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02/16/091 The UN Commission on Sustainable Development Contesting Claims of (Il)-legitimacy and (In)- effectiveness Södertörn University College 25 September.

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Presentation on theme: "02/16/091 The UN Commission on Sustainable Development Contesting Claims of (Il)-legitimacy and (In)- effectiveness Södertörn University College 25 September."— Presentation transcript:

1 02/16/091 The UN Commission on Sustainable Development Contesting Claims of (Il)-legitimacy and (In)- effectiveness Södertörn University College 25 September 2008 Sylvia Karlsson sylvia.karlsson@tse.fi Finland Futures Research Centre Turku School of Economics Finland

2 02/16/092 Outline Introducing the CSD Locating CSD among global norms and institutions Effectiveness and legitimacy as analytical criteria CSD post Rio CSD post Johannesburg CSD 14/15 Conclusion and the future of CSD?

3 02/16/093 Introducing the CSD The Commission on Sustainable Development (CSD) Set up as a functional Commission of ECOSOC with 53 Member States and rotating membership Created by General Assembly in 1992 at the request of UNCED (the Earth Summit in Rio) after heavy opposition from e.g. UK, US, Sweden Meets two weeks every year (in New York in April-May)

4 02/16/094 Introducing the CSD Functions include: monitor progress in the implementation of Agenda 21 and activities related to integrating environment and development goals throughout the UN system review progress in the implementation of the commitments of Agenda 21 including provision of financial resources and technology receive and analyze relevant input from competent NGOs, including scientists and the private sector provide appropriate recommendations to ECOSOC and GA on e.g. the need for new cooperative arrange- ments related to sustainable development (sd)

5 02/16/095 which generates an outcome in the form of non- legal soft law (and later some other diffuse stuff) a semi-universal institution (but in reality universal) bringing the baggage of ECOSOC weakness and General Assembly 2nd committee style negotiations Norms and institutions Norms are developed in different types of institutions and come in various shapes and forms along the soft-hard continuum The CSD can be called a:

6 02/16/096 Analytical criteria I: Mechanisms of norm effectiveness Influencing the motivation to complyMechanism changing material incentives (rationalism, logic of consequences, actor interests not assumed to change) hard sanctions (-) soft sanctions (?) systems of reward (-) changing identities or preferences (constructivism, logic of appropriateness, actor interests are assumed to be changeable) webs of dialogue (++) legitimacy pull (+?) Influencing the ability to comply capacity of intervention technical and human capacity building (-) political capacity building (?)

7 02/16/097 Analytical criteria II: Components of legitimacy Source of legitimacyComponents Source based legitimacy expertise (+-?) tradition (+-) discourse (+-) host organization (+) Input legitimacy (process based) governmental participation (+) non-governmental participation (+) transparency (+) accountability (-) Output legitimacy (substance based) effectiveness (+-) equity (?)

8 02/16/098 CSD post Rio (1993-2001) Major achievements: Recommended a legally binding status for PIC (1994) Established an Intergovernmental Panel on Forests (1997) which led to the UN Forum on Forests (2000) Set a date for governments to produce their NSDSs Put three new themes on the sd agenda; energy, transport and tourism (1997) Institutionalised multistakeholder dialogues (1998) Included sd in the UN Consumer Guidelines (1999) Supported the Washington Declaration on the Global Programme of Action for the Protection of the Marine Environment from Land Based Activities (1999) Elicits (some) reporting from countries and IGOs Encourages system-wide coordination (first years)

9 02/16/099 CSD post Rio (1993-2001) Reported problems: Overburdened agenda, lack of prioritising Limited funding for secretariat etc. ”Development plays second fiddle” Limited or no use of submitted reports (which are too general anyway) ”When one is living in a glass house one does not throw stones” No links to the follow-up of other conferences Symbolic multistakeholder dialogues (no real listening) Weak involvement of IFIs and weak monitoring of financial and tech transfer committments

10 02/16/0910 CSD post Rio EffectivenessLegitimacy A list of substantive outcomes within the UN System (+) Keeping the Rio Spirit and Agenda 21 alive (+) Uncertain impact on national action (-) Work on cross-sectoral issues (+) Very few or no finance and development ministers (-) Majority of environment ministers (- or +) Strong leadership in chairs (+) Major groups invited (a little) (+)

11 02/16/0911 In Johannesburg in 2002 format changed, now two year cycles on specific themes; Review Year followed by a Policy Year Regional dimension strengthened More major group dialouges CSD post Johannesburg (2003-2017) Two and a half cycles have run so far. Mixed outcome. New elements in partnership fair, sharing and learning centre

12 02/16/0912 CSD 14/15 Themes: energy for sustainable development industrial development atmosphere/air pollution climate change Cross-cutting themes (same every year): poverty eradication, changing unsustainable patterns of consumption and production, health, SIDS, Africa, institutional framework, gender equality, education and more...

13 02/16/0913 CSD 14/15 A day at the CSD: Morning briefing by delegation (or your major group) Picking up the daily programme, ENB etc. 10-13 Statements, dialogues or negotiations (or partnership fair, learning center, partnership presentations) 15 minutes for lunch 13.15-14.45 Side-events (or networking, interviewing or lobbying) 15-18 (same as before lunch) 18.15-19.45 Side-events Dinner (if you are lucky)

14 02/16/0914 CSD 14/15 EffectivenessLegitimacy Filling a norm+inst. vacuum (+) ’Everyone’ was there (+) Deep divisions and insufficient negotiation time in Policy Year (-) Almost congenial atmosphere in Review Year (+) Many energy ministers (+) Poor leadership in both meetings (-) Biased leadership in Policy Year (-) No negotiated outcome

15 02/16/0915 Conclusions effectiveness Very mixed picture on effectiveness: effective in giving some new issues an institutional space and the beginning of a normative framework partially effective in strengthening sd in the UN System and strengthening inter-agency coordination largely in-effective in reviewing implementation and eliciting ’compliance’ at national level (although this is debated)

16 02/16/0916 Lack of CSD 15 outcome Conclusions legitimacy Legitimacy points from: United Nations setting Strong multi-stakeholder involvement Illegitimacy points from: Focus on partnerships (for some) Dominance of the environment agenda (for some) CSD 16 Chair election Being a talkshop with little influence (for some) Weak monitoring (specially of financial commitments and tech transfer)

17 02/16/0917 Eternal reform discussions...so the future is open A show case of strengthening global deliberative democracy or a complete waste of time and resources? The future

18 02/16/0918 Beyond Words…?

19 02/16/0919 Thank you! sylvia.karlsson@tse.fi


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