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MAJOR GROUPS

Delegates discussed strengthening the role of major groups during the first week. NORWAY emphasized the need to increase the role of civil society in implementing the Rio agreements and to establish working modalities for the Special Session that encourage the active participation of major groups. The US advocated expanding NGO access to include the UN General Assembly. He agreed that UNGASS should recommend action for expanding major group participation at the national level.

YOUTH REPRESENTATIVES spoke of the critical importance of providing a space in the UNGASS preparations for youth. GREENPEACE INTERNATIONAL called on governments to ensure NGO access and participation at UNGASS. An NGO representative called on the CSD to recognize older people as a major group. The INDIGENOUS PEOPLES CAUCUS called for improved information dissemination to indigenous peoples and for a permanent forum for indigenous people at the UN. PAKISTAN said major group participation should be pursued with greater vigor. SWITZERLAND called for intensified dialogue with all relevant stakeholders, particularly the business community, and said discussion with major groups should be integrated into all areas rather than being a separate agenda item. The PHILIPPINES supported active participation of major groups. References to major groups are made throughout the revised draft, but are not contained in a discrete section.