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8th Meeting of the Commission on Sustainable Development
New York, USA; 24 April - 05 May, 2000

Archives of Web Pages, including photos and RealAudio:

| Monday 24 | Tuesday 25 | Wednesday 26 | Thursday 27Friday 28 | April
| Monday 01 | Tuesday 02 | Wednesday 03 | Thursday 04 | Friday 05 | May

| Lundi 24 | Mardi 25 | Mercredi 26 | Jeudi 27 | Vendredi 28 | Avril
| Lundi 01 | Mardi 02 | Mercredi 03 | Jeudi 04 | Vendredi 05 | Mai

Highlights from Friday 05 May: The final day and night of CSD-8

The final ENB Summary Issue was made available on this website on Sunday 07 May (evening). Just click on the appropriate version from the box in the upper right hand corner of this page.

Delegates reach consensus on draft decisions in the early morning hours of Saturday morning and adjourn the Final Plenary of CSD-8 at 4:40 am on Saturday morning, 7 May 2000

At 10:00 am, delegates met in a Plenary session hear the final results of Drafting Group III which addressed, inter alia, Preparations for Rio+10 and the outcome of the Intergovernmental Forum on Forests. CSD-8 Chair Juan Mayr made his closing remarks and wished delegates luck in concluding their negotiations, as he had to return to Colombia. He then suspended the Final Plenary. Delegates met through out the day and into the early morning hours of Saturday to conclude negotiations of draft decisions on: integrated planning and management of land resources; agriculture; financial resources and mechanisms; and economic growth and sustainable development. The resumed Closing Plenary reconvened at 3:30 am on Saturday morning to adopt the draft decisions and the agenda for CSD-9. The Final Plenary of CSD-8 adjourned at 4:40 am.Immediately following, CSD-9 held its first meeting to elect its Bureau: CSD-9 Chair Bedrich Moldan (Czech Republic) and Vice-Chairs David Stuart (Australia), Alison Drayton (Guyana) and Matia Kiwanuka (Uganda). The Asia group member will be elected at a later date.

Above Photo: CSD-8 Chair Juan Mayr consults with Adriana Soto and the Secretary of the Commission before the Final Plenary Bedrich Moldan (Czech Republic)

Click here for highlights and photos from the negotiations

See below for highlights, photos and RealAudio from:

  • Morning Plenary with closing remarks from CSD-8 Chair Juan Mayr
  • Negotiations
  • Closing Plenary and election of officers for CSD-9

Following is a chronology of the final day and night of CSD-8.

Summary  ENB / BNT
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ENB Daily Report (English)

BNT (Francais)

To listen to RealAudio speeches, you will need to download and install the free RealAudio Player


Plenary and Closing Remarks from CSD-8 Chair Minister Juan Mayr: Chair Mayr suspended the Closing Plenary and announced plans for Drafting Groups I and II to reconvene to complete their work.

CSD-8 Chair Juan Mayr (Colombia) closed the Plenary early, and extended time for Drafting Groups to continue with their work.  Mayr shared his vision and some reflections on the CSD process from standpoint of Chairman. Focussing on the context of the new millennium, Mayr noted that  business/industry, the public sector, and civil society face new challenges in modernization, and that these processes require detailed analyses, transparency, and the establishment of functional frameworks for cooperation and decision-making.  As a proponent of candor and informality in otherwise formal processes, Mayr reinforced the value of the multi-stakeholder dialogues, high level debates, and cross-sectoral participation making specific mention of women, youth, and the scientific communities.
Co-Chairs of the Ad Hoc Open-Ended Intergovernmental Group of Experts on Energy and Sustainable Development: Mohammed Reza Salamat (Iran) and Irene Freudenschuss Reichl (Austria)
Mohammed Salamat noted that the Group's next meeting should take place before February 2001.  The Group intends to work closely with the CSD-9 Chair and Bureau of CSD-9 as they would like the focus of the CSD-9 to be on renewable energy and sustainable development, involving the added participation of Energy Ministers.
Irene Freudenschuss Riechl underlined the importance of  intersessional events as the place where key issues are identified.  She made an appeal to all governments to make voluntary contributions to fund the participation of developing countries at the working group so that they may together start identifying solutions to key issues of relevance to all countries.  Since the first session was about identifying issues, she proposed that the second session be focused on determining solutions.

Drafting Group III Chair and CSD Vice-Chair Zvetolyub Basmejiev (Bulgaria) reports on results of deliberations on Preparations for Rio+10, noting that the Drafting Group had been successful and adopted the draft decisions and recommended them for adoption by the CSD-8 Plenary.

The Secretary of the CSD assured recommendation for the establishment of the UN Forum on Forests (UNFF) as an intergovernmental forum to the GA.  The proposed UNFF would be open to all states, meet annually with a high-level ministerial segment, should set up a compact secretariat, and take on a program of activities according to the Rio Declaration, Ch.II of Agenda 21, and IFF proposals for action.

Dick Balhorn (Canada)  highlighted the IFF as one of most significant decisions of CSD and one of the best examples of what the CSD can do when it is focused on an issue.  Balhorn made further comments encouraging the CSD to keep the high level segment relevant to its meetings, ensuring interesting multi-stakeholder dialogues, limiting running times on speeches, and attracting Ministerial presence, closing on the desire to see Mayr at the Rio+10 event. 

Modesto Francisco Fernandez Diaz-Silveira (Cuba) related that even as a small country, it has sustainable development success stories, having regenerated 20% of its forests. CSD was complimented as an appropriate forum to deal with all these converging topics, and has the power to make decisions that will have important effects for sustainable development and for the planet.

On the location of Rio+10, the US, opposed by Japan (right) and Nigeria, for the G-77/China, dissociated himself from consensus that the event be held in a developing country; the US does not support the convening of any new conferences within the UN system
Ositadinma Anaedu (Nigeria) speaking on behalf of the G77/China, related that it supports the Rio+10 and IFF/UNFF proposals entirely. It went on to congratulate the Chairman for successful facilitation of the CSD-8 process.

Mark Hambley, US, stated its understanding that Rio+10 should be a global conference held outside New York; that it supports the 10 year review that takes into consideration major changes; but in light of general US policy, the US will not contribute funding for any new global conferences. With respect to the IFF/UNFF, the the US underscored its support for the creation of the panel, and noted its financial contributions amounting to some $700,000.




CSD-8 Chair Mayr talks to the press after suspending the Closing Plenary and before leaving to return to Colombia

Highlights from the final hours of negotiations

The Contact Group on Land and Agriculture resolves outstanding issues on integrated planning and management of land resources

When informal informal consultations failed to resolve the issue regarding reference to "equal" regarding access to land and security of tenure, facilitator Navid Hanif proposed that this reference be retained only once (instead of throughout the document), within language on promoting improved access and tenure. Following additional discussion, the agreed text states: "while recognizing the existence of different national laws and/or systems of land access, governments, at appropriate level, including the local authorities, are encouraged to develop and or adopt policies and implement laws that guarantee to their citizens well defined and enforceable land rights and promote equal access and security of tenure." Above photo: Ositadinma Anaedu, Nigeria, Ambassador Mark Hambley, US, and Ambassador Julio Mascarenhas, Portugal; Bottom left photo: Modesto Francisco Fernandez Diaz-Silveira, Cuba, and Facilitator Navid Hanif

On prevention and/or mitigation of land degradation, a reference to protection and enhancement of greenhouse sinks, proposed by Australia, generated support from the US and EU and opposition from the G-77/China, Brazil and Egypt. The reference was changed to "carbon sequestration," and was also proposed and debated under the section on international cooperation. The contact group succeeded in creating an acceptable compromise proposal, and the reference was kept in the latter section only. A new paragraph specifically addressing the removal of land mines was debated and agreed to in informal discussions, reflecting language from GA resolution 5326. Delegates also agreed to language urging countries to sign and ratify the Biosafety Protocol and to support its effective implementation

Contact group facilitator Navid Hanif aired by Navid Hanif (Pakistan) with Cuba (left)

Negotiations on the Draft Decision on Agriculture

During the early afternoon, delegates debated language on prioritization of sources for financing SARD. When consensus could not be reached on language regarding domestic and international sources, some delegates proposed deletion of the SARD section. Delegates agreed to broader text stating the the financing for the implementation of Agenda 21is expected to be met, in general from domestic resources, and that all governments are urged to provide an enabling environment for mobilizing domestic and international resources.

Facilitator Navid Hanif consults with delegates on text under SARD

In the early morning hours: Canada, Australia and Nigeria (above left) consult on text regarding sanitary and phytosanitary measures.

The final hour for agriculture: text was agreed to at approximately 2:00 am. In this photo, the US, Australia, the G-77, Canada and the EU consult on the last outstanding paragraph on sanitary and phytosanitary measures.

Delegates agreed to text stating that: "Sanitary and phytosanitary measures are relevant to SARD. Their implementation must be in accordance with WTO agreements."

Drafting Group II: Financial Resources and Mechanisms
Drafting Group II completed its work on finance, sending two paragraphs with internal brackets to Plenary. Contentious issues in the group included references to governance. The EU preferred using "good" governance, whereas the G-77/China supported "responsive to the needs of the people, based on efficient, participatory, transparent and accountable public service, policy-making processes and administration," which is text from GA Resolution 54/231. After informal consultations, delegates agreed on "transparent, effective, participatory and accountable governance, conducive to sustainable development and responsive to the needs of people." Delegates could not agree on the strength of action to be taken on trade-distorting and environmentally harmful subsidies. Text on the gradual phasing out of these subsidies remained in brackets. New Zealand, the US and other preferred elimination of such subsidies. Regarding a paragraph implementing the HIPC initiative, delegates in Drafting Group II could not reach consensus on a reference to cancellation and "equivalent relief" of bilateral official debt to countries qualifying for the enhanced HIPC initiative.
Alison Drayton, Guyana, coordinated finance for the G-77/China Pictured with Chair Seok-young, the EU, and other G-77/China (left) and with Portugal (right ) Pictured on the right with the representative of Portugal. Considerable debate also ensued on language referring to the creation an ad hoc intergovernmental panel to undertake an analytical study of the lack of progress in the fulfillment of financial commitments. The final text reflects that no agreement could be reached on convening such a panel.


The EU consults on finance outside the Trusteeship Council

Consensus was elusive on text regarding the Clean Development Mechanism and the Kyoto Protocol under innovative financial mechanisms. Australia, Canada, the EU, New Zealand and Norway supported clear reference. The US stated that it could not accept text in any formulation. The G-77/China emphasized that because the CDM was not yet negotiated, they could not agree on any language. Reference to the CDM was deleted from the text.

Drafting Group II met in the Trusteeship Council in the afternoon, a change of scenery from the basement of the UN building

Drafting Group II: Trade
The Drafting Group finished its work at 2:30 am on Saturday morning and sent the draft decision on trade to Plenary with three paragraphs still containing internal brackets.
Consensus could not be reached on: enhancing understanding of the economic and social implications of trade measures for environmental purposes for countries at different levels of development; on relaxing environmental standards to attract FDI; further research on the Rio Principles. The draft decision was sent to Plenary with brackets.

New Zealand (left center) facilitated informal discussions on paragraphs in the trade text related to, inter alia, sustainability impact assessments, trade distorting and environmentally harmful subsidies.Delegates had difficulty reaching consensus on text regarding environmental impact and sustainability assessments of trade agreements. The G-77/China maintained that language on assessments might be used later as a conditionality on trade. Norway suggested text on the developmental and environmental implications of trade barriers and on financial and technical support for countries undertaking environmental impact and sustainability assessments of trade agreements.
The European Commission and the US (above) discuss the trade text. The European Commission is pictured on the right.

Bolivia and Egypt

The G-77/China preferred deletion of the text stating that environmental standards should not be lowered as a means to attract FDI, while the EU noted that similar language was accepted at CSD-4.

Passing the time, waiting for the Final Plenary to convene
Some kicked back and relaxed, some caught up on well needed sleep, some read the ENB and some posed for photos.

The resumed Closing Plenary convened at 3:30 am on Saturday morning
Chair Choi Seok-young (Republic of Korea) presided over the Final Plenary. After deleting bracketed text which could not be resolved in both the Finance and the Trade Draft Decisions, delegates adopted all four Draft Decisions on land, agriculture, finance and trade. Plenary also adopted the agenda for CSD-9 which includes energy, atmosphere, transport, information for decisonmaking, and participation and international cooperation for an enabling environment. The first meeting of CSD-9 convened briefly in order to elect following Bureau members: CSD-9 Chair Bedrich Moldan (Czech Republic) and Vice-Chairs David Stuart (Australia), Alison Drayton (Guyana) and Matia Kiwanuka (Uganda). The representative of the Asia group will be elected at a later date.
Drafting Group I Chair Patrick McDonnell (Ireland) stated that, after initial negotiations in the group, intensive negotiations had been concluded in a contact group facilitated by Navid Hanif, and consensus had been reached on all outstanding paragraphs. Chair McDonnell reported that the papers on land and agriculture had been adopted by the Drafting Group and thanked the facilitator, the Secretariat and delegations. The decisions on Integrated Planning and Management of Land Resources and on Agriculture were adopted.

Chair Choi Seok-young (Republic of Korea) reported on the results of Drafing Group II on trade and finance, noting the texts still contained brackets. In the finance paper, delegates agreed to delete text on the "gradual phasing out" of trade-distorting and environmentally harmful subsidies, and cancellation "and equivalent relief" of bilateral official debt to HIPC countries. On the trade paper, delegates agreed to delete bracketed text referring to: enhancing understanding of the economic and social implications of trade measures for environmental trade purposes; the inappropriateness of relaxing environmental laws, regulations, standards or their enforcement in order to encourage FDI or to promote exports; and researching possible trade implications and applications of the Rio principles of common but differentiated responsibilities, the polluter pays principle and the precautionary principle.

Chair Choi Seok-young's presided over the Final Plenary and made some closing remark

Ositadinma Anaedu, Nigeria, for the G-77/China said that the solutions agreed on will trickle down in a substantial way to those they are meant for for the betterment of sustainable development. He said that each time he enters the process, he emerges as an improved person and has increased his understanding of different cultures.

Ambassador Julio Mascarenhas, Portugal, for the European Union, thanked in particular the G-77/China for its flexibility and willingness to compromise
Bedrich Moldan ( Czech Republic) pledged to avoid late nights as Chair of CSD-9

ENB Summary of Ad Hoc Open-Ended Intergovernmental Group of Experts on Energy and Sustainable Development
CSD-8 Intersessionals
Linkages CSD page
UN - CSD website with official documents 
ENB's "Introduction to CSD"

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