerships in the water sector. One participant requested that ESCAP accord special attention to the needs of SIDS, and a representative of Indigenous Peoples called for reflecting their agenda on water resource management in the meeting’s report.


On Tuesday morning, participants heard three presentations and engaged in multi-stakeholder discussions on the state of implementation of the internationally-agreed goals on human settlements in Asia, Central Asia and the Pacific regions.

PRESENTATIONS: Asia: Mohammed Aslam Khan, ESCAP Environment and Natural Resources Development Division, outlined the state of implementation of Agenda 21 and the JPOI with respect to human settlements in the region. His presentation was based on a paper drafted by ESCAP in cooperation with DESA, with input from the Second Network Meeting on the Kitakyushu Initiative for a Clean Environment in Asia and the Pacific, held from 15-17 October 2003, in Weihai, China. He provided background to the issue of human settlements, describing types and characteristics of slums and outlining policy approaches to resolve the slum problem. Stating that the current rate of urban population growth is unprecedented, he said traditional management approaches cannot meet these challenges. He urged delegates to provide information on: relevant country policies, programmes and projects; major implementation constraints; and existing and potential contributions of stakeholders, particularly NGOs.

Central Asia: Bulat Yessekin, Regional Environmental Center for Central Asia, described the status and trends in human settlements in Central Asia, noting urban growth and increased migration. He stressed that human settlements planning should take into account ecosystem limitations and water supply and health problems.

Pacific: Speaking on human settlements in the Pacific, John Low said that urbanization is an increasing concern in the region, where the lack of planning has resulted in haphazard urban development. Low described national level efforts to address this issue as well as a forthcoming regional action plan on urban planning. He emphasized the challenges of managing urbanization in the region, underscoring, inter alia, the absence of legislation, institutional frameworks, and human capacity for urban management. Low recommended developing effective urban management, and coordinated and integrated planning that incorporates public participation.

MULTI-STAKEHOLDER DISCUSSION: Underlining the link between rural landlessness and urban migration, an NGO representative stressed the need to align urban and rural development policies. She emphasized direct community participation in government interventions, highlighting several successful models from the Philippines. Noting models from China and Viet Nam, IGES emphasized the key role of government intervention and said the slum problem cannot be solved by community participation alone. IGES also noted the gap between the rich and poor and stressed the role of governments in distributing wealth, including through improving welfare and changing taxation structures. The Republic of Korea stated that while governments have a role to play, human resettlement should not be conducted at the expense of human rights. An Indigenous Peoples representative highlighted several concerns, including: eviction from ancestral lands; lack of formal recognition of indigenous land ownership; and destructive development activities, such as mining and timber extraction, on indigenous lands.

Several countries, including Fiji, Samoa and Thailand, outlined their urban development strategies. Malaysia briefed participants on its home-ownership schemes and outlined its minimum standards for housing for the poor. India said it was developing "counter magnet" cities with improved urban infrastructure and communications networks to reduce the rate of migration to existing cities, and noted its large rural development budget. Iran supported the need for new cities, highlighting its urban development strategy of planning for 25-30 new cities in the future.

China shared experiences in resolving the problem of human settlements, highlighting, inter alia, the shift from supply- to market-oriented governmental policies, the provision of economically viable housing for low-income families, low-interest credits and subsidized resettlement, and the involvement of the people in urban planning. ESCAP outlined a number of specific actions that have been taken to alleviate the slum problem in the region. Indonesia described challenges associated with the high rate of urbanization.


Following the discussions on human settlements, participants heard a presentation and exchanged experiences on partnerships for sustainable development.

PRESENTATION: Hiroko Morita-Lou, DESA, briefed participants on the background of WSSD partnerships, highlighting the partnerships guidelines produced at CSD-11 and DESA’s role in facilitating CSD discussions on partnerships. She presented examples of partnerships in Asia and the Pacific in the areas of water, sanitation and human settlements, and invited participants to attend the upcoming Partnerships Fair to be held during CSD-12 in April 2004, and the International Forum on Partnerships to be held in Rome in March 2004.

EXCHANGE OF EXPERIENCES: Stressing the interlinkages among the forest and water sectors, Japan described the Asia Forest Partnership to enhance sustainable forest management, and recommended that Asian countries participate in the Asian-wide dialogue on education for sustainable development.

John Low, speaking for Clive Carpenter of the South Pacific Applied Geoscience Commission, highlighted the consultation process that resulted in the Pacific Regional Action Plan on Sustainable Water Management (SWM) and described the WSSD Pacific Type II Partnership on SWM, noting that its benefits include increased networking and high-level awareness of the needs of SIDS. Kay Kumaras Kalim outlined the Dialogue on Water and Climate (DWC), which resulted in, inter alia, a joint Caribbean-SIDS programme for action on water and climate, and input to the global DWC Synthesis Report.

Recalling that the Millennium Declaration and the JPOI contain intergovernmentally agreed goals, India, with Malaysia, emphasized that partnerships should complement, not substitute for, government commitments. Malaysia added that partnerships are only one of several means of implementation, noting that such means also include, inter alia, foreign direct investment, ODA and technology transfer. Questioning how many partnerships have survived beyond the WSSD and what they have achieved, IGES suggested a "partnership of partnerships" to track the progress of Type II initiatives. Indonesia outlined a water conservation programme partnership, Kazakhstan described an initiative aimed at improving living conditions, water supply and sanitation, and Uzbekistan presented a Central Asian interstate coordination agency that consists of representatives from different sectors of government. China highlighted its experiences in mobilizing local governments, civil organizations, financial resources and media for various water and sanitation initiatives. David Jezeph added several examples of partnership initiatives across the region and said he would link these with DESA’s partnerships database.


On Tuesday afternoon, participants were presented with a three-page Chair’s summary of key water and sanitation issues identified in the Central Asia, Pacific and Asia regions, and a one-page summary of key issues on human settlements. These summaries aimed to reflect the discussions that took place during the meeting, and participants were invited by the Co-Chairs to comment on the drafts.

WATER AND SANITATION: Central Asia: Uzbekistan proposed underscoring the importance of ensuring surface water quality, noting that this is the main source of drinking water in the region. Bulat Yessekin suggested a reference to the draft Convention on the Protection of the Caspian Sea Environment.

Pacific: Australia recommended highlighting positive experiences and distinguishing between the needs of the different countries of the Pacific region. Fiji stressed the deterioration of infrastructure and the need for investment in water facilities in the Pacific islands.

Asia: Iran and Malaysia suggested restructuring the summary to maintain a consistent format for the three regions. China and the NGOs suggested incorporating achievements into the summary. An NGO representative stressed risk management and preventive over curative measures with regard to disaster management. She also expressed concern about reference to private-public partnerships, noting that this often implies the privatization of public services. Farmers recommended highlighting the importance of environmentally-friendly and appropriate technologies in agriculture. ESCAP clarified that this report would not be making recommendations, but rather reflect achievements, constraints and the way forward. Iran and Malaysia suggested identifying the resource gap as a major constraint to achieving the internationally-agreed targets on water and sanitation. The representative of Indigenous Peoples noted that indigenous peoples’ concerns, such as non-recognition of land rights and prior informed consent regarding development activities on indigenous lands, were not reflected in the text. Japan noted that the text overemphasizes the role of decentralization, and suggested language on encouraging ownership in water management.

HUMAN SETTLEMENTS: India clarified that economic growth does not offer a solution to the slum problem unless it is complemented by appropriate policies. China highlighted the need to protect the rights of migrants. Several participants suggested emphasizing the important role of rural development in supporting urban development. Uzbekistan recommended highlighting the need for human settlements planning to be coherent with river basin management. Iran said that building new cities could contribute to solving the human settlements problem and suggested further emphasizing the government’s role in dealing with slums. India cautioned against using prescriptive language in the report.

ESCAP said the final report of the meeting will reflect suggestions made during the Plenary, and invited participants to submit further comments to the Secretariat by the end of the week.


In closing, Co-Chair Shimuzu commended participants on the fruitful discussions reflecting the diversity of concerns and said he hopes that these voices would be conveyed to UN headquarters in New York. DESA commended participants on the rich and positive dialogue and expressed hope that CSD-12 would engender a similar spirit of discussion. ESCAP informed participants that the outcome of this meeting will be reflected in a three-page summary of the key achievements, constraints and proposals for the way forward that will provide input to the Secretary-General’s report to CSD-12. He also noted that a comprehensive regional report will be made available at CSD-12. The meeting closed at 4:54 pm.


REGIONAL WORKSHOP ON NATIONAL SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT STRATEGIES: This workshop will take place from 29-31 October 2003, in Bangkok, Thailand. For more information, contact: ESCAP Division of Environment and Sustainable Development; tel: +66-2288-1234; fax: +66-2288-1059; e-mail:; Internet:

INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE ON SUSTAINABLE URBANIZATION STRATEGIES: This conference, which will take place from 3-5 November 2003, in Weihai, China, is designed to facilitate the sharing of best practices, good policies and lessons learned in addressing the social, economic and environmental dimensions of sustainable urbanization. The conference will focus on issues relating to the MDGs concerning water and human settlements. For more information, contact: Jianguo Shen, Inter-Regional Adviser, UN-HABITAT; tel: +254-2-623541; fax: +254-2-624264; e-mail:; Internet:

CONFERENCE ON WATER FOR THE POOREST: Scheduled for 4-5 November 2003, in Stavanger, Norway, this conference aims to contribute to moving the poverty and water agenda forward through dialogue between developing and donor countries, water and aid professionals, civil society organizations, and bilateral and multilateral aid agencies. The Conference will concentrate on the hardest-hit countries in Africa and Asia with a focus on IWRM and small- and medium-scale water supply and sanitation solutions. For more information, contact: International Water Association; tel: +47-2242-8100; fax: +47-2242-8106; e-mail:; Internet:

LATIN AMERICA AND THE CARIBBEAN CSD REGIONAL IMPLEMENTATION MEETING: EXPERT GROUP MEETING ON WSSD OUTCOMES REVIEW: This Regional Implementation Meeting, hosted by the UN Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean, will be held on 17-18 November 2003, in Santiago, Chile. For more information, contact: UN Division for Sustainable Development; tel: +1-212-963-2803; fax: +1-212-963-4260; e-mail:; Internet:

FIRST SOUTHEAST ASIA WATER FORUM: This Forum, which is scheduled to take place from 17-21 November 2003, in Chiang Mai, Thailand, aims to strengthen regional capacity through sharing best practices in IWRM. For more information, contact: the Global Water Partnership’s Southeast Asia Technical Advisory Committee Secretariat; tel: +66-2-524-5558; fax: +66-2-524-5550; e-mail:; Internet:

LATIN AMERICA AND THE CARIBBEAN CSD REGIONAL IMPLEMENTATION MEETING: REGIONAL FORUM OF MINISTERS OF ENVIRONMENT: Hosted by ECLAC, this Regional Implementation Meeting will take place from 20-25 November 2003, in Panama. For more information, contact: UN Division for Sustainable Development; tel: +1-212-963-2803; fax: +1-212-963-4260; e-mail:; Internet:

AFRICAN CSD REGIONAL IMPLEMENTATION MEETING: PAN-AFRICAN IMPLEMENTATION AND PARTNERSHIP CONFERENCE ON WATER: This Regional Implementation Meeting, hosted by the UN Economic Commission for Africa, will be held from 8-13 December 2003, in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. The conference will address the implication of the outcomes of the WSSD on regional water initiatives, as well as Africa’s role in the implementation of the Summit’s outcomes. For more information, contact: UN Division for Sustainable Development; tel: +1-212-963-2803; fax: +1-212-963-4260; e-mail:; Internet:

ECE CSD REGIONAL IMPLEMENTATION MEETING: This Regional Implementation Meeting, hosted by the UN Economic Commission for Europe (ECE), in preparation for CSD-12, will convene on 15-16 January 2004, in Geneva, Switzerland. For more information, contact: UN Division for Sustainable Development; tel: +1-212-963-2803; fax: +1-212-963-4260; e-mail:; Internet:

INTER-REGIONAL PREPARATORY MEETING FOR THE REVIEW OF IMPLEMENTATION OF THE BARBADOS PROGRAMME OF ACTION (BPOA): An inter-regional preparatory meeting for all SIDS will take place in Nassau, Bahamas, from 26-30 January 2004. For more information, contact: Diane Quarless, UN SIDS Unit; tel: +1-212-963-4135 fax: +1-917-367-3391; e-mail:; Internet:

FOURTH DELHI SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT SUMMIT 2004: This Summit, an annual international event organized by The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI), will be held from 4-7 February 2004, in New Delhi, India. The 2004 Summit will focus on analyzing and assessing innovative partnerships in the post WSSD scenario. For more information, contact: Summit Secretariat, TERI; tel: +91-11-2468-2138; fax: +91-11-2468-2144; e-mail:; Internet:

INTERNATIONAL FORUM ON PARTNERSHIPS FOR SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT: This Forum, organized by the Italian Ministry for the Environment and Territory in cooperation with DESA, will be held from 4-6 March 2004, in Rome, Italy. It will seek to enhance the contribution of partnerships towards the implementation of sustainable development goals. For more information, contact: Gloria Visconti, Italian Ministry for the Environment and Territory; tel: +39-6-5722-8121; fax: +39-6-5722-8180; e-mail:; Internet:  

CSD ACTING AS THE PREPCOM FOR THE INTERNATIONAL MEETING TO REVIEW IMPLEMENTATION OF THE BPOA FOR THE SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT OF SIDS: This meeting will take place from 14-16 April 2004, in New York. For more information, contact: Diane Quarless, UN SIDS Unit; tel: +1-212-963-4135; fax: +1-917-367-3391; e-mail:; Internet:

TWELFTH SESSION OF THE COMMISSION ON SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT (CSD-12): CSD-12 is scheduled to meet from 19-30 April 2003, in New York. As agreed at CSD-11, the 12th session will be a "Review Year" to evaluate progress made in implementing sustainable development goals and identifying obstacles and constraints on the thematic clusters of water, sanitation and human settlements. For more information, contact: UN Division for Sustainable Development; tel: +1-212-963-2803; fax: +1-212-963-4260; e-mail:; Internet:    

This issue of the Earth Negotiations Bulletin © is written and edited by Tamilla Gaynutdinova  and Prisna Nuengsigkapian The Digital Editor is Francis Dejon The Editor is Pamela S. Chasek, Ph.D. and the Director of IISD Reporting Services is Langston James "Kimo" Goree VI The Sustaining Donors of the Bulletin are the US Department of State Bureau of Oceans and International Environmental and Scientific Affairs, The Netherlands Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Government of Canada (through CIDA, DFAIT and Environment Canada), the Swiss Agency for Environment, Forests and Landscape (SAEFL), the United Kingdom (through the Department for International Development - DFID and Department for Environment Food and Rural Affairs - DEFRA), the European Commission (DG-ENV), the Danish Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and the Government of Germany (through the German Federal Ministry of Environment - BMU, and the German Federal Ministry of Development Cooperation - BMZ). General Support for the Bulletin during 2003 is provided by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), the Government of Australia, the Ministry of Environment and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Sweden, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade of New Zealand, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Norway, Swan International, the Japanese Ministry of Environment (through the Institute for Global Environmental Strategies - IGES), the Japanese Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (through the Global Industrial and Social Progress Research Institute - GISPRI), and the Ministry for Environment of Iceland. Specific funding for coverage of this meeting has been provided by the Norwegian Ministry of the Environment. The opinions expressed in the Earth Negotiations Bulletin are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of IISD or other donors. Excerpts from the Earth Negotiations Bulletin may be used in non-commercial publications with appropriate academic citation. For information on the Bulletin, including requests to provide reporting services, contact the Director of IISD Reporting Services at, +1-212-644-0217 or 212 East 47th St. #21F, New York, NY 10017, USA.

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