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Daily report for 28 August 2002


Delegates to the World Summit on Sustainable Development (WSSD) convened in two Partnership Plenaries to address water and sanitation, and energy. The Vienna setting convened in morning and evening sessions to continue negotiations on outstanding paragraphs in the draft Plan of Implementation and to hear reports from informal consultations and contact groups. The contact groups on means of implementation and institutional arrangements also continued their deliberations during the day and in evening sessions.


The Plenary elected by acclamation the Vice-Presidents from the Asian States: Iran, Iraq, Maldives, Pakistan and Samoa.

Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma (South Africa) presided over and Jan Pronk, Special Envoy of the Secretary-General, moderated the Partnership Plenaries, which included presentations by experts, commentary by resource persons and discussion by delegations.


Presentations: Margaret Catley-Carlson, Global Water Partnership, underscored the need for integrated water resource management. She noted that water issues are not accorded sufficient priority as the "well-to-do" already have access, and called for changing the political ambience to make them a priority. Gourisankar Ghosh, Water Supply and Sanitation Collaborative Council, stressed the need for a separate sanitation target. He proposed a new paradigm for water management that would neither provide free water nor leave it to the market. It would be multi-sectoral, people-centered, and both bottom-up and top-down. He noted that global annual expenditure on water is US$ 11 billion, and an additional US$ 9 billion could halve the number of people (1.1 billion) without access to water by 2015.

Panel Discussion: Many speakers noted that the poor pay more for water than the rich. In response to a comment that the private sector would only market to paying customers, a speaker said that the poor are willing to pay for water but politicians are not willing to charge them. One speaker stressed that poor people are willing to contribute labor if services are delivered efficiently. Speakers stressed the need for involvement of local communities, women and youth, and highlighted application of the ecosystem approach to water management. Some speakers recommended restructuring the roles of government and other actors, and forging partnerships. One speaker urged adopting global goals to mobilize action.

Plenary Discussion: Several countries recommended that the WSSD produce a time-bound target on sanitation, similar to the Millennium Declaration Goal on access to safe drinking water. Some participants stressed the importance of integrated water resource management, with URUGUAY adding consideration of cross-boundary issues, including subterranean water resources and regional management.

The UN COMMISSION ON HUMAN RIGHTS (UNCHR) stressed that access to safe drinking water is a human right. The PALESTINIAN AUTHORITY stated that occupation and war cannot co-exist with development, and BURKINA FASO said countries need water resources before they can address service delivery. MADAGASGAR noted that access to clean water and sanitation is critical to poverty eradication. ISRAEL said that conserving water is essential for environmental and economic reasons. INDIA, PAKISTAN and YEMEN referred to the need for capacity-building and awareness programmes, including through communities and religious institutions. SWITZERLAND, the UNCHR and YEMEN stressed coherence in national efforts and coordination among international institutions. MAURITANIA and NIGER supported financing for administrative and physical infrastructure. URUGUAY cited its use of portable sanitation and water supply stations as an example of how developing countries can address access problems. INDIA addressed the differing views on privatization, and SOUTH AFRICA expressed a need for appropriate pricing based on end-users’ financial resoources.


Presentations: Stephen Karekezi, African Energy Policy Research Network, stressed that small-scale energy investments significantly benefit the poor, adding that small-scale energy technologies can be locally made and sustained. He noted that energy investments in the range of US$ 30 to 300 are most appropriate for the poor. Thomas Johansson, International Institute for Industrial Environmental Economics, highlighted the importance of targets and timetables. He suggested elements for a policy agenda including capacity building, energy efficiency, and "making markets work better," adding that policies must be explicit

Panel Discussions: One speaker expressed disappointment with the draft Plan of Implementation’s lack of binding targets or timeframes on renewable energy and called for a clear binding target of 10% renewable energy by 2010, excluding nuclear, large-scale hydro and outdated bio-mass energies. Another speaker called for indicative energy efficiency targets. Speakers noting that US$100 billion was provided annually in subsidies to carbon, stressed the need to phase them out. Some noted that the funds so released could be invested in renewables. A few speakers stressed the need to reduce energy use, and over-consumption in industrial countries. One speaker stressed the economic benefits of conservation at the enterprise and national level. Another highlighted the need to focus on: women’s access to energy and financing for energy; and links between women’s health and energy. Another speaker reminded participants that a significant number of jobs depend on polluting and resource-intensive industries.

Plenary Discussion: Several countries called for the WSSD to establish a time-bound target of increasing the global proportion of renewable energy use, with most specifying a 10 or 15% increase by 2010. NIGERIA opposed setting targets without a plan and funds to achieve them. INDIA supported increasing renewables in the energy mix and called for cleaner biomass resources. Several countries favored hydropower development, especially small-scale, in part to reduce indoor air pollution and the strain on women and forests from gathering wood fuel. CHILE and KAZAKHSTAN opposed nuclear power and testing. SLOVENIA, SWEDEN and NEW ZEALAND called for the elimination of non-renewable energy subsidies. BRAZIL, TUVALU, CHILE and MEXICO supported the Kyoto Protocol’s entry into force. COSTA RICA supported the Protocol’s Clean Development Mechanism, stating that it will reduce the cost of energy in combating poverty. JAPAN and ARGENTINA pressed for energy efficiency. JAPAN announced a new Type II energy literacy and human development initiative. LESOTHO, NAMIBIA and UGANDA highlighted the need for financial resources and technology transfer. MOROCCO offered to host an energy conference following the WSSD.


In the morning, Chairperson Emil Salim (Indonesia) proposed that the Vienna setting continue deliberations to produce a reasonable and manageable text to facilitate future discussions in the Main Committee.


Changing Unsustainable Pattern of Consumption and Production: In the morning, delegates continued to discuss the chapeau on the sound management of chemicals, in particular time-bound measures to address their adverse effects on human health and the environment (22). While there was a general willingness to consider a time-bound target of 2020, the group could not agree on qualifying language. The group debated language on actions addressing adverse impacts, including "do not lead to," "minimize," "substantially reduce," "significantly reduce" and "reduce." Developing countries proposed language taking into account their specific conditions and requirements, which others opposed. Several delegations noted that a final package would have to balance the target, the conditions of developing countries and terminology on reduction of impacts. One group of countries also addressed bracketed language on determining an appropriate international response contained in paragraph 22(h). Some countries requested referring the paragraph to the Ministerial level for further consideration.

In the evening session, developing countries presented new text including the 2020 target, withdrawing the earlier proposal to account for conditions of developing countries, and moving text concerning capacity building and technical and financial assistance for developing countries (22(f)) to the chapeau. Several delegations supported this proposal, but reiterated their calls for stronger language in addressing adverse impacts on human health and environment.

Several delegations supported by the Chair proposed linking the chapeau to subparagraph 22(h) on heavy metals, as a package deal. After one developed country conceded its preference for strong language on addressing impacts, the group finally agreed on language to support time-bound measures that would "lead to the minimization of significant adverse effects," and deleted text regarding an international response to impacts of heavy metals (22(h)) as part of the package.

CONTACT GROUP ON INSTITUTIONAL ARRANGEMENTS: The contact group on Chapter X of the draft Plan of Implementation, co-chaired by Lars-Goran Engfeldt (Sweden) and Ositadinma Anaedu (Nigeria), assembled in the morning and then broke for informal consultations. In the evening the contact group finalized text on ensuring a close link between the role of ECOSOC in the follow-up to the WSSD and the Monterrey Consensus "in a sustained and coordinated manner" (126 (f)).

During the contact group’s short evening session, one delegation tabled new text (146 alt) on governance at the national level. The first part refers to enforcing laws, including against corruption and for human rights protection, and to promote transparency, accountability and fair regulatory institutions. The second part highlights stakeholder participation and access to information, policy development and judicial institutions.

A group of countries introduced new text on governance at the international level to replace existing paragraphs 123 and 124. The first part emphasizes the importance of global economic governance through addressing finance, trade, technology and investment patterns, and reforming the international financial architecture. The second part stresses the need to reinvigorate the UN system, and reiterates the commitment to multilateralism. The authors explained that, in the framework of a package, paragraphs 122 (b) and (c), 122 (f), chapeau of 139, parts of paragraphs 122(g) and 138(b), and paragraphs 138(c) and 152 would be deleted. Several delegations welcomed the new proposals which will be further considered.

CONTACT GROUP ON MEANS OF IMPLEMENTATION: This contact group, facilitated by John Ashe (Antigua and Barbuda), met in afternoon and evening sessions to consider a revised version of the facilitator's paper.

Finance: In an introductory paragraph on finance, developing countries proposed that: a reference from the Monterrey Consensus, recognizing that each country has primary responsibility for its own development, be fully iterated; and a reference to the "flow of" financial resources as elaborated in the Consensus be retained. There was no agreement on reference to common but differentiated responsibilities.

On making full and effective use of existing financial mechanisms, there was agreement on a subparagraph on strengthening ongoing efforts to reform the existing international financial architecture after the deletion of references to "more" transparent and "full" participation. The agreed subparagraph calls for strengthened efforts to foster transparent, equitable, and inclusive systems that are able to provide for effective participation of developing countries.

On infrastructure development in developing countries, a developed country group proposed a new subparagraph on encouraging adequate funding within national development cooperation frameworks, in particular the Poverty Reduction Strategy Papers. Developing countries offered to consider the proposal. A subparagraph on encouraging participation in the Highly Indebted Poor Countries Initiative was accepted after delegations agreed to delete reference to developed creditors.

In the evening, a developed country proposed that a paragraph on good governance remain in the section on finance.

Trade: In a subparagraph on eliminating tariffs on non-agricultural products, developing countries agreed to drop a proposed reference to avoiding trade sanctions used to reinforce the environmental agenda. Instead, the group proposed a new subparagraph citing text from Principle 12 of the Rio Declaration on trade policy measures for environmental purposes. The contact group on Rio Principles may be invited to consider the proposal.

In a paragraph on tariffs, one country suggested that the language reopens the Doha Declaration and should be deleted. On environmentally harmful and trade-distorting subsidies that inhibit sustainable consumption and production patterns, a developed country group proposed deleting a reference specifying "developed countries".

In a paragraph on the WTO Work Programme on small economies, developing countries proposed that this be pursued in a manner commensurate with their special circumstances and in support of their sustainable development efforts. With retention of a reference to paragraph 35 of the Doha Declaration, the paragraph was agreed.

There was no agreement on a paragraph on the mutual supportiveness of trade and the environment. Some preferred a reference to trade, environment and development. Some objected to an introductory reference to consistency with WTO rights and obligations because it implies a hierarchy.

In a subparagraph on environmental impact assessments and sustainability impact assessments (SIAs), developing countries proposed deleting references to SIAs and the identification of "appropriate and enhancing measures" in the context of trade, environment and development. There was no agreement.

On enhancing the benefits of trade liberalization, there was no agreement on a subparagraph on support for integrating sustainable development into existing and new trade cooperation agreements. On support for voluntary market-based initiatives, a developed country group called for an introductory reference to "WTO consistent" and goods "that maximize environmental and social benefits."

During evening discussions, in a paragraph on efforts to promote co-operation on trade, environment and development, developing countries indicated that they may accept the inclusion of a reference to the International Labour Organisation if the paragraph refers to the "secretariats" of the named organisations. They also asked for the deletion of a reference to co-operation between the WTO, the UN system, and other agencies in the following paragraph.

In a subparagraph on voluntary market-based initiatives, developing countries introduced and the group adopted references to "WTO compatible" and "environmentally friendly goods and services, including organic products" that maximize environmental and developmental benefits. One country tried, unsuccessfully, to introduce a reference to fair trade initiatives.

Globalization: On the introductory paragraph, a developed country group supported the retention of existing text, which acknowledges concern that larger integration of economies and societies may lead to instability in the international economic and financial system, negative environmental and social implications. Developing countries and one developed country preferred to introduce text from the UN Children's Conference and WSSD+5.

A group of developed countries and developing countries proposed alternate text on corporate responsibility and accountability. Delegates could not agree and the contact group adjourned.


During the day, the pace of negotiations began to pick up in the contact group on institutional arrangements, with delegates keen to clean up as much text as possible before Ministerial intervention. Small caucuses of delegates in darkened corners yielded agreed language and movement towards compromise formulae. The spirit of accommodation was palpable, and observers noted a discernible change in negotiating stances on the part of several major players. In a dramatic late night move, two major players introduced texts on the contentious issues of domestic and international governance, which were warmly welcomed and could signal another breakthrough.


There is a growing expectation that the range of negotiating packages will soon become clear with linkages and trade-offs outlined on a menu of crunch issues. An outstanding question on the minds of several delegates is the prospect of Ministerial involvement in finalizing these deals. Pundits opine that: the United States is keen to complete negotiations at the official level and to avoid high profile coverage for their final gambits; the European Union is counting on high profile publicity for its pursuit of cherished positions (e.g., renewable energy targets and human rights) that may have to be sacrificed in the heat of the battle; and the G-77/China prefers to employ its seasoned professionals to negotiate the "Northern face" of the draft Implementation Plan.

The midnight buzz was that Ministers might soon be consulted to start considering the Political Declaration in conjunction with some of the outstanding issues from the draft Plan of Implementation.


PLENARY: The final Partnership Plenary on Regional Implementation followed by a wrap-up session will be held at 10:00 am in the Plenary Hall. Statements by non-State Entities will be delivered starting at 3:00 pm in the Plenary Hall.

VIENNA SETTING: The Vienna setting will meet at 11:00 am in Exhibition 1. Expect a report from the informal consultations on the Rio Principles regarding common but differentiated responsibilities.

CONTACT GROUP ON INSTITUTIONAL ARRANGEMENTS: The contact group will meet at 11:00 am in Committee Room 4. Expect a discussion of views on the tabled proposals on governance.

CONTACT GROUP ON MEANS OF IMPLEMENTATION: The contact group will meet at 8:00 pm in Ballroom 2.

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