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Joahannesburg Summit 2002
Basic Information
  FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS ABOUT THE JOHANNESBURG SUMMIT


A. POST JOHANNESBURG
  1. How many people attended the Summit?
  2. How many Heads of State and Government attended the Summit?
  3. Which major group organisations attended the Summit?
  4. What about business and CEOs?
  5. What were the outcomes from WSSD?
  6. Where can I find the outcome documents from the Summit?
  7. Are the Summit documents available in other languages?
  8. Who was in charge of the Summit?
  9. How much did it cost to hold the Summit? Who met these costs?
  10. What was the role of civil society in the Summit?
  11. What role did business play at the Summit?
  12. How will Government adherence to commitments made in Johannesburg be monitored?
  13. How many partnership initiatives were launched at the Summit? What will happen to these now?
  14. What is the status now of the Kyoto Protocol?
  15. Will there be more corporate responsibility now as a result of the Summit?
  16. Where can I see the winning entries from the children's poster competitions and essay competitions that were held in the run-up to the Summit?
  17. What side events were held during WSSD?
  18. What were the parallel events associated with the Summit?
  19. What was the Virtual Exhibit and what did it do?
  20. What is the UN Works campaign?
  21. What is JOWSCO?
  22. What will happen now to the Commission on Sustainable Development? How and when will the work programme be determined?
  23. What is sustainable development?
  24. What is Agenda 21?
  25. What does sustainable development mean to individuals and communities?
  26. I am very interested in the work of the United Nations. How can I find out more about the UN and employment opportunities?
B. "TYPE 2" PARTNERSHIP INITIATIVES



1. How many people attended the Summit?

There were around 22,000 participants at the World Summit on Sustainable Development. Around 10,000 delegates [ Includes participants from Member States, inter-governmental organisations, official observers, specialised agencies and related organisations, and associate members of regional commissions.] were accredited by the United Nations in Johannesburg to attend the Summit. Click here for a full list of these participants.

In addition, some 8,000 representatives of major group organisations [The major groups are: Women, Children and Youth, Indigenous People, NGOs, Local Authorities, Workers and Trade Unions, Business and Industry, Scientific and Technological Communities and Farmers.] and 4,000 media were accredited to the Summit.

A large number of additional people were also in Johannesburg at the same time to attend parallel events associated with the Summit, such as the Civil Society Global Forum, but the UN did not organise these events and does not hold attendance figures for them. Click here to find out more about these parallel events.

These figures do not include UN staff, local support staff and South African security personnel.

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2. How many Heads of State and Government attended the Summit?

One hundred Heads of State and Government attended the Summit.

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3. Which major group organisations attended the Summit?

The list of accredited major group organisations comes in three parts. Click on the relevant link below:

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4. What about business and CEOs?

Over 2,000 representatives of businesses and business organizations are thought to have participated in the Summit and parallel events in Johannesburg, half of which were from overseas. Business groups estimate that there were 700 companies represented and that there were 40-50 CEOs.

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5. What are the outcomes from WSSD?

There were three main outcomes from the Summit:
  • Johannesburg Declaration on Sustainable Development, where Heads of State and Government committed to taking the action needed to make sustainable development a reality
  • The Johannesburg Plan of Implementation , negotiated by governments, which sets out in more detail the action that needs to be taken in specific areas
  • Commitments by governments and other stakeholders to a broad range of partnership activities and initiatives that will implement sustainable development at the national, regional and international level. Over 220 partnerships (with $235 million in resources) were identified in advance of the Summit and around 60 partnerships were announced during the Summit, including major initiatives by the US, Japan, UK, Germany, France and the EU.
Click here to see a summary analysis of the key outcomes of the Summit prepared by the Secretariat.

Governments established some important new targets, such as: to halve the proportion of people without access to basic sanitation by 2015; to use and produce chemicals by 2020 in ways that do not lead to significant adverse effects on human health and the environment; to maintain or restore depleted fish stocks to levels that can produce the maximum sustainable yield on an urgent basis and where possible by 2015; and to achieve by 2010 a significant reduction in the current rate of loss of biological diversity. In addition, significant resources were committed and agreements made to address sustainable development issues around the world, in particular to help the developing world, both by governments and through partnership activities which involved civil society, international organisations and the private sector.

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6. Where can I find the outcome documents from the Summit?
Click on the links below to see the following documents: Click here for all other documents from the Summit.

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7. Are the Summit documents available in other languages?

Click on the links below to see the documents in the other 5 official languages of the UN:

Arabic: http://www.un.org/arabic/conferences/wssd/docs/summit_docs.html

Chinese: http://www.un.org/chinese/events/wssd/documents.html

French: http://www.un.org/french/events/wssd/pages/document.html

Russian: http://www.un.org/russian/conferen/wssd/docs.htm

Spanish: http://www.un.org/spanish/conferences/wssd/doconf.htm

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8. Who was in charge of the Summit?

The United Nations Secretary-General of the Summit was Mr. Nitin Desai, Under Secretary General of Economic and Social Affairs.

The host South African government held presidency of the Summit. President Thabo Mbeki chaired the general debate and Minister Zuma, Minister Moosa, and Ambassador Kumalo chaired the main negotiations.

Dr. Emil Salim from Indonesia, who had been chairman of the preparatory process, chaired the Main Committee.

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9. How much did it cost to hold the Summit? Who met these costs?

The United Nations budgeted about $1.3 million for the Summit, primarily for the activities of the UN Summit Secretariat and for public information. The UN takes every step to minimize the costs associated with meetings such as this.

As with any UN meeting, the additional costs associated with holding the Summit in Johannesburg rather than at Headquarters in New York were met by the host country - in this case South Africa. For more information on the costs met by the host country, please see the JOWSCO website: www.joburgsummit2002.com

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10. What was the role of civil society in the Summit?

The views of civil society were given substantial prominence at the Summit and civil society will play a key role in implementing the outcomes and in promoting partnership initiatives.

Representatives from all major groups — Women, Children and Youth, Indigenous People, NGOs, Local Authorities, Workers and Trade Unions, Business and Industry, Scientific and Technological Communities and Farmers — were involved in the preparatory process, at the national, regional and global level, and at the Summit itself in Johannesburg.

Over 8,000 civil society participants attended the Summit. In addition, there were a large number of parallel events that were organised by major group organisations, including conferences of civil society groups (including NGOs, women, indigenous people, youth, farmers, workers), business leaders, scientists, local authorities and Chief Justices.

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11. What role did business play at the Summit?

Over 2,000 representatives of businesses and business organizations are thought to have participated in the Summit and parallel events in Johannesburg, half of which were from overseas. Business groups estimate that there were 700 companies represented and that there were 40-50 CEOs in attendance. Business Action for Sustainable Development, who organised business input for the Summit, have said that businesses are involved in over 90 partnership initiatives launched at the Summit, in a wide range of sectors including energy, water, health, agriculture, tourism, forestry, fisheries and biodiversity. For more information on business activities for the Summit, visit the BASD website: http://www.basd-action.net

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12. How will Government adherence to commitments made in Johannesburg be monitored?

Following decisions made at the Summit, the UN Commission on Sustainable Development (CSD) will now have an enhanced role in respect of reviewing and monitoring progress in the implementation of Agenda 21 and fostering coherence of implementation, initiatives and partnerships.

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13. How many partnership initiatives were launched at the Summit? What will happen to these now?

Over 220 partnerships (with $235 million in resources) were identified in advance of the Summit and around 60 partnerships were announced during the Summit, including major initiatives by the US, Japan, UK, Germany, France and the EU.

Governments agreed at the Summit to enhance partnerships between governmental and non-governmental actors, including major groups and volunteer groups, on programmes and activities for the achievement of sustainable development at all levels. The Commission on Sustainable Development (CSD) will serve as a focal point for the discussion of partnerships that promote sustainable development, including sharing lessons learned, progress made and best practices. In addition, the regional commissions of the United Nations, in collaboration with other regional and sub-regional bodies, were given a mandate to promote multi-stakeholder participation and encourage partnerships to support the implementation of Agenda 21 at the regional and sub-regional levels.

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14. What is the status now of the Kyoto Protocol?

Ministers at the Johannesburg Summit indicated their support for the Kyoto Protocol. The agreed action plan reads: "States that have ratified strongly urge those that have not done so to ratify Kyoto in a timely manner". This declaration maintains the momentum to move forward the climate treaty.

Countries like China, India, Brazil and Thailand announced their ratification of the Kyoto Protocol at the Johannesburg Summit. Russia and Canada have given strong signals that they will ratify in the near future. In doing so, the combined emissions of Russia and Canada would be sufficient to push the greenhouse gas figures over the required limit.

The Kyoto Protocol will enter into force 90 days after 55 governments have ratified, including developed countries representing at least 55% of that group's 1990 carbon dioxide emissions. As of September 2002, 94 countries have ratified - including all European Union member states and Japan, accounting for 37.1%.

Shares of 1990 carbon dioxide emissions include:
United States 36.1 %
European Union 24.2 %
Russian Federation 17.4 %
Japan   8.5 %
Canada   3.3 %
Australia   2.1 %

Recent climate disasters around the world have served as reminders of the changes that climate change is likely to bring. The droughts in India and the US and the floods throughout Europe seem to follow regional climate change scenarios. It was with such events in mind that governments established an Adaptation Fund under the Kyoto Protocol.

WSSD adopted the Plan of Implementation which underlines the importance of developing and disseminating innovative technologies in energy and other key sectors, including through the private sector. Technology transfer is another vital concern because many developing countries find it difficult to make a rapid transition to cleaner energy and production.

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15. Will there be more corporate responsibility now as a result of the Summit?

Governments agreed at the Summit to actively promote corporate responsibility and accountability, based on the Rio Principles, and to support continuous improvement in corporate practices in all countries.

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16. Where can I see the winning entries from the children's poster competitions and essay competitions that were held in the run-up to the Summit?

Click on the links below to see the winning entries of these national competitions that were submitted to the Summit Secretariat:

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17. What side events were held during WSSD?

Click here to see which side events took place inside the Sandton Convention Centre each day of the Summit.

For the ENB On the Side reports of selected side events and parallel events, prepared by the International Institue for Sustainable Development, click here.

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18. What were the parallel events associated with the Summit?

In addition to the official Summit and the side events taking place inside the UN venue, a large number of additional events-known as parallel events-took place in the Johannesburg area around the time of the Summit. These events were convened and managed by independent organisations or groups, with the logistics coordinated by the Johannesburg World Summit Company (JOWSCO) — the non-profit company wholly owned by the South African government that was established to manage logistical operations on behalf of the Summit's host nation.

For a summary of the main parallel events associated with the Summit click here.

To see JOWSCO's comprehensive listing of the parallel events that took place at the time of the Summit, click here.

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19. What was the Virtual Exhibit and what did it do?

The Virtual Exhibit website developed for the Summit was dedicated to highlighting successful sustainable development partnership projects through visual images and live webcast interactions between delegates at the Summit and people working on projects in the field— thus bringing the world to the Summit and the Summit to the world.

Over the ten day Summit period, the website hosted over one hundred live link ups, including interviews with fourteen Heads of State and Ministers, and it received over one million, three hundred thousand 'hits'. A number of television stations took output from the Virtual Exhibit for broadcasting around the world.

Visit www.VirtualExhibit.netfor more information on the projects submitted and archived footage from the webcasts.

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20. What is the UN Works campaign?

UN Works is a communications programme that focuses on the role of the United Nations in fostering concrete solutions to many of the problems faced by real people throughout the world. Through media partnerships that include original TV programming, PSAs, website features, educational outreach and other promotional activities, UN Works puts a human face on critical issues and shows how effective projects can change lives. The goal is to foster inter-agency collaboration, showcase best practices, facilitate partnerships with civil society and the private sector and help mobilise resources.

UN Works carried out an out-of-home campaign and website features for the Johannesburg Summit. Click here for more information.

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21. What is JOWSCO?

The Johannesburg World Summit Company (JOWSCO) was established by the South African government as a non-for profit company to manage logistical prepartions for the Johannesburg Summit on behalf of the host government.

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22. What will happen now to the Commission on Sustainable Development? How and when will the work programme be determined?

Governments agreed at the Summit that the role of the Commission would be enhanced, including through reviewing and monitoring progress in the implementation of Agenda 21 and fostering coherence of implementation, initiatives and partnerships. The Commission will focus on actions related to implementation of Agenda 21, limiting negotiations in the sessions of the Commission to every two years and limiting the number of themes addressed in each session.

Specific decisions will be taken by the Commission at its next session in relation to its programme of work, the scheduling and duration of inter-sessional meetings, and how it will continue to provide for more involvement of international organizations and major groups, drawing on scientific contributions and furthering the contribution of educators in sustainable development.

The dates for the next session of CSD will be determined by the 57th Session of the General Assembly (autumn 2002)

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23. What is sustainable development?

Sustainable development has been defined as "development which meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs" (Report of the World Commission on Environment and Development, 1987). Sustainable development is about the interface between human society and the environment.

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24. What is Agenda 21?

Agenda 21, the world's plan of action for sustainable development, was adopted by the international community at the 1992 Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro. Agenda 21 was a landmark achievement, incorporating environmental, economic and social concerns into a single framework. It contains over 2,500 wide-ranging and achievable recommendations for action on issues such as:
  • reducing wasteful use of natural resources;
  • fighting poverty;
  • protecting the atmosphere, oceans and animal and plant life;and
  • promoting sustainable agriculture practices that will feed the world's ever-growing population.
Click here for a copy of Agenda 21.

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25. What does sustainable development mean to individuals and communities?

Sustainable development is about a better way of approaching the management of natural resources and the adverse effects of globalisation in order to address a range of problems. These include loss of biodiversity, pollution and destruction of natural resources (such as forests, fisheries). This impact is not limited to the developing world. Many in the industrialised world also suffer the consequences of mismanagement of the Earth's environmental and human resources - and that trend is likely to grow as the world's economic and social systems become increasingly inter-linked. Some examples are as follows:
  • About 1.2 billion people worldwide lack sufficient access to fresh water, and water-borne disease causes millions of deaths every year.
  • Air pollution, which crosses national borders and affects us all, is one of the major causes of illness and death worldwide.
  • Preventable diseases such as malaria and AIDS kill millions each year, but could be largely prevented with the support of developed healthcare systems and improvements in sanitation.
  • Destruction of forests, fisheries and agricultural land leads to poverty and famine, which can create breakdowns in civil society and governments, leading in some cases to armed conflict.

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26. I am very interested in the work of the United Nations. How can I find out more about the UN and employment opportunities?

Click herefor information about employment opportunities at the United Nations

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24 August 2006