The British news service for charities, CharityTimes, writes about NGOs and The Summit:
“NGOs influence at the World Summit is negligible as governments have negotiated the proposals for more than a year, and it is now too late to have input into the final declaration, charity delegates have been told.
Dr Frehne Ginawala of the South African National Assembly said that, if groups wanted to have an input on the text, "they should be involved at a much earlier stage. Not come here and then make demands," she said.
However, she admitted their efforts are not completely wasted at the summit, since NGOS were "highlighting" many issues but, because of their potential, they should "get in there much earlier".
The comments came as Greenpeace and Oxfam joined those to pull out of their informal consultation roles to government delegates in protest at the pervasive trade issues, which they claim have hijacked the summit.
The World Trade Organisation agenda seemed to be "overriding" the objective of sustainable development, said one campaigner from the Third World Network. The groups feel that the summit text on trade and globalisation has become so watered down by compromise that they cannot support it.
Despite the protests, trade remained on the agenda. Sunday saw the EU also throw its support behind public private partnerships for energy, unveiling a energy partnership initiative, using EU cash to attract private sector investment to provide electricity in the developing world.
There was also suggestion on Sunday that the EU would eventually phase out its agricultural subsidies, which campaigners say are costing the third world billions of dollars in trade, and which are a major sticking point in the talks.
The EU would, in the long/term, reform the policy and "bring down trade/distorting subsidies", said Anders Fogh Rasmussen, Prime Minister of Denmark, which currently holds the EU presidency.
Free trade is the key to eradicating poverty and improving the environment, he told a business conference on the sidelines of the Summit. However, he stressed that countries need good governance to take advantage of increased growth.
Richard McCormick, head of the International Chambers of Commerce also predicted that change on subsidies would be gradual. "I believe there is going to be a successful conclusion to this round, but I don't think it will be as quick as people want," he said.
More immediate progress was reported the day before, with delegates finally able to agree a wording on the Kyoto Protocol. The US and Australia still refuse to sign the protocol and the Plan of Implementation will include a passage to say those ratifying it "strongly urge" those that haven't to do so "in a timely manner".
As the Summit nears its close, the weekend also saw the arrival of the World's heads of state in Johannesburg for the final few days, with agreement still elusive on issues including sanitation, trade, development aid and energy.
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