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Posted on on August 1st, 2002
by Pincas Jawetz (

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A Special Paper Published By:

Center For U.N. Reform Education

1160 Hamburg Turnpike, Wayne, New Jersey 07470-5084

ISBN: -1-881520-13-7


The center for UN Reform Education was founded in 1978 following a conference on UN reform at Villanova University. Subsequent conferences were held, inter alia, at the University of Chicago and New York University.

In 1982 the Center published the first in a series of monographs on ways to improve the UN system. Eighteen monographs and two special papers (one commemorating the 50-th Anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights; the second on UN Options to Combat International Terrorism) have been published since then. This third special paper relates to the role of the United Nations in sustainable development and global environmental governance.

The Center is a non-profit educational organization. Its mission is to encourage discussion of ways to improve the UN system. The Center is funded by dues from participating member organizations, by grants from private foundations and by contributions from individual donors. Contributions to the Center are tax deductible.

In all publications of the Center, including this special paper, the views expressed are those of the authors alone and do not necessarily reflect those of the Center or any of its affiliates. The Center itself does not take positions with respect to any particular UN reform proposal. The monographs and special papers it publishes are intended solely to encourage discussion.

Originally this paper was intended as a 60-80 page Monograph, “Sustainable Development: A U.N. Path to Save the Global Environment” that would have included a review of the activities of the CSD. Because of the importance of the Johannesburg Summit, which was coming so soon, the Board of the Center on May 23 decided to reduce the size of the Monograph to a 30 page Special Paper focused primarily on the Johannesburg Summit.

In his second draft the author had also included four sections of Background totaling 12 pages beyond the agreed maximum size which because of space limitations could not be printed here. This background material can be obtained by contacting the author at:  pj at



August 2002

The twelve year old daughter of the Canadian environmental scientist and broadcaster Dr. David Suzuki, Severn Cullis-Suzuki, said to delegates at the 1992 Rio meeting (*):

‘Parents used to be able to comfort their children by saying – everything is going to be all right; we are doing the best we can and it is not the end of the world – you can not say this to us anymore. Our planet is becoming worse and worse for all future children. Yet we only hear adults talking about local interests and national priorities. Are we even on your list of priorities? You grown ups say you love us, but we challenge you to make your actions your words.’


– World Summit for Sustainable Development –
can do something about this.




(*) The United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED), 2-4 June 1992, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. This is from the memoirs of the UNCED Secretary General Maurice Strong in the Volume “Where on Earth Are we Going?” (p.236), Texere Publishing Ltd., London 2001, Alfred A. Knopf, Canada, 2000.


Sustainable Development (SD) is a concept put forward by the 1987 Brundtland

Commission Report that entered subsequently the UN via negotiated text at the 1992 Rio
Conference on Environment and Development.. The Commission was created by a General
Assembly decision and its conclusions led to the Rio Declaration and the blueprint for
sustainable development that Rio produced (Agenda 21). It was the fear that planet Earth may
become inhospitable to life, the realization of the globalization of pollution, and the further
realization that in order to save the global environment one has to deal in tandem with the
requirement of the developing countries for consideration of their needs for industrialization.
This brought the heads of states and governments to Rio.

Rio was about inclusion – the inclusion of the Classic Development Paradigm about industrialization, into the environmental subject. In recognition of the spirit of “We the Peoples” in the UN Charter and the presence of the Non Governmental Organizations (NGOs) in great force at Rio, a third leg, social development, was added to sustainable development. SD became thus a concept that included the environment, economic development and social development. This concept was put forward as the minimum needed for the cooperation of all nations of the World in a last ditch effort to save life on earth. If the patterns of consumption and production of the old industrialized nations were to be copied by the newly industrializing nations, it was feared this would lead to changes with which the global environment could not cope. It was understood that the industrialized Nations will have to decrease their consumption, while helping the newly developing countries to increase their level of industrialization. The need for restrictions of behavior could have been seen as interfering with the internal affairs of the sovereign governments present in Rio. Serious gaps were therefore left in the implementation of the sustainable development concept.

Today, ten years after Rio, when watching the preparations for the Johannesburg summit, it is clear that what was left out at Rio was the need for a fundamental foundation for sustainable development. In the author’s view this foundation consists of human rights and good governance. Unless there is a clear acceptance of the concept of human rights leading to democratization within the member states of the UN, and unless corruption is uprooted from all member states, there is no chance that the SD concept will lead to results. In the end it is the billions of residents of this planet that must behave in a respectful way to the planet itself, and to each other, in order to save the planet. The completed sustainable development concept includes human rights and good governance as depicted on the cover of this promptbook.. In our drawing, we seat Mother Earth (The Planet), on the three legged stool, and she wears a freedom-hat as a symbol for the pastoral peaceful life of herdsmen and of freedom fighters of the past.

Secretary General Kofi Annan, in a luncheon (at the UN in New York), marking the occasion of the EU ratification of the Kyoto Protocols, said that “one of the greatest challenges the world will face in the 21st century” is climate change (1). A few days later, in Kiev, at the time that the Johannesburg preparatory meeting was still going on in Bali, he stressed “values of democracy,

values of human rights and governance based on the rule of law. ” (2). It is these ideas that the author thinks are needed in order to strengthen the sustainable development mechanism and should have been part of an agreed text at the Bali meeting. If this is not possible, perhaps reform of the whole UN system is needed. However this is not the subject of this paper. This paper is limited to those reform concepts needed to strengthen the implementation of decisions taken at the Rio summit of 1992.

The Johannesburg summit (WSSD) will pay special attention to the recent Millenium Declaration, the Doha Declaration, and the Financing for Development Declaration. It is clear that, in order to help developing countries huge funds are needed. The call for official development assistance (ODA) has not led to practical results. The idea of “trading-out-of poverty” is running into a wall of new impediments to international trade. A new concept brought forward recently is globalization of the National Public Goods concept, a mainstay of economic social thinking in social democracies in Europe. The Global Public Goods concept could empower people in a global society that recognizes the key importance of human rights. The GPG concept needs funding like many of the other basic ideas of social development. The author’s proposal to Johannesburg is to look at Global Commons’ economics (GCmns) in order to help fund Global Public Goods (GPG).

Taking for granted that the sovereignty concept is a basic tenet of the UN Charter, the author suggests to look at all those areas that are extraterritorial to sovereign states, i.e., the oceans, outer space, the atmosphere, and Antarctica. Also, highly migratory components should be viewed as extraterritorial. This last idea is implied by the UN in negotiations over “straddling fish” and “highly migratory fish”. While leaving intact the concept of sovereignty over air space and territorial waters, this paper questions the application of sovereignty to the chemical composition and physics of the air and water themselves. On these, in the author’s view, there is no sovereignty. A country is not sovereign in fouling its air, because it is highly migratory. In short the paper proposes that the Johannesburg meeting call for a high level expert commission that could lead towards the creation of a Global Commons Administration (GCA). This body would be able to interact with the institutions that supervise the implementation of the Sustainable Development mechanism as called for in Agenda 21.

The GCA should include an arm authorized to sell or rent some of the Common Goods, i.e. the nodules, which are already subject to the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea. This concept of creating a flow of income from the Global Commons could include licensing rights for satellite orbits, air transport, communication rights, ocean shipping lanes, etc. Penalties could be charged for leaving debris in outer space and the oceans. Clean air and clean water are to be considered the norm. Altering clean air, or clean water, will require license fees as if an authorized purchase of common goods, or if done without approval will require a penalty. A double purpose stands behind this concept: one is to help save the environment; the other to create funds to help further the goals of sustainable development. These ideas are the subject of this promptbook.



Advances in medicine and technology have given man the capability not only to self-destruct, but even to negate the capability of Planet Earth to sustain life. On the one hand, since people in industrialized countries live longer and have fewer children, these countries must import people for their labor force; on the other hand, underdeveloped nations suffer from the population explosion, health problems, and poverty. An environmental problem harms the whole globe. Shuttling industrial production from industrialized states to developing states is no solution. This is the essence of the 21st Century conundrum. In this context, the concept of sustainable development, flaws and all, is the best idea being promoted within the international community.

This Promptbook is intended as an input to the Johannesburg World Summit, offering ideas about sustainable development (SD) and how it could be moved forward. The Foreword is a challenge to Johannesburg. The drawing on the cover is explained as an advocacy for human rights and good government being the foundation for sustainable development, and a proposed Global Commons Administration is introduced.

PART I, The SD paradigm, deals with UN structural problems; failure to include human rights and governance issues and reasons for the shortage of funds. PART II deals with the marginalization of non-governmental organizations (NGOs) even though non-governmental inputs to the deliberative and executive process have increased.

PART III offers ions for possible solutions to our dilemma, and PART IV provides the “Umbrella Concept” which is introduced in the cover sheet. The essence is presented in a short section “HIGHLIGHT OF RECOMMENDATIONS” .

The author thought that a minimum of four sections of Background Material totaling 12 pages was needed: (a) The Classic Development Paradigm, (b) The Environment – A Global Problem, (c) The Energy Component, and (d) The Climate Negotiations. Because of space limitations caused by the 30 page maximum set by the Board this material could not be included in the paper.

The Background Material can be obtained by contacting:  pj at

A Promptbook on Sustainable Development

For the World Summit in Johannesburg

August 2002

By Pincas Jawetz


Foreword – THE CHALLENGE 1

Introduction. 4

Table of contents. 5

PART I – The Sustainable Development Paradigm: The Problems 6
A. Lack of Perception of Purpose. 6

  1. The Human Rights and Governance Issues. 7
  2. Lack of Finances. 12
  3. Proliferation of Separate MEAs with only Minimal Cross-Linkages. 14

PART II – Further Setbacks: The Sidelining of the NGOs. 17

PART III – Possible Solutions: 19

A. The Global Public Goods Concept. 19
B. The Global Commons. 20
C. The Sustainable Energy Technologies. 21
D. The Watchful Eye. 22

E. The Corporate Green. 23

PART IV – The Umbrella Concept: A Global Commons Administration 25
and UN Based Institutions.


Notes. 29

List of Acronyms. 30

About the Author. 33



The Brundtland Commission suggested a set of 22 principles, including 8 general principles, 12 principles related to transboundary pollution, plus the principle of state responsibility, and the principle of peaceful settlement of disputes. The Rio Declaration has 27 principles and Agenda 21’s 40 chapters are divided into sections dealing with: I. Social and Economic Dimensions;
II. Conservation and Management of Resources for Development; III. Strengthening the Role of Major Groups; and IV. Means of Implementation. Section IV deals with financial resources and mechanisms; transfer of environmentally sound technology cooperation and capacity building; science for SD; education, public awareness and training; national mechanisms and international cooperation for capacity building; international institutional arrangements; international legal instruments and mechanisms; information for decision making.

Harlan Cleveland (3) notes: “…the Rio declaration departed from the diplomatic norm in one important way: while ringing alarm bells about global pollution, it zeroed in on poverty as a major pollutant and called for eradicating poverty. Big environmental dangers come both from profligate use of resources by the rich and from the way the poor lay waste to forests, soils, and cities as they scrabble for subsistence. Because the bill for eradicating poverty wasn’t attached, everyone agreed.”


The UN System deals with economic development issues mainly through the UN Development Program (UNDP), the World Bank (WB) and The Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC). ECOSOC and the Commission for Social Development deal with social development issues. The Commission for Social Development should have been dissolved in 1993 when the Commission for Sustainable Development (CSD) was founded, but this did not happen. In the author’s view, both the Commission for Social Development and the Committee For Development Policy should also have been integrated into CSD – the Commission with a larger scope. Energy and natural resources are represented today by the Expert Committee on Energy and Natural Resources for Development created in 1998 by ECOSOC by combining Natural Resources units and the Energy and Renewable Energy bodies created during the 1991 Nairobi UN Conference on New and Renewable Sources of Energy (UNCRSE). These bodies and the Energy & Transport Branch should also have been incorporated into the Commission for Sustainable Development.

These UN bodies continued to exist after the creation of the CSD. This has taken away social development and economic development functions from the CSD, leaving only the environmental function, turning it into sort of a home base for the UN Environment Programme (UNEP) within the UN System. This negates the role of the CSD as the unifying concept and invites criticism

from those who oppose action to save the environment without dealing at the same time with the social and economic issues. At Johannesburg, we are back at square one. CSD has to be strengthened by eliminating these competing bodies.


At PrepCom 3 for the WSSD, at the UN in New York, Lou Jorgensen of the WB (4) asked the following question in a power-point presentation: “Where is the Social in Sustainable Development?” He continued, “In a changing role of the State, poverty reduction requires empowerment, security and inclusion. The conflict is thus predominantly intra-state”. His power-point outline continued: “The poor are: Dependent on Environmental Assets; most vulnerable when assets are Degraded, Depleted, or Affected by Environmental Disasters; at risk of Conflict over Scarce Resources.” “Socially Sustainable Development is reliable … when the Development Delivers the Goods and Meets the Aspirations of People; what is needed is Social and Environmental Accountability – Accountability and Effectiveness of Institutions.” “First remember the Objectives – it is Sustainable Livelihood.”

But there are difficulties to overcome to fully integrate the economic, environmental, and social considerations. One problem is the lack of common understanding of the meaning of social. Articulation of “social sustainability” is weak in setting policy, e.g., in the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). In addition, Governance arrangements conducive to the integration of social and environmental issues are insufficient. Commonly agreed indicators to measure all aspects of sustainability are non-existent.

The World Bank Group should make its operations more socially and environmentally sustainable, and should make its strategies more responsive to people and responsive to the social and environmental risks they face. It also requires a research agenda to address emerging issues – indicators for SD to fully take into account human and social capital, and governance arrangements to ensure full stakeholder involvement. World Bank reviews of its economic investments should include environmental and social issues. In effect Jorgenson’s paper highlights for the UN system, its lack of vision about the reasons for social problems, as well as the failure of some UN organs to recognize the SD paradigm.

UN institutions for SD ought to be strengthened. Furthermore, all existing institutions should be required to fulfill the new requirements imposed by SD. Economic development as part of sustainable development, can occur only if the needs of the environment and of social development are considered in tandem. This leads to the twin problems of Governance and Human Rights in order to provide a new foundation to the whole concept of SD.

“The Stockholm Initiative” (5) (SI): Preparing for Rio, the Prime Ministers of Sweden and Norway, Ingvar Carlson, and Dr. Brundtland, and the Heads of State of Chile, the Czech Republic, and Jamaica, with six additional former heads of state, and people like Maurice Strong, Thebo Mbeki, Jan Pronk, Shridath Ramphal present, produced 28 proposals. Among them:
From the section on peace and security, Principle 7 – “A commitment by governments in the South to substantially reduce the armed forces with the purpose of creating a peace dividend to be invested in human development.”

From the section on development. Principle 12: “that the industrialized nations set public time-targets to provide 1% of their GNP for international development cooperation.”

From the section on environment, Principle 13 – “That fees are levied on the emissions of pollutants… in particular from the burning of fossil fuels”. Principle 14, “…Promoting more efficient use of the World’s energy resources, and in particular, the use of alternative and renewable energy sources, e.g. solar energy.”

From the section on democracy and human rights, Principle 19: “the strengthening of the UN role in monitoring how countries live up to their commitments to conventions and declarations concerning HR and democracy” and Principle 20, “the strengthening of independent international institutions that offer to monitor countries’ observance of democratic rules and principles, in particular at time of elections, respecting the constitutional order of each country.”

The Stockholm Initiative (SI) looks at democracy and HR as “truly universal values with their origin and history in societies on all continents.” Democracy and HR are essential for prospects of development. Only on the basis of social and economic systems that recognize that potential of the people, on both the social and individual level, can efforts in development have a chance to progress.” Because civil society is built by the process of development itself, support for democracy in a general sense cannot be separated from the way development is supported – in particular NGOs in developing countries should be supported.

From the Section on global governance, Principle 27 proposes: – “that a world summit on global governance be called, similar to the meetings in San Francisco and at Bretton Woods in the 1940s”. Principle 28 proposes – “as a matter of priority the establishment of an independent international commission on global governance”. Also Principle 21 mentions “…following the wider understanding of security…” refers to the perception that “the world is becoming one human neighbourhood, and there are no sanctuaries to insulate countries and regions from military disasters, economic crises, poverty-driven migration or environmental collapse.… “. The idea is to establish global norms under the status of law. This will require a new concept of sovereignty.

The Stockholm Initiative proposes that a commission similar to the Brundtland Commission be established by the UN General Assembly or another method. Its mandate should cover the range of issues discussed in Stockholm. Once initial work is done, the commission’s report could be the basis for a World Summit on Global Governance. Looking at the Stockholm Initiative, that predated the Rio UNCED, the author believes that the minimum that the post-Rio CSD meetings should have tried to achieve was to guard religiously over the whole territory that was turned over to the CSD –the commission empowered to hold the rest of the UN accountable for the

implementation of Agenda 21. But this was not the case. The CSD was not given the needed breathing space by the rest of the UN system bureaucracy.

The UN Charter was the original source of authority for the Universal Declaration on Human Rights (UDHR), which in turn was the main source of inspiration for subsequent international legal instruments to protect and promote human rights. The Charter reaffirms “faith in fundamental human rights” (6). The idea of HR is a twentieth century revival of the older idea of “natural rights” as set out in the English bill of rights and the American, and French constitutions. These are individual liberties or claims for legal protection against governments.

The Copenhagen Roundtable of Non-Governmental Organizations to prepare for the Johannesburg (WSSD) meeting (7) states that the most fundamental HR is the Right to Survival. In addition, the Roundtable states: “We have learnt that democracy is an essential component of SD; the strengthening of local democratic systems that empower local communities to decide on the use of local natural resources is vital for environmental management.”

Encouraging free elections in Member States has involved the UN in Electoral Assistance (8). The Secretary General’s report “Enhancing the Effectiveness of the Principle of Periodic and Genuine Elections ” (9) states: “Electoral assistance within the UN system have been guided by the absolute respect for national sovereignty and the avoidance of any possible unrequested involvement in the internal affairs of any state.” The most recent (UNGA) resolution on “Enhancing the effectiveness of the principle of periodic genuine elections and the promotion of democratization” was passed on 20 February 2002 (10).

What about democratizing the UN itself? Here the reality is different. The voting structure of the UNGA is flawed; by adopting resolutions on the basis of one nation – one vote, coalitions unrepresentative of the World’s population or political/economic/military reality can dominate the Assembly’s work and permit propagandistic excesses(11). Proposals for reform have been made to switch to a weighted voting as used by international financial institutions. The Binding Triad proposal was developed by the Center for War/Peace Studies (12). It allows for 1/3 of each country’s vote to reflect its sovereignty, 1/3 its population size, and 1/3 its financial contribution to the UN; this contribution is limited by a formula reflecting the country’s economic status, thus eliminating the risk that wealthier countries might “buy” additional voting power.

Remembering that the human rights declaration addresses “the right to attain the highest standard of physical and mental well being” and that one of the most fundamental human rights is the right to survival, the author suggests that the Charter be amended to make sanctity of life its first priority and the right to sustainable development its first commandment. This would mean that harm to the future of life on earth would be outlawed. These ideas can find backing in a statement by the Bahai International Community Office to the UN: “Progress in these areas can be achieved when the peoples of the World develop a profound sense of Responsibility for the fate of the Planet and for the well being of the entire human family. This sense of responsibility emerges

from the adoption of a global ethic that embraces the oneness of humankind and upholds a unifying vision of a peaceful, prosperous, World Society.” (13).

In order to reach these goals, a well-educated society is a must, though it can be argued that literacy is not pre requisite for understanding the harm one does to the environment. Such harm is perpetrated not by the poor but rather by their inept, usually over consuming, rich leadership.
UNESCO’s Educating for a Sustainable Future (14) provides some guidelines which can be summarized as follows: “Sustainability calls for dynamic balance among many factors, including the social, cultural, and economic requirements of humankind, and the imperative need to safeguard the natural environment of which humanity is a part. What is sought is the condition of human security for all people.” The author sees in human security and environmental security the essence of a sustainable development concept based on human rights and good governance as the actual task of the UN. To achieve sustainable development, style of leadership has to be the first point of every discussion and human rights the foundation on which leadership should be built.
Before the Rio Conference, the Natural Resources Defense Council published “Defending the Earth: Abuses of HR and the Environment” (15) providing a long list of abuses.

On the way to Johannesburg, the UN Commission on Human Rights and the Executive Director of the UN Environment Programme, convened in January 2002 a meeting on “Human Rights and the Environment” (16). The meeting recognized progress made on the national level, in particular through constitutional law, legislation, administrative practices and decisions, and the case law of municipal courts. Multilateral agreements at the global level have developed Principle 10 of the Rio Declaration ( access to information, participation and effective remedies) by establishing mechanisms for the exercise of procedural rights – in particular the right to environmental information and to public participation in decision-making as reflected in the 1998 Aarhus Convention on Access to Information, Public Participation and Access to Justice in Environmental Matters.

At the global level, some progress was made, i.e., the Convention on the Rights of the Child and ILO Convention 169 concerning Indigenous and Tribal Peoples in Independent Countries. On the regional level, the African Charter on Human and People’s Rights, and the Protocol of San Salvador to the American Convention on Human Rights, recognizing the right to live in a healthy or satisfactory environment were cited.

The experts recognized that normative links between human rights and the environment need to be reinforced, beyond existing guarantees, and it prepared a list of 25 suggestions, inter alia:

  1. to enhance public awareness, especially in the corporate sector, of the connections between Human Environmental Rights (HER) protection, and environmental protection, and to ensure that persons promoting this connection are not penalized, persecuted, or harassed for their activities;
  2. with regard to substantive rights, recognize the environmental dimension in the effective enjoyment of human rights protection, and promotion, and the human rights dimension in
  3. environmental protection and promotion, in part by developing rights-based approaches to environmental protection and promotion of sustainable development;
  4. with regard to institutional arrangements ensure greater emphasis on environmental

protection in the work of human rights bodies and procedures, particularly by
encouraging closer engagement of the UN Environment Programme in the work of human
rights treaty bodies, and the closer engagement of Office of the UN High Commissioner
for Human Rights in the work of the secretariat of Multilateral Environment Agreements.

The Center for International Sustainable Development Law (CISDL) takes these suggestions one-step further by asking such questions as, “What is the role of poverty eradication in the context of HR and SD?”, by pointing out that the International Convention on Economic and Cultural Rights does not place any particular obligations on any one country to provide aid to another, nor does it require any particular policy choice; however it does require states party to the covenant to ensure that they take collective steps. The author finds here that it is important to continue formulating the legal framework of elaborating on SD law by including the HR and environmental aspects, and leading towards the establishment of an international governance system. In this context a special place should be reserved to the NGOs and to local communities i.e., via such organizations as the International Council for Local Environment Initiatives (ICLEI), which since 1991 (even before UNCED) has organized in more than 215 cities in 52 countries, a local Agenda 21 network that includes the ICLEI’s Cities for Climate Protection Campaign (CCP) begun in 1993 – to reduce emissions of greenhouse gas in its total membership of over 350 localities (who jointly account for 7% of such emissions).

Governance, our second base to the SD paradigm presents a more conflicted situation, since the term is used for various purposes; first the International Environmental Governance concept (IEG), then the SD Governance as requested by the UNGA decision and now the good governance concept that should include the previously mentioned concepts plus a serious look into what goes on inside the sovereign member states of the UN.
The European Union proposed that the Bali meeting (PrepCom IV) define SD Governance as the “policy coherence and policy integration in the economic, social and environmental fields and the participation of civil society”: the EU called for a list of 12 “actions” including “Strengthen performance of ECOSOC and the Commission for Sustainable Development”; “Promote Local Agenda 21 work and other local SD activities”; “Continued cooperation between UNEP and UNHCHR”; “Complete the negotiation of the UN Convention against corruption by the end of 2003”; “Implement the moves on International Environment Governance”; “Foster the role of NGOs and enhance their participation in SD policies at all levels.” This definition includes all aspects of the governance debate, and vindicates the position taken in this paper that good governance and HR are integral parts of the SD paradigm.

Several other notable points from PrepCom IV material: – Institutional arrangements for SD that must provide for effective policy formulation, coordination, implementation, and monitoring, including the use of indicators, and accountability arrangements.
– A Global SD Court should be established under the auspices of the UN. However, the viability of this idea was questioned by some. (Actually at PrepCom II the Polish representative offered to place such a court in Poland).
– Making SD a key element of Regional Commissions mandates and strengthen the capacity of UNEP Regional Offices to cooperate with the UN Regional Commissions. (This last point seems to be on its way to becoming reality as the proposed revisions to the medium-term plan for the period 2002-2005 for their economic and social development in Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP) have named poverty reduction, managing globalization, and addressing emerging social issues for the new program (17).


Back in 1992, the estimated price-tag for Agenda 21 was $625 billion per year, including 125 billion to be provided by the developed countries in official development assistance (ODA). The great majority of these funds were expected from national budgets; this would have required only a doubling of ODA at that time. Today total ODA has decreased by about 20% from the 1992 figures, but the requirements for aid have greatly increased. This suggests a new method for financing should be found.

Funding the Millenium Development Goals (MDG) (18) is now the official target of financial discussions. The real target is a different one, as it was the debt crises that were behind the “Financing for Development” meeting in Monterrey. The debt crises surfaced symbolically in August 1982 when Mexican officials notified the US Government that their country did not have enough money to make impending foreign debt payments (19). In the early and mid seventies, world prices for basic commodities such as minerals and agricultural products were rising. Development projects, i.e. for building roads, dams, water systems, boosting agricultural production, increasing local manufacturing capacity, trying to expand health services, education, public transportation etc. required large sums of money. Since developing countries had confidence in their foreign exchange earnings from exports, there was a lot of borrowing. Banks were awash with OPEC revenues and anxious to lend, especially to middle income and oil exporting states. At the same time ODA was dropping. Borrowers preferred commercial banks to the Bretton Woods institutions, even though interest rates were somewhat higher and some were at floating rates; commercial banks were less intrusive. Some of these borrowings seemingly were squandered or misused. Skyrocketing oil prices in 1973-74, and again in 1979-80, had devastating effects on many developing countries. Later, when the price of oil fell, some oil exporters (Trinidad and Tobago, Mexico, Algeria, Indonesia, and Nigeria) had themselves hit bottom. In many cases the investments themselves were at fault, often because environmental conditions were not taken into account. One such case occurred in Malaysia.

An October 1997 article in the International Diplomatic Observer distributed at the UN (20), discussed the fact that about 20 new large hotels were being built in Kuala Lumpur while the Air Pollution Index was often above 200 (which in the New York Times is defined as very
unhealthy) – the author predicted that these investments would turn sour as there would be no tourism under these conditions. The author’s observations were proven right with the collapse of the Kuala Lumpur stock market just six weeks later.

As the global economy slowed and developing country debtors began to have real trouble servicing their debts, commercial bankers were reluctant to make new loans. Debtors found that they were paying back more money than they received in new commercial loans. This was at a time during the early 1980s when overall foreign aid remained largely stagnant. Commercial banks and private investors shifted their attention elsewhere. What started as a financial crisis became an economic crisis that threatened to become a political crisis. Though this analysis was written in 1990 (19), the problem was still not settled by the end of the decade. The debt crisis was not settled as of 2002. What has changed is that the SD paradigm was created to replace the development paradigm. However, when the UN decided on a high-level intergovernmental meeting on “Financing for Development” (FFD) (21), it did not realize that the correct topic should have been “Financing for SD”. What became financing for development (FfD) should have been financing for sustainable development (FfSD). FfD was held in Monterrey, Mexico, 18-22 March 2002 (perhaps a reminder of the Mexican origins of the debt crisis). The developing countries wanted Monterrey to set the stage for evolving a financing method for Millennium Development Goals. The consensus in Monterrey urged developed countries to channel 0.7% of their GOP to ODA though only four countries have achieved that target and it is clear that the major economies will not do so.

President Bush promised new $15 billion (a 50% increase in core ODA over three years) while insisting on reforms. This new U.S. Administration “Compact for Development” involved greater accountability for rich and poor alike. Professor Paul Krugman writes (22): “Developed nations had a duty, not only to share their wealth, economic freedom, political liberty, the rule of law, and human rights”. This amount is significant in absolute terms, but an obvious pittance in terms of percentage of GDP, and there is no likelihood that this will ever change. The U.S. increase brought US ODA from 0.11% to 0.13%. This increase of 0.02% means that if the U.S. would attempt to reach the 0.7%, the total would be well over half a trillion dollars per year. The next day Bill Keller of the New York Times (23) suggested: “Once we’ve got American aid focused on things that work, let’s double it. Then double it again. That would finally catch us up to France in terms of generosity.”

The Monterrey consensus cites as goals the challenges of development financing, eradication of poverty, achieving sustained economic growth and promoting SD. It seems that this last issue was of little interest to the participating development ministers. Venezuela submitted proposals for a “Post-Monterrey Plan” (24) aimed at “human-centered” development, for which sufficient and sustained financing is needed in order to ensure sustained development, – notions that are only tangential to SD. Development sustainability is not sustainable development. Development sustainability has an effect opposite to “Developing Sustainability”, which was suggested as the correct goal of SD in the INTGLIM “survey and report” (25). The Monterrey consensus acknowledges that trade issues are of particular concern to the developing countries,
notably trade barriers, subsidies, technical barriers to trade, and the lack of recognition of intellectual property rights for protection of traditional knowledge and folklore. Consequently, the text calls for the expansion of efforts and resources for trade related technical assistance and capacity building in the context of the Doha Ministerial Declaration.

The Secretary General said that “What they are also asking is the chance for their countries to trade their way out of poverty – the promise of Doha must be fulfilled.” A central aspect of the document is the new framework for better cooperation among international organizations, particularly between the UN, the IMF, the WB, and the WTO. This element is of importance to the developing countries due to the decision-making system. While at the UN each country has a vote, in the international economic organizations decision -making is determined by the economic weight of the member country. Increased cooperation will enable the developing countries to play a greater role in international economic decision-making.

The international community agreed to study innovative sources of financing, in particular the proposal to use Special Drawing Rights (SDR) for development purpose and for financial emergencies. Of great importance for the countries of the South is the follow-up mechanism. The outcome document calls for an international conference to review the implementation of the Monterrey consensus. The modalities of this conference will be determined in 2005. Of particular importance for the developing countries was the ability to hold the developed countries responsible for their commitments and to guarantee a review of the agreed measures. To adequately fund the SD paradigm, new methods for financing will have to be devised.

President Vicente Fox of Mexico, the host, reported from a Retreat for Heads of State or Government (26): “We identified the need to define a new integral agenda for development, based on shared responsibility. It was stressed that global instruments are needed to achieve global objectives.” There is no reference to SD but there is a reference to the Global Public Goods: “It was suggested that part of the resources for this purpose could be obtained from the sustainable use of the Earth’s resources which belong to all mankind. It was stressed that in order to guarantee global peace and security, financial stability, universal health, preservation of the environment and the dissemination of scientific knowledge, the necessary resources must be obtained to make these benefits accessible to the population of all countries”. The reference here is to the Global Public Goods linked to what this author promotes in this paper – the use of the Global Natural Commons – a suggestion to generate funds from the extra-territorial which is actually what this author has defined as the Global Commons (GCmns).



MEAs are multilateral environmental agreements dealing with particular subjects, e.g., biodiversity, climate change, desertification. Each of these agreements has its own secretariat and is located in a different city. Other specific conventions relate to the ozone layer, Antarctica, and the result of the UN Conference on Straddling Fish Stocks. There is much overlap among these
agreements, but there is no real guidance or coordinating hand, even though the UN Environment Programme services them all. What about arid and semi-arid lands afflicted by desertification but also affected by climate change, biodiversity, and decrease in the ozone layer? If global linkages are established among these MEAs, there will still be a need for national and regional linkages. As CSD and UNEP were weak institutions from their start, we are left with vacuum. This problem was evident as soon as the Rio- based MEAs were ratified and UNDP helped the Ben Gurion University to organize in 1997 a meeting on “Synergies in National Implementation” (27). The subject could not be settled without serious decisions on the fate of the CSD and UNEP. Synergies and coordination among MEAs continued to be a recurring topic at meetings – most recently at PrepCom IV in Bali organized by UN University (28).

Regarding deforestation, climate change, agricultural yields and biodiversity, it is interesting to note that already in the XVIII-th century the problems were known: On April 13, 1776, the Tobago Commander in Chief for King George the Third of Great Britain signed “An act for rendering a certain tract of mountainous land proper for attracting rains unalienable”. The Act was brought to the author’s attention by David Rooks of Scarborough, Tobago, who later forwarded to him a copy. This law is to be credited with continued existence of some pristine forests in the Northern corner of the island. The Act states: “…Having in Pursuance of Your Majesties Instructions to then laid out into Lots and Disposed of such of your Majesties Land in this Island, the Improvement and Culture whereof appeared to be practicable and to provide any Benefits to your Majesties Governor or the Trade of Your Empire, Did also in pursuance of your said instructions… a tract of Wood Land lying in the Interior and most Hilly parts of this Island to the purpose of Attracting frequent Showers of Rain, upon which the Productivity of Lands in those Climates both depend.” “And whereas the Cutting down the wood upon the said Tract of Land may thereafter be highly injurious to and in process of time totally destructive of the Plantations in this Island and Consequently in some degree affect and diminish your Majesties Revenue”. More about the Tobago act was obtained from a Registrar in London who sent the author a Report “Upon the Forests of Tobago” published in 1887 in Madras, India, the locus for tropical forest research of the British Empire (29). This shows the local and the global interest in what was an early law on climate change as well as a law for sustainable development.

Prof. Barry Commoner in “The Closing Circle” (30) wrote in 1971: “The global ecosystem is the product of several billion years of evolutionary change; all forms of life are dependent directly on air, water, and soil; and finally the earth’s life system is inextricably connected with non-living constituents of the earth’s environment”. The atmosphere, i.e. the gases that surround the earth, is an integral part of the earth’s ecosphere, that part of the universe that sustains life. Recognition of the fact that the atmosphere is part of the earth’s ecosystem must be the guiding principle for a law of the atmosphere. These observations led to discussions on environmental governance.

In 1989, the Association of World Federalists in the UK published “a World Federalist response to the climate crisis. The same year the Canadian affiliate organized a meeting that adopted three principles: (a) the atmosphere is part of the common heritage of humanity; (b) states have a legal obligation to protect and preserve the atmosphere; and (c) the atmosphere does not exist on its

own but it is part of the earth’s ecosystem. Since world federalism has realized the importance of globalized pollution, it has consistently been involved in discussions of this problem.
The U.S. branch (31) proposed a global Environmental Fund to finance the protection of the atmosphere and other environmental measures, through a tax on fossil fuels consumption and made suggestions for implementing the Polluter Pays Principle, Licensing the Global Commons, and Burden-sharing assessments. The Norwegian affiliate, including the oil industry, established a Commission of Experts that produced in 1991 a proposal on the “Protection of the Environment” under a UN system.

The World Federalist proposals deal specifically with the environment and follow the Brundtland Commission Report and European actions regarding transboundary pollution caused by burning fossil fuels for electricity generation, and from automotive fuels, that led to the first meeting in May 1998 in Oslo of the “ECE Convention on Environmental Impact Assessment in a Transboundary Context”. (Also, a Convention on Environmental Impact Assessment in Transboundary Context (32) was adopted in Espoo, Finland, in February 1991.) The World Federalist proposals promoted the Pooled Sovereignty Concept – authored by Patricia Mische from the Global Education Association (GEA). She argues, “the dangers do not come from an East/West or North/South polarization but rather from the polarity between human activities on the one hand and the earth system that supports them on the other. The emergent environmental risks have revealed for the first time in history a species-wide vulnerability to which any East, West, North, South divisions are irrelevant. This is a security problem of a new order of magnitude, and responding to it requires a new concept of sovereignty.” Mische outlines new eco-values and high on the list comes “reverence for all life” – a “concept of universal harm”. “respect for diversity, and communion”. Little did she know in 1990 how important this concept would become by 2001. In practical terms Mische suggests that sovereignty will have to be “pooled” in an international authority for cases like dealing with the “one air system and one water system” on which the entire planet and all its life, human and non-human, depends.

In a World Resources Institute (33) paper, Dr. Peter Sands points out that a negotiated treaty tends to reflect the lowest common denominator – the bottom line. Also, the ratification process takes a long time. As such they are not as effective as a national law, and, by setting threshold numbers, “delay implementation to the speed of the slowest boat in the convoy.” The average “tempo of acceptance” for a multilateral environmental treaty is about five years. Sands mentions as an alternative for environmental diplomacy the “Soft Law Option,” which is a joint declaration of common rules of conduct referred to as Soft Law to distinguish them from the “Hard Law” of formal agreements that include ratification. UNEP has used the Soft Law option in many cases by simply having an Ad-hoc group of experts use the word “should” instead of “shall”; such documents are sent to individual countries for possible incorporation in their own international agreements. In some cases the UNGA eventually incorporated them in a resolution.

Dr. Sands (33), Dr. Pamela Casek’s Volume “Earth Negotiations” (34), and Ernst Ulrich von Weizsacker “Earth Politics” (35) provide excellent material about environmental diplomacy.



Agenda 21, Section 3, “Strengthening the Role of Major Groups”, explains that one of the fundamental prerequisites for the achievement of SD is broad public participation in decision-making, particularly decisions that potentially affect the communities in which people live and work. The public should have access to information relevant to the environment and development held by national authorities. Up to the issuing of Agenda 21, non-governmental organizations were basically all other input sources to the UN activities that had no affiliation to the government of a UN Member State or an Intergovernmental Organization (IO). Section 3 of Agenda 21 establishes nine major groups of which the NGOs are just one group. Chapter 23.3 states: “Any policies, definitions, or rules affecting access to and participation by non-governmental organizations in the work of UN institutions or agencies associated with the implementation of Agenda 21 must apply equally to all major groups.” The nine major groups

( Agenda 21 chapters 24-32) are: Women; Children and Youth; Indigenous people and their communities; Non-governmental organizations; Local authorities; Workers and their trade unions; Business and industry; Scientific and technological community; Farmers.

Women, Labor Unions, Business, Engineers (standing for the Scientific and Technological community), and the Farmers are in effect five groups of special interests. Often Labour, Business and Engineers express similar views.. This has left only Youth and the Local Authorities and the Indigenous People to join the NGOs in defense of general SD causes. Usually, Indigenous People, Youth, and Women speak as part of the NGO team in anyway.

Recommendation # 27.10 says “Governments should establish or enhance an existing dialogue with NGOs and their self-organized networks representing various sectors”, in # 27.3 “NGOs, including those non-profit organizations representing groups addressed in the present section, possess well-established and diverse experience, expertise and capacity in fields which will be of particular importance to the implementation and review of environmentally sound and socially responsible SD.” In reality, NGOs, having first to negotiate with the other major groups as here defined, always leaves very little time and space to grass-roots movements. In view of the “We the Peoples” of the opening statement of the UN Charter, “We the interests” will not do.

Agenda 21 lacks a clear view of what “NGO” means. In the preamble and some of the chapters, NGOs are treated as an umbrella for the “major groups” concept. But when mentioned as only one of the “major groups” they seem to represent non-profit, multi-purpose organizations. The INTGLIM Review (25) mentions the example of “an indigenous woman worker, conducting research on her small farm, who is a member of a local town council”. This woman could represent all of the nine Agenda 21 “major groups” and attend and vote in all caucuses. A major international NGO with tens of millions of members, like the World Council of Churches or YWCA are just NGOs, and are not present in the other eight “major groups”. According to INTGLIM, in the legal sense, NGOs are those organizations that have been vetted and accredited by UN agencies, or the Secretariat. It is the need for this vetting proces which is the greatest
challenge for “accreditation” of “major groups” (25). Who will vet in or out the Trans National Corporations (TNC) takeover of the business or industry, the farmers or the technologists? Will small industry, small business, small farmers have any say, or will they have to come in via the community based NGOs, depriving further that group of time and space at CSD meetings?

Large industry, large business, and large agricultural producers, definitely have a place at the CSD, especially when ODA is in decline and private investments in demand. In any case, their influence on governments is immense.Trans National Corporations (TNCs) are often more powerful than national governments in the global economy. The impact of the TNC on the subjects discussed at the CSD is reaching everywhere. Establishing of codes of conduct for the TNC should be part of the CSD task. Since TNCs are stakeholders, and a structure in which governments, NGOs, and business (including industry and large agricultural producers) should evolve similar to the International Labor Organization (ILO) structure where governments, workers, and business, form a tripartite discussion group. Having a Multi-Stakeholder-Dialogue (MSD) under the CSD, involving the 9 “major groups”, is not the right forum, and the conceptual haze created by the CSD over the terms NGO, “major groups”, “stakeholders”, is a problem.

The CSD liaison to the NGOs suggests that the NGOs should adopt a structure similar to a government delegation. The CSD, with a certain amount of justification, points out that it opened the door to NGO visibility at the UN; but it is not well understood the NGOs bring fresh air into the UN because of their diversity. Requiring the NGOs to have parallel debates in order to come to a consensus before presenting their point of view and their information to the CSD plenary is counterproductive. Forcing them to do so weakens their effectiveness; instead of facilitating their participation, it sidelines them. Chee Yoke Ling from the Third World Network (TWN) said: “The role of NGOs is to let governments know that they are being watched and that public opinion is being shaped.” The structure imposed by CSD officials seems inclined to interfere with this process.

Outside the UN, the NGOs can have their own meetings and agree on common positions. An example is “the Danish 92, Group” that convened in Copenhagen an NGO Conference to produce the “We Have One Earth” (7) document as a road map to Johannesburg. Presenting this document to CSD 8 in 2000 made sense; and it helped to create an NGO umbrella, but nevertheless, single NGOs must be able to provide their own experience directly to the CSD meetings when it touches their area of expertise, for instance, examples of community work, sustainable energy issues, or legal and scientific concepts.

The increased importance of civil society and real NGOs in the UN system was brought forward in the May 30, 2002 “Note by the President of the Security Council” (36): “Going beyond transparency, the Security Council sought to enhance its relations with other organs to consult more frequently.” The Council also reached out to civil society, holding more Arria-formula meetings with NGOs than ever before. If this is possible at the Security Council, it is clearly imperative to sustainable development activities.



Our starting point for possible solutions to the present state of what was the promising concept of sustainable development is the idea of Global Public Goods (GPG), promoted by the Office of Development Studies of UNDP. The author feels that this concept, coming from socially oriented governments in Central and Northern Europe, promises a theoretical foundation to the flow of funds needed for sustainable development. In PART IV, this paper combines the GPG concept with the Global Commons (GCmns) to create the self-contained umbrella concept.


A new important activity at the UNDP, Office of Development Studies (ODS), is the EU -sponsored series of studies on “Global Public Goods” (GPG). The concepts, “public” and “private” get blurred in practice. An ever-larger number of private corporations have gone “public” by selling stocks, while government programs have been subjected to marketization. Consumers and investors, insist on knowing what production principles companies follow. Many companies in their own interest have a concern for the public welfare.
Ms. Inge Kaul (37) (38) states that: we all require for our well-being private goods such as bread, butter, shoes, or a house, as well as public goods such as law and order, street signs, an intact ozone layer, institutions to facilitate the efficient functioning of markets, or a healthy environment. The key question is what mix of private goods and public goods to aim at in order to achieve publicgoods such as poverty reduction, old-age security, a sustainable environment?

Standard economic analysis defines private goods as rivals in consumption. Public goods are labeled as “market failures”. The public domain appears as a residual category of “non-marketable” goods. The Office of Development Studies proposal is to require public goods to be inclusive (public in consumption), based on participatory decision-making (public in provision) and offering a fair deal for all (public in the distribution of benefits). These proposals impact on areas such as the international trade system, international financial architecture, and global environmental issues – to match public consumption more effectively with public decision-making.

In developing these concepts UNDP/ODS is acting in a similar manner to how the original UN Institute for Training and Research was intended (- act as a UN Think-Tank).
The author finds the concept of Global Public Goods (GPG) and its implications for the Global Environment and for SD very valuable. A variant of the GPG idea could become the mechanism that could create the funds needed for the implementation of SD.


The GPG, as introduced by the ODS at UNDP, is a money-spending proposition. GCmns can become an income generating proposition. Together they could end up being financially neutral, while in the process satisfying many needs that arise while exploring the implications of the SD paradigm. The GPG require funding for such achievements as “peace and environmental stability” and we saw that ODA did not provide the funds, FDI is fickle, and the Millenium Development Goals (MDG) alone require $40-70 billion/year. Creative ways to generate funds must be found.

In 1978, a tax was suggested on foreign-exchange transactions, small enough not to hinder long-term investments and commerce, but large enough to affect short-term speculative trading. This is the Tobin tax named so after its originator, Yale University Professor James Tobin, who only intended that the tax stabilize markets. A similar idea that has made little progress is the notion of an international air-travel tax. Some countries were able to legislate carbon taxes or enlarged fuel taxes, but in other countries such taxes ran into public opposition.

Dealing with the GCmns should be different. We all know that nothing is there just for the taking. We may think that we are allowed to cut trees just because they are there or to hunt a bear. Some even believe that if you found a gold deposit you can mine it because you found it. We do not intend here to debate concepts of national governments, but will focus on areas where there is no claim of national sovereignty. Such areas could include extraterritorial ocean areas, outer space, and communication rights as well as minerals under the ocean floor, straddling fish and clean air and clean water.

To quote from Briefing Notes from the Office of Development Studies (ODS) in “Financing GPGs” – “financial stability, a stable global climate, communicable-disease control and efficient global knowledge management, peace, security, and global cohesion” – a laudable list that needs funding. National public goods are known in the economic literature, and they have been addressed with considerable success by national public policies. However, in the globalized world, with increasingly open borders, and heightened interdependence among countries, we must start addressing GPG.

Although our concept is very simple, the author does not expect easy acceptance. The concept is that when something is taken from the GCmns, it must be paid for. The funds so obtained should then be used in order to finance the GPG. There is a precedent: the decision to charge a fee for extracting nodules from the ocean is part of the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea.

Further, Global Commons are defined by the author as clean oceans and clean air. When someone takes this away by polluting, this has to be taxed as well, even if the air and the water are temporarily within the territory of the sovereign state. When clean air is misappropriated by pollution, the responsible party must pay for doing so. In the author’s view, we are not dealing
with the concept of sovereignty over air space, but only the chemical composition and physics relating to the mixture of gases called air. This is indeed nothing more than the realization of the Polluter Pays Principle when dealing with air and water.


Much of the pollution that is endangering the future of life on planet Earth comes from the use of fossil fuels. The ecosphere cannot reabsorb in a very short time-span of about 250 years the carbon that was deposited during millions of years, and is now being unearthed and sent back into the atmosphere. While it is recognized that development requires the input of energy, sustainable development must be based on the use of sustainable energy.
The author suggests the following three points:

1. Because of air pollution in general, and the greenhouse gas effect in particular, it is impossible to continue to use fossil fuels in the same way as in the past. A shortage of these fuels is not the problem, but rather the inevitable necessity to decrease their use.

2. Discussions leading to Johannesburg are focusing on demands from developing countries for “energy for development”. Emphasis is on fossil fuels, rather than on needed energy services. Not enough attention is given to the use of the so-called leapfrogging to new technologies. However, the industrialized nations remain under the obligation to curb their use of fossil fuels and help to clean up existing pollution.

3. The author regrets the demise of the UNITAR Energy Think-Tank at the UN. It is imperative that Energy for Sustainable Development finds a home as a Think-Tank at the UN.

Accurate information about sustainable energy was readily available to the CSD. Inputs that came from expert groups (e.g., Professor Jose Goldemberg of Brazil and Dr.Irene Freudenschuss-Reichl from Austria) were usually tabled and their content later removed from the CSD documents. Such NGOs as the World Sustainable Energy Coalition (WSEC) and Greenpeace International also presented ideas to the CSD – directly and at side-events. At the recent meeting in Bali, a Sustainable Energy Charter and a Blueprint for Technologies were introduced by WSEC and the Potential of Wind Power was introduced by Greenpeace. UNIDO presented the results of two meetings dealing with energy for the rural sector that were held at the Laxenburg Center. Technologies with proven economics exist; they are not more widely used, this is not because they are uneconomic but rather because they can not compete with subsidized non-sustainable technologies. A UN Think Tank could publicize these anomalies.


Indexes; Development Watch; Think Tanks.

Principle 10 of the Rio Declaration proclaims: “Environmental issues are best handled with the participation of all concerned citizens, at the relevant level. At the national level, each individual shall have appropriate access to information concerning the environment that is held by public authorities; including information on hazardous materials and activities in their communities, and the opportunity to participate in decision-making processes. States shall facilitate and encourage public awareness and participation by making information widely available. Effective access to judicial and administrative proceedings, including redress and remedy, shall be provided.”

According to the European Space Agency, Committee on Earth Observation Satellites (CEOS) (39) earth observation has significantly progressed since the Rio Conference – as follows:

(a) increased frequency of observations; (b) improved sensor and satellite technology with higher spatial and spectral resolutions as well as new instruments able to measure new parameters (such as atmospheric trace gases, i.e. 03, CH4, NOx, CO2, etc.); (c) improved access to data and information obtained from space-borne earth observation satellites. The data yield key indicators crucial for decision-making about SD:

Technology can also yield data for monitoring the state of renewable resources and of the increasingly scarce non-renewable resources. Technology can help create a climate change index modeled on the human development index. By collecting data and information it is possible to devise successful policies. In April 2002, Brazilian NGOs organized “The Climate Observatory” – a network on global climate change .

One of the outcomes of Rio, mandated by UNGA, was the creation of a Development Watch (DVW) at UNDP. It was intended to monitor all other UN system activities in order to ensure that all development become sustainable. Established in 1993, it was discontinued in 1997 for unknown reasons. It seems to this author that, if SD is to be strengthened, the Development Watch office must be revived. Also, the research unit at UNITAR was discontinued. These two defunct institutions fulfilled important functions: one was created to monitor whether development is sustainable; the other, produced the only valuable UN work on energy and could now focus on the introduction of renewable energy sources.

The Air Pollution Index (API) has provided useful data. The API helps people with health problems in deciding the level of their daily activities; more important, it tells responsible authorities that something must be done about air pollution. These indices could become very helpful tools to bring about behavioral changes in the way we consume and produce. The American NGO ‘Culture Change’ is promoting these efforts, aiming to go beyond “techno-fixes” and build for sustainability. In addition forward looking power companies in the United States are interested in legislation that sets rules so they can decide on needed investments; they understand that CO2 will eventually be regulated. The uncertainty caused by lack of regulation is delaying timely decisions. (40)

Reviewing events since the Stockholm Conference of 1972, the SD concept has been acknowledged at the UN and at WTO. Many international instruments and commitments have been negotiated and ratified; many countries have created environmental ministries and real progress has been achieved in changing the use of harmful chemicals. But the glass is more than half empty. Environmental degradation has reached crisis levels in many contexts. Serious threats from climate change are appearing on the horizon. Poverty is the daily experience of over 40% of the World’s population, and the gulf in wealth between the richest 10% and the poorest 10% has grown from 30:1 in the early 70s to 74:1 today. The topic of discussion at SD meetings seems to be moving from environment to poverty. In fact the whole development paradigm, sustainable development and even the classic development paradigm, have been left behind.

At Johannesburg a main topic will be partnerships to rekindle Africa’s development. Such partnerships involve private enterprise rather than official foreign aid. “Africa is the final frontier of market-based capitalism”. (41) The reality is that democracy is often followed by deteriorating living standards. The role of Trans National Corporations must be watched carefully. Economic globalization has grown in the last 20 years at a striking rate and the influence of TNCs has increased everywhere, bringing with it complex social and environmental impacts; yet we have no political process to manage these changes.

In the West, recognition of the need for new models for development is growing. At present, most Western consumers do not receive price signals that reflect the fragility of resources or provide incentives to conserve and use resources efficiently. An obvious step is to phase out perverse subsidies, such as US$ 800 billion spent annually worldwide to support environmentally harmful farming that produces surplus and depresses production in developing countries. UNEP’s report “10 years after Rio: the UNEP Assessment” (15 May 2002) could be titled “Business as Usual”. The Report draws on 22 global sustainability reports written in various industry sectors, ranging from accounting and advertising to waste and water management. The conclusion is that there is a growing gap between efforts of business and industry to reduce their impact on the environment and the worsening state of the planet. This gap is due to the fact that in most industry sectors, only a small number of companies are actively striving for sustainability. Mark Moody-Stuart, former Chairman of Shell Oil International, and now main business representative on the UNSG Global Compact effort, emphasizes that “business is committed to SD because it is good business”.

John R.E. Bliese in his book “The Greening of Conservative America” (42) argues that conservatives are by nature environmentalists. He believes that 10-15 percent of gasoline could be displaced immediately since American cars can use ethanol. He welcomes Amory Lovin’s and his Rocky Mountain Institute: “We are now wasting $310 billion every year; half of the threat to

the climate disappears if energy is used in a way that saves money – In general it’s far cheaper to save fuel than to burn it.” Stephen Schmiedheiny (43), the founder of the World Business Council for Sustainable Development, explains how private financing could move SD forward.

The author of this paper believes that it is logical to act with business in business ways. The idea of a Global Commons Governing Body charging for the use of clean air could create the countervailing tax to help policy makers shape economic policies, and “let the conservatives conserve”. The Prototype Carbon Fund (PCF) at the WB has selected the first projects to provide Project Design Documents (PDD) under the Marrakesh Accords of the Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCC) and to submit them to “validators”.

In May 2002, the European Union has ratified the Kyoto Protocol bringing the number of ratifications to 72, and the percentage of the CO2 emissions to 26.9% towards the required 55%. Subsequently Japan ratified the Kyoto protocol. If Russia ratifies, the magic 55% figure will be within reach. The ministerial Declaration at Marrakesh made it clear that actions on climate change are important to sustainable development. It would be advantageous if the 55% figure could be reached before the end of the Johannesburg Conference.

Germany’s Minister of Environment, Jürgen Trittin says: “Our experience in Germany shows that climate protection creates jobs.” Germany is on the way to achieve a 25% reduction in CO2 from its 1990 level by 2005. The use of renewable energy in Germany will double in ten years and reach 50% of energy consumption in 50 years. Trittin also favors the creation of a World Environment Organization, and observes that a “destroyed environment threatens sustainable economic development and social justice. Then poverty results in further destruction of the environment.” (44)

The Bush administration seems to be inclined to help the production of Biofuels. On Earth Day 2002 a Congressional Committee sponsored an activity “Biobased products: Back to the Future”. In 1979 Donald Klass edited “Biomass as a Non Fossil Fuels Source” (45) that mentioned what is possible. According to Hilary French from WRI (46), in March 1999, WTO Director-General Renato Ruggiero, in a symposium on trade and environment policy making, said that a World Environment Organization was needed to be the “Institutional and legal counterpart of WTO”. Ms. French when analyzing the 500 international treaties and agreements on environmental issues of which 300 were contracted since the 1972 Conference, and 41 of which UNEP considers “core environmental conventions”, agrees that bringing all of this under one roof, is a good idea.





The Global Public Goods concept provides us with a theoretical framework for doing the right thing and the Global Public’s rights to the Global Commons gives us means to raise funds. Needed are institutions that will help us join together those two concepts.

The four global commons are: the oceans, outer space, the atmosphere, and Antarctica. Among the properties owned and incorporated in these global commons are all clean air and all clean water. In order to manage these common properties a Global Commons Administration (GCA) should be established. It would support five specialized bodies:

I. A Global Environmental Organization mandated to monitor the global environment, gather information, deploy scientists to gather information for bodies like UNFCC, IPCC and the plethora of treaties, conventions and agreements and find synergies among the agreements.

II. A Global Commission Governing Body entitled to legislate environmental laws involving The Global Commons.

III. A Global Environmental Agency dealing with the Global Commons. This Agency should have a business window that will be allowed to work with governments and private enterprise in financial exchanges involving leases of permits to exploit the goods in the domain of the Global Commons. This body could also receive the payments charged for air pollution, debris left in outer space, or any other form of pollution; in addition, revenue from the sale of permits for the use of outer space for communication satellites, communication rights, air traffic, ship traffic etc.

IV. A Global Sustainable Development Court that is mandated to handle cases of infringements brought forward by the Global Environment Agency, as well as any other cases involving infringement on SD treaties, conventions, agreements, all infringements against Global Commons properties, and all infringements of Multilateral Environmental Agreements..

V. A Global Public Goods Foundation (GPGF) to act as the Financing Agency charged with the disbursements of funds collected by the Global Environment Agency (III) and by the Global Sustainable Development Court (IV) according to decisions taken by the Global Commons Governing Body (II). These funds will go to projects of the Global Public Goods Foundation involved in cleaning up pollution, in education for environment, and in establishing working conditions for anchoring the concept of Sustainable Development in developing countries.

The Global Commons Administration would be an independent body affiliated with the UN, in ways similar to the WTO. It would be an economic and financial body. To be effective it would
have to recognize economic/technology/population size as part of the empowerment for decision-making.

At the UN, a Sustainable Development Council would replace the Trusteeship Council, and become in effect a Trusteeship institution for earth. The UN SD Council would be the UN contact point with the Global Commons Administration. The UN SD Council would keep the Commission for Sustainable Development as its deliberative body. The CSD would continue to supervise the implementation of Agenda 21, as ordered by the Council. One of the annual required inputs should be sustainable energy. A restructured UNEP, headquartered next to the headquarters of the Global Commons Administration, could become the nucleus for the new Global Environmental Organization. In order to make these concepts a reality, a Commission, like the Brundtland Commission, should be established in order to flesh out further details of this concept, leading eventually to a UN decision. The author of this paper, proponent of this plan, feels that the UN Security Council could be the body to take the needed decisions, since the problem is actually one of peace and security. Eventually, the Global Public Goods Foundation (GPGF) could look at ways to fund the Millennium Declaration Goals as part of the activities relating to Global Public Goods. It could also help defray costs of independent scientific research without political interference from states with narrow interests.


This project was initiated in response to increasing calls for a detailed analysis of the weaknesses and gaps within the existing system of international environmental and energy governance and a more elaborate examination of the various proposals for reform. The first section of the project produced papers dealing with six key issues of environmental governance: interlinkages; the science/politics interface; the industry/government partnership for SD; the NGOs and other civil society; the interaction between national, regional, and international negotiation processes; and the role of international institutions in shaping legal and policy regimes. For lack of space it is not possible to enlarge here. The second section of the project focuses on specific reform proposals. The paper by Chad Carpenter (47) reaches the conclusion that a reformed CSD – with a systematically focused mandate, a clear role for decisions, and a work program developed in tandem with two other relevant commissions – provides the most likely avenue for success. These other two commissions are – the Commission on Social Development and the Committee on Development Policy (formerly the Committee on Development Planning). The UNU answer is that a combination of these three bodies, either as a single commission, or as a joint grouping of commissions, could address SD in a more complete matter; otherwise it seems that each of the commissions is holding on to only one leg of SD and by default this leaves only environment to the CSD. Would it not be simpler to say that the time has come to eliminate the other bodies and leave CSD to its full mandate? This brings us back to the need of a UN Think-Tank in New York and perhaps it should also come under the tutelage of the proposed Global Public Goods Foundation.


  1. The main challenge to the World Leaders gathered in Johannesburg is to realize that time has come to set aside local interests and national priorities, and to start worrying in tandem about saving planet Earth from becoming in-hospitable to life. Harm to the future of life on earth ought to be outlawed. The Charter of the U.N. ought to be amended to make sanctity of life its first priority and implementation of the right to sustainable development a major preoccupation.
  2. The Johannesburg Summit should take a pro-active position on the ratification of the Kyoto Protocols and should stress, that under the SD paradigm, Greenhouse Gas emissions should list the total of both – the past activity and the present activity of each UN member state. This will allow for an eventual fair participation of the developing and industrializing states in the effort to diminish climate change.
  3. The Complete Sustainable Development Concept has to include a base on which the three proverbial legs of SD rest – the environmental leg, the economic development leg, and the social development leg. The foundation of the Complete SD Concept consists of human rights and good governance. Without this foundation the concept of SD cannot succeed. We hope that the Johannesburg Summit will concentrate on formulating the two foundation layers to sustainable development.
  4. .

  5. The lack of progress at the Commission for Sustainable Development was caused in part by the fact that organizations like the Commission for Social Development and the Committee for Development Policy continued their activities undisturbed by the logic that would have them incorporated into the CSD. The same holds true for the Expert Committee on Energy and Natural Resources for Development. As this has not happened, the CSD was left dealing only with environmental issues. Time has come that the Johannesburg Summit realize that we are in effect back at square one. What is needed is a resolution that gives the CSD oversight power to make sure that all that comes under the heading of “development” within the U.N. system complies with sustainable development standards.
  6. The globalization of the concept of National Public Goods is a way to satisfy the needs of the poor in the developing countries. In order to obtain the funds for these Global Public Goods, the paper proposes to look at the Global commons. These extraterritorial Goods include water that flows into the oceans and air as well as migratory fish, the outer space, Antarctica, and everything else that can not be confined to a sovereign territory. The paper, under its Umbrella Concept, has suggested an institutional organization. For the Johannesburg Summit it suggests the establishment by the Summit of a Brundtland-type Commission that could suggest mechanisms to lead to a major conference to establish a Global Commons Administration under which to organize the proposed institutions. Global Commons economics could also be helpful establishing a regime for such areas as the global warming phenomena and other environmental issues.The Global Commons Administration is envisioned as an independent body.
  7. At the United Nations, a Sustainable Development Council is envisioned that would replace the Trusteeship Council. In effect the opinion of the author of this paper is that the moves for change should be brought by the Johannesburg Summit to the Security Council since the lack of an effective SD program constitutes a serious breach in world security.
  8. Much of the pollution endangering the future of life on planet Earth comes from the use of fossil fuels. While development requires the input of energy, SD must be based on the use of sustainable energy. The Johannesburg Summit should review the Energy Charter, and the Energy Technology Blue Prints submitted by the World Sustainable Energy Coalition ( an NGO). It should revive UNITAR’s research capacity. UNITAR with the “Project of the Future” used to act also as an in-house Think-Tank on energy matters. An in-house think-tank on energy is needed today more then ever at the U.N. It is not that there will be a shortage in fossil fuels that must concern us, but rather the inevitability of the need to decrease their use is becoming the limiting factor.
  9. One of the outcomes of Rio, mandated by UNGA, was the creation in 1993 of “Development Watch” at UNDP. This institution was closed in 1997. The Johannesburg Summit should insist on reopening Development Watch and charge it with the role of supervising the adherence of the UN System to the SD paradigm. Tools for such reports should be a series of indexes i.e. the “Air Pollution Index” (API) and a specific SD index.

9. The proliferation of separate multilateral environmental agreements (MEAs) with headquarter offices in various corners of the globe does not make for a unified system that takes advantage of the synergies between the MEAs. The Johannesburg Summit should propose the establishment of a central location for all these different headquarters and make it possible for coherence in meetings of the “Conference of the Parties” (the COPs). Some of the MEAs could actually have joint meetings and could be run out of the same office.

10. NGOs contribute to SD thanks to their specific expertise. To manage their participation by bunching them into groupings for the sake of “Multi Stakeholder Dialogues”, or as part of a consensus seeking “Major Groups” panels, neutralizes their input to the SD process. The Johannesburg Summit should point out how the CSD is in effect blocking the contribution of the NGOs by submitting them to such structured situations.


  1. UN Press Release DH/3653, 31 May 2002.
  2. UN Press Release SG/T/2327, 5 June, 2002.
  3. Harland Cleveland, “Birth of A New World”, p.193, Jossey-Bass Publishers, San Francisco, 1993. 260 pp. Minnesota’s Hubert Humphrey Institute of Public Affairs with the help of “The Group” of 32 distinguished people.

4 Steen Lou Jorgensen, “Second Global Prepcom of the 2002 WSSD”, SD Network, WB.

5. Common Responsibility in the 1990ís, The Stockholm Initiative on Global Security and Governance, The Prime Minister’s Office, Stockholm, Sweden, 1991.
6. Joseph Preston Baratta,, CURE, Monograph #8, see back cover.
7. “We Have One Earth” (One Step to the Sky), Rio+8, NGO Roundtable Forum in Copenhagen to prepare for Earth Summit 2002, The Danish92 Group, Torleif Jonasson. E-mail:  jnordbo at />8. Timothy C. Evered, CURE, Monograph #15, see back cover.
9. R. by the UNSG, UN Dec. A/49/675. 1994; A/48/590, 1993; A/47/668, 1992; A/46/609, 1991.

10. UNGA res.A/Res/56/159, 20 February 2002.
11. Robert K. Morrow, CURE, Monograph #5, see back cover.
12. Paul C. Szasz, CURE, Monograph #17, see back cover.
13. Peter Adriance, Bahai International Community, UN Office, Reproposed Modifications of Chairman’s Paper to CSD PrepCom III, March 27, 2002.
14. UNESCO, “Educating for a Sustainable Future: A Transdisciplinary Vision for Concerted Action”. DPD-97/CONF.401/CLD.1, November 1997

15. Human Rights Watch, NRDC “Defending the Earth” New York, 1992

  1. Meeting of the Experts on HR and the Environment, 14-15 January 2002, Final text, and a Seminary 16 January 2002 UNCHR UNEP.
  1. UN General Assembly A/57/6 (Prog.15) 29 May 2002.
  2. The UN Millenium Declaration, A/RES/55/2, 18 September 2000.
  3. Debt, A Crisis for Development, DPI/1032-41265, UN DPI, March 1990.
  4. Pincas Jawetz, “White Nights at Noon in South East Asia”, The International Diplomatic Observer at the UN in New York, October 1997, p.11
  5. A/Res/54/196, 14 January 2000.
  6. Paul Krugman, “Heart of Cheapness”, The New York Times, 31 May, 2002.
  7. Bill Keller, “Polyanna Meets Cassandra, The New York Times, 1 June, 2002.
  8. A/Conf.198/9, 22 March 2002 – Letter from Venezuela to the UNSG.
  9. INTGLIM, “Renewing the Spirit of Rio”, March 1997, New York .
  10. A/56/920, 18 April 2002 – Letter from the Representative of Mexico to the UNSG.
  11. “Synergies in National Implementation”, Expert Meeting on Synergies Among the Conventions on Climate Change, Biological Diversity, Desertification, and the Forest Principles, the Jacob Blaustein Institute for Desert Research of Ben Gurion University of the Negev, Sede Boqer, Israel, SEED/UNDP 70pp., 1997.
  1. German Velasquez, UNU,  Jerry at
  2. E.D.M. Hooper Esq., Indian Forest Department, Report upon the Forests of Tobago, Madras 1887, Lawrence Asylum Press.

30. Prof. Barry Commoner, “The Closing Circle”, Alfred A. Knopf, New York 1971, 326 pp.
31. Pamela Leonard (The Global Tomorrow Coalition) and Walter Hoffmann (WFA), “Effective
Global Environment Protection”, Second Edition October 1990.
32. The Espoo Convention, UN Juridical Yearbook 1991, pp216-232

33. Peter H. Sands, “Lessons Learned in Global Environment Governance”, World Resources Institute (WRI), Washington D.C., 1990.
34. Pamela S. Chasek, Earth Negotiations: “Analysing Thirty Years of Environmental Diplomacy”, UNU Press, Tokyo, 2001.
35. Ernst Ulrich von Weizsacker, “Earth Politics”, Zed Books Ltd. London 1994.
36. Procedural developments in the Security Council – 2001, Note by the President of the Security Council, S/2002/603, 30 May 2002.

37. Inge Kaul in Michael Faust et al., “Global Public Goods: Taking the Concept Forward”, ODS /UNDP Discussion Papers #17, UNDP ODS, New York, 2001.
38. Inge Kaul et al, “Global Public Goods Financing: New Tools for New Challenges – a Policy Dialogue”, UNDP/ODS, New York, 2002.
39. Joseph Aschbacher, Comttee on Earth Observation Satellites (CEOS), Paris, Cedex 15, France.
40. “Crossroads on Global Warming”, The New York Times Editorial, 3 June 2002.

41. Richard W. Stevenson, “African Genesis”; Rachel Swarns with Narimitsu Onishi, “Africa Creeps Along Path to Democracy”, The New York Times, 2 June, 2002.
42. John R.E. Bliese, “The Greening of Conservative America”, Westview Press, Boulder , 2001.
43. Stephen Schmiedheiny, “Privately Financed Sustainable Development” in Marion R. Chertow, Daniel C. Esty, “Thinking Ecologically”, Yale University, 1997.

44. Jurgen Trittin, “Towards a Global Sustainable Energy Policy” in From Rio to Johannesburg, Heinrich Boell Foundation Papers No.5, Washington DC, October 2001.
45. Donald L. Klass, “Biomass as a Nonfossil Fuel Source”, ACS Symposium series #144, the Division of Petroleum Chemistry at the ACS/CSJ Chemical Congress, Honolulu, 1979.
46. Hillary French, “Reshaping Global Governance”, in “State of the World 2002”, WRI, Washington D.C., pp. 174-206.

47. Chad Carpenter, Strengthening IEG by Reforming Existing UN Bodies, UNU/IAS, Tokyo, Japan, February 2002.,


A. Agenda 21 This is the blueprint for SD that resulted from UNCED.
ANNEX B Annex to the KP listing the Industrialized countries.
ANNEX I Annex to the KP listing the needed GHG reductions by Annex B.
API Air Pollution Index
B. BWI Bretton Woods Institutions including the IMF and the WB.
C. CBD The Convention on Biological Diversity.
CC Climate Change..
CDM The Clean Development Mechanism under the Kyoto Protocol.
CEOS Committee on Earth Observation Satellites of the Europea Space Agency.
CHR the UN Commission on Human Rights.
CISDL Center for International SD Law.
CITES Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (Fauna and Flora) (UN).
CNG Compressed Natural Gas. – a motor vehicle fuel
CO2 Carbon dioxide when typed by computer.
COP Conference of the Parties (to a Treaty or Convention).
CSD The Commission for Sustainable Development.


Danish92 Group This is a Nordic led NGO that promotes Agenda 21.
DESA Department of Economic and Social Affairs.( at the UN )
DVW (or DW) Development Watch / was in existence during 1993-1997 only.


ECA Economic Commission for Africa.
ECE Economic Commission for Europe.
ECLA Economic Commission for Latin America. – was enlarged to ECLAC
ECLAC Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean.
ECOSOC Economic and Social Council.
ELCI Environment Liaison Centre International – a Nairobi Based NGO
EMA Emission Marketing Association future market for CO2 emission trading permits.
ESCAP Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific.
ESCWA Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia. – the Arab States (including also Africa North of the Sahara these States belong also to ECA).
EUROSOLAR European Association for Renewable Energy – an NGO.
F. FAO Food and Agriculture Organization of the UN.
FAR First Assessment Report of the IPCC on Climate Change.
FDI Foreign Direct Investment.
FfD or FFD Financing for Development.
FFE Foreign Funded Enterprise.
FOEI Friends of the Earth International – an Environmental NGO.
G. G7 Group of Seven Industrial Nations.
G77 The Group of Developing States at the UN; as China/G77 they command the votes to pass or oppose any proposal at the CSD if a vote were called – the same at the UNGA.
GA UN General Assembly
GC Governing Council
GCA Global Commons Administration as proposed in this monograph.
GCmns Global Commons – this is a new acronym.
GEA Global Education Associates – New York based NGO.
GEF Global Environment Facility, (UN) headquartered at the WB.
GHG Greenhouse Gas such as CO2.
GMEF Global Ministerial Environment Forum.
GNP Gross National Product.
GPG Global Public Goods, A Western European – UNDP Concept.

Global Public Goods Foundation – proposed in this paper. The Financing Agency charged with disbursements of the funds collected for the GCA.

GRID Global Resource Information Database, affiliated to UNEP.
H. hdqtr. headquartered
HER Human Environmental Rights.
HIPC Heavily Indebted Poor Countries. A debt Relief Initiative for SD by the WB.
HR Human Rights.
I ICC International Chamber of Commerce, hdqtr. in Paris, France.
ICESCR Int. Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights – a Human Rights Treaty.
ICLEI International Council of Local Initiatives.
ICSU International Council of Scientific Unions.
IEG International Environment Governance.
IGES Institute for Global Environmental Strategies the IPCC set up in Japan.
IIASA International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis, hdqtr. at Laxenburg near Vienna, Austria.
IIED International Institute for Environment and Development. hdqtr. in London, England.
IISD International Institute for Sustainable Development, an NGO hdqtr. In Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada, publishes important daily information on SD issues.
ILO International Labour Organization.
IMF International Monetary Fund.
IMO International Maritime Organization.
INFOTERRA a UNEP global network for environmental information exchange.
INTGLIM International NGO Task Group On Legal And Institutional Matters.
IO Intergovernmental Organization.
IPCC the International Panel on Climate Change.
IRPTC International Register of Potentially Toxic Chemicals of UNEP
IRENA International Renewable Energy Agency.
ISA International Seabed Authority.
ITC International Trade Centre UNCTAD/WTO.
ITO International Trade Organization-was negotiated through the Havana Charter in 1947-48 but was not established.
IUCN International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resource – an Environmental NGO that has also the status of an Agency at the UN.
J. JI Joint Implementation. One of the Kyoto Protocol Mechanisms.
K. KP The Kyoto Protocol to the UNFCCC.
M. MAB The UNESCO Programme On Man And The Biosphere – a precursor to the UN involvement in Environment issues.


Multilateral Environment Agreement.
N. NAFTA North American Free Trade Agreement.
NEPAD the NEW Partnership for Africa’s Development to be very active at WSSD.
NGGIP The IPCC National Greenhouse Gas Inventories Programme.
NGO Non Governmental Organization.
NIE Nearly Industrialized Economy.
NOx Nitrogen Oxides.
O. O2

Oxygen when typed by computer.

O3 Ozone when typed by computer.
ODA Official Development Assistance.
ODS Office of Development Studies at UNDP
OECD Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (the industrialized States).
OLADE Organization Latino Americana del Desenvolvmento Econmico, dealt with the development of energy sources.
OPEC Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries.

Prototype Carbon Fund at the World Bank.

PDD Project Design Documents under the Marrakech Accords of the UNFCCC.
POP Persistent Organic Pollutant.
PPP the Polluter Pays Principle. Also Purchasing Power Parity data – by the ICP.
PrepCom Preparatory Committee as in the preparations for the WSSD.
S. SAR The Second Assessment Report of the IPCC.


Security Council
SD Sustainable Development.
SDG Sustainable Development Governance.
SEI Stockholm Environmental Institute – an NGO.
SG Secretary General.
SI The Stockholm Initiative.
SID Society for International Development, A Rome, based NGO.
SIDS Small Island Developing States.
SO2 Sulfur dioxide when typed by computer.
T. TAR The Third Assessment Report of the IPCC.
TC Trusteeship Council (UN).
tdR Trade and Development Report, at UNCTAD.
TFI The IPCC Task Force on National Greenhouse Gas Inventories.
TNC Trans National Corporation.
U. UCS Union of Concerned Scientists with the goal to educate the media, policy makers, and the public at large on matters that science can help explain i.e. energy use.

The Universal Declaration On Human Rights.

UN United Nations.
UNCCD UN Convention to Combat Desertification.
UNCED UN Conference on Environment and Development. Rio l992.
UNCHR UN Commission on Human Rights.
UNCLOS UN Convention on the Law of the Sea.
UNCRSE UN Conference on New and Renewable Sources of Energy (1981).
UNCTAD UN Conference on Trade and Development
UNDP UN Development Programme.
UNEP UN Environment Programme.
UNESCO UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization.
UNFCCC UN Framework Convention on Climate Change.
UNGA UN General Assembly.
UNHCHR UN High Commissioner on Human Rights.
UNIDO UN Industrial Development Organization, hdqtr. in Vienna.
UNITAR UN Institute for Training and Research, now based in Geneva..
UNSC UN Security Council.
UNSDP This institution does not exist – it is our proposal to change in a demonstrative way the mandate of UNDP and make it responsible only for SD conforming projects.
UNSG UN Secretary General.
UNSO the UNDP office for the African Sahara-Sahel region.
UNTC UN Trusteeship Council.
UNU UN University, hdqtr. Tokyo, Japan.


World Association for World Federalists.
WB The World Bank Group
WBCSD World Business Council for Sustainable Development.
WCED The World Commission on Environment and Development, the Brundtland Commis.
WCU World Conservation Union – an NGO.
WFA World Federalist Association of the USA,. hdqtr. in Washington D.C.
WFM World Federalist Movement, an international NGO founded in 1947. Its Motto is World Peace through World Law.
WHO World Health Organization.
WMO World Meteorological Organization.
WRI World Resources Institute – A Washington D.C. NGO.
WSEC World Sustainable Energy Coalition, a Geneva based NGO.
WSSD World Summit on Sustainable Development – to be held in Johannesburg,
WTO World Trade Organization a non-UN institution.
WWF World Wildlife Fund – an NGO.


ZPG Zero Population Growth – an NGO movement.


Pincas Jawetz has a background in chemistry and physics and a 1975 degree in International Management from the American Graduate School for International Mgmt..

In 1959 he studied the production of petroleum substitutes from oil shale at a working plant in Spain. At the beginning of the seventies he helped the Hudson Institute prepare what became a U.S. Energy Policy based on production of alternate fuels. Eventually he got interested in biofuels and in renewable sources of energy and consulted the Department of Energy in establishing the Office of Alcohol Fuels. He advised the General Accounting Office, and the Solar Energy Research Inst. and appeared in numerous Congressional hearings on renewable energy, other hearings, and at various conferences and meetings.

At the UN, Mr. Jawetz prepared the issue paper on oil shales and tar sands for the 1981 Conference on New and Renewable Sources of Energy, and chaired the NGO session on energy policy at that 1981 meeting. Eventually he became a fellow of UNITAR and headed the research desk. He prepared a Promptbook on the economic development of arid lands for the UN General Assembly on Africa which led to writing the appropriate chapter in the Club of Rome volume “Africa Beyond Famine” and in helping Brazil prepare for the Rio meeting. He chaired a session on biomass and outer space at the Vienna Conference on Outer Space.

Mr. Jawetz participated since the mid seventies at all UN meetings on environmental issues, climate issues, and sustainable development, except the 2002 meeting in Bali as he was working the last six months on preparing this paper.

At the UN Mr. Jawetz represents the Sustainable Energy Institute and the World Sustainable Energy Coalition. He believes that sustainable development is the only concept todate that can help us slow down from our collision path with our own self- destructive nature.

Mr. Jawetz taught sustainable development at New York University.


Without the support from Irith Jawetz this paper would not have become a reality.
The author would like to thank the Center’s Committee members: Mr. Walter Hoffmann (Executive Director), Ms. Estelle Perry (1st Vice President), and Ms. Gill Sherrid (trustee),
who worked hard at creating both brevity and clarity for this project. Also, to the initial editor, Mr. Ernie Schneider, who for years was the main editor for the Hudson Institute’s publications, to my son Tom, to Ernie’s son Martin, and to Howard Fink from NYU who helped with the computer work. Ms. Mimi Treglia from Parsons School of Design executed the front cover


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