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Daily report for 27 May 2002

4th Session of the WSSD Preparatory Committee

The fourth session of the Commission on Sustainable Development (CSD) acting as the preparatory committee for the World Summit on Sustainable Development (WSSD) opened today at the Bali International Convention Center in Bali, Indonesia.

Delegates met in the morning, afternoon and evening in Working Groups I and II to continue negotiations on the Revised Chairman’s Paper (A/CONF.199/PC/L.1/Rev.1). Contact groups continued, with oceans meeting during the afternoon and evening, and energy and good governance meeting in the evening. The Multi-Stakeholder Dialogue commenced in an afternoon session with consideration of sustainable development governance.

Editor’s Note: ENB Coverage of Working Groups and Contact Groups ended at 9:00 pm.


PrepCom Chair Emil Salim (Indonesia) opened the session, expressing hope for a successful meeting.

Nabiel Makarim, Indonesian State Minister of the Environment, welcomed participants to Bali, stating that the primary goal of the PrepCom is to achieve landmark outcomes, and that the PrepCom is the linch-pin to the process of ensuring a successful WSSD. Advising that Bali "is too good to pass by only in conference halls and meeting rooms," he exhorted delegates to adopt a spirit of consensus and partnership.

Secretary-General of the WSSD Nitin Desai urged delegates not to follow the usual procedure of "decision by exhaustion," but rather make quick decisions "for fear of pleasures forgone." He stressed the importance of an outcome that the world could recognize as a major step forward in sustainable development and that will be known as the "Bali Commitment."

Hans Hoogeveen, the Netherlands, on behalf of the Chair of the Sixth Conference of Parties (COP-6) to the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), underlined the importance of biodiversity in sustainable development and poverty eradication. He briefed delegates on the objectives and outcomes of COP-6 and urged the WSSD to consider the COP’s Ministerial Declaration in drafting Summit outcomes.

Ambassador Tuiloma Neroni Slade, Samoa, spoke on behalf of himself and Alan Simcock, Co-Chairs of the UN Informal Consultative Process on Ocean Affairs. Slade elaborated on the process, and said its recent meeting in New York considered the issue of protecting the marine environment, in order to better coordinate its work with the WSSD. Slade formally submitted the report of the meeting to the PrepCom.

Chair Salim announced that the Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space had submitted a statement to the WSSD.

ORGANIZATIONAL MATTERS: PrepCom Chair Salim introduced the Co-Chairs of the Working Groups: Kiyotaka Akasaka (Japan) and Maria Viotti (Brazil) for Working Group I; Ihab Gamaleldin (Egypt) and Richard Ballhorn (Canada) for Working Group II; Lars-Göran Engfeldt (Sweden) and Ositadinma Anaedu (Nigeria) for Working Group III; and Diane Quarless (Jamaica) and Jan Kára (Czech Republic) for partnerships consultations.

Delegates adopted the Provisional Agenda (A/CONF.199/PC/ 15) and the Proposed Organization of Work (A/CONF.199/PC/15/ Add.1/Rev.1), and accredited the following intergovernmental organizations: Asian Development Bank; Baltic 21; Commission on Science and Technology for Sustainable Development in the South; Congress of Local and Regional Authorities of Europe; European Centre for Global Interdependence and Solidarity; Global Biodiversity Information Facility; International Joint Commission; International Parliamentary Union; North South Centre of the Council of Europe; South Asia Co-operative Environment Programme; South Pacific Applied Geoscience Commission; and the OPEC Fund for International Development.

On NGO accreditation, Salim noted that the WSSD would not be reviewing the application by the World Sindhi Institute, as it was being considered for consultative status with ECOSOC. Salim deferred consideration of accreditation of the Tibetan Centre for Human Rights and Democracy to 10:00 am on Friday, 31 May, and announced that the Movement for Reconstruction and Development would not be recommended for accreditation with the WSSD. Salim indicated that the Secretariat had decided not to accredit for-profit organizations, explaining that the Body Shop International was accredited under the non-profit Body Shop Foundation, while applications of the for-profit 3663 First for Food Service and Solar Energy Systems Limited were withdrawn.


Chair Salim opened and led discussions during the afternoon Multi-Stakeholder Dialogue session, commending the work of the Major Groups in preparing for the dialogue. WOMEN called for global governance incorporating gender perspectives, transparency and accountability, and an institutional sustainable development framework and mechanisms. Commenting that current negotiations support mining, energy production, and privatization of services, INDIGENOUS PEOPLES identified sustainable development governance needs, such as corporate accountability and respect for indigenous territories, self-determination, and traditional knowledge.

NGOs urged that the Chair’s text move beyond the Monterrey Consensus and called for rights to self-determination, participatory decision making, and corporate accountability. TRADE UNIONS noted that collective agreements increasingly contain environmental clauses, and emphasized the importance of workplace assessments as partnerships initiatives. LOCAL AUTHORITIES said empowering local government has been effective in implementing national strategies. BUSINESS AND INDUSTRY observed that reference to sustainable livelihoods was missing from the poverty eradication section of the Revised Chairman’s Paper.

The SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY COMMUNITY called for: improved collaboration between scientists and policy makers; creation of a CSD advisory panel on science and technology; and capacity building to bridge the scientific divide. Highlighting issues of food security, trade and access to markets, FARMERS called for domestic market management policies, support for rural enterprises and private sector partnerships.

Noting that WSSD was meant to be an implementation Summit, YOUTH called for action terms, targets, timelines, and implementation plans, corporate accountability, and minimization of the influence of transnational corporations on Summit preparations.

The US stated that the quality and breadth of partnerships are the key yardsticks for measuring the success of the WSSD.

Chair Salim enquired on how local authorities can draw on the implementation document for their action plans. LOCAL AUTHORITIES stressed that inter- and intra-governmental modalities for sustainable development must be defined. TRADE UNIONS said that the first criterion for workplace assessments is the right of workers to engage in joint actions with the employer and within the community.

The Major Groups also discussed privatization of water services. Opposing privatization, TRADE UNIONS highlighted pressure from corporations and international financial institutions, and called for ensuring free trade and balancing budget deficits; NGOs supported community-level water management; and WOMEN underlined their role in water management. BUSINESS AND INDUSTRY said although water is a public good, water services are best delivered by the private sector. The SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY COMMUNITY pointed out that unsustainable patterns of production and consumption are often caused by the increased commercialization that drives production.

YOUTH called for more advertisement-free zones and awareness programmes on sustainable development issues. INDIGENOUS PEOPLES urged involvement of the scientific community, specifically concerning the disposal of nuclear waste, called for mechanisms to aid local and national authorities in conflict resolution, and noted that the sovereignty of states is threatened by the World Trade Organization.

The WORLD COUNCIL OF CHURCHES called for corporate accountability, noting that voluntary initiatives rely only on goodwill and peer pressure. TRADE UNIONS noted a proposed EU directive on corporate accountability that requires cooperation at all levels. FINLAND supported partnerships and informal voluntary arrangements.

LOCAL AUTHORITIES highlighted the concept of "glocalization," and YOUTH emphasized governance problems arising from shared water issues. INDIGENOUS PEOPLES stressed recognition of rights and participation as primary conditions for governance. BUSINESS AND INDUSTRY said that: corporations do not operate outside the law; there are different interpretations of codes of conduct, and governments have poorly handled some privatization initiatives.

Concluding the session, Working Group III Co-Chairs Engfeldt and Anaedu said the discussions had been enriching and were pertinent to imminent negotiations on sustainable development governance. Chair Salim pointed out that where markets do not function properly, such as with environment, social and education issues, governments are expected to make corrections.


After the morning Plenary, delegates resumed negotiation of the Revised Chairman’s Paper that began during the informal consultations preceding the PrepCom. The revised text on the introduction and poverty eradication sections was circulated. Co-Chair Akasaka announced the "in the corridor" facilitators of the outstanding paragraphs: Kjetil Paulsen (Norway) on the establishment of a World Solidarity Fund; Idunn Eidheim (Norway) on access to safe drinking water and on access by Indigenous Peoples to economic activities; Elfie Bowe (EU) on energy resource efficiency; Graham Campbell (New Zealand) on consumer tools; Miranda Brown (Australia) on the entry into force of the Kyoto Protocol; and Franz Perrez (Switzerland) on chemicals.

CHANGING UNSUSTAINABLE PATTERNS OF CONSUMPTION AND PRODUCTION: Following amendments by AUSTRALIA, HUNGARY, the G-77/CHINA and the EU, delegates agreed on: taking consideration of sustainable development in decision-making; and support for sustainable development strategies and programmes, including in decision making on investment. Regarding the use of economic instruments in decision making, delegates adopted new text on the internalization of environmental costs and the polluter-pays principle drawing from Rio principle 16.

Text on trade-distorting subsidies was bracketed. After debate on, and amendments to, AUSTRALIA’s proposal to specify ways of promoting and developing public procurement policies, delegates agreed to retain the Chair’s text. TUVALU noted that reorganization of the chapeau lost the idea of providing training to relevant authorities, and with some amendments, delegates accepted new text on this issue.

Regarding transportation, HUNGARY stressed actions at all levels, the G-77/CHINA opposed specifying actions at the international level, and delegates agreed to actions at regional, national and local levels. Delegates accepted text on reducing adverse health effects and on safe and affordable transportation. After deliberating the G-77/CHINA’s proposal to replace "reducing energy consumption" with "increased energy efficiency," delegates agreed to retain the original text. They discussed references to public mass transportation, and failed to agree to text on reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by developed countries and on JAPAN’s proposal to reduce GHG emissions "through development of environmentally-friendly vehicles."

On waste prevention and minimization, delegates agreed to add a US proposal with G-77/CHINA amendments on using environment-friendly alternative materials. After much debate on specifying types of assistance for developing countries, Co-Chair Akasaka ruled in favor of "financial, technical and other assistance."

Agreement was reached on waste, based on a proposal by HUNGARY and amended by MEXICO, which prioritizes the development of systems and infrastructure for waste prevention and minimization, reuse, recycling and environmentally sound disposal. Discussion of paragraphs on the sound management of chemicals was deferred pending the outcomes of the "in the corridors" contact group on this issue.

PROTECTING AND MANAGING THE NATURAL RESOURCE BASE OF ECONOMIC AND SOCIAL DEVELOPMENT: The EU introduced an amendment to the paragraph noting the increasing impact of human activities on the integrity of ecosystems, prompting the G-77/CHINA, NORWAY, AUSTRALIA, HUNGARY, the US and others to support different aspects of the EU and Chair’s texts. There was no agreement on which text to use as a basis for negotiation, and all text was bracketed. There was also no agreement on the chapeau relating to the achievement of the Millennium Declaration goal to halve, by 2015, the proportion of people without access to safe drinking water. There was agreement to add mobilization of "best practice" for water and sanitation infrastructure. TUVALU was asked to hold informal consultations regarding its proposal that the UN General Assembly consider the possibility of developing an international agreement to address the provision of access to safe drinking water and improved sanitation. The call for renewed commitments for the provision of new and additional resources was bracketed, as JAPAN and AUSTRALIA called for more efficient use of existing resources, the US urged consideration of this cross-cutting issue within means of implementation, and the G-77/CHINA emphasized new resources.


After the morning Plenary, this Working Group session, co-chaired by Ihab Gamaleldin (Egypt) and Richard Ballhorn (Canada), resumed discussion of the section on means of implementation.

MEANS OF IMPLEMENTATION: Delegates discussed text on mobilizing new and additional financial resources, which AUSTRALIA proposed bracketing, and other assistance to developing countries, with the US bracketing reference to the Capacity 21 initiative. The EU, NORWAY, the G-77/CHINA and LEBANON insisted on retaining mention of several Rio principles in the paragraph on access to information, which was opposed by the US and AUSTRALIA. Agreement was reached on strengthening statistical and analytical services. JAPAN, supported by the US and CANADA, added text on satellite remote sensing, global mapping and geographical information systems, though several delegations regarded this as repetitious. The US and the EU suggested, and JAPAN opposed, deleting reference to "unrestricted access" to disaster-related information.

SWITZERLAND’s proposal on developing indicators of the impact of industrialized countries’ consumption and production patterns was supported by the EU and opposed by the G-77/ CHINA. No headway was made on provisions pertaining to transfer and diffusion of environmentally sound technology, with the G-77/CHINA stressing favorable and concessional terms, and the US insisting on "mutually agreed terms." The US, supported by AUSTRALIA and the EU, suggested deleting text calling for the establishment of a mechanism for technology transfer. The US supported a proposal by SWITZERLAND, to which the G-77/ CHINA objected, on "green credit lines" for procurement of environmentally sound technology by developing countries.

The US questioned the G-77/CHINA’s proposal to create a network of scientific centers of excellence in developing countries, and suggested supporting existing networks. The US also noted that local and indigenous knowledge are not always beneficial and proposed inserting "the beneficial use of" local and indigenous knowledge in improving policy and decision making. AUSTRALIA and the US stressed indigenous rights within national law, while UGANDA opposed, stating that national laws are sometimes repressive to indigenous communities. The G-77/ CHINA objected to JAPAN’s proposal on further implementing and collaborating with international scientific assessments. The US suggested replacing "providing new resources for publicly funded research" with "encouraging research." The US, opposed by the G-77/CHINA, proposed deleting the entire paragraph on establishing a global-level process to examine issues related to global public goods.

In the evening, the group conducted a second round of negotiations on globalization. Two alternative chapeaux were proposed by the EU and the US, but the discussion was inconclusive. The RUSSIAN FEDERATION, with support from CANADA, suggested using text from the Monterrey Consensus to reflect the link between globalization and sustainable development. The EU and the US proposed different texts, and most delegates preferred a shorter reference. The EU proposed stressing the importance of good governance, which was opposed by the G-77/CHINA.


ENERGY: On Monday afternoon, Facilitator Gustavo Aincil (Argentina) distributed a revised text of the paragraphs on energy that delegates began considering during a contact group meeting on Monday night. Discussion focused on, inter alia, the linkage between access to energy and eradication of poverty. Agreement was not reached on references to Millennium Development Goals and on text supporting transition to the use of liquid and gaseous fossil fuels.

OCEANS: Facilitated by Guy O’Brien (Australia), this contact group met in an afternoon and evening session. The Group considered a new paper containing alternative compromise text from facilitator O’Brien and proposals submitted by delegations. The Group began a first paragraph-by-paragraph reading of the compilation text.

During the discussion, many delegations restated their positions from previous sessions. Little progress was achieved, as some of the paragraphs that were previously agreed were re-opened. Delegates could not agree on whether to include text on allocation and distribution of high seas fisheries resources to developing coastal States. Reference to "marine living resources" was contested, as some delegates stressed using agreed language from Agenda 21, the CBD and the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea, while other delegations felt this was not acceptable, if used selectively and out of context.

Other problems related to conceptual differences with the use of terms such as "sustainable aquaculture," as opposed to "aquaculture for sustainable development," with some noting that these terms should be understood within the context of similar debates held on energy and transport in CSD-9.

GOOD GOVERNANCE: This contact group, chaired by Koen Davidse (the Netherlands) met for one hour on Monday evening to explore the possibility for consensus on good governance references in the Revised Chairman’s Paper. In a round of general comments, delegates highlighted domestic governance, human rights, and use of the Monterrey Consensus text. Delegates debated at length on how to proceed, and agreed that the Chair would not produce a draft text, but that the group would meet Tuesday evening, 28 May, following negotiations of the Institutional Framework for Sustainable Development prepared by Vice-Chairs Anaedu and Engfeldt.


Between PrepCom IV on "The Island of Gods" and the WSSD in "The City of Gold," it has surfaced that a number of select delegations will be heading to "The Marvelous City" – Rio de Janeiro, Brazil – at the end of June 2002 for a small but important meeting. UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan and Heads of State from Sweden, Brazil and Indonesia are to meet in order to – ostensibly – "pass the torch" to the President of South Africa, the country that will host the next global sustainable development meeting. However, rumors are circulating that "passing the torch" is only a small part of the agenda. Among the issues to be considered is a plan to come up with what some are referring to as the "Type 1B outcome" (as yet undefined) – something more likely to lure world leaders to Johannesburg. It is feared the current Type 1 outcome, like Agenda 21 in the run-up to UNCED, may not be sufficiently attractive to Heads of State.


MULTI-STAKEHOLDER DIALOGUES: Delegates will discuss capacity building from 10:00 am – 1:00 pm and from 3:00 – 6:00 pm in the Nusa Indah Room, and partnerships from 10:00 am – 1:00 pm and 3:00 – 6:00 pm in the Geneva Room.

WORKING GROUPS: Working Group I will meet to resume negotiations on protecting and managing the natural resource base of economic and social development of the Revised Chairman’s Paper. Working Group II will meet to discuss SIDS, and health and sustainable development. Working Group III will meet to discuss a new paper on institutional arrangements for sustainable development released Monday afternoon. Check the UN Journal for times and venues.

CONTACT GROUPS: The Contact Group on Energy will meet at 8:00 pm in the Frangipani Room. The Contact Group on Oceans will meet at 3:00 pm in the Bandung Room to continue negotiations. Look for a new facilitator’s text today. The Contact Group on Africa will meet at 3:00 pm in Nusantara 2 to discuss the new paper released Monday night. The Contact Group on Good Governance will meet at 8:00 pm in the Bandung Room. Consult the UN Journal for venues.

Further information