CSD-15 Concludes Without Adopting Negotiated Text

May 2007: The fifteenth session of the UN Commission on Sustainable Development (CSD-15) convened from 30 April-11 May 2007, at UN headquarters in New York, US. Building on the outcomes of CSD-14 (a “Review Year”), CSD-15 focused on identifying policies and options to expedite the implementation of commitments in the areas of energy for sustainable development, industrial development, air pollution/atmosphere and climate change.

Delegates convened for interactive discussions, heard regional perspectives and input from representatives of UN agencies and other intergovernmental organizations (IGOs), Major Groups and others, and listened to statements from ministers and senior officials during a high-level segment. A Partnerships Fair, Learning Center and numerous side events were also held throughout the two-week session. Delegates also attempted to negotiate a document to identify policy options to further the thematic issues under discussion. Notwithstanding numerous formal and informal meetings, closed “Friends of the Chair” sessions and extensive discussions, as the scheduled close of the meeting approached there remained numerous unresolved issues in the energy for sustainable development and climate change sections of the document. Chair Abdullah bin Hamad Al-Attiyah (Qatar) presented a compromise document on Friday evening on a “take it or leave it” basis, but after regional consultations, the EU and Switzerland rejected it on the basis that it did not address the challenges in the thematic areas, meet world expectations or add value. The meeting closed at 8:45 pm with no adopted outcome document. The Chair announced that, in lieu of a negotiated outcome, a “Chair's Summary” of CSD-15 would be issued the following week. At the close of CSD-15, the first meeting of CSD-16 convened to select its Chair and Bureau. Francis Nhema, Minister of Environment and Tourism of Zimbabwe, was elected as CSD-16 Chair by a narrow margin on a secret ballot. [IISD RS coverage]