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Bali Guiding Principles

During the fourth preparatory committee meeting (PrepCom IV) for the World Summit on Sustainable Development, Vice-Chairs Jan Kara and Diane Quarless facilitated informal meetings on partnership initiatives that helped to further clarify their scope and modalities (see their summary). The Vice-Chairs then circulated guiding principles for partnerships for sustainable development known as the Bali Guiding Principles (see text below). These Principles were used by the Secretariat to review proposals for partnerships for sustainable development submitted from the time of the Bali meeting until CSD-11 (28 April-9 May 2003). At CSD-11, governments agreed that partnerships within the context of the WSSD process and its follow-up should be developed and implemented in accordance with a set of new criteria and guidelines, taking note of the preliminary work undertaken on partnerships during the preparatory process for WSSD including the Bali Guiding Principles and GA resolution A/RES/56/76.


In the context of preparations for the World Summit on Sustainable Development, General Assembly Resolution 56/226 encourages "... global commitment and partnerships, especially between Governments of the North and the South, on the one hand, and between Governments and major groups on the other". Decision 2001/PC/3, paragraph 10, adopted by the Organizational Session of the Commission on Sustainable Development acting as the preparatory committee for the World Summit on Sustainable Development states that Governments and major groups "...should exchange and publicly announce the specific commitments they have made for the next phase of work in the field of sustainable development. In the case of major groups, commitments and targets are expected to emerge from national, regional and international consultations of major group organizations. A record of the commitments announced and shared would be made and released as part of the Summit outcome".

Following up on these recommendations, Vice-Chairs Jan Kara and Diane Quarless conducted a series of informal consultations during the third and fourth sessions of the Preparatory Committee for the World Summit on Sustainable Development, in order to exchange views on and find a common understanding for the scope and modalities of partnerships to be developed as part of the outcomes of the Summit ('type 2 ' outcomes).

Based on these consultations, the following guiding principles for partnerships are suggested, which should be adhered to in the design and implementation of all partnerships to be recognized as part of the WSSD outcomes:

Objective of Partnerships

Partnerships for sustainable development are specific commitments by various partners intended to contribute to and reinforce the implementation of the outcomes of the intergovernmental negotiations of the WSSD (Programme of Action and Political Declaration) and to help achieve the further implementation of Agenda 21 and the Millennium Development Goals.

Voluntary Nature/Respect for Fundamental Principles and Values

Partnerships are of a voluntary, 'self-organizing' nature; they are based on mutual respect and shared responsibility of the partners involved, taking into account the Rio Declaration Principles and the values expressed in the Millennium Declaration.

Link With Globally Agreed Outcomes

Partnerships are to complement the intergovernmentally agreed outcomes of WSSD: they are not intended to substitute commitments made by governments. Rather they should serve as mechanisms for the delivery of the globally agreed commitments by mobilizing the capacity for producing action on the ground. Partnerships should be anchored in the intergovernmentally agreed outcomes of WSSD (Programme of Action and Political Declaration) and help achieve the further implementation of Agenda 21 and the Millennium Development Goals.

Integrated Approach To Sustainable Development

Partnerships should integrate the economic, social and environmental dimensions of sustainable development in their design and implementation. They should be consistent, where applicable, with sustainable development strategies and poverty reduction strategies of the countries, regions and communities where their implementation takes place.

Multi-stakeholder Approach

Partnerships should have a multi-stakeholder approach and preferably involve a range of significant actors in a given area of work. They can be arranged among any combination of partners, including governments, regional groups, local authorities, non-governmental actors, international institutions and private sector partners. All partners should be involved in the development of a partnership from an early stage, so that it is genuinely participatory in approach. Yet as partnerships evolve, there should be an opportunity for additional partners to join on an equal basis.

Transparency and Accountability

Partnerships should be developed and implemented in an open and transparent manner and in good faith, so that ownership of the partnership process and its outcomes is shared among all partners, and all partners are equally accountable. They should specify arrangements to monitor and review their performance against the objectives and targets they set and report in regular intervals ('self-reporting'). These reports should be made accessible to the public.

Tangible Results

Each partnership should define its intended outcome and benefits. Partnerships should have clear objectives and set specific measurable targets and timeframes for their achievement. All partners should explicitly commit to their role in achieving the aims and objectives of the partnerships.

Funding Arrangements

Available and /or expected sources of funding should be identified. At least the initial funding should be assured at the time of the Summit, if the partnership is to be recognized there.

New/Value Added Partnerships

Ideally, partnerships for sustainable development should be "new", i.e. developed within the framework of the WSSD process. In case of on-going partnerships, there has to be a significant added value to these partnerships in the context of the WSSD (e.g. more partners taken on board, replicating an initiative or extending it to another geographical region, increasing financial resources, etc.)

Local Involvement & International Impact

While the active involvement of local communities in the design and implementation of partnerships is strongly encouraged (bottom-up approach), partnerships should be international in their impact, which means their impact should extend beyond the national level (global, regional and/or sub-regional).

Follow-up Process

Partnerships should keep the Commission on Sustainable Development informed about their activities and progress in achieving their targets. The CSD should serve as a focal point for discussion of partnerships that promote sustainable development, including sharing lessons learnt, progress made and best practices.

Opportunities to develop partnerships for sustainable development will continue after the WSSD. Submissions of partnerships after the Summit will be considered in the follow-up process.