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Sustainable development

The Johannesburg Summit: KFAW’s Activities

 Programs as an advisor to the Japanese government delegation

 Programs as an advisor to the Japanese government delegation (Chief Researcher Oda)


1. Participation in the opinion exchange meeting before leaving Japan

    1. August 7th: Exchange of views with the Prime Minister
      Main issue: Requested that he will emphasize the following issue in his speech at the Johannesburg Summit: “No sustainable development is achievable without gender equality.”
    2. August 7th: Exchange of views with Minister Ohki
      Main issue: Same as the above. In addition, explained that KFAW will implement activities based on networking with the Women’s Caucus.
    3. August 21st: Exchange of views with Minister Kawaguchi
      Main issue: Requested to emphasize the importance of gender equality in sustainable development in the Political Declaration.
    4. August 21st: Exchange of views with the Government Delegation
      Main issue: The importance of the gender equality, women’s empowerment, and attention being focused more on women’s interests. (Submitted the plan analysis by the Women’s Caucus and comments on elements included in the Political Declaration.)


2. Participation in the official UN event

Participated in the general meeting for each subject: Cross-sectional issues


3. Reporting in the panel discussion at the Commission on Human Security (at Nazrec)


4. Participation in the Government Delegation meeting at Johannesburg


5. Participation in the advisor group meeting at Johannesburg (almost every day)


6. Participation in Government’s briefing to NGOs


7. Evaluation of the role played by KFAW

(1) Role of linking NGOs and the Government

Our role was to link women’s NGOs in Japan and abroad with the Summit to convey women’s views to the Government Delegation through networks such as JAWW.
– Submitted the analysis results of Women’s Caucus and comments on the Political Declaration.
– A channel for conveying grass-root opinions from rural areas (This will be important in the future.)
– Arranged to enable the Women’s Caucus to use the NGO room.
– Informed of the views of the Women’s Caucus with regard to Paragraph 47.

(2) Advice in technical fields

Advice was given to the Prime Minister, Ministers of Environment and Foreign Affairs, and Government Delegation in advance.
At the Government Delegation meetings in Johannesburg, opinions were submitted based on information collected afterwards.
Also handed in documents prepared by the Women’s Caucus, and explained problematic points (In particular concerning Paragraph 47).

(3) Other activities

August 27 (p.m.): Attended the general meeting for partnership on specific issues.
August 30 (p.m.): Presentation as a panelist on the Commission on Human Security.

8. Problems faced when playing the role of advisor

(1) Late appointments

From preparation meetings
This gave insufficient time for building cooperative relationships with other groups in Japan. A proposal sheet should have been prepared. We should have collected views via the Internet when preparing our proposals. Cooperation and planned activities in Johannesburg had to be reduced. Effect on duration of stay in Johannesburg.

(2) In case of an inexperienced advisor from a rural area.

Government Delegation were too far away. How to build good relations was unclear. We should have asked experienced persons for their suggestions. To pass on the experience we gathered, we should propose that the Government Delegation set up a youth group. This group should have the same number of men and women.




 Programs at NGO Forum

Programs at NGO forum

KFAW’s activities can be classified into two types: Holding a workshop at Nazrec, the base site of NGO activities, and Lobbying at and hearing the UN official meetings at the Sandton Convention Centre.


1. – Nazrec
(1) Workshop: “Women and Environment …’I need blue sky'” 
August 28, 16:00 to 18:00

President Misumi played a video which KWAF had prepared based on an old 8-mm movie to introduce the women’s environmental campaign called “I need blue sky” implemented in Kitakyushu city. KFAW described how this innovative campaign, held in the 1960s, led to today’s activities and explained that KFAW is now implementing a program to introduce this campaign as a part of JICA’s training program for sharing this experience with people living in developing countries.
One South African woman who attended the workshop commented that she wanted to exchange information with KFAW to learn about actions taken by Japanese women. An Indian man commented that he understood the importance of women’s activities in environmental protection programs and also the importance of cooperation with men in taking action together.
After the workshop, a friendly exchange session was held in response to a request from a women’s environmental group in Korea. This has broadened our network.
The workshop was also covered in a newsletter issued in Johannesburg for Japanese NGOs participating in the Summit.


(2) Joint activity by Korea Women’s Environmental Network (KWEN), Northeast Asian Women’s Environmental Network (NEAWEN), and KFAW. Wednesday, August 28, 14:00 to17:00

A workshop on sustainable development for Northeast Asian women was held, with about 200 participants present. The workshop has been prepared under the lead of KWEN from March 2002, and was sponsored by the Ministry of Gender Equality in Korea.
At the workshop, gender issues and their relationship with sustainable development in Japan, Taiwan, Province of China, and Korea were reported. China did not attend the workshop but submitted a document. Chief Researcher Oda reported on how the round-table conference had centered on the issue of gender equality in Japan.
Next, a cultural event was held. While a statement signifying that the joint force of Northeast Asian women will protect the Earth was being read aloud, soil brought from each country was mixed in a pot. Then, all the participants formed a large circle, and threw balls of yarn to each other to create a net. Then, a balloon with a terrestrial globe drawing was thrown onto the net while the participants chanted. This ceremony brought home to us how women are cooperating to save the Earth. Lastly, participants marched throughout the Nazrec venue holding placards and overhead banners stating “Women save the Earth,” “Women want a sustainable Earth,” etc., led by a woman striking a large gong.
This workshop was entirely prepared by KWEN, and KFAW was impressed by their competent and thorough planning. KWEN is scheduled to participate in the Second Northeast Asian Women’s Environment Conference, to be held in Japan on October 12th to 14th. We parted with a promise to meet again in Kitakyushu city.





 Outcomes of the Johannesburg Summit

The World Summit on Sustainable Development (WSSD, the Johannesburg Summit) was held in Johannesburg, Republic of South Africa, from August 26 to September 4, 2002, with participation of about 20,000 people in government delegations and NGOs from 191 countries and regions throughout the world.
WSSD adopted the Plan of Implementation and the Johannesburg Declaration on Sustainable Development. In addition, Records of Commitments, lists of registered projects planned based on partnership initiatives of nations and major groups, were created. See the UN official website for the details of these outcomes.

KFAW’s Chief Researcher Oda filed the following report on the Johannesburg Summit.


1.Plan of Implementation

The Plan of Implementation consists of 169 paragraphs in 11 Chapters as below.

  1. Introduction
  2. Poverty eradication
  3. Changing unsustainable patterns of consumption and production
  4. Protecting and managing the natural resource base of economic and social development
  5. Sustainable development in a globalizing world
  6. Health and sustainable development
  7. Sustainable development of small island developing states
  8. Sustainable development of Africa
  9. bis Other regional initiatives
  10. Means of implementation
  11. International framework for sustainable development


The Earth Summit focused on environmental issues, but in the WSSD, the three pillars of economic development, social development, and environmental protection were considered important. Consequently, “eradication of poverty”, and “globalization” were chosen as chapter titles. In addition, the stress on economics is becoming more intense, as can be seen in statements referring to the Doha Declaration of the WTO’s 4th Ministerial Conference and the Monterrey Consensus of International Conference on Financing for Development.
On the other hand, NGOs worked to give a higher profile to the eradication of poverty and environmental protection in the Plan, against pressure for trade and market economy issues to be given priority. The discussion centered on including a target year for items related to recyclable energy and sanitation; a statement on corporate responsibility; and a statement to reaffirm the Rio principles, such as the principle of common but differentiated responsibilities and the precautionary approach. These assertions were included in the Plan but in a weakened manner. Some view the Plan as “Rio minus 10.”


2. Viewing the Plan with respect to gender and women

The Plan of Implementation refers to women in the following ways. In the entire Plan, the word “women” appears 25 times, “gender” 13 times, and “girls” 7 times. In total, 38 sub-paragraphs refer to gender and women, including words such as “female heads” and “data disaggregated by sex.” I believe this represents reasonable progress in gender issues. Details of the progress made are as follows.
– Expressions such as “mainstreaming gender perspectives,” “gender sensitive,” and “gender equality” were used in the Plan.
– The Plan clearly states that gender equality forms the foundation of governance.
– The expression “eliminate all forms of violence and discrimination against women” was included in the Plan.
– Expressions referring to “statistical data disaggregated by sex” and “including gender aspects in indicators for sustainable development” appeared in the Plan.
– The importance of ensuring that women participate in decision-making was emphasized in the Plan.
These points were already included in Agenda 21, but they were reaffirmed in the WSSD Plan of Implementation.
Despite the above progress, numerous tasks remain.
In many aspects, women are still considered as beneficiaries and socially weak. The words “gender” and “women” appear in only limited fields. For example, the Plan often refers to gender and women in the areas of education, health, agriculture, and participation in decision-making. However, these words do not appear at all in the chapter on globalization. The document adopted in “Women 2000” recognizes that globalization creates gender disparities, but this outcome was not reflected in the Plan.


3. Paragraph 47 and actions by the Women’s Caucus

Paragraph 47 covers health-care systems, and this remained a controversial issue up to the last stage of discussions of the Plan. The Women’s Caucus was concerned that this Paragraph talks about strengthening the capacity of health-care systems “in consistent with national laws and cultural and religious values.” This may place women’s human rights, such as reproductive health, at risk. In addition, the Women’s Caucus considered that this expression undermined the outcomes of international conferences on population development and a series of UN conferences in 1990s such as the Fourth World Conference on Women in Beijing. However, some government delegates insisted that this paragraph had already been agreed. We were unable to reach an agreement from the very beginning whether to discuss this paragraph or not.
To act as a counterbalance to portions which were already agreed in this paragraph, the proposal was made to add “in conformity with human rights and fundamental freedoms”, and the Women’s Caucus agreed to this. We implemented a lobbying activity in a united effort to realize this proposal. During the meeting, we also held a demonstration in which we stood silently, holding placards. Finally, our efforts succeeded in getting the expression changed to “deliver basic health services to all in conformity with human rights and fundamental freedoms and consistent with national laws and cultural and religious values.” We are proud of this outcome of united action by the Women’s Caucus.


4. The Johannesburg Declaration

With regard to the Johannesburg Declaration, another outcome of the Johannesburg Summit, KFAW took the initiative in making a proposal from the gender viewpoint on the day following the release of the draft. Our proposal was released under the joint signatures of supporters in Japan. The final and adopted version of the Johannesburg Declaration, included the expressions “gender equality,” “women’s empowerment,” and “emancipation”. However, I feel it is unfortunate that the relation between gender equality and sustainable development was not clearly stated in the Declaration. On other hand, I applaud the fact that the expression “trafficking in persons”, which did not appear in the Plan of Implementation, was added to the Declaration.