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Joahannesburg Summit 2002

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

PrepCom4 Highlights
Issued by the United Nations Department of Public Information

6 June 2002

·  The Ministerial dialogue continued this morning and afternoon, focusing on partnerships. Over 100 Ministers are participating. In addition, an informal plenary session is being held this evening to hear inputs for consideration in the political declaration.

·  Negotiations on the “Bali Commitment” implementation plan are continuing in consultations facilitated by the “Friends of the Chair” Ambassadors of Brazil, Indonesia and South Africa. To address concerns over the transparency of the meetings, the negotiations were set up in a “Vienna format”, with one spokesperson for each of the major negotiating blocs of countries. The talks had run until one o’clock in the morning and had resumed today.

·  Among the contentious questions, according to senior UN official Lowell Flanders, there is a “logjam” on finance and trade issues, including whether countries are willing to link the agreements at the Monterrey Conference on Financing for Development with programmes being discussed at Johannesburg. Although a number of areas were being resolved, Mr. Flanders noted that it is very likely that some difficult issues will be carried over to Johannesburg.

5 June 2002

  • More than 100 ministers from around the world today began three days of deliberations in Bali aimed at generating high-level political commitments for action at the World Summit on Sustainable Development this August.
  • “The Summit in Johannesburg is truly a chance to set a more hopeful course of development for all of humanity,” United Nations Deputy Secretary-General Louise Fréchette told the 118 ministers attending the Preparatory Committee meeting in Bali.  “The challenge, as ever, is to match aspiration with action, and promise with positive change in people’s lives.  We know what needs to be done. Now, let’s move ahead.” Fréchette, in her address, said, “Johannesburg is meant to find another way, a path that improves standards of living while protecting the environment.”  She added, “That relationship—between human society and the natural environment—is the core concern of Johannesburg, and is what sets Johannesburg apart from other UN conferences and summits.”
  • In welcoming the ministers, Indonesian President Megawati Soekarnoputri said the Bali meeting could influence the Johannesburg Summit by helping to build a strong foundation for sustainable development, and make a “real contribution to humanity.”  “Ten years have passed since we adopted Agenda 21,” she said. “It is time for us to follow it up with concrete programmes and activities.”
  • Negotiations are expected to conclude Friday on an implementation programme — called the Bali Commitment. At the request of PrepCom Chairman Emil Salim, ambassadors from Brazil, Indonesia and South Africa are facilitating talks on the sidelines of the ministerial meeting. “The key elements have all been agreed upon,” according to Johannesburg Summit Secretary-General Nitin Desai. “What we’re aiming at now is much more.  We’re aiming at a good, strong programme of action, and we will push these concerns as far as we can take them.”
  • PrepCom Chairman Emil Salim said the Bali Commitment would contain new time-bound targets.  “It is a realistic plan and it is not  ‘pie in the sky’,” he stated, “but to implement it, we all have to be committed.”


4 June 2002

  • Preparatory Committee Chairman is optimistic that the implementation plan to be adopted at the WSSD will be finalized in Bali.
  • Chairman asks Brazil (host of the 1992 United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED), Indonesia (host of the current meeting) and South Africa (host of the Johannesburg Summit) to facilitate negotiations on implementation plan.
  • The Ministerial Segment of preparatory meeting begins tomorrow with statements by the President of Indonesia, H.E. Mrs. Megawati Soekarnoputri and the United Nations Deputy Secretary-General Louise Fréchette.  It will deal with how to implement Bali commitments, address the question of partnerships and their roles, and consider elements of the Summit political declaration.

  • So far, over 4,316 people from 173 countries are participating in the preparatory meeting, including 1,794 government delegates, 1,324 representatives of non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and 181 journalists

3 June 2002

  • Negotiations are continuing today on the implementation plan for the World Summit on Sustainable Development. A revised draft negotiating text was issued yesterday. Delegations met in an informal plenary session this morning and afternoon, and an open plenary is scheduled for this evening to assess where the negotiations stand and decide how to proceed.
  • Speaking at the daily press briefing organized by the Department of Public Information, Lowell Flanders, a senior United Nations official with the Summit Secretariat, said that “fairly good progress” had been made over the weekend on oceans and energy. Sticking points facing delegates included means of implementation of Agenda 21, such as trade and finance. Most countries, he believed had it in mind to complete negotiations on the text in Bali rather than hold them over until the Summit.
  • At a press briefing on water and sanitation issues, Ministers from South Africa, Uganda and Indonesia and water experts from the EU and US development agencies discussed several new initiatives to increase access to freshwater and proper sanitation. Several speakers called for the Summit to endorse a target date of 2015 for reducing by half the number of people who lack sanitation facilities, corresponding to the Millennium development goal of reducing by half the number of people who lack access to freshwater.

31 May 2002

  • At a plenary session this morning, Preparatory Committee Chairman Emil Salim expressed hope that the negotiations on the implementation programme can conclude by the end of this evening, and he said that “the time has come to clean the text by focusing discussion on the brackets,” or areas where agreement has not yet been reached. Reports were heard from the Chairs of Working Groups I and II.

  • Negotiations aimed at finalizing the text of the implementation programme continued this afternoon in an informal plenary session.  According to Lowell Flanders of the United Nations Division on Sustainable Development, this represents a different model of operation. He said the work ahead was a “fairly formidable task,” because while much of the document has been agreed upon, there are substantial amounts of “bracketed” text. Flanders said that differences on trade and finance are likely to be resolved only at the last minute. Some political issues, such as foreign occupation—referring to the Palestinian situation -- and issues concerning sanctions may be taken up during discussion on the political declaration.

  • The PrepCom also considered in plenary session the application of several intergovernmental and non-governmental organizations to participate in the World Summit. Regarding the Tibet Centre for Human Rights and Democracy, an NGO, a motion by China for the PrepCom to take no action on the application was approved by a vote of 90 in favour, 37 against, and 10 abstentions, effectively rejecting the application.

30 May 2002

  • Lowell Flanders, a senior official with the Summit Secretariat, said that “overall, we are progressing quite well”, and it looked increasingly likely that the working groups assigned to negotiate the text would complete the bulk of their work by Friday.

  • Critical issues still requiring further deliberation included trade and finance, climate change, natural disasters, oceans, water, sanitation and the establishment of a world solidarity fund for poverty eradication.  The section of the document related to Africa was also being further negotiated, as was the issue of how best to reflect climate change in the text.
  •   If there is no agreement by the close of this evening, the Preparatory Committee Chairman might convene a “committee of the whole” tomorrow morning to tackle some key issues.
  • So far, over 3,365 people from 153 countries are participating in the preparatory meeting, including 1,342 government delegates, 931 representatives of non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and 144 journalists.


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. 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.
  • Multi-stakeholder dialogues concluded today, with a major focus on partnership initiatives, which will be an important outcome of the Johannesburg Summit. The dialogues produced a set of pre-requisites and principles that should guide the establishment of partnership initiatives to be announced in Johannesburg. Further consultations are planned during the PrepCom to work out remaining concerns.
  • The United Nations Secretary-General’s High-Level Advisory Panel on Sustainable Development held a one-day meeting today. H.R.H. the Prince of Orange (Netherlands), one of the panel members, presented his views concerning freshwater issues to the PrepCom Plenary.

28 May 2002

There are 2,960 people from 144 countries participating in the fourth and final Preparatory Committee meeting for the World Summit on Sustainable Development in Bali, including 1,156 delegates, 747 NGOs and 134 from the press, as of the end of 27 May.

Lowell Flanders, a senior United Nations official briefing on the status of the negotiations, explained that at the end of the last round of negotiations at PrepCom 3, a compilation text of the implementation programme grew to over 100 pages. A revised Chairman?s text, 39 pages long with 100 paragraphs, was now the basis of negotiations. The negotiations were being conducted in various working groups.

Among the key issues that government delegations were working to resolve include:

  • Whether the implementation programme should contain decisions on specific types of programmes that should be implemented, or whether it should be a more typical outcome document that provides overall policy guidance.

  • Whether a World Solidarity Fund for Poverty should be established.

  • An action programme on water to reduce by half the number of people who lack access to clean water ? presently one billion people lack access to clean water.

  • An action programme to reduce by half the number of people who lack access to modern energy services ? at present, there are more than two billion people in this situation.

  • Whether core labour standards should be endorsed, and what working people should expect in the era of globalization.

  • Energy resources and energy efficiency.

  • The question of climate change and how the Kyoto Protocol will be reflected in the text.

  • Issues of trade and finance and how to take forward the decisions made at the World Trade Organization Ministerial meeting in Doha and the International Conference on Financing for Development in Monterrey, Mexico.

  • On ocean issues, questions on marine living resources, subsidies and whaling.

  • Good governance and institutional issues on how to take whole agenda forward once it has been approved.

    The multi-stakeholder dialogue is continuing today, in two discussion groups focusing on capacity building and the framework for partnership initiatives, respectively. The dialogue will conclude at mid-day tomorrow.

    27 May 2002

    • The Bali PrepCom for the World Summit on Sustainable Development opened today to calls for bolder commitments that can achieve real change.  Summit Secretary-General  Nitin Desai said  the main issue for Bali was not just to complete negotiations on a programme of action but ensure that the outcome document would be “bold and firm enough to meet the high expectations that people have for the Johannesburg Summit.”
    • Indonesian Environment Minister Nabil Makarim welcomed delegates and participants in the Bali PrepCom,  calling the meeting “an historic opportunity to breathe new life into sustainable development.”
    • Negotiations are underway on a new Chairman’s text that will serve as the guide for implementation efforts following the Summit.  Negotiations on the text, which Desai hoped would become known as the Bali Commitment for Sustainable Development, are expected to be completed by the end of the first week.
    • Leaders of major groups called for stronger commitments by governments during the opening session of the multi-stakeholder dialogues, which provide an opportunity for major groups to enter into discussions with governments and to offer recommendations and proposals for the Johannesburg Summit outcome.

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    24 August 2006