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Publications archive - International Activities and Commitments


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

Much of the material listed on these archived web pages has been superseded, or served a particular purpose at a particular time.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

World Summit on Sustainable Development
28 August - 4 September 2002

Update - January 2002

Environment Australia
22 January 2002

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

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

To receive the update via email or post, contact:

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

In this update

The Asia- Pacific Regional Preparatory Meeting for the WSSD was held in Phnom Penh, Cambodia from 27-29 November 2001. All countries in the UN Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP) region were represented, and the USA and France were present as observers. The negotiated outcomes of this meeting will feed into the global preparatory process for WSSD. The full text of the submission is available from

Australia's preparations for WSSD and the Asia-Pacific Regional Preparatory Meeting

Phnom Penh Regional Platform on Sustainable Development for Asia and the Pacific

The Asia-Pacific Regional Preparatory Meeting for the World Summit on Sustainable Development (WSSD) was held in Phnom Penh Cambodia from 27-29 November 2001. The main outcome of the meeting was a ministerial declaration titled 'Phnom Penh Regional Platform on Sustainable Development for Asia and the Pacific'. This Regional Platform will be tabled as the Asia Pacific region's priorities for the WSSD at the second global preparatory meeting (PrepCom2) to be held in New York in January/February 2002.

The minsters in their declaration recognised that significant gains had been made in many aspects of sustainable development since 1992 while noting that the region's environment continues to deteriorate and the number of poor people continues to increase. They recognised a combination of constraints to regional sustainable development with widespread poverty and inadequate financial resources being the most serious. Other constraints identified included inadequate institutional and technical capacity and non-availability of environmentally sound technologies, lack of peace, stability and security in some parts of the region.

The key economic and social issues identified by the Regional Platform included the need for poverty reduction, environmental protection and management, good governance, public participation, human development, affordable, clean energy technology, sustainable agriculture and food security, and sustainable consumption and production patterns.

The key environment and natural resources issues included land degradation and threats to biodiversity, oceans and coastal resources, freshwater resources, energy and mineral resources, atmosphere and climate change and island vulnerability.

The key cross-cutting issues identified include integrated policy approaches, institutional reform and governance, capacity-building and technology transfer, enabling informed decision-making, and stakeholder participation and partnerships.

The ministers expressed agreement to contribute towards achieving the agreed International Development goals and targets set by the Millennium Declaration and acknowledged the need for balanced and mutually supportive policies in the economic, social and environmental dimensions of sustainable development, while recognising the importance of economic growth for sustainable development in all countries.

In reiterating their commitment to the Regional Action Programme for Environmentally Sound and Sustainable Development and the Kitakyushu Initiative for Clean Environment, the Ministers also expressed their support for the development and early implementation of a range of regional initiatives to promote sustainable development. These included initiatives on capacity building, poverty reduction, cleaner production and sustainable energy, land management and biodiversity conservation, protection and management of and access to freshwater resources, oceans coastal and marine resources and sustainable development of small island states and action on atmosphere and climate change.

The importance of mechanisms, at the national, subregional, regional and global levels, to ensure the regional action programmes and initiatives are implemented effectively were highlighted. The need for a more vigorous and revitalised implementation regime for coordination and cooperation as well as consensus building and partnership was recognised.

Finally the meeting noted the importance of mobilising all available financial resources for sustainable development, including those from the private sector and civil society, in a coherent manner.

Australia's preparations for WSSD

Australia was an active participant in the Asia Pacific Regional PrepCom and supports the Regional Platform. The positions that Australia took to the Regional PrepCom were based on the outcomes of other regional and sub-regional preparatory along with the outcomes of the domestic consultation process so far (a summary of the outcomes of the public consultation forums and a summary of the written submissions are available from our website).

Three of the five key themes identified by stakeholders during the public consultation forums, namely, integration of the three aspects of sustainable development, greater participation by stakeholders, and capacity building and technology transfer are well reflected in the Regional Platform.

Australia has been promoting oceans as a key theme for the WSSD and is particularly pleased that the Regional PrepCom has identified oceans as one of the key priority issues for the region.


The second session of the Preparatory Committee (PrepCom2) for the World Summit on Sustainable Development will convene in New York from 28 January - 8 February 2002. The meeting will undertake a comprehensive review and assessment of progress achieved in the implementation of Agenda 21 and the other outcomes of United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED) as well as of the Programme for the Further Implementation of Agenda 21. This review of the implementation of Agenda 21 will be based on the national assessments and the outcomes of sub-regional, regional and inter-regional preparatory meetings. The main document for deliberation at PrepCom2 is the UN Secretary-General's report on 'Implementing Agenda 21'. The Secretary-General's report and other agenda papers for the meeting are available at

This meeting will afford the first opportunity for consideration of the outcomes of the sub-regional and regional phases of the preparatory process. An overview of the regional preparatory process has been prepared by the Secretariat and is available from

Calendar of Meetings

Sessions of the Preparatory Committee (PrepComs) for WSSD

28 January - 8 February 2002 UN Headquarters, New York

25 March - 5 April 2002 UN Headquarters, New York

27 May - 7 June 2002 Bali, Indonesia.

Other events related to the WSSD

Delhi Sustainable Development Summit 2002. Ensuring Sustainable Livelihoods: Challenges for Governments, Corporates and Civil Society at Rio + 10: New Delhi, India
9 - 11 February 2002

Sustaining Our Communities: International Local Agenda 21 Conference, Adelaide
3-6 March 2002

Financing a Sustainable Future: Strategies, Partnerships, and Opportunities on the way to Johannesburg 2002, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
14 - 15 March 2002

International Conference on Financing for Development: Monterrey, Mexico
18-22 March 2002

World Water Congress 2002: Melbourne, Australia
7-12 April 2002

The Beijing Forum on New and Emerging Technologies and Sustainable Development, Beijing, China
15 - 17 April 2002

World Sustainable Development Expo, Jakarta, Indonesia
4-7 June 2002

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

Useful Web Links

WSSD Official website -

UN Commission on Sustainable Development website -

Agenda 21 -

United Nations Environment Programme -

Information on national preparatory activities (55 country reports available as at 18/01/02)

National assessment reports (23 reports available as at 18/01/02)

UK Government's sustainable development website -

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

UNED Forum - Information on the multistakeholder process -

22 January 2002

Download Update January 2002

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

You will need Adobe Acrobat Reader installed on your computer to view it.

WSSD Virtual Forum

Don't forget the WSSD Virtual Forum is now available online at discussion-group.html

The WSSD Virtual Forum was set up by EA to facilitate communication amongst all stakeholders. The Virtual Forum awaits your contribution.