United Nations
Commission on Sustainable Development

Background Paper

                         Fourth Session
                      18 April - 3 May 1996

                     BACKGROUD PAPER No. 11

         Report of the Meeting of Regional Institutions
                 (New York, 6-7 December, 1995)

1.   The Meeting of Regional Institutions on matters related to
sustainable development and the follow-up to UNCED was organized by
the DPCSD and was held at the United Nations Headquarters on 6-7
December, 1995. The list of participants and annotated agenda of the
meeting are contained in Annexes III and IV to this report.

2.   The meeting was opened by Mr. Nitin Desai, Under-Secretary-
General for Policy Coordination and Sustainable Development.  Ms. Joke
Waller-Hunter, Director of the Division for Sustainable Development,
chaired the meeting.

3.   The following are the main conclusions and agreements reached at
the meeting.

Regional follow-up to UNCED

4.   The Chairman summarized the discussion by noting that there have
been ministerial level meetings in all of the regions as follow-up to
UNCED and as a means to identify regional priorities for programmes,
including at the national level to implement the UNCED outcomes and
the results of the various meetings of the Commission on Sustainable
Development.  These are mainly meetings of ministers concerned with
the environment. There are also initiatives to convene meetings of
ministers for sustainable development, e.g. in Africa where these
meetings will alternate with meetings of environment ministers.  More
important than the ministerial composition of these meetings, however,
is the way the agenda is shaped and focused.  It is important that the
agenda go beyond environmental issues to include those of  sustainable
development when dealing with resource management issues, e.g. through
a change of emphasis from conservation of resources to their
sustainable use. While the importance of the larger, high profile
ministerial meetings was recognized by all participants, the large
number of smaller, less visible meetings taking place in all regions,
particularly at the technical level, to foster concrete implementation
of regional projects and programmes was considered equally important.

5.   The need for a regional focus for sustainable development was
well recognized and the importance of the regional commissions and the
regional offices of UNEP in providing such a regional focus was
acknowledged.  All the Regional Commissions have programmes for the
environment or sustainable development resulting from various
ministerial meetings. There is increasing integration of activities at
the regional level with more active cooperation among various
international and regional institutions.  Institutions appear to be
more frequently working  together and the levels of funding for
environment and sustainable development, particularly from the
regional banks are increasing.

6.   Regional banks increasingly promote sustainable development
objectives.  Their funding reacts to changes in requests from national
governments.  Bank lending polices appear to be only indirectly linked
to the various ministerial conferences, with the exception in the ECE
region of the implementation of the Environment for Europe Programme
and the Action Programme for Central and Eastern Europe.The policy
directives of the ministerial conferences are generally aimed at
promoting institutional development and capacity building at the
national level whereas bank funding is more frequently also directed
towards infrastructural projects.  

7.   It was also felt that the regional ministerial conferences have
frequently addressed problems at the national level.  Problems that
are regional in scope are taken up through other mechanisms, e.g.
regional and sub-regional conventions and programmes such as the
regional seas programme and agreements for transboundary pollution
control.  The importance of sub-regional cooperation, particularly in
a large region like ESCAP, was stressed.  Environmental side
agreements to subregional agreements (e.g. NAFTA) provided another new
means for cooperation.

8.   It was noted that monitoring of environmental performance is
fairly well developed in the ESCAP and ECE regions which produce periodic
State of the Environment Reports, but is less systematically pursued in other
regions.  It was felt that there is need for a new approach to
systematic data collection by all countries in the respective regions. 
It was noted that the State of the Environment Report for the ECE
region is done by an organization outside the UN, i.e., the European
Environment Agency. 

9.   Concern was expressed by various participants about the
proliferation of  national reporting requirements at the regional and
international level under the various conventions, as a result of
follow-up to the many UN conferences and in the CSD process itself. 
The Chairman noted that as regards the reporting to the CSD and
reporting requirements to other UN governing bodies and under the
UNCED related Conventions, concerted efforts are being made through
IACSD and other fora to find ways to streamline national reporting
requirements in order to avoid duplication and overlap and to reduce
the burden on countries.  Much more work and subsequent consultation
is needed however to define modalities for national reporting and it
is hoped that by the 1997 review some definite decisions could be made
by CSD and other organs in this regard.

10.  Several participants noted that while many of their activities
are related to UNCED follow-up, not all of them derive from that process. 
Many programmes were either initiated or ongoing before UNCED.  The Rio
process was in some cases a pause to take stock.  It was felt however that
UNCED provided an important  impetus for the entire system and marked a real
qualitative shift in the emphasis of UN system projects and
programmes.  Links between the work of the regions and the CSD process
are rather limited, with the exception of ESCAP where the agenda of
its Commission on Environment and Sustainable Development follows
closely the CSD agenda.

Regional issues

11.  In summarizing the discussion on regional cooperation, the
Chairman noted that there are many activities at the sub-regional
level that address transboundary issues. They pertain inter alia to
desertification, ocean and sea related issues, shared river basins and 
transboundary air pollution.  Activities are aimed at rehabilitation
of environmental degradation or and increasingly so - at the joint
management of natural resources.  Regional conventions are important
tools for  these initiatives and provide a means for addressing
transboundary problems. 

12.  Action related to oceans and regional seas is often of a regional
character.  In addition to regional conventions, UNEP's Regional Seas
Program is an important basis for action and cooperation among various
institutions.  Funding of the regional seas programme is problematic. 
It was felt that the experience with GEF-funding for international
waters and its impact on the funding for the regional seas programmes,
often through trust funds, should be closely monitored.  The recently
adopted Washington Programme of Action on Land Based Sources of Marine
Pollution will undoubtedly provide a strong incentive for enhanced
regional activities. 

13.  Various new initiatives related to shared ecosystems were
mentioned e.g. with respect to the Caspian and Aral seas.  The
approach builds upon the experience gained with the joint management
of river basins.  The main constraints when dealing with programmes
aimed at joint management of transboundary resources  were identified
as the difficulty of reaching a political consensus and financing.  To
be successful, it was felt that these activities should be focused on
a small cluster of countries, should identify a common interest or
common resource among the countries and should have a clear national
focus in terms of the interests of each participating country.  

14.  Transboundary air pollution has been successfully addressed by
ECE through a variety of protocols to the Convention on Long Range
Transboundary Air Pollution and cooperation is proceeding between ECE
and ESCAP (which have also overlapping membership) on this issue. 
Transboundary air pollution was not identified as a particular
priority in regions other than ECE and ESCAP, warranting a regional
convention to deal with the issues. 

15.  It was noted that there are regional cooperation activities
underway  to advance the implementation of global conventions, but
that the global conventions should include specific provisions to
facilitate action at the regional level.  This problem needs attention
in the CSD context.  The Basel convention and the Montreal Protocol
were cited as two examples where regional cooperation is playing an
important role in their implementation.

16.  The regional commissions and the regional offices of UNEP were
invited to submit brief relevant case studies on experience they have
related to the chapters of Agenda 21 on oceans and atmosphere that will be
discussed at the forthcoming session of the CSD.  These case studies have been
compiled and attached as Annex I to the present report.  Good examples of
regional cooperation on other issues are reflected in Annex II.

1997 Special Session of the General Assembly

17.  The participants were briefed on the current state of the
preparations for the Special Session and the expected results of the
discussions at the t session of the General Assembly on the format,
scope and preparatory arrangements for the Special Session. The
meeting took note that the draft resolution on that issue calls for
"relevant regional and sub-regional organizations to consider
undertaking reviews of progress achieved since UNCED at the national,
sub-regional, regional and interregional levels with a view to
contributing to the preparations for the special session" and
"welcomes the preparation of hemispheric, regional and sub-regional
conferences on sustainable development, and in this context invites
the governments concerned to contribute to the special session the
outcomes of these conferences".

18.  It was felt that the regional institutions could and should
contribute to the preparations of the special session.  However, due
to current budgetary constraints, this process would need to rely
largely on recent, on-going and planned activities,  processes and

19.  In Europe and North America, the outcome of the Sofia Ministerial
Meeting of Countries of the ECE region will be considered at the
January, 1996 meeting of Committee on Environmental Policy, inter
alia, from the point of view of making a contribution to the
preparations for 1997.

20.  In the Latin America and Caribbean Region the contribution to the
special session would be considered in the context of the follow-up to
the Havana Meeting held in September, 1995.  It would also be
important to coordinate relevant work with the preparations for the
Hemispheric Summit in Bolivia in the Fall of 1996 under the auspices
of OAS.

21.  In Western Asia contacts will be made with ESCWA and the League
of Arab States to explore possible contribution of the region to the
special session, possibly through organizing in early 1996 a special
meeting devoted to this issue.

22.  In Africa the issue will be brought to the attention of
forthcoming Ministerial Conferences in December, 1995 and in February,
1996 with a view to elaborating a common approach to the special
session.  It was suggested that ECA could coordinate this work with

23.  In the ESCAP region the issue will be considered in the context
of the recently concluded Ministerial Conference on Environment and
Sustainable Development and the preparations for the next meeting of
ESCAP Committee on Environment and Sustainable Development in October

24.  It was agreed that the next meeting of IACSD that will be held in
February, 1996 in New York and will discuss in detail the preparations
for the 1996 will provide a good opportunity to decide on ways and
means of integrating the regional experiences and perspectives in the
documentation for the Special Session.  In this context it was felt
that it would be essential for the UN Regional Commissions to be
represented at this meeting.

25.  The fourth session of the CSD in April 1996 could be also
informed of the relevant regional initiatives.

26.  It was also felt that it would be important to ensure that all
regional inputs in the special session be available in advance of the
1997 sessions of the CSD's Working Group and CSD itself (February and
April respectively) that will serve as an intergovernmental
preparatory mechanism for the Special Session with a view to enhancing
their impact on the discussions of the final document of the special

27.  Concern was raised on the need to avoid in the future the
situation which occurred in 1994 when the reports prepared by the
Regional Commissions for the CSD in accordance with the request of the
GA, where not processed as official documents and their impact was
thus marginalized.

Follow-up to 1997

28.  The participants identified the need for a more decentralized
approach after 1997, so that regional priorities can be better
pursued.  Reinforcement of efforts which have started or were enhanced
after UNCED is needed, and this must be carried out in a more
coordinated manner within the UN system as well as with outside

29.  In some regions where Regional Action Plans have been adopted on
the basis of Agenda 21, follow-up efforts would be focused on the
implementation of such Plans which stipulate regional priorities and
actions to be taken.   In other regions, better defining of the issues
and outlining regional priorities are still part of the ongoing
process and require a major effort in capacity building.

30.  Regional Commissions may wish to take the lead after 1997 in
monitoring national progress in the implementation of Agenda 21 and
related agreements, and report these to the CSD.  The Environmental
Performance Reviews undertaken by OECD could serve as a model for
monitoring progress in individual countries.  The Sofia Declaration
invites ECE to undertake similar exercise for non-OECD countries in
Europe.   This exercise, however, is time- and resource-intensive.  
For other regions, alternative models might need to be explored.  Peer
review is an important element of the review process.

Indicators for sustainable development

31.  Monitoring and evaluation of the progress in implementing Agenda
21 is closely related to the work on developing indicators for
sustainable development.  The meeting was informed about the CSD
programme of work on indicators and of regional initiatives.

32.  ECE is closely monitoring the OECD work on indicators.  After a
recently finished 3 years programme, ECLAC wishes to link future work
in this field to that of the CSD work programme on indicators and with
such issues as economic instruments.  ESCAP has recently formulated a
project document on environmentally sustainable development
indicators, which is designed to develop and test indicators for the
region using inputs from the UN system.  An inter-agency working group
meeting is foreseen in June 1996 and a regional workshop in August
1996.   In Africa, work on indicators would require substantial
capacity building efforts. 

33.  Regional Commissions generally wish to closely follow future
developments in the work related to indicators for sustainable
development.  It was felt that indicators for sustainable development
could provide a framework for a regional role in the Rio follow-up. 
Their work on and the implementation of the CSD work programme could
be made mutually reinforcing.

Future interaction

34.  This meeting was considered a good starting point for
strengthening contacts and cooperation in the future.  The
participants agreed to continue the exchange of views both in formal
and informal ways. One possibility could be if each regional
institution would post one page project profiles in the Internet to
keep others informed and to allow for compilation (cf the World Bank

35.  The regional institutions present at the meeting are encouraged
to be represented at the CSD and IACSD sessions.  

36.  It was agreed that this report will be made available to the
IACSD and the Bureau of CSD, and subsequently, if appropriate, to the



ESCAP region

1) Asia Least-Cost Green House Gas Abatement Strategy (ALGAS)

     The ALGAS project, carried out in cooperation with the Asian
Development Bank (ADB), is designed to assist the 12 participating
countries in preparing an inventory of man-made emissions and sinks of
greenhouse gases (GHGs), evaluating the costs and effectiveness of
measures available to reduce greenhouse gas emissions or enhance
sinks, and developing national action plans and policy responses that
will be required to implement the measures that are identified.

     The ALGAS project is assisting the countries (Bangladesh, China,
Democratic People's Republic of Korea, India, Indonesia, Mongolia,
Myanmar, Pakistan, Philippines, Republic of Korea, Thailand and Viet
Nam) in improving estimates of the emissions and sinks of the
principal greenhouse gases, and in undertaking economic,
technological, and environmental analyses of options for reducing
future emissions and enhancing sinks.  The training of professionals
in the countries to carry out the work is an important element of the
project.  The project commenced in 1995 and is expected to be
completed by 1997.

2) Energy and Air Pollution

     The main objective of the project undertaken in North-East Asia,
is to enhance human and organizational capacities for the protection
of the atmosphere by improving the efficiency and operational
management of coal fired power plants and environmental monitoring. 
It is also intended to promote regional cooperation on energy and air
pollution issues among the countries of the region.  The thrust of the
project is to improve efficiency of power plants, reduce air
pollutants from coal-fired power plants and enhance environmental
monitoring capabilities through regional cooperation.

     The implementation of the project will be in a series of steps as

     a)   Organize conference to electric utility plant operation
experts to identify policies to encourage pre-combustion sulphur removal and
coal preparation, technical and policy constraints to coal preparation,
principal problems of operation, maintenance and equipment shortage and
specific power plants for study and demonstration;

     b)   Undertake remedial action to improve coal quality and
maintenance problems at each selected power plant campuses and training of

     c)   Introduce appropriate efficiency improving and anti-
pollution upgrade and retrofit equipments and train operation and maintenance

     d)   Prepare an inventory of demonstrated technologies, encourage
countries to adopt clean coal combustion and post combustion technologies
for air pollution abatement and accelerate the pace of technology transfer and
operations know how;

     e)   Improve environmental monitoring by augmenting and
standardizing the collection and intercalibration of air and water pollution
data through development of approaches to ensure international
comparability, identification of data gaps and ways to augment data
collection, training of technical and scientific personnel, identifying
equipment needs and funding sources and selecting models to represent regional
transport and deposition of pollutants.

3)  Case study on Urban Air Pollution

     ESCAP has initiated a case study to review air pollution status
in the major cities of the region.  The study is to analyze the data
on air pollution collected from selected major cities of the region,
identify the gaps in data collection, assess impacts of air pollution
on economy, human health and develop guideline and methodologies for
mitigation options and framework for establishment of network on data
and information dissemination to promote awareness and to enhance
capacities of the countries in the region.  The findings of the case
study will be published and distributed to the member countries for
awareness and action.


ESCAP region: Coastal industrial development

     In 1990-91, ESCAP conducted a pilot project in the Eastern Sea
Board of Thailand.  The project involved the application, calibration
and validation of a state-of-the-art model for coastal water quality,
with the ultimate objective of simulating the impact of different
pollution loads from a major industrial estate on the environmental
quality of the gulf.  A follow-up regional project was implemented in
1994-95 and a feasibility study has been prepared and submitted for
funding to extend the same activities to other countries of the region
(Malaysia, Philippines, Pakistan and China) through the development of
case studies on water quality modeling.



ECE region:    Convention on Long-range Transboundary Air Pollution
               and its related Protocols
     Under the Convention, Parties are invited to cooperate in the
research on air pollutant effects in order to establish a scientific
basis for dose-effect relationships designed to protect the
environment.  To this end five international cooperative programmes
have been established under the Working Group on Effects to study the
effects of air pollution on forests and agricultural crops, on surface
waters, on selected ecosystems and on materials and historic and
cultural monuments.  Their main objective is to assess the present
status of the environment, evaluate occurring changes and their trends
and to establish relevant dose/effect relationships, thus
substantiating and providing for an effect-based approach to
controlling emissions of air pollutants.  The programme have already
yielded a number of important results/reports, e.g. annual reports on
forest condition in Europe; an interim report on cause-effect
relationships in forest decline; a report on the acidification of
surface water in Europe and North America; reports on the evaluation
of corrosion attach on economically important materials in the
European region; derivation of critical levels of ozone for
agricultural crops; and annual synoptic reports on the results of
integrated monitoring in selected ecosystems. 

ECLAC region

1)  Natural Gas

     The agreements on natural gas supply both from Argentina to Chile
and from Bolivia to Brazil could be classified as cooperation in the
energy sector towards the use of cleaner sources of energy.  In the
first case, for the chilean market, it is expected that natural gas
could be able to substitute coal and oil products in the electric
supply industry and in the industrial sector by 1997.  According to
the Chile's authority, the 90% of the additional capacity power plants
for 1997-2005 will be natural gas in combined cycle turbines.

2)  Hydropower 

     The hydropower development in the Rio de la Plata basin countries
has contributed to significant reductions in greenhouse gas emissions
and other emissions that produce acid rain. Four countries involved in
the Latin American Energy Organization, have bilateral cooperation
agreements: Brazil-Paraguay (Itaipu' power plant), Uruguay-Argentina
(Salto Grande) and Paraguay-Argentina (Yacireta').  They have been successful
in significantly reducing greenhouse gas emissions and other emission
that produce acid rain as follows:


            1970    1980    1990    1993
Argentina    771     504     423     346

Brazil       115      47      33      33

Paraguay     234      96       0       0

Uruguay      409     197      87      40

ESCAP region:

1) Regional cooperation in South Asian Seas
                ESCAP has executed a technical assistance project
aimed at reassessing a possible cooperative framework in the region. 
The project, entitled "Capacity Building in the Field of Planning and
Management of Coastal Areas of the South Asian Region: Phase I" was
funded by the UNEP through its Ocean and Coastal Areas Programme
Activity Centre and was executed by ESCAP during 1993 and 1994 in
cooperation with SACEP.  The project involved the assessment of
existing capabilities and capacity building requirements in the
countries of the region (Bangladesh, Maldives, India, Sri Lanka and
Pakistan) in the field of coastal and marine environmental management. 
 The priority areas for regional cooperation were identified as:
integrated coastal zone management, capacity building and marine
pollution contingency planning.  The proposed priority strategy was
incorporated in the revised regional Action Plan adopted for
implementation in 1995 by the governments of the five countries,
laying the foundation for effective regional cooperation.

2) Regional Cooperation for Coastal Environmental Management in South
China Sea

                In the context of the ADB-funded Regional Technical
Assistance project entitled "Coastal and Marine Environmental
Management in the South China Sea", participating countries have
developed common understanding of the coastal and marine environmental
problems and related constraints in the South China Seas region;
assessed the successes and failures of previous technical assistance
and investments in coastal and marine environmental management in the
region and identify additional requirements for technical assistance
and investment; exchanged experiences gained in the region; and
generated databases.

3) Regional Cooperation for Sustainable Coastal Tourism Development

                On the basis of country case studies in six countries
(Fiji, Indonesia, Malaysia, Maldives, Philippines and Thailand), a
regional guideline was developed to integrate environmental
consideration into coastal tourism development planning.  An audio-
visual module developed on the basis of the guideline was reviewed by
an expert group meeting which also developed an Action Framework for
Tourism Development in line with Agenda 21.  Sub-regional follow up is
now planned starting with South Asia.

4) Ozone Coordinated project 

                In order to strengthen the capacity of developing
country governments to phase out the consumption of ozone depleting
substances (ODS) rapidly and efficiency, a network of ODS Officers in
the Southeast Asian/Pacific region called ODSONET/SEAP is being
implemented jointly by UNEP/ROAP Bangkok and UNEP IE Paris with the
funding from SIDA.  The project aims: a) to develop a framework for
efficient exchange of experience among ODS Officers; b) to improve
access to available information; c) to facilitate feedback, in
particular to UNEP, on difficulties encountered by the developing
countries and the need for further support in terms of information,
training materials and workshops ; d) to promote sharing of
information materials; and to initiate relevant joint activities among
network countries.  

                The network currently consists of ten developing
countries (Brunei Darussalam, Fiji, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia,
Myanmar, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam) and three
developed countries (Australia, New Zealand and Sweden).  It has
succeeded in including participation of representatives from trade and
industry sectors, chemical and equipment suppliers, and also from
academic and training institutes.   

                            ANNEX III

                            New York
                        6-7 DECEMBER 1995

        Chairperson:  Ms. Joke H. Waller-Hunter, Director
          Division for Sustainable Development, UNDPCSD

                      LIST OF PARTICIPANTS

Mr. Oumar Aw
Principal Environmentalist
Central Projects Department
African Development Bank

Ms. Julie I. Thompson
Project Manager for Sustainable Development
Department of Public Information
United Nations

Mr. Lucas T. Tandap
Chief, Environment Unit
Natural Resources Division
Economic Commission for Africa

Mr. Kaj Ba"rlund
Environment and Human Settlements Division
Economic Commission for Europe

Ms. Helga Hoffmann
Chief, Environment and Natural Resources Division
Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean

Mr. Guangchang Shi
Director, Environment and Natural Resources Management Division
Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific

Mr. Carlos Lopez Ocan~a
Environment Division
Inter-American Development Bank

Ms. Karen Jorgensen
Acting Assistant Director
Division for Sustainable Energy and Environment
United Nations Development Programme

United Nations Environment Programme

Mr. Hans Alders
UNEP, Regional Office for Europe

Ms. Joanne Fox-Przeworski
UNEP Regional Office for North America

Mrs. Maria da Grac'a de Amorim
Regional Director and Representative
UNEP, Regional Office for Africa

Dr. Adel Orabi 
Deputy Director and Officer-in-Charge
UNEP Regional Office for West Asia

Mr. Arsenio Rodriguez
UNEP Regional Office for Latin America and the Caribbean

Mr. Suvit Yodmani
Regional Director and Representative
UNEP Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific


Ms. Joke H. Waller-Hunter
Director, DSD/DPCSD

Mr. Shem Arungu Olende

Mr. Lowell Flanders

Mr. Lars Hyttinen

Mr. Jagmohan Maini

Ms. Hiroko Morita-Lou

Mr. Kenneth Ruffing

Ms. Mary Pat Silveira

Mr. Andrey Vasilyev

                            ANNEX IV

                      6 and 7 December 1995

         Annotated Agenda and Proposed Programme of Work

The objectives of the meeting are to determine, through an open
exchange of experiences and information:

1.   the impact of the Rio commitments at the regional level on
                          * national policies
                          * regional/transboundary issues
                          * regional cooperation

2.   regional activities aimed at
                          * preparing for the 1997 Special Session
                            of the General Assembly
                          * follow-up after 1997

3.   methods to strengthen links between the CSD process and the regional

To this effect the following draft annotated agenda and programme of
work are proposed:

6 December 1995 - 10.00 a.m. - Conference Room B, UN Secretariat
Building (Upon confirmation)

1.              Welcome and opening by Nitin Desai, Under-Secretary-
                General for Policy Coordination and Sustainable

2.              Introduction by Joke Waller-Hunter, Director of the
                Division for Sustainable Development:  brief overview
                of developments in CSD and IACSD since 1993

3.              Regional follow-up to UNCED

                After UNCED most of the regions have set up follow-up
                mechanisms, both at the intergovernmental level and
                at the regional institutional level.  (For an
                overview of regional institutional arrangements see
                information document 1, based on information received
                in reply to the request for input for the report to
                CSD 4 on international institutional arrangements
                (Chapter 38).)

                At the intergovernmental level various mechanisms are
                in place:

                -         permanent regional committees on
                          sustainable development (ESCAP);
                -         periodic ministerial meetings, covering
                          all sustainable development issues (ESCAP,
                          ECA, ECE) or thematic (UNEP/ACMEN, ECLAC,
                          UNEP LA):
                -         period expert meetings

Participants may wish to address the following questions:

                a.        to what extent have those meetings
                          identified regional priorities

                b.        have those meetings led to concrete action
                          plans, if so
                          - is there a monitoring mechanism in place
                          - are financial resources available for
                          their implementation
                          - do they address action at the national
                          level or regional, transboundary           

                c.        participation in the meetings:
                          - ministers/ministries for the environment
                          - other ministers/ministries
                          - major groups

                d.        to what extent are/were those meetings
                          related to the rolling workprogramme of
                          the CSD

6 December 1995 - 3.00 p.m.

4.              Regional issues/regional cooperation

                So far, the CSD has paid relatively little attention
                to regional/transboundary problems, despite the
                report presented by the regional commissions in 1994,
                with the exception of desertification.

                The 1996 session of CSD has on its agenda the
                sectoral issues of oceans and atmospheric pollution,
                both of which have a definite regional component. 
                Among the other issues where a regional approach has
                merit are:  transportation, fresh water management
                and managing fragile ecosystems (desertification,

                The meeting could, based on successful examples (such
                as Mekong, Amazon, Caspian Sea, Zambesi river basin),
                discuss the merits of a regional approach, including
                the potential for cooperation of the regional
                institutions, by addressing the following issues:

                          a.       policy basis for regional
                                   actions (e.g. Agenda 21,
                                   regional action plans,
                                   (regional) conventions)

                          b.       regional and national actors
                                   involved as
                                   - initiators
                                   - providers of expertise
                                   - providers of funding
                                   what are the mechanisms for

                          c.       lessons learned from ongoing

                          d.       what should be the message to
                                   CSD 4 on regional cooperation
                                   related to atmospheric pollution
                                   and oceans (and inland seas)

6.00 p.m. Cocktails, Conference Room DC2 22nd Floor

7 December 1995 - 10.00 a.m.

5.              1997 Special Session

                In 1997 the General Assembly will hold a special
                session with a view to reviewing progress achieved in
                the implementation of Agenda 21 and the other Rio
                commitments.  A report of the SG on the modalities of
                the Special Session is currently under discussion in
                the Second Committee of the GA.

                Regional preparations were addressed in many
                interventions and in the draft resolution.  At the
                meeting an update of the Second Committee
                deliberations will be given.

                The meeting could address: 

                a.        regional preparations

                b.        the role of the regions after 1977 also
                          taking into account the outcome of the
                          discussions under agenda items 3 and 4. 
                          Special attention could be given to the
                          possibility of the regional commissions
                          being more involved in monitoring progress
                          at the national level.  It may be expected
                          that monitoring of national progress will
                          play an increasingly important role.  So
                          far, progress is monitored directly by the
                          CSD.  It could be envisaged that the
                          regional commissions would carry out
                          performance reviews of their member
                          countries, analogous to the performance
                          reviews currently undertaken by the OECD
                          and envisaged by the ECE.  The regional
                          commission would perform a peer review and
                          report to the CSD on their findings.

7 December 1995 - 3.00 p.m.

6.              Indicators for sustainable development

                At its third session the CSD adopted a work programme
                on indicators for sustainable development.  At the
                same time many activities are underway in the
                regional context.  The meeting could explore
                possibilities for enhanced cooperation.

7.              Other matters

8.              Report of the meeting

                The participants may wish to decide that the report
                of the meeting will be forwarded to the IACSD and the


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Date last posted: 3 December 1999 10:27:35
Comments and suggestions: DESA/DSD