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Peter Willetts, Emeritus Professor of Global Politics
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From the Commission on Sustainable Development NGO Steering Committee website, www.csdngo.org/csdngo/steer/guidelines_12_99.htm, as of 5 December 2000. The original of this web page is no longer available from its original source.
Towards Earth Summit 2002
Guidelines December 1999, vol. 2 NGO Steering Committee to the United Nations Commission onSustainable Development
Home Site Map Issue Caucuses Major Groups Steering Committee What's New? Earth Summit 2002 OUTREACH Translations Links Table of Contents
Terms of Reference
TERMS OF REFERENCE table of contents
Approved 26 May 1994, NGO Plenary Meeting CSD-2
What follows is the agreed terms of reference for the CSD NGO Steering Committee. This body facilitates the involvement of NGOs and other Major Groups in the CSD.
NGO Steering Committee Structure
1. It has been the sense of the collective gathering at the CSD-2 (1994) that it is important that we organize ourselves in such a manner that enables us to continue collective work between meetings of the Commission on Sustainable Development.
2. We have identified as follows a series of tasks and activities that should be conducted by such a Steering Committee.
3. To enhance the flow of information about the CSD process to regional, focal points and networks for NGOs, Indigenous Peoples and Major Groups and their constituents.
4. Steering Committee members will serve as focal points to ensure participation of issue and regional networks within the NGO community through their ability to disseminate information using communication tools such as mail, telephone, fax and e-mail.
5. To help co-ordinate the transmission of positions generated by regional and national networks and major groups to the CSD during Intersessional and CSD meetings.
6. To aim to assist efforts of regional networks to organize capacity building and consultative regional meetings.
7. To help monitor and disseminate reports from UN conferences, conventions and Intersessional meetings and assure wide distribution of said information and outcomes.
8. To prepare for the subsequent meeting of the CSD, and to insure maximum preparation for and participation in said meetings.
9. The activity of this committee would in no sense be one of political nor policy representativeness for the NGO community. No such mandate would be delegated to the committee and political representatives or interventions will remain the domain of the entire NGO and Major Groups community.
10. Individual NGOs and groups, as always, will determine their own politics and policies, and will not be excluded from NGO participation, regardless of their activity with the Steering Committee.
The composition of the continuing Steering Committee of NGOs participating in the meetings of the CSD:
11. The Steering Committee shall consist of regional representatives and representatives of caucuses of major groups accredited and participating in the CSD meetings.
12. The following regions have been identified and approved:
Africa (Northern, Southern, Eastern, Western, Central), Asia (Eastern, Southern, South-Eastern), Atlantic and Mediterranean, Caribbean, Indian Ocean, Latin America (South America, Central America, Andean, Amazonian), North America, Pacific Ocean, Western Europe, Eastern Europe, Australia and New Zealand, the Southern Diaspora, and the Multi Regionals (Northern and Southern)1.
13. Should other regions want to be recognized they should come with a proposal to the CSD community. Focal points designated at CSD will consult with regional and national NGOs and networks to determine their participation at CSD, and the definition of 'regional' for the purposes of accessing the Steering Committee. The Steering Committee may re-determine the regions at each assembly with regard to number, size and representatives etc.
14. The Major Groups identified are those recognized in Agenda 21 and other sectoral groups as needed.
15. Each category shall by an electoral process identify two co-coordinators2, and a process for their replacement, to serve on the Steering Committee.
16. The Steering Committee shall serve for the period from one CSD meeting to the next CSD meeting. New representatives will be elected between the Thursday of the first week and the Tuesday of the second week3.
17. A Northern Co-Chair and a Southern Co-Chair will be selected by the Northern and Southern Caucuses respectively during the last week of the CSD4.
1. The following regions were recognized or redefined subsequent to the original drafting of these Terms of Reference: Atlantic and Mediterranean Region; Southern Diaspora Multiregional Network; Africa has been redefined as Northern, Eastern, Western, Central and Southern Africa; Asia has been redefined as Eastern, South Eastern and Southern Asia; Latin America has been redefined as South America, Central America, the Andean Region and the Amazonian Region.
2. Amended, 30 April 1998. Originally, the co-coordinators were termed 'representative and alternate.'
3. Amended, 30 April 1998. Originally: 'There will be a meeting at the beginning of each CSD to confirm the representatives during the first week when a new representative shall be elected.'
4. Amended, 30 April 1998. Originally: 'On the last day of the Steering Committee at each CSD, a Northern Co-Chair and a Southern Co-Chair shall be provisionally selected by the constituted committee.'
CLARIFICATION FROM CSD-4 table of contents
Agreed 1 May, 1996, CSD-4
Be it therefore clarified:
1. That the name of the Committee is and continues to be the NGO Steering Committee to the U.N. Commission on Sustainable Development.
2. That the Committee maintains its commitment to include representation of NGO structures representative of NGOs in each major group that adheres to the concepts and principles outlined in Agenda 21.
3. That the Steering Committee reserves the right and has the responsibility to insure that each representative to the Steering Committee is validated by the NGO organizations in the sub-sector or sector that they claim to represent even after the session is over.
4. That the Steering Committee reserves the right and has the responsibility to insure that the representatives fulfil their responsibilities for information dissemination from the Clearinghouses of the Committee and from the deliberations of the NGO activity at CSD and related sessions.
5. The Steering Committee may remove a representative after the following conditions are met:
a. The person is informed by the Co-Chairs of the unacceptable behavior or failure to perform duties, as presented in writing, (with the support of the Steering Committee), and the person does not commit to change or correct the deficiency, continues to perform in the unacceptable manner; and
b. A report is brought to the Committee as to the result of the attempt by the Co-Chairs to bring about a resolution of the problem.
c. A person sitting on the Steering Committee shall be removed automatically if the caucus or body from which they come no longer recognizes their representation or the body that they represented ceases to exist or is no longer representative of NGOs in that Major Group doing work or related to the Commission on Sustainable Development.
NORMS AND STANDARDS FOR STEERING COMMITTEE
& MANAGEMENT COMMITTEE MEETINGS & SUB-COMMITTEES table of contents
Agreed 25 April, 1998, CSD-6
1. The first Steering Committee meeting shall take place at each annual meeting of the CSD. The Steering Committee will review accounts for the previous calendar year, budget for the next calendar year and annual report for the previous calendar year. The Steering Committee shall also meet at the Intersessional.
2. All papers will be produced six weeks in advance and sent to Steering Committee members.
3. Agenda for Steering Committee meetings will be printed and circulated at the beginning of Steering Committee meetings.
4. All Steering Committee meetings will be minuted and minutes will be sent out on the Steering Committee listserver and faxed to any Steering Committee member not on e-mail.
5. All Steering Committee Meetings should be advertised in Outreach / CSD Today during sessions of the CSD or Intersessionals.
1. The Management Committee will be made up of ten people. These will be the two Co-Chairs, four representatives from the North and four representatives from the South.
2. Management Committee representatives will be chosen to ensure gender balance and regional balance.
3. The Northern and Southern representatives to the Management Committee will be elected in the second week of the CSD, by the Northern Caucus and Southern Caucus respectively.
4. The Management Committee will deal with management, organizational and budgetary issues between meetings of the Steering Committee.
5. In an emergency, all Management Committee members will be advised of Management Committee meetings at least 48 hours before the meeting takes place, by telephone if necessary.
6. Where possible Management Committee members not in New York will join the meeting by telephone. UNDP has agreed to pay for this and arrange it.
7. Names of the Management Committee will be published with the Steering Committee membership list.
8. Agendas for the Management Committee meetings will be sent out on the Steering Committee list server or by fax at least 48 hours before the meeting.
9. Management Committee meetings will occur every 3 months. At these meetings, accounts will be presented with a report on activities.
10. Any Management Committee member that cannot attend or be on a Conference Call can appoint a replacement from the elected Steering Committee.
11. Management Committee meetings will be minuted and minutes will be sent out on the Steering Committee list server and faxed to any Steering Committee member not on e-mail.
12. The Management Committee will show gender balance.
13. Management Committee meetings should be called by the Co-Chairs.
14. All Management Committee meetings should be advertised in Outreach / CSD Today during sessions of the CSD or Intersessionals.
1. Currently there are only three (3) Sub-Committees to the Steering Committee. They are: the Finance Sub-Committee, the Process Sub-Committee, and the Media Sub-Committee.
2. Chairs or Co-Chairs of the Sub-Committees must be elected members of the Steering Committee, and should have a Northern and Southern representative.
3. The Sub-Committees are appointed by the Co-Chairs.
4. Sub-Committee of the Steering Committee will be formed by a process of transparency, inclusiveness and democracy. This would include co-coordinators, one from the North and one from the South, ensuring gender and regional balance.
5. Steering Committee members should have leadership positions on no more than one Sub-Committee, therefore creating more of a collective leadership.
6. All Sub-Committees of the Steering Committee should also produce Agendas and Minutes of their meetings. The minutes will be sent to Steering Committee members through the Steering Committee list server and fax if the meeting takes place in the Intersessional period or through Steering Committee / Morning Strategy Sessions.
7. All Sub-Committees will be subject to a one-year mandate and review.
CAUCUS MEMBERSHIP & REPRESENTATION table of contents
Agreed 30 April 1998, CSD6
Regional and Issue NGO Caucuses
Selection criteria and terms of reference for CSD NGO Steering Committee representatives
1. Representatives to the Steering Committee by recognized regional and issue caucuses shall be selected annually.
2. Regions, major groups and issue caucuses need to hold elections for Steering Committee representatives between the Thursday of the first week and the Tuesday of the last week (inclusive) of the CSD.
3. The election for Steering Committee Co-Chairs by the Southern Caucus and the Northern Caucus will also be held in the second week.
4. To allow full participation, these elections must be publicly advertised in advance in Outreach and the Daily Diary produced by NGLS.
4. A proxy vote will be allowed by an organization which has been in attendance at some point in the current session prior to the election but is not able to send a representative to the meeting in which the vote takes place.
The requirements are:
1. Issue caucuses have to be recognized by the NGO Steering Committee.
2. Membership in caucuses is on an organizational (as opposed to individual) basis. Any accredited NGO can choose to be a member of any caucus.
3. Issue caucuses must consist of at least ten accredited non-governmental organizations.
4. A registration of the members of each caucus will be kept by the Steering Committee and by the caucus.
5. Issue caucuses must have one co-coordinator from the North and one from the South, one woman and one man.
6. If a caucus is unable to hold an election due to little or no attendance at a session of the CSD, the caucus becomes inactive: it remains on the mailing list, but has no vote on the Steering Committee. In the case of an inactive caucus wishing to become active (e.g. in May to work on papers for the next year), a postal ballot will be conducted at the time the caucus wishes to become active (e.g. in May).
7. Each issue caucus will present a one-paragraph statement of purpose reflecting the issues to be covered and not positions to be taken. The statement of purpose does not allow people or organizations to be excluded from a caucus. The Steering Committee may deal with any problem about membership in a caucus due to interpretation of issues.
8. A person can lose membership in a caucus for cause, which can include repeated failure to follow rules of order and procedure. In case of a charge for cause, the due process is that the matter will be referred to the Process Sub-Committee for recommendation to the Steering Committee which will make a decision. The Steering Committee may find that the cause of the problem is not the person who was charged.
A committee will be set up to look at caucus participation, including the question of possible use of postal ballots.
FINANCE SUB-COMMITTEE table of contents
Terms of Reference
Agreed 1 May 1998, CSD-6
To assist the Co-Chairs and Management Committee in their fund raising and financial management responsibilities, the CSD NGO Steering Committee has authorized establishment of a Finance Sub-Committee.
The terms of reference for this Sub-Committee are as follows:
1. Subcommittee of the Management Committee composed of four individuals gender and regionally balanced.
2. Supports preparation of a consolidated annual budget for submission by the Management Committee to the Steering Committee.
a. Budget and fund raising priorities to be set by the Steering Committee for operations throughout the next twelve months based on overall objectives to:
i. Establish the funding of the two Clearinghouses as the number one financing priority;
ii. support and facilitate NGO participation in the CSD, with particular emphasis on NGOs in the global south, indigenous peoples, youth, and others traditionally unable to participate in CSD processes and issues discussion; and
iii. support regional and issues caucus and other major group CSD-related activities during the time between CSD sessions.
b. Support for issue caucuses should be focussed on work around the primary CSD themes for the coming CSD session.
c. In general, budget allocations will be based on identified needs and available institutional support for participating NGOs. (That is, support available for regional or issue caucuses through member organizations will be considered in deciding where to allocate funds.)
d. Support will also be allocated for the following common allocations:
i. CSD NGO Steering Committee communications;
ii. Co-Chair activities on behalf of the Steering Committee; and
iii. Fund raising expenses.
3. Assist the Co-Chairs and Management Committee in preparing a consolidated CSD NGO Steering Committee proposal.
4. Assist the Co-Chairs and Management Committee to identify and pursue possible funders globally.
5. Assist and support the Management Committee in carrying out its responsibilities to:
a. establish a system of accountability for all resources raised for the CSD NGO Steering Committee, such as Management Committee approval for large distributions, double signatures on all significant expenditures, and receipts for petty cash disbursements;
b. arrange for and supervise fiduciary services as required;
c. prepare reports for funders; and
d. prepare annual financial reports for the Steering Committee and inspection by all NGOs during the CSD session.
6. Assist the Management Committee and Co-chairs in resolving outstanding issues regarding existing NGO Steering Committee Accounts.
7. Assist the Management Committee in its review and considerations of all deviations from the approved budget allocations.
OPEN & INCLUSIVE COMMUNICATION
BY THE STEERING COMMITTEE & CAUCUSES table of contents
Agreed 30 April 1998, CSD-6
The business of the Steering Committee should be conducted in an inclusive manner, including preparation of documents, selection of writers and editors, selection of presenters and participants in sessions.
We note that accredited NGOs can make their own statements in written or verbal form; accredited NGOs can speak on behalf of a caucus or another organization.
1. Preparation of documents and verbal statements
a. Documents and prepared verbal statements commissioned by the Steering Committee must be submitted to the full Steering Committee after each substantive revision, and their views must be incorporated into the final draft. Minority positions if any must be represented in the document. During a session or intersession of the CSD, it is sufficient to present documents to a duly called Steering Committee meeting. Between sessions of the CSD, working documents of the Steering Committee must be sent to all members of the Steering Committee.
b. Documents and prepared verbal statements commissioned by caucuses must be submitted to the members of the caucus after each substantive revision, and their views must be incorporated into the final draft. Minority positions if any of caucus members must be represented in the document. During a session or intersession of the CSD, it is sufficient to present documents to a duly called caucus meeting. Between sessions of the CSD, working documents of the caucus must be sent to all members of the caucus.
c. Caucus documents must be circulated to the Steering Committee or a morning strategy session in advance of the release of the document, except in case of emergency. This circulation is for information only and does not constitute approval of the document by the Steering Committee. Caucus statements must not be represented as being statements by the Steering Committee or CSD NGOs as a whole.
2. Selection of authors, editors and presenters of documents, representatives of the Steering Committee, and persons holding internal positions of the Steering Committee
If time permits, all Steering Committee members must be notified of the need to fill any of the above types of positions.
b. To make the selection:
If time permits,
i. the full Steering Committee will be notified after nominations are in,
ii. the names of those nominated will be sent to the Steering Committee members with a recommendation from the Co-Chairs as to whether each nominated person is qualified based on appropriate criteria, and
iii. the Steering Committee members will respond indicating their vote for who shall hold the position.
If time is short, the Co-Chairs will make a selection based on appropriate criteria.
3. Communication Methods
Mail, express delivery, fax, internet or telephone can be used, subject to the following procedures:
a. All Steering Committee correspondence must go out by fax, mail or express delivery to Steering Committee members who are not on the internet.
b. All caucus correspondence must go out by fax, mail or express delivery to caucus members who are not on the internet.
c. Correspondence includes working and internal communication on the business of the Steering Committee or caucus.
d. Information must be sent to all who are entitled to received it.
e. When time is important, fax, telephone or express delivery are to be used for those not on the internet.
f. If a person is not reached by telephone, one of the other communication methods must be used.
g. A lower cost method can be used in any case where the information will be received in a reasonable time.
h. The Steering Committee and/or caucuses shall do their best and may ask for contributions for communication where and when necessary.
i. For caucus communication, any such contributions will be collected by the appropriate Clearinghouse and paid to one of the coordinators of the caucus by the appropriate Clearinghouse, on presentation of receipts.
j. If an organization has not been heard from in three years, the requirement to continue to communicate with them expires; the organization remains a member of any caucuses it was a member of.
PROCEDURES FOR ENSURING FAIRNESS, EFFECTIVENESS
& MAXIMUM UTILITY IN THE MANAGEMENT OF TRAVEL FUNDS table of contents
Agreed 1 May 1998, at CSD-6
Objectives of the Travel Fund
1. To strengthen participation of representatives from regional and national caucuses in the activity of the Commission on Sustainable Development.
2. To encourage a process of dissemination of information decisions and strategies developed at the CSD accurately to regional and national leaderships.
3. Towards this end, the following shall be the criteria for selection of beneficiaries of the Travel Fund:
a. Funds should be made available to persons for travel based on need and based on inability to obtain funds through other means.
b. Funds should be made available on a geographic basis with equal consideration in levels of priority.
4. Special efforts should be made to secure the full participation of women, youth, indigenous people, the South and Eastern Europe.
5. At no time will personal friendships or partisan consideration be utilized to make these decisions.
6. The assembled list for the year will be circulated to ensure transparency and to permit appeals to the Management Committee if necessary.
7. The Steering Committee shall establish a Travel Fund Bank Account in New York to facilitate transactions.
8. The Travel Fund shall be administered by the Management Committee with Regional Caucuses.
9. Where there is insufficient funds, first priority should be given to paying the air transportation costs.
10. Wherever possible other resources and arrangements should be made for adequate but inexpensive or free accommodation.
11. An interim Financial Report on how the funds were disbursed should be made available and circulated to the Steering Committee within thirty (30) days of the use of the funds.
12. The Co-Chairs will seek to get NGLS to also cooperate in terms of maximum use of funds that may be funneled to NGLS.
Funding for Travel Funds
The Co-Chairs shall review the funding sources, both North and South.
NORTHERN CAUCUS MEMBERSHIP & ELECTION PROCESS table of contents
As developed by the Northern Caucus at CSD-6, 1998 and approved by the Northern Caucus at CSD-7, 1999
1.1 The four regional groups represented in the Northern Caucus are Western Europe, Eastern Europe, Australasia and North America.
1.2 For all functions other than electing the Northern Co-Chair, the Northern Caucus shall consist of all Northern NGOs attending the CSD.
1.3 The first meeting of the Northern Caucus will be on the Wednesday or earlier in the first week of CSDI and the CSD. These meetings will be called by the Northern Co-Chair and advertised in at least one issue of Outreach and in the daily journal of NGLS/DPCSD.
1.4 The Northern Co-Chair will produce quarterly reports to the Northern members of the Steering Committee.
2. Election Process
2.1 The elections for the Northern Regional Caucus Representatives and Management Committee Representatives will occur in the second week of the CSD on Monday or Tuesday.
2.2 The election of the Co-Chair will occur in the second week of the CSD on Wednesday.
2.3 Those accredited NGOs who leave the CSD before the election day for the Northern Co-Chair, Regional Representatives and Management Committee Representatives may cast a proxy vote in advance with the Northern Election Coordinator.
2.4 Northern Regional Representatives, the Northern Co-Chair and the Northern Management Committee members will only serve up to 3 terms consecutively, beginning the year this document is accepted by the Northern Caucus.
Northern Election Co-ordinator
2.5 A Northern Election Co-ordinator will be selected at the CSD Northern Caucus Meeting in the first week of the annual session of the CSD. That person will not be a member of the Steering Committee or standing for election for the Steering Committee.
2.6 The Election Co-ordinator will have the responsibility for:
(a) ensuring that all the Northern Regional Caucuses, Management Committee and Co-Chair elections are conducted by secret ballot;
(b) collecting the nominations and conducting the elections;
(c) ensuring that the date, time and venue of the elections will be in at least one issue of Outreach and the daily journal prepared by NGLS/DPCSD;
(d) communicating the election results to the Co-chairs and Outreach and the daily journal of NGLS/DPCSD;
(e) collecting proxy votes from participating accredited NGOs who are unable to attend the Northern Election.
(f) keeping a record of which NGOs voted at each election meeting, either by the personal attendance of a representative or by approved proxy.
2.7 For the process of electing the Northern Co-chair, the electing body shall consist of all Northern NGOs attending the CSD who are accredited to ECOSOC and DPI.
2.8 Nominations for the position of Northern Co-Chair should be submitted to the Northern Election Coordinator by the Wednesday of the first week of the CSD.
2.9 Voting will be on the basis of one vote per accredited NGO. Additionally, each individual may only vote once. Those individuals representing more than one accredited NGO may only vote on behalf of one of those NGOs that they represent.
2.10 The Northern Caucus recommends this process to be used by the Northern Regions in their election processes, while recognizing that it is up to the regions to determine the process most appropriate to them.
Management Committee Representatives
2.11 Representatives for the Management Committee will be one from each of the four Northern Regions. Representatives will be drawn from Northern Steering Committee members and will be elected at the relevant Regional Caucus Meetings.
2.12 By-elections caused by the Co-Chair or a Regional Representative stepping down will be conducted by the Election Coordinator [within one month of the stepping down] using the electorate of record for the original election to that position. By-election procedures will take account of the Steering Committee's Guidelines on Open and Inclusive Communication.
SOUTHERN CAUCUS MEMBERSHIP & ELECTION PROCESS table of contents
These procedures were first adopted by the Southern Caucus in 1995.
The Southern Caucus was organized during CSD-1 as an expansion of an NGO Caucus, the International Network of Small Island Developing States and Indigenous Peoples (INSNI), emerging from the Small Islands Developing States (SIDS) Conference held in Barbados in 1994. The SIDS and Southern Diaspora Regions were incorporated from INSNI into the structure of the Southern Caucus.
1.1 The following regions identified here comprise the Southern Caucus:
AFRICA: East Africa, West Africa, Central Africa, North Africa, and Southern Africa. ASIA: East Asia, Southern Asia and South East Asia.
CENTRAL AMERICA, SOUTH AMERICA, ANDEAN REGION, AMAZON REGION, CARIBBEAN, INDIAN OCEAN, PACIFIC OCEAN, ATLANTIC AND MEDITERRANEAN REGION, SOUTHERN DIASPORA REGION (Southern NGOs based in Northern countries, especially North America and Europe).
1.2 For all functions other than electing the Southern Co-Chair and the Regional representatives, the Southern Caucus, while functioning as part of the CSD process, will consist of all Southern NGOs and Southern Diaspora NGOs attending the CSD Session.
1.3 During the intersessional periods the Regional and National Networks will constitute the participating bodies of the Southern Caucus.
1.4 The NGOs participating in the National Network in each country will serve as the bas participants of the various regional structures.
1.5 A Regional Representative must be a member of a National Network and the respective
Regional Network to be eligible to represent a region.
The Southern Clearinghouse
1.6 The Southern Clearinghouse, serving as the support arm of the Southern Caucus, shall maintain a record of the activities of the Regional and National Networks in each region.
1.7 The Southern Clearinghouse will assist the Southern Co-Chair in seeking to strengthen the National and Regional Networks that form part of the Southern Caucus.
2. Election Process
2.1 Elections for Regional Representatives and Southern representatives to the Management Committee will occur on Thursday of the first week of the CSD Session, as provided in Item 16.
2.2 One male and one female Representative will be elected in each region.
2.3 The Southern Co-Chair will be chosen during the second week by the Regional Representatives elected in each region.
2.4 All Southern Caucus NGOs present at the CSD Session will elect the Southern representatives to the Management Committee.
2.5 Elections will be announced in the NGO Morning Strategy Sessions and in Outreach, if available and the daily diary of NGLS.
2.6 Accredited Southern NGO representatives or elected Regional Representatives who leave the CSD Session before the election day may cast a proxy vote, in advance, for the respective elections in which they are entitled to participate, with the Southern Election Co-ordinator.
2.7 Regional Networks recognised as part of the Southern Caucus may be permitted to nominate individuals for consideration as Representatives in cases where no one from the region is able to attend, due to financial reasons. Individuals so nominated should be fully active and be participating in intersessional and/or regional and national activity. Nominations should result from regional consultation with National Networks.
Southern Election Coordinator
2.8 A Southern Election Co-ordinator will be selected by the Southern Caucus in the first week of the CSD Session.
2.9 If Regional Representatives or Management Committee members step down or are not able to serve during the intersessional period, the respective Regional Networks will convene and select replacements.
2.10 If the Southern Co-Chair steps down or is not able to serve during the intersessional period, Southern Regional representatives will select an interim Co-Chair to serve until the next election.
Changes in Procedures
2.11 Any change in these procedures will not take effect until the next CSD Session following the Session in which it is adopted.
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