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/18

Summit on Sustainable Development                                                                                               6 June 2002

Fourth Session

9th Meeting (PM)

 

 

IMPORTANCE OF PROMOTING PARTNERSHIPS TO FOSTER ACQUISITION, USE


OF MODERN TECHNOLOGY HIGHLIGHTED IN BALI DISCUSSIONS

 

 

                The importance of promoting partnerships to facilitate the acquisition and use of modern technology by developing countries was among the many issues stressed as the ministerial segment of the fourth and final Preparatory Committee for the upcoming World Summit for Sustainable Development continued discussing “implementation partnerships/initiatives” this afternoon in Bali. 

 

                A representative of the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) said technology was central to achieving sustainable development.  Many developing countries faced major challenges in acquiring and using modern technologies.  She noted a divide between the technology “innovators”, the technology “adaptors” and those countries that were technologically “disconnected”.  The United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) promoted partnerships to overcome the divide -- there was a programme under way in 25 countries on assessing needs and promoting action in the area of technology cooperation. 

 

A representative of the European Space Agency described partnerships formed to monitor the earth through satellite observation for many problems of sustainable development.  It was necessary to highlight the importance of such observation in the World Summit documents.  To do so would help direct such programmes to support Agenda 21 objectives. 

 

The representative of Kyrgyzstan, noting that his largely mountainous country had a vulnerable ecosystem, said there was an absence of technology to take advantage of natural resources such as water.  A complex development programme for 2000 to 2010 had been developed by the Government, as had a strategy for poverty eradication.  Partnership with other Central Asian States was under way to help protect the mountains, reduce debt and strengthen environmental management.

 

                Among a number of speakers discussing the role of partnerships to promote sustainable development in Africa, the representative of Gabon said he hoped the Summit would adopt the New Programme for African Development (NEPAD) as the best way of enhancing sustainable development in Africa.  Other regional efforts were under way that were aimed at promoting sustainable development, he noted.

 

                The representative of Uganda said her Government had been at the forefront of establishing a solid platform to promote various forms of partnerships.  Africa, she said, welcomed partnerships intended to support regional and subregional initiatives such as NEPAD and others.  She looked forward to the announcement of new initiatives at the Summit that were intended to support national and regional efforts.  Her Government sought partnerships to aid in combating diseases, including those that were water-borne.

 

The representative of Finland said that partnerships were important because they provided substantial additions of resources for sustainable development.  Through them, new actors could be brought in, and sustainable development could be mainstreamed.  Finland’s basic strategy was to facilitate partnerships that formed voluntarily under criteria of relevance, and to help link such partnerships with international initiatives.  Partnerships were so essential to sustainable development that it could be said that the Johannesburg Summit would be about partnerships.


Statements were also made this afternoon by the representatives of Mozambique, Turkey, Jordan, Belgium, Nepal, Nigeria, Cuba, Iceland, Ukraine, United Arab Emirates, Pakistan, South Africa, Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, China, Ireland, Senegal, Honduras, Belize, Benin, Chad, Guyana, Panama, Bahamas, Solomon Islands, Austria, New Zealand and Romania.

 

A representative of the Secretariat of the Basel Convention on the Control of Transboundary Movements of Hazardous Waste and Their Disposal also spoke.

 

Richard Ballhorn (Canada), Acting Committee Chair; Jan Kara (Czech Republic), Committee Vice-Chair; and Diane Quarless (Jamaica), Committee Vice-Chair spoke at the conclusion of the debate.

 

                The ministerial segment is scheduled to meet again tomorrow morning at 10 a.m. to continue its deliberations

 

                Background

 

                The fourth and final Preparatory Committee for the upcoming World Summit on Sustainable Development this afternoon continued its ministerial segment, during which Ministers are expected to discuss follow-up to the Bali implementation plan, partnership initiatives and elements for the political declaration to be adopted at the Johannesburg Summit.  The focus of this afternoon’s discussion was the implementation of partnership initiatives.

 

Statements

 

                The representative of Mozambique said the right balance had to be created between Type 1 and Type 2 partnerships.  Type 2 partnerships could add to the pool of resources available and increase other opportunities, but governments should not be written off as the main actors in those kinds of partnerships.  In addition, he said, partnerships should be steered equally by all actors.  The New Programme for African Development (NEPAD) could be very useful in areas of interest to his country.  In Mozambique, environmental laws had been enacted and many other activities had been undertaken in response to Agenda 21.  Those actions needed adequate support by the international community, and type 2 partnerships could provide some of that support.

 

                The representative of Finland said that Type 2 partnerships were important because they provided substantial additional resources for sustainable development.  Through them, new actors could be brought in, and sustainable development could be mainstreamed.  Finland’s basic strategy was to facilitate partnerships that formed voluntarily under criteria of relevance, and to help link such partnerships with international initiatives.  Partnerships were so essential to sustainable development that it could be said that the Johannesburg Summit would be about partnerships. 

 

                The representative of Turkey said that among the benefits of partnerships was increased of awareness of sustainable development issues.  Enhanced partnership was essential for success in areas such as improved governance mechanisms.  Her country had fostered partnerships in support of Agenda 21 at all levels and in cooperation with United Nations agencies.  She stressed the need for increasing the capacity of local actors and for new resources for demands placed on the Global Environment Facility (GEF).  She emphasized the importance of regional and cross-regional partnerships, which bridged efforts at the national and local levels to those at the international level.

 

                The representative of the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) said technology was central to achieving sustainable development.  Modern technology had an important role to play in realizing the Millennium Development Goals and alleviating poverty.  Many developing countries faced major challenges in acquiring and using technologies.  She noted a divide between the technology “innovators”, the technology “adaptors” and those countries that were technologically “disconnected”. 

 

She hoped the Summit would provide strong outcomes on technology issues in the area of means of implementation.  The UNIDO promoted partnerships to overcome the divide -- there was a programme under way in 25 countries on assessing needs and promoting action in the area of technology cooperation.  Partnerships in the area of energy were also being promoted by UNIDO. 

 

                The representative of Jordan said the current session was an opportunity to try to resolve problems that had developed over the past 10 years and to assess what had been done.  Decisions must be strengthened but not repeated.  Working together was essential, he said, stressing the role of partnerships between the various stakeholders in the sustainable developments process. 

 

The specific roles of the various actors must be established, and the interests of all must be taken into account, he said.  Financial institutions and governments of rich countries must provide monetary and technological assistance to help with partnerships.  He went on to highlight Jordan’s partnership initiatives to promote sustainable development. 

 

                The representative of Belgium said the Co-Chairman’s document on guiding principles for partnerships, which had been distributed throughout the room, was a good paper.  Partnerships should be based on what had already been agreed.  Sustainable development could only be achieved if there was respect for the social, economic and environmental pillars. 

 

He said the international community should work together on Agenda 21, which established the proper balance among those pillars.  Partnerships must be monitored by the international community as they evolved to determine whether they were up to the vision set forth for sustainable development.

 

                The representative of Nepal said partnerships were vital to the goals of poverty alleviation, environmental stewardship and increased equitability of development.  Such partnerships could help increase the resources available.  An international partnership for sustainable mountain development was particularly important for his country.  Civil society partnerships were also vital in Nepal for dealing with such problems as the depletion of forestry resources through use of wood fuels in homes, which also caused other environmental and social development problems.  International support for partnerships formed within Nepal was necessary, however.

 

                The representative of the European Space Agency described partnerships formed to monitor the earth through satellite observation for many areas of sustainable development.  It was necessary to highlight the importance of such observations in the World Summit documents.  To do so would help direct such programmes to support Agenda 21 objectives.  They should be supported as relevant “type 2” outcomes.

 

                The representative of Nigeria said that governments could not undertake the sustainable development agenda alone, and they required partners to do so.  That had been the case in his country in programmes to protect coastal and marine environments, which had attracted the support of non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and the private sector.  But such partnerships should not be a substitute for government commitments, and they should serve such commitments while being transparent, relevant and accountable.

 

                The representative of Cuba said partnerships must not replace government outcomes or multilateral cooperation.  Initiatives should be geared towards contributing to the three pillars of sustainable development.  That could only be ensured if partnerships were clearly and properly linked to the Summit’s plan of implementation.  Monitoring was key, as were transparency and coordination. 

 

He underscored that observing the principle of common but differentiated responsibilities for developed and developing countries must be a basic concept underlying partnerships.  The guiding principles with regard to partnerships should be strengthened.  He noted his delegation’s support for the NEPAD.  Opportunities to promote South-South cooperation should be seized.  Respect for sovereignty and the development models of individual countries were key. 

 

The representative of Iceland said her country welcomed Type 2 initiatives as long as they did not undermine the importance of Type 1 outcomes.  A framework was needed to ensure that Type 2 outcomes added to the implementation of Agenda 21.  All had something to offer in the field of cooperation.  Programmes of the United Nations University on fisheries and geothermal energy had been hosted by her country, she noted.  A new initiative on capacity-building in the area of geo-thermal energy was being contemplated by her Government.

 

The representative of Ukraine said Ukraine fully realized its role and responsibility to protect natural resources.  In that context, it would host the Fifth Environment for Europe ministerial meeting in Kiev next year.  The meeting was expected to introduce action-oriented mechanisms to promote environmental protection.  The current task of the international community was to eliminate the controversies between the new development methodologies and old values.  He urged negotiators to agree on a specific, time-bound implementation plan.  The session was crucial opportunity to make the Johannesburg Summit a success.

 

                The representative of the United Arab Emirates said his country had been active in creating partnerships between all sectors in his country in support of Agenda 21.  In order to promote partnership with the international community, it had established the Zayid International Environment Awards, which this year, recognized programmes countering water problems in dry areas, among other initiatives.  It had also established funds for the sustainable development of developing nations, helping to build their capabilities in a range of areas and fulfill their responsibilities under international accords.

 

                The representative of Pakistan said that side partnerships were valuable but should not be an open-ended process and had to be developed under strict guidelines to better the lifestyles of the poor and support sustainable development in the most vulnerable areas.

 

                The representative of South Africa stressed the need for mutual respect in partnerships, which were vital to meet goals in water and sanitation access and poverty reduction.  Projects in water and sanitation, in particular, met the criteria of all three pillars of sustainable developments.  Partnerships on those issues in southern Africa could be a model of how Type 1 agreements could link with Type 2 initiatives to meet Agenda 21 goals.  Monitoring of water and sanitation goals should be included in the follow-up to the Johannesburg Summit.

 

                The representative of Kyrgyzstan said his country was 94 per cent mountains and had a very vulnerable ecosystem.  There was an absence of technology to take advantage of natural resources, as well as large amounts of radioactive waste on the territory.  The waste and heavy metal residue had been left from the time of the former Soviet Union.  A complex development programme for 2000 to 2010 had been developed by his Government, as had a strategy for poverty eradication.  He wished to reinforce the Central Asian initiatives for cooperation.  Cooperation was under way to help protect the mountains, reduce debt and strengthen environmental management.

 

                The representative of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia said his Government had been among the first countries to accept the concept of sustainable development.  However, the period of wars and sanctions during the 1990s had had visible consequences.  The technological level of the country had declined, facilities were underused, and the import of raw materials and export of finished products had been undermined.  Scientific and technological exchange and cultural cooperation had been interrupted. 

 

Cooperation with international organizations had been undertaken to protect the environment, he said.  The country expected assistance in dealing with depleted uranium from North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) missiles.  He fully supported the search for financing to support sustainable development and was in favour of reaching fruitful agreements for the establishment of partnerships.

 

                The representative of China said to fully implement Agenda 21, comprehensive partnerships must be established according to the Rio principles.  The actual difficulties confronting developing countries should be addressed.  Type 2 outcomes should reflect the spirit of global partnerships and should complement the implementation plan.  Only when all parties demonstrated good political will in the plan could partnerships be effectively implemented.  China would take an active part in partnership initiatives.  Cooperation among civil society was important, but government departments should provide guidance.

 

                The representative of Ireland said partnership was central to sustainable development, and that donors should work more closely with both the national plans of developing countries, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) strategy and the World Bank’s comprehensive development framework.  Partnerships should be owned by developing countries and should complement all existing efforts.  The private sector should be involved to the greatest extent possible, and partnerships should continue to be established after the Johannesburg Summit in support of its goals.

 

                The representative of Senegal said that governments of developing countries should be involved in Type 2 partnerships, as part of the assistance that should be provided to partnerships at all levels.  NEPAD was a Type 2 partnership according to his country, and its priorities should be access to water, and new and renewable energy sources.  Chemical development should proceed, but its negative effects should be countered.  Resources needed in such efforts should be provided by the international community.  Institutional coordination had been one of the major obstacles in implementing Agenda 21, and the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) should play an important role in that regard.

 

                The representative of Honduras said his country had tried pilot projects in partnerships and, while there were successes, much could be improved.  Account needed to be taken of efficiency, coherence and impact of such projects by ECOSOC so that partnership models did not create an additional level of bureaucracy.  It was also essential that sustainable development strategies meshed with all other existing activities. Only in that way could programmes have a measurable, positive impact on people’s lives.

 

                The representative of Belize said Type 2 partnerships must complement and not replace Type 1 outcomes.  Partnerships should coincide with national priorities and Agenda 21 objectives.  Certain existing projects could be extended, including regional initiatives.  Too much structure initially might be stifling, but at the same time too little structure could lead to an unmanageable situation.  The management and tracking of partnerships must be dealt with. 

 

The ultimate responsibility for partnerships must in many cases remain with governments, she said.  Discussions should be conducted, in large part, through regional and national agencies.  A follow-up process through self-reporting mechanisms should also be established.

 

                The representative of Gabon said Type 1 outcomes had not really yielded the results hoped for in the areas of climate change and conservation of bio-diversity among others.  Synergies must be sought in all areas not covered by the Rio commitments.  Type 2 initiatives should permit new kinds of ways of doing things and also make possible new resources.  He hoped the Summit would adopt NEPAD as the best way of enhancing sustainable development in Africa.  Other regional efforts were under way that were aimed at promoting sustainable development

 

                The representative of Uganda said her Government had been at the forefront of establishing a solid platform to promote various forms of partnerships.  For the past 10 years, several partnership arrangements had been initiated and her Government would continue to appreciate implementable initiatives with clear outcomes to combat poverty. 

 

Africa, she said, welcomed partnerships intended to support regional and subregional initiatives such as NEPAD and others.  She looked forward to the announcement of new initiatives at the Summit that were intended to support national and regional efforts.  Her Government sought partnerships to aid in combating diseases, including those that were water-bound.

 

                The representative of Benin encouraged the meeting to work for quicker progress in filling in the blanks that still existed in the implementation plan.  Globalization, he said, still benefited only the richest nations, and access to trade was blocked to many developing countries.  Type 2 partnerships should focus on those areas.  NEPAD was a good model of Type 2 partnerships.  Non-discriminitory trade access and debt relief should, in that way, help countries to relieve pressure on their resources and the environment.

 

                The representative of Chad said that there should be partnership at all levels in the effort for sustainable development.  It should also be the basis for mutual respect between the North and South and allow developing countries to participate in global development.  His country was developing a decentralization programme, which empowered action at all levels that needed to be supported by partnerships.  Partnerships that, on the other hand, aimed to pull strings from above, were not what was needed.

 

                The representative of Guyana said he fully supported the statement by Barbados of this morning.  Efforts must be redoubled to make and meet deadlines in sustainable development.  He disagreed with what had been said about the voluntary aspect of Type 2 partnerships.  His country had hosted a project on protection of rainforests that had all the elements of the type of partnership that had been discussed.  Yet implementation had been slow because financial support had been voluntary.  There needed to be an arrangement that allowed for predictability in the flow of resources.  In addition, the power of large corporations relative to developing governments must be taken into account.

 

                The representative of Panama said governments of developing countries participating in the South Summit in Algeria had instituted partnerships with NGOs, United Nations agencies, and others.  Panama had proposed that through a pooling of resources and the formation of an academy for sustainable development, existing information could be made available on the environment and development.  All that was needed now was political will to comply with the commitments already undertaken.  Partnerships could provide a basis to support the implementation of Agenda 21. 

 

                The representative of the Bahamas said partnerships were a good opportunity to assist regional and national governments in implementing Type 1 outcomes.  Partnerships were voluntary, and each was unique and specific to the partners.  She suggested that guiding principles set forward by the Co-Chairs promote the establishment of review processes to evaluate the capacity of partners to promote sustainable development.

 

                The representative of Solomon Islands said the outcome of UNCED had not really worked.  Cooperation was necessary to ensure the success of Johannesburg.  His country had endorsed 24 international agreements and conventions to promote sustainable development since Rio.  The Government had created national policies to investigate sustainable programmes and planning.  Obstacles to development were being investigated. 

 

He said a network must be put in place to prevent duplication of activities.  All actors should work together in partnership to promote sustainable development.  He noted the spiritual connection some people had to the environment -- that must be taken into account when policies were made at the national level.

 

                The representative of Austria said that to realize sustainability in all sectors, it had to be translated to the public; partnership was the best means for that.  An example was the Alpine Convention – the Convention on the Protection of the Alps -- which fulfilled all criteria for Type 2 partnerships.  Energy was another important area for partnerships, and to facilitate those, the Global Forum for Sustainable Energy had been formed.  In general, partnerships should not only be established but also improved.

 

                The representative of the Secretariat of the Basel Convention on the Control of Transboundary Movements of Hazardous Waste and Their Disposal cited examples of partnerships in areas such as sound management of waste where partnership with industry was vital.

 

                The representative of New Zealand expressed interest in many of the kinds of partnerships discussed and the idea of the mainstreaming of sustainable development.  Voters and communities must be involved in the effort; so far, that had not been the case.  If the blank spaces in the implementation plan were being filled in during closed meetings, there was no chance for transparency or mainstreaming the case for sustainable development.

 

                The representative of Kyrgyzstan said partnership was the main thing achieved since Rio.  All understood that barriers between the various actors were the main obstacles to achieving sustainable development.  A voluntary approach to overcoming that problem was key. 

 

                The representative of Guyana said thought should be given to the process that would help concretize the kinds of Type 2 outcomes that could address the major issues, especially those identified by the Secretary-General.  Thought should also be given to how civil society actors and the private sector could be brought in to play a central role in partnerships.


                Richard Ballhorn (Canada), Acting Committee Chair, said the Secretariat had started producing background documents that might help representatives to form partnerships.

 

                Jan kara (Czech Republic), Committee Vice-Chair, noted the five areas identified by the Secretary-General.  A background paper on sustainable energy and others were being prepared.  These papers were seen as a potential bridge between Type 1s and Type 2s outcome.  The overall framework of Type 2 outcomes was Agenda 21, but it was also hoped that they would evolve around the Secretary-General’s five areas, as well as others.

 

                DIANE Quarless (Jamaica), Committee Vice-Chair, said the guiding principles document was a work in progress.  There was no full answer to the questions yet posed.  From now to Johannesburg, the Secretariat was facilitating the process.  There was a Web site, she noted.  There was agreement in the relevant working group that the Commission on Sustainable Development would serve as a focal point for partnerships.

 

                Mr. BALLHORN said there were Web sites and other ways to facilitate the aforesaid processes.

 

                The representative of Romania then asked how partnerships could succeed in combating climate change and what kind of technical answers could be applied to that problem.

 

                Mr. BALLHORN said his country had a joint application programme that coordinated efforts for emission reduction.  In addition, the Kyoto Protocol included many opportunities to create all sort of partnerships in that regard.

 

 

 

 

 

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