Summary report, 11–22 April 2005

CSD 13

The thirteenth session of the United Nations Commission on Sustainable Development (CSD-13) took place from 11-22 April 2005, at UN headquarters in New York. CSD-13 was the second session to be held since the new multi-year programme of work was adopted at CSD-11 in 2003. The new work programme restructured CSD’s work on the basis of two-year Implementation Cycles, with each cycle comprised of a Review Year and a Policy Year focused on a thematic cluster of issues. Building on the outcomes of CSD-12 (the Review Year of the first cycle), CSD-13 focused on policies and options to expedite the implementation of commitments in the areas of water, sanitation and human settlements, as contained in Agenda 21, the Programme for the Further Implementation of Agenda 21, the Johannesburg Plan of Implementation (JPOI) and the Millennium Declaration.

During the first week of CSD-13, delegates convened for interactive discussions on water, sanitation and human settlements, and heard regional perspectives and input from representatives of UN agencies and other intergovernmental organizations (IGOs), Major Groups and others. During the second week, ministers and senior officials participated in a high-level segment, delivering statements and engaging in discussions with Major Groups, UN agencies and IGOs. A Partnerships Fair, Learning Center and numerous side events were also held throughout the two-week session.

On Friday, 15 April, delegates began negotiating CSD-13’s main outcome document, intended to identify policy decisions on practical measures and options to expedite implementation of commitments on water, sanitation and human settlements. Working from a draft text prepared by CSD-13 Chair John Ashe (Antigua and Barbuda), delegates engaged in negotiations on this text and its subsequent revisions throughout the remainder of the session. After numerous formal and informal meetings and extensive discussions, the decision document was finally adopted late on Friday night, 22 April, following resolution of the final outstanding issue – text relating to “illegal settlements” and “foreign occupation.” The final document contains decisions on CSD-13’s three thematic areas, as well as on “interlinkages and cross-cutting issues” and on “international institutional arrangements for monitoring and follow-up of CSD-13 decisions.”


The Commission on Sustainable Development emerged from Agenda 21, the programme of action adopted in June 1992 by the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED), also known as the “Earth Summit.” Agenda 21 called for the creation of the CSD to ensure effective follow-up of UNCED, enhance international cooperation, and examine progress in the implementation of Agenda 21 at the local, national, regional and international levels. In 1992, the 47th session of the UN General Assembly adopted resolution 47/191, which established the CSD’s terms of reference and composition, organization of work, relationship with other UN bodies, Secretariat arrangements, and guidelines for the participation of Major Groups. The CSD held its first substantive session in June 1993 and has met annually since. During its first five years, the CSD systematically reviewed the implementation of all chapters of Agenda 21.

UNGASS-19: In June 1997, five years after UNCED, the 19th Special Session of the UN General Assembly (UNGASS-19), also known as “Rio+5,” was held to review the implementation of Agenda 21. Negotiations produced a Programme for the Further Implementation of Agenda 21. Among the decisions adopted at UNGASS-19 was a five-year CSD work programme, which identified sectoral, cross-sectoral and economic sector/Major Group themes for the subsequent four sessions of the CSD.

MILLENNIUM SUMMIT: The UN Millennium Summit, held from 6-8 September 2000, in New York, adopted the Millennium Declaration, which contains, inter alia, a number of international development goals. Two of these goals relate directly to water and human settlements, namely, the goals to halve by 2015 the proportion of people who are unable to reach or afford safe drinking water, and to achieve by 2020 a significant improvement in the lives of at least 100 million slum dwellers. These and other development and poverty-related goals contained in the Millennium Declaration were elaborated and developed into the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), as contained in the September 2001 Report of the Secretary-General on the Road Map towards the Implementation of the Millennium Declaration. The MDGs, which have become commonly accepted as a framework for measuring progress in development, comprise eight overarching goals, 18 targets and 48 indicators. The safe drinking water and human settlements goals, which are most relevant to CSD-13, appear as “targets” under Goal 7 on ensuring environmental sustainability.

WSSD: The World Summit on Sustainable Development met from 26 August - 4 September 2002, in Johannesburg, South Africa, and adopted two main documents: the Johannesburg Plan of Implementation (JPOI) and the Johannesburg Declaration on Sustainable Development. In the JPOI, governments reaffirmed their commitment to the safe drinking water and human settlements goals agreed in the Millennium Declaration, and further committed to halve by 2015 the proportion of people who do not have access to basic sanitation. Governments also agreed to develop integrated water resource management (IWRM) and water efficiency plans by 2005. In addition to the JPOI and the Johannesburg Declaration, over 200 non-negotiated partnerships/initiatives for sustainable development were launched at the Summit, supplementing the commitments agreed to by governments through the intergovernmental process.

CSD-11: The eleventh session of the CSD (CSD-11) took place from 28 April to 9 May 2003, at UN headquarters in New York. The session decided that the Commission’s multi-year programme of work for the period 2004-2017 would be organized as a series of two-year Implementation Cycles, each comprising a Review Session and a Policy Session and considering a thematic cluster of issues and a number of cross-cutting issues. The cross-cutting issues were: poverty eradication; unsustainable patterns of consumption and production; the natural resource base of economic and social development; globalization; health; small island developing states (SIDS); Africa; other regional initiatives; means of implementation; institutional framework; gender equality; and education.

The CSD further decided on the modalities for reporting, partnerships, and enhancing both UN system coordination and Major Groups’ contributions. A Partnerships Fair and Learning Center courses took place concurrently with the session.

CSD-12: CSD-12 was held from 14-30 April 2004, at UN headquarters in New York. The first three days of CSD-12 (14-16 April) served as the preparatory meeting for the International Meeting on the 10-year Review of the Programme of Action for the Sustainable Development of Small Island Developing States (SIDS). The following two weeks (19-30 April) were devoted to the CSD-12 Review Session.

CSD-12 undertook an evaluation of progress in the implementation of Agenda 21, the Programme for the Further Implementation of Agenda 21 and the JPOI, focusing on identifying constraints, obstacles, successes and lessons learned with regard to water, sanitation and human settlements. The Commission also heard reports from the UN Regional Commissions on the status of implementation, and from the Major Groups on their contribution to implementation. A high-level segment, attended by over 100 ministers and addressed by UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan, was held from 28-30 April. At the conclusion of CSD-12, the Commission adopted the report of the session, which included a Chair’s Summary reflecting inputs from the session and records of activities held as part of the Partnerships Fair and Learning Center.

CSD-13 INTERGOVERNMENTAL PREPARATORY MEETING: The Intergovernmental Preparatory Meeting (IPM) for CSD-13 was held in New York from 28 February to 4 March 2005, sought to discuss policy options and possible actions to enable the implementation of measures concerning water, sanitation and human settlements. Throughout the week, delegates considered policy options for the three themes and discussed interlinkages and cross-cutting aspects. These deliberations were reflected in a Chair’s text, which was expected to form the basis of further discussions during CSD-13.


CSD Chair John Ashe (Antigua and Barbuda) opened the thirteenth session of the Commission on Sustainable Development (CSD-13) on Monday morning, 11 April 2005. Noting that this was the first policy session under the new work programme agreed at CSD-11, he reflected on the review of water, sanitation and human settlements issues conducted at CSD-12, and its conclusion that current efforts are not sufficient to achieve the targets set out under the JPOI and relevant Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). He highlighted poverty and lack of resources and capacity as major obstacles in achieving these targets. He also drew attention to the Chair’s text from the IPM and the “matrix” of policy options and practical actions summarizing this text. He explained that CSD-13’s challenge would be to agree on measures to expedite progress towards meeting agreed targets, and said he envisioned the meeting taking decisions that would have a positive impact, including on resources. He reminded delegates that CSD-13 would set a precedent for future CSD sessions and other processes, and highlighted the important role of Major Groups.

José Antonio Ocampo, UN Under-Secretary-General for Economic and Social Affairs, reminded delegates that the task facing CSD-13 was to agree on policies and practical measures that countries could adopt regarding drinking water, sanitation, and slum dwellers, noting that CSD-13’s outcome would provide a litmus test of international political will. Ocampo said the target of improving the lives of 100 million slum dwellers by 2020 is not ambitious enough, and stressed the need to address local authorities’ lack of fiscal resources and capacities.

Anwarul Chowdhury, UN High Representative for the Least Developed Countries (LDCs), Landlocked Developing Countries, and Small Island Developing States (SIDS), noted that these countries are recognized by the UN as the most disadvantaged and vulnerable. He urged delegates to address LDCs’ and SIDS’ needs, while expressing disappointment that they are not appropriately reflected in the matrix. Chowdhury called for a shift from a needs-based to a rights-based approach. He also suggested that the Global Environment Facility (GEF) be encouraged to increase funding for water and sanitation.

Delegates then addressed various organizational matters, formally appointing, by acclamation, Khaled Elbakly (Egypt) and Husniyya Mammadova (Azerbaijan) as the remaining two Vice-Chairs (Dagmara Berbalk of Germany and Boo Nam Shin of the Republic of Korea were elected in 2004). Mammadova was also elected as rapporteur. CSD-13 then adopted its agenda (E/CN.17/2005/1) and organization of work. This summary report on the discussions, negotiations and outcomes of CSD-13 is organized around the meeting’s agenda.


On Monday, 11 April, Chair Ashe introduced the agenda item on the report of the IPM, explaining that a Chair’s text and matrix had been developed out of the IPM to help focus discussions during CSD-13. Jamaica, on behalf of the Group of 77 and China (G-77/China), highlighted CSD-13’s precedent-setting role, as well as the need for focused and action-oriented outcomes, better examination of the issue clusters’ interlinkages and financial implications, public education, integration of the issues into national plans, and appropriate follow-up. Luxembourg, on behalf of the European Union (EU), discussed the need to identify and link actors with actions, promote the JPOI’s importance in the development agenda, improve interagency and donor coordination, and adopt monitoring and follow-up mechanisms. The US said the CSD’s new two-year format had built political momentum and integrated partnerships into the conduct of the CSD’s work. However, he cautioned that achieving the Millennium Declaration’s development goals was still a long way off, and highlighted issues of financing, capacity, and multi-stakeholder cooperation. He concluded that the best message the CSD can deliver is “to show how a reformed UN process that integrates the actions of governments, international organizations, and a range of non-governmental players can deliver concrete results.”

Delegates were also briefed on other relevant intersessional meetings held since CSD-12, including the:

  • International Meeting to Review the Implementation of the Programme of Action for the Sustainable Development of Small Island Developing States (January 2005);
  • World Conference on Disaster Reduction (January 2005);
  • African Ministerial Conference on Housing and Urban Development (January-February 2005);
  • UNEP’s 23rd Governing Council/Global Ministerial Environment Forum (February 2005);
  • Second International Forum on Partnerships for Sustainable Development (March 2005); and
  • 20th Governing Council of UN-HABITAT (April 2005).


Water, sanitation and human settlements – the thematic issues agreed on for CSD’s 2004-2005 implementation cycle – took up the majority of delegates’ time during CSD-13. These issues, which were considered under a single agenda item, were addressed in numerous official meetings, including a plenary session on regional perspectives held on 11 April, and several interactive discussions held from 12-13 April on each of the three themes. Along with the CSD’s cross-cutting issues, water, sanitation and human settlements were also the focus of CSD-13’s high-level segment, which took place from 20-22 April. Numerous other events held alongside the formal CSD meetings – including the Partnerships Fair, Learning Center, and side events – also focused on these issues. In addition, delegates devoted considerable time to negotiating CSD-13’s main outcome document, intended to identify policy decisions on practical measures and options to expedite implementation of commitments on water, sanitation and human settlements.

The next three sections of this report address issues raised under this agenda item. The following section of the report presents information from the plenary sessions held during the first week of the meeting that focused on CSD-13’s three thematic issues. It is followed by a section on the high-level segment, and a section outlining the negotiations and final outcome document.

REGIONAL PERSPECTIVES: On Monday afternoon, 11 April, delegates considered regional perspectives on water, sanitation and human settlements. Representatives of UN agencies, regional commissions and other intergovernmental organizations spoke, and engaged in discussions with country delegations. Key issues raised included the challenges faced in achieving the Millennium Development Goals for water, sanitation and human settlements, the importance of partnerships, pressures caused by rapid urbanization in developing countries, and the need for capacity building, technology transfer and financial support. Issues relating to agricultural, industrial and domestic water demand, use and efficiency were raised, as were approaches on good governance and the exchange of best practices. The integrated water resource management (IWRM) approach was highlighted by a number of speakers, as were water stresses, wastewater treatment and reuse, transboundary water issues, the need to scale up sanitation programmes, the growth in urban slums, and security of land tenure.

A summary of these discussions is available online at:

INTERACTIVE DISCUSSIONS: On Tuesday and Wednesday, 12-13 April, delegates engaged in interactive discussions and heard presentations on the three thematic issues. In discussions on human settlements, participants held sessions on access to housing and public services and on job creation and enterprise promotion. Talks covered issues such as the adequacy of the target of improving the lives of 100 million slum dwellers, which some speakers said should be strengthened. There were also discussions on micro-financing, the Monterrey Consensus, South-South cooperation, partnerships, infrastructure investment, land tenure, legal and regulatory frameworks, governance, gender issues, HIV/AIDS and debt issues.

In the sessions on water, participants discussed IWRM and access to basic water services, considering issues such as the role of local authorities, the private sector and UN Water, rural needs, social equity, a rights-based approach, monitoring and evaluation, indigenous knowledge, and funding mechanisms. In the talks on sanitation, issues such as access to basic sanitation and hygiene, and wastewater treatment, recycling and reuse were stressed. There was also a session on interlinkages among the three themes and with cross-cutting issues.

Summaries of these discussions are available online at: and


CSD-13’s high-level segment began on Wednesday, 20 April, concluding on Friday, 22 April. The segment, which was attended by 106 ministers of environment, finance, economy, development and housing and other high-level officials, involved a number of interactive discussions. Several sessions focused on the issue of “Turning political commitments into action,” with keynote speakers, dozens of ministers and government officials, as well as UN agencies, other intergovernmental organizations and Major Groups, all participating in the discussions. Speakers and delegates highlighted a wide range of relevant issues, including: specific suggestions on CSD-13’s outputs; the UN General Assembly’s High-level Plenary Meeting (Millennium Review Session) in September 2005; national policies, achievements and challenges; the MDGs and the JPOI; official development assistance (ODA), and financial resources issues; and the respective roles and needs of governments, UN agencies, local authorities and other key stakeholders.

There were also sessions on meeting the MDGs related to water, sanitation and human settlements, the impact of natural disasters on water, sanitation and human settlements, and the need to strengthen prevention and response capacity. In addition to these sessions, a panel of finance and development cooperation ministers and experts took place on Monday, 18 April. Ministers’ discussions covered issues such as the MDGs, the Monterrey Consensus, the Doha round of trade negotiations, the target of 0.7% of gross national product for ODA, using ODA to leverage other sources of financing, public-private partnerships, governance, learning by doing, donor performance, and ecosystem management.

Summaries of these discussions are available online at:, and


On Thursday morning, 14 April, CSD-13 Chair John Ashe distributed the Chair’s Draft Elements for Decision. The draft was intended to identify policy options and possible actions to expedite implementation of commitments on water, sanitation and human settlements. The five-page text was intended to build on discussions and recommendations from CSD-12, the IPM and the interactive dialogues that had taken place during the first three days of CSD-13. The draft contained a preamble and sections on water, sanitation, human settlements, and international institutional arrangements to follow-up the CSD-13 decisions.

After spending Thursday considering the text and consulting informally, delegations began formal discussions the following day, with an initial exchange of views. While many delegates welcomed the text as a useful starting point for negotiations, a considerable number sought to insert further details, or to elaborate on various issues in the text. In particular, the G-77/China, most of the Major Groups and the EU proposed additional text, while the US, Australia and a number of other developed countries preferred to keep the text more concise. These additions and amendments were integrated into a longer, revised Chair’s compilation text on Monday, 18 April. Negotiations on this text, and on the numerous amendments proposed, continued throughout CSD-13’s second week, with a number of revised versions of the text being produced. On Friday, 22 April, a shorter final Chair’s text was circulated, and differences over the document were finally resolved late on Friday night – several hours after the meeting was officially scheduled to end, and days after the Tuesday deadline for negotiations to finish. This section outlines the negotiations and outcomes, and is organized around the structure of the final text.

PREAMBLE AND OPENING OPERATIVE PARAGRAPHS: Negotiations on the preambular section revolved around a number of issues regarded as critical by some countries and groups. The EU insisted that CSD-13 send a strong message to the High-level Plenary Meeting of the General Assembly. Accordingly, it suggested that the Chair’s text underline the complementarity of the JPOI targets and the MDGs, and note that progress on CSD-13’s key themes “underpins” the attainability of the other MDGs. The issue of using agreed language rather than building on it was debated many times during the negotiations, with Australia cautioning against reopening JPOI and other formulations.

The G-77/China sought to use the preamble to reaffirm past commitments and principles, and suggested acknowledging that many countries would be unable to meet targets without “drastic” changes and overcoming major implementation constraints. Such constraints included ODA levels, resource outflow from developing countries, poverty eradication, unfair trade practices, inadequate debt relief, as well as the need for market access, capacity building, infrastructure development and technology transfer. The G-77/China also amended the paragraph on ODA, adding language on speeding up the Doha round of trade negotiations and on debt cancellation. It proposed adding a provision that donors should coordinate country-level support in consultation with recipient countries.

ODA, once again, proved a highly contentious issue, and at one point the EU, US and G-77/China each had an alternative text on the table. Canada, with the US and Norway, insisted on preserving “the Monterrey Consensus balance” in ODA language, with the US preferring ODA to be sector-specific. The US was also vocal in seeking to restrict UN activities to the confines of “existing resources,” opposed references to “rights-based” approaches, and generally supported placing the CSD in a context that emphasized implementation but avoided mandatory terminology that would “ensure” rather than “facilitate” results.

Good governance proved to be another controversial area, with the G-77/China insisting on deleting this reference over the objections of the US, the EU, Switzerland and a number of other countries. The addition of “governance at the international level,” as opposed to applying “at all levels,” was debated at length. The balance between central governments’ authority and decentralizing decision-making to the lowest appropriate level on questions of access to water, sanitation and human shelter also led to lengthy discussions. While the Russian Federation preferred to remove this notion from the document, the G-77/China supported text stating that countries should adopt policy options and measures in accordance with national priorities, circumstances and regulations.

Among other issues that were discussed was the “user-friendly” (or “Chair’s”) matrix summarizing policy options and practical measures. The G-77/China questioned the usefulness of the matrix, while Canada, the US, Australia and several others commended it, arguing that it contained useful policy options.

Final Text: This section of the outcome document recalls earlier decisions and internationally-agreed goals. It explicitly reaffirms the Rio Declaration, Agenda 21, the Johannesburg Declaration, the JPOI, the Monterrey Consensus and the Mauritius Strategy, and notes the New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD) initiative and outcomes of several other international conferences. It also reaffirms the commitment to achieving the internationally-agreed development goals, including those contained in the Millennium Declaration, and in the outcomes of major UN conferences and international agreements reached since 1992, and recognizes the urgent need for actions to achieve these goals.

The introductory operative paragraphs recommend submitting the policy decisions of CSD-13 to ECOSOC as a “significant contribution” to the UN General Assembly High-level Plenary Meeting. The decision states that a substantial increase of resources from all sources, including domestic resources, ODA and other resources, will be required if developing countries are to achieve the internationally-agreed development goals and targets. Noting that these goals and targets are complementary and that an integrated approach is necessary, the decision emphasizes governments’ primary role in promoting access to safe drinking water, basic sanitation, sustainable and secure tenure, and adequate shelter, through improved governance at all levels. It stresses the need for support in achieving the goals and targets through a “conducive” international policy environment, including through good governance at the international level, a universal, rule-based, open, non-discriminatory and equitable multilateral trading system and meaningful trade liberalization, including through urgent completion of the Doha round of trade negotiations. The decision also highlights donor coordination and stresses the role of regional commissions and institutions. Finally, it calls on governments and the UN system, within existing resources and through voluntary contributions, as well as on international financial institutions and other international organizations, as appropriate, working in partnership with major groups and other stakeholders, to take a series of specific actions, as listed in the thematic sections below.

WATER: Negotiations on the section of the outcome document dealing with water issues focused on how to accelerate progress toward the goal of halving by 2015 the proportion of people who are unable to access or afford safe drinking water. A number of areas of disagreement arose during the negotiations, including disputes over text on financing and ODA, the ecosystem approach, and the role of various stakeholders.

On the issue of how to finance the large investments necessary to provide basic water services, the G-77/China preferred to focus on increasing ODA and reducing conditionalities placed on aid. Others, such as the EU, wanted to highlight the importance of cost recovery and the need to tap into national and international capital markets, as well as emphasize creating an “enabling environment” to attract investment. Switzerland sought references to user fees and incentives for private sector providers, and the US supported language on private-public partnerships. After some discussion, a compromise was reached on language that supported tapping all sources of financing, applying the full range of policy instruments and increasing capacity at all levels. 

Another area of disagreement, especially in discussions on IWRM, was the use of the terms “ecological,” “ecosystems” and an “ecosystems approach.” Such language was supported by Switzerland and the EU, but opposed by the G-77/China, which argued that it was too vague and placed too much focus on the environmental aspects of sustainable development. After extensive debate, these terms were removed from most parts of the text, although one reference to an ecosystems approach was left in. Similar disagreements arose over the use of the terms “river-basin,” “watershed” and “basin-wide” approaches, terms which were supported by the EU, Mexico and Turkey, but opposed by the G-77/China. Again, such language largely disappeared from the final text, with the exception of a reference to supporting the African Ministerial Conference on Water’s (AMCOW) basin-wide initiatives.

The G-77/China was also successful in removing references to the private sector and civil society as stakeholders that should be involved in the planning and management of water services, although references to youth, women and communities were retained. On other issues, broad agreement was reached on the need to increase capacity, increase the priority given to water, target subsidies to the poor, tap into indigenous knowledge, invest in water-related research, and address the special needs of arid and semi-arid areas. 

Final Text: The outcome document’s section on water calls for:

  • accelerating progress toward the water access goal through increased resources from all sources, including ODA, and by using a full range of policy instruments such as regulation, market and information based tools, cost recovery, targeted subsidies for the poor and economic incentives for small scale producers;
  • building capacity for effective water management and service delivery at local and national levels;
  • developing and transferring low cost technologies;
  • enhancing cooperation among riparian States and supporting basin-wide initiatives in Africa;
  • developing systems to monitor the quantity, quality and use of water resources;
  • improving water demand and resource management, especially in agriculture; and
  • accelerating the provision of technical and financial assistance to countries needing help to meet the 2005 target on IWRM.

SANITATION: Negotiations on sanitation issues dealt with a variety of proposed changes on issues ranging from the text of the introductory chapeau, to gender-related aspects of sanitation and financing.

In the chapeau, delegations proposed a number of different formulations. The G-77/China sought alternative text noting the JPOI sanitation target. The EU proposed text referring to an institutional home for sanitation, a reference to public information campaigns, deletion of text on incorporating sanitation into IWRM plans, and language recognizing interlinkages and sanitation’s impacts on poverty reduction and gender equality. Meanwhile, the US suggested referencing water-borne disease vectors. The discussion on the chapeau eventually resulted in compromise wording that recognizes interlinkages and references water-borne disease vectors and the positive impacts of sanitation on poverty reduction.

On financing issues, the EU requested the addition of text on “specific and increasing budget allocations for sanitation,” which was included in the revised Chair’s text. The US, EU and Japan sought language calling for support for sanitation services to refugees, and the G-77/China and Azerbaijan requested text on support for refugee host countries. After some discussion, a combination of the different suggested texts on refugee and refugee host countries was adopted. Concerns in the G-77/China over reference to cost recovery were resolved when text was added noting that cost recovery would not hinder the poor’s access to water.

The G-77/China was successful in adding language on promotion of gender-sensitive sanitation and hygiene education, linkages, and involving women, youth and community groups. The EU added a focus on separate sanitation facilities for boys and girls in schools.

The G-77/China also sought to delete language on wastewater treatment and reuse and on assistance to deploy “environmentally sound” treatment systems. However, because of opposition from other delegations, this text was eventually retained. The EU suggested adding text on cost-recovery. In spite of some reservations on the part of the G-77/China on the EU proposal, language was ultimately added on this, although the EU’s original formulation was amended. On other issues, the US added language on “sustainable business models and financing mechanisms linked to capital markets”; Norway added language regarding information on water quality and reuse; and the EU and US sought, unsuccessfully, to insert language on “long-term programmes on environmentally sound wastewater management.” A request from the G-77/China to add text on action needed at the regional and international levels was not included in the final text.

Final TextDelegations agreed to text calling on governments and UN agencies to provide sanitation, recognizing interlinkages and the positive impacts of sanitation on poverty reduction.

Access to Basic Sanitation: This subsection calls on governments and UN agencies to support the JPOI sanitation target through:

  • increasing resources, including ODA and in response to countries’ needs, focusing on allocating a specific and adequately resourced budget for sanitation;
  • employing cost recovery where appropriate with subsides for the poor;
  • supporting the provision and maintenance of sanitation services to refugees and refugee host countries;
  • capacity building for operation and maintenance; and
  • ensuring access to culturally appropriate, low-cost and environmentally sound sanitation technologies.

Sanitation and Hygiene Education: In this subsection, the CSD calls on governments and UN agencies to support national promotion of sanitation and hygiene education, for instance by promoting gender-sensitive education, incorporation of gender-sensitive hygiene curricula and separate facilities in schools, and involvement of women, youth and community groups in hygiene education.

Wastewater Collection, Treatment and Reuse: This subsection appeals to governments and UN agencies to “expand and improve wastewater treatment and reuse,” through, inter alia, financial and technical assistance, user charges, wastewater reuse, budgetary allocations, sustainable business models and financing mechanisms, education and training, development and dissemination of information, dissemination of guidelines, and establishing regional development facilities.

HUMAN SETTLEMENTS: Two areas of contention emerged during the negotiations on human settlements. The first involved EU support for decentralizing authority and responsibility for the planning and management of settlements to the local level, while the Russian Federation sought to add to this the need to take into account national circumstances and to continue the international dialogue on decentralization. This difference was resolved by combining the two perspectives into compromise language.

A more contentious issue in this section – and the issue that was the last to be resolved at CSD-13 – related to a G-77/China proposal to insert new language on illegal settlements and a quote from paragraph 103 of the JPOI relating to the rights of people under colonial and foreign occupation. A number of delegates objected to quoting selected JPOI language “out of context.” The Russian Federation pointed out that JPOI paragraph 103 is linked to paragraph 104, which gives context to paragraph 103 by effectively excluding any action that would impair the territorial integrity of sovereign states. The proposed text required many hours of informal negotiations and discussions in plenary, as well as numerous internal consultations within the G-77/China and bilateral and small group talks involving the EU, US, Canada, Japan, G-77/China and other delegations.

Late on Friday evening, 22 April, delegates believed they had found a compromise in which the G-77/China would agree to remove its suggested text on this issue in return for including a reference in the preamble to “paragraphs 103 and 104 of the JPOI.” However, after the document was gaveled through by Chair Ashe, it emerged that there had been confusion and misunderstanding over what had actually been agreed, and delegates had to return to the negotiating table. After several more hours of talks, a deal was finally reached at around 12:30 am on Saturday, 23 April. The final agreement removed the G-77/China’s text on “eliminating illegal settlements emerged from foreign occupation.” However, it did include other language proposed by the G-77/China on taking “further effective measures to remove obstacles to the full realization of the rights of the peoples living under colonial and foreign occupation, which are incompatible with the dignity and worth of the human person and must be combatted and eliminated.” The reference in the preamble to “paragraphs 103 and 104 of the JPOI” was withdrawn. While most delegations accepted this G-77/China addition, Canada and Australia issued statements during the closing plenary disassociating themselves from the consensus on the final text. The EU said it could agree to the formulation on the condition that it did not set a precedent.

Final TextThe text on human settlements calls on governments and UN agencies to mobilize means of implementation and provide an enabling environment.

Integrated Planning and Management: This subsection appeals to governments and UN agencies to support integrated planning and management with a view to preventing new slums by promoting research related to urbanization, integrating human settlement planning into national development plans, including disaster considerations in development and settlement planning, building capacity, promoting stakeholder participation, decentralizing where appropriate and in combination with resource transfers, and promoting international information exchange at the local level. This subsection also includes language inserted by the G-77/China on removing obstacles to the realization of the rights of peoples living under colonial and foreign occupation.

Access to Land, Housing and Basic Services: The text on access to land, housing and basic services calls on governments and UN agencies to assist in providing access for the poor by:

  • meeting the MDG slum target;
  • designing pro-poor policies;
  • focusing on secure tenure and access to affordable serviced land;
  • targeting subsidies to the poor;
  • focusing on women’s rights with respect to inheritance and access to credit;
  • promoting public-private partnerships;
  • strengthening enforcement capacity in the housing sector;
  • promoting local technologies, materials and knowledge;
  • facilitating technology transfer;
  • strengthening capacity of community savings and finance institutions serving the poor;
  • encouraging and providing international innovative financing; and
  • supporting refugee host countries.

Employment and Enterprise Promotion: In this subsection, the CSD appeals to governments and UN agencies to support national encouragement of private sector investment, entrepreneurship and job creation including through:

  • incorporation of employment and enterprise development into national and slum programmes;
  • facilitation of micro-finance;
  • enhancement of small and medium sized enterprises’ (SMEs) capacity and access to finance; and
  • provision of training to women and youth, particularly the urban poor.

INTERLINKAGES AND CROSS-CUTTING ISSUES: Establishing and maintaining interlinkages between the three CSD-13 themes and with the cross-cutting issues was considered by all delegations as highly important, and many participants called for increased synergy and impact, including by developing integrated policies and improving national coordination efforts. Much emphasis was placed on the latter, in particular, inter-ministerial and cross-sectoral coordination and planning mechanisms. The EU, Norway and some other countries called for promoting sustainable consumption and production patterns in the three CSD-13 areas, with developed countries taking the lead. This latter suggestion was supported by the G-77/China, but objected to by the US. The G-77/China emphasized the need for specific means of implementation, including financing, to simultaneously address the three CSD-13 themes, and cater to the special needs of Africa, the LDCs and SIDS. They also asked for inclusion of concrete proposals regarding slum-dwellers, including provision of relevant data and information.

Final TextThe section urges addressing water, sanitation and human settlements in an integrated manner, taking into account economic, social and environmental aspects, related sectoral policies and cross-cutting issues as identified at CSD-11, as well as national, subregional, and regional specificities, circumstances and legal frameworks, and stresses the promotion of sustainable consumption and production patterns in all countries.

The text calls for devising water, sanitation, and human settlements policies and actions addressing the impacts of rapid urbanization, desertification, climate change, climate variability and natural disasters, and indicates several relevant actions.

The text stresses interlinking measures on water, sanitation and human settlements to increase their synergy, efficiency and impact by developing integrated and inclusive policies. It notes that the water and sanitation targets are to halve the proportion of people who lack access to safe drinking water and sanitation by 2015, and that the target for slum dwellers is to improve the lives of at least 100 million slum dwellers by 2020. The text also requests support for the adoption and implementation of plans to achieve slum-related targets, linked to poverty reduction strategies, national sustainable development strategies or other relevant policy plans.

The text requests mobilization of adequate resources to meet the water, sanitation and human settlements goals and targets, tapping both domestic and international sources through a range of financing approaches.

This section also contains reference to the rights of people living under colonial and foreign occupation.

INTERNATIONAL INSTITUTIONAL ARRANGEMENTS FOR MONITORING AND FOLLOW-UP: Discussion on this section focused on the exact role the CSD should play in monitoring and follow-up. The G-77/China and the EU offered extensive proposals on this section. The G-77/China emphasized the need for balanced involvement of the relevant UN agencies and other actors in the process. The EU placed emphasis on review and monitoring arrangements, and suggested providing an institutional home for water and sanitation. It also stressed the importance of IWRM and the ecosystem approach. Canada proposed a review of water and sanitation issues once every four years, while others preferred to only schedule the next review, leaving the long-term schedule unspecified.

The US requested that the Secretariat provide guidance on the relationship between the UN Department for Economic and Social Affairs (DESA) and UN Water, and suggested text regarding reporting procedures and reaching out to others within the UN system. Many countries suggested strengthening UN Water, especially its coordinating role, and Japan called for input from the UN Secretary-General’s advisory board on water and sanitation. Switzerland and Norway proposed language related to the role and mandates of UN agencies and programmes, and the Russian Federation, with several others, called for close interagency coordination and a “holistic” follow-up of CSD-13’s decisions. Canada argued in favor of high-level participation in the follow-up review process.

Tuvalu, on behalf of the Alliance of Small Island States (AOSIS), added a reference to the Mauritius Strategy review process, and this proposal led to a lengthy debate on specific language on SIDS follow-up.

Final Text: The section on monitoring and follow-up refers to the need to support, strengthen and implement voluntary monitoring, reporting and assessment of the thematic areas of water, sanitation and human settlements at the national and regional levels and through existing mechanisms at the global level to keep track of progress in achieving sustainable development, bearing in mind the specific needs of developing countries. Several measures were offered to encourage Member States to continue to work on the development and application of indicators for sustainable development at the national level, including integration of gender aspects, on a voluntary basis, in line with their national conditions and priorities, and in this regard to invite the international community to support the efforts of developing countries.

On follow-up on water and sanitation, the decision requests UN Water to give equal consideration to these issues, and to promote system-wide interagency cooperation and coordination among relevant UN agencies, funds and programmes, and requests the Secretary-General to include in his report to the CSD inputs from the Secretary-General’s Advisory Board on water and sanitation

In this section, CSD decides, without prejudice to its programme, organization and methods of work adopted at CSD-11, to devote, in 2008 and 2012, a separate segment at the end of its review sessions, for a duration to be determined by the Bureau in advance, using one to two days as a benchmark, to monitor and follow up the implementation of decisions on water and sanitation, and their interlinkages, taken at CSD-13.

On follow-up on human settlements, the decision confirms UN-HABITAT as the focal agency for human settlements, and calls on Member States to strengthen its capacities.

On follow-up on SIDS, the decision calls for one day of each future CSD review session to be devoted to the review of the implementation of the Mauritius Strategy for the further implementation of the Programme of Action for the sustainable development of SIDS.


The closing plenary convened on Friday evening, 22 April. CSD-13 Chair John Ashe asked delegates to consider a number of reports and decisions, starting with background documents relating to CSD-13’s themes of water, sanitation and human settlements. These included reports from the UN Secretary-General on these issues (E/CN.17/2005/2, 3, and 4) and a report of the Major Groups’ priorities for action in these areas (E/CN.17/2005/5). CSD-13 took note of these reports.

Delegates also adopted the programme of work for 2006-2007 for the Division for Sustainable Development of the UN’s Department of Economic and Social Affairs (E/CN.17/2005/CRP.1). The work programme sets out various priorities and outputs, including servicing of intergovernmental and expert bodies, other substantive activities, and technical cooperation. In addition, they adopted five short decisions. These confirmed the one-year terms of the CSD Bureau for CSD-14 and CSD-15, set the agenda for CSD-14 and the dates of CSD-14, CSD-15 and its intergovernmental preparatory meeting, and affirmed financial support to the bureau in preparing for future CSD sessions and to representatives of developing countries and countries with economies in transition in traveling to CSD sessions (E/CN.17/2005/L.3-7). After some delays for further informal consultations, the Chair’s outcome document for CSD-13 was adopted and the official report of CSD-13 was approved (E/CN.17/2005/L.2).

Delegations then delivered their closing statements. The EU said CSD-13 had been given a responsibility to set a good precedent for future sessions and faced major challenges both in terms of organization and substance. He indicated that the EU could support the consensus on the outcome document, although he believed that more “concrete results” on some parts of the text had been possible. He also highlighted the importance of a strong follow-up mechanism.

The G-77/China noted institutional and human resource capacity and financing as two critical constraints facing developing countries. Stating that it was “deeply disturbing” that a willingness to address these constraints had not been shown at CSD-13, he suggested that developing countries’ partners are failing to turn previously-agreed political commitments into positive action, and are circumscribing or backtracking on previous commitments. He argued that countries should not pursue “selfish agendas” but should honor CSD-11’s outcome and support developing countries.  

The US expressed the view that CSD-13 had been a successful meeting, and had built on the agreements made at CSD-11. Thanking Chair Ashe for guiding the CSD successfully through its first implementation cycle, he noted CSD had navigated through the difficult precedent-setting period, highlighting success in establishing partnerships, and indicating that he looked forward to the next implementation cycle.

Australia and Canada made interpretive statements on CSD-13’s negotiated outcome document, commenting on the two paragraphs in the text on illegal settlements and foreign occupation that had required lengthy last-minute negotiations. Noting the misunderstandings and disagreements on this language, both countries disassociated themselves from the consensus on the final text on these issues. The EU added that it could support the consensus on the understanding that the agreement could in no way be considered a precedent.

Concluding the meeting, Chair Ashe thanked his Vice-Chairs, the Secretariat, and countries who contributed to the trust fund for developing country attendance, including Norway, Japan, Canada, Finland, Sweden, Switzerland and South Africa – the first developing country ever to do so. Thanking participants for making CSD-13 a “memorable experience,” he declared CSD-13 closed at 12:50 am on Saturday morning, 23 April 2005.


Following the adjournment of CSD-13, Chair Ashe declared open the first meeting of CSD-14 in order to elect its Chair and Bureau. Aleksi Aleksishvili, Minister of Economic Development of Georgia, was elected CSD-14 Chair by acclamation. The Commission also elected Javad Amin-Mansour (Iran) as a Vice-Chair, on behalf of the Asia region, while Yvo de Boer (Netherlands) was appointed Vice-Chair from the Western Europe and Others Group, and Adrián Fernández Bramauntz (Mexico) was elected from the Latin America and Caribbean Group. A Vice-Chair from the Africa region will be appointed at a later date. The meeting adjourned shortly before 1:00 am.


“Negotiations will extend until all available time is consumed, and at least one delegate misses a flight.”

Murphy’s Law of Diplomacy

In the dead of night on Friday, 22 April 2005, many hours after CSD-13 was supposed to have come to a close, bleary-eyed delegates finally managed to reach a compromise on the session’s negotiated outcome. The document they produced represents the formal output not only of this session, but also of CSD’s first ever two-year implementation cycle. But was this negotiated document really the most important outcome of CSD-13? To better answer this question, it is worth examining the expectations, process and substance of this session.

What was expected from CSD-13? There are probably as many answers to this question as there were delegations in New York over the two-week session. However, a few key perspectives can be identified. There were those such as the G-77/China that wanted the main result to be a strong and detailed negotiated document that would “stand on its own” and give a “push” to implementation in the thematic areas, including increased ODA. Then there were those that took the middle ground by pursuing a slightly less “ambitious” outcome, seeking to identify a handful of key “green-tinged” innovative policy options. There were also those such as the US that wanted to emphasize the role of partnerships, engage in high-level discussions, and share experiences, but keep the negotiated outcome short and succinct, without reopening or restating previously-negotiated text.

Delegates to the World Summit on Sustainable Development in 2002 had agreed in the Johannesburg Plan of Implementation to “strengthen” and “enhance” CSD’s role, and had adopted decisions at CSD-11 on how to achieve this. However, while almost everyone could claim to support revitalizing the CSD process, what this objective meant in practice clearly differed depending on who you asked. There were those for whom success involved the CSD providing a forum for high-level dialogue on sustainable development, an “education experience” for ministers, and a setting to help sustainable development issues to filter down to national governments. Others saw the CSD becoming a fertile ground for bilateral contacts and partnerships, or wanted to prioritize environmental concerns. Finally, some groups hoped for groundbreaking political decisions.

To a large extent, the hopes and expectations of key groups in this “new” CSD process were tied up in CSD’s procedural foundations. In this respect, a range of issues came into play, including the “precedent-setting” nature of this first policy session, uncertainty over how the review and the policy years would fit together, the organization of the negotiations, and the role and relationship of the Chair, the Bureau and the Secretariat. Other key issues affecting CSD-13 included the involvement of Major Groups and UN agencies, the issue of partnerships, the link to CSD’s cross-cutting issues, and follow-up options.

CSD-11 approved a new programme of work for the CSD, organized in thematic two-year implementation cycles. Each cycle is comprised of a review year to evaluate progress and identify obstacles and constraints, and a policy year to decide on measures to speed up implementation and mobilize action to overcome these obstacles and constraints.

The review and policy year approach to tackle CSD themes seemed useful – in theory. In practice, there was little continuity between the two CSD sessions and the IPM. Many complained of repetitions, redundant discussions and inefficiencies. The change of Chair and Bureau between the Review and Policy years was also viewed by some as disruptive – although others pointed out that having two Chairs hedged against the risk of having a single ineffective Chair for two years.

Some felt the system had more basic flaws than this, though. In particular, the management of the negotiating process significantly impacted the outcome. In a process like this, where the Commission does not have the power to produce legally-binding agreements, the role of the Chair is arguably often even more critical than in other types of processes. Views of CSD-13 Chair John Ashe’s performance varied, with descriptions ranging from “highly astute” and “shrewd” to “domineering” and “unpredictable.” Some observers were sympathetic, noting that, in the CSD’s first ever policy session with such a vast range of expectations, pleasing everyone was simply not possible. Others pointed to the apparent lack of communication in the organization of the meeting, which manifested itself in numerous delays to plenary meetings and other sessions. The source of this problem was difficult to establish – the Chair, the Bureau, the Secretariat, the delegates? Some even pointed the finger at the G-77/China, which generally needs more time than others to coordinate its negotiating positions.

In addition to concerns about the negotiating process, some were uneasy with how the thematic issues were taken up in plenary discussions. There was a range of views on the “interactive discussions,” with some cynically suggesting that they were “neither interactive nor actual discussions.” However, not everyone agreed with this assessment. Some delegates felt that the interactive sessions provided a useful forum to share experiences and bring together high-level officials as few other fora could.

Participation of Major Groups has been the hallmark of the CSD process. However, most Major Groups and some delegations left CSD-13 complaining that their involvement had been curtailed somewhat – a feeling compounded when Major Groups were not allowed into the room during some of the plenary sessions, allegedly due to excessive zeal on the part of UN security. While a few participants thought Major Groups were “repetitive” and “unoriginal” at CSD-13, most considered their interventions to have offered some important new and valuable ideas. “Major Groups would have provided a breath of fresh air for CSD-13, only someone shut the door in their face,” concluded one participant.

The role of UN agencies, their interactions and coordination with other bodies, as in the WSSD, was an underlying issue throughout the negotiations. A few observers also noted that, while there is reference to the “UN system” in the final outcome document, UNEP, UNESCO, UNDP and others are not explicitly mentioned.

On issues of substance, CSD-13 was clearly mandated to provide policy measures to facilitate and enhance implementation and mobilize action in the themes of water, sanitation, and human settlements, taking into account the economic, social and environmental dimensions of sustainable development. No matter how much goodwill existed at the start of CSD-13, it was never going to be easy to address serious and perennial differences on issues such as a rights-based vs. needs-based approach, financing, river basin management and transboundary waters, the role of the public and private sectors, good governance, and the international target on slum dwellers. Nevertheless, CSD-13 did manage to agree on a set of guidelines on the three thematic issues. Indeed, some noted that it was a positive sign that the sticking points that held negotiations up until late on Friday night had less to do with sustainable development than with “external” issues that some felt had been introduced into the CSD process for political reasons (in this case, illegal settlements and occupied territories).

As CSD-13 ended early Saturday morning, it was clear that some participants’ hopes and expectations for the session had not been met. Many were obviously disappointed, with the G-77/China going on record in the closing plenary with a statement that they were “deeply disturbed” by the outcome, accusing developed countries of backtracking on previous agreements and pursuing a “selfish” agenda. On the other hand, countries such as the US and Australia seemed generally satisfied, believing CSD-13 to have been reasonably successful in providing a solid foundation for future implementation cycles.

As the first policy year of its first implementation cycle, CSD-13 set an important precedent on how future cycles could be conducted and on what type of outcomes could be expected. Whether this precedent is good or bad is a matter of opinion. The jury is clearly still out on whether this most recent iteration of the CSD process has strengthened the efficacy of the body and increased its profile in the UN system. With other topics such as terrorism, conflict, security and human rights all clamoring for attention, some fear that it will be difficult to raise – or even maintain – the profile of sustainable development on the international agenda in the coming months and years. The High-level Plenary Meeting in September 2005, which will review progress on the implementation of the Millennium Declaration, is the next major testing ground for the sustainable development agenda. Many will look to its outcome as an indication of what the future holds for the CSD process.


RESUMED ECOSOC ORGANIZATIONAL SESSION: The resumed ECOSOC Organizational Session will take place from 27-28 April 2005, at UN headquarters in New York. For more information, contact: Sarbuland Khan, ECOSOC; tel: +1-212-963-4628; fax: +1-212-963-1712; e-mail:; internet:

SYMPOSIUM ON INTEGRATED IMPLEMENTATION OF SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT GOALS: The UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs, in collaboration with the Provincial Government of Jiangxi, China, will convene this international symposium from 10-12 May 2005, in Nanchang, China. It will focus on integrated implementation of sustainable development goals and targets. Participants will explore practical ways and means of advancing integrated implementation by exchanging lessons learned and best practice, and by identifying gaps and weaknesses in current implementation policies. For more information, contact: Zhu Juwang, Senior Economic Affairs Officer, DESA; tel: +1-212-963-0380; fax: +1-212-963-4260; e-mail:; internet: 

5TH GLOBAL FORUM ON SUSTAINABLE ENERGY (GFSE) - ENHANCING INTERNATIONAL COOPERATION ON BIOMASS: The 5th GFSE will take place from 11-13 May 2005, in Vienna, Austria, convening under the theme “Enhancing international cooperation on biomass.” For more information, contact: Irene Freudenschuss-Reichl, Austrian Ministry for Foreign Affairs, Development Cooperation; tel: +43-50-1150-4486; e-mail:; internet:

UN WORLD WATER AND ENVIRONMENTAL RESOURCES CONGRESS 2005: The conference will take place from 15-19 May 2005, in Anchorage, Alaska, and will discuss global climate change and its impacts on the environmental and water community. For more information, contact: Leonore Jordan, Senior Manager, Conferences, ASCE; tel: +1-703-295-6110; fax: +1-703-295-6222; e-mail:; internet:

22ND SESSIONS OF THE SUBSIDIARY BODIES TO THE UNFCCC: The twenty-second sessions of the Subsidiary Bodies (SB-22) to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) are scheduled to take place from 19-27 May 2005, in Bonn, Germany. SB-22 will be preceded by a “Seminar of Government Experts,” scheduled for 16-17 May, which will seek to promote an informal exchange of information on actions concerning mitigation and adaptation, and on policies and measures adopted by governments supporting implementation of existing commitments under the UNFCCC and the Kyoto Protocol. For more information, contact: UNFCCC Secretariat; tel: +49-228-815-1000; fax: +49-228-815-1999; e-mail:; internet: and

THIRD INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE ON ECOLOGICAL SANITATION: This conference, focusing on optimizing choices and health issues for urban and rural settings, will take place from 23-26 May 2005, in Durban, South Africa. For more information, contact: Carla de Jager; tel: +27-11-805-5947, fax: +27-11-805-5971; e-mail:; internet:

THIRD IWA LEADING-EDGE CONFERENCE AND EXHIBITION ON WATER AND WASTEWATER TREATMENT TECHNOLOGIES: Sponsored by the International Water Association, this conference, focusing on drinking water and wastewater technologies, will take place from 6-8 June 2005, in Sapporo, Japan. For more information, contact: Keith Robertson, Programme Coordinator, International Water Association; tel: +44(0)20-7654-5500; fax: + 44(0)20-7654-5555; e-mail:; internet: 

LEARNING ALLIANCES FOR SCALING UP INNOVATIVE APPROACHES IN THE WATER AND SANITATION SECTOR: This conference will take place from 6-10 June 2005, in Delft, the Netherlands. Topics include scaling up innovations, organization modes (networks, partnerships), learning and sharing, practical experiences, documentation and dissemination, power issues, and tools and methodologies. For more information, contact: IRC International Water and Sanitation Centre; tel: +31-15-219-2939; fax: +31-15-219-0955; e-mail:; internet: 

2005 ECOSOC HIGH-LEVEL SEGMENT AND SUBSTANTIVE SESSION: The ECOSOC High-level Segment will convene from 29 June to 1 July 2005, at UN headquarters in New York, to address the theme, “Achieving the internationally agreed development goals, including those contained in the Millennium Declaration as well as the implementing the outcomes of the major United Nations conferences and summits: progress made, challenges and opportunities.” The substantive session will also convene the: Coordination Segment (5-7 July); Operational Activities Segment (8-12 July); Humanitarian Affairs (13-18 July); General Segment (18-25 July); and conclusion (26-27 July). For more information, contact: Sarbuland Khan, ECOSOC; tel: +1-212-963-4628; fax: +1-212-963-1712; e-mail:; internet: 

2005 STOCKHOLM WORLD WATER WEEK: The 2005 World Water Week, which includes the Stockholm Water Symposium, independently organized seminars and side events, exhibitions and award ceremonies, will take place from 21-27 August 2005, in Stockholm, Sweden. The Stockholm Water Symposium is themed “Drainage Basin Management – Hard and Soft Solutions in Regional Development.” For more information, contact: Stockholm International Water Institute; tel: +46(0)8-522-139-60; fax: +46(0)8-522-139-61; e-mail:; internet:

SECOND INTERNATIONAL MEETING ON SUSTAINABLE CONSUMPTION AND PRODUCTION UNDER THE MARRAKECH PROCESS: The dates and venue for this second international meeting under the Marrakech Process on the 10-Year Framework of Programmes on Sustainable Consumption and Production, to take place in fall 2005 in Costa Rica, are yet to be confirmed. For more information, contact: Alejandro Carpio, UN DESA; tel: +1-212-963-4606; fax: +1-212-963-1267; e-mail:; internet: 

HIGH-LEVEL PLENARY MEETING OF THE 60TH SESSION OF THE UN GENERAL ASSEMBLY ON THE FOLLOW-UP TO THE OUTCOME OF THE MILLENNIUM SUMMIT: In preparation for this High-level Plenary Meeting, taking place from 14-16 September 2005, at UN headquarters in New York, the UN Secretary-General released a report on the event’s modalities, format and organization, recommending among other things a three-day event taking place at the commencement of the 60th session of the General Assembly. The High-level Plenary Meeting is expected to undertake a comprehensive review of the progress made towards the commitments articulated in the UN Millennium Declaration. The event will also review progress made in the integrated and coordinated implementation of the outcomes and commitments of the major UN conferences and summits in the economic, social and related fields. For more information on the internet, go to: 

INTERNATIONAL PLATFORM ON SUSTAINABLE URBAN DEVELOPMENT: This multistakeholder platform, to be held from 11-13 October 2005, in Geneva, Switzerland, will comprise three elements: a conference, an exhibition and a number of workshops/side-events. The objective of the event is to present innovative solutions in the fields of technologies, governance, civil society and enterprises from urban areas in both the northern and southern hemisphere. There will be an emphasis on creating partnerships: public/private; north/south; local/global. For more information, contact: Sofie H. Flensborg, Geneva Environment Network; tel: +41-22-917-8310; fax: +41-22-797-3464; e-mail:; internet: 

SECOND SOUTH ASIAN CONFERENCE ON SANITATION (SACOSAN): This meeting, on sanitation, health and hygiene in South Asia, will be held in November 2005 (date to be determined) in Islamabad, Pakistan. It aims to generate political commitments that prioritize sanitation and hygiene, strengthen leadership/advocacy for improved sanitation and hygiene in South Asia. Civil society in Pakistan is urged to actively participate in the conference event, and in pre- and post-SACOSAN activities. For more information, contact: Abdul Waheed, Director General (Environment) or Murtaza Malik, Conference Coordinator; tel: + 92-51-9205622; fax: + 92-51-9202211; e-mail:; internet:

FIRST MEETING OF PARTIES TO THE KYOTO PROTOCOL AND ELEVENTH CONFERENCE OF PARTIES TO THE UNFCCC: This first meeting of Parties to the Kyoto Protocol (MOP-1) will take place from 28 November - 9 December 2005, in Montreal, Canada. MOP-1 is taking place in conjunction with the eleventh session of the Conference of Parties (COP-11) to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). For more information, contact: UNFCCC Secretariat; tel: +49-228-815-1000; fax: +49-228-815-1999; e-mail:; internet:

CSD-14: The fourteenth session of the Commission on Sustainable Development will convene from 1-12 May 2006, at UN headquarters in New York. CSD-15 has been scheduled for 30 April to 11 May 2007, while its intergovernmental preparatory meeting will be held from 26 February to 2 March 2007. The cluster of issues for this next two-year cycle include: energy for sustainable development; industrial development; air pollution/atmosphere; climate change; and cross-cutting issues. For more information, contact: UN Division for Sustainable Development; tel: +1-212-963-2803; fax: +1-212-963-4260; e-mail:; internet:

Further information