The third and final day of CRIC 13 began on Friday morning, 27 March 2015. Delegates reviewed the draft report of the session, including the conclusions and recommendations, which had been drafted by the Extended Bureau on the basis of the discussions on the first two days of CRIC 13. Following the adoption of the report on Friday afternoon, spokespersons for each Regional Implementation Annex, other delegates and the UNCCD Executive Secretary offered closing remarks.
Portugal, for the Annex IV affected country Parties, emphasized the Convention’s job in ensuring that land is respected and protected, and highlighted the need to adapt to the swift changes that are coming this year to the international environmental agenda. Armenia, for the Central and Eastern European countries, highlighted the constructive discussions that took place during the regional consultations immediately prior to CRIC 13. He said key decisions on the agenda for COP 12 include those regarding the role of the Convention, the post-2015 Sustainable Development Goals, and establishing voluntary country targets for land degradation neutrality. Thailand, for the Asian countries in Annex II, acknowledged the hard work of the Secretariat in organizing the meeting and trying to help the Convention move forward in an efficient way. South Africa, for the African country Parties in Annex I, said all Parties should follow due process when putting forward ideas to the COP, to provide Parties with adequate time to prepare to engage in discussions on those proposals. Colombia, for the Latin America and Caribbean Parties in Annex III, thanked the Executive Secretary, Secretariat and Chair for their work during CRIC 13, and reiterated his group’s commitment to the Convention and its importance. The EU emphasized the need to increase the efficiency of the review process and to move from a process-oriented to a substantive focus, and said, if approved by the next COP, land degradation neutrality could become a real focus for the Convention from 2016-2030. Tanzania congratulated the Executive Secretary for “showing the leadership we want to see in the Convention.” CSOs said NAPs and the NAP alignment process is important, but implementation is more important.
UNCCD Executive Secretary Barbut said the Secretariat would devote care and attention to the CRIC’s recommendations, and said the Convention needs to be a force for progress. Barbut thanked Vice-Chair Richard Mwendandu, Kenya, for chairing CRIC 13 after CRIC Chair Philbert Brown, Jamaica, fell ill. Mwendandu thanked Barbut and the Secretariat for their support, and encouraged delegates to translate the CRIC’s discussions into action when they returned home. He declared the meeting closed at 4:49 pm.