Department of Public Information · News and Media Division
Preparatory Committee for the World ENV/DEV/B/13
Summit of Sustainable Development 4 June 2002
5th Meeting (Night)
INTERDEPENDENCE, SUSTAINABILITY, PARTICIPATION, EQUITY SUGGESTED AS POSSIBLE
KEY ELEMENTS FOR SUMMIT’S POLITICAL DECLARATION
Interdependence, sustainability, participation, equity and an enabling political environment were put forward late this evening by Emil Salim (Indonesia), Chairman of the fourth and final Preparatory Committee for the upcoming World Summit on Sustainable Development, as possible key elements for a political declaration to be adopted by heads of State and government at the Summit.
The Chairman’s suggestions came as the Committee met on the eve of the session’s ministerial segment, during which Ministers from some 140 countries will discuss follow-up to the Bali implementation plan, partnership initiatives and elements for the political declaration to be adopted at the Johannesburg Summit.
During the discussion that ensued, representatives said the elements for a declaration should provide an index -- a range of ideas that could serve as a basis for the heads of State at the Summit. The elements should make firm the commitments to sustainable development.
Also this evening, the Committee received a progress report on discussions held on the subject of partnership initiatives. A full report would be made on the final day of the session.
The session’s ministerial segment is scheduled to open tomorrow at 9:30 a.m.
Emil Salim (Indonesia), Chairman of the Preparatory Committee, said the working groups and the contact groups were still at work and were not yet able to provide a complete report. Two items would be taken up during tonight’s plenary -- a brief explanation on the partnerships initiative and elements for the political declaration.
JAN KARA (Czech Republic) said that based on the work done on partnership initiatives at the third preparatory committee a series of small-scale consultations had been held in Bali on further developing “type II” outcomes. A number of interesting comments had come out of the multi-stakeholder dialogue. A meeting had been held yesterday, and participants were now in the process of reviewing and elaborating guidelines on the subject. More consultations would be held tomorrow afternoon. The issue continued to be the subject of considerable interest. A report would be made on the final day of the session.
Mr. SALIM then informed delegates of his initial ideas for the political declaration. A declaration was needed that would reveal the commitments of the heads of State at the World Summit to provide an enabling political environment to support the implementation plan. That plan could only be implemented if it obtained a “political blessing” and the requisite political environment.
The focus of the outcome was on implementing sustainable development, he stressed. The first question was “what do we want with sustainable development”? It was clear that such development was a “mixture of the three major ingredients” -- social development, economic development and environmental development. The three pillars were merged into one in sustainable development.
Poverty eradication, he said, was an indispensable requirement for sustainable development -- billions of people had no safe drinking water and were living on less than $1 a day. For development, there must be a change in unsustainable patterns of consumption and production. All of that required protection and management of the natural resource base. Those elements were the focus of “our Bali commitment”. Health, globalization, issues affecting small islands and regions like Africa must also be addressed. The means of implementation and institutional framework must be assured.
Secretary-General Kofi Annan had noted the gap between implementation and targets set at the 1992 United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED), he continued. Agenda 21 had been implemented in a fragmented way, the Secretary-General had pointed out. He had also noted a lack of coherent policies between finance and trade, among others. A process of change must be instituted.
The element of interdependence was essential for sustainable development. Sustainability, another key element, was backed up by the principle of diversity -- greater diversity meant increased strength. Sustainable development involved all people -- all stakeholders. That was why the preparation for this session had started from below. Participation was thus another key element. For participation to work, there must be equity. An enabling political environment was very important to ensure those elements could be realized.
During the discussion that ensued, representatives commended the Chair on his presentation. The elements for a declaration should provide an index -- a range of ideas that could serve as a basis for the heads of State at the Summit. The elements should make firm the commitments to sustainable development. Good, specific guidance from the governments at Johannesburg was desirable. The Summit might provide an opportunity to firm up or concretize commitment to the various aspects of sustainable development the Chair had elaborated on.
Delegates added that the upcoming Summit would build on the outcome of UNCED, which had set out the major elements of sustainable development. The question of participation, as set out by the Chairman, was underlined as highly important. Technical, financial and political support was also crucial -- that should be reflected in the political declaration.
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