Daily report for 1 February 2002
2nd Session of the WSSD Preparatory Committee
Delegates met in Plenary all day and in an evening session to continue with a general debate on the review of progress in the implementation of Agenda 21.
REVIEW OF PROGRESS ACHIEVED IN THE IMPLEMENTATION OF AGENDA 21: Chair Emil Salim (Indonesia) opened the morning session at which delegates generally presented possible action areas for WSSD.
ECUADOR called for: transfer of environmentally sound technology (EST); recognition of the potential of ecotourism; and acknowledgement of the value of the Clean Development Mechanism. The CZECH REPUBLIC noted: governance and institutional architecture; partnerships with major groups; and education for sustainable development. The PHILIPPINES supported: development of a global trade and investment regime; good governance and institutional reforms; debt relief; and development and transfer of ESTs. BANGLADESH supported cooperation for peace and security, transfer of ESTs, climate change mitigation, and allocation of financial resources for implementation. BELARUS described their national plan of action and efforts to overcome the Chernobyl disaster.
On behalf of the ALLIANCE OF SMALL ISLAND STATES (AOSIS), Samoa supported inclusion of oceans, coasts and islands, and the need to address island vulnerability to climate change, urging industrialized countries to acknowledge responsibility and take action. Finland, on behalf of the ARCTIC COUNCIL: expressed concern about Indigenous Peoples’ consumption of contaminants in traditional foods; called for early entry into force of the Stockholm Convention; and described regional impacts of climate change.
Reaffirming commitment to Agenda 21 and the Barbados Programme of Action, Grenada, for the CARIBBEAN COMMUNITY, stressed establishment of a fund for natural disaster mitigation and rehabilitation, and support for the regional fisheries management programme. LITHUANIA said priority should be given to investment in pollution prevention, clean fuel and energy sources, and other progressive ESTs. KENYA emphasized ensuring a linkage between the WSSD and International Financing for Development Conference processes, and proposed using the Global Environment Facility (GEF) to fund national action plans to combat desertification. COLOMBIA urged promotion of alternative crops for food security, recognition and strengthening of the role of local communities and Indigenous Peoples, and sustainable development education.
The UNITED STATES noted fair regulatory systems, transparency and law as prerequisites for investment, stressed domestic governance, and urged forming "coalitions of the willing." The WORLD BANK identified their poverty reduction focus, and emphasized: integration; official development assistance (ODA) increases; resolution of trade barriers; and the need for GEF replenishment in 2002. NORWAY proposed that links between environmental health and poverty be addressed at the Summit and the global chemical agenda be moved forward. THAILAND outlined national sustainable development initiatives such as use of cleaner fuels, provision of safe drinking water, and an increase in the number of protected areas.
The RUSSIAN FEDERATION suggested that the Summit: address: costs of sustaining globally-beneficial ecosystems; the external debt problem; and benefits from private sector resources. ALGERIA stressed the need for shared prosperity, a fresh perspective of interdependence and greater awareness of inequalities, and called for reinforcement of multilateral environmental agreements and access to clean water. SOUTH AFRICA noted that globalization has excluded many developing countries, and called for: access to clean water and sanitation; universal literacy; sustainable production and consumption; new regional and innovative partnerships; and effective governance.
The UNITED NATIONS FOUNDATION expressed its commitment to continuing public-private partnership projects with the UN system, and concentrating on the nexus of energy, climate change and poverty in preparing for the WSSD. ROMANIA supported the "Global Deal," integration of social and economic concerns and their linkage to poverty, and said it would continue to promote regional cooperation in Eastern and Central Europe. The FORMER YUGOSLAV REPUBLIC OF MACEDONIA focused on problems of countries with economies in transition (CEITs), particularly climate change, finance and trade, and debt relief. BRAZIL stressed the crucial nature of addressing climate change and the entry into force of the Kyoto Protocol, and suggested treating finance and technology transfer as important cross-sectoral areas. SAINT LUCIA called for institutional arrangements with the World Trade Organization (WTO) on implementing trade agreements that impact sustainable development, the doubling of ODA flows, monitoring business contribution, and reinstating the transnational corporations unit in the UN secretariat. The INTERNATIONAL CENTER FOR GENETIC ENGINEERING AND BIOTECHNOLOGY emphasized the goal of building the capacity of developing countries in the sustainable use of biodiversity and biotechnology.
BOTSWANA’s priority areas for the WSSD included: poverty eradication; concrete, predictable and time-bound financing for drought and desertification; capacity building; the combat of HIV/ AIDS; new and additional resources for developing countries; transfer of ESTs on concessional terms; and, with TUNISIA, support for the New Partnership for African Development (NEPAD). TUNISIA also highlighted combating poverty and social exclusion, and proposed addressing demographic growth and production and consumption patterns. TUVALU called for: a fourth sustainable development pillar – the human, spiritual and cultural dimension; as well as oceans and coasts; and, with TRINIDAD AND TOBAGO, lamented that SIDS work was not adequately reflected in the Secretary-General’s Report. TRINIDAD AND TOBAGO noted the effect of the HIV/AIDS pandemic on the Caribbean region. MALAYSIA supported partnerships and called for a comprehensive poverty eradication strategy, a "renewed global ‘deal,’" enhancement of the sustainable development "architecture," and political will to mobilize resources.
BHUTAN, with SWITZERLAND and NEPAL, drew attention to the importance of sustainable mountain ecosystem development. The REPUBLIC OF KOREA addressed technology transfer and emphasized regional approaches to sustainable development. MONGOLIA called for strengthening institutional arrangements in the UN system, providing aid to establish local and national sustainable development councils, and designating desertification and land degradation as a focus area at the WSSD. PAKISTAN called for reversing rampant globalization and eradicating "the poison of poverty," and highlighted peace and stability as indivisible from development.
CHINA proposed: adoption of a concrete plan of action; adherence to the Rio Principles; revitalization of global partnerships; and improved implementation. ISRAEL’s priority actions include formal and informal education for youth and consideration of the media and advertising industries as drivers of the demand side of production and consumption. FIJI urged the WSSD to call for a ten-year review of the Barbados Programme of Action for SIDS, and proposed the themes of oceans and islands, tourism, health, ICTs, vulnerability, and financial resources. CYPRUS supported the "Global Deal" as a WSSD conceptual framework and urged addressing challenges from HIV/AIDS, ICTs, and globalization.
Noting that developing country exporters of manufactured goods had benefited the most from liberalization, the UN INDUSTRIAL DEVELOPMENT ORGANIZATION (UNIDO) called for associated technical cooperation programmes and projects, and committed to work on technology transfer, energy and solid waste. UNAIDS stressed partnerships, a sustainable multi-sectoral response, and debt relief as HIV/AIDS strategies.
The UNITED NATIONS UNIVERSITY noted their involvement in the Millenium Ecosystem Assessment and the need for consistency between WTO rules and environmental agreements. CROATIA noted challenges faced by CEITs and identified climate change as an urgent environmental problem. UNICEF highlighted child survival, growth, and development, and stressed the need for gender equality, safe water supply and sanitation.
NIGERIA highlighted local Summit preparations, identified oceans and desertification as key topics, reaffirmed poverty eradication as a prerequisite for sustainable development, and called for clearly identifying the role of UNEP in sustainable development governance. Expressing hope that the Kyoto Protocol would come into force before the Summit, PERU discussed mountain ecosystems. MOZAMBIQUE stated that the world, far from achieving sustainable development, is characterized by poverty, underdevelopment, inequality, pollution, global warming and natural disasters. BELIZE stressed micro-enterprise development, financing and capacity building, and described challenges posed by natural disasters. JAMAICA discussed the economic, environmental and social consequences of the rural-urban drift.
BARBADOS identified key issues, inter alia: vulnerability of SIDS to natural disasters; HIV/AIDS; dependence on the natural environment of the tourism industry; and oceans, coasts and islands and the Barbados Programme of Action as focal areas. The WTO supported liberalizing trade to address the "pollution of poverty" and making trade and environmental policies mutually supportive. UNESCO declared education for all a priority, and called for people everywhere to become agents of change and modify their behavior and lifestyle.
MOROCCO outlined energy shortages and environmental challenges relating to water, and called for effective management and partnerships. SAUDI ARABIA described financial reforms undertaken toward promoting economic stability. Calling for special attention to CEITs, MOLDOVA said ecosystems are threatened by unsustainable economic practices. NEPAL warned that poverty and environmental degradation will be worse for future generations, and described the benefits of their forestry programme. The INTERNATIONAL MARITIME ORGANIZATION stressed the importance of clean oceans and safer international shipping, noting that marine pollution from ships has been reduced since Rio and efforts are underway to reduce ballast water’s harmful effects. HONDURAS noted that the Secretary-General’s Report does not take into account the Central American Alliance for Sustainable Development, and suggested strengthening the roles of national councils for sustainable development.
BOLIVIA suggested assessing global implementation, addressing natural disasters, ensuring decentralization, and establishing community level partnerships. SURINAME proposed defining sustainable development targets, and focused on poverty, forests, Indigenous Peoples and ecotourism. KYRGYZSTAN emphasized sustainable mountain development, as well as assistance to CEITs. UKRAINE suggested using scientific methodologies to study sustainable development, devising new management approaches to government policies, and promoting effective partnerships. BURUNDI proposed that the WSSD focus on an integrated approach to sustainable development, poverty, conflict resolution and HIV/AIDS, and, with TUNISIA, a world solidarity fund. POLAND proposed strengthening implementation of Agenda 21, including through compliance regimes, establishing a sustainable development court and utilizing the experience of aged persons in promoting sustainable development.
Editor’s Note: ENB coverage ended at 9:00 pm. However, the session continued into the night.
IN THE CORRIDORS
The corridors have been active all week as different regional groups and caucuses worked round-the-clock to advance their "pet" agendas. The G-77/China was said to have initiated work on Monday, 28 January, to prepare a draft outline of action-oriented issues that would provide the basis for the interactive discussions due to start Monday, 4 February. Concerned about sustainable development governance, some members of JUSCANZ had embarked on the preparation of text to address domestic governance, with a heavy focus on regulatory frameworks. SIDS were pre-occupied with the oceans and islands agenda, as the EU worked to bring some reluctant developing country members to support the issue of partnerships. PrepCom Chair Salim’s initial list of possible action areas to be released Sunday evening, 3 February, is likely to determine the direction of these consultations...
THINGS TO LOOK FOR TODAY
INTERACTIVE DIALOGUES: Two parallel interactive discussions will be held in morning and afternoon sessions in Conference Rooms 1 and 4 to comment on a list of issues prepared over the weekend by the PrepCom Chair, which will contain proposals for action and key items presented by delegations during discussions held throughout the first week. The list to be discussed by each Discussion Group is to be determined. Look for the list after 5:00 pm on Sunday, 3 February, at the UN DC-2 Building Room 2224 or online at www.johannesburgsummit.org.