Daily report for 2 September 2002
Delegates to the World Summit on Sustainable Development (WSSD) met in Plenary to hear speeches from Thabo Mbeki, President of the Republic of South Africa, Kofi Annan, UN Secretary-General, and Han Seung-soo, President of the UN General Assembly. This was followed by addresses from Heads of State and Government and other leaders throughout the day. In the afternoon, a Round Table of Heads of State and Government and senior officials convened to discuss the theme, "Making It Happen." Regarding the draft Plan of Implementation, ministerial consultations on energy convened briefly in the morning, met informally throughout the day and concluded negotiations in the evening.
Editor’s Note: For text and video coverage of speakers visit http://www.un.org/events/wssd/statements/
Thabo Mbeki, President, Republic of South Africa, called for participants to ensure that the WSSD would be a defining moment, embracing the theme of "People, Planet and Prosperity." He urged world leaders to act together to foster poverty eradication, human advancement and environmental protection. Mbeki said that the WSSD must produce concrete targets, and implementation and monitoring processes. He appealed to leaders to communicate that they are ready to be judged by the speed and commitment with which they implement their agreements, that they genuinely care about humanity and the planet, and that they are determined to defeat global apartheid.
UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan stressed the need for responsibility for each other, the planet and future generations. He said that the environment provides the resources on which society depends, as well as beauty and spiritual sustenance. He warned that the cost of inaction is expensive, and emphasized the need for political courage to promote conservation, change the current inequitable development model, and implement agreements that have already been reached. Annan said that while rich countries must lead, partnerships with business and civil society, as advocates and watchdogs, are critical.
Han Seung-soo, President, UN General Assembly (UNGA), highlighted the need to reverse deterioration of social, environmental and economic problems. He said that the UNGA was the most appropriate forum to integrate follow up to the Millennium Declaration, Doha Development Agenda, Monterrey Consensus and the WSSD.
The following Heads of State and Government addressed the Plenary: Megawati Soekarnoputri, Indonesia; Hugo Chavez, Venezuela, on behalf of the G-77/China; Anders Fogh Rasmussen, Denmark; Kessai Note, Marshall Islands; Romano Prodi, Commission of the European Community; Bharrat Jagdeo, Guyana; Gerhard Schröder, Germany; Sam Nujoma, Namibia; Pakalitha Mosisili, Lesotho; Tony Blair, United Kingdom; Jean Chrétien, Canada; Yoweri Kaguta Museveni, Uganda; Ahmet Necdet Sezer, Turkey; José Manuel Durão Barroso, Portugal; Abdelaziz Bouteflika, Algeria; Jacques Chirac, France; Fernando Henrique Cardoso, Brazil; Andranik Margaran, Armenia; Daniel Toroitich Arap Moi, Kenya; Ahmed Mohamed Ag Hamani, Mali; King Mohammed VI, Morocco; Levy Patrick Mwanawasa, Zambia; Georgi Parvanov, Bulgaria; Helen Clark, New Zealand; Abdoulaye Wade, Senegal; Stjepan Mesic, Croatia; Denis Sassou-Nguesso, Congo; Silvio Berlusconi, Italy; Tarja Halonen, Finland; Junichiro Koizumi, Japan; Guy Verhofstadt, Belgium; David Oddson, Iceland; Vojislav Koštunica, Yugoslavia; Saufatu Sopoanga, Tuvalu; Abel Pacheco de la Espriella, Costa Rica; El Hadj Omar Bongo, Gabon; Boris Trajkovski, Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia; King Mswati III, Swaziland; Koffi Sama, Togo; Bakili Muluzi, Malawi; Chief Olusegun Obasanjo, Nigeria; Robert Mugabe, Zimbabwe; Ion Iliescu, Romania; Crown Prince Albert, Monaco; and Sheikh Abdullah bin Mohammed bin Saud Al-Thani, Qatar.
Vice-Presidents and Deputy Prime Ministers representing the following countries spoke: Botswana; Burundi; Colombia; Ghana; Honduras; Iran; Iraq; Lao People’s Democratic Republic; Malaysia; Slovenia and Vanuatu.
Ministers and other representatives from the following countries also addressed the Plenary: the Bahamas; Bahrain; Bolivia; Burkina Faso; Greece; the Holy See; Jordan; Kuwait; Lebanon; Liechtenstein; Peru; Republic of Korea; Sudan; Switzerland; and Uruguay.
Speakers noted that UNCED and Agenda 21 objectives had not been realized and called upon the WSSD to reaffirm States’ commitments by supporting timely implementation of the WSSD’s Plan of Implementation, the Political Declaration and the Millennium Development Goals. Several speakers highlighted the importance of the Kyoto Protocol’s entry into force, as well as the promotion of renewable energy sources. Speakers from Small Island Developing States (SIDS) spoke about the urgent need to address the adverse impacts of climate change, including sea level rise, and supported a legally binding framework with targets and timeframes for renewable energy. One called for addressing contamination from spent nuclear fuel. Speakers also highlighted issues regarding biodiversity, desertification, forest management practices, global public goods, and oceans.
Other speakers highlighted poverty alleviation, the gap between rich and poor, the digital divide, and the effects of globalization and international trade. Several countries noted their dissatisfaction with language in the draft Plan of Implementation regarding trade and finance and others supported phasing out perverse subsidies. Most developing countries called on developed countries to commit new and additional financial resources. Several developed countries reinforced their commitment to achieving the 0.7% GNP target for ODA, and others noted commitments to increase development assistance in specific areas. One speaker noted that there was too much rhetoric and not enough commitment at such conferences, challenging delegates to deliver on their promises. Speakers also highlighted the importance of education, clean water and sanitation, food security, women, civil society participation, indigenous peoples and their knowledge in the development process.
Several speakers addressed the need to focus international attention on the impact of conflicts and civil war, particularly the impact that increasing numbers of refugees and internally-displaced persons are having on sustainable development. Speakers also called for good governance, respect for the rule of law and human rights, right to self-determination and strengthening multilateralism. Several least developed countries called for urgent international action to address external debt in developing countries, and to increase access to technological progress and markets. African speakers called for the urgent mobilization of international action to treat the growing number of people with HIV/AIDS.
Specific proposals were put forward regarding: promotion of the New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD); "E-Government"; an international humanitarian fund; a "solidarity levy" on wealth created by globalization; an Economic and Social Security Council; a World Environmental Organization; a peer assessment process within the CSD; an international conference on renewable energy; a World Conservation Fund to ensure food security; an international binding agreement on safeguarding the biosphere; and WSSD follow-up conferences.
ROUND TABLE 1 – "MAKING IT HAPPEN"
H.E. Aleksander Kwásniewski, President of the Republic of Poland, Chair of Round Table 1, stressed the need for greater stimulus from the WSSD to help overcome global challenges.
UKRAINE emphasized the importance of integrating countries with economies in transition into the global economic system, and equitable multilateral trade. AUSTRIA noted the need for greater involvement of the private sector, and a legal and political framework for stable investments. MAURITIUS highlighted good corporate and ecological governance. INDONESIA said that sustainable development solutions should work through markets and rely less on consumption and destruction of natural resources. SAUDI ARABIA highlighted the need to: meet ODA targets; change unsustainable production and consumption patterns; codify globalization; and ensure fair and equitable multilateral trading.
UGANDA stressed the need to end the "parasitism in the world," which affects ecosystems. THAILAND highlighted the philosophy of "sustainable economy." PAKISTAN suggested that ministers of environment be involved in developmental decision-making. PERU supported the entry into force of the Kyoto Protocol, and the strengthening of the Political Declaration. MALI recommended creating a WSSD "programme of action" and mechanisms for ongoing assessment. He stressed the need to reinforce governance through solidarity and peace. EL SALVADOR recommended that poor countries be supported through trade and aid, and regional actions be taken to tackle natural disasters. ALGERIA stated that sustainable development is rooted in culture and cannot be transposed. VIETNAM noted that sustainable development depends on specific social, economic and political conditions.
EGYPT stressed that environmental standards should reflect the environmental and developmental context to which they apply, and that States should cooperate to create a supportive and open international economic system. NORWAY noted that sustainable development requires a three-way partnership among: rich countries who need to increase ODA and foreign direct investment, developing countries responsible for good governance, and business responsible for corporate social responsibility. TONGA suggested that the WSSD serve as the catalyst for immediate action on climate change. THE COOK ISLANDS asked those responsible to stop "exploiting the oceans," "killing the whales," and "burning our world." PALESTINE noted that peace, security and stability were essential for sustainable development.
The SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGICAL COMMUNITY noted that good government required good science and stressed the importance of access to science in developing countries. ECLAC called for creating markets for environmental services and ratifying the Kyoto Protocol. WOMEN noted the increase in their and NGOs' participation at this conference and stressed the flaws of globalization and free trade. BUSINESS AND INDUSTRY supported the Global Reporting System and the shareholder value that sustainable development fosters. FARMERS stressed the need for access to water and energy, energy efficiency and solar technology. TRADE UNIONS underscored that jobs are essential to poverty alleviation, and noted the need for decent pay and working conditions. The CCD said that the WSSD was an opportunity to find resources to combat desertification. LOCAL AUTHORITIES called for recognition as a sphere of government. INDIGENOUS PEOPLES noted that protection of their knowledge was dependent on recognition of their rights, including to self-determination and land. NGOs called for effective citizenship as essential for good governance.
Ministerial-level consultations chaired by South African Minister of Environmental Affairs and Tourism Valli Moosa convened in morning, afternoon and evening sessions. One delegation asked the Chair to outline the process for handling discussion on the draft Political Declaration, which had been distributed earlier in the day. Delegations were informed that regional and interest groups would be consulted before the Declaration is offered for adoption.
Ministers considered paragraphs on access to energy (8), diversifying energy supply (19(e)), subsidies (19(p)bis), and the framework of the ninth session of the CSD (19(s)). Revised paragraphs were adopted in the early evening. In the morning, Chair Moosa invited delegations to consider a proposal from a developing country group, and a response from a developed country group advocating targets for the renewable energy.
In the early evening, Chair Moosa presented revised versions of the paragraphs on energy. In the paragraph on access to energy, delegates agreed that the paragraph should begin: "Take joint action and improve efforts to work together at all levels to improve access to reliable and affordable energy services." The sentence on diversifying energy supply includes hydro as a renewable energy technology, calls for a substantial increase in renewable energy sources' share of the global energy mix, and calls for a regular evaluation of available data to review progress in pursuing energy policies supportive of poverty eradication. In a paragraph on subsidies, delegates agreed to undertake action, "where appropriate," to phase out subsidies "in this area" "that inhibit sustainable development." In a paragraph on CSD-9, brackets were removed from a sentence in which countries are urged to develop and implement actions within the framework of CSD-9. Chair Moosa pleaded with delegations to accept the revised text intact.
A developed country group suggested inserting a target year of 2010 for substantially increasing renewable energy's share of the global mix. The Chair said he would have to entertain other proposals if he agreed to present the proposal to the meeting. The proposal was withdrawn, to applause. Three countries noted that in their view a reference to energy technologies does not include nuclear power. A number of delegations expressed disappointment at the absence of quantitative goals in paragraph 19(e). They included three countries in the Latin America and Caribbean region and two developed country groups. One delegation described the paragraph as the lowest common denominator. One group urged delegates not to be surprised if a coalition of willing countries and regions emerged to take on quantifiable targets.
IN THE CORRIDORS I
The long-awaited draft Political Declaration finally made the rounds on Monday. While delegates' first reactions focused on length, word repetitions and the document's poesy of "sounding brass and tinkling cymbals," the more significant aspects of substance and format were generally welcomed. Careful readers were quick to notice that important notions absent in the draft Plan of Implementation, like multilateralism, were visibly present in the Declaration. Some points, however, were missing from this document. There is no mention of science, and trade unions have offered amendments to fortify the social message.
Rumor has it that the South African delegation, after discreet consultations, is planning to circulate a shorter, reader-friendly version by Monday evening. Whether as an expression of faith in the hosts or through sheer exhaustion, delegates are clearly reluctant, at this late point, to negotiate another Johannesburg outcome.
IN THE CORRIDORS II
As ministers concluded negotiations on energy, there was still talk in the corridors about the fate of several paragraphs on health. The Canadians restated their belief that paragraph 47 was not agreed in Bali, and that they should be able to insert the language, "in conformity with all human rights and fundamental freedoms," into the paragraph in Chapter VI: Health and Sustainable Development. Subparagraph 58(a), in Chapter VIII: Sustainable Development for Africa, still contains brackets around text on "Promoting equitable access to health care [[and] services]."
Rumors circulated that these two paragraphs may be ripe for a trade-off with the Canadian text being inserted in paragraph 58(a). However, some NGOs expressed dissatisfaction with this option. Another possibility is to put the Canadian text into paragraph 6(d) in Chapter II: Poverty Eradication. This subparagraph, which was only agreed ad referendum in Bali, addresses women's equal access to and full participation in decision-making and includes reference to full and equal access to health-care strategies. Many delegates fear that amendment of paragraph 47 could lead to re-opening other paragraphs. But the question remains on how much of this objection is rooted in procedure and how much in substance.
THINGS TO LOOK FOR TODAY
PLENARY: The Plenary will commence at 9:00 am in the Plenary Hall to resume addresses by Heads of State and Government and senior officials.
ROUND TABLES: Round Tables on the theme, "Making It Happen," will meet at 10:00 am and 3:00 pm in Ballroom 3.
VIENNA SETTING: The Vienna setting will convene at 11:00 am in Ballroom 1 to review documents and address outstanding issues. Look for distribution of new documents in the morning prior to the Vienna setting meeting: the agreed text from the Vienna setting; the agreed text on globalization, finance and trade; and other text agreed by ministers.
MAIN COMMITTEE: The Main Committee is expected to meet at 9:00 pm in Exhibition 1 to adopt the draft Plan of Implementation and forward it to the Plenary for consideration on 4 September.