The 12th Special Session of the Governing Council/Global Ministerial Environment Forum (GC/GMEF) will be held from 20 to 22 February 2012, in Nairobi, Kenya. The Missions based in Geneva were invited to a briefing on the next GC/GMEF special session main topics and challenges, including the linkage to the preparatory process for the UN Conference on Sustainable Development in Rio de Janeiro in June 2012 by Achim Steiner, UNEP Executive Director, on Wednesday 25 January.
The over-arching theme of the ministerial consultations during the Global Ministerial Environment Forum will be « Environmental agenda in the changing world: From Stockholm (1972) to Rio (2012)« . The Forum will be opened by consideration of the findings of the Fifth Global Environmental Outlook. The discussion of ministers will then relate to the two main topics of the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development (UNCSD): the green economy in the context of sustainable development and poverty eradication, and the institutional framework for sustainable development. The GMEF could result in the production of an Outcome document on UNEP’s contribution to the UNCSD.
The draft decisions of the Governing Council submitted to the secretariat include:
1 . International environmental governance
2 . World environmental situation
3 . UNEP’s work on sustainable consumption and production
4 . Consultative process on financing options for chemicals and wastes
5 . Accountability and financial and administrative arrangements between the United Nations Environment Programme and the multilateral environmental agreements for which it provides the secretariat or secretariat functions.
6 . Enhanced coordination across the United Nations system, including the Environment Management Group
7 . Enhancing cooperation and coordination within the chemicals and wastes cluster
The official documents are all available from the Governing council website.
The Ministerial Conference is the first occasion this year for the Minister of Environment to meet and speak to the world. The key messages of the GEO5, to be launched in May, will be presented in Nairobi in February. Former Executive Directors of UNEP will also be present in a special session and giving ta review on the gloval environmental policy and instituional architecture. A discusion on Green Economy will be held and go through approaches to be taken on the road to Rio+20. A Ministerial roundtable will also focus on IEG. Various side events will be held focusing on UNEP scientific and other major work.
The Director General of UNIDO will also be in Nairobi for a launch of the Sustainable energy
Questions from Philippines, Bolivia and Germany covered:
– Disasters and extreme weather events in Latin America, Asia and Africa and UNEP work in this area. UNEP work in this area increased during the last years, with close cooperation with other organizations.
– IPBES still in discussion on its establishment. A meeting upcoming in Panama should facilitate its implementation, including candidates to host the secretariat.
– Trade is taken very seriously by UNEP. UNEP is working closely with member states, UNCTAD and WTO on this.
Angela Cropper highlighted some areas of youth, participatory democray being pushed by various proposals but not enough reflected in the offical documents. At this stage better definitived decisions and committments could still improve the document. Achim Steiner also highlighted the position of UNEP not focusing on one pilar, but on the two other pilars essential to acheive sustainable development. Gender issue is also a priority, with a specific document ot be developed with UN Women on green economy and women. A the request of UNFPA, UNEP started analysing population dynamics and develop a joint paper on population and green economy. UNEP has therefore an integrated approach, working with other agencies.
Coffee & Tea
Welcome and introduction
Jan Dusik, acting Director and Regional Representative, UNEP
GC/GMEF 12th Special Session: main topics and challenges
Achim Steiner, Executive Director, UNEP
Angela Cropper, Special Advisor to the Executive Director, UNEP