Hundred and Twenty-third Session
Rome, 28 October - 2 November 2002
REPORT ON THE WORLD SUMMIT ON
1. The World Summit on Sustainable Development (WSSD) was organized, according to UN General Assembly (UNGA) Resolution 55/199, as a ten-year review of progress achieved in the implementation of the outcome of the 1992 UN Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED). In particular, the review was to focus on the identification of accomplishments and areas where further efforts were needed to implement Agenda 21 and the other results of the Conference, and on action-oriented decisions in those areas. The Summit was to address, within the framework of Agenda 21, new challenges and opportunities, and was expected to result in renewed political commitment and support for sustainable development, consistent, inter alia, with the principle of common but differentiated responsibilities.
2. The Summit was hosted by the Republic of South Africa in Johannesburg from 26 August to 4 September 2002. It brought together participants from all sectors of society, including civil society and NGO representatives, country (government) delegates, representatives of international, regional, national and local organizations, and the media. Negotiations at the 10-day Summit focused on the two main documents to be adopted in Johannesburg: The Political Declaration and the Plan of Implementation. Following an initiative of the UN Secretary-General, the Johannesburg Summit focused on five issues: Water, Energy, Health, Agriculture and Biodiversity (WEHAB) as key priority areas to address in the fight for better livelihoods and the conservation of natural resources.
3. The Summit delivered two types of outcomes: “Type 1” outcomes which were negotiated between states, and “Type 2” which were non-negotiated and involved partners from governments, international organizations, major groups, and civil society. The first category included a Political Declaration reaffirming commitment to the achievement of sustainable development as outlined at UNCED and to the implementation of Agenda 21; and a global Plan of Implementation, building on achievements since UNCED and specifying concrete actions and measures remaining to be undertaken at all levels to expedite realisation of Agenda 21 goals. The second category included voluntary partnerships and other initiatives reflecting commitments by various stakeholders and action-oriented programmes focused on deliverables that contribute to translating political commitments into action.
4. Numerous national and regional reviews were undertaken in preparation for the WSSD. At the global level, the Commission on Sustainable Development acting as the Preparatory Committee for WSSD (CSD-10) organized four Preparatory Committee (PrepCom) meetings prior to the Summit, to identify elements of the Political Declaration and to draft the Plan of Implementation. Negotiations on the draft Plan of Implementation were conducted in working groups and contact groups, while the Plenary, Multi-Stakeholder Dialogues, and High-Level Ministerial Segment (convened during PrepCom IV) provided input for both the Declaration and the Implementation Plan. There were also informal consultations on partnerships/initiatives. During the last PrepCom, delegates were able to reach agreement on 80% of the draft Plan of Implementation but had to forward key outstanding issues to be resolved in Johannesburg.
5. FAO’s objectives at the Summit were to raise awareness of the important potential contribution of agriculture to achieving the goals of the WSSD and to communicate FAO’s vision of the Organization’s future contribution to sustainable development and acceleration of Agenda 21 implementation. FAO’s delegation aimed to promote and secure support for the Anti-Hunger Programme as a partnership initiative in the context of WEHAB; to raise awareness of the important contribution of Sustainable Agriculture and Rural Development (SARD) and FAO’s work in sustainable mountain development to achieving the goals of the Summit; and to identify challenges and opportunities for FAO in the follow-up to WSSD.
6. The key messages FAO conveyed during the Summit were the linkages between poverty, hunger and environmental degradation and the key role which agriculture can play in alleviating these problems. In this context, FAO underlined the urgent need to accelerate investment and implement policy reforms conducive to agriculture and rural development in order to bring about substantial and sustainable hunger and poverty reduction. FAO’s Director-General communicated these messages on several occasions, in particular, in his statement to the plenary (Annex I), in the opening speeches at the FAO Side and Parallel Events, and at a press conference.
7. A second draft of the Anti-Hunger Programme was issued on the occasion of the Summit, and its essential elements were presented in a Panel discussion in Plenary during the Agriculture segment of the WEHAB session.
8. At the invitation of the CSD, FAO prepared a text documenting FAO’s assistance to Member States in implementing Agenda 21 and UNCED follow-up. The resulting document, entitled "FAO's Contribution to the Implementation of Agenda 21 and UNCED Follow-up" was made available to PrepCom II. This document also highlighted FAO’s assistance to integrate sustainability issues into national strategy, policy and planning processes of member nations and described steps taken by FAO to reflect these issues in its own structural and operational strategies.
9. Besides this overview on Agenda 21 implementation and as appointed task manager for chapters 10, (Integrated Planning and Management of Land Resources), 11 (Combating Deforestation), 13 (Sustainable Mountain Development) and 14 (Sustainable Agriculture and Rural Development) of Agenda 21, FAO contributed the following reports to the preparatory process:
10. In addition, FAO, as major partner in the implementation of Chapter 17 (Oceans and coastal areas), chaired for three consecutive years the ACC/SC on Oceans and Coastal Areas (SOCA), contributing to the preparation of the report of the Secretary General on this chapter and developing, on behalf of SOCA, the UN Atlas of the Oceans, an Internet and inter-agency portal on ocean sustainable development successfully launched on 5 June 2002.
11. The Bureau of the CSD, at its 5th meeting in New York on 2 November 2001, invited UN Executive Heads attending PrepCom II to make brief presentations addressing the following questions:
In response to this request, a presentation was made and a paper prepared on:” Challenges and Opportunities for the World Summit on Sustainable Development: FAO’s Perspective”.
12. At the request of the Chairman of PrepCom III, FAO provided “Deliverables” of “Type 2” outcomes for PrepCom IV. In preparing the submissions, congruence with the approved FAO Medium-Term Plan and Programme of Work and Budget was ensured. Since Agriculture had been identified as one of the five WEHAB priority areas for the Summit, the FAO contribution was shared with the WEHAB working group.
13. The World Food Summit: five years later (WFS: fyl), held in Rome from 10 to 13 June, constituted a supportive step towards WSSD. Its affirmation that the elimination of poverty and hunger was a sine qua non condition for sustainable development corresponded to WSSD’s expressed inseparability of the three sustainable development pillars - protection of the environment, economic development and equitable social development at local, national, regional and global levels.
14. At WFS:fyl FAO presented a first draft of a paper entitled “Anti-Hunger Programme” (AHP). The AHP recommended a twin-track approach to hunger reduction: combining investment in agriculture and rural development with direct food assistance for the most needy. In order to accelerate hunger reduction and achieve the World Food Summit goal of halving the number of hungry by 2015, the paper identified five areas for priority action: 1) increased agricultural productivity in poor rural communities; 2) development and conservation of natural resources; 3) expansion of rural infrastructure and market access; 4) generation and dissemination of knowledge; and 5) enhancement of access to food for the most needy. The second draft of the AHP made more transparent the links between FAO’s goals and those of WSSD and also proposed broad policy directions for agriculture and rural development. As a result of FAO’s active involvement in the preparation of the WEHAB initiative documents, the priority actions of the Anti-Hunger Programme were reflected in the Agriculture component of this initiative. Many of the policy directions in the AHP were also reflected in the WEHAB document.
15. During the preparatory process, FAO also participated actively in the global debate on forests, in particular in the United Nations Forum on Forests, whose second session prepared a ministerial declaration on forests which served as the basis for the WSSD outcome on forests. The significant role of the Collaborative Partnership on Forests in assisting the implementation of sustainable forest management was evident in the WSSD Plan of Implementation. The partnership consists of 13 international organizations and convention secretariats and is chaired by FAO.
16. FAO also cooperated with the Swiss Government to focus attention on sustainable agricultural development in mountain regions. A Conference was prepared and held on the subject which provided further insight and recommendations for action.
17. FAO, together with governments, major groups and civil society, carefully laid the groundwork for three initiatives launched at the Summit through two Side Events and three Parallel Events: the Sustainable Agriculture and Rural Development (SARD) Initiative – Participation in Implementing Chapter 14, the International Partnership for Sustainable Development in Mountain Regions, and the FAO/UNESCO Flagship on Education for Rural People. FAO and the CGIAR also launched an initiative, first announced at WFS:fyl, to establish a Global Conservation Trust for plant genetic resources.
18. On 27 August, during the segment on Agriculture of the plenary session devoted to WEHAB, FAO’s intervention centred around two major themes: (a) the role of poverty and hunger reduction in achieving sustainable development; and (b) the need for Sustainable Agriculture and Rural Development (SARD) to be at the heart of every development strategy aimed at substantial and sustainable reductions in hunger and poverty. Elements of an enabling environment for agriculture and rural development were elaborated, including not only increased investment but also a policy framework that encouraged sustainable increases in agricultural productivity especially for small farmers, foresters and fisher-folk. Attention was also drawn to the actions and policies contained in the FAO-designed Anti-Hunger Programme.
19. The SARD Initiative was presented as a Side Event and a plenary partnership announcement at the official Convention Centre, and as an off-site Parallel Event. All involved governments, civil society and other stakeholders. The principal aim of the multi-stakeholder events on SARD was to raise awareness about and stimulate commitment to the SARD Initiative and the implementation of SARD/Chapter 14. Anticipated outcomes included refinement of the Initiative’s framework via identification of resources, success cases, research findings, projects, technologies, networks, initiatives and expertise. Stakeholders were expected to express new commitment and/or formalise statements of interest in the Initiative in more concrete ways.
20. The Side Event started with opening statements by the Director-General of FAO, Nigeria’s Special Advisor on Agriculture, Philippines’ Under-Secretary of Foreign Affairs, the Ambassador of Switzerland and an NGO representative. It was co-chaired by the National Department of Agriculture and Land of South Africa and an Indigenous People’s representative. The event presented an overview of the multi-stakeholder initiative, which is designed to support the transition to people-centred sustainable agriculture and rural development and to strengthen participation in programme and policy development. The Initiative seeks to achieve SARD by supporting pilot efforts and building the capacity of rural communities, disadvantaged groups and other stakeholders to improve access to resources (e.g. genetic, technological, land, water, markets and information), promote good practices for SARD, and foster fairer conditions of employment in agriculture.
21. The Parallel Event on SARD was opened by the Assistant Director-General, Sustainable Development Department of FAO, Ghana’s Minister of Environment and Science, and a Kenyan representative of the International Federation of Agricultural Producers. After brief statements of support from Major Group representatives and representatives of media, a professionally facilitated consultation was held, involving approximately 200 participants. This was followed by a presentation and discussion on the International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture to promote its ratification among country delegations. In the course of these Side and Parallel events, 44 governments expressed interest in or support for the SARD initiative.
22. The International Partnership for Sustainable Development in Mountain Regions was first presented during a Side Event at the Convention Centre, then officially launched in a Parallel Event (involving civil society and other stakeholders). The official launch included speeches delivered by FAO’s Director-General, the Swiss Minister of Foreign Affairs, and several government ministers and heads of international organizations.Together with the Government of Switzerland and UNEP, FAO organized this event to launch an umbrella alliance designed for the sustainable development of mountain regions, contributing to more effective implementation of Chapter 13 of Agenda 21. During his remarks at the mountain partnership launch, the Director-General indicated that FAO would consider, if requested, hosting a small secretariat to support the partnership, in full collaboration with other key stakeholders. The Italian Government announced its willingness to support such an arrangement. Several other interventions included statements of appreciation for FAO’s leading role in the implementation of Agenda 21, Chapter 13 and the observance of the International Year of Mountains 2002.
23. FAO also contributed to the launch of the “FAO/UNESCO Flagship on Education for Rural People” in a parallel event. Education and Food For All, a new flagship under the Education for All (EFA) aegis was designed to contribute to the achievement of two of the Millennium Development Goals: Education for All, promoted by UNESCO, and Food for All, promoted by FAO. The Director-General of FAO gave the opening speech of the event. Representatives of several UN bodies and governments also contributed to the proceedings.
24. FAO was a partner in a Parallel event, organized by IPGRI, to launch an initiative aimed at establishing a Global Conservation Trust as a permanent endowment to conserve in perpetuity the crop diversity in the world’s crop genebanks. The Trust would protect the world’s rapidly shrinking agricultural biodiversity within the agreed framework of the International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture, which was adopted by the FAO Conference in November 2001 and is now open for signature and ratification. During the process of establishing the trust, FAO will address issues of governance and fund management.
25. In the framework of the activities by UN agencies related to water, FAO presented to the WSSD participants, the UN Atlas of the Oceans and the inter-agency portal on oceans sustainable development, which had been produced by FAO on behalf of UN agencies dealing with oceans and co-funded by the United Nations Foundation (UNF).
26. FAO prepared several information documents to be distributed in an information kit at the Summit.The documents included the following five fact sheets:
A general information publication entitled, FAO at work – Helping to build a world without hunger, was also distributed.
27. In the framework of the FAO Inter-Departmental Working Group on Desertification and with the cooperation with the Italian Ministry of the Environment, FAO prepared an information document distributed at WSSD, entitled "Towards Sustainable Livelihoods in the Drylands", dealing with the nexus between poverty, land degradation and desertification. FAO and its partners will continue to elaborate on this topic.
28. The declaration from the World Food Summit: five years later Side Event on Rural Women: crucial partners in the fight against hunger and poverty was distributed both at the Side and Parallel events on SARD, as was an information note on FAO’s support to NEPAD.
29. Additional information material from the technical departments was displayed at the Sandton Convention Centre, at the FAO pavillion in the Ubuntu Village Exhibition, and at relevant Side and Parallel events.
Most of these information materials, papers and fact sheets were also made available on the FAO WSSD website.
30. The Summit brought together more than 21,000 participants from over 190 countries including Heads of State and Government, national delegates and leaders from Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs), the private sector and other major groups.
31. In terms of the “Type 1” outcomes of the Summit, following were the main results for broad-based agriculture:
32. As for “Type 2” outcomes, three FAO partnership initiatives were successfully launched at the Summit during Side Events on Sustainable Agriculture and Rural Development (SARD), Sustainable Development in Mountain Regions, and (with UNESCO) Education for Rural People. These were attended by the FAO Director-General, ministerial representatives of governments of developing and developed countries, senior UN agency officials, representatives of civil society, and other stakeholders. Expressions of political and, in some cases, financial support were obtained and planning was advanced for further implementation of these initiatives.
33. Following the Summit, FAO will take action to implement a number of programmes that contribute directly to WSSD goals. The agreements in the five WEHAB priority areas and in others will be realized through ongoing projects and will provide input to new initiatives. FAO’s implementation of the WSSD goals corresponds also to the commitments made at the WFS:fyl. The FAO Anti-Hunger Programme links increased productivity and sustainable natural resource use to opportunities for reducing the number of hungry to half their present number by 2015 and provides a framework for many WSSD-related initiatives.
34. As task manager of the Chapters 10, 11, 13, 14 of Agenda 21, FAO will continue its technical assistance, guidance in policy and planning, and support in training and capacity building to its member countries. Further actions will follow regarding the intitiatives announced at WSSD:
35. FAO will continue its work as major partner in the implementation of chapters of Agenda 21 relating to desertification and drought (Chapter12), biological diversity (Chapter 15), oceans and seas (Chapter 17), fresh water (Chapter18) and toxic chemicals (Chapter 19). The commitments given in the WSSD global Plan of Implementation will provide the framework for future programmes in cooperation with the member countries.
36. In the fisheries sector, FAO will place greater emphasis on activities related to the application of the Code of Conduct for Responsible Fisheries and its related International Plans Of Action (IPOAs) and the ecosystem approach. In addition, the Organization will continue to provide policy advice to member countries and support to, among others, small-scale fisheries as well as the strengthening of regional fishery bodies. It will also have the responsibility of presenting, disseminating and updating the “UN Atlas of the Oceans".The resource requirements for addressing the target on depleted fish stocks will warrant attention as will the call for strengthening FAO’s ability to build national and local capacity in marine science and management.
37. The Summit’s outcomes may also have a number of implications for other FAO activities such as:
the call for practical measures to access the results and benefits of biotechnologies through enhanced scientific and technical cooperation on biotechnology and biosafety complements FAO’s proposed Integrated Programme on Biotechnology, Food Quality and Safety, and Phyto- and Zoosanitary Standards;
World Summit for Sustainable Development
Johannesburg, South Africa
30 August 2002
Mr President of the Summit,
Mr Secretary-General of the Summit,
Ladies and Gentlemen,
Thank you, Mr President, for this opportunity to address the participants of the World Summit on Sustainable Development.
The global economy has seen significant growth in the developed countries and certain developing countries in the ten years that followed the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED). Yet, 1.2 billion people still have to live on one dollar a day and 815 million of these people are undernourished. Most live in the developing countries and are constantly up against the degradation of their natural resources and their environment. Their institutions are weak. They lack infrastructure, especially markets. They have inadequate technologies. Conflicts widen existing social inequalities and continue to hamper progress towards the Rio objectives.
FAO’s mandate for agriculture, fisheries, forests, food security and the rural sector prioritizes actions that are conducive to sustainable development at national, regional and global level. The Organization was actively involved in the UNCED preparatory process that led to the adoption of Agenda 21, the Multilateral Environmental Agreements and the Forest Principles at the Earth Summit of 1992, in Rio.
On that occasion, FAO was appointed task manager for implementation of chapters 10 (Integrated Planning and Management of Land Resources), 11 (Combating Deforestation), 13 (Sustainable Mountain Development) and 14 (Sustainable Agriculture and Rural Development). It is also a partner for implementation of chapters 12 (Combating Desertification and Drought), 15 (Biological Diversity), 17 (Oceans and Seas), 18 (Freshwater) and 19 (Toxic Chemicals).
In follow-up to an UNCED recommendation on the strengthening of institutional arrangements, FAO established its Sustainable Development Department in 1995 and decided to mainstream sustainability into environmental activities involving natural resources and socio-economic issues. It now places strong emphasis on the promotion and integration of concepts, approaches, strategies and methods that will ensure sustainability in the sectoral activities of its technical units, and in the development policy advice that it gives to its member countries.
Integrated planning and management of land resources
In the implementation of Agenda 21, FAO has been involved in the evaluation of land resources. Its Soil Fertility Initiative, for example, has helped some twenty countries of sub-Saharan Africa to raise their productivity and to promote conservation agriculture in order to reduce soil degradation and foster carbon sequestration. It has focused increasingly on the conservation and effective use of water resources, with an emphasis on the management of irrigation schemes, drainage areas and catchment basins.
Development of forests
FAO also supports and encourages the participatory and sustainable management of all types of forest, acting through its Forests, Trees and People Programme and drafting a Model Code of Forest Harvesting Practice. FAO also chairs the Collaborative Partnership on Forests that operates for the United Nations Forum on Forests.
Sustainable mountain development
The Organization has helped raise awareness of the importance of mountain ecosystems and of the development obstacles that are faced by mountain people, in an effort to ensure the conservation of freshwater reserves and the planet’s biodiversity. As United Nations lead agency for the International Year of Mountains 2002, FAO has also been involved in the launching of the Mountain Initiative for this Summit.
Sustainable agriculture and rural development (SARD)
FAO’s efforts to promote sustainable agricultural development led to the organization of the World Food Summit and to support for implementation of the Summit’s Plan of Action. It helps low-income food-deficit countries sustainably increase their food production through its Special Programme for Food Security which is operational in 69 countries, more than half in Africa. Integrated plant protection, organic agriculture, integration of gender-related issues in development and promotion of the conservation and sustainable use of genetic resources for food and agriculture are all examples of FAO’s work as task manager for chapter 14. One tangible outcome has been the International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture which was adopted in November 2001 and is now in the process of ratification.
I should also like to mention FAO’s work in drafting the Code of Conduct for Responsible Fisheries which is a major contribution to implementation of chapter 17 (Oceans and Seas).
Many of those present today also attended the World Food Summit: five years later. I find this most heartening, as the goals of the World Summit on Sustainable Development reflect those of the World Food Summit: five years later and aim to eliminate poverty, the major challenge facing humanity and the sine qua non of sustainable development, especially for the developing countries.
At the Rome Summit, the international community addressed the root cause of the chronic extreme poverty, hunger and malnutrition that continue to afflict some 800 million people, most of whom live in rural areas.
The Declaration of the World Food Summit: five years later invites all parties
– governments, international organizations, civil society organizations and the private sector –to redouble their efforts and to act as an international alliance against hunger in order to achieve the objective of the World Food Summit, which was subsequently reiterated in the United Nations Millennium Declaration. It also calls for specific measures to strengthen the political will and to mobilize the resources needed to halve the number of undernourished people by 2015.
The Plan of Implementation of the World Summit on Sustainable Development reaffirms the development objective of the Millennium Declaration. It stresses that sustainable agriculture and rural development is central to any integrated strategy of increased food production aimed at enhancing food security and food safety in a sustainable manner.
How are these interdependent objectives to be achieved? Or, rather: what firm commitments are we prepared to make to ensure success?
First we need the political will:
It is in fact up to the governments to ensure food security at national level, acting in concert with civil society and the private sector and receiving support from the international community. The number of undernourished people needs to fall by more than 22 million each year if the objective of the World Food Summit is to be achieved by 2015. At the same time, the development partners need to improve the indicators that monitor and measure progress towards this objective.
Governments, international organizations and financing institutions need to use their resources effectively, to improve their performance and to step up their cooperation, working as one to overcome hunger and to consolidate the primary role of sustainable agriculture and rural development in food security. Particularly relevant in this regard are the three agencies specialized in food and agriculture that are headquartered in Rome – FAO, WFP and IFAD.
The fight against hunger and poverty will come to nothing unless we make sure that women, especially rural women, are placed at the heart of the process. Such was the conclusion reached at one of the leading side events of the World Food Summit: five years later - the side event entitled Rural women: crucial partners in the fight against hunger and poverty.
FAO has drawn up a draft Anti-Hunger Programme that focuses on five priority areas: 1) agricultural productivity in poor rural communities; 2) development and conservation of natural resources; 3) expansion of rural infrastructure and market access; 4) generation and dissemination of knowledge; and 5) access to food for the most needy.
This Programme requires an additional public investment of some US$24 billion. I am pleased to note that four priority actions of the Anti-Hunger Programme correspond to the Agriculture component of the UN Secretary-General’s WEHAB initiative. Investment for these four priority areas, amounting to US$18.5 billion, would translate into rapid and substantial reductions in hunger and extreme poverty. It is important to note that the additional investment required should be equitably shared between governments of developing countries and donors. Realization of the World Food Summit’s objective would boost the global economy by an estimated US$120 billion each year.
Finally, Mr President, with its partners, FAO has launched two initiatives that evolved during the course of preparing for this Summit: the Sustainable Agriculture and Rural Development (SADR) Initiative and the International Partnership for Sustainable Development in Mountain Regions. Both are umbrella alliances of partners that are free to enter into specific subpartnerships. Governments, intergovernmental organizations and civil society organizations have shown a keen interest in these initiatives and manifested strong support. I venture to hope that, over the next five years, the processes started here will prompt concrete and measurable improvements in the implementation of Agenda 21 and in the realization of the objectives of the Millennium Declaration.
Thank you for your kind attention.