145. The Northern Ireland Executive has plans
to consult on proposals for a Northern Ireland Sustainable Development
Strategy and associated indicators in the near future. It plans
to link this consultation with the preparations for WSSD. It part
funded a conference in September 2001 at which a broad spectrum
of civic society formulated a Northern Ireland contribution to
the UK national progress report. The new Minister of the Environment,
Mr Dermot Nesbitt, hopes to attend future meetings of MISC 18
subject to the demands of Executive and Assembly business. Unfortunately,
his predecessor, Mr Sam Foster was unable to attend.
146. The Northern Ireland Executive has had a relatively
slow start in getting to grips with the sustainable development
agenda. However, the Executive has acknowledged that sustainable
development will be a key element of delivering its vision for
the future of society in Northern Ireland as set out in its "Programme
By integrating sustainable development into its work and priorities
the Executive may perhaps be better placed to tackle the back
log of work which is attracting the threat of EU sanctions for
missed deadlines on Directives.
147. We would welcome high level participation
in the Johannesburg Summit from all the Devolved Assemblies.