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Daily report for 28 March 2002

3rd Session of the WSSD Preparatory Committee

Working Group II met in the morning to continue consideration of the Chairman’s Paper. Plenary convened in the early afternoon to hear statements from the President of the UNEP Governing Council, the Global Environment Facility (GEF), UNDP and the UN Secretary-General’s Special Envoy to the WSSD, following which Working Group III met to continue consideration of the paper on sustainable development governance (SDG). Informal consultations on partnerships were held in the afternoon, in parallel with Working Group III.


David Anderson, UNEP Governing Council President, reported on the February 2002 Governing Council/Global Ministerial Environment Forum meeting in Cartagena, Colombia. He highlighted decisions taken on international chemicals management, guidelines on compliance and enforcement of multilateral environmental agreements (MEAs), and strengthening international environmental governance. He called for attention to: assessment and early warning; cultural and biological diversity; sustainable development ethics; health, environment, and poverty; and governance.

Jan Pronk, UN Secretary-General’s Special Envoy to the WSSD, reported findings from intersessional visits to country capitals, noting their: objection to new goals; call for implementation of Agenda 21, Millennium Declaration goals and past financing commitments; and support for Type II outcomes – partnerships.

Zéphirin Diablé, UNDP Associate Administrator, described UNDP’s new Capacity 2015 initiative to develop local level capacity and make globalization benefit all, and called for new financing mechanisms, partnerships and expanded opportunities for developing country women.

Herbert Acquay, GEF Team Leader of Land and Water Resources, reported on the March 2002 roundtable on forests, noting the need to: enhance forest management; reduce deforestation; strengthen institutions to address forest issues across jurisdictions; disseminate knowledge; eliminate the digital divide; and create new financing mechanisms.

Chair Salim noted that the application by the NGO Tibet Justice Center would be considered in week two, and highlighted a note (A/ CONF.199/PC/6/Add.1) circulated by the Secretariat regarding the issue, and a 25 March 2002 letter from China to the UN Secretary-General (A/CONF.199/PC/12). Chair Salim said all delegates had accepted the structure of the Chairman’s Paper to be used for further deliberation, but the EU reiterated support for a separate section on energy.


Co-chaired by Ihab Gamaleldin (Egypt) and Richard Ballhorn (Canada), the Group concluded its initial consideration of means of implementation in the Chairman’s Paper (A/CONF.199/PC/L.1).

MEANS OF IMPLEMENTATION: On science and education, the G-77/CHINA supported universal primary education by 2015 and the role of universities and training institutions in informed policy making. Regarding technology in decision-making, JAPAN stressed coordinated global observing systems, and the US underlined developing relevant indicators. The EU underscored fostering relations among scientists in all countries, and between scientists and policy makers. SWITZERLAND called for the precautionary principle. The CZECH REPUBLIC highlighted enhancing teacher education. JAPAN suggested a decade of environmental education, while the HOLY SEE proposed lifelong programmes to reduce illiteracy and eradicate poverty. Several countries emphasized gender equality, and the FAO said fostering education promotes food security.

On trade, the G-77/CHINA stressed market access, special and differential treatment, and elimination of trade barriers. The EUROPEAN COMMISSION, for the EU, proposed, inter alia: technical assistance and capacity building for developing countries; support for trade in organic produce; foreign direct investment’s contribution to sustainable development; and preferential trade schemes. AUSTRALIA underlined agricultural reform and NEW ZEALAND stressed market access, especially for developing countries. JAPAN and the US recalled progress from Doha, and the RUSSIAN FEDERATION urged consideration of countries awaiting WTO accession. Several countries highlighted the role of trade in development, with CHINA emphasizing the adverse impacts of environmental standards on trade for developing countries. The COMMON FUND FOR COMMODITIES suggested support for commodity diversification.

On capacity building, the G-77/CHINA proposed reference to international capacity building programmes, and research and training for high-level staff. The EU emphasized Major Groups, KYRGYZSTAN stressed subregional and regional programmes, POLAND suggested the local level, and JAPAN proposed partnerships among local governments. In addition, needs were noted by: NORWAY for the formulation of national sustainable development strategies, integration of environment in poverty reduction strategy papers, and strategic environmental assessments; the COMMON FUND FOR COMMODITIES for sustainable production, processing and marketing of commodities; UNDP for development needs assessment, design and mobilization of resources; and UNESCO for the overall education process and science and technology. The US queried the need for a global capacity building initiative.

On information for decision making, many delegations called for socio-economic indicators. The G-77/CHINA proposed, inter alia, statistical and analytical services, national and regional statistics, and equitable exchange of information and experiences. The EU proposed information and indicators for public participation, statistical information on poverty reduction, and remote sensing data for decision making. MEXICO, with the FAO, urged a broader definition of vulnerability. CANADA, with the CZECH REPUBLIC, supported strategic environmental assessments and environmental impact assessments. JAPAN called for assessment models, and with the US and the COMMITTEE ON EARTH OBSERVATION SATELLITES (CEOS), the use of satellite technology for mapping and geographic information. The FAO called for gender mainstreaming and integrated global observation strategies.


Working Group III convened at 4:00 pm to conclude consideration of the SDG paper prepared for PrepCom III by Vice-Chairs Ositadinma Anaedu (Nigeria) and Lars-Göran Engfeldt (Sweden).

JAPAN initiated the discussion by asking for clarification of the targets and methods of achieving SDG, emphasizing existing institutions and frameworks and maintaining CSD’s mandate. Stating that JAPAN is a major overseas development assistance donor, he stressed efficient investment by developing countries, and underscored the roles of national reporting systems and civil society in SDG implementation. CHINA noted: the lack of policy coherence among relevant agencies on sustainable development; ineffective linkage of policy formulation and coordination; and a lack of progress in assisting countries to realize sustainable development. CHINA further suggested: incorporation of sustainable development goals in UN agencies and trade and financial institutions; cooperation between CSD and economic and environmental organizations; and an institutional reform programme based on regional policies. SENEGAL emphasized, inter alia, greater synergy between relevant institutions, and strengthened actions under UNDP’s Capacity 21 programme and national focal points.

FRIENDS OF THE EARTH INTERNATIONAL called for the reaffirmation of the authority of MEAs over trade rules, while IUCN stressed the importance of sound science for SDG and suggested mentioning regional economic organizations and conventions. The YOUTH CAUCUS called for incorporating the youth perspective, especially at the local level, and INFORMATION HABITAT emphasized the use of information technology.

Summing the discussion, Co-Chair Anaedu reviewed divergent country proposals on the functioning of the CSD, and quipped that the important thing was not to leave the CSD the same or worse than present.


This informal consultation was facilitated by Bureau Vice-Chairs Jan Kára (Czech Republic) and Diane Quarless (Jamaica). Kára said a list of outputs from the Type II consultations will be provided at the end of week two. UN INDUSTRIAL DEVELOPMENT ORGANIZATION described their partnership initiative on rural energy, linking renewable energy creation with income-generating activities, while UNDP discussed small grants programmes that use partnership arrangements. The WORLD BANK said partnerships are more successful when they: are focused and selective; have clearly defined deliverables; and leverage private sector resources and capacity. The INTERNATIONAL LABOUR ORGANIZATION emphasized income-generating activities for poverty reduction. On auditing Type II outcomes, NEW ZEALAND suggested that progress with partnerships be reported back to the CSD. The US described partnership initiatives related to fisheries, coastal ecosystem management, energy services and geographic learning. The INTERNATIONAL FERTILIZER INDUSTRY ASSOCIATION noted that supporting new partnerships could divert resources from existing successful programmes. EDUCATION FOR OUR COMMON FUTURE described the importance of educational models that go beyond raising awareness to building a knowledge base.

ITALY called for simple, clear guidelines for Type II outcomes, supported creating joint energy ventures in developing countries and countries with economies in transition, and highlighted expanding renewable energy markets and working with public and private sectors to meet the energy and development needs of rural populations. CEOS noted delegations’ desire for satellite information and interest in related partnerships for global observation. JAPAN called for flexible criteria for Type II initiatives and said global systems monitoring requires global partnerships, including the use of geographic information systems (GIS).

IUCN supported criteria for Type II initiatives and described existing partnerships on: water and nature conservation; the ecosystem approach in water issues; ecoagriculture; the upcoming world parks congress; and the equator initiative. BUSINESS ACTION FOR SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT described the work of a task force examining the use of renewable energy in developing countries, highlighting issues of micro-credit and recommending market expansion. The YOUTH CAUCUS welcomed partnerships for health, youth employment, education, sustainable consumption, and youth involvement in decision making, but expressed concerns about accountability, transparency and equity. SOUTH AFRICA raised concern over generation of projects that diverge from the negotiated text.


Although the week ended with no sign of a Paper fit for a realistic drafting exercise, participants commented that it is time to take the plunge. The PrepCom is expected to produce an action programme, but there are only five days left. The emerging scenario is one in which the Secretariat may drop a 200-page "compendium text" on delegates’ laps on Sunday night or Monday morning. While some participants lay the blame on the Working Group Chairs, "who opened the floodgates to a myriad of written amendments from eager delegations," others lament that the proposals present few options, despite relentless pleas for "deliverables." Consequently, rumors have been spreading about the possibility of a resumed PrepCom III session in the intersessional period, but indications are that it is unlikely. According to some, a major weakness of the Chairman’s Paper is the lack of clarity and substantiation of proposed targets. Apparently, the assistance of UN agencies has been sought to help refine selected strategic and short-term goals. On a happier note, the concession by the UN Common Services to provide rooms and lighting for groups to meet in the evenings during the second week may help ease the nervousness that has been gnawing at delegations.


WORKING GROUP I: The Group will reconvene at 3:00 pm in Conference Room 1 to begin consideration of the amended Chairman’s Paper.

WORKING GROUP II: Discussion of the relevant sections of the amended Chairman’s Paper will start at 3:00 pm in Conference Room 4.

Monday morning will be dedicated to G-77/China special deliberations. Look for the amended Chairman’s Paper and elements for a draft decision on sustainable development governance on the WSSD website,, late Sunday afternoon.

Further information