NGO Non Paper 2, Draft 17 May 1999
Earth Summit 2002
The Earth Summit in 1992 was a very significant event. Not only did it agree on Agenda
21, but also the Rio Declaration, two conventions (Climate and Biodiversity) and the
Forest Principles. It set in motion a series of processes that are impacting on our lives
in many different ways. The Summit provided enormous amounts of energy and commitment to
people to try and find solutions to the problems that Agenda 21 identified. It helped to
show people the link between themselves, their environment locally and globally and the
links between social, environmental and economic decisions.
The UN General Assembly Special Session in 1997 (Earth Summit II) took many governments
by surprise. They hadn't prepared for this session and the enormous work that had gone
into creating the political climate for 1992 was not repeated in a satisfactory manner.
Most governments started preparation less than a year before the Special Session and did
so with the realization that the Rio accord had not been kept to by many countries notably
developed world. In particular funding for the implementation of Agenda 21 had
decreased from 1992 to 1997, and not increased as had been promised. The result of this
was an event that did not give a clear message of where we might be going and how we might
get there together. Instead it was filled with disappointment and frustration.
The world has changed enormously since the 1992 Summit. We have seen globalization come
to the forefront; we have experienced the outcome of the changes in Eastern Europe, as
well as the increased role for multi-national companies, to mention but a few changes. For
us to address these, Earth Summit III needs to rekindle the fire of the Rio accord and to
update it in light of what we have learnt in the last ten years.
Many of the environmental concerns that were highlighted at Rio have not improved and
have been joined by others. The politicians of the first decade of the 21st century will
have to deal with increased poverty with more people and less water, food, serious health
problems through AIDS and TB in particular, a loss of biodiversity and increased problems
of global warming.
This will require the world to come together in a way that allows it to address these
issues in a more systematic way.
The next Summit needs to map out a clear agenda for the first part of the 21st century
in a way that enables people, their communities, Major Groups, governments and the UN, to
understand what role they have and they need to play.
1. Earth Summit III in 2002 should be held outside New York. Early preferences are for
it to be held in Asia. Should a country agree to host the Conference, then the General
Assembly, preferably in 1999, should agree and a host agreement negotiated.
2. There should be an agreement at the General Assembly in 1999 to formally link the
Istanbul + 5 process to the Earth Summit III process. This should be done by focusing on
Istanbul + 5 i.e. on the local implementation of Agenda 21 as well as the Habitat II
3. A Secretary General for the Summit should be agreed in 2000.
4.As soon as possible a secretaiat should be put together by the UN to work on
preparations for the Summit.
5. The UNGASS for Copenhagen + 5 (2000) and Beijing + 5 (2000) should include
recommendations for work up to Earth Summit III. The next 5-year reviews of both
conferences should plan to have high level overlaps with the Commission on Sustainable
Development in 2003 and 2004 respectively.
6. The UN Regional Commissions should be requested to hold regional preparatory
meetings between 2000-2002.
7. The Secretary General should produce a general review of the implementation of
Agenda 21 to come out for the CSD in 2001 or the General Assembly in 2000.
8. The Summit should agree what will be achieved for 2003,2004,2005,2006 and by Earth
9. The Summit in 2002 should be at Heads of State Level.
10. The Summit should encompass the Stakeholder Dialogue Process into all of the
preparatory meetings and the Summit itself.
11. The future of the Commission on Sustainable Development will have to be addressed
by the Summit. The CSD has been a success at keeping the sustainable development agenda
together but not at moving the agenda forward in enough of a significant way. The CSD for
the period from 2003-2007 could address............
12. The CSD and the Intersessional in 2002 should deal with reviewing implementation
and looking at the roadblocks.
13.There should be a separate preparatory process for the Summit. The Prepcoms should
look at the new agenda around globalization and sustainable development.
14. UN Agencies should be asked to report on their implementation of Agenda 21 and
address the obstacles and how they are going to overcome them. They should also be asked
to report on what their contribution to developing the new agenda is.
15. After Earth Summit III the UN Regional Commissions should be asked to review
annually the regional implementation of the outcomes of Agenda 21.
16. If a World Environment Organization is to be set up then the Toepfer's Task Force
should be asked to prepare a paper for the PrepComs to discuss.
1. Governments should complete their National Sustainable Development Strategies by
late 2001, so that they can be analyzed for the CSD in 2002. This should focus on what the
elements of a key Sustainable Development Strategy should be.
2. National Councils on Sustainable Development should be asked to produce a review of
the national implementation of Agenda 21 in their countries.
3. Developed countries should produce plans on how they are going to reach the OECD
development targets for 2015.
4. Governments should review the policy framework they are operating in the
relationship they are having with different UN Agencies and the Bretton Woods Institutions
putting sustainable development at the centre of that framework. This should ensure joined
up government thinking.
1. NGOs and other Major Groups should prepare for Earth Summit III by organizing
national and regional preparatory meetings of their own. This should lead to not only
input to the formal process but also to agree their own set of targets and to negotiate
with other stakeholders initiatives to be announced in 2002.
2. The Centre for Human Settlements should co-ordinate with local authority
organizations (ICLEI and IULA), NGOs, Women, Industry and other Major Groups a review of
LA21 processes for Istanbul + 5. It should also produce guidelines for ensuring that LA 21
process does cover the whole of sustainable development issues.
3. The Division for Sustainable Development should work closely with UNEP, UNDP, UNIDO
and the relevant Major Groups (including NGOs, Business and Industry, and Trade Unions),
to review the role of Voluntary Initiatives and Agreements in implementing Agenda 21, and
produce a mechanism to support that work (such as a toolkit).
4. For 2002 the ICC Business Charter for Sustainable Development should be reviewed
with recommendations for elements of a new Charter. There should be a major stakeholder
meeting at Earth Summit III, including the participation of CEO's from companies prepared
to endorse the new Charter. The Charter should include measurable targets and dates.
5. The media needs to be engaged earlier in the preparation for Earth Summit III. An
advisory group including leading experts from the media (television, newspapers, radio and
electronic media) should be convened to work with stakeholder groups.
6. Reviewing the list of Major Groups and developing a framework for recognizing new
ones e.g. older people, religious community and the education community.
7. The Major Groups, Governments, UN to agree upon a methodological framework to
collect good practice examples to analyse them and draw recommendations, as well as to
agree a mechanism for wide dissemination.
The Earth Charter being developed by the Earth Council should become the initial text
for the Charter negotiations for 2002. It will be the equivalent to the Rio Declaration.
The Charter could have an annex including guidelines for the implementation of its
FINANCE, TRADE AND INVESTMENT
Many of the developed countries have Governments that are now willing to consider
increases in aid flows. This is the first time since Rio that this has happened, already
Canada and the UK are increasing aid and the Nordic Governments and the Government of the
Netherlands are still providing very high levels of aid. In preparation for 2002 developed
countries should be honest about what is possible in aid giving. By itself aid will not be
sufficient to ensure that we implement sustainable development policies in developing
The UN has a series of finance related meetings which should help develop the
background agenda for Earth Summit III. These are:
Financing Development - the financing development conference/General Assembly in 2001
which is having a series of preparatory meetings throughout 1999 and 2000 on issues such
(1) Mobilizing domestic resources for development;
(2) Mobilizing international private financial flows for development;
(3) International financial cooperation for development; and
(4) External debt (bilateral, multilateral and commercial) .
High Level ECOSOC - the high level meetings between Ecosoc and the Bretton Woods
CSD - the CSD discussion on finance, trade and investment in 2000.
Millennium Round - under the WTO;
There are also a series of other debates that may impact on this process.
World Bank - the more progressive role that the Bank is taking the need to target the
work of the Bank to delivering sustainable development;
GEF The Global Environment Facility should be expanded to cover the additional
international costs of the implementation of Agenda 21;
Debt - the Jubilee 2000 debt relief campaign;
UNDP - the focusing of UNDP on poverty targets;
Public Goods - the work by UNDP on Public Goods could open up a significantly debate.
Issues such as equity and justice, market efficiency, environment and cultural heritage,
health, knowledge and information, peace and security. The public goods debate also looks
at the key weaknesses in the current arrangements for providing global public goods the
jurisdictional, participation and incentive gaps;
Investment - should there be a new multi-lateral agreement on investment negotiated
under the United Nations, taking into consideration the environment, human rights and
labour conventions? Promotion of the UNEP Banking and Insurance Initiatives;
New Financial Mechanisms - the development of new financial mechanisms such as:
1) Airfuel Tax - If Europe could agree an Airfuel Tax by 2002 the income could be
focused on sustainable development in developing countries;
2) Tobin Tax - now needed even more than before to put a damper on current speculation.
UN Agency involvement: World Bank, IMF, WTO, UNCTAD and UNDP
GLOBALIZATION - PRIVATE CAPITAL FLOWS
This issue is probably the most important the world has to face in the near and medium
term future. The richest 225 persons in the world now control more than $1 trillion in
wealth equal to the annual income of the poorest 47% of the World's population. When one
adds to this the amount of private capital under the direction of mutual funds and other
investment mechanisms, we have a situation where a small group of individuals and
institutions have the power to determine the economic development or collapse of economies
world wide. This situation calls out for supra-national or multilateral regulatory
mechanisms, without which development for most of the world will be outside the control of
the countries who most need it. The Regional Preparatory UN Conferences should address
this and bring recommendations forward.
1. There are a series of Conventions that were negotiated for Rio or came out of
Rio/CSD. These are known as the Rio Conventions.
* Climate Change
* Straddling and Highly Migratory Fish Stocks
* Persistent Organic Pollutants and Prior Informed Consent (to be completed by 2001)
UN Agency Involvement: UNEP and Convention Secretariats
2. 2002 should produce a review of the implementation of the present set, a
quantification of their impacts and the obstacles that need to be addressed by 2002. This
analysis should also include conventions such as Basel, CITES and the Montreal Protocol
which predated Rio.
3. The relationship between these conventions and the WTO needs to be agreed formally
and may need to be incorporated into the Millennium Round of the WTO.
4. There are some possible new conventions that might be negotiated by 2002:
* Forests - the Inter-governmental Forum on Forests will make its recommendations to
the CSD in 2000 on whether there should be a new convention on forests or not.
* Access to Information - a global or a series of regional Aarhus Conventions - Access to
Information, Participation in Decision Making and Access to Justice in Environmental
* Chemicals - a chemical framework convention could be started after the POPs and PICs
have been finalized.
* Bio-Safety - renewed impetus needs to be given to work on the bio-safety protocol to the
biodiversity convention. convention.
* Bio-Prospecting and Benefit Sharing - a bio-prospecting protocol to the bio-diversity
convention could be ready.
* Transport - a UNECE regional Convention on Transport.
* Air Pollution - an Asian regional Convention on Air Pollution.
UN Agency Involvement: DESA, UN Regional Commissions, Relevant UN Convention
EMERGING AND EMERGENCY ISSUES
Earth Summit III will have to deal with a set of issues that are thought to need urgent
international action. These are likely to include the issues addressed in the convention
section and the following:
One of the key issues underlying all of the issues in Agenda 21 is Education. The
development of Chapter 36 into a more coherent work programme is crucial. Education must
support the other work areas within Agenda 21. UNESCO should be asked to prioritize
outreach to young people on sustainable development for Earth Summit III.
UN Agency Involvement: UNESCO
2. Poverty Eradication
The developed countries have now set the target for halving the world's poorest people
by 2015. The summit should review progress towards this target and suggest strategies for
achieving it. The commitment in WSSD for all countries to have a poverty strategy should
be reviewed and recommendations for harmonization with sustainable development strategies
agreed. All issues that will be addressed by Earth Summit III should be looked at their
impact on reducing poverty. This will include finance which is addressed above and:
UN Agency Involvement: UNDP, World Bank, UNCHS
3. Capacity Building;
UN Agency Involvement: UNDP, UNEP, UNCTAD, UNICEF, UNESCO, FAO, DESA, World Bank, ILO
4. Technology Co-operation.
UN Agency Involvement: UNCTAD, UNDP, FAO, WHO, ILO
ENVIRONMENTAL SECURITY ISSUES
Freshwater. We know that this is becoming an increasing problem. The World Water
Commission should be asked to input formally to the preparations for Earth Summit III with
their analysis and recommendations for solutions.
UN Agency Involvement: UNDP, UNEP, UNCHS, FAO
Food. With an increasing population - we are at present at or near the steepest part of
the increase in population, even though it will stabilize. The access to adequate food in
the early part of the millennium will be crucial. Issues such as GMOs may need to be
addressed by the Summit.
UN Agency Involvement: FAO, UNDP, World Bank, UNICEF
Consumption and Production. The present and future impacts of our consumption patterns
need to change to enable us to retail our resource base. The promotion and integration of
factor 4 and factor 10 will have an important impact but we also need to look more closely
at consumer behaviour, what the drivers to consumption are e.g. age and gender, to be able
to influence it more effectively. The UK organized Down to Earth Conference, the Norwegian
and Brazil process and the new Oxford Commission should work together to ensure that we
might be able to address these issues with more clarity by 2002.
UN Agency Involvement: UNDP, World Bank, WTO, UNCTAD
Health. particularly HIV and TB. Development is not possible in a society, which does
not have access to adequate health care. There are two diseases or plagues, which are
decimating societies in the South: HIV and TB. Today, there are already more than 34
million people infected with HIV and 14 million have already died. At current rates of
infection by the year 2016 we will have an infection rate numbering somewhere in the
neighbourhood of 140 million, more than 96% in the developing countries. TB will have
killed more than 30 million people this decade. These are development issues, which must
be addressed in any review of Agenda 21.
UN Agency Involvement: WHO, UNDP, UNHCR, UNICEF, Regional UN Commissions
Science and Technology. One of the new emerging issues here is the rights to compulsory
licensing of patents, particularly as regards pharmaceutical products and patent
extensions. In addition, one has to address not only the issue of biotechnology and bio
prospecting but also the patenting of naturally occurring human proteins and enzymes.
UN Agency Involvement: UNESCO, UNEP
Energy. The use of fossil fuels and nuclear power are both security issues as they
impact beyond the boundaries that countries have. The need to address energy as an issue
outside of the climate debate is vital particularly to enable there to be development of
sustainable patterns of production and use of energy.
UN Agency Involvement: Climate Secretariat, UNEP, UNESCO, UNDP
Tourism. The CSD in 1999 dealt with tourism for the first time. Tourism offers an
important driver for sustainable development. A set of sustainable tourism guidelines for
any tourist development should be agreed.
UN Agency Involvement: WTO, DESA, UNEP, UNDP, ILO
Transport. We are seeing a massive increase in the use of transport using fossil fuels.
This increases not only CO2 emissions but also other gases', which contribute to pollution
that results in numerous health hazards and environmental damage - both domestically and
internationally. The negotiating of a UNECE Convention on Transport should offer a model
for other UN Regions.
UN Agency Involvement: UN Regional Commissions, UNEP, UNDP
Oceans and Seas. The 1999 CSD set up a new process for reviewing the work and progress
on Oceans and Seas. For 2002 we would want to know the progress in implementing:
* the impact of the implementation of the straddling and highly migratory fish stocks
* the Washington Global Plan of Action;
* the status of the implementation of UNEP's Regional Seas Conventions;
* the Law of the Sea Convention;
* the gaps in institutional responsibility for ocean related issues;
* if we need to start negotiating a protocol to MARPOL for oil platforms.
UN Agency Involvement: IMO, UNCHS, UNEP, UNDP, UN Regional Commissions
THE ROLE OF MULTI-NATIONAL CORPORATIONS
Agenda 21 has brought in an unprecedented development of partnerships between all
stakeholder groups. This has been a positive outcome but at the same time with
globalization we have seen the ability of companies to move quickly around the globe at
times with very negative impacts. The CSD in 1998 agreed to look at the role of Voluntary
Initiatives but a larger discussion is needed about a possible Global Charter for
Multi-National Corporations (possibly the new ICC Charter) also taking into consideration
the OECD Review of Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises.. This would not be legally
binding but would enable countries to ask companies coming in to abide by the outlined
principles. Such a charter might form the basis of guidelines for national legislation.
UN Agency Involvement: UNEP, DESA, ILO, UNDP, UNCTAD
OBSTACLES TO IMPLEMENTATION
One of the key problems in the implementation of Agenda 21 has been the lack of
systematic and shared understanding of what the obstacles are. Earth Summit III will need
to agree to address these issues. They may be:
* a lack of peace;
* transfer of knowledge and technology;
* lack of sufficiently differentiated data;
* lack of participation of relevant stakeholders.
One problem with this is that addressing obstacles is an analytical rather than a
visionary process. Therefore, this requires a thorough preparatory process to enable Earth
Summit III itself to agree upon strategies to overcome obstacles.
If what was started in Rio at Earth Summit I is going to lead to a more sustainable
society and a healthier planet, then the 3rd Earth Summit needs to be as significant as
the first. World opinion needs to be re-mobilized and countries and groups need to be held
accountable for the commitments they have made to one another. An agenda can be forged
that, with careful
work and strong partnership, will result in an enormous revitalization of sustainable
development agendas as we begin our next century.
At the end of 2002 we should be able to see:
* a re-vitalized and integrated UN system for sustainable development;
* a new deal on finance - enabling a deal on sustainable development;
* a sharing of poverty strategies;
* a work program to meet the OECD targets on poverty;
* an integration of trade and sustainable development;
* a clearer understanding of how governments should move forward nationally in
implementing Agenda 21;
* a new Charter; the Earth Charter which could lay the foundations for countries to frame
their sustainable development policies;
* a review of the work of the present set of Rio Conventions - looking at overlaps, gaps
and obstacles and strategies to overcome these;
* possibly a set of new regional or even global conventions;
* a set of policy recommendations for the environmental security issues that are facing
* a set of agreed indicators for sustainable development;
* a set of strategies to overcome obstacles towards implementation of Agenda 21;
* LA21: recognition of LA21 as the multi-stakeholder process for implementation at the
* new compliance mechanisms to ensure countries are liable to censure for failure to act
in a growing range of sustainable development issues;
* a clear set of commitments to implement by the UN, Governments and Major Groups.
The Challenge is now to create the mechanisms to enable this to
Women's organisations should convene meetings to develop their input and
create a momentum towards the necessary gender mainstreaming of the issues and questions
of process leading to Earth Summit III 2002.
Remember the enormous impact women had on the first Earth Summit in 1992:
Without the Miami 1991 conference and the numerous activities before and after it, and at
the Earth Summit itself, Agenda 21 would look significantly different.
Let us aim at again creating such a momentum and impact, providing
differentiated substantial input (and enthusiasm!) to Earth Summit III 2002. We will be
able to benefit from our work for and our experiences from the Beijing+5 Review in 2000.
Contact the CSD NGO Steering Committee
and/or the CSD NGO Women's Caucus.
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