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Official CSD 9 Preparations - Slow Start
Gail Karlsson
The 7th meeting of the Commission on Sustainable Development (CSD 7 April 1999) adopted a resolution establishing an ad hoc open-ended intergovernmental group of experts on energy and sustainable development to undertake preparations for CSD 9 (in 2001, with energy as the main topic). The first one-week session of the group will be held for immediately before or after the CSD’s intersessional meeting in February 2000. The group will then report to the CSD 8 in April 2000. With this decision, CSD followed the program of action adopted by the UN General Assembly at its special session in 1997 (UNGASS).
The group will be led by a 5-member bureau, with representatives from each of the regional groups of the UN (OECD countries, Eastern Europe, Latin America, Africa and Asia). The bureau will include two co-chairs, one from a developing country and one from a developed country. Iran was selected as the developing country co-chair. Austria and Norway are both interested in acting as the developed country co-chair, but since neither is an elected member of the CSD, it is not clear whether either one will be allowed to serve. This resulted in some bureaucratic problems which have delayed the appointment of the developed-country co-chair at least until August. This, in turn, delays the work of the bureau.
Uphill Struggle?
NGOs are disappointed that preparations are likely to be delayed until the co-chair issue is sorted out and that the substantive agenda for the first meeting was not even discussed at the CSD meeting. Another concern of NGOs is that if two of the main oil-producing countries (Iran and Norway) were to be chairs of the committee, interest for fossil fuel alternatives would not be great, and it could be an uphill struggle to get any substantive proposals adopted by the committee.
The CSD resolution encouraged the participation of NGOs. The participation of NGOs will follow the same rules that apply for CSD meetings, where e.g. INFORSE has general access.
CSD Energy Caucus
The CSD Energy Caucus is a an open forum for discussions among NGOs about energy in relation to CSD. It has just extended its activities with a website and an e-mail list. You can sign up on the list via the internet (see below in the box).
INFORSE: NGO Visions on Large-Scale Implementation and NGO involvement
In cooperation with World Watch Institute, INFORSE has started development of NGO visions to use in the CSD9 process. For each world region, a paper is written on large-scale successes with sustainable energy, and how NGO experience can contribute to this. (See also The aim is to develop a comprehensive material for the CSD9 and its preparatory expert group on the need for integration of sustainable energy in other sectors, the scope for large-scale implementation of sustainable energy in the 21th century, and the crucial roles of NGOs in this process.

Information: CSD Energy Caucus, Gail Karlsson, e-mail:, and INFORSE Secretariat: P.O. Box 2059, DK-1013, Copenhagen K, Denmark. Ph: +45-33-121307, fax: +45-33-121308, e-mail:, http: //
NGO-involvement, How?
- Join the CSD energy caucus e-mail list:, and visit the lists’ website
- Join the work of INFORSE to develop NGO material to CSD9: contact the INFORSE Secretariat, att. Michael Kvetny.
- Propose a good candidate from your country to its official seat in CSD9 preparatory committee, and from your region to its bureau.
- Follow the national preparations.
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ISSUE #25 (529KB) 16 pages (1999-05-01)
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