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United Nations Forum on Forests
First Substantive Meeting
UN Headquarters, New York, USA 11-22 June 2001
 

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Update for Monday, 11 June 

On the first day of UNFF-1, delegates met in a morning Plenary session to hear opening remarks and address organizational matters. In the afternoon, delegates delivered general statements on the UNFF's multi-year programme of work (MYPOW), plan of action (PoA) and work with the Collaborative Partnership on Forests (CPF). 

PLENARY:

OPENING REMARKS: Chair Mubarak Hussein Rahmtalla (Sudan) opened the session and encouraged delegates to work productively. 
Patricio Civili (Right), Assistant Secretary-General, Department of Economic and Social Affairs (DESA),
presented a review of international forest-related work since UNCED, identifying key lessons learned and challenges ahead. He lauded the level of consensus achieved, the quality of leadership, the financial support provided by governments, and the work of the Inter-agency Task Force on Forests (ITFF). He identified challenges ahead, including the need to: formulate a realistic agenda; mobilize political and financial support; generate and sustain support for the CPF; and build capacity.


ORGANIZATIONAL MATTERS:



Chair Mubarak (Right)  described the UNFF as the most concrete institutional legacy of Agenda 21, and said tasks for UNFF-1 include: adopting the MYPOW; initiating a framework for the PoA; and designing new approaches to cooperation and coordination among institutions.

 



Hosny El-Lakany, CPF Chair (Right), reported on the establishment of the CPF and overviewed efforts to broaden the CPF's membership to include the FCCC, CCD and GEF, in addition to the ITFF members. He noted that the GEF has agreed to join the CPF and that the CPF will develop its work plan following the adoption of the MYPOW.




Jag Maini (Left), Head, UNFF Secretariat, introduced the session's documents: the Secretary-General's report on the MYPOW (E/CN.18/2001/5); the Secretary-General's report on the development of the PoA (E/CN.18/2001/6); and the Secretariat's note on the initiation of the CPF's work (E/CN.18/2001/7).



 
IRAN (Right), on behalf of the G-77/CHINA, noted the special needs of low forest cover countries (LFCCs) and emphasized the provision of adequate financial resources.
He said the PoA should include clearly defined timetables, targets and financial provisions, and recommended that donor coordination aimed at increasing ODA be predictable and reliable.

 
Sweden on behalf of the EU said that the MYPOW should translate objectives, functions and tasks into concrete activities over the next five years. He emphasized the importance of a manageable agenda, suggested that each session deal with one cross-cutting issue and two priority issues, and called to adopt the PoA at UNFF-1.


 
The US stressed strategic use of existing resources and said the recent ITTO meeting highlighted the importance of the UNFF�s work.



The GLOBAL FOREST POLICY PROJECT (GFPP) lamented the oversight of cross-sectoral issues. He remarked that during the recent ITTO meeting, Malaysia and Brazil identified the UNFF as the appropriate forum to address illegal logging.


FRIENDS OF THE EARTH INTERNATIONAL presented the Chair with a banner stating �No more proposals for action; let's just do it!� He stressed the importance of addressing, inter alia, underlying causes of deforestation.

Forest related links:


UN Economic and Social Affairs UNFF 2001 Page
UN Economic and Social Affairs Forests Page
Official Report on the Fourth Session of the IFF
Linkages Forests Page
ENB Report on the Workshop on Financing Sustainable Forest Management
ENB Report on the Fourth Session of the IFF
Center for International Forestry Research

� 2001, Earth Negotiations Bulletin. All rights reserved.

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