Published by the
International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD)
Vol. 22 No. 46
Friday, 30 August 2002
THURSDAY, 29 AUGUST 2002
Delegates to the World Summit on Sustainable
Development (WSSD) met in a final Partnership Plenary to address
regional implementation and in the afternoon heard statements from
non-State entities. An informal ministerial consultation was
convened in the morning to discuss the status of negotiations and
ministerial involvement in the process. The Vienna setting convened
in the afternoon to consider outstanding text. During an evening
session delegates heatedly debated ways to make progress, and
resumed their deliberations late into the night. The contact group
on institutional arrangements met briefly in the morning, and along
with the contact group on means of implementation met in a late
night session. Presentations on Type II partnerships were delivered
at a side event throughout the afternoon.
REGIONAL IMPLEMENTATION: Rosa Elena Simeon,
Minister of Science, Technology and Sustainable Development of Cuba,
presided over and Gus Speth, Yale University, moderated the final
Partnership Plenary. Speth described the five UN regional
commissions, highlighting their potential role in WSSD follow-up and
ability to bridge global and national-level work, share expertise
with countries and provide policy advice.
Panel Discussion: The REGIONAL COMMISSION FOR
EUROPE (ECE) explained that the ECE adopts regional action plans and
promotes such cross-sectoral cooperation, participatory
decision-making, environmental monitoring and regional agreements.
The ECONOMIC COMMISSION FOR LATIN AMERICA AND THE CARIBBEAN (ECLAC),
said that regional groups help: reduce duplication; give small
countries a voice; protect shared ecosystems; and attract financing.
The ECONOMIC AND SOCIAL COMMISSION FOR ASIA AND THE PACIFIC (ESCAP)
noted that both rich and poor contribute to environmental
degradation. The ECONOMIC COMMISSION FOR AFRICA (ECA) spoke of the
need for: stable financing for developing countries, including for
agreements like the Kyoto Protocol; debt relief; regional
responsibility for attracting private capital; and
culturally-appropriate modern technology. The ECONOMIC AND SOCIAL
COMMISSION FOR WEST ASIA (ESCWA) said regional groups can help cope
with globalization’s challenges through regional integration and
Other panelists highlighted business’s increased
awareness since Rio of the obstacles that climate change and
biodiversity loss present to profit-making; and anticipated social
upheavals and human population movements.
Plenary Discussion: Speakers supported
regional and sub-regional actions to promote sustainable development
and highlighted specific regional initiatives. BRAZIL stressed the
need to finance institutions to strengthen south-south cooperation,
and raise the proportion of renewable energy to 10% by 2010.
TAJIKISTAN stressed the need for multi-sectoral and multi-regional
approaches. TUVALU cautioned that regional organizations have their
own agendas, some of which undermine sustainable development.
ARGENTINA noted that effective actions depend on a strong level of
multilateralism. SWITZERLAND stressed the importance of mountains;
UGANDA highlighted the problem of desertification; and UNDP
emphasized Africa’s situation.
Several countries noted that regional conflicts
compromise sustainable development efforts. ISRAEL stated that
regionalism is a new concept in the Middle East, and the PALESTINIAN
NATIONAL AUTHORITY and the ARAB LEAGUE STATES stressed that peace,
stability and the ending of occupation were preconditions to
sustainable development. AZERBAIJAN noted that conflict is harmful
to the land and environment, and distorts resource use.
THE WOMEN’S ENVIRONMENT AND DEVELOPMENT
ORGANIZATION noted that sustainable development hinges on the power
of the poor to negotiate with the rich, women with men in private
spaces, and humans with nature. The PACIFIC ISLANDS FORUM
SECRETARIAT highlighted the centrality of good governance and a
multi-stakeholder focus in sustainable development. UNEP underscored
its role in "regional delivery." The ASIAN DEVELOPMENT BANK stressed
the need for finance ministers to support sustainable development.
STATEMENTS BY NON-STATE ENTITIES: During the
session, M. Robinson, UNHCR, called for integration of human rights
into the Millennium Development Goals and suggested drafting human
rights guidelines for the implementation of each goal. D. Anderson,
UNEP, called for contributions to help implement WSSD outcomes. G.
Brundland, WHO, announced a new alliance to secure healthy
environments for children. M. Stuart, Business Action for
Sustainable Development, supported development of international best
practice standards to help judge the performance of international
J. Somavia, ILO, noted that retooling economic
systems and fiscal policies is an opportunity for technological
breakthroughs and sustainable growth, and announced ILO’s new World
Commission on the Social Dimensions of Globalization. M. Boisard,
UNITAR, announced capacity-building and training partnerships for
sustainable urbanization and an African environmental information
technology programme. G. Obasi, WMO, called for strengthening
environmental monitoring systems and a science and technology
advisory body to support WSSD outcomes. M. El-Ashry, GEF, noted the
recent pledges for the highest-ever replenishment and the extension
of the GEF’s mandate to desertification and POPs. A. Petitpierre,
ICRC, announced ICRC guidelines on environmental protection during
I. Johnson, World Bank, welcomed
multilateral efforts to pursue an enlightened public policy to
achieve sustainable development. F Frangialli, World Tourism
Organization, announced a joint WTO/UNCTAD initiative on Sustainable
Tourism as a Tool for Eliminating Poverty. M. Hassan, Scientific and
Technological Community, highlighted capacity building for science
and technology, focusing on centers of excellence, women, indigenous
knowledge, and north-south cooperation. A. Essy, African Union, said
the WSSD’s outcomes would support sustainable development in Africa
only if it proposes solutions to health, aid, debt and trade. A.
Chowdhury, representing Least Developed Countries, Landlocked
Developing Countries and Small Island Developing States, looked
forward to LDCs having greater control of their own development
processes and declared that development will not be sustainable
unless it benefits the poor.
L. Kouyate, l’Organisation Internationale de la
Francophonie, discussed his organization’s plan of action on
sustainable development. T. L. Sundness, ICFTU, described the ILO’s
core labor standards as crucial for sustainable development. G.
Battaini-Dragoni, Council of Europe, described the Council’s human
rights-based approach to sustainable development and its commitment
to pluralist democracy. K. Sekimizu, IMO, described its
participation in a number of conventions and initiatives as a
guardian of the marine environment since 1992.
J. M. Suarez de Toro, International Federation of
Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, highlighted the relationship
between disasters and development, calling on the Summit to address
the causes of disasters. J.C.I. Matheu, UN Advisory Committee of
Local Authorities, stated the need for empowering local authorities,
and for greater economic resources and capacity to implement
sustainable development. A. Falaschi, International Centre for
Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology, highlighted the need for
scientific capacity building in developing countries to use
biotechnology. Y. S. Abdulai, OPEC Fund, called for agreements to
create markets, jobs, and improve social services. L. G. Mayila,
International Association of Economic and Social Council and Similar
Institutions, highlighted the need for agreement on: renewable
energy; access to safe drinking water and sanitation; and the legal
responsibility of enterprises. C. Basset, UNCCD, stressed tangible
outcomes that address political commitment, policy coherence and the
mobilization of financial resources.
T. Goldtooth, Indigenous Environmental Network,
proposed an international conference on indigenous peoples and
sustainable development as a potential WSSD follow-up action. J. R.
Goulongoma, ACP, called for the eradication of poverty in developing
countries and urged the Kyoto Protocol’s early entry into force. D.
Ratliff, Permanent Court of Arbitration, suggested that conciliation
and arbitration rules be used for existing MEAs, corporate
accountability and bilateral investment rules. N. Guy, International
Hydrographic Organization, reinforced the need for safer and cleaner
ships, safe navigation and research cooperation to support the
protection of marine environment. B. Schmognerova, ECE, supported
better understanding of the links among environmental, social and
economic policies. M. Sharipov, Women in Europe for a Common Future,
called for redirecting military expenditures to empower women. M.
Elahi, South Asia Cooperative Environment Programme, presented 12
Type II partnerships launched in cooperation with UNEP in South
INFORMAL MINISTERIAL CONSULTATIONS
Informal ministerial consultations, chaired by
South African Foreign Minister Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, convened in
the morning to discuss the status of negotiations and the need for
ministers to be more directly involved. Main Committee Chairperson
Emil Salim (Indonesia) presented a status report, commenting that on
24 August there were 156 paragraphs with brackets and as of the 29
August there were 84. He recommended that the Vienna setting
continue working on technical disagreements and that the ministers
address political disagreements, such as the Rio Principles, trade
subsidies and energy issues.
Chair Dlamini-Zuma opened the floor for
suggestions from ministers and other delegates on how to proceed.
There was general consensus on the need for the Vienna setting to
continue meeting in parallel to the ministers and the ministerial
negotiations to begin as soon as possible. There was no agreement on
a format for the process. Different options included the Vienna
format, plenary or "bubbles" (informal consultation groups). In
response to a question on the political declaration, the Chair said
that the text would be released to ministers the afternoon of 30
August, depending on how negotiations were going.
After suspending the meeting briefly for
consultations, the Chair announced that the Vienna setting would
continue in the afternoon and communicate issues requiring
ministerial interventions. She would also hold consultations in the
afternoon to determine the ministerial meeting’s format.
Editor’s Note: coverage ended at 2:15 am.
VIENNA SETTING: After stating their
respective positions on whether to "undertake a related effort for,"
"a similar goal for," or "to achieve a similar goal to halve by the
year 2015 the proportion of" people without access to improved
sanitation, delegates agreed to forward paragraphs concerning the
sanitation target (7, 24) to ministerial consultation. Several
delegates supported bringing text on renewable energy (8 and 19(e),
(p)bis, (s) and (w)) to the ministerial level, but others
requested hearing back from ongoing consultations.
One developed country suggested taking the issue
of human rights and fundamental freedoms (47) to the ministers, but
developing countries supported further informal consultations on the
Reporting from the informal consultations on the
Rio Principles, facilitator Paterson (South Africa) explained that
the group had addressed the principle of common but differentiated
responsibilities and the issue of precaution, and suggested that
paragraphs concerning precaution (22, 45(e), 93(e)bis) be
brought to the ministerial level. Stressing the need for a balance
in mentioning the Rio Principles in the draft Plan of
Implementation, several developed countries supported linking both
principles and addressing them as a comprehensive package. Other
developed and developing countries noted that the principles were
unique and supported addressing them separately. There was no
consensus on how the group should move forward on this.
Salim then announced that following consultations
earlier in the afternoon held by Minister Dlamini-Zuma, there was
agreement that the Vienna setting should submit deadlocked issues to
the ministers. The ministers will then either have bilateral
consultations or group discussions on each issue and agreement will
be reported back to the Vienna setting. After some discussion,
delegates agreed that they would submit a list of issues to the
ministers in the evening.
Before adjourning, Chair Dumisani Kumalo
announced that there is agreement on paragraph 5bis, on
ethics in sustainable development, and on paragraph 70 regarding
sustainable development in Asia and the Pacific, to retain reference
to the Kitakyushu Initiative for Clean Environment.
During the evening session, Chair Kumalo
clarified that Minister Dlamini-Zuma was consulting with ministers
of the various negotiating groups on an informal and potentially
bilateral basis, and no ministerial meeting was planned for the
Stating that the Vienna setting had exhausted
possibilities for negotiations at the technical and expert level,
one group of developed countries suggested a ministerial meeting be
convened in a Vienna setting to discuss deadlocked issues and their
interlinkages, specifically listing: Rio Principles; good
governance; human rights; world solidarity fund; sanitation; energy;
10-year programme for sustainable consumption and production; trade
and finance; natural resources; climate change; global public goods;
globalization; social dimension; and partnerships. Other delegations
stated that the list of issues was too long to be referred to
ministers. Some noted that: several issues had not been debated in
the Vienna setting; there was no agreement on which issues were
deadlocked; and the contact groups on means of implementation and
institutional arrangements were still to present their reports.
Chair Kumalo requested delegates’ indulgence to
move forward. At 10:30 pm, the Vienna setting reconvened to discuss
the outstanding paragraphs on the precautionary approach/principle
(22, 23, 45(e), 45(e) alt, and 93(e)bis). Delegates focused
on paragraph 22 (chemical management) and 93(e)bis (improving
science-based decision-making) as a package. After debating the use
of "precautionary principle" and "precautionary approach," delegates
agreed to compromise and use the term "precautionary approach."
During the debate, Minister Dlamini-Zuma briefly
addressed delegates and reported on her consultations with the
leadership of different groups. They agreed that the Vienna setting
and the two contact groups should continue to meet and identify
issues where resolution is not possible, even if they have to meet
through the night.
After three and a half hours of negotiations,
including proposals and counter-proposals on both paragraphs,
delegates closed discussion on these two paragraphs without
agreement. Issues where they could not reach agreement included:
reference to other international agreements, the application of the
precautionary approach to health, when to use the precautionary
approach, using the precautionary approach for protectionist
purposes, and reference to risk assessment. Delegates agreed to
refer the two paragraphs to the ministers.
Delegates then adopted, ad referendum,
paragraph 61(b), on access to land and land tenure, as presented
from a contact group. At 2:15 am, delegates began discussing the
paragraphs on common but differentiated responsibilities.
CONTACT GROUP ON INSTITUTIONAL FRAMEWORK: The
contact group on Chapter X of the draft Plan of Implementation,
co-chaired by Ositadinma Anaedu (Nigeria) and Lars-Goran Engfeldt
(Sweden), met in a brief morning session. One group of countries
urged formal reaction to its package proposal on international
governance (123 and 124), submitted the previous day. Other
delegations suggested that the contact group revert to informal
consultations to address the new texts. After some discussion and
following calls from the Chair, the contact group adjourned to
continue informal consultations. These failed to produce results.
However, after discussion of the status of negotiations on Chapter X
in the Vienna setting, the contact group resumed negotiations at
11:00 pm, continuing until midnight. The group addressed texts on
governance at the international and national level and a substantive
discussion of language was launched. One delegation circulated a
revised version of the text on domestic governance.
CONTACT GROUP ON MEANS OF IMPLEMENTATION:
This contact group, facilitated by John Ashe (Antigua and Barbuda),
convened twice in the evening. At the early evening session, the
facilitator informed delegations that a developed country group had
decided that its best interests would be served if all remaining
matters were taken up at the political level. After discussions in
the Main Committee, the contact group reconvened.
Trade: There was no agreement on the mutual
supportiveness of trade, environment, and development. A developed
country group objected that a reference to "in a manner consistent
with WTO rights and obligations" implies a hierarchy of trade over
environment and development. There was no agreement on a paragraph
on sustainability impact assessments after developing countries
objected that the concept is still not well defined. In a paragraph
on promoting mutual supportiveness between the multilateral trading
system and multilateral environmental agreements, agreement was
reached on recognition of the importance of maintaining the
integrity of both sets of instruments. There was no agreement on
references to "complementarity," consistency "with sustainable
goals" and supportiveness as "a complement" to the WTO's work
programme. Developing countries proposed an alternative paragraph on
trade and cooperation agreements. There was no agreement on three
paragraphs dealing with tariff and non-tariff barriers, and
trade-distorting subsidies. In the third paragraph on subsidies,
differences remain on, inter alia, whether to "Take fully
into consideration the need to" or "Reduce or phase out, as
appropriate, environmentally harmful and/or trade-distorting
subsidies"; and on whether to "encourage," and/or "undertake"
Globalization: A new alternative introductory
paragraph on globalization was introduced by two developing
countries, drawing from text in the Monterrey Consensus and the UN
Special Session on Children. There was no agreement. No agreement
was reached on trade-related technical assistance and corporate
responsibility. The facilitator noted he would report to the Main
PARTNERSHIPS FOR SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT
During the afternoon and over the next three
days, Type 2 partnership initiatives, which currently number over
200, will be announced. Information on partnerships is available
on-line at http://www.johannesburgsummit.org/html/sustainable_dev/
IN THE CORRIDORS I
Despite the fact that the morning's informal
ministerial consultation was intended to clarify a process for
ministerial involvement in the negotiations and move forward on the
political declaration, by early evening rumors were once again
flying. Some delegations alleged that a draft declaration was being
circulated to only a few key delegations, whereas others asserted
that no formal or informal ventures had been made. The cancellation
and rumored reconvening of an evening ministerial meeting left many
However, an EU gambit to pull negotiators from
contact groups and force a list of issues into ministerial
discussion brought the situation to a head. Some applauded the move
as a means to take the offensive on their push for targets and
strong language in the draft Plan of Implementation, whereas others
wondered whether they had played their trump card too soon. With
serious resistance from the G-77//China and US, this bluff was
called and the Vienna setting reconvened to work into the night to
address remaining bracketed language.
IN THE CORRIDORS II
On one of the crunch issues, the renewable energy
target, discussed in the energy informals Thursday afternoon, some
parties are mooting "voluntary regional targets for renewable
energy" as a way of breaking the deadlock within and between groups.
Others highlighted burgeoning rifts in the G-77/China along the
OPEC/ SIDS divide, wondering how it might impact the dynamic of the
THINGS TO LOOK FOR TODAY
PLENARY: Statements by Non-State Entities
will resume at 10:00 am and continue at 3:00 pm in the Plenary Hall.
MINISTERIAL CONSULTATIONS: Ministerial
consultations are expected to begin today on sanitation, renewable
energy, the precautionary approach and other issues forwarded from
the Vienna setting.
VIENNA SETTING: The Vienna setting may be
reconvened in the morning. Check the Journal for details.
CONTACT GROUP ON INSTITUTIONAL ARRANGEMENTS:
The contact group will convene at 10:00 am. Check the Journal