At Bali talks, negotiators hammer out text for adoption at Johannesburg summit

31 May 2002 – Negotiators meeting in Bali, Indonesia, today reported progress in their efforts to hammer out draft final documents for adoption by the World Summit for Sustainable Development, which will convene this August in Johannesburg.

Reporting to a plenary session of the Summit's Preparatory Committee, Kyotaka Akasaka of Japan, who chaired negotiations on parts of the text, said agreement had been reached on 80 per cent of the language. Two "rather large" sections, on energy and oceans, had been under intensive consultation, he added, noting that despite some progress, more time would be needed to complete discussions on those issues.

Richard Ballhorn of Canada, another chief negotiator, said agreement was still outstanding on sections concerning globalization, trade and finance. Other areas were largely agreed on, including those relating to health and sustainable development.

Negotiator Ihad Gameleldin of Egypt, who is also chairing talks on portions of the document, voiced confidence that remaining issues could be resolved, pointing out that good process had been achieved on issues related to science and technology.

Also today, the Preparatory Committee considered applications from several intergovernmental and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) to participate in the Johannesburg Summit. A motion by China for the Committee to take no action on the application of the Tibet Centre for Human Rights and Democracy, an NGO, was approved by a vote of 90 in favour, 37 against, and 10 abstentions, effectively rejecting the bid for participation.

The Pacific Centre for Environment and Sustainable Development and the Center for International Forestry Research were both accredited without a vote.

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