discussions were modelled around three questions posed by the chair to the speakers.
1. What do you expect from the WSSD as a politician?
2. What are you offering or committing yourself to on behalf of your country?
3. How different is Johannesburg going to be after 11 September?
Dr Pachauri said that TERI would summarize the DSDS 2002
recommendations to feed into the WSSD. Globalization must work for the poor, encompass
environmental concerns, and derive from good governance.
Ms Beckett said that the WSSD should look ahead and achieve
concrete social, environmental, and economic goals. The UK government is considering
projects in water, energy, forestry, and tourism. The 11 September event reinforces the
fact that we are one world and can together make a success of it or ruin it.
Mr Baalu said that it is time to make the right choices
since Rio is behind us and Johannesburg is imminent. Specific issues to be addressed at
the WSSD include climate change, biodiversity loss, water pollution, public awareness, and
Mr Haavisto said that the pre-Johannesburg spirit of
scepticism is not justified, as 10 years is too little time for real long-term
achievements. Though the climate convention has not really taken off, we now have many
more instruments in place and a much more active civil society. The Kyoto Protocol should
be ratified despite US opposition. ODA should be increased and specific funding/tools for
sustainable development should be earmarked.
Mr Pronk accentuated the necessity of civil society
alliances to mobilize necessary support to urge heads of states to make serious
commitments for operationalizing sustainable development; they should get away with simply
nice words. The ministers accepted the importance of nurturing confidence between
developed and developing countries. The latter should also be provided adequate financing.
Mr Hanegbi said that the WSSD ought to be concerned with
implementing promises made by governments at Rio. Israel has provided its people a better
quality of life through various environmental measures including education and awareness
and formulation of a 'green' police. Israel is voluntarily committed to promoting
environment at the WSSD.
Mr Upton said that in Rio, government leaders managed to
strike several deals, which crystallized as the Agenda 21, and to agree on binding
conventions. In contrast, no plans are on to negotiate any binding conventions in
Johannesburg. He presented stark figures, which must be balanced to bring about parity
between developed and developing countries.
Mr Tortoli said that half the battle would be won if
countries got anywhere close to achieving Agenda 21. To combat unsustainability,
Italy has devised a comprehensive strategy incorporating poverty reduction, civil society
participation in decision making, broad-based financial support, and debt relief and
market access to least developed countries.
Mr Schmidt spelt four key aspects of global sustainable
growthtrade liberalization (crucial for capital flows into developing countries);
free market access; good, effective governance; and sound environmental strategies.
Ms Mabudafhasi's opening slogan aptly summed up the South
African objectivepeople, planet, and prosperity. The WSSD must address issues
challenging nations of the South including womens rights, unemployment, disease,
poverty, and hunger.
Mr Pronk summarized the session by saying that no country
has kept the promises it made in Rio. Concrete agendas have to be prepared for consensus
at Johannesburg, after which they must be swiftly translated into action. Processes,
relationships, money flows, etc. have to be redefined. Aspects like publicprivate
partnerships, debt reduction, and resource allocation should be coordinated intelligently
between the North and the South.