Talks on World Summit for Sustainable Development conclude in Bali

7 June 2002

Intense negotiations in Bali over the past two weeks on an action plan to be adopted at the upcoming United Nations World Summit on Sustainable Development have concluded with delegates unable to agree on key issues relating to financing and trade.

Intense negotiations in Bali over the past two weeks on an action plan to be adopted at the upcoming United Nations World Summit on Sustainable Development have concluded with delegates unable to agree on key issues relating to financing and trade.

The chairman of the final round of preparatory meetings, Emil Salim of Indonesia, told a press conference Friday that 80 per cent of the draft implementation plan had been agreed on and that negotiations for the remaining 20 per cent would take place in Johannesburg, South Africa, where the Summit will be held from 26 August to 4 September.

With the process now moving from Bali to Johannesburg, Mr. Salim stressed that there were still three months before the Summit for governments to reconcile their positions. "Significant agreement has been achieved [and] we can expect Johannesburg to be a success," he said.

Speaking for the Group of 77 and China, which represents over 130 developing countries, Venezuelan Minister for the Environment and Natural Resources Ana Elisa Osaria said it would have been better to finalize the agreement in Bali but the Group was still hopeful that complete agreement would be reached at the Summit.

The plan of action under consideration in Bali will be one of the outcomes of the Johannesburg Summit, where world leaders will also adopt a political declaration. Friday afternoon, government ministers wrapped up their discussion of elements for the declaration, stressing the importance of promoting respect for human rights through the document, which should be clear, concise and action-oriented. Many speakers also called for a coherent, forceful and comprehensive commitment to action in implementing Agenda 21, the global blueprint for sustainable development adopted a decade ago at the "Earth Summit" in Rio de Janeiro.

The Summit will also launch new voluntary partnership initiatives by and between governments, the private sector and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) in an effort to mobilize implementation efforts.

The partnerships, based on the government commitments in the plan of action, represent a major departure from standard international conference practice, and raise the possibility of generating additional resources and momentum for achieving results, UN officials said.

 

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