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Summary report, 28 January – 8 February 2002

2nd Session of the WSSD Preparatory Committee

The Commission on Sustainable Development (CSD), acting as the Preparatory Committee (PrepCom) for the World Summit on Sustainable Development (WSSD), met for its second session from 28 January to 8 February 2002 at UN headquarters in New York. The session was attended by over 1000 representatives of governments, UN agencies and convention secretariats, international organizations, and the nine Major Groups.

The purpose of the session was to conduct a comprehensive review and assessment of progress achieved in the implementation of Agenda 21, including the Programme for the Further Implementation of Agenda 21, as adopted in 1997 (A/RES/S-19/2), and to agree on a document that could form the basis of negotiations at the Committee’s next session in late March.

The Commission agreed to transmit to its third session the Chairman’s Paper as the basis for negotiation, and adopted the Chairman’s Report, to which are annexed the Chairman’s Summary of the Second Preparatory Session, the Chairman’s Summary of the Multi-Stakeholder Dialogue Segment, and the Proposals for Partnerships/Initiatives to Strengthen the Implementation of Agenda 21.

At the conclusion of the session, participants were able to return to their capitals and missions with reports of veritable successes from PrepCom II, counting among their achievements, the production of a Paper that will provide a basis for negotiation at PrepCom III, meaningful dialogue with stakeholders, agreement to initiate discussion on sustainable development governance, and rallying support for partnerships and outputs that could result in voluntary initiatives.


The WSSD will be held 10 years after the UN Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED). UNCED, also known as the Earth Summit, took place from 3-14 June 1992, in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Over 100 Heads of State and Government, representatives from 178 countries, and over 17,000 participants attended the Conference. The principal outputs of the Earth Summit were the Rio Declaration on Environment and Development, Agenda 21, a 40-chapter programme of action for sustainable development, the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), and the Statement of Forest Principles.

In Chapter 38, Agenda 21 called for the creation of a Commission on Sustainable Development (CSD) to: ensure effective follow-up to UNCED; enhance international cooperation and rationalize intergovernmental decision making; and examine progress in the implementation of Agenda 21 at all levels. In 1992, the 47th session of the UN General Assembly (UNGA) set out, in resolution 47/191, the terms of reference for the CSD, its composition, guidelines for the participation of NGOs, the organization of work, its relationship with other UN bodies and Secretariat arrangements. The CSD held its first meeting in June 1993 and has since met annually.

UNGASS-19: Also at its 47th session in 1992, the General Assembly adopted resolution 47/190, which called for a Special Session of the General Assembly to review Agenda 21 implementation five years after UNCED. The 19th Special Session of the UN General Assembly for the Overall Review and Appraisal of Agenda 21, which was held in New York from 23-27 June 1997, adopted the Programme for the Further Implementation of Agenda 21 (A/RES/S-19/2). It assessed progress made since UNCED, examined implementation, and established the CSD’s work programme for the period 1998-2002.

RESOLUTION 55/199: In December 2000, the General Assembly adopted resolution 55/199, in which it decided to embark on a ten-year review of UNCED in 2002 at the summit level to reinvigorate the global commitment to sustainable development. The General Assembly accepted South Africa’s offer to host the event. The resolution decided that the review should focus on accomplishments and areas requiring further efforts to implement Agenda 21 and other UNCED outcomes, leading to action-oriented decisions. It should also result in renewed political commitment to achieve sustainable development.

PREPCOM I: CSD-10, acting as the Preparatory Committee for the WSSD, held its first session at UN headquarters from 30 April to 2 May 2001. The session adopted decisions on: progress in WSSD preparatory activities at the local, national, regional and international levels, as well as by Major Groups; modalities of future PrepCom sessions; tentative organization of work during the Summit; provisional rules of procedure; and arrangements for accreditation and participation of Major Groups.

NATIONAL, SUBREGIONAL AND REGIONAL PREPARATORY PROCESSES: National Preparatory Committees for the WSSD have been established to undertake country-level reviews, to raise awareness, and to mobilize stakeholders. Subregional and regional preparatory meetings for the Johannesburg Summit were held between June 2001 and January 2002. Eminent Persons’ Roundtables on the WSSD took place in all five UN regions, and regional preparatory meetings were held for the European/North American (25-26 September 2001), Africa (15-18 October 2001), Latin America and Caribbean (23-24 October 2001), West Asia (24 October 2001) and Asia-Pacific (27-29 November 2001) regions, as well as for the Small Island Developing States (SIDS) on 7-11 January 2002.

INFORMAL BRAINSTORMING SESSION: An informal brainstorming session in preparation for PrepCom II took place from 16-17 January 2002, at UN headquarters in New York, where participants considered: implementation of Agenda 21 and other Rio outcomes; partnerships for achieving sustainable development; preparations for PrepCom II; and a possible framework for strengthening linkages between the expected outcomes of the WSSD.


PrepCom Chair Emil Salim (Indonesia) opened the session on Monday, 28 January, emphasizing the need for preparations that could attract the attention of world leaders, integration of all three sustainable development pillars – economic, environmental and social – in the deliberations, Major Group participation, and consideration of new challenges.

The first week of the PrepCom was devoted to an information-sharing session comprised of dialogue on general and specific topics, and issues to be reflected in the Chairman’s Paper that would be transmitted to PrepCom III. The second week was dedicated to the development of this document. On Monday, 4 February, Jan Pronk, Minister for the Environment, Housing and Spatial Planning of the Netherlands and Special Envoy of the UN Secretary-General to the WSSD, addressed the Committee, explaining his mission and accomplishments to date. Pronk said his primary task was to get Heads of State and Government to attend the Summit, as well as to identify the leaders’ expectations, solicit their commitment and encourage coordinated preparations for the Summit at the national level.

This report is organized on the basis of the agenda items considered by the Commission, with a separate section dedicated to the Chairman’s Paper, which was accepted as the basis for negotiations at PrepCom III.

ORGANIZATIONAL MATTERS: On Monday, 28 January, Chair Salim introduced, and delegates adopted, the agenda (E/CN.17/ 2002/PC.2/1) and organization of work (E/CN.17/2002/PC.2/1/ Add.1).

Salim proposed, and delegates accredited, nine intergovernmental organizations (E/CN.17/2002/PC.2/17) and 171 NGOs and Major Groups (E/CN.17/2002/PC.2/16), except the International Campaign for Tibet, whose application was debated on the last day of the PrepCom, Friday, 8 February.

During consideration of the accreditation of the International Campaign for Tibet, China voiced its strong opposition, outlining objections expressed in its letter to the UN Secretary-General (E/ CN.17/2002/PC.2/19), and noting that China perceived the objectives of this US-based NGO as: "to split Tibet from China" and disrupt preparations for the WSSD.

The US, and Spain, on behalf of the EU and associated States, supported accrediting the NGO in line with the policy of ensuring broad NGO participation in the preparatory process for Johannesburg, and the EU requested a vote on the issue.

In response, China moved to take no action on the EU proposal, in accordance with Rule 65, paragraph 2 of the ECOSOC Rules of Procedure governing Commission procedures, and requested a recorded vote on its motion first. Accordingly, two delegations, Pakistan and Cuba, spoke in support of China’s motion and Spain and the US spoke against. The results of the subsequent vote were 93 in favor of the non-action motion, 44 against, and 16 abstentions. Chair Salim noted that China’s motion for no action carried, and thus, accreditation for International Campaign for Tibet was not granted.


This agenda item was considered through presentations by international organizations and financial institutions, Multi-Stakeholder Dialogues and general debate, as well as presentations of reports on the outcomes of the regional preparatory meetings and other intergovernmental processes.

REPORT OF THE SECRETARY-GENERAL: On Monday, 28 January, WSSD Secretary-General Nitin Desai introduced the UN Secretary-General’s report on implementing Agenda 21 (E/CN.17/ 2002/PC.2/7) and enumerated achievements since Rio, changes in the corporate sector’s approach to sustainability, and challenges in the WSSD process, and called for, inter alia, establishing partnerships and reasserting high-level political commitment.

OUTCOMES OF INTERGOVERNMENTAL MEETINGS AND PROCESSES: The Committee then heard reports on the outcomes of intergovernmental meetings and processes that were organized toward the Summit on: fisheries in the marine ecosystem (E/ CN.17/2002/PC.2/3); protection of marine environment from land-based activities (E/CN.17/2002/PC.2/15); pollution prevention (E/ CN.17/2002/PC.2/2); energy (E/CN.17/2002/PC.2/14); freshwater (E/ CN.17/2002/PC.2/10); and oceans and coasts (E/CN.17/2002/PC.2/ Misc.1). The Committee also heard reports issued by the Fifth Conference of the Parties to the Convention to Combat Desertification (E/ CN.17/2002/PC.2/11) and the Seventh Conference of the Parties of UNFCCC (E/CN.17/2002/PC.2/4). UNEP provided a progress report of the International Environmental Governance (IEG) process, noting that the final meeting will take place in Cartagena, Colombia, on 12 February 2002.

RESULTS OF REGIONAL PREPARATORY MEETINGS: The Committee then heard presentations on the outcomes of the five regional preparatory meetings and the SIDS preparatory meeting (E/ CN.17/2002/PC.2/5/Add.1-6).

Switzerland, on behalf of the Economic Commission for Europe and North America meeting, highlighted the priority themes identified. Zambia, on behalf of the Africa meeting, noted financing as the key limitation to Agenda 21 implementation and called for a statement with time-bound action and performance indicators. Yemen, on behalf of the West Asia meeting, identified challenges to be addressed at the Summit. Speaking on behalf of the Latin America and the Caribbean meeting, Brazil identified issues to be addressed at the Summit and proposed as the WSSD theme, "towards a new globalization that ensures that development is sustainable, equitable and inclusive." Cambodia, on behalf of the Asia-Pacific meeting, noted that despite its prevailing diversity, there was common interest in effectively addressing the challenges of sustainable development. Singapore, on behalf of the SIDS meeting, emphasized capacity building, the role of civil society adaptation to climate change, and the Barbados Programme of Action on the Sustainable Development of SIDS. In the subsequent discussion, regional groups and countries, including the EU, Japan, Suriname and the Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific, reiterated their regional positions and priorities.

CONTRIBUTIONS OF HEADS OF UN AGENCIES, FINANCIAL INSTITUTIONS AND CONVENTION SECRETARIATS: On Tuesday, 29 January, executive heads and senior officers of numerous UN agencies, programmes and bodies gave statements on their preparations for WSSD. These included the: UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO); World Health Organization (WHO); Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO); World Meteorological Organization (WMO); International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA); International Maritime Organization (IMO); World Tourism Organization; UN Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO); UN Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD); UN Environment Programme (UNEP); UN Development Programme (UNDP); UN Human Settlements Programme; UN Population Fund (UNFPA); UNAIDS; United Nations University; Global Environmental Facility (GEF); World Bank; World Trade Organization (WTO); and others. The UN regional economic commissions, which were instrumental in facilitating the regional preparatory processes, also made contributions.

Presentations focused on current activities, comments on the PrepCom documents, and proposals to address the key Summit themes. Convention secretariats emphasized implementation as instrumental in making tangible contributions to the WSSD. The presenters committed to collaborate on the process in order to make Johannesburg a success.

MULTI-STAKEHOLDER DIALOGUES: The Multi-Stakeholder Dialogues took place from Tuesday afternoon, 29 January, through Thursday morning, 31 January. On Wednesday, 30 January, delegates met in two parallel sessions regarding: progress achieved in integrated approaches to sectoral and cross-sectoral sustainable development objectives; and progress achieved in enabling multi-stakeholder participation in sustainable development institutions and mechanisms.

In their opening presentations, representatives of the nine Major Groups (women, children and youth, indigenous people, NGOs, local authorities, workers and trade unions, business and industry, scientific and technological community, and farmers) called for:

  • economic justice and practical mechanisms to encourage women’s voices at all levels of decision making;
  • government youth ministries;
  • allocation of 20% of official development assistance (ODA) to sustainable development education;
  • recognition of children as a CSD Major Group;
  • allocation of two hours at the Summit to youth and children;
  • the right of Indigenous Peoples to self-determination;
  • a review of global governance;
  • operationalization of the precautionary and common but differentiated responsibilities principles;
  • involvement of local governments in addressing sustainable development issues;
  • a culture of sustainability and accelerated transition to sustainable communities and cities;
  • standards setting, monitoring and implementation of sustainable development at the workplace;
  • implementation of core labor standards that do not constitute barriers to trade;
  • voluntary approaches that supplement, but do not replace, regulatory activity;
  • acknowledgement of farmers’ role in safeguarding the environment;
  • promotion of sustainable farming practices; and
  • strengthening the market power of farmers.

WSSD Secretary-General Desai underlined NGO impact on the preparatory process and encouraged leaders of Major Groups to attend the Summit. In the ensuing dialogue, government delegates expressed support for implementation of the Millennium Declaration Goals, the idea of sustainable development governance and a parallel scientific forum in Johannesburg. Major Group representatives expressed interest in, inter alia:

  • a dialogue on corporate accountability;
  • consumer involvement in the WSSD;
  • a sustainability agenda in WTO discussions;
  • NGO equality in actions;
  • projects as the basis for partnerships; and
  • greater corporate responsibility toward achieving economic justice.

Applying Integrated Approaches to Sectoral and Cross-Sectoral Objectives of Sustainable Development: In opening, session Co-Chairs Jan Kára (Czech Republic) and Diane Quarless (Jamaica) urged groups to focus on progress achieved and Summit preparations. During Major Group presentations, representatives identified key needs, including:

  • secure water and land resources;
  • ownership of and access to research results;
  • commitment to ethics and human welfare;
  • objective and transparent indicators;
  • elimination of workplace inequalities;
  • reform of Southern economies and world trade policies;
  • fair global environmental governance and justice;
  • sustainable consumption and production;
  • establishment of an international sustainable energy fund;
  • removal of harmful agricultural subsidies and introduction of green taxes;
  • support for ecovillage models; and
  • development and distribution of gender-specific data.

During discussion, government delegates noted: cost and technical difficulties as insufficient grounds to ignore environmental problems; the importance of women in peace, health, and environmental initiatives; and the need for sustainable production and consumption patterns in developed countries. Furthermore, government delegations supported: stronger consumer organizations; establishing sustainable development ethics; 10-year programmes of action in each priority sector; innovative ideas in developing education curricula; and creation of concrete timelines for action among all stakeholders and not just within the environment sector.

Representatives of Major Groups called for:

  • poverty alleviation as the Summit focus;
  • increased community participation in conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity;
  • hands-on science education;
  • use of traditional knowledge;
  • minimization of corporate influence on government delegations;
  • phase-out of government subsidies that support unsustainable development;
  • re-direction of funds into financing for sustainable development;
  • science and engineering resources for developing countries;
  • verifiable labor standards and codes of conduct;
  • integration of traditional knowledge into education;
  • corporate accountability;
  • partnerships for education and skills transfer;
  • development of water management and tour guide education;
  • action on liberalization and globalization;
  • support for the right to collective bargaining;
  • appropriate information-gathering and dissemination measures;
  • prior informed consent for industrial projects;
  • augmentation of the numbers of women in scientific establishments; and
  • development of innovative cross-sectoral partnerships.

Enabling Multi-Stakeholder Participation in Sustainable Development Institutions and Mechanisms: Opening the session he co-chaired with Maria Luisa Viotti (Brazil), Co-Chair Kiyotaka Akasaka (Japan) urged delegates to focus on enabling multi-stakeholder approaches in sustainable development institutions and their promotion from local to global levels. Major Groups’ opening statements highlighted successes, constraints and challenges of participation and, with governments, drew lessons from case studies.

The focus of the Major Group presentations was:

  • respect for principles;
  • access to knowledge and information;
  • devolution of responsibility with the requisite authority and resources;
  • a level playing field and equity;
  • women’s rights, equality and use of feminist perspectives regarding national and other disasters;
  • reversal of the decline of social programmes and workers’ rights;
  • adoption of the practice of observer participation in the CBD and the Arctic Council;
  • inclusion in decision making and government delegations;
  • prior informed consent for the use of indigenous knowledge; and
  • youth representation at UN meetings and in delegations.

During discussion, government delegates’ comments focused on, inter alia: conditions and frameworks for multi-stakeholder approaches; equality of partnerships; decentralization and creation of local initiatives; and mechanisms for women and Indigenous Peoples’ participation in the evaluation of sustainable development goals.

Major Groups converged on the need for: local governance, including the potential for Local Agenda 21 experience as a model; institutionalization of multi-stakeholder approaches; strong and effective domestic governance; and a global framework on access to participation, information and justice, with monitoring mechanisms. Regarding the potential for institutionalizing a framework for access to participation, Major Groups discussed: the difference between participation and partnership; the need for a mandate and time-bound targets; and performance, monitoring and indicators. They also proposed consideration of: gender-disaggregated data; peace and stability as tenets; and affirmative policies to empower Major Groups.

Conclusion: On Thursday, 31 January, PrepCom Chair Salim emphasized the need to step up tangible action for sustainable development. A candle-lighting ceremony with singing to celebrate a "Summit of Hope," organized by Trade Unions and Youth, and presided over by Chair Salim, marked the conclusion of the Multi-Stakeholder Dialogues. A draft Chairman’s Summary of the Dialogues was issued on Tuesday, 5 February, and the revised version circulated on Friday, 8 February.

GENERAL DEBATE: On Thursday, 31 January, and Friday, 1 February, delegates met in Plenary to hear statements from countries, NGOs, intergovernmental organizations, and UN agencies on progress in the implementation of Agenda 21. The sessions were presided over by Chair Salim.

Developing Countries: Venezuela, on behalf of the G-77/China, noted that lack of peace and security prevents sustainable development, and called for a Summit focused on action through time-bound steps, in particular on globalization, poverty eradication, unsustainable consumption and production patterns, implementation, and international governance for sustainable development.

Samoa, for the Alliance of Small Island States (AOSIS), and Nauru, for the Pacific Islands Forum, proposed the inclusion of oceans and coasts, and islands as new focal areas. AOSIS also stressed the need to address island vulnerability to climate change, urging industrialized countries to acknowledge responsibility and take action. A number of SIDS, including Grenada, on behalf of the Caribbean Community, emphasized implementation of the Barbados Programme of Action, with Fiji calling for a ten-year review of the Programme.

A number of delegations raised the issue of natural disaster mitigation and rehabilitation. Egypt proposed endowing the CSD with financial and capacity-building mechanisms.

Mongolia proposed designating desertification and land degradation as a focus area, and Kenya emphasized linking the WSSD and the International Conference on Financing for Development (FfD) processes. Costa Rica, Brazil and Peru supported prompt ratification of the Kyoto Protocol, with Ecuador calling for acknowledgement of the value of the Protocol’s Clean Development Mechanism.

A number of delegations, including Botswana, Burundi, Cyprus, and Trinidad and Tobago, drew attention to the effects of the HIV/ AIDS pandemic. Others proposed action areas including: the economic, environmental and social consequences of the rural-urban drift; equitable distribution of benefits from the use of genetic resources; sustainable mountain ecosystem development; the transfer of environmentally-sound technologies (ESTs); and recognition of the potential of ecotourism.

There were also proposals on: a lead-free fuels initiative and promotion of renewable energy; recognition of the GEF as the principal financial mechanism of the UN Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD); the sovereign right of countries to exploit their resources; and assessment of transboundary environmental impacts. India stressed the ecological debt and common but differentiated responsibilities.

Other views included the need for new ethics, promotion of alternative crops for food security, recognition and strengthening of the role of local communities and Indigenous Peoples, doubling of ODA flows, micro-enterprise development, and reinforcement of multilateral environmental agreements (MEAs). South Africa emphasized sustainable production and consumption and, with several delegations, effective governance.

Eastern and Central European Countries, including those with Economies in Transition: Belarus described efforts to overcome the Chernobyl disaster. Lithuania said priority should be given to investment in pollution prevention, and clean fuel and energy sources. Moldova said ecosystems are threatened by unsustainable economic practices. The Russian Federation suggested that the Summit address: costs of sustaining globally-beneficial ecosystems; the external debt problem; benefits from private sector resources; and innovative technologies. Poland called for establishing a sustainable development court.

With a number of other delegations, Romania supported the "Global Deal," Croatia identified climate change as an urgent environmental problem, the Czech Republic noted partnerships with Major Groups, and the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia called for debt relief.

Developed Countries: Spain, on behalf of the EU, noted that human rights and good governance are preconditions for sustainable development, and GDP growth has not helped poverty or the environment. She expressed support for core labor standards and a "Global Deal" to accelerate Agenda 21 implementation and achieve sustainable consumption and production.

New Zealand and Australia identified the need to address unregulated fishing. Israel emphasized media and advertising industries as drivers of the demand side of production and consumption. Iceland supported the idea of a global alliance on renewable energy. Japan called for an energy-efficient, recycling-based society, and resolving mega-city issues. Finland, on behalf of the Arctic Council, expressed concern about Indigenous Peoples’ consumption of contaminants in traditional foods. Norway and the Arctic Council proposed that the global chemical agenda be moved forward. The US stressed domestic governance and urged forming "coalitions of the willing."

International Organizations and UN Agencies: The issues emphasized by the agencies included: indicators; governance; environmental taxes; climate change; freshwater resources; prevention of environmental disasters; and linkages between hunger, poverty, sustainable rural development, agriculture and environmental sustainability. Others stressed: equitable access to productive natural resources and technology for the rural poor; ODA increases; removal of trade barriers; GEF replenishment; and the nexus of energy, climate change and poverty.

Additional emphasis was placed on: capacity building for developing countries in the sustainable use of biodiversity and biotechnology; technical cooperation in industrial programmes and projects; partnerships and debt relief as HIV/AIDS strategies; involvement in the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment; gender equality; safe water supply and sanitation; and education.


The Chairman’s Paper was developed on the basis of interactive discussions on the Chair’s List of Issues and Proposals for Discussion held during the second week of the session, as well as on the basis of an informal consultations over an informal paper on sustainable development governance that was prepared by PrepCom Vice-Chairs Lars-Göran Engfeldt (Sweden) and Ositadinma Anaedu (Nigeria).

LIST OF ISSUES AND PROPOSALS FOR DISCUSSION: On Sunday, 3 February, Chair Salim issued for comment a List of Issues and Proposals for Discussion with an addendum dealing with governance, which he considered to contain elements that could constitute the basis for the document to be negotiated at PrepCom III. The List was developed using the Secretary-General’s Report, position papers submitted by regional groups from their informal consultations during the first week of the session, and presentations made during the Multi-Stakeholder Dialogues and during general debate.

Initially planned for consideration in two parallel Interactive Discussions on Monday and Tuesday, 4-5 February, the List was discussed in one Plenary session, chaired by Salim on Monday, 4 February, and in an informal Interactive Discussion, chaired by various PrepCom Vice-Chairs on Tuesday and Wednesday, 5-6 February. At that time, only preliminary comments were made on governance for sustainable development, with substantive, but informal discussion taking place on Thursday, 7 February, on the List and the informal paper.

At the start of the Plenary, Brazil, on behalf of the G-77/China, stated that all the thematic cluster titles contained in the List should be deleted, which was agreed. However, for ease of reference, delegates subsequently referred to them as "non-clusters."

The List contained the following "non-clusters":

  • making globalization work for sustainable development;
  • poverty eradication and sustainable agriculture and livelihoods;
  • changing unsustainable patterns of consumption and production;
  • promoting health through sustainable development;
  • energy transport and protection of the atmosphere;
  • conservation and management of the natural resource base for development;
  • managing the world’s freshwater resources;
  • sustainable development of SIDS and management of oceans, marine resources and coastal areas;
  • means of implementation, addressing finance, transfer of technology, and science, education and capacity building;
  • sustainable development initiatives for Africa and combating desertification; and
  • strengthening governance for sustainable development at the national, regional and international levels.

Editors’ Note: The non-cluster titles in this section are used for convenience and neither reflect the terms used during the session nor the sections in the final text.

Globalization: This non-cluster comprised: public access to information; corporate accountability; trade-distorting subsidies; exceptions to duty-free and quota-free treatment of exports from least developed countries (LDCs); transparency and accountability of the WTO and the promotion of its Doha development agenda; the digital divide; and partnerships.

Discussion on this theme focused on trade as a tool for poverty reduction, with developing countries emphasizing market access and the need to remove trade-distorting subsidies.

The Republic of Korea, Turkey, Canada and the US opposed references to corporate responsibility, while the G-77/China proposed adding references on responsibility of transnational corporations and other institutions with global reach. There were diverse proposals regarding the WTO: Japan opposed any references to it; Switzerland emphasized the environmental dimensions of economic processes and the internalization of external costs; and Samoa drew attention to the Doha meeting’s work programme for SIDS.

Poverty Eradication: Proposals in the List included: launching initiatives to disseminate safe and affordable technologies, reverse declining public financing, reduce illiteracy, improve access to land and water resources by the poor, and enhance land and water resource productivity; fighting HIV/AIDS; promoting rural development, food availability, and rural education; realizing the Millennium Declaration target on poverty reduction; and strengthening rural infrastructure and credit systems.

Discussion focused on the structure of this issue and focus areas. Regarding structure, Norway and Egypt suggested mainstreaming poverty through the text, while South Africa proposed reference to poverty reduction targets as the chapeau for the non-clusters. The focus areas identified were agriculture, health and education. The Holy See expressed preference for strengthening existing programmes, Iceland stressed mobilizing political and financial capital, Iran stressed affordable health care and attention to HIV/AIDS, and Turkey challenged the strong rural focus.

Unsustainable Consumption and Production Patterns: The Chair’s List proposed instruments to change these patterns such as: technology, trade, and education policies; market incentives; elimination of subsidies; research incentives; voluntary codes; waste management strategies; the media; energy efficiency; corporate responsibility; consumer information tools; and promotion of different values.

In the discussion, delegates mainly called for clarification or added new proposals, which included: food security and access to food; the role of women; urban poverty eradication; diversification of economies through entrepreneurship and market approaches; traditional knowledge; the Earth’s carrying capacity; and public sector financing as a transition stage in developing countries. An objection was raised to a proposal to delete references to the WTO.

Health: Proposals in the List on this non-cluster included the launch of initiatives in developing countries to reduce lead in gasoline, regional programmes to improve indoor air quality, and private-public partnerships for technology dissemination in sanitation and waste management. It also covered: water standards; food and animal husbandry standards; the CSD 2012 target of access to safe and affordable water and sanitation; capacity of health systems; and disease, particularly respiratory diseases, HIV/AIDS, dengue fever and malaria.

Discussion of the non-cluster focused on new proposals to be included on pollution of air and water, in particular indoor and outdoor air quality, as well as wastewater treatment and arsenic contamination in groundwater. Marine transboundary pollution was also emphasized, as was the role of women in food security, and the need for safe, nutritionally adequate and culturally appropriate foods.

Occupational health and safety and medical waste disposal were also highlighted. South Africa called for an HIV/AIDS programme of action, with targets to reduce infection rates, and a number of developing countries supported provisions for traditional knowledge of plant-based health systems and patent rights.

Regarding targets, the EU proposed the use of WHO indicators and national efforts for disease prevention, surveillance and treatment, and Chile supported goals for the reduction of infant and maternal mortality.

Energy: This non-cluster contained many energy-related proposals, identifying urgent issues including the launch of: a global alliance on renewable energy; a global partnership to finance energy for sustainable development; a global initiative to encourage the use of natural gas; a work programme to move the world’s energy systems toward greater sustainability; a mechanism to provide financial assistance for infrastructure development in developing countries; a global initiative to promote investment in mass public transport systems; and a capacity building global initiative for lead-free fuel technology.

The major problem on this issue related to structure. After initially expressing support for the treatment of energy as a crosscutting issue, the G-77/China reconsidered its position, with many of its countries emphasizing the importance of energy for poverty reduction. Saudi Arabia stressed the need to address the issue as crosscutting, as is the CSD custom. SIDS opposed this approach, and emphasized the vulnerability of its members to climate variability. Other issues raised included: transport systems, including motorized and mass transit systems; clean fossil fuels, hydroelectric power and promotion of natural gas; energy supply diversification; renewable energy; rural electrification; and capacity building on technology efficiency.

Natural Resource Management: This non-cluster covered a range of issues, including: biodiversity; intellectual property rights; mountain ecosystems; transboundary movement of hazardous waste and radioactive materials; natural disasters; land degradation and management; forests; chemical safety; waste management; enforcement of various conventions; and the achievement of the international development target of reversing the current trend in loss of biodiversity resources by 2015.

Several new proposals were made on, inter alia: the need for a legal regime on intellectual property rights of traditional knowledge; forest use and management, including a legally-binding instrument; ecotourism; ecosystem-based resource management; vulnerability to natural disasters; effects of climate change; hazardous waste and waste management; mountain ecosystems; drylands and desertification; and mining.

Freshwater: The Chair’s List highlighted: benefits to riparian communities; delivery of water resources; governance arrangements; regional cooperation initiatives in international watercourses; legislation and local water management; monitoring and assessment of water resource quality, quantity and use; access to water; capacity building; and drought and flood management.

On this non-cluster, Egypt and Turkey supported implementation of the Millennium Declaration targets, and the EU called for the establishment of a 2015 target on access to sanitation.

The EU proposed, but the G-77/China disagreed with, the wholesale adoption of recommendations from the International Freshwater Conference. Others called for a water regime, mechanisms to develop water policies, local and national action plans, a regional approach, water desalinization programmes and attention to the negative impacts of large water infrastructure projects. Mexico called for specification of dates and goals for programme implementation and Canada urged caution on the use of time-bound integrated water resource management plans. Proposals were also made with regard to industrial pollution of water, clean water for downstream beneficiaries, the role of forests in water conservation, local water projects, a water resource database and water sanitation technologies.

Oceans, Marine and Coastal Areas: The concerns covered in this non-cluster were: fishery management; protection of the marine environment from land-based activities; early warning systems; management of marine and coastal protected areas; vulnerability of developing countries; and regional cooperation. It also focused on the Barbados Programme of Action and the UN General Assembly (UNGA) Consultative Process on oceans.

During this discussion, Papua New Guinea, for AOSIS, as well as Australia and Mauritius, expressed support for this non-cluster. Egypt and New Zealand called for a reaffirmation of the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea as the legal framework for ocean management, and Japan proposed a provision on the implementation of the IMO’s conventions on marine safety and prevention of marine pollution. Iceland and Norway noted the language regarding the UNGA Consultative Process prejudged the results of the 57th UNGA.

Other proposals concerned the management of fisheries, wetlands, mangroves, rainforests, and exclusive economic zones, and called for: ecosystem-based integrated management; a global initiative on waste management and disposal; mechanisms to prevent the use of species caught in reserves; science-based assessments of the state of the oceans; access by coastal countries to scientific research carried out within their national and regional marine jurisdictions; regional-level environmental impact assessments; and the removal of references to global commons.

Means of Implementation: This non-cluster addressed finance, technology transfer and science, education and capacity building. The List’s focus on financing was: the emphasis to meet agreed targets from Rio; ODA to the LDCs; debt; GEF replenishment; aspects relating to macroeconomic environments; and proposals for a trust fund and private investment. On technology transfer, the List focused on the transfer of environmentally sound technologies (ESTs) to developing countries, including the requisite partnerships with, and incentives for, the private sector, patenting, networking, and enhancement of industrial productivity. On science, education and capacity building, the List proposed partnerships for global capacity building and capacity-building frameworks and programmes, including for women’s empowerment.

Discussion on finance focused on proposed instruments to finance sustainable development, particularly: trade and market access; the Heavily-Indebted Poor Countries (HIPC) initiative; domestic resources; ODA; debt reduction, relief and cancellation; debt for sustainable development swaps; and carbon taxes. The GEF was proposed as the primary financing mechanism for sustainable development by developed countries, while developing countries supported a trust fund. Zimbabwe noted that a proposal for an environment fund was rejected in Rio, yet the GEF had proven incapable of financing the envisioned sustainable development initiatives. Other proposals emphasized: the establishment of national sustainable development strategies; sound domestic macroeconomic policies; science-based decision making; and streamlining GEF policies and procedures.

On transfer of technology, the G-77/China emphasized intellectual property rights and the EU stressed application of scientific and technological capabilities. Zimbabwe also called for a technology transfer framework.

On science, education and capacity building, the G-77/China proposed the establishment of regional centers of excellence for technology, and allocation of ODA for education. The EU emphasized, inter alia, investment in knowledge, improved policy and institutional frameworks, and international cooperation in capacity building. Canada proposed the education community as the tenth Major Group.

Africa and Desertification: The proposals in this non-cluster addressed Africa, the UNCCD and other global initiatives. Regarding Africa, the List addressed enhancement of agricultural productivity, measures to secure affordable access to technology, improvement in public transport systems, promotion of regional cooperation, and support for the New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD). On desertification, the List focused on the UNCCD’s implementation, adequacy and predictability of financial resources, and GEF financing. Other aspects addressed capacity-building programmes, including on poverty, health and resource management, the development of micro- and medium-sized enterprises, and provision of new and additional resources.

On this non-cluster, the G-77/China proposed separating references to the NEPAD from the UNCCD, and supported by the EU, Canada and the US, urged giving prominence to NEPAD. Other proposals urged: references to appropriate dryland agriculture; market consideration and access for agro-industry; and addressing desertification in a global context. The Russian Federation noted a potential legal issue from "proclaiming" the UNCCD as the primary tool of poverty eradication.

Sustainable Development Governance: Consideration of issues relating to sustainable development governance was conducted in informal sessions, and included a panel presentation by representatives of UN agencies.

Non-Cluster on Governance and Sustainable Development: On Wednesday evening, 6 February, delegates gave their initial comments on the governance non-cluster in the Chair’s List.

This non-cluster calls for actions such as: implementing national sustainable development strategies; promoting synergies among MEAs; developing a manual for implementing sustainable development at the national level; creating an Agenda 21 implementation committee; reviewing and restructuring institutional architecture; enhancing the role of regional institutions; establishing a global sustainable development court; guaranteeing rights of women and creating government departments for youth; and strengthening UNEP.

Argentina, for the G-77/China, emphasized evaluating and assigning new functions to the CSD. Australia, Canada, the Russian Federation, Turkey and the US underscored sustainable development governance at the national level. Mexico emphasized adopting a long-term perspective and suggested that work on sustainable development governance start at the international level.

Informal Paper on Sustainable Development Governance: An open-ended informal consultation was convened on Thursday afternoon, 7 February, for substantive discussions on this issue. This was preceded by a panel presentation on institutional reform by representatives of UN agencies. PrepCom Vice-Chairs Lars-Göran Engfeldt and Ositadinma Anaedu co-chaired the consultation, which was aimed at discussing an informal paper they circulated on Thursday, 31 January.

The informal paper contained a non-exhaustive list of questions to guide discussion, regarding: national interdepartmental coordination; implementation of intergovernmental decisions; coherence and consistency between intergovernmental UN decisions and international financial institutions/WTO decisions; coordination between outcomes of the 1990s global conferences, the Millennium Declaration and the WSSD; synergies between the FfD and WSSD outcomes; policy coordination between CSD and other ECOSOC functional commissions; and meaningful engagement of UN agencies involved in implementation.

Panel Presentations: Ongoing reforms within various institutions were described by a panel of speakers: Sarbuland Khan, Director, ECOSOC Affairs and Coordination Division, DESA; Alvaro Umaña, Director, Environment and Sustainable Development Group, UNDP; Adnan Amin, Director, UNEP New York Office; and Qazi Shaukat Fareed, Director, Office of Interagency Affairs. In the ensuing discussion, delegates raised a number of concerns such as: ECOSOC had not provided coordination and integration with the CSD’s work; and, how the three pillars of sustainable development could be integrated at ECOSOC, particularly as the Bretton Woods Institutions operate at "arms length" from the UN.

Discussion: Co-Chair Anaedu then invited comments on the Co-Chairs’ informal paper on sustainable development governance questions, underlining that the Co-Chairs were not responsible for the addendum on the governance non-cluster annexed to the List of Issues and Proposals for Discussion. Many delegations, including the G-77/ China, the EU, Canada, Nigeria and Tanzania, emphasized the unrealized role of regional commissions. Others stressed national governance as an essential element of sustainable development governance.

The G-77/China also proposed the possible involvement of UNDP country offices in national sustainable development strategies, while Hungary noted the dilemma of possible parallel planning with these strategies. The EU urged consideration of reinforcing WSSD follow-up with FfD outcomes, and China supported integrating the IEG process into the WSSD discussions. Poland proposed consideration of UN agency coordination, while Tanzania called for providing UNEP with a strengthened, predictable financial base.

Switzerland supported changing the CSD focus and method of work; and Egypt, with South Africa and Canada, called for increased CSD participation of ministers other than those of the environment. Switzerland suggested addressing new challenges such as globalization, new communication technologies, and genetics.

The US stressed inter alia: effective institutions; access to information; stakeholder participation; and access to justice. Bolivia urged caution in creating new structures when there is no capacity or resources to carry out duties. Iran said that sustainable development governance must have appropriate objectives and consider related questions of trade, finance, technology, coordination, and cooperation, as well as accession of different countries to the WTO. The Republic of Korea suggested concentrating on short-term options for improving governance. Canada said that countries without good governance tend not to receive ODA, but rather disaster relief or military assistance.


On Friday, 8 February, Chair Salim briefed the Plenary about the four documents prepared from the meeting. He noted that the Chairman’s Summary of the Second Preparatory Session reflects the discussion at the session. Salim emphasized the need for a firm political commitment and expressed hope that Heads of State and Government would come to Johannesburg. On the second document, the Summary of the Multi-Stakeholder Dialogues, Salim identified the main outcome as the identification of the goal of new accountable, responsible, innovative, and equitable global partnerships in all Agenda 21 programme areas, as well as a framework to enhance multi-stakeholder participation and interactions with governments. To this end, a third document, Proposals for Partnerships/Initiatives to Strengthen the Implementation of Agenda 21, was presented.

Salim gave a rousing introduction to the fourth document, the Chairman’s Paper, which will form the basis for negotiation at PrepCom III. He noted that it encapsulates outcomes of the subregional and regional preparatory committee meetings as well as inputs from the Multi-Stakeholder Dialogues and the discussion of the Chair’s List, although the governance issue would be only taken up at PrepCom III.

He stressed the Summit’s overarching goal of poverty eradication and that, recognizing the diversity of views, the Chairman’s Paper must be a do-able and workable programme, not another Agenda 21, inviting a programme of action that gives additional substance to Agenda 21. Following this presentation, Chair Salim adjourned the morning session to give time for delegations to consider the documents.

The Paper contains nine sections: introduction; poverty eradication; changing unsustainable patterns of consumption and production; protecting and managing the natural resource base of economic and social development; sustainable development in a globalizing world; health and sustainable development; sustainable development of SIDS; sustainable development initiatives for Africa; means of implementation; and strengthening governance for sustainable development at the national, regional and international levels.

Introduction: This section reaffirms commitment to the Rio principles adopted at UNCED, and the full implementation of Agenda 21, the 1997 Programme for the Further Implementation of Agenda 21, and the goals of the Millennium Declaration. It stresses an enabling international environment to support national endeavors, acknowledges a major gap in the implementation of Agenda 21, and that poverty, unsustainable lifestyles and environmental degradation remain a challenge. It also calls for renewed political will.

Poverty Eradication: This section stresses that poverty, hunger eradication and sustainable livelihoods are central to the achievement of sustainable development. It proposes:

  • implementing a global plan of action to reduce by half the number of people unable to access safe drinking water;
  • improving access to energy in rural areas, promoting sustainable agriculture and other measures to ensure food security;
  • providing funding and investment for rural development plans;
  • integrating combating desertification into poverty eradication programmes;
  • promoting access to land and water for the poor, as well as land tenure modification;
  • providing access to rural education and basic social services;
  • extending secure tenure to the urban poor and improving inadequate human settlements for 100 million people in accordance with Habitat II and Habitat Agenda goals; and
  • strengthening basic health services and integrating the fight against HIV/AIDS into poverty reduction, sustainable development and economic growth strategies.

Changing Unsustainable Patterns of Consumption and Production: This section incorporates energy aspects, stresses that sustainable development cannot be achieved without fundamental changes in the way industrial societies produce and consume, and calls for:

  • urgent action on measures in developed countries to raise consumer awareness, improve the role of the media, provide incentives to industry, encourage research on sustainable development and enhance corporate responsibility and accountability;
  • achieving a four-fold increase in energy and resource efficiency in developed countries by 2012, diversifying energy supply and increasing the share of renewable energy to 5% by 2010, encouraging natural gas use, reducing market distortions in the energy sector, and promoting support for implementing CSD-9 energy recommendations;
  • eliminating environmentally-harmful and trade-distorting subsidies;
  • supporting national cleaner production centers and diffusing relevant technologies;
  • encouraging voluntary industry initiatives, including certification, non-misleading consumer information and other tools;
  • promoting investment in mass public transport;
  • providing international support for small-scale waste recycling initiatives and urban waste management;
  • promoting ratification and implementation of international instruments on chemicals;
  • capacity building and technology transfer for developing countries and countries with economies in traniation in the field of energy efficiency and conservation.

Protecting and Managing the Natural Resource Base of Economic and Social Development: Specific measures contained in this section are divided into several subsections.

The subsection on water calls for:

  • improving equity and efficiency in the use of water resources;
  • supporting developing countries in developing integrated river basin and watershed strategies, plans and programmes;
  • improving institutional arrangements and mobilizing resources for capacity building and sharing technology;
  • assisting developing countries in monitoring water resources; and
  • supporting the International Year of Freshwater (2003).

The subsection on oceans and the marine environment calls for:

  • implementing the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea, and supporting arrangements for the protection of the marine environment from land-based activities, and fisheries-related agreements;
  • supporting IMO conventions on safety and pollution;
  • endorsing a comprehensive plan of action to achieve responsible fishing practices;
  • promoting environmental impact assessments;
  • assisting, in particular, SIDS in the sustainable use of fisheries;
  • promoting conservation of marine and coastal biodiversity;
  • strengthening marine science capacities and transfer of technologies; and
  • promoting effective international coordination.

In subsections dealing with climate, atmosphere and ozone-related issues, the paper calls for:

  • assisting vulnerable countries to mitigate climate change;
  • establishing a global early warning mechanism, and promoting ways of disaster preparedness, including using indigenous knowledge;
  • ensuring the entry into force of the Kyoto Protocol and assisting developing countries in implementing the UNFCCC;
  • supporting climate research and assessment, in particular for the Arctic and its indigenous population; and
  • assisting developing countries in complying with the Montreal Protocol.

The subsections related to land degradation call for:

  • promoting sustainable agriculture through more public sector finance, incentives, land reform, land rights and combating illicit crops;
  • implementing the UNCCD as a global sustainable development convention;
  • supporting national action programmes within the UNCCD, including improved monitoring and early warning; and
  • calling on GEF to be the financial mechanism for the UNCCD.

Other subsections propose:

  • protecting all ecosystems, including supporting sustainable development of mountain ecosystems;
  • reversing current trends in the loss of biodiversity by 2015;
  • implementing the CBD;
  • ensuring that benefits derived from genetic materials are equitably shared with indigenous and local communities;
  • enhancing the implementation of the UN Forum on Forests Plan of Action, as well as cooperation on forests; and
  • addressing the adverse effects of minerals and mining development.

Sustainable Development in a Globalizing World: This section notes concerns that globalization has led to the marginalization of a number of developing countries and increased instability in the international economic and financial system. It calls for actions such as:

  • encouraging coordinated macroeconomic policy management, and promoting coherence among the UN, Bretton Woods Institutions and the WTO;
  • promoting a universal, rule-based, open, non-discriminatory and equitable multilateral trading system;
  • implementing outcomes of the WTO Doha Ministerial Conference;
  • promoting corporate responsibility and accountability;
  • improving preferential market access for LDCs, including for agricultural products and through reducing trade-distorting subsidies;
  • providing government incentives to the private sector to increase foreign direct investment (FDI) flows to developing countries, and making FDI more supportive to sustainable development; and
  • promoting public-private partnerships and voluntary initiatives to encourage economic actors to assume their social, environmental and economic responsibilities.

Health and Sustainable Development: Noting that many health problems are caused or exacerbated by air and water pollution, noise, crowding, inadequate water supplies, poor sanitation, unsafe waste disposal, chemical contamination, poisoning, and physical hazards associated with the growth of densely populated cities, this section calls for:

  • strengthening the capacity of health systems to deliver basic health services and reduce environmental health threats;
  • supporting programmes to promote research and eradicate health threats such as malaria, tuberculosis, dengue fever and other endemic, parasitic and infectious diseases;
  • fighting HIV/AIDS as an integral part of all national poverty reduction, sustainable development, and economic growth strategies;
  • supporting and strengthening efforts for phasing out of lead in gasoline, reducing sulfur and benzene in fuels, and particulates in vehicle exhaust;
  • utilizing the workplace as a basis for tackling public health problems; and
  • promoting the use of plant-based and traditional medicines and ensuring effective intellectual property rights protection of traditional knowledge.

Sustainable Development of Small Island Developing States: This section identifies major constraints faced by SIDS, including remoteness, geographical dispersion, marginalization, susceptibility to natural disasters, climate change, ecological fragility, exposure to economic shocks, small internal markets, and limited natural resource endowments. It calls for measures to:

  • support initiatives to accelerate national and regional implementation of the Barbados Programme of Action;
  • support relevant regional fisheries management organizations;
  • assist SIDS and developing coastal States to define and sustainably manage their Exclusive Economic Zones and extend continental shelf areas;
  • support SIDS in their efforts to adjust to globalization and trade liberalization;
  • accelerate the establishment of a global sustainable energy programme by 2004;
  • promote tourism for sustainable development that will lead to development of community-based initiatives;
  • extend assistance to SIDS communities that are suffering the consequences of disasters and other emergencies;
  • support early operationalization of economic and environmental vulnerability indices; and
  • promote a global initiative to assist vulnerable countries in mobilizing all resources for adaptation to climate change, as well as to extreme weather events.

Sustainable Development Initiatives for Africa: Observing that sustainable development in Africa has been elusive over the past 10 years and that most countries in the African region continue to be marginalized and negatively impacted by globalization, this section calls for actions to:

  • promote establishment of mechanisms necessary for immediate and total implementation of the NEPAD;
  • support and promote the process of the Tokyo International Conference for African Development;
  • support a global initiative to provide technology, financial resources and capacity building for integration of African regional and subregional economic communities;
  • encourage increased international financial and other support for the struggle against HIV/AIDS;
  • double agricultural productivity in Africa so as to ensure food security and opportunities for market expansion;
  • promote the restructuring of international aid and establishment of appropriate and effective aid levels to reduce dependency, promote primary social development objectives and reinforce efforts to make African economies more stable and competitive; and
  • promote the development of micro-, small- and medium-sized enterprises though a combination of appropriate financing and technological support services.

Means of Implementation: Specific measures contained in this section are divided into several subsections.

Finance: This subsection calls for:

  • urging developed countries to make concrete efforts to achieve 0.7% of GNP for ODA by 2010, including 0.15-0.20% of GNP to least developed countries;
  • enhancing the absorptive capacity and financial management of the recipient countries to utilize aid;
  • encouraging private foundations and civil society institutions through tax incentives to provide assistance to developing countries;
  • promoting creation of a trust fund to provide financial resources for full Agenda 21 implementation;
  • improving the lending policies of the international financing institutions; and
  • implementing and broadening the HIPC initiative.

Trade: This subsection proposes: enhancing market access for developing country exports; reducing export subsidies and trade-distorting domestic support measures; and addressing the problems of commodity-dependent countries.

Technology Transfer: This subsection calls for actions to:

  • promote development, transfer and diffusion of ESTs to developing countries and countries with economies in transition;
  • provide developing countries with access to publicly-owned ESTs;
  • assist developing countries in creating a domestic environment conducive to investment and technology transfer; and
  • promote a patent regime that acknowledges indigenous knowledge.

Science and Education: This subsection calls for:

  • facilitating capacity building in science and technology through improved collaboration and partnerships;
  • promoting and advancing formal, non-formal and informal education and public awareness;
  • strengthening education, research and development institutions in developing countries; and
  • supporting the empowerment of women and girls.

Capacity Building: This subsection proposes: promoting partnerships for a global capacity-building initiative; encouraging international support for regional centers of excellence for education and research; and promoting programmes for capacity building that are based on public investment and generating growth within communities.

Information for Decision-making: This subsection suggests actions to: strengthen national and regional statistical and analytical services; encourage national-level indicators of sustainable development; promote the development and wider use of satellite technology applications; and support the elaboration of indicators for disaster reduction with specific emphasis on social, economic and environmental vulnerability to hazards.

Strengthening Governance for Sustainable Development: This section will be developed during PrepCom III.


On Thursday morning, 7 February, Indonesia and South Africa made presentations on preparations for PrepCom IV and the WSSD. The Indonesian delegation presented a video on preparations for PrepCom IV, to be held at the Jakarta Convention Center from 27 May to 7 June 2002 and also indicated that since World Environment Day falls on 5 June, an exhibition is planned parallel to the meeting, from 4-7 June.

South Africa provided information on the preparations and logistics for the Summit, an undertaking to involve 65,000 participants in events at the Sandton Convention Center and other locations around Johannesburg. The South African delegation described the facilities that will be put at the disposal of delegates and NGOs, the parallel side events, exhibitions, and cultural and social programmes at the Summit sites.

ROLE OF THE MEDIA IN SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT: On Wednesday afternoon, 6 February, a special panel on the role of the media was held, with the participation of the UN’s Department of Public Information (DPI) and leading media actors. Moderator Shashi Tharoor, DPI, posed several questions to the panelists: How can the media create public awareness, acknowledging that the term "sustainable development" is not user-friendly? How should the media support the WSSD agenda? Do the media only want to cover disasters, but not "spinach journalism" - stories that are good for you? The panelists included: James Laurie, Vice President of News and Current Affairs, Star TV (China); Barbara Pyle, former Vice President for Environmental Programming, Turner Broadcasting (US); Simone Duarte, New York Bureau Chief for Globo TV (Brazil); Snuki Zikalala, Executive Editor of News, South African Broadcasting Corporation; and Tim Hirsch, Senior Environmental Correspondent, BBC (UK).

During discussion, the audience queried the panel on the role of new media, such as the Internet, the need for a proactive media, and the personal responsibility of journalists, and suggested ways of engaging media in Summit coverage, going beyond the myopic "news must sell" approach. The panelists noted that sustainable development would still be "a tough sell;" however, a tangible Johannesburg agenda is more likely to be covered. All agreed, however, that the discussion was stimulating and useful. Moderator Tharoor concluded with a briefing on the UN’s efforts to generate interest in the Summit.


On Friday afternoon, 8 February, Chair Salim invited the Commission, acting as the Preparatory Committee for the WSSD, to transmit the Chairman’s Paper to PrepCom III as the basis for negotiation. The Commission accepted the Chair’s proposal and then delegates made general statements.

A number of countries, including Australia, China, Mauritius, the Russian Federation, Samoa, South Africa and Trinidad and Tobago, said the paper provides a sound basis for negotiation for PrepCom III. Canada, with Switzerland, pointed out that chemicals were not adequately mentioned and reminded the Secretariat of a paper submitted on the issue. Concurring, Australia urged that issues such as chemicals and gender should be reinserted in the text at PrepCom III. Kyrgyzstan pointed out that the FfD document does not contain references to Agenda 21 or the Summit, and with Switzerland, called attention to sustainable mountain development.

Spain, for the EU, called for focus on a coherent and targeted set of priorities that is balanced among groups and regions, and that addresses all three pillars of sustainable development. Norway agreed with the prominence given to poverty eradication and Millennium Declaration goals. Calling for more forceful language in the Chairman’s Paper, Japan emphasized improved energy-saving and recycling practices, promotion of environmental education, and strengthened access to, inter alia, freshwater, food security and sustainable agriculture.

Hungary pointed out that the Paper was still a "wish list" and called for targets and timetables. Regarding preparations for PrepCom III, he enquired how dialogue would be continued and suggested directly requesting the cooperation of UN agencies. Israel emphasized energy services, promotion of public awareness, and the need for greater corporate accountability. The US expressed appreciation for the non-binding Type II outcomes and called for "space" at WSSD to allow for related dialogues.

Venezuela, for the G-77/China, pointed out missing elements in the paper, including: references to the Rio principles, particularly common but differentiated responsibilities, and methods and means of implementation for actions. He also noted that financial issues were not linked to poverty eradication and other action areas. Nigeria, with the Republic of Korea, Tanzania and Bolivia, emphasized the need for concrete and time-bound ideas, with Bolivia adding that the WSSD goal is to correct the imbalances in the concentration of wealth and poverty.

Brazil noted issues for consideration during the intersessional period: the product envisioned from Johannesburg; how to focus actions for the implementation of Agenda 21; how to incorporate decisions from past CSD sessions; the need to address sustainable development and competitiveness; and the parameters for initiatives to strengthen Agenda 21. Egypt emphasized the need to flesh out the ideas in the Paper and, with Malaysia, emphasized the Rio principle on common but differentiated responsibilities. Iran stressed the need for targets, proposed the possible use of already-agreed targets from other processes and called attention to waste management and recovery facilities for coastal areas and cities. Saudi Arabia expressed hope that nothing would be changed in the document before PrepCom III. Mauritius expressed satisfaction that SIDS and Africa featured prominently in the Paper. Bangladesh called for language complementary to that of the Millennium Declaration, and stressed emphasizing the whole preparatory process, not just the Summit.

In response to these comments, Chair Salim pointed out existing text on chemicals, mountains and gender, and Canada responded that one paragraph on chemicals was inadequate. Salim stressed that the Paper is intended to be a "global implementation document," and reminded delegates that they would be implementing any programme coming out of Johannesburg.

Draft Report of the Session: Chair Salim proposed, and the Commission, acting as the Preparatory Committee of the WSSD, agreed to annex three information documents to the report of the session, namely, the Chairman’s Summary of the Second Preparatory Session, the Chairman’s Summary of the Multi-Stakeholder Dialogue Segment, and the Proposals for Partnerships/Initiatives to Strengthen the Implementation of Agenda 21. Chair Salim then presented, and delegates adopted, the Draft Report (E/CN.17/2002/PC.2/L.1), and PrepCom II was gaveled to a close at 5:15 pm.



After a slow start, organizational tensions and problems in some of the interest groups, WSSD PrepCom II concluded at an early hour with humor and thoughts of hope. The singing and candle-lighting ceremony organized early on in the session by Trade Union and Youth representatives was probably a harbinger of things to come. But hope is one thing and concrete accomplishments another. After a two-week session one has to ask what did PrepCom II really accomplish? This analysis discusses the achievements of the session, the weaknesses evident in the process thus far, and challenges that can be expected at PrepCom III in late March.


The goal of the WSSD is to conduct a review of Agenda 21 and its implementation, with one of the key outputs being a "concise and focused document that emphasizes the need for a global partnership and integrated and strategically focused approach to the implementation of Agenda 21, addresses the main challenges and opportunities faced by the international community, and reinvigorates at the highest level, global commitment to a North-South partnership, a higher level of international solidarity, accelerated implementation of Agenda 21 and promotion of sustainable development." In this regard, the primary objective of PrepCom II was to prepare a document that could provide the basis for negotiation and lead to realization of such an output by the time of the Summit. Did PrepCom II rise to the occasion?

The rousing applause PrepCom Chair Salim received upon presentation of the Chairman’s Paper, the affirmative comments from regional groups that this Paper will provide a "good basis" for negotiation during PrepCom III, and the Commission’s approval for its transmission to the subsequent PrepCom for negotiation suggest that PrepCom II did indeed achieve its objective. One enthused delegate even suggested that the document was "more than we deserve." A surprised Bureau Member, Ositadinma Anaedu, commending the Chair, quipped, "I did not believe Mr. Chairman, you could produce such a document in such a time…."

While the Chairman’s Paper was well-received, its development was challenging at best. With the exception of poverty, there was very little consensus among delegations, the regional preparatory meetings and the Multi-Stakeholder Dialogues about the priority issues to be addressed in Johannesburg. Narrowing down these many divergent priorities to just a few agreed ones was viewed by some as an overwhelming task. By the end of the first week of the session, it was still unclear, even to the Bureau, how to go about preparing this draft.

During the second week there was enough criticism to go around. The G-77/China was criticized for its lack of cohesion, which led to holding one informal Interactive Discussion instead of the two parallel ones as initially planned, which further complicated the process of text development. Several delegates also lamented that the Secretariat had too much control in the actual writing of the Chairman’s Paper. Despite their presence, there was neither direct involvement of the Regional Commissions that had facilitated regional preparatory processes nor of other UN family members with the requisite issue expertise. Some complained that some of the ideas that emerged during the Multi-Stakeholder Dialogues, such as youth and women, were not reflected in the Chairman’s Paper.

Nevertheless, some participants agreed in the end that the process of making "order out of chaos" was efficient. Chair Salim and his Bureau and the Secretariat succeeded in producing a paper that enjoys broad support. The Paper’s initial success lies in its reflection of the key issues of interest to the various regions: poverty, means of implementation, consumption patterns and sustainable development governance for the G-77/China; oceans and a separate section on the SIDS for AOSIS; poverty, partnerships and voluntary outcomes for the EU; domestic governance, markets and voluntary outcomes for JUSCANZ; and, for Saudi Arabia, the subjugation of energy into a broader theme. However, the ability to maintain a balance between adhering to the often-heard mantra that "we’re not renegotiating Agenda 21" and temptation to generate many new issues, as well as the ability to convert what Hungary observed was still a "wish-list" into concrete, time-bound action-oriented proposals, are likely to be key challenges at PrepCom III.


The expectation of Summit participation and commitment at the highest level begs this key question: Are Heads of State and Government actually willing to put their political clout behind the Johannesburg goals and ensure the Summit’s success? It appears that most countries are biding their time until at least PrepCom IV in Jakarta to decide whether their Heads of State or Government will attend. While it makes sense that the final decisions of political leaders to attend the WSSD will wait until there is a clearer sign of the nature of the documents to be adopted and the process shows signs of success, there is a psychological dimension. Once Heads of State commit, delegations will be more likely to buckle down and engage in serious negotiations in order to reach consensus.

With at least three large conferences this year, including the International Conference on Financing for Development in Monterrey in March, which is drawing media attention and government commitment, as well as the World Food Summit in June (and even an Ecotourism Summit in May), countries are already feeling "summit fatigue." Also, the Summit’s timing – in the midst of an economic downturn with regressive environmental policies almost everywhere, and with world attention focused on security, international instability and brewing and new onflicts – does not bode well for political support and high-level attendance. Furthermore, lack of public and media attention is not helping to raise the Summit’s profile. As the media panel compellingly articulated, the role of the media in stimulating public support for the Summit and pressure for leaders to attend cannot be overemphasized. In order to stimulate interest, Jan Pronk, the Secretary-General’s Special Envoy to the WSSD, is working hard to commandeer support and this summer, Sweden and Brazil, hosts of the 1972 and 1992 Summits, with South Africa, will make a collective appeal to world leaders to attend the WSSD.


The issue of governance was extensively aired at PrepCom II and nearly all participants have expressed their positions on how to strengthen its different dimensions. This topic is shaping up to be one of the focal points at PrepCom III. Some developing countries clearly prefer no final decisions on international environment governance (IEG) before there is a clear understanding on effective sustainable development governance (SDG). The Northern donors, while supporting proposals to strengthen SDG, insisted on adding a focus on national governance through the creation of an appropriate national investment climate, corruption-free government, transparency, justice and respect for human rights. In other words, following an idealized blueprint of how countries should operate. Some Southern delegates attributed this position to a desire to avoid financial commitments to developing countries until these stipulations are met. The G-77/China and some others voiced strong objections, noting that domestic governance is a matter of national jurisdiction and that only the global and regional aspects of governance should be discussed. Caustic remarks were made in the closing Plenary, that if the North wants to monitor national practices, they should turn the monitoring lens on themselves and apply similar standards.

There are several subtexts in the governance issue. Unlike the IEG, with UNEP and multilateral environmental agreements at its core, there is no comparable governance structure for sustainable development, except the CSD itself, which is regarded as ineffective. Many issues have to be considered in this context including, ongoing institutional reform at the UN, inter-agency relations, the missing link to financial institutions, the emerging role and possible input mechanism for Major Groups and other stakeholders, the role of ECOSOC, the mandate and authority of the CSD, and the various turf wars about the future shape and responsibilities of CSD and UNEP. Numerous concrete proposals for strengthening SDG were made at PrepCom II, but it remains to be seen how governments choose to act upon them. An inter-sessional informal consultation on SDG is expected to be held at the end of February to help Co-Chairs Göran-Engfeldt and Anaedu prepare a discussion paper for consideration at PrepCom III. Given the amount of time it has taken UNEP to advance IEG, it is questionable how comprehensive the Committee can address SDG in the remaining six months.


In the final analysis, participants can return to their capitals and missions with reports of veritable successes from PrepCom II. The meeting can count among its achievements a meaningful dialogue among Major Groups and government delegations. There was also progress made on rallying support for partnerships and outputs that could result in voluntary initiatives. However, the most remarkable success of the PrepCom is having fulfilled its simple but challenging mandate of producing the Chairman’s Paper, and in doing so, providing the structure of what is expected to be one of the most important outcomes of Johannesburg.

Nonetheless, participants in the WSSD process must not rest on their laurels: there is still much to be accomplished prior to and after PrepCom III. Better coordination is needed in group positions, in particular the G-77/China, to ensure a clear voice in future deliberations. Participants need to vigilantly track the evolution and development of the binding and voluntary Summit outcomes. Delegations are likely to jockey on these outcomes to ensure their negotiating objectives are inserted into the outcomes that best reflect their national interests. Some participants expressed concern that both past commitments and new proposals – such as those on provision of financial resources, creation of enabling domestic environments and corporate responsibility – may be moved into voluntary outcomes, when many feel it is imperative that these be negotiated as binding agreements.

At the end of the day, it is incumbent upon all delegations – governments, UN agencies and Major Groups alike – to make certain that they live up to the challenge of providing an outcome that is relevant, substantive, forward-looking and with action-oriented and time-bound targets. In the words of Chair Salim, "Facing a turbulent world, we must be successful in drawing the map for a journey of hope to reach the goal of a world without poverty."


OPEN-ENDED INTERGOVERNMENTAL GROUP OF MINISTERS OR THEIR REPRESENTATIVES ON INTERNATIONAL ENVIRONMENTAL GOVERNANCE: The final meeting of the IGM will take place in Cartagena, Colombia, on Tuesday, 12 February 2002. For more information, contact: Bakary Kante, Director, Division of Policy Development and Law, UNEP; tel: +254-2-624-065; fax: +254-2-622-788; e-mail:; Internet:

GLOBAL MINISTERIAL ENVIRONMENT FORUM/ SEVENTH SPECIAL SESSION OF THE UNEP GOVERNING COUNCIL: This meeting is scheduled to take place from 13-15 February 2002, in Cartagena, Colombia. Agenda items include adopting the report on international environmental governance and UNEP’s contribution to the WSSD, and a review of the Report on the implementation of the decisions of the twenty-first session of the Governing Council/Global Ministerial Environment Forum. For more information, contact Beverly Miller, Secretary for UNEP Governing Council; tel: +254-2-623431/623411; fax: +254-2-623929/623748; e-mail:; Internet:

CONSULTATIONS ON SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT GOVERNANCE: An inter-sessional informal consultation on SDG is expected to be held at the end of February to help Co-Chairs Göran-Engfeldt and Anaedu prepare a discussion paper for consideration at PrepCom III. For the specific dates and additional information, contact: Andrey Vasilyev, DESA; tel: +1-212-963-5949; fax: +1-212-963-4260; e-mail:; Major groups contact: Zehra Aydin-Sipos, DESA; tel: +1-212-963-8811; fax: +1-212-963-1267; e-mail:; Internet:

SECOND SESSION OF THE UN FORUM ON FORESTS: UNFF-2 will take place at UN headquarters in New York, from 4-15 March 2002. This meeting will include a high-level ministerial segment. For more information, contact: Mia Soderlund, UNFF Secretariat; tel: +1-212-963-3262; fax: +1-212-963-4260; e-mail:; Internet:

HIGH-LEVEL FORESTRY ROUNDTABLE: This meeting will be held on 11 March 2001, during the UNFF-2. Participants are expected to discuss the different forces acting on forests, including sustainable forest management within the context of sustainable development. For more information, contact Kanta Kumari, GEF; tel: +1-202-473-4260; fax: +1-202-522-3240; e-mail:; Internet:

INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE ON FINANCING FOR DEVELOPMENT: The International Conference on Financing for Development will be held from 18-22 March 2002, in Monterrey, Mexico. It will bring together high-level representatives from governments, the United Nations, and other leading international trade, finance and development-related organizations. For more information, contact: Harris Gleckman, Financing for Development Coordinating Secretariat; tel: +1-212-963-4690; e-mail: or Federica Pietracci, tel: +1-212-963-8497; e-mail:; Internet:

UNEP GLOBAL YOUTH FORUM: This meeting will be held in Copenhagen, Denmark, on 22–31 March 2002, and will build on the Youth Conference on Environment and Sustainable Development held in May 2001. For more information, contact: Theodore Oben or Julia Crause, UNEP; tel: +254-2-623-262/624-026; fax: +254-2-623-927/ 623-692; e-mail:; Internet:

WSSD PREPCOM III: This meeting will take place at UN headquarters in New York from 25 March to 5 April 2002. The Chairman’s Paper, drafted at PrepCom II, will provide the basis for negotiations. For more information, contact: Andrey Vasilyev, DESA; tel: +1-212-963-5949; fax: +1-212-963-4260; e-mail:; Major groups contact: Zehra Aydin-Sipos, DESA; tel: +1-212-963-8811; fax: +1-212-963-1267; e-mail:; Internet:

SIXTH MEETING OF THE CONFERENCE OF PARTIES OF THE CONVENTION ON BIOLOGICAL DIVERSITY (COP-6): This meeting will take place at The Hague, Netherlands, from 8-26 April 2002. For more information, contact: CBD Secretariat; tel: +1-514-288-2220; fax: +1-514-288-6588; e-mail:; Internet:

INTERNATIONAL CHILDREN'S CONFERENCE ON THE ENVIRONMENT: The fourth UNEP International Children's Conference on the Environment will take place in Victoria, Canada, from 22-24 May 2002. The conference is expected to bring together 800 children from 10 to 12 years of age from over 115 countries to produce a statement from children to world leaders at WSSD. For more information, contact: Theodore Oben, UNEP; tel: +254-2-623-262; fax: +254-2-623-927; e-mail:; Internet:

WSSD PREPCOM IV: This meeting will take place from 27 May to 7 June 2002, in Jakarta, Indonesia. It will include Ministerial and Multi-Stakeholder Dialogue segments, and is expected to result in elements for a concise political document to be submitted to the 2002 Summit. For more information, contact: Andrey Vasilyev or Zehra Aydin-Sipos, DESA (see above).

WORLD FOOD SUMMIT: FIVE YEARS LATER: This meeting, which will take place from 10-13 June 2002 in Rome, is meant to track progress toward ending hunger achieved since the 1996 World Food Summit and consider ways to accelerate the process. For more information, contact: FAO; tel: +39-06-570-55249; fax: +39-06-570-53625; e-mail:; Internet:

IMPLEMENTATION CONFERENCE – STAKEHOLDER ACTION FOR OUR COMMON FUTURE: This conference will take place in Johannesburg, South Africa, from 20-23 August 2002, and will bring together leading representatives of the Agenda 21 Major Groups and other stakeholders to work on key issues and generate concrete action plans for aspects of each one. For more information, contact: Stakeholder Forum; tel: +44-20-7839-1784; fax +44-20-7930-5893; e-mail:; Internet:

ENVIROLAW CONFERENCE 2002: This conference will be held from 26-29 August 2002 in Durban, South Africa. It will provide a platform for the international legal community to provide solutions and suggest mechanisms that will interlink international and regional treaties and conventions in order to improve their implementation and enforcement. It will also interact with the WSSD preparatory process. For more information, contact: EnviroLaw Solutions; tel: +27-11-269-7944; fax: +27-11-269-7899; e-mail:; Internet:

WORLD SUMMIT ON SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT: The World Summit on Sustainable Development is scheduled to take place in Johannesburg, South Africa, from 26 August to 4 September 2002. For more information, contact: Andrey Vasilyev or Zehra Aydin-Sipos, DESA (see above).

Further information