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GC Today - 17 February 2009

Coverage of the Day's Proceedings:

Committee of the Whole

POLICY ISSUES
State of the environment: COSTA RICA introduced its draft decision on recognizing the Earth Charter as an important ethical framework for promoting and implementing sustainable development, which will be discussed on Wednesday.

Regarding the draft decision on the intergovernmental science-policy platform on biodiversity, there was general support for convening a second meeting, which the REPUBLIC OF KOREA offered to host in June 2009. The US, supported by CANADA and BRAZIL, called for further consideration of the gap analysis. SENEGAL urged establishing the platform as soon as possible. The EU said the draft decision did not accurately reflect the Putrajaya recommendations and proposed amendments. CHINA favored improving existing mechanisms and structures. BRAZIL, supported by COLOMBIA, said a new panel should only be established under the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD). JAPAN saw merit in constituting a panel outside the CBD but would not rule out any options.

On environmental law, the secretariat introduced the relevant documents and the draft decision. Delegates generally welcomed the Fourth Programme for the Development and Periodic Review of Environment Law. CHINA said the Programme should be more focused and give special consideration to capacity building. The US said it would offer specific amendments to the liability guidelines. The EU suggested that guidelines on access to information and liability would assist developing countries. JAPAN called for examination of the technical issues involved in the guidelines, before adopting them at the next GC special session. ARGENTINA favored implementation of existing legislation, rather than creating new laws.

International environmental governance: The Joint Inspection Unit (JIU) introduced its report “Management Review of the Environmental Governance of the United Nations System.” INDONESIA called for UNEP to be strengthened, with a focus on capacity building and implementing the Bali Strategic Plan. CANADA emphasized the importance of universal membership of the GC and the mainstreaming of the Bali Strategic Plan. URUGUAY stressed the importance of the “One UN” initiative in addressing fragmentation on environment issues at the national and international levels. BRAZIL said the UN GA is the proper locus for decisions on IEG. The US suggested it was premature to take a decision on the JIU report, and that IEG should focus on implementation, a responsibility that lies with national governments. CHINA observed that improving synergies between MEAs is a gradual process that should avoid additional costs. COLOMBIA said the possibility of a new IEG architecture should not be discarded. The EU noted increased institutional fragmentation, and urged full implementation of the Cartagena package. Delegates heard a secretariat presentation on the Environmental Management Group.

DRAFT DECISIONS
The secretariat introduced the omnibus draft decision, (UNEP/GC.25/L.1), which suggests taking note of the Executive Director’s reports on waste management, SIDS, support to Africa, South-South cooperation and water policy.

BUDGET AND PROGRAMME OF WORK
The EU, supported by NORWAY, welcomed the Committee of Permanent Representatives (CPR) consultations. SERBIA emphasized that the new programme of work should not overlook ongoing activities at the subregional level in southeastern Europe. The US commended UNEP’s reform efforts and increased transparency, urging further consultations on a number of aspects. JAPAN called for budget categorization and prioritization to be subject to frequent review. SWITZERLAND said countries should be urged to increase their contributions based on the voluntary indicative scale of contributions. INDONESIA emphasized the importance of the Bali Strategic Plan in prioritizing budget resources. Remaining issues were deferred to the budget contact group.

Source : ENB

 

 
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