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Summary of WSSD Briefing, 14 August

Wednesday, 14 August 2002 by Richard Jordon, CSD/NGO Steering Committee


A briefing on preparations for the World Summit on Sustainable Development was given today by H.E. Mr. Dumisani Shadrack Kumalo, Permanent Representative of South Africa, Mr. Nitin Desai, Secretary General of the Summit, Mr. Adnan Amin, Director of the UN Office of the United Nations Environment Programme and Mr. Alvaro Umana, Leader of UNDP's Environmentally Sustainable Development Group.


Ambassador Dumisano stated that the purpose of the briefing was to share information on preparations for the Summit. The draft programme for the Summit has been on the official web site since 2 August.


The opening session of the Plenary will be held on 26 August and will deal with organizational matters such as the election of the President, the Vice Presidents, the Appointment of one Vice President as Rapporteur General of the Summit, and the establishment of the various committees. The Vienna-style negotiation process will begin Saturday the 24th at 10 AM in Johannesburg at the Sandton Convention Center. There will be at least two contact groups established.


Ambassador Dumisano said that on advice from the G77 and the EU the number of contact groups would be kept low so that delegates could maintain focus. One contact group would deal with the means of implementation -- finance, globalization and trade. The other would deal with governance issues. The meeting may decide to increase the number and the Ambassador stated that the process was in the hands of delegates.


Following the conclusion of the opening session, the remaining half of the morning plenary and the next six sessions from 26-29 August would deliberate three broad areas of sustainable development: first, the five important sectors of WEHAB: water and sanitation, energy, health, agriculture and biodiversity and ecosystem management as identified by the Secretary-General. The sequence is indicated in the draft programme. Second, finance, trade, transfer of technology, capacity building, information for decision making, education, science, and consumption and production patterns would be the next sequence. The third would focus on regional cooperation for achieving sustainable development.


The format would ensure interaction, inclusiveness, and would be wide-ranging. There would be a 15 minute presentation of each of the issues by an expert, followed by 75 minutes of discussion among up to 20 representatives of relevant UN entities, major groups and experts, moderated by a facilitator. The remaining 90 minutes would be an open discussion in plenary among governments and representatives of major groups participating. The results would be prepared and distributed. These sessions would be chaired by the President of the Summit or by a Vice President.


The second part of the Plenary for the afternoon of 29 August through the afternoon of 30 August would be devoted to statements by non-State entities in the Plenary Hall. From 2-4 September, there would be general debate among States. Statements will be limited to five minutes each. There will be four Roundtables from 2-4 September, all with the same theme, "Making It Happen". Each Roundtable will be comprised of seventy seats, up to fifty for Government delegations and twenty for other participants, including the specialized agencies of the UN and related organizations and major groups. The distribution is found in the draft programme. There will be a chairperson for each Roundtable, opening remarks, and participants will have four minutes each for interventions. It is hoped that no prepared statements will be made so that interaction will be maximized.


Ambassador Dumisano outlined the programme for negotiations. There will be pre-sessionals on  24-25 August held according to the Vienna format. This will be a continuation of the Bali arrangements led by Brazil, Indonesia and South Africa. Contact groups may be established. The issues that might be dealt with in these negotiations could include:  what is the best format of the draft Programme of Action; the date of the conclusion of negotiations on this item; at what stage to move to the political level; how to properly sequence events; and the appropriate time at which the President of the Summit will submit the draft political declaration.


A wide range of other activities are planned by major groups such as youth, trade unions, science, local governments and business.


Under-Secretary-General Nitin Desai said that he would only stress a few points. He stressed the partnership plenaries of the first three days. The Plenary hall is long and narrow, unlike the GA Hall in New York. Instead of a panel, the idea is to involve the nine major groups, key UN agencies in a sector and a few other experts, with a strongly moderated conversation.


It is hoped that in each of the five sectors the discussion can flesh out earlier agreements in conferences or in agreed text of the implementation plan, related agreements from other global conferences, and what the UN system organizations are doing in this area. It is hoped that these sessions will provide information and some structure to follow-up decisions.


Mr. Desai said that there are questions on the nature of the partnership announcements. It is impossible to use the plenaries for this purpose. The purpose of the Plenaries is to focus on the framework for action. On Thursday and Friday, provision is made for the partners to get together. There could be opportunity to provide media sessions or briefings of 30 minutes' duration. There will be many parallel and side events.


Ambassador Kumisano stressed that the government of South Africa preferred to start the negotiations on the 26th at the Ministerial level; however, many Ministers will arrive later, perhaps only by Wednesday, 28 August.


The floor was opened for questions. A delegate from Norway asked if there was a broad understanding of how type two initiatives linked to type one, how there would be value-added in relation to previous UN conferences, and on issues not finalized in Bali. Ambassador Kumisano stated that this briefing was to provide more information on logistical matters that substantive issues. Mr. Desai responded that there would be a focus on the negotiating process for the implementation plan. The partnership plenaries the first four or five days are structured around an overall framework for action, not individual partnerships. There should be a good engagement of governments and representatives of major groups. He also said the process of negotiations is in the hands of delegates. He sensed a great desire among everyone to find common ground. The GA Resolution spoke about concretely financed deliverables and Agenda 21 is at the center of teh Summit. We want to see implementation of some goals dating back to Agenda 21. This is a Summit about implementation.


A delegate from Costa Rica inquired about what regions would preside over the Roundtables at the Summit. Secondly, would there be other events in which Heads of State and First Ladies would be invited to participate. Ambassador Kumalo said that the President of the Summit was looking at recommendations on people to invite to Chair the Roundtables, since the Resolution in Bali was quite clear about this. Mr. Desai said that this is a difficult question. A large number of Heads of State have not yet inscribed in the Roundtables since they would like to know who will chair the sessions. There will also be many bilaterals held, and not all Heads of State are available at all times for the Roundtables. Mr. Desai invited suggestions of any type on this matter. Should the Chairpersons be fixed and then Heads of State inscribe? Ambassador Kumalo said that President Mbeki was consulting on this matter. Ambassador Kumalo also stated that the list of social events would be ready before he left for Johannesburg this Friday, 16 August. There are certain events that First Ladies are planning, two of which deal with water and HIV/AIDS.


Ambassador Kumalo stated that the average size of delegations is 50 members. Mr. Desai stressed the need for guaranteed access to persons with yellow badges and above, which would be Ministers and heads of delegations and Heads of State. A delegate from Canada said that her delegation would have many experts coming for the negotiations, and guaranteed access is important. Mr. Desai said that there could be twenty guaranteed entry passes per delegation, since the Johannesburg Fire Department has said it will simply close the doors once capacity is reached. This limit of twenty will be enforced on an "if needed basis" only when there is overcrowding, and by the time of the Summit segment, delegates will have finished their work, so that the overcrowding issue should not then be a problem. Inside the Convention Center, for the opening session, usual GA restrictions would be in place and for the Roundtables, only the Head of State and one other assistant would be allowed to sit at the Roundtable.


A delegate stated that there was a danger in waiting too long to determine the Chairpersons of the Roundtables. He also asked if there would be any additional meetings of the Friends of the Chair. Ambassador Kumalo assured everyone that he would call Pretoria again on the matter of the Chairpersons of the Roundtables and would announce any results asa soon as possible. There are no other meetings of the Friends of the Chair scheduled. The purpose of that meeting was to gauge where delegations were after Bali. Once the Summit starts, it is hard to see how to have such a meeting.


A delegate from Denmark asked if there would be one large negotiating table in the Vienna process and when there would be more information available concerning the format of the negotiations from 26 August-1 September.


Ambassador Kumalo said that he understands that the negotiations of 24-25 August are open-ended, and that only one person would speak for each group. Again, there was a request for a low number of contact groups. On Monday morning the 26th of August, the Main Committee can create more or just shut all of the contact groups down. These will be open-ended also. The Vienna process may continue to Tuesday. Ambassador Kumalo recalled that in Bali The Netherlands had chaired the group on governance and that Ambassador John Ashe of Antigua & Barbuda had chaired the group on means of implementation.


Ambassador Kumalo also stated that the regional meetings will be held on 23 August.


A representative from CARE International inquired about access issues for civil society actors. Mr. Desai said that 11,000 representatives had already been accredited and that Sandton's capacity overall was 6,000. There probably would be a daily pass system, since each day, 500 new accreditations are being issued. There is a standard system used by the coordinating entities. Bali also had restrictions.


A delegate from The Netherlands asked about the issuance of the political declaration and the sequencing. He asked when delegations could expect more information. Ambassador Kumalo said that the assumption had been that the Plan of Implementation would have been finalized and the political declaration be based on it. Now, it is anticipated that the draft will be released on Tuesday the 27th.


A delegate from Tuvalu was concerned that delegates at a meeting in the Pacific might not have time to obtain visas for South Africa. Many small delegations do not have representation in South Africa. Ambassador Kumalo replied that this would not have to be a concern.


Ambassador Kumalo now turned to Adnan Amin, the Director of the United Nations Office of UNEP. Mr. Amin said that preparations for Johannesburg had already taken place in the meeting of the UNEP Governing Council in Cartagena, Colombia. GEO 3 had recently been released and a number of regional GEOs were being launched, including an African, a Latin American and a North American GEO. Other issues such as the South Asian brown cloud were important, showing that regional issues can have global implications. Designing responses was important. A Global Biodiversity Atlas through the Monitoring Center in Cambridge is being released, and a Polar GEO will also be released. This latter GEO is important since polar changes are indicators of global change. This week, UNEP was represented at the Stockholm Water Symposium. UNEP is supporting WEHAB and helping to coordinate biodiversity. UNEP is convening a global meeting of Chief Judges from 18-20 August. Ninety acceptances have been received, sixty from Chief Judges. They will discuss the rule of law in sustainable development, since an emerging preoccupation is the relationship of national agreements and national legal structures in achieving sustainable development objectives. With HABITAT, UNEP will hold a meeting on Water for African Cities, an important initiative concerning water management. There will be other events held with UNICEF and with WHO on an initiative of Dr. Brundtland's on health and sustainable development. There will also be a full day meeting on 30 August on energy. There will also be a roundtable devoted to culture and biodiversity.


Ambassador Kumalo introduced Mr. Alvaro Umana, Leader of UNDP's Environmentally Sustainable Development Group. Mr. Umana said that at the Summit there would be representatives from 130 UNDP offices. The main contribution of UNDP at the conceptual level is sustainable development in relation to the Millenium Development Goals (MDGs). UNDP will host a number of events and book launchings. "Community Action and Global Impact" will occur on 29 August from 1:15 - 2:45 PM. There will also be an event around the financing for development, featuring Brazil and Mexico, ECLAC and the Administrator of UNDP.


There will be throughout the two weeks in Ubuntu Village a Community Crawl, organized by the Equator Initiative. A book launch on energy for sustainable development will occur on 28 August from 6-8 PM, a session on the small grants programme on 26 August from 12-2 PM, and a meeting on indigenous peoples and the MDGs on 29 August.


There will be an event in Water Dome on governance issues on Friday 30 August from 2-5:30 PM. A number of events in hotels are also planned, such as the Equator Awards in the Crowne Plaza on 30 August, a roundtable involving persons such as Claire Short, a launch of an OECD, EU and World Bank paper on poverty reduction and environmental management, Local Agenda 21s in the Crowne Plaza on 27 August from 11:30-5:30 PM, a book launch on energy, at the Sandton Library, 31 August from 6-7 PM, and a roundtable on the MDGs on Sunday 1 September from 9-10:30 AM.


Ambassador Kumalo adjourned the meeting and said that he wished everyone a good trip to Johannesburg.


Published by IISD ©. No reposting to lists or republishing without permission.

Submitted by Richard Jordan, Northern Co-Chair, CSD/NGO Steering Committee



Statement of Maurice Strong, Chairman Earth Council Foundation to the

Committee on Senate Environment and Public Works and the Committee on Foreign Relations

Thursday, 25 July 2002

Click here for the full statement



Summary of the WSSD Briefing, 24 July

Wednesday, 24 July 2002 by Richard Jordon, CSD/NGO Steering Committee

Transcript by Richard T. Jordan, Northern Co-Chair, CSD/NGO Steering Committee - NGO Representative to ECOSOC of Intl. Council for Caring Communities.


H.E. Duminsano Shadrack Kumalo (South Africa) and Nitin Desai, Secretary-General of the World Summit on Sustainable Development, held a briefing on the state of preparations for the Summit on 24 July in the Trusteeship Council. NGOs, delegates of Member States and Observers, members of Specialized Agencies and Secretariat staff were present. The briefing lasted from 12:00 to 13:15. The emphasis was on information for Members States in terms of organizational matters for Johannesburg. The abbreviations "SA" refer to Amb. Kumalo and "ND" refer to Nitin Desai.


Informals begin 24-25 August: SA - Based upon a letter that SA had just received from South Africa, SA said that on August 24 and 25, informals will be held in Johannesburg in the form of the Vienna-style process used at the Ministerial Meeting in Bali. The purpose will be to try to reach resolution on outstanding issues in the draft implementation plan transmitted from Bali to Johannesburg. Delegates will try to deal with as many outstanding issues as possible. Informals at the Sandton Center will start at 10 AM on both days. Informals will be open to all Member States; there will be no press access nor access by NGOs. The South African government also invites Indonesia, Brazil and South Africa, who cochaired the Bali meeting, to continue the process in South Africa. Regional preparatory consultations will be held on August 23rd.


On August 26, the conference opens. SA said that there is a question as to when Ministers arrive, and stated that this is considered a Ministerial process beginning on August 26 until September 2 when the High Level Segment for Heads of State and Government will commence until September 4. The government of South Africa will send a note to delegations about the opening ceremony to celebrate the opening at 6 PM on August 25 in the Ubuntu Village. SA said that South Africa has been consulting with various governments since Bali through visits to capitals. The President has spoken to a number of Heads of State and Government. One of the mechanisms the South African government chose to undertake was the invitation to 28 countries to the Friends of the Chair meeting with the Secretary-General of the UN. Some met in NYC on 17 July at UN Headquarters. The following five paragraphs deal with that meeting. SA listened to an exchange of views at the meeting, this was not negotiations. From SA's perspective: the 17th seemed to be in line with the visits to capitals. One issue on the 17th: the Rio principles, the principle of common but differentiated responsibility, the precautionary approach (mentioned in several places in the document). The principles are to be inserted into the plan of implementation. The Vienna process, dealing with the negotiations, should deal with how to insert the principles.


Targets and timeframes: there is general agreement on the need for these and for evaluating and monitoring progress toward sustainable development. The discussion also highlighted the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and links to povertry eradication. Thee was broad support for this. There will be more discussion in Johannesburg, since targets that are not explicit in the MDGs such as sanitation really fall under the issue of water. Some thought at the meeting that new targets should be easily integrated into the MDGs.


On the issue of finance, it was agreed that the Monterrey Consensus was a good framework for mobilizing new resources for the Johannesburg outcomes. There should be no reopening of the Monterrey Consensus, but it should be built on and contribute to expeditious implementation. It was also agreed that additional resources are required to implement sustainable development. There was an emerging consensus that the GEF needed further replenishment. The question is: by how much? In Bali, nothing was agreed on the GEF. The issue of trade in Bali was important. There is broad consensus that the WSSD should not reopen or renegotiate Doha. There should be strong political support for the Doha outcome.


Market access is important. There should be a phase out of agricultural and environmental subsidies harmful to sustainable development. The issue of partnerships is important to the Summit, but there is a strong feeling that partnerships can only enhance the plan of implementation. This is still pending.


SA now turned the briefing over to ND.


Organizational Issues: ND said he would speak about organizational issues. The framework is in the decision at Prep Com 4. Our thinking about the structural process goes beyond August 26. There are two points to remember. One, we are running a negotiating process. Formal decisions about structure are to be taken in Johannesburg. ND suggested a brainstorming session informally as the best way to determine structure. ND said to be realistic, the Vienna process will not settle everything, but will get us something.


Then there is the whole question on how to handle the political declaration. The decision of the Prep Com mandated Partnership Plenaries in the first three days for statements from UN bodies, International Governmental Organizations and NGOs for Thursday and Friday. ND said that the proposal we are working on revolves around five sessions, Monday PM, Tuesday and Wednesday that would be structured around "teams", which will be more interesting for everyone.

The first day, the lead off theme that had the widest support was water, sanitation and health. ND said we also have Water Dome. Water is a priority issue for every country. Agriculture would be Tuesday AM, energy on Tuesday PM. Wednesday AM could be biodiversity and ecosystems (oceans, forests), and in the PM, cross-cutting issues.


The focus will not be on negotiations, but looking for basic structure for follow-up on partnerships. The cross-sectoral issues could cover technology transfer, a few on finance, education and information. These would be addressed in these plenaries.


A second consideration, ND said, would be creating a way to manage the session. It would be unmanageable to have an entire interactive plenary, given the huge size of the room, not only long, but wide, and those in the back would not even be seen.

Each plenary would consist of two parts: a presentation on the theme with a complete sectoral framework for action, which would be part of the implementation, focusing on the UN system, what it should do and not do. A panel would follow this with UN stakeholders, some involved in setting up the major partnership actions, along with other experts. Then this would open to the plenary.


ND stressed this would be lively and would offer a full opportunity for everyone to participate. Q & A only would be too hard. Additionally, ND said the world could focus on this type of mechanism. ND said this would allow discussion of substantive implementation issues in broad areas.


Major groups would be invited to participate in the same way. There has been some discussion with major groups, ND said. There should be adequate space for them to participate, since during the last part of the conference, the Summit, only Heads of State or Government would speak.


On Thursday morning, part of the morning would be a similar exercise by the regional commissions and the regional development banks and other regional organizations. There would be one hour interaction on the regional dimension of implementation, followed by the opening plenary, a short period of wrap up by the plenary chairperson similar to the overall review that is usually done by the chairperson. Thursday afternoon, the evening, Friday would be time for statements in plenary by those not having an opportunity in the Summit. There is the All States formula for September 2, 3 and 4, since there will have to be time for 180 statements on September 2, 3 and 4, in five sessions at the Summit.


Hopefully, negotiations will be finished long before. There are no formal events on 31 August and 1 September. Other things will be occurring. On Monday, Tuesday and the first part of Wednesday, ND said there would be the sequence of country statements. ND also said to delegates that "in your decision", there would be representatives of the 9 major groups invited to participate in the closing event endorsing the outcomes and expecting affirmation of commitments. During the Summit, on Monday PM, Tuesday AM and PM, and Wednesday AM, there would be four roundtables, each with the exact same theme: "Make It Happen: Accountability and Responsibility." These roundtables would be attended by Heads of State and Government. Member States would decide each roundtable's Chairperson. It would be from a region other than Africa. ND stressed that we try to learn from experiences of other roundtables. There would only be seating for the Head of State or Government and one assistant. Other heads of delegation could come by themselves, but there would be no seats for them. There would be 20 participants of International Organizations and major groups, the only one allowed in would be heads of organizations or CEOs, with no substitutes. There is a need to maintain dignity and to avoid lots of traffic in and out of the room. Monterrey had too much traffic and too many empty seats. (Richard note: this last comment was mentioned later in response to a question from the floor.)


Delegates will have to inscribe their country on the list for roundtables. There will be dialogue in the roundtables among the Heads of State or Government. Delegation heads who are not Head of State or Government will participate at the discretion of the Chairperson. It is not a right to so participate. The twenty outside will also be given the floor.


There will be a large number of side events. During the Summit week, nearly all events will involve Heads of State or Government. Due to security requirements in Sandton, which is all on one level, all events during the Summit will be limited to those with passes authorizing them to be in the area. Sandton has no neat distinction as UN Headquarters does between the first basement and the General Assembly area. All space has been committed. No new side events can be scheduled. There will be events such as Heads of State meetings (e.g., the South Pacific Forum, AOSIS, etc.). It is a normal obligation for the Secretariat to accommodate these meetings.


The Heads of State meetings may look at megabiodiversity issues, education, Monterrey follow-up. Access to these functions will be tightly controlled. There will be no press allowed in them, and press will be let in only in accompanied groups, similar to the General Assembly area.


There are many outside events, such as in Water Dome, there will be a business forum and a science forum. There will be a meeting of chief justices, of parliamentarians, of local authorities. The Secretariat will put out information on these events.


ND made it clear that Ministers would be working from the first day, August 26. The first plenaries would be high profile for public consumption, since they will deal with detailed implementation issues. Also, Ministers will play a significant role in the negotiations, and ND urged regional groups to start work now. SA proposed that facilitators appointed during Prep Com 4 in Bali continue in Johannesburg. These facilitators, he said, dealt with a variety of issues in Bali.


The floor was now open for questions.


Desai said, in response to a concern of the Ambassador from Venezuela, speaking on behalf of the G77 and China, that a room for 125 persons had been reserved as the G77's room throughout the two weeks. The Ambassador wanted reassurances that there would be such space available throughout the meeting. He also preferred that no final decision on working groups, contact groups and facilitators be made until Johannesburg when an assessment could be made on the spot.


The delegate from Canada asked if an annotated agenda in calendar format would be created, and when delegates could expect an information note that is usually provided for conference logistics. She also asked how speakers on Thursday and Friday would sign up on the list, and she also said she was interested in plans regarding the political declaration.


SA said concerning the political declaration, some delegations and organizations had conveyed elements to be worked on. Some like the EU had added elements in Bali, as did the G77. A draft was being produced in South Africa. Every Mission would receive a note based on the material in the letter he had read at the beginning of the briefing.


ND said concerning the annotated agenda and the information note, drafts are being looked at now. Vivian Lewis would be the person who arranges all requests for space in South Africa. There would be a speakers' list for the IGOs and the NGOs. Delegations would inscribe themselves on a list.


Denmark, speaking on behalf of the EU, said it had been content with the results of the Friends of the Chair meeting. It was a confidence building event. He supported the Vienna style negotiations in the pre-meeting sessions. He emphasized the senior level of negotiations.


He had two questions: 1. concerning the structure of negotiations, and brainstorming, since groups need to organize themselves, how would this be done in Johannesburg and 2. concerning the sustainable treaty event in New York during the two weeks of the meeting, how does this fit into the work programme in Johannesburg and how will the treaty-signing event be announced?


ND said that the lawyers were reluctant to carry all the treaties to Johannesburg. There would be no "event" and announcement would be made in a regular way. Concerning the structure of the negotiating process: ND was not yet ready to speak about contact groups, informals, and at what level they are run.


The Ambassador of Malawi asked if Pretoria will send information to the capitals. SA said yes and that many countries are represented in South Africa. Among AOSIS, only Jamaica has a Mission there. Logistics people are trying to use Missions in New York to disseminate information.


New Zealand asked about the Summit roundtables and when Member States could inscribe themselves; when the consolidated list of High Level events would be ready; and concerning the prenegotiation meeting and the Vienna process, how will delegations work coherently, since groups such as JUSCANZ have no coordination on policy, they share information. When would more details on the role of the 25 Summit Vice Presidents be made known, will there be a programme for them?


SA said that concerning smaller groups, members of those groups are usually present in larger groups, there is an established format. ND said that the list for the Ministerial Segment will open probably next week on Monday. The Vice Presidents will have functions similar to those of the General Assembly. Their functions will be more than those of the functional commissions. An unidentified speaker asked a question concerning the Bureau, when it would meet and at what level so that delegations would work out a schedule for their own representatives.


SA said the level of the Bureau would be at Ministerial level. ND said the Bureau of the Main Conference is by country. At the Summit, the person must be a Head of State or Government. In the first week, it is always a Minister. The Bureau would only be elected on the morning of the 26th of August, so the initial meeting of the Bureau would be after that. Then on an as-needed basis.


The Ambassador of Brazil asked two questions: 1. concerning consultations on the 24th and 25th, if issues are still open, how will negotiations continue, and 2. concerning the organization of the roundtables, is there a limit to the number of Member States participating, since delegations would need to know how to organize themselves.


SA replies to her that the negotiations of the 24th and 25th are in delegates' hands, that they will go as far as they can. ND said that there is provision for 50 Member States in each roundtable. Four roundtables in an All-States format would give 200 places, more than enough, and each session is the same, unlike Monterrey. Also, some Heads of State or Government will come for only one of the days, so it is impossible to say now how the makeup will be. ND said that if there is imbalance, the situation will be looked at.


SA then adjourned the briefing.


IUCN Helps Clarify Partnerships

Monday, 22 July 2002

IUCN convened a meeting in New York on Friday, 19 July 2002, to help clarify outstanding issues relating to proposals for WSSD partnerships (also known as "type II" outcomes). The meeting was chaired by Bureau Vice-Chairs Diane Quarless (Jamaica) and Jan Kara (Czech Republic), and attended by representatives of the Friends of the Chair and other governments, plus key NGOs and private sector entities. The event facilitated a dialogue and clarified key partnerships issues, including:

- who will decide which partnerships can be accepted;

- how the partnerships will be launched in Johannesburg;

- whether the partnerships will be financed with new and additional resources;

- how partnership implementation will be monitored; and

- how to link partnerships to the Type I outputs.

On the last point, the meeting considered a matrix showing alternative ways to link Type I and Type II outputs, delineating objectives, activities, timeframes, outputs, partners and monitoring mechanisms. The matrix will be revised based on the meeting feedback and re-circulated.

Click here for the full meeting report. The revised matrix linking Type I and Type II outputs will also be available shortly on the IUCN WSSD website.  


Guide for WSSD Participation

Monday, 22 July 2002

Click here for a briefing by the Danish '92 Group containing helpful notes on logistics, what to expect and how to influence the WSSD.


"Friends of the Chair" Meeting

Thursday, 18 July 2002, New York

Twenty-seven countries invited by President Mbeki attended the Friends of the Chair meeting held on Wednesday 17 July in NY, together with other countries that attended as observers. Click here for news articles on the meeting: ENS, Reuters, AP


ECO-Equity Coalition's Annotations to the WSSD Draft Plan of Implementation

Monday, 15 July 2002

The ECO-Equity NGO coalition has prepared Annotations and Comments on the Draft Plan of Implementation arising from the Bali Prepcom. This document, which focuses on the text that remained square bracketed in Bali is available at:


Civil Society Global Forum - State of Readiness Statement
Thursday, 11 July 2002

The Civil Society Forum Secretariat has issued a statement on the state of readiness of the Global Forum. Click here to find out more.


Informal "Friends of the Chair" Meeting

Wednesday, 10 July 2002

Desai announced yesterday that an informal group of "friends of the Chair" will meet in New York next Wednesday 17 July to work on the draft programme of action. 25 governmental representatives will come up with approaches to solve, but not negotiate, the unresolved issues in the draft programme. Click here for more information. More recent news on the meeting (12 July).


Review of the Draft Plan of Implementation

Summary of elements (sub-paragraphs) containing brackets, prepared by the WSSD Secretariat

Monday, 1 July 2002

Download pdf version


I. Introduction (paragraphs: 1-5), agreed: 60%, Bracketed: 40%

II. Poverty (paragraphs: 6-12), agreed: 89%, bracketed: 11%

III. Consumption/Production (paragraphs: 13-22), agreed: 80%, bracketed: 20%

IV. Natural Resources (paragraphs: 23-44), agreed: 88%, bracketed: 12%

V. Globalization (paragraphs: 45), agreed: 7%, bracketed: 93%

VI. Health (paragraphs: 46-51), agreed: 97%, bracketed: 3%

VII. SIDS (paragraphs 52-55), agreed: 87%, bracketed:13%

VIII. Africa (paragraphs: 56-65), agreed: 80%, bracketed: 22%

VIII.bis Other regions (paragraphs: 66-74), agreed: 89%, bracketed: 11%

IX. Means of Implementation

Finance (paragraphs: 75-80), agreed: 11%, bracketed: 89%

Trade (paragraphs: 81-88), agreed: 15%, bracketed: 85% Technology Transfer (paragraphs: 89-90), agreed: 75%,bracketed: 25% Science (paragraphs: 91-98), agreed: 72%, bracketed: 28% Education (paragraphs: 99-107), agreed: 83%, bracketed: 17% Capacity Building (paragraphs: 108-110) agreed: 86%, bracketed: 14% Info/Decision-making (paragraphs: 111-119), agreed: 72%, bracketed: 28%

X. Institutional Framework (paragraphs:120-153), agreed: 68%, bracketed: 32%

TOTALS agreed: 75%, bracketed: 25%


ISSUES Sub-paras

Finance And Trade with brackets

Means of Implementation/Finance (paras.75-80) 16

Means of Implementation/Trade (paras.81-88) 22

Other finance and assistance 9

Monterrey 4


Globalization (para.45) 14

Trade: environment, subsidies, distortions 3

Market access 3


Action Programmes, Time-Bound Targets 14



Common but differentiated responsibilities 7

Precautionary approach/principle 4

Good Governance 18

Human Rights/Labour Standards

Human rights 4

Labour standards 2


Other Issues

Actions at all levels (Chapeau) 8

Climate Change/Kyoto 7

Partnerships 3

Sub-paras not in above clusters 27



(* Some sub-paragraphs appear under more than one heading)


Means of Implementation/Finance (paras.75-80) (16 sub-paras in brackets) Means of Implementation/Trade (paras.81-88) (22 sub-paras in brackets) Other finance and assistance

6(b) [World solidarity fund to eradicate poverty]

14* Sustainable production and consumption [assistance, actions at all levels]

56(k)* Africa/climate change [Assistance, climate change]

97 Research and development [new and additional resources]

109 Education [new and additional financial resources]

122(b) [Finance and trade institutions]

122(f) [MEA funds/resources]

123(c)* [ODA, (good governance)]

123(h)* [Special Drawing Rights, (good governance)]


45(a)** Globalization: Macroeconomic policies [Monterrey, good governance]

45(k)* Globalization [Financial market regulation, Monterrey]

124* [Take into account Monterrey Consensus]

126(f) ECOSOC role [monitoring Monterrey commitments] Globalization (para.45)* (14 sub-paras. in brackets) GEF

39(f) [GEF/CCD: land degradation as focal area]

122(e) [GEF financing for projects with domestic benefits]

139,(a),(b) [GEF replenishment, UNCCD] [Note: indicated withdrawn by G77]

Trade: environment, distortion, subsidies

15(b) Investment incentives [trade-distorting measures]

18(c) [Environmentally harmful and trade distorting subsidies]

19(p.bis)* [Phasing out energy subsidies, review in 2007] Market access 38 (m) [Market access for agricultural products]

56(f) Africa: industrial productivity [competitiveness/market access]

56(g) Africa: industry [increased market access]



7/alt Improved sanitation [Dramatically reduce/halve by 2015] 8 Energy [Action programme]

19(e) [Renewable energy, increase global share to 2/5/15% by 2010]

19(p.bis)* [Phase out energy subsidies, review in 2007]

22* Chemicals and health [reduce adverse effects by 2020, precautionary approach]

23* [Halt natural resource loss by 2015, precautionary principle]

24 Improved sanitation [halve by 2015]

30(a) Fisheries stocks [maintain/restore, by 2015]

36* [Kyoto Protocol, entry into force in 2002]

42 Reduction in biodiversity loss [by 2010]

52(e) Reduction of waste and pollution [by 2004]

61(a) Africa: Agricultural polices/food security strategies [by 2005] 103 Gender disparity in education [eliminate by 2005]

145(b) National strategies for sustainable development [by 2005]



Common but differentiated responsibilities [CBDR]

2 Commitment to action [CBDR]

13 Sustainable consumption and production [CBDR]

19 Energy [CBDR]

37 Air pollution [CBDR]

75* Implementation of Agenda 21 [CBDR, finance]

120 Insitutional framework [CBDR, means of implementation]

138(c) [CSD, operationalizing CBDR]

Precautionary approach/principle

22* Chemicals and health [precautionary approach, by 2020]

23* Protection of ecosystems [precautionary principle, by 2015]

45(e/alt)* Globalization [Precautionary approach/principle]

93(e.bis) [Precautionary principle]



45(a)* Globalization: Macroeconomic policies [good governance]

123,(a-h)** [Enabling international economic environment]

124* [Reference Monterrey consensus and Millennium Declaration] 146, 146.bis-sept [Good governance at the national level]



Human rights

5 Peace, security, stability [respect for human rights and cultural diversity]

56(a) Peace [human rights]

121(d.bis/alt) [Rule of law, internationally recognized human rights]

152 [Interrelationship between human rights and the environment]

Labour standards

9(b) Employment [labour standards]

122(g) [Implementation of the ILO core labour standards]



Actions at all levels (Chapeau)

14* Work programme on production and consumption [assistance, actions at all levels] 89 Environmentally sound technologies [including urgent actions at all levels to:] 90 Transfer of technologies [actions at all levels] 93 Policy decision-making [action at all levels to] 94 Developing countries’ capacity for environment [actions at all levels] 107 Education in SD [actions are required to] 114 Devt. and use of earth observation technologies [actions at all levels] 116 Disaster mitigation [actions at all levels] Climate Change

36*,(a-e) [Climate change/Kyoto, 2002]

56(k)* [Assistance to Africa for climate change]


19(w/alt) [Partnerships within the context of WSSD]

56(j)(i) Energy [plan of action/partnerships/programmes]

138(b) Partnerships [modalities for follow-up of partnerships]



6(e) Poverty [Indigenous people, sustainable harvesting]

14(c/alt) Consumption and production [Life cycle]/[efficiency]

(e) Consumer info tools [Eco-labelling]

19(s) Energy: actions/proposals [CSD-9]

22(h) Heavy metals [international response]

29(a) Law of the Sea [Ratify]

30 Fisheries [Equitable]

(e) Fisheries [Rights]

33(a) IMO [mechanisms and instruments]

38(o) Combating illicit [drug] crops

42(o) [Benefit sharing, biodiversity]

51 Health [WTO/TRIPS Agreement]

52(c) SIDS: Coastal management [Law of the Sea]

53(b) SIDS: Sources of energy [all]/[local]

56 Africa [benefits from trade, debt burden, ODA flows, TICAD]

(h) capacity strengthening for environmental reform [strategic environmental assessments]

58(a) Africa: Health care [and services]

61(b) [Africa: Access to land and tenure]

64(e) [Africa: Biodiversity, benefit sharing]

70. Asia & Pacific: priority Initiatives [Regional Programme, Kitakyushu Initiative]

90(d) Access to technology and knowledge in the public domain [as mutually agreed] 98/alt. Science [Global public goods/interest]

116.bis/alt Information [Indicators/decoupling]

118. Information [Strategic planning]

119. Information [Sustainability impact assessment]

122(c) Institutional framework [Relationship between trading systems and MEAs]

151 Participation of major groups [access to info, participation in decision-making]


Summary of the WSSD Briefing, 28 June

Friday, 28 June 2002 By Pamela Chasek, ENB Editor

WSSD Secretary-General Nitin Desai held a briefing on the WSSD process on Friday morning, 28 June 2002, in Conference Room 1 at UN Headquarters. This was the second of a series of briefings that Desai expects to hold in New York prior to the World Summit on Sustainable Development. This briefing addressed three major areas, the recent “Passing the Torch” meeting in Rio de Janeiro, the factual analysis of the Draft Plan of Implementation for the WSSD, and logistics in South Africa.


1. “Passing the Torch” meeting

Brazil reported on the meeting in Rio de Janeiro, which took place from 23-25 June 2002. The idea was to have an event to symbolize passing the torch from Rio to Johannesburg. Participants included Brazilian President Henrique Cardoso,

Swedish Prime Minister Goran Persson, and South African President Thabo Mbeki, as well as British Deputy Prime Minister John Prescott, a large delegation from the United Nations, academics, NGOs and members of the scientific community.


On 23 June there was a seminar on sustainable development from Rio to Johannesburg, which included a discussion of commitments and a formulation of scenarios for the next 10-30 years. Topics included energy, regional initiatives, corporate accountability, the role of the media, global governance and poverty alleviation. On 24 June there was a public hearing, which included 50 experts and the heads of state present. On 25 June was the passing the torch ceremony.


Three important aspects of the meeting were:

a)   The three leaders agreed that failure in Johannesburg is not an option.

b)   The initiative reflects the Brazilian desire to contribute to the process and make the meeting a success.

c)   The three heads of state drafted a letter to the G-8 Summit, which was delivered by President Mbeki. The main idea was to work together for the success of Johannesburg.


Desai commented that this was a good description of the meeting and the mood in Rio was positive and demonstrated political commitment. There was extensive involvement of the three heads of state.


2. Factual Analysis of the Draft Plan of Implementation for the WSSD

Desai said that at the last briefing he had referred to a factual analysis of the Draft Plan of Implementation for the WSSD, as it emerged from Bali. This document is available to interested delegations. Contact Lowell Flanders at the DESA Secretariat. They may put this 2-3 page document up on the www site as well (


He also said that the secretariat to work on the implementation dimension, which he mentioned at the first briefing, is up and running and headed by Luis Gomez Echeverria.


3. Logistics in South Africa

Andrey Vasilyev, DESA, who had just returned from South Africa, reported on the status of the logistical arrangements for the WSSD. By way of introduction, Vasilyev commented that there are lots of visible signs of improvement in Johannesburg, including eco-friendly buses and better roads, and a lot of excitement about the WSSD.


The Sandton Convention Centre is being adapted to meet the Summit’s requirements. The set-up will have to be flexible to meet the different needs during the first and second weeks. There will be the following meeting rooms: a Plenary Hall, 2 full membership rooms (one set up like Conference Room 1 and one set up like the ECOSOC chamber), three rooms a little larger than Conference Room 7 (which can accommodate about 100 people) and three caucus rooms (like the alphabet rooms). (Note: All rooms refer to conference rooms at UN headquarters in New York). All of the rooms, except for the caucus rooms, will be set up for interpretation.


The Sandton Center does not have room for delegation office space. There are three hotels directly connected to the Sandton Center. If any delegation needs office space, they should contact the Mission of South Africa to the UN in New York.


With regard to accreditation, they are working on setting up a facility – either a tent outside or they will have to use the Sandton Art Gallery. It will not be feasible to do advance accreditation in New York. They hope that they can transmit the digital photographs from New York for the badges. The UN and the South Africans are still working on this.


The UN Protocol office will issue an INF document when everything is set up.


Desai said that the other locations for the business, science and NGO forum activities will all be linked through the Ubuntu Village. But the Secretariat’s priority is the Sandton Center. He then opened the floor for questions.


Venezuela wanted to ensure that the G-77 and China had a place to meet in Johannesburg. Desai responded that one of the mid-size rooms can be configured to meet the G-77 and China’s needs, but they want to save the full membership rooms for the process. He said that he is very cautious about committing space for other users both during normal and after hours. His first priority is to support the process.

In response to a question about visas, South Africa encouraged delegations to contact the South African consulate in New York. The INF document from the UN Protocol office will also have information about visas. Visas cannot be issued at the point of entry. The South African Government has prepared brochures about visas and will try to make them available to delegations.


In response to an NGO question about access, Desai said that the full membership rooms are sufficiently large for NGO participation. Vasilyev added that the Plenary Hall is designed to accommodate representatives of the nine major groups. The Sandton Center management is doing a safety analysis of how many people can be in the Center at any given time. As a result, there may be a need for a system of secondary passes at certain periods of time.


Switzerland asked about the date for the lottery for speakers during the high-level segment. Desai, noting that the high-level segment is now open to all states, rather than just heads of state, and the usual rules about priority will apply. The lottery will probably be in July.


In response to a question about side events and exhibit space, Desai said that they can only accommodate about 20% of the requests for side events. He will be sending out letters next week. There are lots of meeting facilities nearby that could host side events. In the Sandton Center there will be a single UN exhibit. Other exhibit space will be available at the Ubuntu Village. Contact the South African Mission for more details.


An NGO asked if there will be meeting space for NGO meetings and morning briefings and Desai said that the rooms would be available early in the morning and, possibly, at other times, provided the negotiating process does not need the rooms.


During the first week, the Plenary Hall will be used for both the meetings on partnerships and the statements by NGOs, IGOs and UN agency representatives. The other conference rooms will be used for negotiations.


Spain, whose term as president of the EU ends this weekend, gave a farewell statement and expressed thanks to everyone. He noted that starting on Monday, Denmark will assume the presidency of the EU, and Greece and the European Commission will round out the troika. Venezuela, on behalf of the G-77/China, thanked Spain for his hard work.


Desai said that there would be no briefing next week, because of the ECOSOC high-level segment. The following week, Desai will be on the road. He suggested that maybe during the week of 15 July that South Africa, Indonesia and Brazil might be able to do a briefing on activities at the political level. He closed the meeting by urging everyone to be patient and to continue to work together and be willing to find solutions.


Summary of the WSSD Briefing, 18 June

Tuesday, 18 June 2002 By Pamela Chasek, ENB Editor

WSSD Secretary-General Nitin Desai held a briefing on the WSSD process on Tuesday morning, 18 June 2002. Conference Room 5 at UN Headquarters was standing room only as Desai opened the briefing stating that he wanted “to take stock of where we are and what we have to do” before Johannesburg.


Desai made the following points:

- A decision was taken in Bali to send the text as it was on Friday, 7 June, to Johannesburg. Therefore, there will be no changes to the text before Johannesburg and any work done in between will have to be put forward by delegations once the WSSD begins in August.

- With regard to the state of the text, 73% has been agreed and 27% remains bracketed. Almost all of the bracketed text is in the chapters on globalization and means of implementation, especially those paragraphs dealing with trade and finance. Most of the programmatic and institutional text has been agreed on.

- Other outstanding issues include: time-bound targets, principles, GEF replenishment, the GEF and desertification, governance, human rights and labor standards.

- Aside from Monterrey, a greater percentage of the text has been agreed on than at this stage in any other conference, including Rio.

- The problem is not time, but finding common ground. This is the challenge for Johannesburg.

Desai stressed the importance of keeping everyone informed, and proposed having a weekly briefing session so that everyone knows what is going on.

Desai stressed the importance of keeping everyone informed, and proposed having a weekly briefing session so that everyone knows what is going on. This briefing will be of a stock-taking nature, not negotiating.


He also mentioned that a group coordinated by UNDP’s Luis Gomez Echeverri will be meeting to flesh out key initiatives under the WEHAB agenda (Water, Energy, Health, Agriculture and Biodiversity). This senior team of both academics and high-level UN agency officials will be trying to draw up a plan on how to implement this agenda. They will not produce negotiating documents but will present ideas on necessary actions.


South Africa expressed that her delegation was pleased with the progress in Bali. Bali was a success. Although we didn’t finalize everything, the issues are not insurmountable. We need the political will. She said that South African President Mbeke is engaging with Heads of State in preparation for Johannesburg and will use the upcoming G-8 meeting and others to raise issues relevant to the WSSD. The Minister of Foreign Affairs is in Europe visiting European capitals. The Mission in New York is exchanging views with other delegations to move the work forward.

She proposed holding informal consultations the last week of July, right after ECOSOC, in New York. She supported the regular briefings proposed by Desai.


Indonesia agreed with Desai that the problem was not time, but lack of political will. He said there is a need for political dialogue among key players before Johannesburg. He suggested using the high-level segment of ECOSOC (first week of July) to discuss how to proceed. He also proposed informal consultations on the remaining paragraphs with written agreement before Johannesburg.


Desai then opened up the floor for other comments.


Venezuela noted that the G-77 hasn’t made an assessment of the Bali outcomes yet and will meet by the end of the week. Therefore, he was speaking in his personal capacity, not on behalf of the G-77. He agreed with Desai’s assessment on Bali and said that it was a successful meeting, in UN terms. He said that we knew we wouldn’t have enough time. Two weeks for 200 paragraphs is not enough. While we have agreed to 73% of the text, this is nothing unless we reach agreement on the conceptual problems with finance. The political will is important but basic misunderstandings have to be clarified. He said he thought the Monterrey spirit would come through. He thought that the Millennium Declaration, Doha and Monterrey would set the platform, but apparently the developed countries thought differently. He said he was ready to start an exercise to make Johannesburg a success and supported convening weekly briefing sessions.


The United States also supported weekly briefing sessions, but recommended coordinating the time with the President of ECOSOC. He also said that if consultations are to be held, there must be an agreement on the dates as soon as possible because many people have vacations scheduled. He said that we were not under the impression of revising Rio and said that he thought others were trying to revise Doha and Monterrey. We made progress in Bali, but we didn’t realize how much work we would have to do. He said that the US was looking forward to discussing the WSSD at the G-8 meeting.


The European Union commented that Bali was successful in that we went through the entire Second Committee agenda in two weeks. But, it could have been better. He agreed with Venezuela that we need to sort out conceptual misunderstandings. What is the main outcome of Johannesburg? How do Doha and Monterrey fit in? Neither can be re-opened, therefore we need to build on them. Once we are clear on the concepts we can go forward. He supported the informal briefings.


Desai noted that delegates cannot jump straight to text but need to discuss concepts first. He said that many meetings will be going on informally so we need to maintain a degree of coherence in this process. He supported holding very informal informals the week of 29 July in New York, but reminded delegates that they still need to start with the Bali text in Johannesburg. Therefore, the purpose of the informals should be to facilitate the Johannesburg process, not substitute for it. We do not have a mandate to substitute. Therefore, the focus should be to get an understanding on the concepts.


The next briefing is tentatively scheduled to take place on Friday, 28 June 2002 at 10:00 am. By that time, Desai will report back on the outcome of the G-8 meeting, as well as the high-level meeting in Brazil next week. There will be no briefing the week of 1 July because of the ECOSOC high-level segment.


Documents from PrepCom IV

Draft Plan of Implementation, 12 June advance unedited

Vice-Chair's Summary on Partnerships, Annex: Guiding Principles for Partnerships

Chair's Summary of Multi-Stakeholder Dialogues

A Guide on Potential Partnerships on ENERGY for Sustainable Development


ENB Summary and Analysis of the Fourth Session of the PrepCom for the WSSD

Click here for the ENB coverage of PC IV, including photographs and Real Audio recordings.
Web/HTML and PDF version of the Earth Negotiations Bulletin report.

ENB On the Side's (ENBOTS) Coverage of side events.

Draft Plan of Implementation of 2 June 2002.


Chair's Text for Negotiation and Other Documents

9 May 2002

The Chair’s Text for Negotiation, the Co-Chair’s text on an Institutional Framework for Sustainable Development, and the Multi-Stakeholder Dialogue Papers for PrepCom IV have been released on the UN web site at


WSSD.Info News

3 May 2002

Check out the first issue of WSSD.Info News containing the latest news articles and speeches on the WSSD. This service will be provided on at least a fortnightly basis from now through the Summit. Click here to read WSSD.Info News.


Stakeholder Dialogue on Sustainable Water Management

25 - 26 April 2002, Rüschlikon, Switzerland

The Stakeholder Dialogue on Sustainable Water Management – Priorities for Policy Frameworks and Best Practices convened from 25-26 April 2002 at the Swiss Re Centre for Global Dialogue in Rüschlikon, Switzerland. Organized by the Swiss Federal Government, which was represented by the interdepartmental working group, IDARio, and Swiss Re, the Dialogue brought together over 140 participants from governments, intergovernmental and non-governmental organizations, and the academic, investment and business communities.

The Dialogue’s deliberations will feed into a thesis paper, which the Swiss Government plans to use when developing its position for negotiations on freshwater issues at the WSSD, and as a means of communicating its intent to play an active role in the international debate on water. Swiss Re will also use the outcome for risk assessment, awareness building, development of water-related risk-mitigating activities, and screening of projects related to corporate social responsibility.

Click here for the Sustainable Developments Summary Report.


Third Session of the PrepCom for the WSSD

25 March - 5 April 2002, UN HQ, New York

Chairman's Paper

Available responses to Chair's paper - Baha'i; Dutch NGOs; Energy Caucus; Friends of the Earth Int'l; Greenpeace; Int'l Youth Caucus; WWF


PrepCom IV moved to Bali

8 March 2002 - The site of the fourth and final preparatory meeting for the Johannesburg Summit has been moved from Jakarta to Bali. Prepcom IV, is still scheduled to take place from 27 May to 7 June, and will include high level ministerial participation. It will be the final preparatory meeting before governments, citizen groups and businesses gather in Johannesburg for the Summit.

Click here for more ...


Fifth and Final Meeting of the Open-ended Intergovernmental Group of Ministers or Their Representatives on IEG and the Third GMEF/ Seventh Special Session of the Governing Council

12-15 February 2002, Cartagena, Colombia

The Seventh Special Session of UNEP’s Governing Council (GCSS-7) and Third Global Ministerial Environment Forum (GMEF-3) took place at the Cartagena de Indias Conference Center in Cartagena, Colombia, from 13-15 February 2002. The Session was preceded by the final, one-day meeting of the Intergovernmental Group of Ministers or Their Representatives (IGM) on International Environmental Governance (IEG), which was held at the same venue on Tuesday, 12 February 2002.

The IGM failed to reach agreement on a number of critical issues, in particular on strategies to ensure predictable and stable funding for UNEP and according universal membership to the UNEP GMEF. However, these issues were resolved during the GCSS-7/GMEF-3, at which delegates adopted the IGM report on IEG and agreed to transmit it to the third session of the WSSD Preparatory Committee. Delegates also agreed to take note of a statement by the President of the Governing Council on UNEP’s contribution to the WSSD, and to transmit it to PrepCom III, together with the report and policy statement prepared for the GCSS-7/GMEF-3 by UNEP’s Executive Director. Regarding the review of implementation of decisions of GC-21/GMEF-2, the Council adopted five decisions on: a strategic approach to chemicals management at the global level; compliance with and enforcement of multilateral environmental agreements; development of a strategy for the active engagement of civil society, the private sector and Major Groups in the work of UNEP; implementation of the Global Programme of Action for the Protection of the Marine Environment from Land-based Activities; and the environmental situation in the Occupied Palestinian Territories.

Click here for the ENB Summary Report.

Second Session of the PrepCom for the WSSD

28 January - 8 February 2002, New York

The CSD, acting as the PrepCom for the WSSD, met for its second session from 28 January to 8 February 2002 at UN headquarters in New York.

The Commission agreed to transmit to its third session the Chairman’s Paper as the basis for negotiation, and adopted the Chairman’s Report, to which are annexed the Chairman’s Summary of the Second Preparatory Session, the Chairman’s Summary of the Multi-Stakeholder Dialogue Segment, and the Proposals for Partnerships/Initiatives to Strengthen the Implementation of Agenda 21.

At the conclusion of the session, participants were able to return to their capitals and missions with reports of veritable successes from PrepCom II, counting among their achievements, the production of a Paper that will provide a basis for negotiation at PrepCom III, meaningful dialogue with stakeholders, agreement to initiate discussion on sustainable development governance, and rallying support for partnerships and outputs that could result in voluntary initiatives.

Click here for the ENB Summary Report.


NY meeting on IEG

25 January 2002, UN Headquarters, New York
Click here for working documents

Click here for the ENB Summary report


Informal Brainstorming Session

16 - 17 January 2002, UN Headquarters, New York

An informal brainstorming session preceding PrepCom II for the WSSD took place from 16-17 January 2002, at UN headquarters in New York. Over 100 participants attended the session, including representatives of governments, intergovernmental organizations, NGOs and other major groups. During the brainstorming session, participants considered two clusters of issues. The first cluster involved a review of the implementation of Agenda 21 and other Rio outcomes, including accomplishments, shortfalls/constraints and lessons learned, as well as key themes and priorities emerging from the regional preparatory meetings. The second cluster related to strengthening implementation, including promoting an integrated and strategically focused approach, strengthening international institutional arrangements for sustainable development, and means of implementation. This cluster also addressed practical steps/specific time-bound implementation measures, and partnerships for achieving sustainable development. In addition, participants were briefed on and discussed preparations for PrepCom II and on a possible framework for strengthening linkages between expected outcomes of the WSSD.

Click here for the ENB Summary Report.


Secretary General's Report

20 December 2001 - UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan provides an assessment of progress made in the implementation of Agenda 21. This report will be considered at the second PrepCom in New York held this month. Click here for a copy of the SG report.


GA Adopts New Dates for the Summit

18 December 2001- The UN General Assembly has changed the dates for the Johannesburg Summit (GA decision A/C.2/56/L.71). The Summit will now begin on Monday, 26 August 2002 and conclude on Wednesday, 4 September. The high level segment involving the meeting of world leaders will take place during the last three days from 2-4 September 2002.

Second Committee approves date change for WSSD

17 December 2002

The Second Committee of the United Nations General Assembly concluded its work this week by approving a draft resolution (A/C.2/56/L.71) on the WSSD. This resolution is expected to be approved by the General Assembly without changes when it takes up the report of the Second Committee on Friday, 21 December 2001. This resolution changes the dates of the WSSD to 26 August - 4 September 2002, advancing the conference dates by one week.

Click here for the UN Press Release, which deals with the 16 draft texts forwarded by the Second Committee.


International Conference on Freshwater

3 - 7 December 2001, Bonn, Germany

The International Conference on Freshwater took place from 3-7 December 2001 at in Bonn, Germany, with 118 governments, 47 intergovernmental organizations and 73 representatives of major groups in attendance. The Conference was convened as a preparatory step on freshwater issues for the upcoming WSSD. Delegates met in Plenary and Working Group sessions to consider issues of water access, scarcity, pollution and natural disasters, as well as financing and capacity building. A closed-door ministerial session considered the equitable and sustainable use of water resources and the mobilization of financial resources for infrastructure investment. The Conference considered the Recommendations for Action (RFA) that will be presented to the WSSD and its preparatory process. The other conference outputs are the ‘Bonn Keys’ – a one-page summary of the RFA, the Working Group Reports, Conference Report and Ministerial Declaration, as well as the Conference Issue Paper and Thematic Background Papers, which were prepared prior to the Conference.

Click here for full SD coverage of this event, including daily reports, real audio and images from the proceedings.


Global Conference on Oceans and Coasts at Rio+10: Assessing Progress, Addressing Continuing and New Challenges

3 - 7 December 2001, Paris, France

The Global Conference on Oceans and Coasts at Rio+10: Toward the 2002 World Summit on Sustainable Development in Johannesburg took place from 3-7 December 2001 at the UNESCO headquarters in Paris, France. Conference participants sought to: provide an overall assessment of progress achieved on oceans and coasts in the ten years since the UNCED; identify new and continuing challenges; examine cross-cutting issues among various ocean and coastal sectors; consider options for concerted action on outstanding cross-sectoral issues; and provide recommendations for the oceans and coasts agenda of the WSSD.

Click here to read SD's summary report of this event.


Fourth Meeting of the Open-ended Intergovernmental Group of Ministers or their Representatives on International Environmental Governance

30 November - 1 December 2001, Montreal, Canada

This meeting took place in Montreal, Canada, from 30 November-1 December 2001. More than two hundred participants were in attendance. Over the course of the one-and-a-half-day meeting, participants convened in three Plenary sessions and in three working groups to consider revised proposals on options and elements of international environmental governance (IEG) drawn up by the President of the UNEP Governing Council, David Anderson, Minister of Environment of Canada. Click here for ENB's coverage of this event, including images and real audio from the proceedings.


Asia-Pacific Regional Preparatory Meeting
27-29 November, Phnom Penh, Cambodia

The Asia-Pacific Roundtable on Sustainable Development and the High-Level Asia-Pacific Regional Meeting for the WSSD took place in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, from 27-29 November 2001. The Roundtable and Regional Meeting were attended by over 190 representatives from 46 Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP) States, two associate members of ESCAP, four non-ESCAP UN member States, and over 220 representatives from UN agencies, multilateral financing institutions, NGOs and other stakeholders. The Regional Meeting produced two outcomes: a Chairman’s Summary of the Roundtable; and the Phnom Penh Regional Platform on Sustainable Development for Asia and the Pacific (Platform), which includes a regional assessment of Agenda 21 implementation, key issues and priorities for sustainable development, follow-up actions, and financing sustainable development. Delegates to the meeting braved marathon negotiations that stretched early into the morning hours on the last day to produce a Platform that many described as perhaps the best of the products coming out of the five regional preparatory meetings for the WSSD.

Click here for full ENB coverage of this meeting, including images and real audio.


Equity for a Small Planet

12-13 November 2001, London, UK

The one-day workshop focused on ways of ensuring greater equity and developing local livelihoods, particularly in developing countries, within the context of an increasingly market-oriented process of globalization. Over 125 participants attended, representing governments, NGOs, multilateral organizations, academia and the private sector. The workshop addressed corporate accountability, stakeholder engagement, and empowerment of marginalized groups and other issues. Participants formed five Working Groups, which met in morning and afternoon sessions, to address themes of: standards and certification; corporate-community partnerships; regoverning markets; poverty reduction and forest conservation through markets for environmental services; and investment for sustainable development. 

Click here for Sustainable Developments' coverage, with images and real audio

International Forum on National Sustainable Development Strategies
7-9 November 2001, Accra, Ghana

The Forum was convened by the DESA, in collaboration with the Government of Ghana, Department for International Development (DFID) of the UK, the Danish Government and the UNDP/Capacity 21, as part of the ongoing preparatory process for the WSSD. Seventy-three participants from 31 countries drawn from government, civil society, the private sector and international agencies participated in the Forum. The meeting’s outputs consisted of the Draft Report of the Forum with country reports annexed thereto, an enriched draft of the UN document on guidance for preparing NSDSs, suggestions for key national and regional actions, and an enriched draft of the document on development of criteria to asses the effectiveness of NSDSs.

Click here for Sustainable Developments summary report on this meeting.


Roundtable on Environment and Development: Where are we? Where are we going?
14 November 2001, Washington DC

As part of the preparations for the Summit, the task force on Sustainable Development of the UN Association / National Capital Area in collaboration with the Section on International Law and Practice of the American Bar Association have organized a Round Table, which will look at progress since Rio, new and emerging issues and urgent problems. Discussions will indicate roles for non-governmental organizations. For more information, contact: UNA/NCA; tel: +1-202-518-0471; e-mail:, or Gloria Scott: +1-703-751-6589


World Economic Forum moves next year's Annual Meeting to New York

7 November 2001

The World Economic Forum will hold next year's Annual Meeting in New York. For the past 31 years, leaders from business, government, civil society, academia and the media have met annually in Davos, Switzerland to address key economic, political and social issues on the global agenda. Klaus Schwab, President of the Forum, said that the Annual Meeting plans to return to Davos in 2003. "Davos has been home to the Forum's Annual Meeting for 31 years and the intimacy of the mountain setting has been conducive to solving a number of world crises in the past. But these are extraordinary times, and we feel an extraordinary response is both necessary and appropriate. So we'll have "Davos in New York" in 2002." Next year's meeting will focus on global economy, security and cultural understanding.

Click here for more.


Latin America and Caribbean Preparatory Meetings

23-24 October 2001, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Delegates considered progress achieved in implementation of Agenda 21, discussed the document regarding "The sustainability of development in Latin America and the Caribbean: Challenges and opportunities," and heard statements by ministers and representatives of international organizations and civil society. At the end of the meeting, delegates adopted the "Rio de Janeiro Platform for Action on the Road to Johannesburg 2002," which includes sections on: reaffirmation of principles and commitments; obstacles and lessons learned; present considerations; and future commitments.
Click here
for ENB's complete coverage of the LAC Regional Preparatory Meeting including images and RealAudio from the negotiations.


West Asian Regional Preparatory Meetings

24-25 October 2001, Cairo, Egypt

Key regional issues emerging from the Cairo meetings include peace and security, poverty, debt, water management and the need for integration across political levels and sectors.

Click here for ENB's complete coverage of the West Asia Regional Preparatory Meeting including images and RealAudio from the negotiations.


South Africa's Public Outreach Process

18 October 2001

Click here to read South Africa's Mail & Guardian's Supplements on the WSSD.


African Regional Preparatory Meetings

15-18 October 2001

During this four-day Conference, delegates met in a two-day Technical Segment on Monday and Tuesday, 15-16 October, and a two-day Ministerial Segment held on Wednesday and Thursday, 17-18 October. The Conference aimed to outline key regional policy issues, priorities and follow-up actions for the WSSD, to provide substantial inputs to its preparatory process, and to forward regional views on international cooperation for sustainable development at the regional and global levels. Delegates negotiated an African Ministerial Statement drawing on an Assessment Report and the outcomes of subregional preparatory meetings. The African Ministerial Statement reviews the last decade, identifying the achievements and constraints faced, and highlights 26 priority areas for action.

Click here for ENB's complete coverage of the African Regional Preparatory Meeting, including images and RealAudio from the negotiations.



Business Tells Governments to Pay Up for Jo'burg Summit

10 October 2001

Business Action for Sustainable Development called on governments to provide funding for next year's WSSD and relieve South Africa as host country of an unacceptable financial burden that was imperiling the event. Click here to read more.


Southern NGO Summit Postponed

2 October 2001

The Southern NGO Summit that was to convene this month in Algiers has been postponed. Click here to read more.


Reykjavik Conference on Responsible Fisheries

1-4 October 2001

This conference, which convened in Reykjavik, Iceland from 1-4 October, presented stakeholders with an opportunity to gather and review the best available knowledge on marine and ecosystem issues. It sought to establish a means by which ecosystem considerations could be included in capture fisheries management, and to identify future challenges and relevant strategies. Click here to read Sustainable Development's coverage of the Meeting and to find out more about the outcome - the Reykjavik Declaration - which will be submitted to the WSSD for its consideration.


Fourth Meeting of the Bureau

1-2 October 2001

The Fourth meeting of the Bureau took place in New York on 1-2 October 2001. The Bureau assessed the state of preparations for the Johannesburg Summit at the regional and sub-regional levels ... Click here for more.


European Regional PrepCom

24-25 September 2001
The Europe and North America Regional Ministerial Meeting for the World Summit on Sustainable Development, WSSD, closed on Tuesday, 25 September 2001 in Geneva, Switzerland. Two Ministerial Panels were held on Governance and Sustainable Development and on Poverty and Sustainable Development, chaired by Svend Auken, Danish Minister of Environment and Energy, and Jan Pronk, Dutch Minister of the Environment and Spatial Planning.

A drafting group focusing on the Ministerial Statement from the Region finished its work, and the meeting adopted the Statement. Meeting Chair, Deiss of Switzerland, closed the meeting at 2:20pm. 

Click here for the Earth Negotiations Bulletin's (ENB) complete coverage of this meeting, including images and RealAudio clips. Read ENB's report and analysis of the meeting.

Progress in Preparatory Activities

14 September 2001

Click here to see the Secretary-General's report


WSSD International Eminent Persons' Meeting on Interlinkages

3-4 September 2001

This meeting took place from 3-4 September 2001 at the United Nations University in Tokyo, Japan. The purpose of this meeting was to: review the state of the environment based on linkages between issues; examine the problems and challenges arising from such linkages and their policy responses; and assess how such issues could best be addressed within preparatory processes leading to the WSSD ...

Sustainable Development's coverage of this meeting, including photos, real audio clips and a summary report, is available at:


Dates and Venues Set for Asian Preparatory Meetings
21 August 2001
Regional PrepComs
Asia and Pacific: Phnom Penh, Cambodia, 27 - 29 Nov 2001
Subregional PrepComs
South Pacific: Apia, Samoa, 5 - 7 September 2001
Central Asia: Almaty, Kazakhstan, 19 - 21 September 2001
South Asia: Colombo, Sri Lanka, 27 - 29 September 2001
Southeast Asia: Manila, Philippines, 17 - 19 October 2001

Note: Changes are in blue
Click here for the registration form for stakeholder participation in the sub-regional meetings for Central Asia, South Asia and Southeast Asia.


Major Groups Pre-registration and Accreditation
10 August 2001

NGOs currently in consultative status with ECOSOC can pre-register to participate in the WSSD and its Prepcom meetings. NGOs not in consultative status need to apply for accreditation to participate in the Summit and its preparatory meetings.

Click here for more on major group accreditation and pre-registration.


Second Meeting of the Bureau
16-18 July 2001, Geneva

The second meeting of the Bureau took place in Geneva from 16-18 July. Bureau members discussed results of the Regional Roundtables, agreeing that these meetings have made significant contributions to the Summit preparatory process and concurred to synthesize the outcomes after all the Roundtables had taken place. The Bureau agreed on its activities leading to the second session of the PrepCom scheduled for 28 January - 8 February 2002 in New York and considered the programme of activities for the second PrepCom. Bureau members also met with the World Bank, ILO, UNCTAD, WTO, WMO, WHO, UNECE, UNEP/ROE and NGOs and other major groups to discuss their preparations for the Summit.

Click here for the note on the outcome of the 2nd meeting


The Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC) in cooperation with UNEP and DESA have begun regional preparations for the World Summit for Sustainable Development.

31 May 2001

Press release is available at:


Asia-Pacific preparatory process defined for next year�s World Summit on Sustainable Development

18 May 2001, Bangkok/Manila

The Asian Development Bank (ADB), the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP) and the UN Environment Programme (UNEP) have begun regional preparations for the World Summit on Sustainable Development, to be held in Johannesburg, South Africa in September, 2002.
Full press release is available at:

First PrepCom for the World Summit on Sustainable Development
30 April-2 May 2001, New York 
Over 600 participants attended the session, including representatives of governments, IGOs, NGOs and other major groups and stakeholders. The session elected Bureau members, considered organizational matters and deliberated on the following agenda items: progress in the preparatory activities at the local, national, regional and international levels, as well as by major groups; the process for setting the agenda and determining possible main themes for the Summit; specific modalities for future preparatory meetings, including matters of accreditation for NGOs; and the rules of procedure for the Summit.

Click here for documents and more information on the session.


South Africa�s National preparations for the World Summit on Sustainable Development
19 April 2001, Johannesburg, South Africa
Full report is available at:


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