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The World Summit on Sustainable Development

Second Preparatory Committee (PrepCom-II)
UN Headquarters, New York | 28 January - 8 February 2002


Friday, 8 February

Journey of Hope: Chair Emil Salim called the process leading up to Johannesburg a Journey of Hope and said that the PrepCom was beginning to draw the map. . . .

In a morning Plenary session, delegates addressed the issue of accreditation of the International Campaign on Tibet (ICT) and voted on a motion of no action after which the application of the ICT was rejected. Chair Salim then introduced the following four documents: the Chairman's Summary of the PrepCom; the Chairman's Summary of the Multi-Stakeholder Dialogue; the Chairman's Paper; and Proposals for Partnerships/Initiatives to Strengthen the Implementation of Agenda 21. In the afternoon, delegates made general comments on the Chairman's paper and PrepCom II adjourned at approximately 5:15 pm


Question of Accreditation of the International Campaign for Tibet

Chair Salim announced that the Secretariat has recommended the accreditation of the NGO International Campaign for Tibet (ICT). He referred delegates to documents E/CN.17/2002/PC.2/16 and E/CN.17/2002/PC.2/19, which is a letter from the Chinese Permanent Representative to the Secretary-General regarding accreditation of the ICT.
China said that they always have appreciated the role of NGOs in sustainable development and that they welcomed all who observe the UN charter. However, he said that the ICT claims it is being occupied by China, and that their purpose is to create a state separate from China. He said they distort facts and he made an appeal not to approve their accreditation.
Spain, on behalf of the EU and other countries, said that although they support broad participation of all NGOs, it does not mean they agree with the views of all NGOs. He expressed support for a broad range of opinions and views expressed openly and freely in Johannesburg. He supported the recommendation for accreditation, noted that the ICT had made a contribution to the World Conference Against Racism last year, and requested a vote on the issue of accreditation.
The US said all NGOs that can contribute to sustainable development should be accredited. He said ICT is a US-based NGO, supported their accreditation and urged all others to support their participation.
In response, China opposed the EU proposal to vote on accreditation, and moved to take no action on the proposal and to first hold a recorded vote immediately pursuant to the rules of procedure. He said allowing them to participate would only encourage their separatist activities. He said he did not wish to see any confrontation with other countries regarding an NGO.
The final vote on the no action motion: 93 support, 44 oppose, and 16 abstain. (Click on the thumbnail to see enlarged photo)
Pakistan supported China in its motion, and said that ICT was involved in political activities that have no relevance to the WSSD, and that accrediting them would politicize the WSSD process.
Supporting China, Cuba said a vote on accreditation would be divisive for the international community.
Delegates watch as the votes are counted.
Chinese delegates 
Joanne DiSano, Director for Sustainable Development, and PrepCom Chair Emil Salim


Introduction of the Documents: Chairman's Summary of the PrepCom; Chairman's Summary of the Multi-Stakeholder Dialogue; Chairman's Paper; and Proposals for Partnerships and Initiatives to Strengthen the Implementation of Agenda 21 

Chair Emil Salim presented his paper to the PrepCom. In an inspiring speech, he said the fundamental principle of sustainable development is diversity, but that we have to find areas of commonality. He said poverty alleviation is key to environmental and social sustainability. He noted the diversity in views, said it was difficult to have one agreement on all issues, and emphasized the importance of capturing converging ideas. He said the focus must be on producing a workable and doable program. He said that many brilliant ideas have been put forward, but said if they are not workable, they will not appear in the document. He said the PrepCom is making a map for a journey of hope to Johannesburg. In outlining his paper, he said the overarching goal is poverty eradication, that all efforts must concentrate on this, and that other issues are of lower priority. The next section focuses on changing unsustainable patterns of consumption and production. The section on protecting and managing the natural resource base of economic and social development has paragraphs related to, inter alia, water, oceans, global warming, biodiversity, forests, agriculture, desertification, mountains, sustainable tourism and mining. The paper also has sections on: sustainable development and a globalizing world; health and sustainable development; sustainable development of SIDS; sustainable development initiatives for Africa; and means of implementation. He also introduced his Proposals for Partnerships/Initiatives to Strengthen the Implementation of Agenda 21 to be worked out from now until Jakarta. He reiterated that at PrepCom III, negotiations will begin.

Initial reactions to the revised Chairman's text
Chair Salim reminded delegates that none of the new documents circulated earlier in the day were intended for negotiation at this time, but will instead be transmitted to PrepCom III. He then sought feedback on the revised Chair's text.
Japan stated "we have entered a new phase of the preparations of the global summit," and emphasized: energy consumption reduction; recycling; and use of technology in disaster and environmental management. He opposed specific numeric targets on energy efficiency, saying that there was a need to take into account differences between countries. He noted the high-level representation on the Japanese delegation and said this was proof of importance Japan attaches to WSSD.
Switzerland said the new version of the Chairman's text did not address mountain development, chemicals management and mainstreaming gender perspectives. She called for a more accurate reflection of the Ministerial Statement that was the outcome of the European Regional PrepCom.

Bolivia said the document needs to address some elemental concerns such as what we should be doing, how we will do it and why we are undertaking this exercise. Quoting a speaker from the World Environment Forum, he said "sustainability is about giving 2/3 of the world's population that live below the poverty line the opportunity to share in globalization and better the world."
The US thanked the Chair for giving delegates opportunities to talk about more than just text, but also about concrete outcomes as embodies in "type 2" outcomes. He said that type 2 outcomes would make WSSD worthy of the world's attention and would make sustainable development a reality.
Venezuela, speaking for the G-77/China, lamented the fact that the text made no mention of the Rio Principles such as common but differentiated responsibilities, and that financial issues were not linked to eradication of poverty and patterns of consumption.
Nauru thanked the Chair for the references to SIDS
Norway endorsed the revision, and stated that the interlinkages between povery eradication, health and environment should be a central part of the message from WSSD.
Canada noted the lack of mention of chemicals, despite the papers that it and other delegations circulated.

The Russian Federation suggested that country positions regarding the revised text could be circulated before PrepCom III.
Iran reiterated the need to secure means of implementation
Hungary, noting that the Chairman's text "is still a wish-list," called for more agreement to be reached on concrete actions which should be translated as commitments and time-tables. He observed that the topic of governance was missing from the text.
Bangladesh thanked the Chair and said the paper constituted a good basis for future discussion.

Israel emphasized access to sustainable energy and public awareness, and called for a separated sub-topic on latter. He said that more focus must be given to understanding the relationship between globalization and sustainable development.

said he would have liked to see the principle of common but differentiated responsibilities well spelled out in the document, but was pleased to see the emphasis on unsustainable consumption and production patterns, which he said were at the root of poverty. He said that sustainable development and competitiveness should be addressed as it is a useful tool for modernization.
In response to the questions posed by delegates, Chair Salim declared "we should negotiate an action plan - let's not worry about mentioning all of Agenda 21."

Chair Salim's closing words: "We have agreed somehow on a frame of a map; the map can be fleshed out at PrepCom III."


Parting images...

Chair Salim with members of the Indonesian delegation


Alexander De Barros, UN Secretariat, and Andrey Vasilyev, DESA

A delegate reads the Earth Times which features a cover story on Nitin Desai, Secretary-General for the WSSD
Portugal with Brazil and Botswana
Myanmar catches up on his leisure reading
Members of the Portuguese delegation
Nitin Desai and Emil Salim
ENB writer Wendy Jackson speaks with the delegates from Norway
ENB Team Leader Wagaki Mwangi saying goodbye to Chair Salim
Bradnee Chambers, United Nations University, speaks with Chair Salim
Kimo Goree, International Institute for Sustainable Development, with Chair Salim


Official website for PrepCom-II - includes links to all documents for the meeting.

Official WSSD website and the host South African WSSD website.

NEW! Who's who at WSSD
ENB's coverage of the Informal Brainstorming Session of the Preparatory Committee (16-17 January 2002).
ENB's coverage of the Regional Preparatory Meetings and of Prepcom I.
Linkages Introduction to the Johannesburg Summit 2002 - the essential CSD primer to the Summit.
Linkage's Portal to the Johannesburg Summit 2002 - News, Who's Who at WSSD; Publications; Calendar of Events; Preparations and many other online resources.

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