• Date submitted: 1 Nov 2011
  • Stakeholder type: Member State
  • Name: Pakistan
  • Submission Document: Download
Keywords: International organizations (1 hits),

Full Submission


Pakistan welcomes the opportunity to provide its input on the two themes of the Conference for the forthcoming United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development scheduled to take place during 4-6 June 2011, Brazil.

2. Pakistan fully supports multilateral efforts at promoting a global sustainable development agenda. Rio+20, therefore presents an important opportunity to build on what was agreed at Rio in 1992, take stock of the status of global implementation of sustainable development in pursuance of Agenda 21 and chart a future course of action for sustainable and inclusive economic growth for all.

3. In our view, the three pillars of sustainable development: social progress, environmental protection and economic growth should be dealt with in a balanced manner. Pakistan assigns priority to economic development that is critical for the eradication of poverty and hunger that plagues majority of the developing countries including Pakistan. We, therefore, believe that sustainable development is an approach that should offer win-win solutions for all.

4. In our view the issues highlighted for seeking inputs in the Co Chairs? guidance note form important elements of such a potential win-win proposition. We have carefully evaluated the outcomes of Beijing, Seoul, Solo and New Delhi moots, which in our view have been useful in evolving the conceptual framework of the green economy and Institutional Framework for Sustainable Development.

5. Sustainable development should become a reality through commitment and actions. Pakistan?s views on the concept of green economy, on Institutional Framework for Sustainable Development and it?s expectations from Rio+20 are therefore as follows:


6. Pakistan recognizes that green economy is a still evolving concept and that global consensus will hinge on clarity of the end product and the process to achieve it.

7. The concept of green economy should be in conformity with the principle of common but differentiated responsibilities. Green economy cannot and should not entail a ?One Size Fits All? approach rather should acknowledge country specific conditions including external impacts and promote customized solutions. GE should also aim to promote sustainable patterns of production and consumption while ensuring well being of the people. In sum, countries should voluntarily evolve an approach to green economy best suited to their domestic circumstances.

8. Pakistan strongly believes that articulation of green economy should also ensure removal of trade distorting measures through relevant forums in addition to ensuring that such an approach does not promote green protectionism or imposition of additional conditionalities on the trade potential of the developing countries.

9. Articulation should lay equal emphasis on both the national and international aspects. IN our view national actions on reducing the intensity of carbon usage and shifting the economy on a more sustainable path through reallocation of development finance, changes in market incentives, internalization of social and environmental externalities as well as evolving new regulations, policies, and incentives would be crucial for actions at the national level.

10. Notwithstanding the importance of national actions, we believe that conducive conditions are key to generating economic space for actions at the national level. They also entail evolving and reconfiguring international rules and mechanisms in:

i. access to and diffusion of technology;

ii. access to sustainable energy for all and;

iii. provision of financial and technical resources and support.

11. In the above context, we propose an agreement on ?green policy space? ? as a part of green economy articulation ? for necessary adjustments in the international economic arrangements and regimes to achieve green economy in the context of sustainable development and poverty eradication. These include:

a. Reorienting Intellectual property regime towards diffusion of technology as opposed to innovation alone. Private sector dependent technological diffusion model should be reviewed at appropriate forums with a view to evolving a process for rapid diffusion of technologies, which meets the public purpose of sustainable development and climate change.

b. Granting greater flexibility to developing countries in multilateral trading rules by limiting trade dispute actions on policies that promote green industries in the developing countries.

c. Evolving a UN System-wide response for the availability of international financial and technical support in financing green start-up and existing industrial sectors. This would entail establishing a sustainable development funding mechanism and/or developing synergies with existing or future financial arrangements and the Rio+20 process.

d. Enabling and evolving international financial arrangements to help produce the necessary decline in the global price of these technologies to make them universally affordable in one to two decades as outlined by the IPCCC. Such arrangements include globally funded guarantees, or price supports (e.g., through a global "feed in tariffs" program), to subsidize investment in the developing countries and accelerate movement towards green economy.

Institutional Framework for Sustainable Development

12. Pakistan believes that evolving an effective and result oriented Institutional Framework for Sustainable Development is key to success of multilateral efforts at successful promotion of the sustainable development agenda.

13. The International Environmental Governance (IEG) and IFSD are not mutually exclusive; quite on the contrary we believe that IEG should be perceived as an important element of IFSD. The IFSD should seek to integrate the three pillars both at the national and international levels.

14. The role of UN is central to any IFSD arrangements and it?s lead in advancing the goals of Sustainable Development must be recognized. However at the same time we recognize that a buy in from Bretton Woods Institutions and Regional Development Banks can be useful and should be promoted.

15. Pakistan shares the concern agreed to at the Solo Dialogue and the Beijing Symposium on the gaps and inadequacies in the existing institutional framework such as lack of resources, lack of coordination and coherence, over-lapping mandates, duplication and overlapping of activities leading to waste of scarce resources, and inadequate support to the developing countries? efforts to promote sustainable development.

16. The UN?s Commission on Sustainable Development was mandated to provide a coherent treatment to sustainable development. However, CSD has not been afforded the resources and infrastructure to successfully manage the implementation of sustainable development agenda in the international arena.

17. For IFSD to be successful, it must ensure integration of the three pillars of Sustainable Development in a balanced manner. Such integration must promote coherence and not fragmentation. The institutional setup has not been in sync with the needs. We, therefore, believe that the new institutional setup must perform three main functions: promotion of norms, implementation and compliance.

18. Pakistan is of the view that design of the institutional framework should follow the functions we wish to assign. In this context the three principles or functions should be represented by three distinct international UN entities: the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), and the Commission on Sustainable Development (CSD).

19. Pakistan attaches great importance to the role and mandate of the UN Environmental Programme, which in our view should perform the norm setting in the case of the environmental pillar and on forging linkages with the other two pillars and the International organizations and programmes in evolving sustainable development strategies. In this regard following changes in the institutional design of the UNEP would be vital:

a. Do away with fragmentation and consolidate MEAs under the rubric of the UNEP;

b. evolve a platform for an engagement with international entities dealing with other pillars with a view to ensuring coherence between the environmental and the other pillars. The UNEP could be given the mandate to integrate environment and development as one of its core businesses;

c. evolve a strong platform for engagement with the civil society;

d. strengthen existing arrangements for UNEP?s engagement with the private sector towards the implementation of sustainable development objectives and;

e. provide additional and predictable sources of funding to the organization in pursuing the normative development.

20. Secondly, reviewing the mandate of the UNDP. A new institutional reconfiguration and consolidating on the gains made thus far through a strong UN led infrastructure. To this end, we propose that Rio+20 must review the mandate and role of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) to act as the lead agency in the implementation of the sustainable development at the national level in close collaboration with the UNEP.

21. Thirdly, we should strengthen the monitoring capacity of the CSD to emerge as one of the central institutions undertaking review of the commitments and actions towards the implementation of sustainable development along the lines of the ILO Committee on the Application of Standards or WTO?s Trade policy review. Transforming CSD into a higher body under the UN General Assembly could also provide necessary impetus towards monitoring the implementation. It is, though, crucial that such reconfiguration of CSD mandate should have firm support from all multilateral organizations dealing with the three pillars particularly MDBs and IFIs.

Needs Assessment

22. At present, the efforts at greening of economies necessitate huge financial, technical and policy level investment. In case of addressing the impact of climate change alone, our national assessment has highlighted the need for an annual investment of US$ 8-14 billion by 2030.

23. Alongside an international enabling environment, assessment of needs of the developing countries to make such a transition is imperative. Preliminary estimates are already out on the general needs. Rio + 20 can play an important role in instituting discussions on probable mechanism/arrangements to carry out focussed needs assessments for developing countries upon request. The assessment of such needs should be followed up with scaling up and recommitment of development assistance to match the requirements. The present levels of ODA or climate financing fall far short of requirements. The mode of disbursement of such assistance also raises a host of issues like access and conditionalities.

24. Pakistan also recognizes the utility to discuss mainstreaming of sustainable development perspective into national development framework on the lines of Delivering as One approach by the UN system at national level.

Expectations from Rio+20

25. Pakistan believes that Rio+20 should:

a. All countries should pledge to undertake reforming the global and national economic architecture with a view ensuring effective implementation of the sustainable development;

b. A definitive plan for ensuring provision of sustainable energy for all should be agreed to with a particular emphasis on the availability, access and diffusion of necessary technology. In this regard, Pakistan would welcome energy related targets provided they are agreed to with means of implementation.

c. Include a commitment by the developed countries to deliver on pledges made in the area of capacity building, technology transfer and climate change financing/development assistance.

d. Agree on an appropriate configuration for IFSD.

e. Agree on articulating the concept of green economy.
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