EASD / ENV.net Team reading of EP Resolution (European Parliament resolution on the 2013 progress report on Serbia 2013/2880 RSP) with focus on ENV.net related issues :
- the role of civil society organisations, i
- environment and climate change.
CSOs – Calls on Serbia to engage civil society through a constructive consultative mechanism during the entire accession process since it has a major role to play as a critical observer of the continued implementation of European reforms, while ensuring that dialogue and good neighbourly relations with Serbia’s neighbours take firm root within society; stresses the central role of active and independent civil society organisations (CSOs) and civil society’s role as a watchdog; underlines the importance of dialogue with CSOs and stresses the crucial role of civil society actors in contributing to enhanced regional cooperation on social and political issues; welcomes the government’s improved cooperation with NGOs, but calls for their broader consultation in policy making, including the formulation of policies and legislation and the monitoring of the authorities’ activities; calls on the Serbian Government to work increasingly with European institutions in order to ensure better access to European funds made available to civil society organisations, with a view to supporting their work as essential actors in Serbia’s European integration process; insists that state institutions must act in a transparent and accountable manner; urges the Serbian authorities to consult civil society and the business community and to include them in working groups on the drafting of new legislation.
Environment and Climate change– Considers it regrettable that too little progress has been made in the areas of the environment and climate change and calls on the Serbian authorities to adopt a comprehensive climate strategy in line with EU targets as quickly as possible; urges the authorities to step up reform efforts in the area of sustainable management of natural resources.
Regrets the lack of progress and continuing delays in the practical implementation of the renewable energy framework; notes that Serbia lags behind other applicant countries in the utilisation of renewable energy sources and expresses concern that Serbia’s 2020 renewable energy targets will not be met; emphasises the need for transparency in government consultation processes and regrets the Serbian authorities’ failure to take account of the views of international financial institutions in the adoption of the Power Purchasing Agreement (PPA); Urges the Serbian authorities to improve consumer protection policies, in particular with regard to general food safety principles and the establishment of a national reference laboratory; considers it regrettable that the law on genetically modified organisms has not yet been aligned with EU legislation; Supports the Belgrade city authorities’ campaign for Belgrade as European Capital of Culture 2020, and encourages related projects aimed at bringing Belgrade and Serbia culturally closer to the EU, in particular with regard to interethnic coexistence, multicultural understanding and interreligious dialogue.
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.