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 Australian non-paper on the Ten Year Review of Agenda 21 (Rio+10)  


The ten-year review of Agenda 21 at CSD10 in 2002 is a timely opportunity for the international community to step back and assess the progress that has been made since the Rio Conference (UNCED) in 1992 and what remains to be done. The review should include, as its main focus, a comprehensive and critical assessment of areas where greater effort and attention are required. In addition to a focus on re-energising Agenda 21, Rio+ 10 should also examine the achievements and successes that have been realised through cooperative action, and the lessons to be learned through examining the factors which have contributed to these successes. There is a need, through this review, to re-invigorate the enthusiasm and optimism seen at Rio, and rekindle a shared awareness that expedient and concerted efforts are required to ensure a healthy world for the future. These goals and visions have, at times, been lost in the period since the Rio Conference. In so doing, we should be aiming to develop strategies that re-energise Agenda 21, and re-focus international priorities on areas of particular importance and urgency, and those areas where little or no progress has been achieved.

In addition to review progress and assessing future work required, Australia suggests that a substantive theme of ‘Investment for Sustainable Development’ would attract and engage the mainstream national and multilateral economic agencies and the private sector, whose support and leverage will be critical in moving Agenda 2 I forward.


A suggested structure and progression of themes for Rio+ 10 is outlined below:

1.Review of progress

  • Countries again need to make an honest attempt to--review the progress made since Rio, and since Rio+5. Rio+ 10 might begin with a short Agenda 21 scorecard report.
  • Examination of areas of progress and retreat in achieving sustainable development will 00 need to be clearly identified examined and discussed. Appropriate case study presentations might be included.

2. Investment for Sustainable Development

A theme of ‘Investment for Sustainable Development’ might consider:

  • The sources of investment-domestic, foreign, private, government.
  • Critical areas required to facilitate investment and provide enabling environments - banking; rule of law; attention to longer term planning and policy; confidence; good economic, social and environmental management; realistic prices.
  • Ensuring sustainable investment through the anticipation and avoidance of environmental and social costs.
  • Maximising the benefits of investment using tools that integrate social, environmental and economic return objectives as part of balanced decision-making processes ( eg, environmental impact assessment).

  3. Where to now?

  • Preparations for the 2002 review should be about nations and the international community examining achievements, keeping the momentum going, and martial ling renewed efforts and resources.
  • Rio+ 10 needs to re-invigorate the sustainable development ..message" and imperative of Agenda 21.
  • A Rio + 10 Action Plan, using the building blocks provided by Rio and Rio+5 would identify priority areas for further work and focussed action.

Ensuring effective preparations

In order to achieve focused discussions leading to a practical agenda for action, sufficient objective information about progress towards implementing Agenda 21 and the 1997 Programme will need to be assembled and presented. Task managers for each chapter of Agenda 21 should prepare the Secretary-General's reports to CSDl0 by firstly summarising and critically assessing progress made since Rio (and more particularly since Rio+5). Task managers should then proceed to identify areas of success and areas where further work is required. Recommendations should suggest the nature and timing of work to be done, allocate responsibility for work and be explicit about how and when the implementation of work programs for each Chapter will be reviewed, evaluated and reported upon.

Calls by CSD for further priority work in specific areas by Conventions can be used as a prompt for the amendment of work plans. Further analysis by the Secretariat on how to achieve more effective evaluation of progress within countries and improve the use of evaluation results and dialogues on national experiences may be useful. The issue of how best to share existing knowledge and draw upon networks which may inform national priority setting, and the dissemination of information on national priorities and needs, may be a useful theme for discussion.

The harsh reality is that, where Member States have not had the opportunity to ~iye full consideration to an issue, they will tend to err on the side of caution and adopt defensive or unconstructive positions. This is not what we want to see at Rio+ 10. In order to take bold new steps it is vital that Member States be afforded adequate time to undertake necessary preparatory analysis and discussions within their domestic constituency and like-minded or regional groupings. Secretariat reports must be produced well in advance of meetings and at least comply with procedural guidelines. "

Consideration needs to be given to the need for separate preparatory meetings prior to CSD 10and to whether consideration of arrangements for Rio+ 10 during the intervening planned intersessional meetings would divert attention away from other important issues. It may also be necessary to consider whether international conferences on specific topics may be a more appropriate way to prepare the Rio+10 agenda.