United Nations
Press Release

Preparatory Committee for the World Summit on Sustainable Development
Ministerial Level, Fourth Session, Bali, Indonesia, 27 May - 7 June 2002

Department of Public Information - News and Media Division



Preparatory Committee for the World                                                                                     ENV/DEV/B/12

Summit on Sustainable Development                                                                                        4 June 2002

Fourth Session







As the fourth Preparatory Committee for the upcoming World Summit on Sustainable Development entered its second and final week, Emil Salim (Indonesia), Committee Chairman, and Nitin Desai, Secretary-General of the Summit, briefed correspondents on the state of negotiations on the draft implementation plan to be adopted by the Summit this September in Johannesburg, South Africa.


Mr. Salim expressed optimism that deliberations on the text would be completed by the end of the preparatory meeting.  “Everyone has the same spirit that it will be finalized in Bali”, he stressed.  To help realize that goal, he had asked the Ambassadors of three countries “who are crucial in this whole exercise of sustainable development” -- Brazil (host of the 1992 United Nations Conference on Environment and Development known as the Earth Summit), Indonesia (host of the current meeting) and South Africa (host of the Johannesburg Summit) -- to facilitate the negotiations on the plan.


He said the so-called “bracketed issues” in the text [those areas where agreement had not yet been reached] were now being cleaned up.  It was as he had expected -- negotiators had kept their cards close to their chests and were now opening them.  Among the issues where progress had been made, he noted, was in the area of time bound targets for implementation of the Summit outcome.


“A great deal has been achieved over the past 10 days,” said Mr. Desai, stressing that the basic goal of completing work on the plan remained.  Negotiating the implementation plan was not a matter for the ministerial segment of the meeting, which will start tomorrow and run through Friday.  That segment would deal with how to implement the Bali commitments, the question of partnerships and their role, and elements for a political declaration to be adopted at the Summit.


                Speaking earlier at the daily briefing held by the Department of Public Information, Lowell Flanders, a senior United Nations official with the Summit Secretariat, noted that large areas of agreement had been reached on areas of the text related to health, small island developing States and Africa, among others.  He added that it looked like agreement could be reached on a 10-year programme to improve resource use efficiency.


The draft plan of implementation (see document A/CONF.199/PC/L.5*) comprises an introduction and chapters on poverty eradication; changing unsustainable patterns of consumption and production; protecting and managing the natural resource base of economic and social development; sustainable development in a globalizing world; health and sustainable development; sustainable development of small island developing States; sustainable development initiatives for Africa; means of implementation; and an Institutional Framework for Sustainable Development.


                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. 


                A formal plenary meeting of the preparatory committee has been scheduled for 8 p.m. tonight.



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