Emma Puka-Beals, Bridget Brady, Ahdi Mohammed, Mount Holyoke College
The morning session began with overarching comments and a suggestion by the G77+China that section V be divided into a Framework for Action and a Means of Implementation. The US, Canada and Switzerland agreed that all text on means of implementation should be moved to one place. Mexico warned against addressing specific issues, such as climate change, as these have their own consultation processes within the UN. The US, with support from the Republic of Korea, proposed that specific issues be moved to a compendium.
In discussing paragraph 63, the G77+China emphasised poverty eradication as its overarching objective for Rio+20, highlighting the achievement of the MDGs as essential in achieving sustainable development, with special note to women and children. Canada, Sweden and Norway all expressed their support for gender equity.
While the EU, Switzerland, Japan and New Zealand supported the G77+China's text on poverty eradication, they suggested moving it to sections I and II and integrating it throughout the document. Many groups expressed the concern that the G77's pre63 text on implementation gaps had an overly negative tone for the section.
The EU, Switzerland and Mexico supported text on a commitment to actions if this text were to be further clarified, while the US moved to delete this.
The G77+China referred to a rights-based approach to development, stating that the right to food is an objective of sustainable development. The EU expressed concerns over the G77+China's reference to "lifestyles in the developed world", and stressed that the document must address all countries with rising consumption levels and that issues faced by small-scale farmers and indigenous communities are global.
Canada proposed the reduction of market-distorting subsidies, initiating a dialogue on the phrasing of a statement on avoiding subsidies that cause market barriers. The US reserved remarks on "rights" to food access, and there was no consensus on whether fishers should be referenced as farmers or in regard to oceans. Members discussed the inclusion of sustainable livestock, fisheries, aquaculture, a global platform for food security, the right to access safe and nutritious food, and the importance of women in food and agriculture.
In the discussion of the subsection on Water, there was disagreement on the concept of the right to safe and clean drinking water. The G77+China and Israel preferred the originally drafted rights-based language, while the US and Republic of Korea expressed hesitancy and confusion over the concept of the right to water, and Canada and New Zealand preferred the proposed language referring access, rather than rights, to water.
Japan was opposed to the proposal by New Zealand regarding the pricing of water for the efficient distribution, arguing that there is a no one-size-fits-all policy for water resource management.
In approaching this section the G77+China again emphasised that its primary goal was poverty eradication, and that its primary agenda item on energy was universal access. The G77+China expressed its view that improving energy access is a fundamental responsibility of governments, while Canada bracketed national support in implementation and the US referenced a number of red lines in implementing energy access for all. Norway expressed the view that developing and implementing low-carbon strategies could occur nationally, but that the bulk of investments will have to come form the private investment.
The EU recognised the need for accountability and commitments on sustainable energy access, and Iceland supported measurable goals. The G77+China and Japan referenced the need for consistent language and clear definitions of terms.