Earth Negotiations Bulletin Summary of Second Round of Informal-Informal Negotiations


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Earth Negotiations Bulletin Summary of Second Round of Informal-Informal Negotiations

  1. 1. Earth Negotiations Bulletin UNCSD .......................... FINAL A Reporting Service for Environment and Development Negotiations Online at Vol. 27 No. 35 Published by the International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD) Monday, 7 May 2012 SUMMARY OF THE UNCSD INFORMAL A BRIEF HISTORY OF UN SUSTAINABLE INFORMAL CONSULTATIONS: DEVELOPMENT CONFERENCES 23 APRIL – 4 MAY 2011 The United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development (UNCSD or Rio+20) will mark the 40th anniversary of the first The second round of “informal informal” consultations on the major international political conference that specifically haddraft outcome document for the UN Conference on Sustainable the word “environment” in its title. Taking place in June 2012,Development (UNCSD or Rio+20) took place from 23 April to the UNCSD seeks to secure renewed political commitment for4 May 2012, at UN Headquarters in New York. The negotiations sustainable development, assess progress and implementationresumed consideration of a draft outcome document for Rio+20, gaps in meeting previously-agreed commitments, and addresswhich was originally developed by the Co-Chairs and Bureau new and emerging challenges. The conference will focus on theof the UNCSD Preparatory Committee (PrepCom). Titled “The following themes: a green economy in the context of sustainableFuture We Want” and 19 pages in length, the original document development and poverty eradication, and the institutionalwas released on 10 January 2012. This version of the draft framework for sustainable development (IFSD).incorporated input received by the UNCSD Secretariat from STOCKHOLM CONFERENCE: The UN Conference onmember states and other stakeholders, as well as comments the Human Environment (UNCHE) was held in Stockholm,offered during the Second Intersessional Meeting of the UNCSD Sweden, from 5-16 June 1972, and produced three majorPrepCom in December 2011. sets of decisions: the Stockholm Declaration; the Stockholm Following its release, the zero draft was discussed at meetings Action Plan, made up of 109 recommendations on internationalheld at UN Headquarters in January and March, when delegates measures against environmental degradation for governmentsproposed numerous amendments. At the conclusion of the March and international organizations; and a group of five resolutionsmeeting, the draft had grown to 206 pages in length, includingall of the proposed amendments. From 23 April to 4 May, delegates endeavored to makeprogress on the draft text, in what was originally slated to be IN THIS ISSUEthe last round of informal informal negotiations prior to the A Brief History of UN Sustainable DevelopmentPreparatory Committee’s third and final meeting in Rio de Conferences. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1Janeiro in June, just prior to UNCSD itself. Delegates made some progress in clarifying positions Report of the Meeting . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3and finding compromise text, agreeing on 21 paragraphs ad I. Preamble/Stage Setting . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3referendum (pending agreement on the final text). However, II. Renewing Political Commitment. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4this represented only a small percentage of the text, which III. Green Economy. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5stood at more than 420 paragraphs. At the end of the meeting IV. Institutional Framework for Sustainable400 paragraphs remained bracketed. This lack of agreement on Development. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6most of the text was the result of longstanding divisions, which V. Framework for Action and Follow-Up. . . . . . . . . . . . 8persisted on key issues such as green economy, the institutional Closing Plenary. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12framework for sustainable development (IFSD) (including thefuture status of the Commission on Sustainable Development A Brief Analysis of the Meeting . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 13and the United Nations Environment Programme, and a proposalto develop sustainable development goals (SDGs). Upcoming Meetings. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 14 Recognizing the considerable work that was still required,the Bureau decided on 4 May to hold an additional negotiatingsession prior to the UNCSD. This session will take place from Glossary . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1629 May to 2 June 2012, at UN Headquarters in New York.This issue of the Earth Negotiations Bulletin © <> is written and edited by Leila Mead, Delia Paul, Keith Ripley, NathalieRisse, Ph.D., and Chris Spence. The Digital Editor is Manu Kabahizi. The Editor is Pamela S. Chasek, Ph.D. <>. The Directorof IISD Reporting Services is Langston James “Kimo” Goree VI <>. The Sustaining Donors of the Bulletin are the EuropeanCommission (DG-ENV), the Government of the United States of America (through the Department of State Bureau of Oceans and InternationalEnvironmental and Scientific Affairs), the Government of Canada (through CIDA), the Danish Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the German FederalMinistry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), and the German Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation andNuclear Safety (BMU). General Support for the Bulletin during 2012 is provided by the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Governmentof Australia, the Ministry of Environment of Sweden, the New Zealand Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade, SWAN International, the SwissFederal Office for the Environment (FOEN), the Finnish Ministry for Foreign Affairs, the Japanese Ministry of Environment (through theInstitute for Global Environmental Strategies - IGES), the Japanese Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (through the Global Industrial andSocial Progress Research Institute – GISPRI), and the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP). Funding for translation of the Bulletininto French has been provided by the Government of France, the Belgium Walloon Region, the Province of Québec, and the InternationalOrganization of the Francophone (OIF and IEPF). The opinions expressed in the Bulletin are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect Introducing ENB Mobilethe views of IISD or other donors. Excerpts from the Bulletin may be used in non-commercial publications with appropriate academic citation. information on the Bulletin, including requests to provide reporting services, contact the Director of IISD Reporting Services at <kimo@ Mobile access to this>, +1-646-536-7556 or 300 East 56th St., 11D, New York, NY 10022, United States of America. ENB reports and more!
  2. 2. Earth Negotiations Bulletin Monday, 7 May 2012 Page 2 ................................... Vol. 27 No. 35calling for a ban on the testing of nuclear weapons, the creation three Preparatory Committee (PrepCom) meetings prior to theof an international databank on environmental data, actions UNCSD. On 14 May 2010, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moonlinked to development and the environment, the creation of announced the appointment of UN Under-Secretary-General foran environment fund, and establishing the UN Environment Economic and Social Affairs Sha Zukang as Secretary-GeneralProgramme (UNEP), which was charged with providing the for the Conference. The UN Secretary-General subsequentlycentral node for global environmental cooperation and treaty appointed Brice Lalonde (France) and Elizabeth Thompsonmaking. (Barbados) as executive coordinators. BRUNDTLAND COMMISSION: In 1983, the UN UNCSD PREPCOM I: This meeting was held fromGeneral Assembly (UNGA) established an independent 17-19 May 2010, at UN Headquarters in New York. Thecommission to formulate a long-term agenda for action. The PrepCom assessed progress to date and the remaining gapsWorld Commission on Environment and Development—more in implementing outcomes of major summits on sustainablecommonly known as the Brundtland Commission, named for development, as well as new and emerging challenges, a greenits Chair, Gro Harlem Brundtland—subsequently issued its economy in the context of sustainable development and povertyreport in 1987, Our Common Future, which stressed the need eradication, and the IFSD. Participants also organized their workfor development strategies in all countries that recognized the in the lead-up to 2012, and considered the UNCSD’s rules oflimits of the ecosystem’s ability to regenerate itself and absorb procedure.waste products. The Commission emphasized the link between FIRST INTERSESSIONAL MEETING: This meetingeconomic development and environmental issues, and identified convened at UN Headquarters from 10-11 January 2011.poverty eradication as a necessary and fundamental requirement Delegates listened to a summary of the findings of the Synthesisfor environmentally sustainable development. Report on securing renewed political commitment for sustainable UN CONFERENCE ON ENVIRONMENT AND development. Panel discussions were held on the greenDEVELOPMENT: UNCED, also known as the Earth economy in the context of sustainable development and povertySummit, was held from 3-14 June 1992, in Rio de Janeiro, eradication, and on the IFSD.Brazil, and involved over 100 Heads of State and Government, UNCSD PREPCOM II: This meeting took place from 7-8representatives from 178 countries, and some 17,000 March 2011, also at UN Headquarters. Delegates discussedparticipants. The principal outputs of UNCED were the Rio progress to date and remaining gaps in the implementation ofDeclaration on Environment and Development, Agenda 21 (a the outcomes of the major summits on sustainable development,40-chapter programme of action) and the Statement of Forest addressed new and emerging challenges, discussed the scope ofPrinciples. The UN Framework Convention on Climate Change a green economy and the idea of a “blue economy,” and debatedand the Convention on Biological Diversity were also opened the IFSD. At the end of the meeting, a decision was adopted onfor signature during the Earth Summit. Agenda 21 called for the the process for preparing the draft outcome document for thecreation of a Commission on Sustainable Development (CSD) a functional commission of the UN Economic and Social UNCSD REGIONAL AND SUB-REGIONALCouncil (ECOSOC), to ensure effective follow-up of UNCED, MEETINGS: During the second half of 2011, a series ofenhance international cooperation, and examine progress in regional and sub-regional meetings were held to prepare inputsimplementing Agenda 21 at the local, national, regional and for the UNCSD preparatory process. These included threeinternational levels. sub-regional preparatory meetings for small island developing UNGASS-19: The 19th Special Session of the UNGA for states (SIDS), as well as regional meetings organized by the UNthe Overall Review and Appraisal of Agenda 21 (23-27 June regional economic and social commissions.1997, New York) adopted the Programme for the Further During the Regional Preparatory Meeting for LatinImplementation of Agenda 21. It assessed progress since America and the Caribbean, held in Santiago, Chile, from 7-9UNCED and examined implementation. September 2011, delegates called for better ways to measure WORLD SUMMIT ON SUSTAINABLE the wealth of countries that adequately reflect the three pillarsDEVELOPMENT: The WSSD met from 26 August - 4 of sustainable development, and a flexible and efficient globalSeptember 2002, in Johannesburg, South Africa. The goal of the IFSD ensuring effective integration of the three pillars. They alsoWSSD, according to UNGA Resolution 55/199, was to hold a discussed a proposal from Colombia and Guatemala to launch aten-year review of UNCED at the summit level to reinvigorate process to develop sustainable development goals (SDGs).the global commitment to sustainable development. The WSSD The Arab Regional Preparatory Meeting took place fromgathered over 21,000 participants from 191 countries. Delegates 16-17 October 2011, in Cairo, Egypt. Delegates highlightednegotiated and adopted the Johannesburg Plan of Implementation the lack of a universal definition of green economy and agreed(JPOI) and the Johannesburg Declaration on Sustainable that it should be a tool for sustainable development rather thanDevelopment. The JPOI is designed as a framework for action to a new principle that might replace sustainable development.implement the commitments originally agreed at UNCED. The Participants also highlighted the need for balance among theJohannesburg Declaration outlines the path taken from UNCED three pillars of sustainable the WSSD, highlights challenges, expresses a commitment The Regional Preparatory Meeting for Asia and theto sustainable development, underscores the importance of Pacific took place from 19-20 October 2011, in Seoul, Republicmultilateralism, and emphasizes the need for implementation. of Korea. Although many found merit in the idea of a green UNGA 64: On 24 December 2009, the UN General Assembly economy, some noted that it should not lead to protectionism oradopted Resolution 64/236 and agreed to convene the UNCSD conditionalities. On IFSD, while many favored “strengthening”in 2012 in Brazil. Resolution 64/236 also called for holding UNEP, there was no consensus on whether this should be done
  3. 3. Earth Negotiations Bulletin ................................... Vol. 27 No. 35 Page 3 Monday, 7 May 2012through transforming UNEP into a specialized agency. Some positions and proposals. He proposed that two working groupsparticipants also expressed interest and support for establishing a meet in parallel throughout the session: Working Group 1 wouldsustainable development council. address Sections III (Green Economy) and V (Framework for The Regional Preparatory Meeting for Africa took place Action and Follow-up); and Working Group 2 would discussfrom 20-25 October 2011, in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. On IFSD, Sections I (Preamble), II (Renewing Political Commitment) andwhile there was some opposition to the idea of transforming IV (IFSD).UNEP into a specialized agency, all participants agreed on Negotiations began in the two working groups almostthe need to strengthen the programme. Delegates supported immediately, and continued throughout the two-week session.the concept of a green economy while indicating that it needs During the first week, Co-Chair Kim Sook (Republic of Korea)more definition, should not result in protectionism or trade facilitated Working Group 1, while Co-Chair Ashe managedconditionalities, and should include the concept of sustainable Working Group 2. During the second week, the Co-Chairsland management. switched, with Co-Chair Ashe in Working Group 1 and Co-Chair The Regional Preparatory Meeting for Europe and North Kim in Working Group 2.America convened in Geneva, Switzerland, from 1-2 December For most of the two weeks, delegates engaged in paragraph-2011. Participants called for improvement in monitoring and by-paragraph discussions on the text. During the first week,evaluation of progress on sustainable development, better the Co-Chairs offered suggested text, referred to as Co-Chairs’integration of the three pillars of sustainable development, suggested text (or “CST”), which they had developed followingand stronger regional cooperation. They discussed SDGs and the March meeting with the aim of helping delegates finda green economy roadmap, while acknowledging the need to common ground. This text was mainly used as the basis foraccommodate the unique challenges of different countries. On discussions during the first week, with delegates exchangingIFSD, many supported upgrading and transforming UNEP, views and making numerous proposals to add, subtract, move orcreating a sustainable development council, strengthening the amend the text, and to change some section or paragraph titles.regional commissions and national sustainable development By the end of the first week, the document had been reducedcouncils, and engaging civil society. There was both support for from 278 to 156 pages.and opposition to a new international convention elaborating Rio During the second week, the Co-Chairs continued their effortsPrinciple 10 on access to information and public participation. to reduce the text to a more manageable size, and both proposed SECOND INTERSESSIONAL MEETING: This compromise language for many paragraphs, which they referredmeeting convened at UN Headquarters in New York from to as “new Co-Chairs’ suggested text” (or “NCST”). The efforts15-16 December 2011. Participants discussed the compilation of delegates and the Co-Chairs ultimately resulted in agreementof submissions from States, UN bodies, intergovernmental on 21 paragraphs ad referendum. However, in spite of thisorganizations and Major Groups, and provided comments and progress, the text was 171 pages long, and approximately 400guidance for the development, structure and format of a “zero paragraphs were still bracketed by the meeting’s end.draft” of the outcome document to be adopted at the UNCSD in This summary of the meeting follows the structure of theJune 2012. draft outcome document. Each section of this summary contains INITIAL DISCUSSIONS OF THE ZERO DRAFT: This two elements: an overview of the negotiations, focusing onmeeting took place at UN Headquarters from 25-27 January key points of discussion and/or divergence; and a brief review2012. In their opening statements, delegates agreed that the of the draft outcome document as it stood at the conclusion ofzero draft would serve as the basis for negotiations. They had the meeting on 4 May 2012. Where there were proposals forsubmitted written comments on the first two sections—the changes in section or paragraph titles, this summary generallyPreamble/Stage Setting and Renewing Political Commitment uses the titles as originally drafted, except where there wasSections—prior to the January discussions, and began broad agreement on a proposed change. The Earth Negotiationsnegotiations on these sections. Bulletin daily issues from this meeting offer a more detailed FIRST “INFORMAL INFORMAL” CONSULTATIONS review of the deliberations and can be found online at http://AND THIRD INTERSESSIONAL MEETING: Negotiations from 19-27 March, again at UN Headquarters.Delegates engaged in lengthy discussions on the text, proposing I. PREAMBLE/STAGE SETTINGamendments and responding to other delegations’ suggestions. Delegates in Working Group 2 completed five readings ofBy the end of the meeting, most sections of the text had been the five paragraphs in this section, which contained many sub-reviewed and discussed more than once, with the text expanding paragraphs and proposed alternatives. Discussions focused onto more than 200 pages. five main issues: poverty eradication; human rights definitions; reference to the Rio Principles; good governance; and harmony REPORT OF THE MEETING with nature. On poverty eradication, the European Union (EU) and The second round of “informal informal” consultations on the Switzerland argued that changing unsustainable patterns ofdraft outcome document for the UN Conference on Sustainable consumption and production, and protection and improvementDevelopment opened on Monday morning, 23 April. UNCSD of the environment are critical to addressing poverty. TheyPreparatory Committee Co-Chair John Ashe (Antigua and proposed the text explicitly mention environmental concerns.Barbuda) informed delegates that a compilation draft outcome The Group of 77 and China (G-77/China) maintained thatdocument had been prepared, explaining that this version poverty eradication requires focus on all three pillars ofnow included additional suggested text from the Co-Chairs, sustainable development, and cautioned against disproportionatewhich was their attempt to help bridge gaps between diverging attention to the environmental pillar.
  4. 4. Earth Negotiations Bulletin Monday, 7 May 2012 Page 4 ................................... Vol. 27 No. 35 On human rights and principles for action, the EU, US, which conference and summit outcomes to reaffirm; whether toRepublic of Korea and others cited the Universal Declaration of specify certain Rio Principles; and participation of developingHuman Rights, considering this to be a foundational document. countries in global decision making.The G-77/China opposed singling this out and, supported by On conference outcomes, the G-77/China retained textthe Holy See, proposed text on the right to development and on the Monterrey Consensus on International Financing forthe right to food. The US eventually accepted “the right to Development, bracketed by a number of developed countries.development” but not to food, viewing this as only one of a Canada, the US, the EU and Japan expressed concernnumber of necessary sectors. Japan proposed including “human regarding G-77/China’s singling out of the principle of commonsecurity,” and the US requested further clarification of the but differentiated responsibilities, with some parties notingconcept. that this principle applies in the United Nations Framework Delegates discussed at length the G-77/China’s reference to Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) but not in the otherRio Principle 7 on common but differentiated responsibilities, two Rio Conventions.with the US, EU, Japan, Switzerland, New Zealand and Canada Regarding participation in global decision making, theopposed to singling this principle out. To break the deadlock, US disagreed with the G-77/China’s proposal to mentionCo-Chair Kim recommended referring just once in the text to “particularly developing countries,” stating that all countriesan issue or Rio Principle. The G-77/China eventually proposed should participate equally, and discouraging mention oftwo paragraphs: one on general principles and obligations backtracking on earlier commitments.under international law, and another mentioning the Universal The text was revisited on the final day of negotiations, withoutDeclaration of Human Rights, and issues including the need to delegates reaching agreement.combat racism and xenophobia. Draft Outcome Document: None of the four main paragraphs On good governance, the EU proposed mentioning an and multiple sub-paragraphs in this section was agreed to. On theenabling environment for investment. The G-77/China expressed Rio Principles, the draft text retains all the key options proposed.concern over focusing on investment but not other issues On common but differentiated responsibilities, the G-77/Chinaimportant to developing countries such as debt, trade and revised its proposal, limiting its mention specifically to thefinance. The G-77/China also called for the fair representation UNFCCC. The US bracketed this reference.of developing countries in the governance of multilateral B. ASSESSING PROGRESS TO DATE ANDinstitutions. REMAINING GAPS, AND ADDRESSING NEW AND Working Group 1 discussed harmony with nature, agreeing to EMERGING CHALLENGES: Delegates discussed themove the relevant text from Section V-A to this section. On the draft document on 23, 25 and 30 April, and again on 4 May.rights of Mother Earth, proposed by Ecuador, and supported by Differences centered mainly on aid commitments or the lackBolivia, no agreement was reached. thereof; and also stemmed from differing perspectives on the At the final Working Group meeting on the afternoon of 4 root causes of poverty. The G-77/China requested retainingMay, the EU presented revised text on high-level aims, and the earlier text on official development assistance (ODA) targets,US proposed minor textual changes. Co-Chair Kim cautioned unsustainable patterns of consumption and production and betteragainst reintroducing text at this stage. Many countries placed regulation of the financial sector, while the EU, US and Canadageneral reservations on all new proposals made at the final reiterated their reservations.session. The US, the EU and Japan expressed concern regarding G-77/ Draft Outcome Document: Delegates agreed ad referendum China-proposed text underscoring lack of political commitmentto two paragraphs: an introductory paragraph renewing to implement previously-agreed international commitments.commitment to sustainable development, and a further sub- The Co-Chairs’ suggested text, in an attempt to seek agreement,paragraph elaborating on that commitment. Other paragraphs mentioned implementation gaps, urgency and the need to fullyremained bracketed, or remain in the text as individual country implement commitments, and reference to internationally-agreedor group proposals that are not yet agreed. commitments. The EU and the US reserved on this proposal. Developed countries also did not support a suggestion by theII. RENEWING POLITICAL COMMITMENT Russian Federation and Belarus to list middle-income countries Working Group 2 discussed this section, which recalls among the groups of countries requiring support in their effortsprevious commitments and sets the stage for further action. The to promote empowerment of the poor.draft contains three subsections, on: reaffirming Rio Principles On text highlighting areas where pressing challenges needand past action items; assessing progress and remaining gaps, and to be addressed, Australia and New Zealand identified fisheriesaddressing new and emerging challenges; and engaging Major subsidies, while Iceland and Canada bracketed fisheries text.Groups. A fourth subsection, titled, “A Framework for Action,” Issues of poverty and population were also raised, with thewas in the original version of the draft outcome document. Holy See maintaining its reservation to mentioning populationHowever, the text contained in this section was redistributed to dynamics, and the G-77/China not supporting a US reference toSections IV and V prior to this meeting, on the grounds that the access to sexual and reproductive health.subject matter fit better there and it would help avoid duplication. Draft Outcome Document: Four paragraphs were agreed ad A. REAFFIRMING RIO PRINCIPLES AND PAST referendum on: recognizing examples of progress in sustainableACTION PLANS: This subsection was read twice over the first development at regional, national, subnational and local levelstwo days, with delegates exchanging views and adding textual through the commitment of governments since the adoptionsuggestions. Differences were expressed on three main issues: of Agenda 21; recognizing the dependence of the poor on ecosystems for their livelihoods, and the need to generate decent
  5. 5. Earth Negotiations Bulletin ................................... Vol. 27 No. 35 Page 5 Monday, 7 May 2012jobs; reaffirming the Istanbul Programme of Action for the Least The EU supported green economy as an essential tool inDeveloped Countries (LDCs) for the Decade 2011-2020; and the context of a proposed paragraph on approaches, visions,acknowledging the world’s natural and cultural diversity. models and other tools to achieve poverty eradication and Other unresolved options remained on the table, including sustainable development, and on green economy as a toolthe G-77/China’s original proposal on meeting ODA targets; for sustainable development. The G-77/China said it couldlinking of the economic and financial crisis with the international be a useful tool. The G-77/China also supported reference tofinancial system; and the right of peoples to self-determination, common but differentiated responsibilities in the context of ain particular those living under colonial and foreign occupation. paragraph on general guidance for green economy policies, but C. ENGAGING MAJOR GROUPS: Delegates discussed many developed countries opposed singling out a specific Riothis section on 23 and 25 April, and again on 3 and 4 May. Principle.Differences centered mainly on access to information, and Another point of contention related to text on effortsdifferent perspectives on the roles of civil society, the private towards an equitable and inclusive transition towards greensector and women. economy, with the G-77/China supporting efforts towards On information, the US proposed, and the G-77/China “sustainable development” rather than “green economy,” andopposed, the inclusion of text on making relevant information inclusive “future” instead of “transition,” adding that efforts bebased on environmental monitoring and assessments available to undertaken in line with national sustainable development plansall stakeholders. and priorities. The US and Japan preferred retaining reference to On women, developed countries, including Israel, referred green women’s leadership, while the G-77/China and Russian The G-77/China: supported the sovereign right of states toFederation preferred mentioning women’s empowerment. exploit their own resources in text on each country choosing On the private sector, the G-77/China proposed that the an appropriate path towards green economy; and proposedprivate sector “can contribute” to sustainable development, developed countries undertake significant lifestyle changes innoting that its roles differ among its country members. The EU text on managing natural resources in a green economy.and the US preferred language reflecting a stronger role for On how green economy can help advance sustainablepublic-private partnerships. development objectives, proposals included respecting the On the role of civil society, the US, supported by Canada and Earth’s limited natural resources, and advancing a humanNew Zealand, proposed that access should be to “legitimate” rights-based approach, based on the principle of free, activeinformation, viewing proprietary information of commercial and meaningful participation, accountability, nondiscrimination,value as an exception. empowerment, and the rule of law. On sustainability reporting, delegates agreed to defer There was much discussion related to text on what greendiscussion of national sustainability accounting to Section V economies should do, with the G-77/China also reiterating a(Framework for Action). Switzerland and the EU supported number of times its preference for an additional paragraph onretaining a paragraph on corporate sustainability reporting, while what green economy should not do. Some of the issues wherethe G-77/China expressed reservations, and the US preferred parties diverged included reference to “voluntary” technologymention of best practices. At the final session, the EU introduced transfer “on mutually agreed terms and conditions,” whichan alternative paragraph, which remains bracketed, calling on the US supported. In addition, the G-77/China said developedthe UN Secretary-General to launch a process requiring large countries should take the lead on sustainable consumption andcompanies to report on their sustainability impacts, mentioning production (SCP), which the EU opposed, and supported textexisting frameworks such as the Global Reporting Initiative. on the right to development, which the US opposed. Japan Draft Outcome Document: Of the five main paragraphs and and the EU supported text on green economy being a commonmultiple sub-paragraphs in this section, two were agreed ad undertaking for all countries. The EU supported moving thereferendum: on women’s leadership role, gender equality and paragraph on supporting developing countries’ transition to awomen’s empowerment; and on the participation of indigenous green economy to the subsection on MOI and deleting referencespeoples in achieving sustainable development. Other options to specific types of support.remain bracketed. A number of paragraphs in the text address tools and experience sharing. Specifically on strengthening countries’III. GREEN ECONOMY capacity to design and implement policies related to green Working Group 1 completed a first reading of this section on economy, the EU highlighted improving knowledge sharingMonday, 23 April, and concluded a second reading on Tuesday, between all countries and setting up a capacity development1 May. Main points of contention revolved around, inter alia, scheme, and supported reference to indicators to measurewhether green economy should be discussed as one of several progress and the development of sustainability standards forapproaches to achieving sustainable development and poverty production and resource extraction. Switzerland supported theeradication. Secretary-General establishing an international platform for During the discussions, the G-77/China stressed green sharing knowledge and best practices, but the G-77/China statedeconomy as one of several approaches, and said the section this was too prescriptive.must, inter alia: include adequate provisions on means of The EU, Switzerland and Norway supported referenceimplementation (MOI); respect other development models; not to frameworks that promote a socially and environmentallyfocus solely on market-based solutions; include social policies; responsible private sector, which the G-77/China did not support.include a leading role for the State; and elaborate on both what Switzerland proposed specific examples of policy options andgreen economy should and should not be. regulatory frameworks for green economy, including economic
  6. 6. Earth Negotiations Bulletin Monday, 7 May 2012 Page 6 ................................... Vol. 27 No. 35and fiscal instruments, investment in green infrastructure, • networking and experience sharing;subsidy reform, sustainable public procurement, and information • implementation of national sustainable development strategiesdisclosure and voluntary partnerships between business, civil and plans;society and the public sector. The EU sought language on public- • investment, skills formation, capacity building and technologyprivate partnerships and on governments creating the necessary development, voluntary transfer and access with an importantenabling environment regarding appropriate actions to promote role for both the public and private sectors;policies related to green economy. • States consulting with relevant Major Groups and national The G-77/China stressed market-based growth strategies as legislatures in their decision-making processes; andinsufficient, and the importance of a national framework of social • gathering relevant environmental, social and economic datapolicies, and opposed integration of social and environmental to assess policy and programme effectiveness and providingcosts in economic decision making, which Norway and the EU support to developing countries in this regard.preferred to retain. Draft Outcome Document: This section, as it stands, has 24 IV. INSTITUTIONAL FRAMEWORK FOR SUSTAINABLEparagraphs, all of which have many brackets and unresolved DEVELOPMENTissues. The paragraphs include language on, inter alia: Working Group 2 negotiated this section, which aims to set • approaches, visions, models and other tools to achieve out the vision of the framework for sustainable development poverty eradication and sustainable development, and on governance, particularly within the UN system. The draft green economy as a tool for sustainable development, with outcome document contains four subsections (as defined in the bracketed references to it as an “essential” as opposed to “zero draft” document of 10 January 2012) on: strengthening/ “useful” tool; reforming/integrating the three pillars; the UNGA, ECOSOC, • general guidance for green economy policies, with, inter CSD, sustainable development council (SDC) proposal; UNEP, alia, a reference to common but differentiated responsibilities the specialized agency on environment proposal, international remaining in brackets; financial institutions (IFIs), and UN operational activities at the • green economy having the potential to drive growth and country level; and regional, national and local issues/activities. innovation, which remains bracketed; In four readings of most of this section, delegates proposed • what green economy should be, such as creating an enabling various additions and amendments. The exception was a number environment, respecting the sovereign decisions of countries of particularly contentious paragraphs on ECOSOC, CSD, SDC and being a common undertaking for all countries, with many and UNEP, which were only considered once, on 4 May. By options remaining in brackets; the close of the meeting, five paragraphs had been agreed ad • efforts towards an equitable and inclusive transition towards referendum, with more than 90 paragraphs—including those on green economy, with bracketed references to “sustainable the most contentious issues—remaining bracketed. development” versus “green economy,” and inclusive “future” STRENGTHENING/REFORMING/INTEGRATING versus “transition”; THE THREE PILLARS: An initial exchange of views on this • each country choosing an appropriate path towards a green subsection started on 23 April and further readings took place economy; on 25-26 April, 30 April and 2-3 May. On 2 May, Co-Chair • managing natural resources in a green economy; Kim made compromise proposals on the text, with no paragraph • job creation potential of green economy; ultimately agreed ad referendum, although delegates appeared to • a mix of policies and measures to build a green economy, be close on text underscoring the importance of a strengthened integrating social and environmental costs in economic IFSD and on strengthening the science-policy interface, with the decision making and encouraging governments to develop G-77/China’s approval pending. policy options and regulatory frameworks that encourage Discussions were also held on the functions of IFSD (or what SCP, with bracketed references to, inter alia: a list of specific IFSD should do). This included debate on a proposal by the EU policy options; adopting policies and measures in accordance to share experiences and lessons learned through a mechanism with national priorities, measures and circumstances; and of periodic peer review on a voluntary basis, which was opposed regulatory measures, voluntary approaches and market-based by the G-77/China because of the lack of clarity regarding mechanisms; this mechanism (it was also opposed by the US). Delegates • international support to facilitate the transition to green also discussed another EU proposal, which was supported economy, with references to “transition to green economy” by Switzerland, to “regularly review” progress “against clear versus “achieving sustainable development” remaining in objectives.” This suggestion was opposed by the G-77/China, brackets; which preferred language on monitoring and reviewing progress • what green economy should avoid, such as trade barriers, made on the implementation of sustainable development conditionalities on ODA, financing and other forms of commitments contained in Agenda 21 and the JPOI. cooperation, shifting the financial burden onto developing Draft Outcome Document: This subsection of the draft countries in satisfying the basic needs and wellbeing of outcome document does not contain any agreed text but retains people, and financialization of natural resources; several proposals by delegates, including: periodic peer review • communication technologies and innovative applications to on a voluntary basis; the engagement of high-level political promote knowledge exchange and capacity building; leaders and identification of specific actions to promote the • international platforms and partnerships or a capacity- effective implementation of sustainable development; and the development scheme, with both options remaining in brackets; enhancement and strengthening of the monitoring and review of • the role of business and industry; the implementation of all commitments related to SIDS and other commitments.
  7. 7. Earth Negotiations Bulletin ................................... Vol. 27 No. 35 Page 7 Monday, 7 May 2012 UNGA, ECOSOC, CSD, SDC PROPOSAL AND UNEP: The two paragraphs agreed ad referendum in this subsectionOn 24 April, delegates engaged in an initial exchange of relate to: an improved and effective IFSD that should takeviews and made various proposals on inter alia, recognizing into account, inter alia, shortcomings, relevant implications,universality of the UN, what IFSD should do, the UNGA and synergies and duplication; and reaffirming ECOSOC as aECOSOC. Further readings took place on 26 April and 3 May, principal body for policy review, dialogue and recommendations.and Co-Chair Kim started making compromise proposals on IFIs, UN OPERATIONAL ACTIVITIES AT COUNTRYthe text on 3 May, with two paragraphs ultimately agreed ad LEVEL: An initial exchange of views on paragraphs relatedreferendum. to IFIs, UN operational activities at the country level and other During these discussions, the most contentious paragraphs related matters started on 23 April with further readings on 27on ECOSOC, CSD, SDC and UNEP were not taken up by April, 1 May and 3 May. Based on the proposals brought bydelegates, since the G-77/China indicated that it was not yet delegates, Co-Chair Kim made compromise proposals on the textready to present its collective position. Therefore, an exchange on 3 May, with one paragraph ultimately agreed ad referendum.of views of delegations on IFSD options was held on 27 April Among the issues discussed was a proposal related to thewithout the active participation of the G-77/China. Delegates reviewing of the state of the planet for which Switzerland,presented key elements of their positions, including the EU and supported by the EU and the US, requested deleting referenceKenya’s support for upgrading UNEP; a strong US preference to “continuation” of a regular global sustainable developmentfor working with existing institutions; Kazakhstan and Norway’s assessment, saying no such process is in place. The G-77/Chinapreference for SDC; Japan’s proposal to reform the CSD; and reserved its position, and noted a need to highlight initiativesCanada’s call for ECOSOC to play a more integrated role in addressing all pillars of sustainable development. At a latersustainable development. stage of the negotiations, the US, Switzerland and New Zealand On 3 May, the G-77/China announced that it was ready to expressed their support for this initiative, while the G-77/Chinapresent its proposal, which included: the establishment of a preferred dealing with it in the context of discussions on UNEP.high-level political forum with an intergovernmental character, Discussions were also held around retaining text on building onbuilding on existing relevant structures or bodies, including the lessons learned from ongoing initiatives including “Delivering asCSD; and strengthening UNEP’s capacities. One,” which the G-77/China opposed, while New Zealand and On Friday morning, 4 May, other delegations reacted to the other countries asked to retain. They also focused on a CanadianG-77/China proposal. While reserving their positions, several proposal to strengthen the role of the UN resident coordinator inwelcomed it as a useful contribution with some valuable support to country authorities. This proposal was supported byelements. The EU suggested that it was not sufficiently the EU, New Zealand, Norway, US, Montenegro and Australia,ambitious. while the G-77/China and Russian Federation opposed it. Later that day, the G-77/China withdrew its entire proposal Draft Outcome Document: As at 4 May, the documentafter Kenya, for the African Group, announced in Working retains key options proposed by delegations including a regularGroup 2 that some elements of the African proposal had not review of the state of the planet; enhancing coordination andbeen incorporated into the G-77/China position, especially cooperation among multilateral environmental agreements;with regard to strengthening and consolidating UNEP into a further mainstreaming the three dimensions of sustainablespecialized agency based in Nairobi. The G-77/China, which development throughout the UN System; strengtheninguntil then had been speaking with one voice on this issue, was operational activities in the field; and encouraging action tounable to continue to present a collective position. Peru, along promote access to information, public participation and access towith many other countries, requested reinstating the G-77/China justice in environmental matters.proposal. However, a number of other members of the G-77/ The paragraph agreed ad referendum refers to giving dueChina, including Kenya, Ethiopia, South Africa and Morocco, consideration to sustainable development by the IFIs, the Unitedexpressed support for Kenya’s proposal. A few countries Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) andprovided initial reactions, including Switzerland and the EU, other relevant entities.which noted commonalities between the original G-77/China REGIONAL, NATIONAL, SUB-NATIONAL, LOCAL: Anproposal and proposals made by other countries, and said that initial exchange of views on this subsection started on 23 April.these commonalities could represent building blocks for future Further readings took place on 27 April, 1 May and 3 May. Onwork. At the end of the meeting, the entire text remained heavily 3 May, Co-Chair Kim made compromise proposals on the text,bracketed. taking into account amendments brought by delegates, with two Draft Outcome Document: The latest version of the draft paragraphs ultimately being agreed ad referendum.outcome document includes numerous options, including: a Key issues discussed included regional and sub-regionalsystem-wide strategy for sustainable development in the UN organizations and calling on countries to undertake actions tosystem, strengthening the role of ECOSOC; improving the CSD; enact clear and effective legislation for sustainable development.transforming the CSD into an SDC; strengthening the capacity On regional and sub-regional organizations, Mexicoof UNEP; establishing UNEP as a UN specialized agency for proposed additional text urging the strengthening of UNthe environment, with universal membership; and supporting the regional commissions and sub-regional offices, and emphasizingestablishment of an Ombudsperson, or High Commissioner for “resource allocation.” The EU, US and Japan did not supportFuture Generations. The IFSD proposal presented by the G-77/ this proposal. At a later stage of the negotiation process, MexicoChina on 3 May has also been kept in the document with the withdrew its proposal on resource allocation, but asked to retainattributions of the various countries that supported this proposal. reference to strengthening UN regional commissions and their
  8. 8. Earth Negotiations Bulletin Monday, 7 May 2012 Page 8 ................................... Vol. 27 No. 35sub-regional offices in their capacities to support governments • disaster risk reduction and resilience;in implementing sustainable development. Compromise text • climate change;accommodating this request was agreed ad referendum. • forests; Based on an earlier proposal from Switzerland, a new • biodiversity and ecosystem services;paragraph was suggested on ensuring long-term political • desertification, land degradation and drought;commitment and calling on countries to undertake actions • mountains;particular to their national circumstances to enact clear and • chemicals and waste;effective legislation for sustainable development. Later on in • atmosphere;the negotiations, the EU expressed support for this paragraph. • sustainable consumption and production;Canada, supported by Australia and the Republic of Korea, • mining;proposed to replace “call on” with “encourage.” The G-77/China • education;and the US asked to delete reference to enacting legislation for • family;sustainable development, but Switzerland opposed. • gender equality and empowerment of women; Draft Outcome Document: The draft text addresses, inter • private sector; andalia, developing and utilizing sustainable development strategies; • sustainable innovation and investment.more coherent and integrated planning and decision-making; Delegates conducted a paragraph-by-paragraph readingand regional and cross-regional initiatives for sustainable and review of the text, considering all of these issues in turn,development. and completed a second reading on most of the paragraphs. The draft contains two paragraphs that were agreed ad Issues that proved the most controversial and took up the mostreferendum. One acknowledges the importance of the regional time included: sustainable agriculture and food security; waterdimension and that it can complement action at the national and sanitation; energy; oceans and seas; sustainable tourism;level; the other emphasizes the significant role of regional and sustainable transportation; harmony with nature; and gendersub-regional organizations in promoting a balanced integration of equality and empowerment.sustainable development. Working Group 1 addressed sustainable agriculture and food security on 24 April and 2 May. The G-77/China pressedV. FRAMEWORK FOR ACTION AND FOLLOW-UP for its texts on market access, price volatility, empowering rural Section V of the draft text, titled “Framework for Action and populations, the Doha Agriculture Mandate, and unsustainableFollow-Up,” comprises about half of the entire text of the draft consumption patterns in developed countries. Japan andoutcome document. It contains three subsections, focused on: Switzerland sought references to the Principles for Responsiblepriority/key/thematic/cross-sectoral issues and areas; accelerating Agricultural Investment, on which several reserved because theand measuring progress; and means of implementation. This Principles are not yet agreed. The US, Switzerland, Japan andsummary provides an overview of negotiations on key topics the EU proposed different language regarding the Guidelinesthat generated the most discussion or debate, and presents a on Responsible Governance of Tenure of Land, Fisheries andbrief outline of the draft outcome document as it stood at the Forests in the Context of National Food Security, which theconclusion of the meeting on 4 May. G-77/China opposed. A. PRIORITY/KEY/THEMATIC/CROSS-SECTORAL Delegates discussed water and sanitation on 24 April and 3ISSUES AND AREAS: This subsection constitutes more than May, with the G-77/China wishing to retain its prior proposals onone-third of the entire text of the draft outcome document. By 4 access to water and sanitation as a human right and on increasedMay, it contained approximately 240 draft paragraphs (including support to developing country efforts to accelerate progressalternative drafts) proposed by delegations and the Co-Chairs, towards water access and management, and suggesting referencesand from the original zero draft. The subsection identifies only to “basic” sanitation. The US suggested referencing “safe”various issue areas and proposed text on each, which delegations rather than “clean” drinking water, Japan sought reaffirmation ofadded to during the course of the meeting. As of 4 May, the list the need to develop integrated water resources management andincluded: water efficiency plans, and Switzerland sought referencing tools, • eradication of poverty; such as the water footprint and payments for ecosystem services. • sustainable agriculture and food security; The EU proposed goals on access to safe and clean drinking • water and sanitation; water, reduction of water pollution, increasing water efficiency • energy; and promoting the use of nonconventional water resources. • sustainable tourism; The Working Group took up energy on 24 April and 3 May, • sustainable transportation; with debate focusing on: whether to reduce or phase-out energy- • harmony with nature; related subsidies, and which types; whether to refer to access • sustainable cities/human settlements; to “modern energy services” or “sustainable energy” or some • health; combination of the two; the status of the Sustainable Energy • jobs; for All Initiative; energy source diversification, particularly the • oceans and seas; role of renewable sources; energy efficiency; and what national • small island developing states; energy policies should address. The EU introduced, supported by • least developed countries; Canada and New Zealand but opposed by the G-77/China, new • land-locked developing countries; text emphasizing that each country should implement national • Africa; energy policies and low-emission development strategies. • other groups and regions with sustainable development challenges;
  9. 9. Earth Negotiations Bulletin ................................... Vol. 27 No. 35 Page 9 Monday, 7 May 2012 Delegates considered proposed text on harmony with nature Draft outcome document: The draft outcome documenton 24 April and 2 May. This section was the subject of protracted contains 240 paragraphs under this subsection, coveringdiscussions, with Bolivia and Ecuador at first proposing text that 30 different issues proposed by various delegates, as wellthe G-77/China then took on board, about: promoting harmony as suggestions for how to order the paragraphs and topicswith nature and the Earth; launching discussions for a universal addressed. Except where indicated, these proposals remaindeclaration on the rights of nature; and recognizing the rights of bracketed.Mother Earth to life, regenerate biocapacity, continue vital cycles On a preambular opening paragraph, several proposalsand processes, maintain the diversity of components, be free were submitted, focused on issues such as assessing progressof contamination or pollution, and be restored from harm. The to date and gaps in implementation of existing outcomes andNCST considered by Working Group 1 during the second week agreements, the need to focus on all three pillars/dimensions ofspoke generally about the need to balance eradicating poverty sustainable development and “planetary boundaries.”while promoting harmony with nature and protecting ecosystems, On poverty eradication, the various texts highlight issues suchbut omitted discussion of a possible universal declaration of as the MDGs, social protection and the right to development.the rights of nature or endorsing the rights of Mother Earth, so On sustainable agriculture and food security, the textthe G-77/China asked to retain the earlier text. At the urging of highlights issues such as fisheries, the right to be free fromseveral delegations, this subsection was moved to Section I. hunger, trade, agricultural productivity and the role of science Working Group 1 discussed oceans and seas on 25 April and technology, the role of rural communities, indigenousand 3-4 May, with negotiations proving to be particularly peoples and women, possible goals and targets, land tenurecontentious. Disagreements surfaced within the G-77/China, with issues, and the Committee on Food Security.Venezuela opposing text on a possible UN Convention on the On water and sanitation, the document addresses integratedLaw of the Sea (UNCLOS) instrument on marine biodiversity water resource management, access to safe and clean drinkingbeyond areas of national jurisdiction and a group of developing water and basic sanitation (including a possible 2030 goal andcountries, led by South Africa, supporting negotiations for such mobilizing resources in this regard), capacity building, wateran instrument. pollution and transboundary cooperation. Other sources of disagreement in Working Group 1 On energy, the draft highlights the role of energy indiscussions included, inter alia: access to fisheries; market development and poverty eradication, access to modern energyaccess for fish products from developing countries; referencing services, national sovereignty in determining suitable policies,blue economy; considering the assessment findings of the energy efficiency, renewable energy, the goal of limitingRegular Process for Global Reporting and Assessment in temperature rise to 2°C, the UN Secretary-General’s Sustainableformulating national, regional and global oceans policies; Energy for All initiative, and phasing out subsidies.calling for ratification of UNCLOS; listing regional cooperation The proposed section on sustainable tourism is the onlyinitiatives on conservation and sustainable management thematic area agreed ad referendum. It contains two paragraphsof oceans; commitments regarding marine protected areas that: call for enhanced support for sustainable tourism activities(MPAs); referencing International Maritime Organization and relevant capacity building in developing countries;(IMO) conventions and regulations; fisheries-related subsidies; encourage the promotion of investments in sustainable tourism;ship emissions; how best to combat illegal, unreported and and underline the importance of establishing, where necessary,unregulated (IUU) fishing; ratifying or acceding to and appropriate guidelines and regulations.implementing the 1995 Agreement on the Conservation of On sustainable transportation, the two relevant paragraphsStraddling and Highly Migratory Fish Stocks; referencing the address the role of transportation in enhancing economic growthUN Food and Agriculture Organization Code of Conduct for and supporting sustainable transport systems, including energyResponsible Fisheries; and eliminating harmful fishing practices. efficient, multi-modal, public mass transportation systems, and On ocean fertilization and acidification, the G-77/China clean fuels and vehicles, as well as improved transportationsought to retain its paragraphs from the March version of the systems in rural areas.draft outcome document. The EU added goals regarding IUU and On harmony with nature, the various proposals cover issuesconservation and sustainable management of oceans. ranging from poverty eradication to promoting a life in harmony Delegates debated text on gender equality and empowerment with nature and “recognizing the rights of Mother Earth.”of women on 26 April. While there was general consensus on These various proposals remain bracketed, and there was also athe need for a strong subsection on this topic, opinions differed proposal to move this text to Section I (Preamble).on phrasing and which initiatives and aspects to highlight. On sustainable cities/human settlements, the text focusesAmong the proposals were references to the Convention on the on issues such as slum upgrading or urban regeneration,Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women integrated and sustainable urban planning, empowerment of local(Norway, the G-77/China, EU, US and Liechtenstein); putting authorities and residents, and partnerships.women on equal footing with men on sustainable development On health, the text focuses on universal health coverage,decision-making roles (Norway, Liechtenstein, New Zealand and rights, communicable diseases, prevention and treatment, thethe EU); increasing the number of women in leadership positions Doha Declaration on the Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects ofto at least 40% (Iceland); giving women the right to inherit Intellectual Property Rights and Public Health, family planningproperty (Norway); and committing to use gender-sensitive and sexual and reproductive rights/health, and maternal and childindicators (Norway and the EU). mortality.
  10. 10. Earth Negotiations Bulletin Monday, 7 May 2012 Page 10 ................................... Vol. 27 No. 35 On jobs, proposals include a focus on social protection, On chemicals and waste, paragraphs address the JPOI goalthe need to create hundreds of millions of decent jobs, youth of sound management by 2020, strengthening the Strategicemployment, indigenous peoples, women, poverty eradication, Approach to International Chemicals Management, the Basel,sustainable livelihoods, public and private investments, Rotterdam and Stockholm Conventions, the Montreal Protocol,migration, and an intergovernmental process under UNGA for a and negotiations on a mercury employment strategy. On atmosphere, a short text addresses transboundary air On oceans and seas, proposed text relates to: protecting pollution and scientific knowledge.and restoring ocean and marine ecosystems; marine protected On sustainable consumption and production (SCP), variousareas; pollution; coral reefs; ocean acidification; maintaining paragraphs address disparities between rich and poor and Northor restoring fisheries; subsidies; IUU; capacity building; fair and South, sustainable procurement, and the 10-Year Frameworkaccess to fisheries; transparency and accountability in fisheries of Programmes on by regional fisheries management organizations; On mining, the text notes its catalytic/potential role insmall-scale fishers; funding mechanisms; the blue economy; and economic development and poverty alleviation, while urgingmarine biodiversity beyond areas of national jurisdiction and a comprehensive legal and regulatory frameworks and policies.possible implementing agreement to UNCLOS. On education, the text covers the right to education, curricula On small island developing states, proposals deal with on sustainability, universal access to primary education,their unique and particular vulnerabilities, climate change, and vocational training and lifelong learning, and values.relevant treaties. On family, this text supports the family’s role as “the basic On least developed countries, text includes a commitment to unit of society.”assist with a goal of enabling half of them to leave this class of On gender equality and empowerment of women,countries through poverty eradication and accelerated, equitable various proposals highlight women’s vital role in sustainablegrowth and sustainable development. development, barriers to full participation in the economy and On land-locked developing countries, text addresses decision-making, rural women and girls, and family planning andtransportation and trade challenges. other sexual and reproductive rights. On Africa, proposals address poverty, investment, market On the private sector, the text addresses corporate reportingaccess, ODA, disease, and relevant commitments under various and accountability.existing treaties. On sustainable innovation and investment, proposals deal On other groups with sustainable development challenges, with long-term regulatory certainty, sustainability standards forproposals address the needs of Latin America and the Caribbean, resource extraction and production, and making prices reflectthe Quito Declaration, poverty eradication in Asia-Pacific, the true environmental and social costs and benefits (includingMDGs, and progress and challenges in Arab countries. payments for ecosystem services, carbon pricing and phasing out On disaster risk reduction and resilience, paragraphs harmful subsidies).consider resilient cities and communities, resource scarcity and B. ACCELERATING AND MEASURING PROGRESS:climate change, risk assessments, early warning systems, cross- Working Group 1 completed a first reading of this subsectionborder cooperation, and the Hyogo Framework for Action. on 26 April, and began, but did not complete, a second reading On climate change, the text highlights the many challenges on 4 May. This section mostly addresses the proposal onand vulnerabilities, the outcome of the Durban Climate Change sustainable development goals (SDGs). Some of the main pointsConference, the goal of limiting temperature rise to 2°C, funding, of contention revolved around the relationship between SDGsmitigation and adaptation. and the MDGs, principles and characteristics of SDGs, and the On forests, proposals cover such issues as sustainable forest process to develop such goals. Not everyone agreed with themanagement, the Non-Legally Binding Instrument on all Types proposal to develop SDGs or to call them SDGs per se, but mostof Forests, biodiversity and conservation, livelihoods and supported some kind of goals for sustainable development.financing. During the discussions, the G-77/China: noted their On biodiversity and ecosystem services, the text addresses willingness to explore the SDG concept; said the goals wouldthe severity of global biodiversity loss, traditional knowledge, have to be based on the three pillars and be time-bound; andgenetic resources, poor and indigenous peoples, the Aichi stressed the process must be intergovernmental, inclusive andBiodiversity Targets, and relevant treaties, such as the under the UNGA. Acknowledging technical expertise may beConvention on Biological Diversity (CBD) and the Convention utilized, he highlighted that governments should be firmly inon International Trade in Endangered Species. control of the process, and said the MDGs are and will continue On desertification, land degradation and drought, proposals to be relevant alongside SDGs.highlight the UN Convention to Combat Desertification The EU said discussions and this process must not prejudge(UNCCD), Africa’s vulnerability, soil and land management, or interfere with review or implementation of the MDGs. Manymonitoring and early warning systems, and partnerships. delegates stressed SDGs should be universal in application On mountains, paragraphs deal with mountains’ crucial role and should complement not replace the MDGs. A number ofin providing water resources, vulnerability to climate change and countries said that SDGs are critical in forming a post-2015mountain ecosystems. development agenda. Mexico said a meaningful Rio+20 outcome on SDGs depends on four critical elements: principles guiding their elaboration; process; thematic areas; and a reporting system. On process, he proposed: establishing a group of experts, supported by the UN
  11. 11. Earth Negotiations Bulletin ................................... Vol. 27 No. 35 Page 11 Monday, 7 May 2012Secretary-General; creating a Sustainable Development Outlook • measuring progress towards SDGs by an agreed set offor assessment that reports to ECOSOC; and mandating the UN indicators and assessing them on the basis of specific targetsStatistical Commission to identify appropriate indicators. that could be differentiated depending on countries’ levels of Regarding a paragraph containing approximately 20 principles development and national specificities; andand characteristics proposed by the G-77/China that should guide • the limitations of GDP as a measure of wellbeing andSDGs, positions diverged over whether the list should be concise sustainable growth, and the development of science-based andor more prescriptive. The G-77/China stressed that having a list rigorous measurement methods.of principles and characteristics, as well as specific MOI linked C. MEANS OF IMPLEMENTATION: Working Group 1to achieving SDGs, was critical to agreement on SDGs in Rio. only addressed Section V-C on MOI on 24 April, working mostly Delegates also discussed a paragraph on establishing a on the Co-Chairs’ Suggested Text (CST), although the G-77/country-driven intergovernmental process on SDGs that is China asked to retain many of its proposals in the draft outcomeinclusive, transparent and open to participation of all relevant document resulting from the March 2012 informal consultations.stakeholders and that draws on relevant expert advice and New CST (NCST) introduced by the Co-Chairs during theevidence. Switzerland said the process should be driven by second week in an attempt to streamline heavily bracketedrelevant expert advice and evidence. The US: expressed concern CST, was not discussed. Working Group 1 addressed fiveover language on coordination and coherence with the MDG components in the CST for Section V-C: finance; science andreview process, noting this could imply two processes competing technology; capacity building; trade; and the proposed registry orfor one set of resources; and proposed language requesting the compendium of commitments.Secretary-General to launch and coordinate a process on the On finance, the G-77/China sought texts on honoringpost-2015 UN development agenda, which integrates the three past ODA commitments, debt relief, providing additionaldimensions of sustainable development. Norway said technical and predictable sources, increasing the core resources of UNexperts would be needed and feared drawn-out negotiations funds and programmes, and a specific dollar target for fundwould impede coming up with precise goals. mobilization by 2020 in support of the goals agreed at Rio+20. Delegates also diverged on whether to include a list of Developed country delegations sought to reference mobilizationindicative thematic areas to help guide the process to develop of private sources, innovative financing and the UN ConventionSDGs, with the G-77/China, the US, Japan and others opposing. against Corruption.Switzerland called for SDGs in areas that have a global impact. On science and technology, Working Group 1 debate focused Draft Outcome Document: The title of the subsection on CST texts on an appropriate mechanism to facilitate cleanremains unresolved, with bracketed references to “Accelerating technology dissemination, international cooperation to promoteand measuring progress,” “Sustainable development goals” and investment in science, innovation and technology, and whether“Integrating sustainable development in a post-2015 development or not to establish an intergovernmental panel of experts onframework.” This subsection has a number of paragraphs, most sustainable development and/or ask the UN Secretary-General toof which refer to the proposed SDGS, although the term itself report on options for strengthening the science-policy interface.remains bracketed alongside reference to “any goals.” Most of There was little discussion of the G-77/China proposal retainedthe paragraphs in the document have many brackets. A number from the compilation text, opposed by the EU, US, Japan,of paragraphs were not discussed during the second reading. Canada and New Zealand, for an international technologyThese paragraphs address, inter alia: transfer mechanism. • the MDGs as a useful tool in focusing achievement of specific Regarding capacity building, delegates discussed CST development gains as part of a broad development vision on building capacity regarding resource-efficient economies and framework for the development activities of the United and promoting SCP patterns, enabling developing countries Nations; to undertake effective adaptation strategies, human resource • the need for a set of goals that addresses all three dimensions development, supporting South-South and triangular cooperation, of sustainable development and their interlinkages; and promoting public-private partnerships. • principles and characteristics, many of which remain On trade, Working Group 1 debated CST on subsidies, aid bracketed, that should guide SDGs or any goals, including for trade, and World Trade Organization (WTO) negotiations that goals should be concise and readily communicable and on environmental goods and services. The G-77/China asked focused on priority areas, apply to all countries, achieve to retain its proposals from the March draft outcome document poverty eradication, complementing or building upon the on market access, access to medicines, WTO inclusiveness and MDGs, and respect the sovereignty of States over their natural transparency, and implementing aid for trade commitments. resources; The US introduced its proposal for a compendium of • the process to develop such goals under the UNGA, with commitments and encouraged all participants to register language on this process remaining bracketed alongside voluntary commitments and make them publicly available. While reference to a process for the post-2015 UN development Switzerland generally supported the idea, it asked to retain an agenda; a reference to “intergovernmental” process remains earlier proposal from the draft outcome document detailing bracketed as well; and a follow-up mechanism. The G-77/China asked to delete this • a list of indicative thematic areas that can help to guide the subsection. process to develop the SDGs. Draft Outcome Document: Currently only the titles of two of The following new Co-Chairs’ proposed paragraphs were not the subsections, Finance and Trade, are agreed.yet addressed during the second reading of this subsection. Theyaddress:
  12. 12. Earth Negotiations Bulletin Monday, 7 May 2012 Page 12 ................................... Vol. 27 No. 35 The finance section contains NCST, heavily bracketed Co-Chair Kim suggested that, to achieve its goals, the groupCST and G-77/China proposals from the March draft outcome must change its working methods dramatically. He indicated thatdocument on prioritization of sustainable development in the by 22 May, the Co-Chairs would produce a new, streamlined textallocation of resources, fulfillment of ODA commitments, aid for delegates’ consideration. He also stated that the workloadeffectiveness, aid to Africa, financial commitments related to of the working groups would be divided more evenly, withclimate change, new credit facilities by IFIs, coherence and one group focusing on Sections I-IV, while the other focusedcoordination among funding mechanisms related to sustainable on Section V. In addition, he noted that he would be unable todevelopment, debt relief, Global Environment Facility (GEF) attend this meeting due to prior commitments, and informedreform, the UN Convention Against Corruption, innovative delegates that Vice-Chair Keith Christie (Canada) would replacesources of financing, and the role of the private sector. him as Co-Chair. In closing, he indicated that he was “cautiously Beyond proposals to add innovation and R&D to the title, optimistic” of success in Rio, in spite of the hard work ahead.the draft science and technology section contains NCST, The G-77/China endorsed the Bureau’s recommendation toheavily bracketed CST and G-77/China proposals from the hold an extra week of negotiations, expressed frustration at theMarch compilation text on: access to environmentally sound lack of compromise “from time-to-time” during the meetingtechnologies, know-how and expertise; an enabling environment talks and hoped the Co-Chairs’ new text would assist in movingfor the development, adaptation and dissemination of negotiations forward.technologies; strengthening national scientific and technological Denmark, for the EU, thanked all involved and lookedcapacities; international cooperation to promote investment in forward to receiving the Co-Chairs’ new, innovation and technology for sustainable development; Co-Chair Kim invited Major Groups to speak. Farmersintellectual property rights; an “appropriate” mechanism to expressed concern about delayed accreditation processes for thefacilitate clean technology dissemination to developing countries; UNCSD, which could compromise Major Groups’ participationspace-technology-based data and geospatial information; a unless urgently addressed. She supported inclusion in thepossible window at the Green Climate Fund to facilitate the outcome document of issues, such as aquaculture, sustainabletransfer of green technologies, including on the area of new andfisheries and land tenure, and said the WTO should not berenewable energy resources; international, regional and nationalreferenced under the section on agriculture and food security.capacities in technology assessment; the science-policy interface; The Scientific and Technological Community argued thatand the G-77/China proposal for an international technology whatever new IFSD emerges from Rio, the science-policytransfer mechanism. interface should be clearly established and part of the structure. The capacity building section is all CST and NCST, with the Business and Industry highlighted the need to redouble effortsmost heavily bracketed CST concerning how the UN System on innovation, collaboration and governance. Highlighting theshould support developing countries in capacity building for role of business in many of Rio+20’s themes, she urged greeningresource-efficient economies and promoting SCP. Texts with few all sectors in all countries.brackets include those on human resources development, North- Workers and Trade Unions said the global jobs crisis mustSouth, South-South and triangular cooperation, the Bali Strategic be tackled, especially for youth, women and the unemployed.Plan, and encouraging the participation of male and female Noting that “there are no jobs on a dead planet,” she said jobsscientists and researchers from developing countries in processes that reduce environmental impacts should be at the core of globalrelated to global environmental and sustainable development initiatives.assessment and monitoring. Local Authorities highlighted the importance of text on public The trade section contains competing CST, NCST and G-77/ participation, Major Groups and sustainable cities, and urged aChina proposals from the March draft outcome document on: goal of sustainable cities for all.the Doha Round, including the negotiations regarding trade NGOs called for an outcome from Rio+20 that includes civilin environmental goods and services; WTO inclusiveness and society, participatory practices, and strong, binding agreements.transparency; market access; resisting protectionist tendencies;Warning against producing “another empty document,” she saidaccess to medicines; trade capacity building and facilitation; Rio+20 may be the last opportunity for decisive action before thesubsidies; and aid for trade. global situation becomes irreversible. Beyond the US presentation and initial reactions, the Children and Youth said “failure has been too common”compendium of commitments was not discussed in detail. during the past two weeks. She called for a Rio+20 outcome that establishes a genuine blue and green economy and establishes aCLOSING PLENARY strong framework for human development. Co-Chair Kim Sook convened the closing plenary late Women expressed concern at the bracketing and deletion ofon Friday afternoon, 4 May. While noting some progress, text on rights. She advocated strong text on the Rio Principles,he acknowledged that much work remained, with about 400 SCP, climate change, women’s rights and equality across allparagraphs still bracketed and just 21 agreed ad referendum. He three dimensions of sustainable development.reported that the Bureau had met with UN Secretary-General Ban Indigenous Peoples expressed concern about green economy,Ki-moon earlier in the day, and had discussed the large amount which she said should not be used by the private sector toof work remaining. He indicated that the Secretary-General continue exploitative practices. She urged a paradigm shift thathad told the Bureau that UNCSD was a once-in-a-generation recognizes indigenous peoples’ holistic view of development,opportunity. With this guidance in mind, the Bureau decided to and consideration of the rights of Mother Earth.hold one more week of negotiations prior to Rio+20, which willtake place at UN Headquarters in New York, from 29 May to 2June 2012.