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Daily report for 6 June 2002

4th Session of the WSSD Preparatory Committee

Delegates met in a High-Level Ministerial Segment in the morning and afternoon for an interactive dialogue on partnerships. The contact group negotiating the unresolved Draft Plan of Implementation for the WSSD met twice during the day and in the evening, and a scheduled evening Informal Plenary was cancelled. A Ministerial contact group also met informally during the day to negotiate on trade and finance, and a contact group on sustainable development governance met in morning and afternoon sessions.


Chaired by Vice-Chair Richard Ballhorn (Canada), Thursday’s High-Level interactive dialogue focused on partnerships, during which many delegates stressed the need for a partnership framework. The REPUBLIC OF KOREA emphasized participation of diverse stakeholders, and SUDAN supported equitable, non-selective, and non-politicized partnerships. Stating its Pacific Region focus, NEW ZEALAND underscored partnerships founded on trust, with community involvement, mutual outcomes and ownership, and further called for NATO countries to direct military expenditures to partnerships. The EU outlined options for formalizing guiding principles, set out in its non-paper tabled at an informal consultation on partnerships.

QATAR stressed the need for political will before developing and developed countries can enter into partnerships. The WORLD BUSINESS COUNCIL FOR SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT elaborated on how partnerships can enable the Summit to deliver its outcomes, and stressed frameworks and good governance. GREECE elaborated on, inter alia, the principles necessary for partnerships and urged their elaboration in the implementation plan and political declaration. BARBADOS said partnerships should supplement, not substitute, Type 1 outcomes, and that Type 2 outcomes should enhance South-South and SIDS-SIDS cooperation.

JAPAN underlined concrete actions, and sharing information and strategies. SYRIA and SAUDI ARABIA expressed need for "partnerships for peace," stressing an end to foreign occupation. GHANA emphasized additional resources, tangible benefits, and recognition of regional dimensions to avoid distortions. Nauru, for the PACIFIC ISLANDS FORUM, stressed a subregional focus and flexibility to respond to national priorities. BOTSWANA expressed its support of partnerships, believing that governments alone cannot implement Agenda 21 without actively involving Major Groups. CANADA observed, inter alia, that unless progress is achieved in Bali, the opportunity and momentum to harvest results in Johannesburg will be foregone.

NAMIBIA said partnerships should: be structured; support implementation efforts of national governments; reinforce the Type 1 outcome; and strengthen existing commitments. ITALY, LEBANON and the ECONOMIC AND SOCIAL COMMISSION FOR ASIA AND THE PACIFIC described their partnership initiatives. INDIA said partnerships: require a framework; should be country-driven; should cover new areas; and should not substitute intergovernmental mechanisms. NORWAY outlined elements for a partnership framework and called for its preparation before Johannesburg with the assistance of international organizations. The PHILIPPINES agreed with Norway, and added subsidiarity and efficiency as elements. The US noted partnership challenges, including ensuring they attain agreed international development goals, and proposed the CSD as a focal point for partnerships discussions. TOGO called for resource mobilization and technology transfer.

Noting that commodities are the economic backbone of most developing countries, the COMMON FUND FOR COMMODITIES stressed partnerships in the agriculture and minerals sectors. Tajikistan, for CENTRAL ASIA, described regional and subregional partnership programmes. ZAMBIA stressed mutually agreed terms of reference and new sources of financing, THAILAND requested greater elaboration of scope and modalities, and EL SALVADOR expressed hope that the Summit would coordinate national and global alliances. AUSTRALIA supported: flexible mechanisms; voluntary agreements and targets; and partner-driven reviews and indicators. BOLIVIA stressed shared responsibility, highlighting challenges involved in shifting to legal trade. Noting that voluntary international arrangements tend to bypass smaller states, the MALDIVES questioned the benefits of partnerships for SIDS.

ROMANIA highlighted the need for inventiveness, creativity and innovation, as well as financial and monitoring mechanisms, and the MARSHALL ISLANDS called for financial and technical support to implement its Vision 2018.

MOZAMBIQUE welcomed geographically distributed partnerships that involve governments and provide implementation resources. FINLAND highlighted partnerships to mainstream sustainable development and supported Type 2 criteria. TURKEY emphasized partnerships for good governance and supported UNDP’s 2015 platform for capacity building.

UNIDO stressed technology cooperation, JORDAN emphasized capacity building at all levels, and BELGIUM supported the CSD as a partnerships monitoring mechanism. NEPAL emphasized the need for international partnerships designed and implemented with stakeholder consensus. The EUROPEAN SPACE AGENCY highlighted initiatives such as raising awareness of satellite Earth observation data. NIGERIA stressed that partnerships should not substitute for government responsibility. CUBA advised that partnerships should not replace multilateral cooperation, and emphasized common but differentiated responsibilities. ICELAND suggested that follow-up by the CSD can focus implementation efforts, and PAKISTAN said partnerships should address the livelihoods of poor communities marginalized from mainstream economic development.

SOUTH AFRICA observed linkages between timelines, targets, and Type 1 and 2 outcomes, stressing the need for a CSD monitoring programme with indicators. KYRGYZSTAN highlighted central Asian cooperative partnerships for the Aral Sea basin. YUGOSLAVIA supported the Multi-Stakeholder Dialogue on partnerships and the Vice-Chairs’ document as a basis for a programme of action. CHINA called for North-South partnerships based on the principle of common but differentiated responsibilities.

IRELAND urged, inter alia, partnership ownership by developing country governments, not donors. SENEGAL said sustainable development governance should be an element of partnerships. HONDURAS supported coordinated national partnerships strategies, and called for efficiency, coherence, and impact. Questioning a management, tracking, and information-sharing structure, BELIZE said partnerships should complement national priorities, regional initiatives and Agenda 21 objectives, and be transparent and accountable.

GABON observed that partnerships since Rio have not yielded results in areas such as climate change, forest degradation and biodiversity conservation. UGANDA encouraged added value to ongoing partnerships in the areas of water, sanitation, health and energy. Noting that countries are "indulging in serial monologues," BENIN said there is a deficit of ethics in trade. CHAD identified prerequisites for partnerships at the global, national and regional levels. PANAMA reiterated the need for political will to comply with previous commitments. BAHAMAS suggested elaboration of guidelines on issues such as transparency, accountability and the review process. SOLOMON ISLANDS suggested that WSSD outcomes will not succeed unless countries cooperate, and AUSTRIA said that partnerships can make sustainability understandable to the general public. A BASEL CONVENTION representative gave examples of partnerships for sound management of hazardous wastes.

NEW ZEALAND reflected that Type 2 initiatives bring in new actors and different synergies, yet expressed concern about mainstreaming sustainable development, when the WSSD process has not been democratic or transparent. GUYANA suggested considering the process of concretizing partnerships to address the water, energy, health, agriculture and biodiversity (WEHAB) issue areas.

Vice-Chairs Ballhorn, Kára, and Quarless summarized the steps between PrepCom IV and Johannesburg, including the preparation of partnership guidance documents for the five UN Secretary-General WEHAB areas.


INSTITUTIONAL FRAMEWORK: The contact group on sustainable development governance (formerly Working Group III), facilitated by Lars-Göran Engfeldt (Sweden) and Ositadinma Anaedu (Nigeria), tackled the remaining differences over text in Chapter X of the Draft Plan of Implementation for the WSSD in morning, afternoon and evening sessions.

One delegation reported progress in consultations on using the term "coherence" and its possible alternatives in several paragraphs. Placement was agreed, which cleared a number of paragraphs. In the text on corporate responsibility and accountability, there was agreement to drop the word "voluntary" and reference to using tools such as environmental reporting, and the paragraph was adopted. A footnote listing several ECOSOC functional commissions and other subsidiary bodies was deleted and the paragraph referring to their greater coordination and effectiveness was agreed. There was also agreement to a two, rather than four, year period for CSD negotiating sessions.

Paragraphs were also accepted on support for youth participation in sustainable development activities, and enhancing partnerships between governmental and non-governmental actors, but there was no consensus on the link between the ECOSOC’s role in the follow-up to WSSD and Monterrey outcomes. Text was not resolved relating to the fulfillment by the CSD of its mandates and the EU, the US and the G-77/CHINA were asked to discuss the issue informally. No agreement was reached on language on furthering educators’ contribution to the work of the CSD due to objections to mentioning the CSD context and providing educators a Major Group status.

There were also objections to new text on establishing, through the CSD, modalities for partnerships on the basis of "guiding principles" for Type 2 outcomes, with the opponents proposing to refer to "modalities for operationalizing the principle of common but differentiated responsibilities."

No agreement was reached on: language calling on countries to begin implementing national sustainable development strategies in 2005; text referring to close links between ECOSOC’s role in the follow-up to the WSSD and Monterrey outcomes; and the chapeau to Chapter X. The Chair suggested that unresolved text be considered elsewhere and urged interested delegations to consult further.


The “Vienna Group” reconvened Thursday morning to proceed with negotiations on the Draft Plan of Implementation, in which finance, trade, globalization and implementation head the list of outstanding issues, together with climate and core labor standards. Agreement is said to have been reached on oceans through informals between the US and Iceland. At the start of the meeting, Dumisani Kumalo (South Africa), Chair of the group, asked the media and NGOs to leave. It is reported that the meeting was immediately suspended after an announcement by developing countries on the central importance of negotiations on means of implementation. They indicated that parallel Ministerial-level conceptual negotiations on Wednesday on means of implementation – trade, finance and globalization – had not succeeded. The G-77/China withdrew from the negotiation meeting until after the Group’s afternoon meeting. The “Vienna Group” reconvened at 4:00 pm to launch a round-the-clock attempt to complete negotiations on the draft implementation plan.

Informed sources say there was little progress made in the Ministerial negotiations on the issues of trade and finance, despite agreement among some developed and developing countries that no advance could be made in the absence of political agreement on the means of implementation. Apparently, the lack of progress in the informal Ministerial and "Vienna Group" consultations so worried PrepCom Chair Salim that he met the G-77/China during the lunch break on Thursday to persuade them to make some concessions. While the Group has agreed to do so, it also communicated to Salim that they would not concede on matters of principle, and that concessions would have to be in the form of a "package deal."

It is further reported that, in an unprecedented development, the G-77/China Ministers met with the EU Ministers to put together a package for presentation to the other interested parties. They decided to negotiate in a meeting that includes other interested regions and groups, and on the basis of the facilitator’s proposed compromise text on the means of implementation prepared on Monday and Tuesday by the contact group facilitated by John Ashe (Antigua and Barbuda). South Africa’s Mohammed Valli Moosa chaired the round-the-clock negotiations that began Thursday night.


HIGH-LEVEL SEGMENT: Ministers will meet from 10:00 am - 1:00 pm and from 3:00 - 6:00 pm in Nusa Indah for an interactive dialogue on the political declaration.

CLOSING PLENARY: The Closing Plenary is scheduled for 8:00pm in Nusa Indah to consider the Draft Plan of Implementation for the WSSD and adopt the report of the session. Look for a revised version of the implementation plan.

CONTACT GROUPS: The "Vienna Group" and ministerial contact group are expected to continue negotiations on the outstanding issues throughout the day.

Further information