Sixth Session of the United Nations Forum on Forests (UNFF-6)

13-24 February 2006 | UN Headquarters, New York

Highlights from Friday, 17 February 2006

On Friday, 17 February, the sixth session of the United Nations Forum on Forests (UNFF-6) worked towards building consensus on the future of the international arrangement on forests (IAF). In morning and afternoon sessions, delegates convened in two Working Groups to continue negotiating the Chair's draft text. Working Group 1 (WGI) discussed the general mandate of the IAF, strategic objectives, legal framework and the voluntary instrument. WGII considered the means of implementation, enhanced cooperation and working modalities. In the afternoon, delegates met in an informal plenary session to discuss Chair's draft text.


Daily web coverage:
13 February - 14 February
- 15 February - 16 February - 17 February
20 February - 21 February - 22 February - 23 February - 24 February
 

Plenary
 
 
The dais during the afternoon informal plenary session
 
 

Chair Judith Mbula Bahemuka (right) introduced the new compilation text and said delegates must now agree on the chapeau to the goals negotiated at UNFF5, a strong ECOSOC resolution on strengthening the IAF and a decision to negotiate a voluntary instrument, accord or understanding, including at least an indicative list of elements and a clear process.

 
 

Hadil da Rocha Vianna, Brazil, on behalf of the Amazon Group (left), identified common ground between delegations and groups, and welcomed progress made towards a strong ECOSOC resolution and a clear-cut instrument on SFM. Ingwald Gschwandtl, Austria, for the EU (right) , said its proposal on a future arrangement and indicative elements of a non-binding instrument is based also on proposals offered by Brazil and the US and includes, inter alia : global goals; national commitments; working modalities; monitoring, assessment and reporting; technology transfer; and capacity building. He proposed that remaining negotiation be based on this architecture.

 
 

Tony Bartlett, Australia (left), argued that if agreement was not reached by the end of the Forum, an inter-sessional meeting should be timetabled to avoid relying only on UNFF-7 to finalize the resolution and agreement. Oleg Shamanov, Russian Federation (right) underscored that he would welcome language of a future ECOSOC resolution to also appear in the draft voluntary agreement.

 
Working Group I
 
 

Mahendra Joshi of the Secretariat with Co-Chairs Franz Xaver Perrez, Switzerland, and Jose Antonio Doig, Peru

 

The Secretariats Mahendra Joshi and Co-Chair Franz Xaver Perrez, Switzerland, (left) and Stephanie Caswell, US (right)

 
 

Co-Chairs Franz Xaver Perrez, Switzerland, and Jose Antonio Doig, Peru, review the text with the Secretariat

 
 
Chair Judith Mbula Bahemuka with Working Group I Co-Chairs Franz Xaver Perrez, Switzerland, and Jose Antonio Doig, Peru
 
Working Group II
 
 
Delegates from Argentina
 

 
 
Austria, on behalf of the EU, proposed reframing the negotiated text with a view to “adding value” to the outcome.  She suggested that the Bureau forward the agreed text to the General Assembly for adoption, after which it would be open to subscription by individual countries. 

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Daily web coverage:
13 February - 14 February
- 15 February - 16 February - 17 February
20 February - 21 February - 22 February - 23 February - 24 February
 

Relevant links:

ENB coverage of the UNFF and other forest processes:

 
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