Summary report, 16–17 January 2002

Informal Brainstorming Session Preceding the 2nd Session of the WSSD Preparatory Committee (PrepCom II)

An informal brainstorming session preceding the second session of the Preparatory Committee (PrepCom II) for the World Summit on Sustainable Development (WSSD) took place from 16-17 January 2002, at UN headquarters in New York. Over 100 participants attended the session, including representatives of governments, intergovernmental organizations, NGOs and other major groups.

During the brainstorming session, participants considered two clusters of issues. The first cluster involved a review of the implementation of Agenda 21 and other Rio outcomes, including accomplishments, shortfalls/constraints and lessons learned, as well as key themes and priorities emerging from the regional preparatory meetings. The second cluster related to strengthening implementation, including promoting an integrated and strategically focused approach, strengthening international institutional arrangements for sustainable development, and means of implementation. This cluster also addressed practical steps/specific time-bound implementation measures, and partnerships for achieving sustainable development. In addition, participants were briefed on and discussed preparations for PrepCom II and on a possible framework for strengthening linkages between expected outcomes of the WSSD.

The results from this session will inform but not prejudge PrepCom II, which is scheduled to take place from 28 January to 8 February 2002, in New York. The WSSD will take place in Johannesburg, South Africa, from 26 August - 4 September 2002.


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, the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), the Statement of Forest Principles, and Agenda 21, a 40-chapter programme of action for sustainable development.

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 the local, national, regional and international levels. In 1992, the 47th session of the UN General Assembly 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 a "Programme for the Further Implementation of Agenda 21." 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 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 (PrepCom) for the WSSD, held its first session at UN headquarters from 30 April to 2 May 2001. The session prepared and 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; the 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 and November 2001. Eminent Persons’ Roundtables on the WSSD took place in all five UN regions. Regional preparatory meetings were held for the European/North American region (25-26 September 2001), Africa (15-18 October), Latin America and Caribbean (23-24 October), West Asia (24 October) and Asia-Pacific (27-29 November).


Editor’s Note: Delegates speaking at this meeting were identified by country or organization by the Chair, and are consequently named in this report. Readers should note, however, that this was an informal meeting, and that participants’ statements do not necessarily reflect the official views or formal positions of the government or organization they represent.

PrepCom Chair Emil Salim (Indonesia) opened the session on Wednesday morning, 16 January, identifying the main goals for the WSSD as the reinvigoration at the highest political level of the global commitment to sustainable development, the forging of a North-South partnership to promote sustainable development, and the acceleration of Agenda 21 implementation. He drew attention to subregional and regional meetings and activities preceding this session, noting that their outputs had been compiled in the UN Secretary-General’s report on Implementing Agenda 21 (E/CN.17/2002/PC.2/7). He stressed that the "bottom-up" approach would be used for dealing with key substantive issues during this session.


Nitin Desai, United Nations Secretary-General for the Johannesburg Summit and Under-Secretary-General for Economic and Social Affairs, gave an overview of the Secretary-General’s report on Implementing Agenda 21. He said the assessment of implementation had been grouped within three broad themes that reflect the essential prerequisites for moving towards sustainability: combating poverty and promoting sustainable livelihoods; realizing sustainable consumption and production; and protecting the integrity of life-supporting ecosystems. He informed participants that the report’s themes address the means required for implementation, and that it concludes with an examination of ten areas for strengthening implementation in a chapter on Strengthening Implementation – Global Partnerships for Sustainable Development. These areas are: making globalization work for sustainable development; eradicating poverty and achieving sustainable livelihoods; changing unsustainable patterns of consumption and production; promoting health through sustainable development; accessing energy and improving energy efficiency; managing ecosystems and biodiversity sustainably; managing the world’s freshwater resources; securing adequate finance and technology transfer; implementing sustainable development initiatives for Africa; and strengthening the system of international governance for sustainable development.

Reflecting on key issues emerging from the WSSD’s regional preparatory meetings, Desai said development and meeting people’s basic needs had figured prominently in discussions. He stressed that the major challenge for the process now was identifying how to secure the necessary political commitments and partnerships needed to get agreement on practical steps to achieve sustainable development. He called for the reinforcement of the connection between poverty eradication and natural resource management, and a commitment to linking initiatives at the regional and subregional levels to the global level. On finance, he highlighted the connection between the WSSD process and the outcome of the upcoming International Conference on Financing for Development; while on institutional issues, he drew attention to the international environmental governance (IEG) process.

ORGANIZATION OF THE MEETING: PrepCom Chair Salim explained that this brainstorming session would provide an opportunity for an informal exchange of views prior to PrepCom II. He invited participants to consider key themes for the WSSD emerging from the preparatory process and to discuss possible outcomes from the WSSD, with a focus on strengthening implementation and launching partnerships, as well as on implications of the institutional framework for sustainable development. In order to keep the discussion focused on these areas, Salim proposed basing discussions on two "clusters" of related issues. The first cluster would involve reviewing implementation of Agenda 21 and other outcomes from Rio, including accomplishments, shortfalls, constraints, and lessons learned. It would also address key themes and priorities emerging from the regional preparatory process. The second cluster would address strengthening implementation of Agenda 21 and other Rio outcomes, practical steps and specific time-bound implementation measures, and the issue of developing relevant partnerships. In addition, Salim noted that delegates would be briefed on preparations for PrepCom II and on the process leading to Johannesburg. Participants provided views and comments on these various issues, as set out in the sections below.


Following the opening remarks on Wednesday morning, delegates discussed the first "cluster" of issues relating to a review of implementation of Agenda 21 and other Rio objectives, and key themes/priorities emerging from the regional preparatory meetings. In this regard, the recent Report of the UN Secretary-General on Implementing Agenda 21 (E/CN.17/2002/PC.2/7) served as a background paper for these discussions. Many participants praised the report’s assessment of major trends and developments since Rio. They also highlighted ideas and options outlined in the chapter on Strengthening Implementation – Global Partnerships for Sustainable Development, as providing useful guidance in preparations for the WSSD.

REVIEWING IMPLEMENTATION OF AGENDA 21 AND OTHER RIO OUTCOMES: In reviewing implementation of Agenda 21 and other Rio outcomes, several speakers stressed that many of the objectives set out at Rio have yet to be fully implemented. They also declared that these objectives remain as valid and important as ever, and should not be reopened for negotiation. Iran, on behalf of the G-77/China, expressed concern at the "huge extent of non-implementation of Agenda 21," noting increasing poverty levels in many developing countries and decreasing levels of financial and technological assistance during the past decade. Spain, Switzerland and a number of other developed countries agreed that progress in implementation had been inadequate, or less far-reaching than expected.

Identifying areas where progress has been achieved since Rio, several developing country participants highlighted accomplishments in raising awareness on sustainable development. South Africa said Rio had succeeded in developing a comprehensive assessment of sustainable development and had placed it firmly on the international agenda. Other successes included the establishment of valid principles such as the polluter pays principle and the principle of common but differentiated responsibilities. Norway drew attention to successes with local Agenda 21 initiatives.

On constraints and barriers to implementing Agenda 21, many developing country participants drew attention to decreases in official development assistance (ODA), increasing environmental degradation and pressure on resources, lack of access to new environmentally-sound technologies and scientific knowledge, and barriers to trade and market access. They also highlighted an increase in natural disasters, inadequacy of international governance for sustainable development, and a lack of adequately resourced global and regional funding institutions.

Participants also highlighted a number of global issues that had emerged since Rio, including the challenges and opportunities offered by globalization, and how to assist developing countries and the least developed countries (LDCs) in benefiting from globalization. Other emerging issues identified included biotechnology, the HIV/AIDS epidemic, and the growth in information and communication technologies, especially the question of how to assist developing countries in bridging the digital divide and fostering opportunities for benefiting from and exploiting such technologies.

KEY THEMES/PRIORITIES EMERGING FROM THE REGIONAL PREPARATORY MEETINGS: On key issues emerging from the regional and other preparatory meetings, many speakers, including the G-77/China, EU, Netherlands, Nepal and Norway, said poverty eradication had been a major theme at these meetings. In this regard, Norway highlighted the development goals elaborated in the Millennium Declaration, and also drew attention to health spending as a cost effective means of addressing poverty.

Iran, on behalf of the G-77/China, informed delegates that it was in the process of developing its formal position prior to PrepCom II. However, he added that the following had been identified as potential focus areas: means of implementation, particularly the linkages with poverty eradication; protection of natural resources and the global environment; globalization; and international governance. In relation to governance, he said a "new vision" was needed and the work of relevant bodies needed greater coordination, especially funding institutions. He also suggested strengthening the CSD.

Spain, on behalf of the EU, highlighted the need to involve civil society, promote good governance and secure greater financial resources. He said the EU believes one main outcome of the WSSD should be to establish a coherent and strengthened multilateral governance system, involving all stakeholders. South Africa reported that poverty, agriculture, food security, and peace and security were key issues raised during the African preparatory meeting.

Brazil highlighted the topic of unsustainable patterns of consumption and production, and also supported a focus on regional and subregional actions and initiatives. Finland noted that while some issues must be addressed at the global level, many others are unique to a certain region or subregion, and are best dealt with at this level. Sweden supported an increased focus on the regional level, and said new programmatic initiatives need to be underpinned by institutional solutions. Saudi Arabia stressed that most work must be done at the regional level. The US welcomed the idea of partnerships and action at the local, subregional and regional levels. He stressed that much of the work will need to take place in forums other than the WSSD PrepCom, and should involved industry and civil society stakeholders, with governments catalyzing action from these stakeholders.

Iceland noted the issues identified under the chapter of the Implementing Agenda 21 report on Strengthening Implementation – Global Partnerships for Sustainable Development, and suggested building on this chapter.

Papua New Guinea highlighted the importance of oceans in sustainable development, noting the increase in populations living in coastal mega-cities, the pressure on fisheries and other marine resources, and the fact that 70% of coral reefs are threatened. He also drew attention to the needs and concerns of Small Island Developing States (SIDS). Australia noted the need for improved coordination on oceans issues within the UN system, and Nigeria raised the issue of coastal and marine protection. Germany reported on the International Conference on Freshwater, held in December 2001, in Bonn, which called for action by the WSSD on water issues. Syria stressed the importance of freshwater issues.

Noting some discussion on trade during various preparatory meetings, Norway stressed the complexity of this issue, the limited time for negotiations prior to Johannesburg, and the fact that a specific process for trade already exists, and suggested that this issue should not divert attention from other matters that are also important. The Netherlands, Brazil, Nigeria and Honduras noted the connections between the Financing for Development and WSSD processes. Honduras also stressed the value of national reports on sustainable development, and encouraged countries to submit these reports.

The World Sustainable Energy Commission called for more NGO input into the WSSD process and emphasized the need to consider the topic of energy at Johannesburg. The International Institute for Sustainable Future stressed the importance of initiatives at the local level, highlighting local Agenda 21 programmes. He underscored the need to address rural poverty, calling for more funding for local Agenda 21 plans and activities in the South.

In summarizing the discussion on cluster one issues, Chair Salim noted that many speakers had recognized as accomplishments the raising of awareness of sustainable development, the emergence of the active involvement of civil society, and concrete actions such as the establishment of new legal instruments. However, he also noted participants’ comments concerning: the fragmented approach to sustainable development, the lack of progress in terms of consumption and production patterns, an absence of mutually coherent policies for trade, finance and technology, and the lack of resources.


On Wednesday afternoon, participants took up cluster two issues on strengthening implementation, practical steps/specific time-bound implementation measures, and partnerships. This discussion continued on Thursday morning.

In his introduction, Chair Salim called on delegates to consider how to close the implementation gap. He stressed the WSSD would not involve the renegotiation of Agenda 21, but would strategize for the improvement of its implementation. He asked delegates to contribute practical ideas on the topic.

STRENGTHENING IMPLEMENTATION: The discussion on strengthening implementation focused on three goals: promoting an integrated and strategically focused approach; strengthening international institutional arrangements for sustainable development; and identifying means of implementation.

Promoting an integrated and strategically focused approach: The G-77/China underscored the eradication of poverty as an underlying goal, and called for the promotion of regional and subregional cooperation. South Africa stressed the importance of securing commitments at the highest political level at the WSSD. China said the focus should be on identifying the obstacles to Agenda 21 implementation, and agreeing on concrete measures to overcome them. Bolivia stressed the need to involve international financial institutions.

Several participants said delegates should be mindful of the "three Ps" – political will, practical steps, and partnerships – during negotiations. Norway observed that there is an ambitious programme for the WSSD and relatively little time. Denmark informed participants that it will be chairing the EU at Johannesburg, and drew attention to the Global Deal initiative launched last year. South Africa said funding should be addressed through an economic platform at the WSSD, as part of a global political deal. Noting that the WSSD is part of an ongoing sustainable development process, he said negotiators will also need to identify issues that can be negotiated after Johannesburg. Portugal added that in some ways Johannesburg will mark a starting point rather than the end of a process.

Strengthening international institutional arrangements for sustainable development: Canada noted ongoing discussions on governance, stressing that it was a complex and difficult area to resolve. China stressed that measures and programmes should be agreed to first, and that appropriate institutional solutions should be identified afterwards. Noting the limited time remaining before the WSSD, Switzerland proposed a two-step approach involving actions before and after the Summit. Norway suggested that it might be more realistic to expect agreement at Johannesburg on what to review, and on a continuing governance process.

On the role of the CSD, Canada suggested examining the operating methods and mandate of the CSD and also considering how the UN itself is integrating sustainable development into its work. Stating that the social pillar of sustainable development needs to be more carefully considered in the CSD’s work, he questioned the rationale behind a separate CSD and Commission on Social Development. The G-77/ China stressed the need to strengthen the CSD’s coordinating role. He said he considered that the CSD had been successful within its mandate, and that any failure lay in the CSD being given an inadequate mandate to promote and support sustainable development. Brazil expressed satisfaction with the CSD’s work, citing in particular its role in promoting the concept of sustainable tourism. Nigeria suggested that the CSD’s capacity for monitoring be improved and proposed creating a forum where all UN bodies could discuss how to mainstream implementation of sustainable development. Switzerland said the CSD’s achievements have to be realistically assessed and proposed peer reviews of national implementation within the CSD framework. The G-77/China responded that peer review was not necessary at present, and said the first step should be to look at implementation of the Rio commitments and examine how far implementation has proceeded overall.

Canada suggested improvements in the regional economic commissions, and France highlighted a proposal by the UN Secretary-General to transform the regional commissions into regional commissions for sustainable development. Sweden, Switzerland and Nigeria added that the increasing focus on the regional level meant the UN regional commissions should be strengthened.

Sweden drew attention to the IEG process, stating that it represents only a part of the process of international sustainable development governance. He supported a closer relationship between the central UN bodies and specialized agencies in the form of a strategic partnership. He also supported stronger donor coordination and links between the UN system and the Bretton Woods institutions, and more stable funding for the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and the Global Environment Facility (GEF). The Stakeholder Forum for Our Common Future (formerly known as UNED Forum) supported strengthening UNEP, and stressed that sustainable development should be at the heart of the international framework for finance, including at the World Trade Organization (WTO) and the Bretton Woods institutions.

The US said the focus should not only be on international institutions, but that all countries should consider who is sent to represent their governments on sustainable development issues at multilateral negotiations, and that countries should involve ministries other than just environment ministries.

Means of Implementation: The G-77/China called for the establishment of a mechanism to ensure the transfer of environmentally-sound technologies and highlighted links to other goals, such as the Millennium Declaration targets. He stressed the need to replenish the GEF, and the importance of establishing a funding mechanism for the Convention to Combat Desertification (CCD). Saudi Arabia said a major challenge was to identify how work on sustainable development at the international level and the means and actions identified at this level can affect and assist activities at the local level.

On ODA, Canada observed that the ongoing decline was a reality that was unlikely to change dramatically, and suggested that ODA should not be viewed as a "great panacea." He suggested that one clear trend since Rio had been the increasing dominance of the private sector, and noted the development of cellular phone networks in developing countries as an example of technology transfer by the private sector. Japan noted that it had reduced its ODA, and said new avenues and initiatives are required. Observing that most countries fall far short of the target of 0.7% of GNP set for ODA, Italy said it was unrealistic to expect any rapid or dramatic increases, particularly in the current climate of "crisis, recession, and terrorism." He speculated that although an incremental increase might be feasible, innovative solutions must be found. Tuvalu highlighted the importance of ODA to many developing countries. Norway said it is not simply a question of providing new resources, but of using them more efficiently. The EU stressed its commitment to the 0.7% of GNP target. Chair Salim suggested that the decline in ODA is an issue of priorities, and might indicate that some countries give sustainable development a lower priority.

Germany supported new funding avenues, such as private sector partnerships, while noting that private sector funding is not equitably distributed. Pointing to the issue of global commons, she said prices of goods and services should better reflect the use of global commons. Addressing the broader issue of what the term "commitment" means, the US said it takes the term, and the legal force behind it, very seriously, which is why it only enters into a commitment if it thinks it is achievable.

Reflecting on discussions over the past day, the World Sustainable Energy Commission highlighted statements that: ODA cannot be viewed as the yardstick for sustainable development; transfer of technology should shift to become "facilitating technology sharing"; the UN Development Programme should be renamed the UN Sustainable Development Programme; the concept of energy should be overtaken by that of sustainable energy; and there is no such thing as free trade as long as distortions exist and environmental costs are not considered.

PRACTICAL STEPS/SPECIFIC TIME-BOUND IMPLEMENTATION MEASURES: Many speakers endorsed the need for practical steps and specific time-bound implementation measures. On practical steps, Canada said the Secretary-General’s report on Implementing Agenda 21 contained a great deal of information and options, and negotiators in the lead-up to the WSSD would need to decide on priority areas, as there may not be adequate time to address everything. China stressed means of implementation as the priority for the WSSD, noting that the Secretary-General’s report was a first step requiring elaboration into more concrete and specific recommendations.

Highlighting the need for micro-credit and finance for local level initiatives, the International Institute for Sustainable Future proposed establishing a sustainable economic opportunity programme, which he said would involve a guaranteed capital bonds system for investment in local sustainable development initiatives, and might be supported through the GEF and regional development banks. Tuvalu emphasized the needs and special circumstances of SIDS, which had been reflected in Agenda 21. He said SIDS’ needs should be reflected in WSSD negotiations and outcomes.

PARTNERSHIPS: The G-77/China urged delegates to take advantage of the potential for promoting partnerships at the WSSD, noting however that the primary responsibility for implementation lies with governments. Canada said the private sector is very important and should be encouraged to make commitments, which can then be periodically reviewed. The G-77/China said governments can be held accountable, and asked how such accountability is best applied to the private sector. South Africa called for "smart partnerships" aimed in particular at poverty eradication, and said equitable participation should be ensured. Nigeria supported partnerships at the domestic level, while cautioning that the private sector cannot solve all problems and that the public sector has a critical role to play. Sweden highlighted the importance of monitoring and follow-up of partnerships.

The US stressed the need to involve major groups in Johannesburg. He said that domestic consultations with major groups had highlighted the importance of transparency, public participation, anti-corruption measures, and good governance in general. Finland emphasized integration of the scientific and technological community into the political process, especially to assist in resolving issues related to consumption and production. He supported the establishment of a scientific panel in this regard, and suggested a scientific forum in parallel with the WSSD process in order to promote a deeper partnership.

On civil society involvement in the WSSD process, the World Sustainable Energy Commission cautioned against any repetition in Johannesburg of the experience in Rio, where NGOs were based a considerable distance from the actual Rio Summit. On public involvement, Israel said more work was needed to raise awareness of the WSSD among the public, and noted the absence of adequate funding for this.


Participants were briefed on preparatory work on the outcomes of the WSSD and on preparations for PrepCom II on Thursday morning, and engaged in discussions on issues raised in the afternoon.

JoAnne DiSano, Director of the Division for Sustainable Development in the UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs, introduced informal papers on the Possible Framework for Strengthening Linkages between the Expected Outcomes of the WSSD and on the Organization of Work during PrepCom II. She said that the former document outlines the two types of outcomes expected from the Johannesburg Summit and its preparatory process: documents to be negotiated and agreed; and "non-negotiated" commitments, targets and partnerships announced by governments and/or major groups. She summarized a flow chart included in this document, which sets out the process up until the WSSD. The chart specifies inputs to PrepCom II, which include the Secretary-General’s report on Implementing Agenda 21, the reports of the regional preparatory meetings, and other reports on implementation from the regions, major groups and intergovernmental organizations.

The outcome of PrepCom II would include non-negotiated Chair’s summaries of discussions on the review and assessment and of the multi-stakeholder dialogue, both taking place during the first week of PrepCom II. There would also be a negotiated Chair’s report of proposals with regard to "time-bound measures" and "global implementation initiatives," prepared based on the first week’s discussions and further considered in interactive discussion groups during the second week. PrepCom II would also begin to compile a non-negotiated list of initiatives, commitments, partnerships and practical measures proposed by individual governments, groups of governments, or stakeholders and other actors, which would contribute to the advancement of Agenda 21, often based on ideas already discussed at the regional or subregional level. This list would function as a source of information and would continue to be elaborated up until the WSSD.

The negotiated Chair’s report from PrepCom II would be forwarded to PrepCom III as input for its work. PrepCom III would also consider: input on sustainable development governance prepared by the PrepCom Vice-Chairs (Sweden and Nigeria) based on informal consultations; the report from the IEG process; and the outcomes of the International Conference on Financing for Development. Negotiators at PrepCom III would develop draft text for a document on "global implementation," which would be considered by Ministers at PrepCom IV, and adopted in Johannesburg as one of the major negotiated outcomes of the WSSD.

At PrepCom IV, to be held in June in Indonesia, a draft "political" document would be negotiated to reinvigorate political commitment to sustainable development. This would be based on consultations by the PrepCom IV Vice-Chairs and on ideas developed from the "global implementation" document.

At the WSSD, these "political" and "global implementation" documents would be adopted as major negotiated outputs, and a record of non-negotiated commitments and partnerships resulting on a range of initiatives at the regional and subregional levels would be produced.

DISCUSSION: In the ensuing discussion, delegates sought clarification on a number of the issues presented in the document, particularly the flow chart contained in the Possible Framework for Strengthening Linkages between the Expected Outcomes of WSSD. In response to questions on the involvement of major groups in preparations and at the WSSD, Chair Salim said major groups have a focal point and have been involved in discussions both within and between groups. He noted that multi-stakeholder dialogues will be taking place at PrepCom II. Regarding questions raised on the content of the flow chart, Salim said the content can be altered by participants, but that it seeks to set out information on how the preparatory work on WSSD outcomes might proceed during the remaining PrepComs. Commenting on a reference in the text to the challenge of monitoring progress in implementing partnerships and initiatives, the G-77/China said that such monitoring is within the mandate of the CSD.

Participants were then briefed on the timing for addressing international sustainable development governance. The two Vice Chairs explained that these issues will be addressed informally during the first week of PrepCom II in exploratory discussions with negotiating groups, with an open informal meeting currently planned for 6 February. This may be followed in late February or early March by a workshop, with a third round of informal discussions to be held either on 23 March, or early in PrepCom III. A Co-Chairs’ report is likely to be produced at this point, with formal negotiations likely at PrepCom III.

Commenting on the proposed governance discussions, the US cautioned against embarking on a new process, questioning whether the PrepCom has such a mandate and noting that resources already are stretched. Chair Salim said a PrepCom I decision and the GA resolution setting out the Summit process endorsed the PrepCom’s mandate to address ways of strengthening the institutional sustainable development framework and the CSD. The US said he understood the mandate to be to consider the CSD, and Australia proposed a two-step approach, beginning with the consideration of the CSD and the idea of regional commissions on sustainable development. Belgium said the process for input on sustainable development governance was informal at this point, and had already been announced at the Bureau meeting, where no objections had been raised. South Africa supported the process of considering the issue of sustainable development governance, as proposed in the document on Possible Framework for Strengthening Linkages between the Expected Outcomes of the WSSD.

On the outcome document being forwarded from PrepCom II to PrepCom III, the Secretariat said it would be based on statements rather than written submissions, and would be finalized at the end of PrepCom II to allow countries to develop their positions in time for PrepCom III. On the list of initiatives and commitments, she said it would be posted online and cautioned against a "huge wish list."

Venezuela, speaking for the first time as the Chair of the G-77, affirmed his commitment to the WSSD process. On the development of partnerships referred to in the flow chart and elsewhere, Business Action for Sustainable Development said the business community wished to be involved in genuine partnerships, which should involve all three pillars of sustainable development, and be both replicable and measurable. Applauding the multi-stakeholder dialogues, he said these need active government involvement, and that outputs should contribute towards the WSSD negotiations.


Summing up the informal discussions during the past two days, Chair Salim noted that participants had reviewed implementation of Agenda 21 and other Rio outcomes, and had considered key issues emerging from the WSSD’s regional preparatory process, as well as strengthening implementation and partnerships. He said participants had also been briefed on the proposed approach to the WSSD and its outcomes, starting with PrepCom II. Noting that "everyone wants to make it successful," he stressed that the aim of the WSSD is not to renegotiate Agenda 21 but to build on it so that in another ten years, when Johannesburg is reviewed, there will be no discussion on shortfalls and failures, but rather on its success. Emphasizing that this meeting had been informal, he expressed the hope that it had helped inform participants about the current status of the process heading into PrepCom II. He thanked delegates for attending, and closed the meeting shortly after 5:30 pm.


OPEN-ENDED INTERGOVERNMENTAL GROUP OF MINISTERS OR THEIR REPRESENTATIVES ON INTERNATIONAL ENVIRONMENTAL GOVERNANCE: The next meeting of the IGM will take place at UN headquarters in New York on Friday, 25 January 2002. The final meeting 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:

WSSD PREPCOM II: This meeting will take place from 28 January to 8 February 2002, at UN headquarters in New York. It will review the results of national and regional preparatory processes, examine the main policy report of the Secretary-General, and convene multi-stakeholder dialogues. 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:

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: +254-2-623-431/623-411; fax: +254-2-623-929/623-748; 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. The final session of the preparatory committee began on 14 January 2002 and will continue until 25 January 2002. 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:

WSSD PREPCOM III: This meeting will take place at UN headquarters in New York from 25 March to 5 April 2002. It will aim to produce the first draft of a "review" document and elements of the CSD’s future work programme. 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:

FOURTH PREPARATORY SESSION FOR THE 2002 WORLD SUMMIT ON SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT: This meeting will take place from 27 May to 7 June 2002, in 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, DESA, New York; tel: +1-212-963-5949; e-mail:; Major groups contact: Zehra Aydin-Sipos, DESA; tel: +1-212-963-8811; e-mail:; Internet:

WORLD SUMMIT ON SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT: The World Summit on Sustainable Development will take place in Johannesburg, South Africa, from 26 August to 4 September 2002. For more information contact: Andrey Vasilyev, DESA, New York; tel: +1-212-963-5949; e-mail:; Major groups contact: Zehra Aydin-Sipos, DESA; tel: +1-212-963-8811; e-mail:; Internet:

Further information