World Summit on Sustainable Development (WSSD) (Johannesburg Summit)
Fourth Session of the Preparatory Committee for the WSSD (PrepCom IV)
(27 May to 7 June (Ministerial Meeting 5 to 7 June), Bali, Indonesia)
Outline and Evaluation
June 8, 2002
1. Overall Outline
(1) The Fourth Session of the Preparatory Committee for the WSSD (PrepCom IV) was held in Bali, Indonesia from 27 May to 7 June 2002. The first part of PrepCom IV was attended by working-level representatives from 173 countries and regions, who engaged in discussions, and from 5 June (Wednesday) to 7 June (Friday) at the Ministerial Meeting, the following persons attended, representing Japan: Minister of the Environment Hiroshi Ohki, Senior Vice-Minister for Foreign Affairs Shigeo Uetake, Senior Vice-Minister of Land, Infrastructure and Transport Shizuo Sato, and Senior Vice-Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries Takehiko Endo.
(2) At PrepCom IV, the most important goal was to compile a Global Implementation Document (Note 1) towards the Johannesburg Summit. Japan supported the Chair of the Preparatory Committee Emil Salim and endeavored to achieve a successful conclusion to the meeting, including actively contributing to unofficial coordinating work. As a result of the coordination, agreement was reached on many of the points that had been raised for discussion. However, in the areas where different countries had positions that were complex and conflicting, some differences among participants still remained and it was finally agreed that the Global Implementation Document should be carried over to the WSSD with various options still incorporated, and that negotiations would continue based on the draft document. In particular, in support for developing countries and above all the achievement of agreements in financing and trade that surpass existing international agreements, it became clear that the developing countries have serious differences of opinion with developed countries such as Japan, the United States and the European Union (EU). Japan strongly requested the cooperation of all countries in forming an agreement and Minister Ohki and Senior Vice-Minister Uetake met with major members from both developed and developing countries.
(3) Concerning the Political Declaration that is to be adopted at the WSSD and the elements that should be incorporated into it, each country representative expressed his or her views and Japan in addition announced a concept for "global sharing," in strategy, responsibility, information and experiences. It is planned that the Political Declaration will be formulated at the WSSD.
(4) In order to realize the actual creation of the Global Implementation Document and the Political Declaration, a call was made in relation to projects implemented by governments and non-governmental organizations of each country to cooperate with each other, with a view to actively exchanging information and creating partnerships with groups and organizations. Japan also proposed its participation in the Asia Forest Partnership (Note 2), and in environmental areas, in particular the Japan-Indonesia Joint Initiative to Improve Governance in Water-related Sectors. Concerning the Critical Ecosystem Partnership Fund (Note 3), Japan gave vigorous explanations on its position to other countries and organizations, in addition to calling on them to join also.
(5) In addition, at PrepCom IV there was active participation in exchanges of views with NGOs from Japan and overseas who were participating in the many meetings, as well as attendance of NGO-hosted events. Moreover, concerning side events held in conjunction with PrepCom IV, Japan vigorously participated in panel exhibitions and announced a proposal for the Asia-Pacific Forum for Environmental Development.
(Note 1) Global Implementation Document: This is a document that is expected to be adopted at the WSSD which will be held in Johannesburg from the end of August to the beginning of September this year. It will be a document that demonstrates action to promote the implementation of the Agenda 21 (an action plan for measures in the area of sustainable development) that was adopted at the Rio Earth Summit in 1992. The name of the Agenda 21 will be formally changed to the "Johannesburg Summit Implementation Plan" at the upcoming Summit.
(Note 2) Asia Forest Partnership: This is an initiative to achieve the promotion of sustainable forestry management in Asia, through activities by Asian countries, donor countries and organizations to tackle illegal logging, prevent forest fires and undertake reforestation projects.
(Note 3) Critical Ecosystem Partnership Fund: This is a fund initiative with the aim of preserving important ecosystems around the world, and is managed by an NGO Conservation International, and the World Bank.
(1) Global Implementation Document
Concerning the most important goal of PrepCom IV, namely the Global Implementation Document, in addition to the following points that Japan had asserted being incorporated - reform to a sustainable production and consumption pattern; protection of biodiversity, and earth observation and monitoring - there was also agreement achieved in many areas that had been foci for debate (including marine resources, energy, forestry and agriculture, etc.). On the other hand, surrounding the main issues of development funding and trade issues, there was no consensus of opinion between developing and developed countries. In the intervening period until the WSSD in Johannesburg, using the opportunity provided by the G8 Kananaskis Summit and others, it is now necessary to make diplomatic efforts to achieve consensus on this issue.
(2) Political Declaration
Concerning the elements to be incorporated into the Political Declaration, there was vigorous discussion in the Ministerial Meeting at PrepCom IV. Senior Vice-Minister Uetake asserted Japan's position that in order for sustainable development to be achieved, it was also necessary to achieve both environmental conservation and economic development, and that for this the support of the international community would be required, based on ownership by developing countries. He stated that Japan will continue to advance exchanges of views, and that Japan would continue to make efforts to see that its proposals were incorporated into the Declaration and would actively cooperate with the Republic of South Africa, which will be responsible for compiling the final Declaration.
(3) Projects to incorporate "Commitments" (Type 2 projects)
The briefing by the Japanese delegation concerning the project relating to forestry was highly evaluated by colleagues and it is planned to actively call on each country and organization to participate in this project towards the Johannesburg Summit.
(4) Dialogue with NGOs, Side Events
Through the exchange of views that took place during PrepCom IV between government delegations and NGOs of Japan and other countries, both sides were successful in achieving a degree of confidence building. At the WSSD, it is expected that many NGOs from around the world will be participating and efforts will continue to be made to engage NGOs in dialogue. In addition, concerning side events, there will be many such events held in South Africa, and it will be necessary to make efforts devised to see that all these events are effectively presented.
Minister Ohki was interviewed on Indonesian national television, and in addition, very vigorous publicity was implemented, with officials at various levels also providing detailed briefings of Japan's position to the press. In addition, a pamphlet was distributed that introduces the efforts being made by Japan concerning environmental issues in the region.
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