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CSD-18 convenes, looks ahead to Rio+20

arton2460The United Nations Commission on Sustainable Development held its 18th meeting (CSD-18) from 3-14 May in New York, focusing on five thematic issues: Transport, Chemicals, Waste Management (hazardous and solid), Mining, and the 10-Year Framework of Programmes on Sustainable Consumption & Production Patterns.

Since 2004, the Commission has organized its work according to a cycle of two sessions dealing with one thematic cluster of issues. The first year is a “review session” which aims to share experiences, review current processes and identify best practices. The second year is a “policy session” resulting in a set of resolutions for policy action. In accordance with this method of work, the 18th session, the “review year,” was devoted to the identification of gaps and challenges in implementation, as well as best practices and lessons learned in relation to the different issues. As part of the preparation for the High-Level Review (five year review) session on progress in the implementation of the Mauritius Strategy of Implementation (MSI) for Small Island Developing States (SIDS), which will take place in New York on 24-25 September, a one-day preparatory committee meeting was also organized. SIDS Day was followed by two multistakeholder dialogues and the High-level Segment.

The multistakeholder dialogues discussed the use of partnerships as an instrument for development cooperation, the role of the UN system in fostering such partnerships and the possible ways to advance implementation of CSD decisions.

During the concluding session of the Commission, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon called for a shift from “good ideas” to “focused action.” “We know what we need to do. We know what works. The time for delay is over. The time for delivery is now,” he urged. He reaffirmed the central role of the CSD as the highest political forum within the United Nations for addressing the interlinkages between development, environmental and social challenges. Looking ahead, he highlighted the next UN Conference on Sustainable Development that will take place in Rio in 2012, 20 years after the 1992 UN Conference on Environment and Development, or the Rio Earth Summit. He designated Under-Secretary-General for Economic and Social Affairs Sha Zukang as the Secretary-General of the Conference. Mr. Zukang will be supported by two Executive Coordinators, one from the North and one from the South. The first Preparatory Committee for the Conference was held back to back with the Commission on 17-19 May.

Civil society organizations – represented through the 9 Major Groups – actively participated in the session and the numerous side events held in parallel.

The Chair’s Summary of CSD-18 will be available soon.

For further information, see:

The website of the UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs - Division for Sustainable Development.

IISD Reporting Services. To read their coverage, please visit http://www.iisd.ca/csd/csd18, including a more detailed summary on CSD-18.

The UN Non-Governmental Liaison Service (UN-NGLS) is an inter-agency programme of the United Nations mandated to develop constructive relations between the UN and civil society organizations.

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