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Daily report for 30 August 2002


Delegates to the World Summit on Sustainable Development (WSSD) convened in Plenary to hear statements from non-State observers in morning and afternoon sessions. Ministerial consultations in the "Johannesburg setting" were convened in the morning, afternoon and evening to address key political issues referred by the Vienna setting. The Vienna setting was convened in morning and evening sessions to continue reviewing outstanding text. The contact group on means of implementation met in morning, afternoon and evening sessions. Bilaterals continued into the evening on a number of issues.


C. Bellamy, UNICEF, called for safe drinking water in all primary schools and gender-specific sanitation facilities, adding that quality basic education, especially for girls, could foster a significant developmental leap. L. Bage, IFAD, noted the decrease in ODA for agriculture and the rural sector, and announced a hunger and poverty partnership. M.M. Brown, UNDP, stressed the population issue and characterized environmental protection as an investment. A.K. Tibaijuka, UN-HABITAT, announced the launch of a coalition for sustainable urbanization. N. Heptulla, International Parliamentary Union, stressed internalization of environmental costs and parliamentarian involvement in sustainable development.

G. Doormbos, Dutch Farmers Association, called for establishing regional capacity-building funds to support partnerships. H. Zedan, CBD, noted progress since Rio, citing the Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety, and called for conservation incentives, responsible resource management and legal enforcement in developing countries. H.A. Diallo, CCD, highlighted the anticipated new funds for CCD implementation that will help decrease drought and increase carbon sequestration. J. Waller-Hunter, UNFCCC, noted the challenges of mitigation, adaptation and access to climate-friendly technologies and emphasized implementation of the inter-related Rio agreements. P. Ayan, Youth Association for Habitat and Agenda 21, called for curricula to include sustainable development

J. Ocampo, ECLAC, highlighted the spread of ethical principles, such as human rights, democracy and respect for cultural diversity. H.S. Kim, ESCAP, reviewed a regional sustainable development plan. K.Y. Amoako, ECA, outlined a sustainability index incorporating indicators and focusing on institutional and human capacity. D. Kaggwa, Environmental Alert, called for a review of trade liberalization policies, increased market access and elimination of subsidies. M. Tallawy, ESCWA, highlighted regional policies for integrated water resource management, energy conservation and social justice. P. Tiot, UNAIDS, stated that HIV/AIDS is a human resource crisis and called for committed funding, and government and local leadership. K.G. Ruffing, OECD stated that the effects of perverse subsidies significantly outweigh ODA benefits.

O. Arias, Foundation to Promote Indigenous Knowledge, cited the limits of defining sustainable development within the parameters of "Western lifestyles and progress". Kunio Waki, UNFPA, stated that poverty and environmental degradation cannot be addressed without considering population. L. Mollel, ICAO, highlighted efforts to address problems associated with civil aviation, including noise pollution and emissions. F. Reifschneider, CGIAR, noted that sustainable food production is key to sustainability and supported private-public cooperation in agricultural research. M. Sapir, European Trade Unions Confederation, called for removing agricultural subsidies, using renewable energy and addressing consumption and production patterns. S. Christensen, Nordic Council of Ministers, highlighted the "Nordic strategy – New Bearings for the Nordic Countries."

A. Steiner, IUCN, cautioned against re-negotiating Rio and called for an action plan with time-bound targets. M. Soto-Lacourt, Estado Libre de Puerto Rico, highlighted the environmental and health threats posed by US test bombing of Vieques.

I.Vaidere, Baltic Marine Environment Protection Commission, noted the need for the WSSD to guide "real sustainable environmentally-friendly development" of the Baltic region. Y. Malitikov, CIS, stressed the importance of "lifelong education," and urged the use of modern tools for decision-making. U. Munaylla-Alarcon, Comisión Permanente del Pacifico Sur highlighted the importance of ocean systems in sustainable development. C. Corbin, Virgin Islands welcomed recommendations on small island States in the draft Plan of Implementation. S. Kuwabara-Yamamoto, Basel Convention, noted that development cannot be achieved without environmentally-sound waste management and reduction. V. Silva, Mines Ministries of the Americas Conference, supported policies that consider environmental, social and economic dimensions for the sound management, and safe use of minerals and metals. W. Erdelen, UNESCO, supported a "decade of education for sustainable development," and suggested approaching sustainability through the lens of cultural diversity.

C. Magarinos, UNIDO noted the need to reconcile economic growth with social justice and consider the carrying capacity of ecosystems. J.Diouf, FAO, announced partnerships for sustainable agriculture and rural development and the sustainable development of mountain regions. N, Ndiaye, International Organization for Migration, called on the global community to incorporate migration into sustainable development. W.Burkart, IAEA, highlighted the role nuclear sciences play in cost-effective solutions to satisfy human needs. H. van Ginkel, UNU, proposed that sustainable development be mainstreamed within the broader global political agenda. H. Mamula, Women’s Caucus, noted concerns about the WSSD negotiations, and the reversal of progress on gender made over the past decade. R. Ricupero, UNCTAD, suggested that the WSSD prioritize finance, technology transfer and open markets. C. Boucher, African Development Bank, called for promotion of sustainable economic growth in Africa consistent with environmental and social goals. J. Strachan, Commonwealth Secretariat, called for a time-bound commitment to phase out agricultural subsidies in developed countries. L. Segovia, Mexican Youth Council for Sustainable Development, called for an international court to enforce accountability of multinational corporations, and ratification of the Kyoto Protocol and the Convention on the Rights of the Child.

A. Silva-Calderon, OPEC, advocated clean fossil fuels as "a clear and easy path" for the world’s poorest countries to pursue their growth. A. Clark, EBRD, stressed complementing private financing by technical cooperation, strong institutions, a thriving business sector and local involvement. R. Letchumann, ASEAN, highlighted implementation, based on common but differentiated responsibilities, and noted that ASEAN provides a mechanism for regional implementation. F. El Mallah, League of Arab States, stressed the need for: peace, security and the end of occupation. Eric Mann, Wiltern Labor and Community Management Center, predicted that the outcome of the WSSD would be a "coherent neo-liberal document" stressing deregulation, liberalization, voluntary compliance and the "myth of partnership." A. M. Costa, Office for Drug Control and Crime Prevention, noted that addressing crime, narcotics, terrorism and human trafficking is a precondition to sustainable development. R. Priddle, International Energy Agency, noting that 1.6 billion people have no access to electricity, called for the WSSD to make practical, cost-effective commitments to change. C. Jarque, IADB, noted its role in catalyzing resources for sustainable development through lending, mobilization of private investment, and alliances with international donors and civil society.

R. Khoza, Business Action for Sustainable Development, stated that triple-bottom-line reporting was becoming standard. G. Lagleder, Sovereign Military Order of Malta, called for respect and protection of life. S. Taib, Organization of Islamic Conferences, noted that Islam recognizes the finite nature of resources. R. Boehnke, Common Fund for Commodities, highlighted the link between commodity dependence and extreme poverty. J. Medem, World Federation of Engineering Organizations, noted that scientists and engineers are committed to sustainable development through knowledge generation and diffusion. J. Moyo, Partners in Population and Development, outlined means to improve reproductive health status through south-south cooperation. I. Maiava, Pacific Islands Forum, called for special and differential treatment citing isolation from markets, and extreme vulnerability to disasters.

J. Warioba, Secretary-General’s Panel for the WSSD, highlighted WSSD’s challenge to demonstrate commitment through clear, time-bound targets. B. Donkoh, UNHCR, highlighted the productive capacities and human capital of refugees, stressing that they were not only recipients of humanitarian aid, but also contributors to sustainable development. M. Karanja, Kenya’s National Farmers’ Union, underscored mobilization of farmers, financial support of rural infrastructure, and phasing out of farm subsidies in the north. J. Achache, Committee on Earth Observation Satellite, emphasized adequate information and information sharing for sustainable development. M. Kothari, OHCHR, illustrated how a human rights paradigm could offer a fundamental solution for sustainable development.

R. Chandra, Pacific Centre for Environmental and Sustainable Development, noted the importance of: transparent and participatory governance and institutional strengthening. D. Hykle, CMS, highlighted the intrinsic value and special conservation needs of migratory species. R. Zelius, Asian Development Bank, identified the Bank’s activities, including protecting life support systems, fostering partnerships, and integrating environment and social safeguards.

D. Rangi, Centre for Applied Bioscience International, called for focus on resource-poor farmers; sustainable use of microbial biodiversity; and effective access, use and dissemination of knowledge. A. Lloyd, World Associations of Cities and Local Authorities Coordination announced agreement over a Johannesburg Local Government Declaration, and urged recognition of local governments’ role in official WSSD outcomes. H. Djombo, l‘Organisation Africaine du Bois, stressed the need for support in using forests for economic growth while preserving it as a resource base.


The first session of the ministerial-level "Johannesburg setting" met at noon. South African Minister of Environmental Affairs and Tourism Valli Moosa chaired the session to determine the ministers’ negotiating agenda. Moosa explained that the Johannesburg setting will work on the deadlocked issues from the Vienna setting, but it cannot deal with everything. He asked ministers to identify a short list of issues. One minister reiterated his group’s list of 14 issues presented to the Vienna setting on Thursday, 29 August. Another presented a short list: targets for energy and sanitation, the Rio Principles, the Kyoto Protocol and the world solidarity fund. Several delegates stressed the importance of coordination with the Vienna setting so the two groups will not be discussing the same issue simultaneously. Discussion ensued on which issues to cover and whether to cluster them.

The Chair suggested beginning with a cluster of issues on targets and timeframes. He said that the group would not draft text but rather try to reach agreement in principle. One minister expressed concern that they could not deal with targets when the Rio Principles had not yet been resolved.

The group resumed in the afternoon when Moosa asked for comments on the paragraphs that address targets on sanitation, energy access, production and consumption, renewable energy, energy subsidies, natural resources, the Kyoto Protocol and biodiversity.

SANITATION: One minister said that time-bound targets in paragraphs 7 alt and 24, to halve by the year 2015 the proportion of people without access to sanitation, were necessary because soft recommendations do not work. Others argued that the means of implementation must be part of the target. One delegate stated that sanitation is related to existing targets on water and health issues.

ENERGY ACCESS: In paragraph 8, delegates disagreed on "launching an action programme" or "taking actions" to improve access to reliable and affordable energy services. One delegate commented that national circumstances differ and it would be difficult to develop a common programme. Another supported a global action programme since it is a measurable outcome. A third said a global action programme was premature.

PRODUCTION AND CONSUMPTION: The chapeau to paragraph 14 contains brackets on whether a 10-year work programme or programmes should be developed to promote the shift towards sustainable production and consumption. After hearing comments, the Chair said that there appeared to be agreement that a single programme will not fit all countries’ needs. The Chair asked a delegate to consult and prepare new text.

RENEWABLE ENERGY: Paragraph 19(e) has bracketed targets for increasing renewable energy use by 2010. A group of countries said they were preparing text and hoped to finalize it in the evening. The Chair said he hoped that the ministers could consider it then.

ENERGY SUBSIDIES: The Chair said that consideration of phasing out energy subsidies (paragraph 19(p) bis) will take place when the new energy text is available.

NATURAL RESOURCES: Paragraph 23 addresses halting and reversing the current trend in natural resources loss at global and national levels by 2015. One minister explained that he had difficulty accepting the proposed target due to insufficient scientific data. One minister reminded the meeting that the 2015 target had been agreed by the Sixth Conference of the Parties (COP-6) to the CBD. The Chair acknowledged strong arguments against setting a target and preferences for an integrated management approach as opposed to an ecosystem management approach.

KYOTO PROTOCOL: Paragraph 36 addresses the UN Millennium Declaration, in which Heads of State and Government resolved to make an effort to ensure the entry into force of the Kyoto Protocol by 2002. Delegates from two countries that do not plan on ratifying the Kyoto Protocol outlined their positions. One said it would be ironic, given their intentions, to urge ratification of the Protocol by others in such a conclusive manner. Many ministers called for a paragraph urging ratification. Others underlined the importance of sending a strong signal from the WSSD on climate change. Some stressed the need to address vulnerability. A number of developing country ministers supported the draft paragraph, citing the Millennium Declaration as a useful basis for consensus. The Chair invited a minister to facilitate agreement.

BIODIVERSITY: The ministers then looked at paragraph 42 on achieving a significant reduction in the current rate of biodiversity loss by 2010. A developing country minister introduced a proposal, which calls for the achievement of a significant reduction in biodiversity loss through the three objectives of the CBD. He explained that there was insufficient information available to justify a quantifiable target. On subparagraph 42(o), the minister added that the negotiation of the creation of an international regime on the fair and equitable sharing of benefits be conducted "within the framework of the CBD."

Another minister pointed out that the quantifiable target in the draft paragraph is consistent with a decision taken at CBD COP-6. The Chair invited a minister to facilitate discussions to find a solution.

COMMON BUT DIFFERENTIATED RESPONSIBILITIES: When the ministers reconvened at 9:00 pm, they discussed the reference to the principle of common but differentiated responsibilities in paragraph 75 (implementation of Agenda 21 and achievement of the internationally agreed development goals). They debated the importance of this principle, whether or not countries are abandoning their Rio commitments, and linking this paragraph with paragraph 14 on production and consumption. At least four delegations and the Chair presented proposals and delegates took numerous breaks to discuss these. Consensus could not be reached by 11:00 pm when interpretation ended. Delegates agreed to consult further before reconvening on Saturday morning.

The Chair concluded by expressing the hope that draft texts on all the paragraphs discussed on Friday would be ready by Saturday morning.


Chair Dumisani Kumalo (South Africa) opened the morning’s session of the Vienna setting with a report from the contact group on means of implementation. John Ashe (Antigua and Barbuda) presented the results of the consultations on trade, finance and globalization. Ashe reported that on finance issues, paragraphs 1 and 8 are agreed, while the contact group has not reached consensus on paragraphs dealing with trade (13, 14 and segments of paragraphs 19, 20 and 21), the chapeau and sections of paragraph 1(e) and 3 on globalization.

Poverty Eradication: Delegates failed to reach agreement on the world solidarity fund (6). A group of developed and developing countries supported language specifying that the fund would "make use of existing mechanisms." While there was general agreement on this language, a group of developed countries reiterated its concern that the issue was not one of structure, but one of mobilization of new and additional resources. They preferred language requesting the General Assembly to address the fund.

Protecting and Managing the Natural Resource Base: Discussions on the paragraph 23 (natural resources) began with a proposal by the Chair, stating "in an effort to reverse the current trend in natural resource degradation by 2015, it is necessary to implement strategies making use of the ecosystem and precautionary approach, where relevant to protect ecosystems." The proposal was supported by several developed countries, but rejected by others. They stated that a reversal in the trend in natural resource degradation could not be measured scientifically and objected to applying the ecosystem approach, preferring either implementing strategies "on the basis of" or "bearing in mind" an ecosystem approach. A small island State suggested reversing the trend in "key indicators" of natural resource degradation to add scientific rigor. Delegates agreed to refer the paragraph as originally formulated through the small group consultations to ministers. Remaining in brackets are: the objective to reverse the trend; the 2015 target date; the ecosystem and precautionary approaches; and integration of strategies. During a brief evening session, the group received draft text on the paragraph forwarded from the Johannesburg setting and then adjourned to allow for its consideration.

On references to precaution, several developed countries stated that language in the package proposed through the previous night’s consultations (22 and 93(e)bis alt) overly weakened application of the precautionary approach. After reinstating their positions, delegates agreed to forward the package to ministers.

Means of Implementation: The group deleted brackets around countries with economies in transition accessing the development, transfer and diffusion of environmentally-sound technologies and corresponding know-how (89).


Editor’s Note: coverage ended at 12:30 am.

The contact group on Chapter X of the draft Plan of Implementation, co-chaired by Ositadinma Anaedu (Nigeria) and Lars-Goran Engfeldt (Sweden) continued negotiations in morning, afternoon and night sessions. Delegates discussed outstanding paragraphs in the chapter and the texts on international and domestic governance submitted earlier by a delegation and a country group. Delegates tried to clean up text that became redundant as negotiations progressed. The group broke at 6:00 pm for informal consultations. Negotiations resumed at 12:00 am, to revert to consultations soon after.

Most delegates agreed to delete subparagraphs 122(b) and (c) on finance and trade, with a group of developed countries asking for retention of 122(c) for now. There was growing support for dropping paragraph 122(f) on "increasing resources of funds within multilateral environmental agreements," and the chapeau of paragraph 139 on non-discrimination among major agreements. Delegates engaged in lengthy debate on the need to reinforce the social dimension of sustainable development (122(g)). Two country groups succeeded in agreeing on text referring to follow-up of the Copenhagen Social Summit and Copenhagen+5. Only one delegation reserved its position.

Delegates expressed readiness to drop text on the CSD operationalizing the principle of common but differentiated responsibilities (138(b)), with one country group asking for deferral. Several countries preferred retaining text on protecting human rights and the environment (152) despite a country group’s proposal to delete it, with one delegation offering a reference to poverty, and others objecting to inviting UN bodies to consider these issues. With the exception of one country group, delegates supported deleting text on development of public access and participation guidelines.

The contact group reviewed texts on good governance at the international and national levels (123 with the accompanying "package" paragraphs, and a new version of 146). Several amendments were proposed, such as on women’s participation in decision-making.


The Sandton Convention Centre was abuzz with confusion on Friday evening. Ministers in the Johannesburg setting apparently deferred paragraph 23 on natural resources back to the Vienna Setting for further consideration. However, delegates there were unaware of how the Johannesburg setting had arrived at the proposal, and were hesitant to continue deliberations without consulting their ministers. In addition, delegates were confused about how this text, which some suggest had not been discussed by ministers, mysteriously found its way into the Vienna setting. Given these communication and coordination problems, Chair Kumalo adjourned the evening session without considering the text. Ironically, the Johannesburg setting created to provide negotiators with a clear political mandate has resulted in more confusion over how these two processes will be integrated to produce a final plan of implementation.


Discussion regarding an international regime on equitable benefit-sharing has been rippling through the conference halls, particularly with the appearance of the Like-Minded Megadiversity Countries and their draft political declaration. The group's initial burst onto the international scene at CBD COP-6 was a forthright maneuver by biodiversity-rich developing countries to shape the biodiversity agenda. Given the inextricable ties between access to genetic resources and benefit-sharing under the CBD, their support for a benefit-sharing regime left some wondering whether the "Megadiverse" had coordinated with the African Group, given its longstanding support for a CBD protocol on access.


JOHANNESBURG SETTING: The ministerial consultations will convene at 10:00 am in Ballroom 1.

VIENNA SETTING: The Vienna setting will meet at 11:00 am in Exhibition 1.

CONTACT GROUP ON INSTITUTIONAL ARRANGEMENTS: Check the Journal for meeting time and place.

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