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16th Global Major Groups and Stakeholder Forum (GMGSF) and 2nd Session of the United Nations Environment Assembly (UNEA) of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) - Delivering on the Environmental Dimension of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development

21-22 and 23-27 May 2016 | UNEP headquarters, Nairobi, Kenya

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GMGSF Report
Curtain Raiser
23 May
24 May
25 May
26 May
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Daily Web CoverageAbout | 23 May | 24 May | 25 May | 26 May | 27 May | Summary

Achim Steiner, UNEP Executive Director, receiving a standing ovation after delivering his closing remarks

UNEA-2Visit the full ENB web coverage for Friday and Saturday, 27 and 28 May 2016

The second UN Environment Assembly of the UN Environment Programme (UNEA-2) continued into the early hours of Saturday, 28 May 2016 in Nairobi, Kenya, after a full day of negotiations and other events on Friday.

A ministerial policy review session took place in the morning, in which ministers were presented with the findings of the “Healthy Environment, Healthy People” report, a joint effort of several organizations, including the UN Environment Programme (UNEP), the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) Secretariat. Ministers and other high-level delegates proceeded to discuss the topic in two parallel roundtables before lunchtime.

Drafting groups worked through the day to finalize the text of all resolutions.

In the COW closing plenary, delegates accepted the package of resolutions, including resolutions on the UNEP Medium-Term Strategy, Programme of Work and budget. They agreed to change the UNEA cycle so that future meetings will take place in odd, not even, years, with the next meeting to take place in late 2017. Delegates forwarded the package to the UNEA-2 plenary for adoption.

In a late-night session, UNEA-2 accepted a package of 24 resolutions and 2 decisions. Delegates debated whether to put a G-77/China-sponsored resolution on “Field-based environment assessment of the Gaza strip” (UNEP/EA.2/CRP.6) to a vote.

11:20 pm Israel calls for a vote.

11:30 pm Syria calls for a motion of “no action.”

11:57 pm Plenary suspended to allow parties to consult.

12:31 am Plenary resumes.

12: 35 am G-77/China announces the draft resolution will not be withdrawn.

12:53 am UNEA-2 Chair invites delegates to vote on whether they wish to proceed to a substantive vote on the Gaza resolution. Brazil and Syria raise points of order.

12:57 am Delegates vote by holding up pink cards. Many abstain.

1:00 am Achim Steiner, UNEP Executive Director, announces results of the procedural vote: 36 in favour, 4 against, and 35 abstentions. He explains that UNEA requires a quorum of 97 for the result to be valid, and the quorum has not been reached in this case.

1:20 am Egypt questions interpretation of quorum rule. Secretariat apologizes for misinterpretation and says there are sufficient numbers to proceed. US disagrees, moves to suspend the session in the absence of a quorum.

1:45 am Plenary comes to a halt as delegates discuss the status of the meeting on the sidelines.

1:59 am UNEA-2 President calls for a Bureau meeting, asks delegates to remain in the room meanwhile.

2:27 am #UNEA2 Bureau returns to the room. Secretariat to conduct a roll call to check if there is a quorum present.

2:55 am Roll call shows 78 members present. One-third needed to have a legal session. But majority must be here to proceed to a vote. #UNEA2

2:59 am #UNEA2 President calls to adjourn the session, suggest to reconvene 11 am Saturday 28 May.

3:11 am Delegates consider proposal to reconvene. Egypt and Pakistan, question legal status of meeting. Colombia, EU, Ukraine and others express appreciation to all for the hard work done this week, and the agreement on 25 resolutions at UNEA-2.

3:49 am UNEA-2 President notes overwhelming support to close the session rather than reconvening. Many delegates welcome the 24 resolutions previously adopted. Rapporteur presents report of the meeting.

3:56 am #UNEA2 adopts meeting report, President gavels the meeting to a close.

Visit the full ENB web coverage for Friday and Saturday, 27 and 28 May 2016

IISD Reporting Services, through its ENB Meeting Coverage, has published a briefing note for the GMGSF 2016 and provided daily web coverage, daily reports from the UNEA-2. In addition, IISD Reporting Services has published a summary and analysis report from this meeting, which is available in HTML and PDF format.
Photos by IISD/ENB | Francis Dejon
For photo reprint permissions, please follow instructions at our Attribution Regulations for Meeting Photo Usage Page.

Video Coverage at UNEA-2

UNEA-2 PLENARY

L-R: Achim Steiner, UNEP Executive Director; Edgar Gutiérrez Espeleta, President of UNEA-2
and Jorge Laguna-Celis, Secretary of the Governing Bodies, UNEP


Roxane de Bilderling, Belgium, UNEA-2 Rapporteur



Delegates raising their cards during a procedural vote on whether to go to a vote on adopting the draft
resolution calling for UNEP to carry out environmental assessments in the Gaza Strip.


Masa Nagai, Senior Legal Advisor, UNEP, confers with UNEA-2 Secretariat on Rules of Procedure.


Voting flags being distributed in plenary


Masoumeh Ebtekar, Vice President of Iran and Head of the Environmental
Protection Organization


Delegates from Arab States in informal consultations


Delegates from G-77/China consulting


Delegates from the EU in consultations


Achim Steiner, UNEP Executive Secretary, consulting with US, Turkey and EU


Abdulmonem Annan, Syrian Arab Republic, making an intervention


UNEA-2Visit the full ENB web coverage for Thursday, 26 May 2016

The High-Level Segment of the second UN Environment Assembly of the UN Environment Programme (UNEA-2) opened on Thursday. UN heads welcomed all delegates, in the presence of President Uhuru Kenyatta of Kenya, who delivered opening remarks.

A ministerial luncheon took place, where high-level delegates were briefed on the previous day’s symposium on mobilizing investment for sustainable development.

Meanwhile, the three drafting groups of the Committee of the Whole (COW) continued to meet to finalize all resolutions for consideration and adoption by ministers on Friday, and the COW met in plenary in the evening.

Visit the full ENB web coverage for Thursday, 26 May 2016


UNEA-2 HIGH-LEVEL SEGMENT

L-R: Ségolène Royal, President of UNFCCC COP 21 and Minister of the Environment, Energy and Marine Affairs,
France; President Uhuru Kenyatta of Kenya; Edgar Gutiérrez Espeleta, President of UNEA-2; Jan Eliasson, UN
Deputy Secretary-General; Achim Steiner, UNEP Executive Director; and Salaheddine Mezouar, Minister of Foreign
Affairs and Cooperation, Morocco


UNEA-2 participants were entertained by the Kenyan Boys Choir


Ségolène Royal, President of UNFCCC COP 21 and Minister of the Environment, Energy and Marine Affairs, France



Salaheddine Mezouar, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation, Morocco

Jan Eliasson, UN Deputy Secretary-General


President Uhuru Kenyatta of Kenya


UNEA-2Visit the full ENB web coverage for Wednesday, 25 May 2016

The Committee of the Whole (COW) Drafting Groups continued to meet at the second UN Environment Assembly of the UN Environment Programme (UNEA-2) on Wednesday. In the COW plenary, all groups reported progress and briefed delegates on outstanding matters to be resolved. Discussions in all three Drafting Groups continued late into the evening.

Two symposia took place during the day, on “Mobilizing Investment for Sustainable Development” and “Environment and Displacement: Root causes and implications.” The Environment Management Group (EMG) launched the UN System-Wide Framework of Strategies for the Environment at a lunchtime event. The Sustainable Innovation Expo (SIE) hosted a Business Dialogue for Environmental Sustainability in the afternoon, and many other events took place around the conference venue.

Visit the full ENB web coverage for Wednesday, 25 May 2016


COMMITTEE OF THE WHOLE (COW)

L-R: Jacqueline McGlade, UNEP; Ibrahim Thiaw, Deputy Executive Director, UNEP; COW Chair Idunn Eidheim, Norway;
Tim Kasten, UNEP; Masa Nagai, UNEP; and Hushan Al-Fityan, Rapporteur



Ibrahim Thiaw, Deputy Executive Director, UNEP

COW Chair Idunn Eidheim, Norway


Drafting Group 1 Co-Chairs Tita Korvenoja, Finland and Hesiquio Benitez Diaz, Mexico


Drafting Group 3 Co-Chair Mohammed Khashashneh, Jordan


Drafting Group 2 Co-Chair John Moreti, Botswana

Drafting Group 3 Co-Chair Corinna Enders, Germany


L-R: Neranda Maurice-George, Saint Lucia; Christopher Cox, UNEP;
and Alistair Edwards, Saint Kitts and Nevis


UNEA-2Visit the full ENB web coverage for Tuesday, 24 May 2016

The second UN Environment Assembly of the UN Environment Programme (UNEA-2) continued deliberations in the Committee of the Whole (COW) on Tuesday. Idunn Eidheim, COW Chair, acknowledged concerns expressed by delegates the previous day about the organization of work and presented the Bureau’s proposed revised structure of three drafting groups to finalize the draft resolutions for Ministers' consideration later in the week. Delegates agreed to the proposal and two drafting groups convened during the day, while the COW met in plenary. A third drafting group convened in the evening.

Discussions in all three drafting groups continued into the evening.

Many side events, panel discussions and exhibitions took place around the conference venue during the day, including at the Sustainable Innovation Expo (SIE).

Visit the full ENB web coverage for Tuesday, 24 May 2016


DRAFTING GROUPS

L-R: Jacqueline McGlade, UNEP and Drafting Group 1 Co-Chair Tita Korvenoja, Finland


Drafting Group 1 discussses a draft resolution on sustainable and optimal management of natural capital


Drafting Group 2 considers a draft resolution on sound management of chemicals and wastes


L-R: Cyrille-Lazare Siewe, UNEP; Drafting Group 2 Co-Chair John Moreti, Botswana; and Achim Halpaap, UNEP


SIDE EVENTS

Sustainable Innovation Expo (SIE): Panel discussion on "Less Waste, Better Environment and Healthy People"
L-R: David Newman, President, International Solid Waste Association (ISWA); Hussein Khansaheb, United Arab
Emirates; Rolph Payet, Executive Secretary of the Basel, Rotterdam and Stockholm Conventions;
and Surendra Shresta, UNEP International Environmental Technology Centre (IETC)


L-R: Chencho Norbu, Bhutan; Naohito Watanabe, Japan; and UNEA-1 President Oyun Sanjaasuren


UNEA-2Visit the full ENB web coverage for Monday, 23 May 2016

The second UN Environment Assembly of the UN Environment Programme (UNEA-2) opened on Monday at UN Environment Programme (UNEP) headquarters in Nairobi, Kenya. Outgoing UNEA President Oyun Sanjaasuren (Mongolia) opened the conference, inviting delegates to observe a minute’s silence to remember those who have lost their lives in the protection of the environment. UNEP Executive Director Achim Steiner described UNEA-2 as an expression of hope and “a clarion call” for the world, noting that with well over 2000 participants, 170 nations, and hundreds of stakeholders represented, “we truly have a UN Environment Assembly.” Delegates heard opening messages, and adopted the agenda and organization of work. The plenary elected Edgar Gutiérrez Espeleta (Costa Rica) as President of UNEA-2, and also elected Bureau members and a rapporteur.

In the afternoon, the Committee of the Whole (COW) met in plenary, where they discussed the organization of drafting groups to finalize the proposed resolutions. A working group met in the evening for a first reading of resolutions.

The Sustainable Innovation Expo (SIE), organized by UNEP in parallel with the meeting, also opened today. Three SIE panel discussions took place on: South-South cooperation; big data and innovation; and air quality.

In the evening, delegates attended a reception hosted by the Governement of Kenya.

Visit the full ENB web coverage for Monday, 23 May 2016



UNEA-2 plenary observed a moment of silence to remember those who have lost their lives in the protection of the environment


"Welcome to UNEA" film presentation


L-R: Ibrahim Thiaw, Deputy Executive Director, UNEP; Achim Steiner, Executive Director, UNEP; UNEA President Oyun Sanjaasuren;
Judi Wakhungu, Cabinet Secretary for Environment and Regional Development Authorities, Kenya; Sahle-Work Zewde,
Director-General, UNON; and Jorge Laguna-Celis, Secretary of the Governing Bodies of UNEP


Achim Steiner, Executive Director, UNEP, delivers opening remarks to UNEA-2 delegates



UNEA President Oyun Sanjaasuren

Ibrahim Thiaw, Deputy Executive Director, UNEP, speaking on behalf of Ban Ki-moon, UN Secretary-General



Judi Wakhungu, Cabinet Secretary for Environment and Regional Development Authorities, Kenya

Sahle-Work Zewde, Director-General, UNON


Edgar Gutiérrez Espeleta, Costa Rica, incoming UNEA-2 President delivers his opening remarks



Delegates from the Philippines

L-R: Mohammed Khashashneh, Jordan; Adalah Atira, Palestine; and Mohamad Afana, Jordan


UNEA-2 ENB team with (L-R:) Jorge Laguna-Celis, Secretary of the Governing Bodies, UNEP; Delia Paul, ENB; Wangu Mwangi,
ENB; Tristan Tyrrell, ENB; Richard de Ferranti, ENB; Franz Dejon, ENB; Tallash Kantai, ENB; Ibrahim Thiaw, Deputy Executive
Director, UNEP; Cleo Verkuijl, ENB; Asheline Appleton, ENB; Annelies van Gaalen, ENB; and Herman Njoroge Chege, ENB



Specific funding for coverage of GMGSF 2016 and UNEA-2 has been provided by UNEP
UNEP

IISD Reporting Services is grateful to the many donors of the Earth Negotiations Bulletin (ENB) and recognizes the following as core contributors to the ENB: the European Union, the Government of Switzerland (the Swiss Federal Office for the Environment (FOEN)) and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. General Support for the Bulletin during 2016 is provided by the German Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation, Building and Nuclear Safety (BMUB), the New Zealand Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade, SWAN International, the Finnish Ministry for Foreign Affairs, the Japanese Ministry of Environment (through the Institute for Global Environmental Strategies - IGES), the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), and the International Development Research Centre (IDRC).