Basic Info
What's New
Preperatory Process

- UN Documents
- Prepcoms
- Bureau
- Regional
- SG's Advisory

Major Groups
Media Info
Sustainable Development In Action
Conatact Us
Joahannesburg Summit 2002

Fourth Summit Preparatory Committee (PREPCOM 4)
27 May - 07 June 2002
Bali, Indonesia

Summary of Daily Press Briefing
Issued by the United Nations Department of Public Information

29 May 2002

Negotiations on the implementation programme for the World Summit on Sustainable Development in Bali are continuing in three working groups, but a number of difficult issues have spawned a host of smaller “contact” negotiating groups according to Lowell Flanders of the United Nations Division on Sustainable Development.

Among the issues requiring special attention to resolve differences include trade and finance, natural disasters, energy, promoting sustainable development in Africa, oceans, good governance, a World Solidarity Fund for Poverty, and eco-labelling.

In answer to a question about good governance, Flanders responded that discussions on good governance were actually a subset of governance issues, and included concerns relating to human rights, democracy, legal systems, and the right to information.  He said the smaller contact groups were helpful toward resolving these very key and very difficult issues.

Flanders said discussions on oceans have become difficult as a result of the outcome of the recent Whaling Commission.

In response to a question on what happens if text is not agreed upon by the end of the Bali PrepCom, Flanders said it is always a possibility that a few issues are not resolved, and these issues “would be kicked up to the ministerial level” to see if they could be resolved. If not, they would be taken up in Johannesburg.

“We are trying to make every effort to clear the text,” Flanders said.  In Monterrey, at the International Conference on Financing for Development, this proved very important and led to some countries making significant financial commitments.

So far, the Summit Secretariat has received more than 40 submissions for partnerships, and they are posted on the website.

The two Co-Chairs of the working group on partnerships, Jan Kara of the Czech Republic and Diane Quarless of Jamaica, provided a briefing on the discussions on partnerships that took place in the multi-stakeholder dialogues.  Kara said the partnership initiatives would be voluntary, and would be complement and reinforce the commitments made by governments in the negotiated outcome documents.

The initiatives will be officially launched in Johannesburg at the Summit, according to Kara, by governments, NGOs or other major groups to help implement the goals of the Summit.  As of now, there is still an ongoing process to determine the guidelines for recognizing partnerships that promote sustainable development.  He noted that there was still a “spirit of mistrust and uncertainty” surrounding the partnerships, but he emphasized that the initiatives would not be a replacement for a negotiated outcome.

Quarless said the discussions in the multi-stakeholder dialogues would be taken into account during a new round of consultations. She said the dialogue has helped develop a set of pre-requisites and principles for the partnership initiatives.  Some NGOs, she said, were not ready to accept the partnerships because of concerns over a lack of corporate responsibility or the influence of transnational corporations.  There were concerns that mechanisms were needed to safeguard the balance of power between the various partners, to identify their roles and responsibilities, ownership, and accountability.  “We will have to work this through,” she said. “We will have to address these concerns.”

* * *

back to top

FAQs | Site Map| contact us

Copyright © United Nations
Department of Economic and Social Affairs
Division for Sustainable Development
Comments and suggestions
24 August 2006