Daily report for 7 February 2002
2nd Session of the WSSD Preparatory Committee
Delegates met in a morning Plenary to hear presentations from Indonesia and South Africa about preparations for PrepCom IV and the Johannesburg Summit. Sustainable development governance was discussed in an informal consultation in the afternoon, concluding consideration of the Chair’s List of Issues and Proposals for Discussion.
Vice-Chair Kiyotaka Akasaka (Japan) invited Indonesia and South Africa to make presentations on the arrangements for PrepCom IV and the Summit.
The Indonesian delegation presented a video on preparations for PrepCom IV to be held at the Jakarta Convention Center from 27 May to 7 June 2002, noting that: logistical information is available on their website: www.pc-wssd.com; and as World Environment Day is 5 June, there will be an exhibition parallel to the meeting from 4-7 June.
The South African delegation made a presentation on preparations and logistics for the WSSD, describing in detail the various formal and side events, as well as social and cultural activities at Summit venues in Johannesburg. He noted the significance of the "cradle of humankind" event planned for invited leaders, who will gather at an archeological site "at the dawn of a new Century." He also explained facilities to be provided for UN delegations and NGO participants, and opportunities for interaction during the Summit. Additional details are available at www.joburgsummit2002.com.
PrepCom Vice-Chairs Lars-Göran Engfeldt (Sweden) and Ositadinma Anaedu (Nigeria) co-chaired the open-ended informal consultation on sustainable development governance, which was based on an informal paper they circulated on Thursday, 31 January, containing questions to guide discussion. The "non-cluster" on governance from PrepCom Chair Salim’s List of Issues and Proposals for Discussion was also considered during this session. Co-Chair Engfeldt opened the session and introduced a panel of speakers who described their experiences with ongoing institutional reforms.
Sarbuland Khan, Director, ECOSOC Affairs and Coordination Division, DESA, discussed reforms within ECOSOC, drawing attention to recurring themes in the process such as mobilization of resources and achievement of results at all levels. He identified ECOSOC as the fulcrum where the regional dimension can be integrated by promoting coherence among the UN, international financial institutions and the World Trade Organization (WTO). Alvaro Umaña, Director, Environment and Sustainable Development Group, UNDP, identified problems in integrating all three pillars of sustainable development such as fragmented sectoral approaches to development and compartmentalized agencies that compete instead of cooperate.
Adnan Amin, Director, NY UNEP Office, described the evolution of UNEP and its International Environmental Governance process, and discussed the document to be negotiated at the Seventh Special Session of the Governing Council/Global Ministerial Environment Forum in Cartagena, Colombia. Qazi Shaukat Fareed, Director, Office of Interagency Affairs, described the reform of the Administrative Committee on Coordination (ACC), identifying challenges in institutional restructuring processes.
In response to the presentations, CANADA noted that ECOSOC had not provided coordination and integration with the CSD’s work, and also expressed concern that an ad hoc approach could not command resources or commitment. KENYA enquired about what is envisioned as the result of the International Environmental Governance and sustainable development governance processes, and BOLIVIA enquired about the relationship between UNEP and the WTO, and UNEP’s view of sustainable development governance. EGYPT enquired about how the three sustainable development pillars could be integrated at ECOSOC, particularly as the Bretton Woods Institutions operate at "arms length" from the UN.
ECOSOC highlighted its contributions to the CSD’s multi-year programme of work and noted the opportunity to enhance coherence through the International Conference on Financing for Development (FfD) provisions relating to the Bretton Woods Institutions. The Office of Interagency Affairs noted that heads of agencies prefer dynamic and flexible networking, and the existence of opportunities to provide substance to the Office’s information exchange system. UNEP reiterated the anticipated outputs of the International Environmental Governance process, stated that the WSSD’s challenge was how to integrate the International Environmental Governance equation into the Summit process, and drew attention to UNEP’s work on trade and environment with the UN Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), and its Memorandum of Understanding with the WTO regarding potential future conflicts in this area.
Co-Chair Anaedu invited comments on the Co-Chair’s informal submission of sustainable development governance questions, underlining that the Co-Chairs were not responsible for the addendum on the governance "non-cluster" annexed to the List of Issues and Proposals for Discussion.
In the ensuing discussion, Argentina, for the G-77/CHINA, stated the Group’s wish not to comment on the "non-cluster," preferring instead a reference in the Chair’s Report to the informal consultations initiated by the Vice-Chairs, and emphasized the need to determine objectives before the approach. He also emphasized: institutional linkages at the international level; the potential, but unrealized, role of regional commissions; possible involvement of the UNDP country offices in national sustainable development strategies; and development of general principles for national governance. He said the proposal for an international sustainable development court had far-reaching implications, and good governance was not a recognized pillar of sustainable development. Spain, on behalf of the EU, supported discussions on sustainable development governance and urged consideration of: governance at national, regional and international levels; instruments to evaluate proposals and execute measures undertaken at these levels; FfD outcomes to reinforce measures for WSSD follow-up; the role of regional commissions; and instruments to support capacity building and technical assistance on national level governance.
NORWAY urged: strengthening of existing institutions and improving how they work separately and together; identifying the areas of sustainable development governance focus; and building capacity for national level governance in developing countries. POLAND proposed consideration of: local and subregional governance; bilateral cooperation; UN agency coordination; and a sustainable development code. SWITZERLAND called for extending stakeholder involvement to include monitoring and support on implementation, changing the CSD focus and method of work, and addressing new challenges such as globalization, new communication technologies, and genetics. CANADA emphasized linking CSD work to activities in the UN system, particularly those of regional commissions, and said that countries without good governance tend not to receive ODA, but rather disaster relief or military assistance. EGYPT said that developed country commitments must also be monitored and enforced, and with SOUTH AFRICA and CANADA, called for increased participation of ministers other than those of the environment. EGYPT and CANADA opposed any new fourth pillar of sustainable development.
CHINA called attention to: Agenda 21 implementation means; national differences in regards to indicators; and problems associated with integrating the International Environmental Governance discussion into the WSSD process. HUNGARY concurred with the G-77/ China in regards to referencing the governance "non-cluster," and called for a clear conception of governance and consideration of institutional setting and cooperation, including with other non-UNCED international agreements. He also noted the dilemma of parallel planning processes caused by national sustainable development strategies. The US underscored the legitimacy of the International Environmental Governance process, recognized the three pillars of sustainable development, proposed focusing on the effectiveness, efficiency and rationale of the CSD, and stressed: the role of national governments in providing a suitable environment and infrastructure for sustainable development; effective institutions; science-based decision making; access to information; stakeholder participation; and access to justice.
TANZANIA called for: strengthening and supporting the CSD in order to integrate policies, limit overlap and strengthen implementation; improving interdepartmental coordination for programmatic links within the UN system; strengthening regional institutions, particularly commissions; and providing UNEP with a strengthened, predictable financial base.
BOLIVIA shared their progress on national governance since Rio and urged caution in creating new structures when there is no capacity or resources to carry out duties. JAPAN agreed that good domestic governance is a key element for sustainable development and said advances in information technology should be promoted as tools for better decision making. AUSTRALIA supported concrete steps in overcoming fragmentation and elimination of overlap in existing institutions, and called for policy integration at the national level as a top priority for national governance, noting that capacity building has limited benefit if fundamental elements of the national system are not coordinated within a sustainable development framework.
NIGERIA said that strengthening institutional frameworks for sustainable development is the only way to reach targets, and noted the need for: coordination of regional level commissions; further work on CSD indicators; a participatory approach; avoidance of duplication of institutions; and partnerships and networking. IRAN said that sustainable development governance must have appropriate objectives and consider related questions of trade, finance, technology, coordination, and cooperation, as well as accession of different countries to the WTO.
The UNITED NATIONS UNIVERSITY described its work on linkages between multilateral environmental agreements, building capacity and awareness, and called for a scientific assessment of governance. SAUDI ARABIA singled out coordination, transparency and participation of all stakeholders, and called for better use of existing institutions and a focus on the regional level. The REPUBLIC OF KOREA said overhauling the current system is unrealistic, and suggested concentrating on short-term options for improving governance, while avoiding a single environmental focus.
IN THE CORRIDORS
While some participants were expressing disappointment regarding the limited input from Major Group contributions to the Chair’s List of Issues and Proposals for Discussion, members of the CSD NGO Steering Committee circulated a letter of complaint to all PrepCom Vice-Chairs on Thursday, voicing concern regarding the lack of participation of NGOs in the preparatory process, citing selectivity and non-transparency in the choice and participation of NGOs.
Although the allegations that the CSD NGO Steering Committee was deliberately excluded from the PrepCom process appear to be true, many NGOs, who seemed unaware of the letter, also questioned the secretive manner in which the network sought audience with the Bureau, and the fact that preparation of the NGO CSD position paper for the Multi-Stakeholder Dialogues was not the sole avenue for NGO participation. Nevertheless, the matter has raised the broader question of the locus - governments, Bureau, Secretariat or other NGOs - of authority (or even legitimacy) to sanction or prevent participation of accredited NGOs that may be construed as "errant."
Meanwhile, accreditation of the NGO, International Campaign for Tibet, which supports Tibetan self-determination, is expected to be put to a vote during Friday’s morning Plenary.
THINGS TO LOOK FOR TODAY
PLENARY: Delegates will meet in Conference Room 1 from 10:00 am - 1:00 pm to consider organizational matters and the Chair’s Report, which is expected to be circulated during the Plenary. Delegates are expected to reconvene from 3:00 ’ 6:00 pm to hear concluding remarks, adopt the report and close the session of the Preparatory Committee.