Environmental Ambassadors for Sustainable Development participated at the “Global Major Groups and Stakeholders Forum (GMGSF-14)”, and “The First Universal Session of the Governing Council/ Global Ministerial Environment Forum (GC-27/GMEF),” Nairobi, 16-22 February 2013. Ministers meeting for the first time under universal membership of 193 member states- again as a result of the decisions taken and adopted last year at Rio+20 and the UN General Assembly later in the year- adopted a welter of other decisions relating to the way UNEP will operate and work as the global platform for environmental policy-making and action over the coming years and decades. Governments called for the transformation of the existing Governing Council into a UN Environment Assembly of UNEP and to build stronger links between UNEP’s science-based Global Environment Outlook process and its ministerial meetings – further implementing the call by member states at Rio + 20to strengthen the science-policy interface.
Among the wealth of other decisions taken at the first Universal Membership of the UNEP Governing Council were: 1. A UNEP-led consortium will host and coordinate the Climate Technology Centre and Network (CTCN) which will be the implementing arm of the Technology Mechanism of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), 2. The CTCN will work on leap-frogging the technical and financial hurdles to the even greater take-up of clean and renewable energies to low carbon tranportation and energy efficient buildings, 3. Full operationalization of a decade-long initiative to decouple economic growth from unsustainable use of natural resources and pollution generation-the 10 Year Framework of Programmes for Sustainable Consumption and Production Patterns (10YFP for SCP), 4. The UNEP-hosted initiative will assist countries in areas from sustainable public procurement, lifestyles and education to sustainable buildings and construction and sustainable tourism, including ecotourism – again bringing from outcome to implementation other key aspects of the Rio+20 Future We Want, 5. Governments also decided to convene in October this year an intergovernmental diplomatic conference to formally adopt the Minamata Convention on Mercury that was agreed in January in Geneva under a UNEP-facilitated negotiation-again a further implementation of the Rio+20 outcome document.
Over 1300 participants from 147 countries, including 80 ministers, representatives of UN agencies, international organizations, academia, NGOs, business and industry, and women and youth organizations attended the first Universal Session of the GC following the decision of the United Nations General Assembly to strengthen and upgrade UNEP, as called for in the Rio+20 outcome document. Delegates adopted 13 decisions, on inter alia:
- the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES);
- coordination across the UN system, including the Environment Management Group (EMG);
- sustainable consumption and production;
- the green economy in the context of sustainable development;
- advancing justice, governance and law;
- state of the environment; and
- chemicals and wastes.
The GC adopted a decision on institutional arrangements that, inter alia, invites the UN General Assembly to rename UNEP’s governing body “UN Environment Assembly,” and provides that the body “will ensure” the active participation of all relevant stakeholders and explore new mechanisms to promote transparency and effective engagement of civil society in its work and that of its subsidiary bodies, inter alia, by: developing by 2014 a process for stakeholder accreditation and participation that builds on the existing rules of procedure and takes into account the inclusive modalities of the Commission on Sustainable Development (CSD) and other relevant UN bodies.
The day before the Governing Council got underway, the Network of Women Ministers and Leaders for the Environment (NWMLE) and UNEP hosted the second High-Level Gender Forum. Prof Andjelka Mihajlov participates, by invitation to “Gender Forum” as a member of the “Network of Environmental Women Ministers and Leaders”, as the former Minister for Protection of Natural Resources and Environment. The forum participants called upon ministers and environmental leaders to have dedicated officials for coordination of related gender and environment programmes and agreed to send a consolidated proposal on gender actions to be forwarded for consideration by UN Secretary General’s High-level Panel of Eminent Persons on the Post 2015 Development Agenda. The women ministers also requested nations to support the ratification of the Minamata convention on Mercury, which opens for signing in October.
More about meetings at www.unep.org . Moments from EASD participation are in Galleries of pictures. These activities are foreseen as the important international cooperation activities.