Second Committee of the United Nations General Assembly
December 2002: The Second Committee of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) met from 24 September through 11 December 2002. The Committee addressed issues relating to the environment and sustainable development, and considered outcomes of the relevant major UN conferences and summits.
Regarding the WSSD, speakers agreed that, having adopted mandates and agendas, we now need to move to the implementation phase, and that the effective implementation of Agenda 21 and the Johannesburg Plan of Action require an early elaboration of the programme of work of the Commission for Sustainable Development (CSD). Delegates offered a range of ideas regarding the CSD, although most said it should continue to serve as the major forum within the UN system for discussion and consideration of sustainable development. On the issue of partnership initiatives, some speakers cautioned that they should not substitute for government responsibilities and commitments to sustainable development and urged that a monitoring process for them be developed. Others advocated CSD serving as a focal point for the sharing of best practices, lessons learned and progress made on partnerships.
At the Committee's 37th meeting, on 18 November, Venezuela, on behalf of the G-77 and China, introduced a draft resolution entitled “World Summit on Sustainable Development” (A/C.2/57/L.38). At the 44th meeting, on 11 December, the Vice-Chair of the Committee, Jan Kára (Czech Republic), introduced a draft resolution (A/C.2/57/L.83), which he submitted on the basis of informal consultations held on draft resolution A/C.2/57/L.38. The new draft resolution was adopted and draft resolution A/C.2/57/L.38 was withdrawn. Final resolutions are expected to be adopted by the UN General Assembly Plenary on 20 December 2002.
The draft resolution submitted by Kára can be accessed through http://www.johannesburgsummit.org/html/whats_new/whatsnew.ht...
. See also the press releases regarding the Second Committee's deliberations http://www.un.org/ga/57/second/press.html
and the ENB briefing note on the Second Committee http://www.iisd.ca/linkages/committee2/2nd_committee_report....
for more information on the Committee's deliberations.
Third Meeting of the Global Forum on Sustainable Energy
29 November 2002: The Global Forum on Sustainable Energy (GFSE) convened for its third meeting from 27-29 November 2002 in Graz, Austria.
The meeting addressed public-private partnerships for rural energy development, examined the relevant outcomes of the WSSD and discussed further development of initiatives to promote implementation, such as the EU initiative on Energy for Poverty Eradication and Sustainable Development.
The IISD RS Sustainable Developments report outlining these discussions in detail can be found at: http://www.iisd.ca/linkages/download/pdf/sd/sdvol78num1.pdf
30th anniversary of the UNESCO Convention Concerning the Protection of the World Cultural and Natural Heritage
Some 500 delegates, representing governments, IGOs, NGOs, research institutions and the media, met in Venice, Italy from 14-16 November 2002 to celebrate the 30th anniversary of the UNESCO Convention Concerning the Protection of the World Cultural and Natural Heritage.
The Convention, adopted on 16 November 1972, is aimed at preserving threatened international cultural and natural sites, and through its World Heritage List, protects 730 sites across five continents. Under the theme of “Shared Legacy, Common Responsibility,” participants met in five sessions to assess the past three decades of the Convention's implementation, as well as explore new paths for increasing its scope, and associating NGOs, civil society and the private sector in the sustainable conservation of cultural properties. For more information visit: http://whc.unesco.org/venice2002/
Global Mountain Summit
1 November 2002: This feature event of the International Year of Mountains (IYM) convened from 29 October 2002-1 November 2002 in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan.
The Government of Kyrgyzstan with support from UNEP and other partners organized the first-ever Global Mountain Summit, which was attended by over 600 people from 60 countries. The Bishkek Mountain Platform – the Summit's main output – is designed to guide governments and other actors involved with mountain issues toward achieving the objectives of improving mountain people's livelihoods, protecting mountain ecosystems and using mountain resources wisely. The Platform also supports the International Partnership for Sustainable Development in Mountain Regions, agreed to at the World Summit on Sustainable Development (WSSD), as the framework to provide follow-up to the IYM. The Platform will be forwarded to the United Nations General Assembly by the Government of Kyrgyzstan.
Italy and Switzerland have pledge support to help FAO, the lead agency of the IYM, and UNEP to ensure that follow-up institutional arrangements are made, including support to the proposed creation of a Network of Development Mountain States and Regions, which will form part of the Partnership. Norway announced at the Summit that it would help clean up nuclear waste dumps in Kyrgyzstan's mountains to prevent a potentially devastating environmental disaster in one of the most densely populated areas of Central Asia.
For more information contact: Andrei Iatsenia, UNEP Mountains Programme Coordinator; tel: +41-22-917-8273; fax: +41-22-917-8036; e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
; Internet: http://www.globalmountainsummit.org/Home_Page.html
123RD SESSION OF THE FAO COUNCIL
This meeting convened at FAO Headquarters in Rome, Italy from 28 October – 1 November 2002.
Agenda items for the Council, which consists of 49 Member States, included the report of the 28th Session of the Committee on World Food Security, activities of the World Food Programme, and budgetary and administrative matters.
Among other decisions taken, the Council established and developed the terms of reference for an Intergovernmental Working Group (IGWG) to elaborate a set of voluntary guidelines to support Member Nations' efforts to achieve the progressive realization of the right to adequate food in the context of national food security. The IGWG was established as a subsidiary body of the Committee on World Food Security (CFS). Its work is to be conducted with the participation of stakeholders, who may fully participate in the discussions and as observers when decisions are being made.
The Council also adopted Resolution 1/123, the Revised Version of the International Code of Conduct on the Distribution and Use of Pesticides. Through this Resolution, the Council approved amendments to the “International Code of Conduct on the Distribution and Use of Pesticides” and recommended that all FAO Members and public and private entities engaged in or affecting the distribution and use of pesticides promote the use of this Code. The Council also: requested governments, in collaboration with FAO, to monitor the observance of the Code; invited the pesticide industry and NGOs to report on and monitor activities related to implementing the Code; and called on countries with advanced programmes for regulating pesticides to provide technical assistance to other countries in developing infrastructures and capacity to implement the Code's provisions. The report of the 123rd Session of the FAO Council can be found at: http://www.fao.org/DOCREP/MEETING/005/Y7932E/Y7932E00.HTM
Second Assembly of the Global Environment Facility (GEF)
18 October 2002: The second Assembly of the Global Environment Facility (GEF) convened from 16-18 October 2002 in Beijing, China.
The Assembly gathered Ministers and high-level officials from GEF Member States to exchange views on the policies and operations of the GEF. During the three-day Assembly, delegates heard statements from approximately 80 representatives, including ones by the President of the People's Republic of China, the CEO/Chair of the GEF, the heads of the GEF's Implementing and Executing Agencies, and representatives of multilateral environmental conventions, the UN Commission on Sustainable Development, the Scientific and Technical Advisory Panel and non-governmental organizations (NGOs).
During the Assembly, participants considered the Second Overall Performance Study of the GEF, the CEO'S Report on the Policies, Operations and Future Development of the GEF, Proposed Amendments to the Instrument, the Report on the Third Replenishment of the GEF Trust Fund, and the Report on Membership. A roundtable of ministers and other heads of delegations and several panels also convened. At the close of the meeting, participants adopted the Summary of the Second GEF Assembly, which includes the Beijing Declaration and a summary of the decisions of the Assembly.
The IISD RS Sustainable Developments report outlining these discussions in detail can be found at: http://www.iisd.ca/linkages/gef/assembly2/sdvol14num7.html
Fourth Mediterranean Development Forum
October 2002: The Fourth Mediterranean Development Forum (MDF4), organized by the World Bank, UNDP and Middle East and North Africa Region (MENA) think tanks, convened in Amman, Jordan, from 6-9 October 2002.
Over 500 participants from think tanks, NGOs, media, government, and the private sector from across the Middle East and North Africa region met to discuss regional issues, including trade and investment, employment and local government empowerment. Special sessions and workshops addressed corporate governance, civil society and globalization, as well as improvements in education, as well as the status of women and youth. For more information visit: http://www.worldbank.org/wbi/mdf/mdf4/index.html
World Summit on Sustainable Development
4 September 2002: The World Summit on Sustainable Development (WSSD) met from 26 August-4 September 2002, at the Sandton Convention Centre in Johannesburg, South Africa.
The WSSD's goal, according to UN General Assembly (UNGA) Resolution 55/199, was to hold a ten-year review of the 1992 UN Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED) at the Summit level to reinvigorate global commitment to sustainable development. The WSSD gathered 21,340 participants from 191 governments, intergovernmental and non-governmental organizations, the private sector, civil society, academia and the scientific community. The WSSD involved seven thematic Partnership Plenaries, statements by non-State entities, addresses by Heads of State and Government and other senior officials, four high-level Round Tables on the theme "Making It Happen," and a multi-stakeholder event.
The WSSD also negotiated and adopted two main documents: the Plan of Implementation and the Johannesburg Declaration on Sustainable Development. The negotiations began with two days of informal consultations on 24-25 August, and continued over the course of the WSSD. Major areas of disagreement included: time-bound targets for sanitation, renewable energy, energy subsidies, chemicals and health, natural resource degradation, biodiversity loss and fish stocks; Rio Principles 7 (common but differentiated responsibilities) and 15 (precautionary approach); governance; trade, finance and globalization; the Kyoto Protocol; and health and human rights.
The Plan of Implementation is designed as a framework for action to implement the commitments originally agreed at UNCED and includes eleven chapters: an introduction; poverty eradication; consumption and production; the natural resource base; health; small island developing States (SIDS); Africa; other regional initiatives; means of implementation; and institutional framework. The Johannesburg Declaration outlines the path taken from UNCED to the WSSD, highlights present challenges, expresses a commitment to sustainable development, underscores the importance of multilateralism and emphasizes the need for implementation.
The Earth Negotiations Bulletin report outlining these discussions in detail can be found at: http://www.iisd.ca/linkages/vol22/enb2251e.html>
G8 Summit 2002
27 June 2002: The G-8 Summit took place from 26-27 June 2002 in Kananaskis, Alberta, Canada. Convening leaders from the world's wealthiest nations, the Summit considered the challenges of combating terrorism, strengthening global economic growth, reducing poverty and ensuring sustainable development, and discussed the challenges faced by Africa.
On the environmental front, G8 leaders agreed on the importance of reaffirming the Doha Agenda and the Monterrey Consensus and to work at the WSSD to produce meaningful partnerships, with measurable results, for sustainable development. Leaders also recognized climate change as a pressing issue requiring a global solution, and discussed the problem of deforestation. A series of recommendations to assist developing countries to achieve universal primary education for all children and equal access to education for girls was also agreed on.
The G8 also met with the Presidents of Algeria, Nigeria, Senegal and South Africa, and UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan, to discuss the challenges faced by Africa, and adopted the G8 Africa Action Plan as a framework for action in support of the New Partnership for Africa's Development (NEPAD). Next year's Summit will be held in France. For more information visit: http://www.g8.gc.ca/menu-e.asp
International Conference on Sustainable Agriculture and Rural Development in Mountain Regions
20 June 2002: The International Conference on Sustainable Agriculture and Rural Development in Mountain Regions (SARD-M2002) was held from 16-20 June 2002 at the Kirchgemeindehaus, Adelboden, Switzerland.
The conference was organized by the Swiss Federal Office for Agriculture, in conjunction with the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO). Over 200 participants attended the meeting, including government ministers and other senior officials, as well as representatives of different local populations, academic and research institutions, intergovernmental organizations, business and industry, non-governmental organizations, and the media.
The conference aimed to promote mutual understanding, solidarity and information sharing regarding the challenges and possibilities of sustainable agriculture and rural development (SARD) in mountain regions. It sought to enhance networking and the creation of strategic alliances between various stakeholders, as well as to provide a forum to articulate concerns, share ideas and make recommendations for the future of SARD in mountain regions.
Participants heard keynote speeches, and engaged in panel and audience discussions to consider cross cutting themes in SARD. Participants then divided into eight working groups to study specific local initiatives and programmes, highlight lessons learned, define specific priorities for action, and formulate concrete recommendations. The recommendations flowing from the working groups formed the basis for the Adelboden Declaration on SARD Mountains.
The Declaration will be considered by the World Summit on Sustainable Development (WSSD), Johannesburg, 26 August-4 September 2002, and the Bishkek Global Mountain Summit, Kyrgyzstan, 29 October-1 November 2002, and is expected to promote and catalyze further implementation of Agenda 21.
The IISD RS Sustainable Developments report outlining these discussions in detail can be found at: http://www.iisd.ca/linkages/sd/mountains/sard/
World Ecotourism Summit
22 May 2002: The World Ecotourism Summit, the key event of the International Year of Ecotourism, took place from 19–22 May 2002 in Québec, Canada.
Organized by UNEP, the World Tourism Organization and Environment Canada, the summit attracted 1,200 delegates and representatives of the tourism industry from 133 countries. The four main themes of the summit were: ecotourism policy and planning – the sustainability challenge; regulation of ecotourism – institutional responsibilities and frameworks; product development, marketing and promotion of ecotourism – fostering sustainable products and consumers; and monitoring costs and benefits of ecotourism – ensuring equitable distribution among all stakeholders. Participants also considered the cross-cutting themes of the sustainability of ecotourism from the environmental, economic and socio-cultural points of view and involvement and empowerment of local communities and indigenous people in the ecotourism development process. The summit produced a “Quebec Declaration” on Ecotourism, which will be officially tabled at the WSSD.
For more information visit: http://www.ecotourism2002.org
46th Session of the Commission on the Status of Women
15 March 2002: This meeting was held from 4-15 March 2002 at UN Headquarters in New York. The session's themes were the eradication of poverty, including through women's empowerment, and the incorporation of the gender perspective in the mitigation of natural disasters.
The Commission adopted conclusions on these themes, as well as on women and children hostages in armed conflicts, gender equality and women's empowerment as important strategies to eradicate poverty, and the involvement of all sectors of society in pursuing gender equality and gender-sensitive environmental management and disaster reduction, response and recovery as an integral part of sustainable development.
Although delegates were unable to agree on a draft resolution on women and girls in Afghanistan, the text was subsequently approved during an additional meeting of the Commission held on 25 March. The resolution urges the Afghan Interim Authority and future Afghan Transitional Authority to: fully respect the equal human rights and fundamental freedoms of women and girls in accordance with international human rights law; give high priority to the issue of ratification of the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women; consider signing its Optional Protocol, which gives individuals the right to bring their concerns to the Convention's monitoring body; and undertake a series of steps aimed at improving the quality of life for Afghan women and girls.
For more information visit: http://www.un.org/News/Press/docs/2002/WOM1333.doc.htm
Meeting of the Health and Environment Ministers of the Americas
5 March 2002: The first Meeting of the Health and Environment Ministers of the Americas was held from 4-5 March 2002 in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada.
The meeting was organized by the Canadian Departments of Health and Environment, in cooperation with the Pan American Health Organization and the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP). Twenty-nine Ministers of Health and/or Environment from countries in the Americas gathered for the meeting, which was also attended by over 150 other representatives of governments, intergovernmental and non-governmental organizations, and United Nations agencies. Canada's Minister of Environment, David Anderson, and Minister of Health, Anne McLellan, facilitated the meeting and moderated the discussions.
The meeting aimed to build bridges between the health and environment sectors to address common issues, strengthen countries' capacities to manage health and environment issues effectively, establish follow-up mechanisms, and contribute to the upcoming World Summit on Sustainable Development (WSSD) in Johannesburg. To achieve these aims, participants met in Plenary sessions focusing on the following issues: building bridges between the health and environment sectors and setting future directions; establishing issues of common concern and shared goals; and building and sharing capacities to address environmental threats to human health.
The meeting concluded with the adoption of a Ministerial Communiqué on health and environment that will feed into the WSSD and Summit of the Americas processes. The Communiqué established an agenda and an ongoing process for future work on environment and health issues.
The IISD RS Sustainable Developments report outlining these discussions in detail can be found at: http://www.iisd.ca/linkages/sd/sdhem/sdvol72num1.html
Informal Consultations Discuss Sustainable Development Governance
February 2002: An informal one-day consultation on sustainable development governance took place on 28 February 2002 at the UN Headquarters in New York. The consultation was based on an informal paper prepared by the Bureau Vice-Chairs assigned this task, Lars Göran-Engfeldt (Sweden) and Ositadimna Anaedu (Nigeria). During the consultations, there appeared to be general support for focusing on existing institutions rather than creating new ones. Delegates also favored taking up the role of the World Bank, International Monetary Fund (IMF) and World Trade Organization (WTO) in sustainable development governance, although there were no specific proposals presented. Other suggestions included: focusing on the CSD; broadening the scope of international sustainable development governance beyond the CSD; examining the role of ECOSOC; considering a structure similar to the Collaborative Partnership on Forests as one way of involving other organizations in sustainable development governance and implementation; and incorporating the results of the UNEP IEG process into sustainable development governance. Based on these discussions, the Co-Chairs produced a paper that will be presented at PrepCom III, which is taking place from 25 March – 5 April 2002 in New York. [IISD RS sources]
Meeting on the Third Replenishment of the GEF Trust Fund
28 February 2002: A meeting on the third replenishment of the Global Environment Facility (GEF) Trust Fund took place from 27-28 February 2002, in Paris, France.
Participants considered: the current second replenishment and projected funding status, estimated carryover to the third replenishment period and projected investment income for the third replenishment period; procurement restrictions related to arrears in donors' contributions to the GEF; the replenishment amount; policy recommendations; and the draft replenishment document entitled "Global Environment Facility Trust Fund Replenishment Document in the Form of a World Bank Resolution." The next GEF replenishment meeting will take place from 8-9 April in Copenhagen, Denmark. To access the Co-Chairs' summary of the meeting visit: http://www.gefweb.org/Replenishment/Joint_Summaries/Summary_...
UNEP GCSS 7, GMEF 3, and Final Open-Ended Intergovernmental Group of Ministers or their Representatives on IEG
15 February 2002: The Seventh Special Session of the United Nations Environment Programme's Governing Council and Third Global Ministerial Environment Forum (UNEP GCSS 7/GMEF 3) took place at the Cartagena de Indias Conference Center in Cartagena, Colombia, from 13-15 February 2002.
The Session was preceded by the final, one-day meeting of the Intergovernmental Group of Ministers or Their Representatives (IGM) on International Environmental Governance (IEG), which was held at the same venue on 12 February 2002. The GCSS-7/GMEF-3 and the IGM were attended by approximately 450 delegates, including over 90 ministers and other representatives of governments, intergovernmental and non-governmental organizations, as well as UN bodies, agencies and organizations.
The objectives of the GCSS-7/GMEF-3 were to review UNEP's implementation of decisions taken by the 21st session of the Governing Council/Second GMEF (GC-21/GMEF-2), and to consider recent developments in relation to UNEP's preparations for the World Summit on Sustainable Development (WSSD), including on international environmental governance.
The IGM failed to reach agreement on a number of critical issues, in particular on strategies to ensure predictable and stable funding for UNEP and according universal membership to the UNEP GMEF. However, these issues were resolved during the GCSS-7/GMEF-3, at which delegates adopted the IGM report on IEG and agreed to transmit it to the third session of the WSSD Preparatory Committee (PrepCom III). Delegates also agreed to take note of a statement by the President of the Governing Council on UNEP's contribution to the WSSD, and to transmit it to PrepCom III, together with the report and policy statement prepared for the GCSS-7/GMEF-3 by UNEP's Executive Director.
Regarding the review of implementation of decisions of GC-21/GMEF-2, the Council adopted five decisions on: a strategic approach to chemicals management at the global level; compliance with and enforcement of multilateral environmental agreements; development of a strategy for the active engagement of civil society, the private sector and Major Groups in the work of UNEP; implementation of the Global Programme of Action (GPA) for the Protection of the Marine Environment from Land-based Activities; and the environmental situation in the Occupied Palestinian Territories.
The Earth Negotiations Bulletin report outlining these discussions in detail can be found at: http://www.iisd.ca/linkages/unepgc/gmef3/
32ND MEETING OF CHAIRS/COORDINATORS OF THE CHAPTERS OF THE GROUP OF 77
The Thirty-Second Meeting of the Chairs/Coordinators of the Chapters of the Group of 77 at various UN Centres was held from 14-15 February 2002 in Geneva, Switzerland.
Delegates discussed: preparations for major forthcoming UN conferences and summits; follow-up to the South Summit that took place from 10-14 April 2000 in Havana; and implementation of the Programme of Work for the year 2002 under the Chair of Venezuela. Delegates adopted a Communiqué at the end of the meeting addressing all of the above issues.
Highlights of the Communiqué: In discussing the International Conference on Financing for Development, delegates stressed the need to address global demand conditions, terms of trade, stability and reform of the international monetary and financial system, and the adequacy of external financing. Regarding the follow-up to the WTO Ministerial Meeting in Doha, the G-77 Communiqué emphasizes greater support for technical assistance and capacity building for developing countries to ensure their effective participation in the negotiating process launched at Doha. On issues related to Least Developed Countries, the Communiqué advocates the full implementation of paragraph 3 of the General Assembly resolution contained in document A/C.2/56/L.78 calling for enhancing the operational capacity of the UN Conference on Trade and Development.
On the WSSD, the Communiqué states that the Summit should clearly identify the sources of finance and technology for Agenda 21 implementation and agree on time-bound targets for providing the means of implementation. Delegates also called for worldwide representation at the highest level at the forthcoming World Food Summit to be held from 10-13 June 2002 in Rome. In discussing South-South cooperation, the G-77 stressed the importance of the Global System of Trade Preferences among Developing Countries as an instrument for promoting South-South cooperation and trade. The Final Communiqué adopted at this meeting is available online at: http://www.g77.org/news/pr021502.htm
Second Session of the Preparatory Committee for the 2002 World Summit on Sustainable Development
February 2002: The Commission on Sustainable Development (CSD), acting as the Preparatory Committee (PrepCom) for the World Summit on Sustainable Development (WSSD), met for its second session from 28 January-8 February 2002, at UN Headquarters in New York.
The session was attended by over 1000 representatives of governments, UN agencies and convention secretariats, international organizations, and the nine Major Groups. The purpose of the session was to conduct a comprehensive review and assessment of progress achieved in the implementation of Agenda 21, including the Programme for the Further Implementation of Agenda 21, as adopted in 1997 (A/RES/S-19/2). The session also sought to reach agreement on a document that could form the basis for negotiations at the Committee's next session in late March.
The Commission agreed to transmit to its third session the Chair's Paper as the basis for negotiation, and adopted the Chair's Report, to which are annexed the Chair's Summary of the Second Preparatory Session, the Chair's Summary of the Multi-Stakeholder Dialogue Segment, and the Proposals for Partnerships/Initiatives to Strengthen the Implementation of Agenda 21.
The Earth Negotiations Bulletin report outlining these discussions in detail can be found at: http://www.iisd.ca/linkages/2002/pc2/
Meeting of the Open-Ended Intergovernmental Group of Ministers or their Representatives on International Environmental Governance
25 January 2002: The penultimate meeting of the Open-ended Intergovernmental Group of Ministers or their Representatives on International Environmental Governance (IGM) was convened in New York at UN Headquarters on Friday, 25 January 2002.
Over one hundred delegates from 67 countries participated, including five environment ministers. Approximately 75% of the participants came from their New York missions to the UN. Participants were informed that a depleted International Environmental Governance (IEG) Trust Fund had imposed a limit on the number of ministers and Permanent Representatives to UNEP who were able to attend.
A decision to convene the one-day meeting in New York was taken at a joint meeting of the Bureau of the UNEP Governing Council, the Committee of the Permanent Representatives to UNEP and the Commission on Sustainable Development (CSD) on 23 May 2001. In the words of UNEP Governing Council President David Anderson, who is also Canada's Environment Minister, the meeting was convened so that the IEG process could continue to benefit from the views of New York-based delegations and to ensure a close linkage with the preparatory process for the World Summit on Sustainable Development (WSSD). Many of the participants were also preparing to take part in the second session of the Preparatory Committee for the WSSD, scheduled to take place at UN Headquarters from 28 January-8 February. A number of delegations, including Australia and the EU, indicated that they had been led to understand that the New York meeting had been convened for informational purposes.
During the one-day meeting, participants took part in morning and afternoon plenary discussions, offering general and then specific responses to President Anderson's revised "building blocks" paper, now entitled the "Draft Report of the President of the UNEP Governing Council for Consideration by the Open-ended Intergovernmental Group of Ministers or their Representatives on IEG" (UNEP/IGM/SS/ 2). Keen to underline and protect the inclusive and participatory nature of the IEG process, with its inputs from experts, civil society, the UN system as well as State representatives, President Anderson announced that he had purposely avoided the use of bracketed wording in his new document, which incorporates new elements agreed at IGM-4 in Montreal late last year. He explained that the objective of the IEG process was to achieve a consensus agreement rather than engage in traditional formal negotiation. He suggested that this approach would help participants to collectively refine recommendations without losing sight of their overall objective.
Participants used the plenary sessions to restate and elaborate their views on the IEG process and on the President's draft recommendations on: the role and structure of the Global Ministerial Environment Forum (GMEF); the strengthening of UNEP's role, authority and financial situation; improved coordination and coherence of multilateral environmental agreements (MEAs); capacity building, technology transfer and country-level coordination for the environment pillar of sustainable development; enhanced coordination across the UN system, including the role of the Environmental Management Group (EMG); and the future perspective.
Members of the G-77/China and the US continued to express concern over the President's insistence that what the US described as a "true negotiation" be avoided in the lead up to the final IGM meeting on 12 February in Cartagena, Colombia. At this time, President Anderson will present a detailed report that will seek to reflect all the views presented during the IEG process. Some participants cautioned that the President's recommendations would remain open until they could negotiate. The Earth Negotiations Bulletin report outlining these discussions in detail can be found at: http://www.iisd.ca/linkages/unepgc/iegnyc/