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Publications archive - International Activities and Commitments


Key departmental publications, e.g. annual reports, budget papers and program guidelines are available in our online archive.

Much of the material listed on these archived web pages has been superseded, or served a particular purpose at a particular time. It may contain references to activities or policies that have no current application. Many archived documents may link to web pages that have moved or no longer exist, or may refer to other documents that are no longer available.

World Summit on Sustainable Development
26 August - 4 September 2002

Update - July 2002

Environment Australia
July 2002

As part of our on-going public consultation process, Environment Australia will produce regular updates for stakeholders on Australia's preparations for the World Summit on Sustainable Development (WSSD) and feedback from preparatory meetings.

Updates will be posted on Environment Australia's website and will be accessible from

To receive the update via email or post, contact:

World Summit on Sustainable Development
Environment Australia
PO Box 787
Canberra ACT 2601
Facsimile: 02 6274 1858

In this Update:

Outcomes of the Preparatory Process

The preparatory process for the World Summit on Sustainable Development (WSSD) consisted of a series sub-regional, regional and global preparatory meetings. The outcomes of the sub-regional and regional meetings were transmitted to the global level meetings of the Preparatory Committee (PrepComs). A series of four global PrepComs were held with the first three (PrepComs 1-3) being held in New York. The fourth and final session (PrepCom4), at ministerial level, was held in Bali from 27 May - 7 June 2002. The outcomes of the sub-regional and regional meetings and PrepCom1 were dealt with in previous Updates.

The PrepCom2 (28 January - 8 February 2002) received inputs from the sub-regional and regional preparatory processes, the regional roundtables and reports from intergovernmental bodies and Major Groups. PrepCom2 also received reports of national assessments on the implementation of Agenda 21. Australia's report is now available (see below). The UN Secretary-General's Report, Implementing Agenda 21, was the key information document for PrepCom 2. The document brought together the outcomes of the preparatory processes (including the Regional Platform on Sustainable Development for Asia and the Pacific), and reviews of implementation by Agenda 21 task managers, in order to describe some broad trends and future challenges. The Report presented a summary of the major issues outlined, and perspectives advanced by key players and groupings during the preparatory process up to that point.

Australia's main objective going into PrepCom2 was to influence the debate so that a manageable number of priority sustainable development challenges, constraints and needs at the global level emerged which were consistent with the Regional Platform on Sustainable Development for Asia and the Pacific. Australia was active in the debates particularly in relation to oceans management and good domestic governance.

The deliberations at PrepCom2 resulted in three documents, which were transmitted to PrepCom3 for further consideration. The documents were (a) A Chairman's summary of the review and assessment of the implementation of Agenda 21; (b) A Chairman's summary of the multistakeholder dialogue segment; and (c) A Chairman's report outlining proposals made by participants with regard to 'time-bound measures' and 'global implementation initiatives' for the further implementation of Agenda 21.


Agreement on the final elements of a Programme of Action for negotiation at PrepCom4 was not reached at PrepCom3. Dr Emil Salim (Indonesia), as chair of the preparatory process, was therefore given a mandate to prepare a short and action orientated document (titled 'Chairman's text for negotiation') drawing on areas of consensus at PrepCom3 as the basis for negotiations on the Program of Action at PrepCom4.

During negotiations at PrepCom3, Australia was successful in achieving one of its main objectives for the meeting - the recognition of improved management of the world's oceans resources and good national governance as a priority issue for WSSD. Sustainable development of Small Island Developing States, an issue of particular importance to our region, was also given particular attention.


PrepCom4 was initially expected to (a) finalise the draft program of action transmitted to it through the preparatory process, (b) draft the elements of the political declaration and (c)provide further guidance on the voluntary partnership initiatives.

Significant progress was made in Bali on the Plan of Implementation, although there remains a number of difficult issues unresolved. Australia played a prominent role in ensuring strong agreement on oceans management and agriculture. The main areas where agreement has not been reached are finance and trade, targets and timelines for implementation (eg on sanitation and renewables), good governance, the application of some of the Principles from the Rio Declaration (Principle 7, on the common but differentiated responsibilities of states, and Principle 15, on the precautionary approach) and climate change.

The Plan of Implementation has been transmitted to Johannesburg for final negotiation. The Draft Plan of Implementation is available from the WSSD website at

Informal consultations are currently underway in New York with the aim of progressing some of the outstanding issues prior to WSSD.

Political Declaration

A draft titled Proposed Elements for the Political Declaration of WSSD has now been released by the Secretariat and is available from the WSSD website at

Voluntary Partnership (or Type II) Initiatives

Apart from the Political Declaration and the Plan of Implementation, another outcome expected at WSSD is a program of voluntary partnership initiatives. The Vice-Chairs held further informal discussions with delegations during PrepCom4; these have now been summarised and are available on the WSSD website at

Australia's National Assessment Report and 2002 Country Profile

The UN Commission on Sustainable Development (CSD) requested countries to submit National Assessment Reports and 2002 Country Profiles as part of the preparatory process at the national level. The National Assessment Report is an assessment of progress in implementing Agenda 21 since the Rio Earth Summit in 1992, while the 2002 Country Profile contains a comprehensive overview of the status of implementation of Agenda 21 at the national level since the last review (carried out in 1997 as part of the Rio+5 process). These reports and profiles are available from the CSD Secretariat website at

Australia's National Assessment Report and 2002 Country Profile are also available from the CSD website

Update on Domestic Consultations

The Commonwealth Government conducted a second round of domestic consultations in all capital cities from 15 April to 6 May 2002 as part of its preparations for WSSD.

Approximately 200 participants attended the meetings, ranging from private individuals, academics, students, youth representatives, industry groups, local and state government, environmental and aid NGO's, the legal profession and religious organisations.

Environment Australia has prepared a paper summarising the wide range of issues canvassed at the fourteen meetings. Issues debated at the meetings include oceans management, good governance, sustainable land management, the Earth Charter, the Kyoto Protocol, energy, population, partnerships for sustainable development and water.

The report is available on Environment Australia's website at

Environment Australia welcomes input at any time and would like to once again encourage stakeholders to use the Virtual Forum (at discussion-group.html) to discuss WSSD issues amongst your fellow stakeholders.

Calendar of Meetings

United World Colleges Youth Action Summit 2002, Utrecht, The Netherlands
July 19 - August 12, 2002

12th Stockholm Water Symposium: Balancing Competing Water Uses-Present Status and New Prospects, Stockholm, Sweden
12 - 15 August, 2002

Events in South Africa around WSSD

Civil Society Global Forum, Johannesburg
19 August - 4 September, 2002,

Implementation Conference - Stakeholder Action for our Common Future, Johannesburg
20 - 23 August, 2002

Envirolaw Conference 2002, Durban
22 - 25 August, 2002

Forum on Science, Technology and Innovation for Sustainable Development, Johannesburg
26 August - 4 September 2002,

Economy, Environment and Society: World Forum on Sustainable Development, Johannesburg
27- 28 August 2002

WSSD Local Government Session - Local Action Moves The World, Johannesburg
27 - 29 August 2002

Local Government Session - Local Action Moves the World, Johannesburg
27-30 August 2002

Aspiration and Reality: Building Sustainability, Johannesburg
28-30 August 2002

Water Dome - No Water, No Future, Johannesburg
28 August - 3 September

Parliamentary Workshop on Clean Air and Clean Water, Johannesburg
29-30 August 2002

Ecology of Hope: Uncommon Opportunities for Eco-jobs and Eco-Entrepreneurship, Johannesburg
30-31 August 2002

Events beyond WSSD

International Conference on the Role of Higher Education in Sustainable Development, Grahamstown, South Africa
11 September 2002 - 13 September 2002

Civil Society and the Democratization of Global Governance, Montreal, Canada
13 October 2002 - 16 October 2002

Global Environment Facility - NGO Consultations, Council Meetings and Assembly, Beijing, China
13 - 18 October 2002.

Green Cities, Sustainable Cities Congress, Midrand, South Africa
18 - 21 November 2002

Third Meeting of the Global Forum on Sustainable Energy, Graz, Austria
27 - 29 November 2002

International Conference on Energy and the Environment (ICEE), Shanghai, China
22 - 24 May 2003

Further information on upcoming international sustainable development events can be found at and

Useful Web Links

WSSD Official website -

UN Commission on Sustainable Development website -

Agenda 21 -

United Nations Environment Programme -

National assessment reports -

Information on National Progression Targets

Information on national preparatory activities (55 country reports available as at 8/03/02)

UK Government's sustainable development website -

World Business Council for Sustainable Development -

International Chamber of Commerce -

International Council for Local Environmental Initiatives (ICLEI) -

IISD's WSSD portal (IISD covers all major international environment and development related meetings) -

UNED Forum -

Information on the multistakeholder process -

Download Update July 2002

The July 2002 Update is also available for downloading as a PDF file.

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