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PrepCom Chair Issues New "Action-Oriented Draft for Negotiations on Johannesburg Summit Implementation Programme

9 May, New York– A comprehensive new proposal for an implementation plan that could be adopted at the World Summit on Sustainable Development has been issued by the Chairman of the Summit's Preparatory Committee.

The new text, which contains straight-forward recommendations on a range of issues from poverty reduction to limiting unsustainable patterns of consumption and protection of natural resources and ecosystems, will serve as the basis for negotiations at the final preparatory committee meeting for the Summit, which will be held in Bali, Indonesia, from 27 May - 7 June.

According to Preparatory Committee Chairman Dr. Emil Salim, the new text contains "action-oriented" language that tells governments to "do it," rather than weaker language that merely "encourages" or says something "is desirable." He said, "We can say beautiful things, but now is the time to say "let's do it."

Salim said the 39-page draft paper incorporated the recommendations and proposals of countries during the previous PrepCom held in New York and hoped that the use of consensus language would make the negotiations easier.

The early release of the draft negotiating text will allow delegates and other participants in the Summit process an opportunity to prepare for the Bali PrepCom ahead of time, in the hope of reaching a quick consensus. According to Salim, full agreement on the implementation programme should be achieved by 31 May, the end of the first week of the PrepCom.

The new draft does indicate areas of disagreement and where discussions must be held to bridge. These include setting target dates, references to the implementation of the Kyoto Protocol, and the means of implementation.

But there are, already, large areas of agreement, particularly concerning the need to launch programmes aimed at poverty reduction and the need to meet the 2015 Millennium Development Goal of halving the proportion of people living in poverty. The draft text also calls for halving the proportion of people who lack access to proper sanitation by 2015.

The recommendations contained in the implementation, when approved, will serve as the basis for the voluntary partnership initiatives that the Summit is hoping to encourage between all parties in societies as a way of ensuring implementation and for obtaining results.

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24 August 2006