Preparing for the Commission on Sustainable Development

Intergovernmental Preparatory Meeting (IPM) of the 19th session of the Commission on Sustainable Development (CSD-19) took place on 28 February- 4 March in New York

The discussions on all five themes – transport, chemicals, waste management, mining and a 10-year framework of programmes on sustainable consumption and production patterns – as well as on inter-linkages and cross-cutting issues were productive and substantial, providing a very good base for the Chair’s draft negotiating document. Each discussion started with presentations from two to three expert panelists in relevant fields, followed by interactive discussions among Member States, representatives of the UN System and Major Groups.

There were also two multi-stakeholder dialogues, one on implementation of sustainable development and the other on contributions of CSD-19 to the UN Conference on Sustainable Development. The Chair of CSD-19, H.E. Mr. László Borbély, Minister of Environment and Forests of Romania, presented the Chair’s draft negotiating document. The document will serve as basis for negotiations during CSD-19 and will be posted to the CSD-19 website after factual comments by Member States and other stakeholders have been incorporated.

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Progress made in understanding a green economy

The second Preparatory Committee meeting of the UN Conference on Sustainable Development (Rio+20) took place on 7-8 March in New York

A number of publications helped propel the debate forward, including the Secretary-General’s report and Synthesis Report, the UN Environment Programme’s Green Economy Report and the report prepared by a panel of experts (coordinated by UN-DESA, UNEP and UNCTAD) on the “Transition to a Green Economy: Benefits, Challenges and Risks from a Sustainable Development Perspective.”

During discussions on the objective, many speakers referred to the gaps in the decisions made in Rio in 1992 and in Johannesburg in 2002 and the need to assess those gaps. There was significant progress made in the understanding of a green economy in the context of sustainable development and poverty eradication.

Regarding the institutional framework for sustainable development, many speakers stressed finding a balance across the three pillars and on the strengthening of ECOSOC and the Commission on Sustainable Development. They also called for the introduction of stronger mechanisms for reviewing progress of the implementation of commitment.

The meeting concluded with the adoption of a decision that gave the Bureau of the Rio+20 Preparatory Process the mandate to initiate an open, transparent and inclusive process led by Member States. The mandate also called for the preparation of a draft text based on all preparatory inputs that will serve as the basis for a conference outcome document. The text will be prepared for the Second Inter-sessional meeting to be held on 15-16 December 2011, while the zero-draft of the outcome document for consideration by Member States and other stakeholders will be presented in early January 2012, followed by a three-day discussion in January and a week-long discussion in February, March and April 2012.

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High-level innovative debates on financing for development

The Special High-level Meeting of ECOSOC with the Bretton Woods institutions, the World Trade Organization and the UN Conference on Trade and Development was held in New York on 10-11 March on the theme “Coherence, coordination and cooperation on Financing for Development”

This high-level meeting of ECOSOC constitutes an intergovernmental focal point for follow up to the Monterrey and Doha Conferences on Financing for Development. The purpose is to promote an open exchange of views and experiences between the UN Delegates and the Executive Directors of the World Bank and IMF with participation of senior officials from the UN, the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and WTO.

The President of ECOSOC Lazarous Kapambwe gave opening remarks, followed by the address of the Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and statements on behalf of relevant intergovernmental bodies (Development Committee, International Monetary and Financial Committee, Trade and Development Board and WTO).

The meeting was organized in four interactive debates focusing on the Millennium Development Goals, the least developed countries, middle-income countries and the role of the UN in global economic governance. It was very well attended with Executive Directors, Advisors and senior staff members of the World Bank and IMF, participating actively in the discussions and expressing genuine interest in promoting closer relations between their organizations and ECOSOC.

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