Asia Pacific Civil Society Regional Consultation Meeting

September 17-18, 2013

Phnom Penh, Cambodia

‘Environment Sustainability in UN Post 2015 Development Agenda

and Sustainable Development Goals’

Major Groups and Stakeholder organizations are substantive partners who improve our understanding of the environment, assist in developing innovative solutions to environmental challenges and contribute to improved environmental decision making. UNEP deals with a wide range of Major Groups and Stakeholder partners who bring valuable expertise, research and advocacy skills. These include: women, children and youth, indigenous groups, non-governmental organizations, local authorities, workers and trade unions, business and industry, the scientific and technological community, farmers, governments, Parliamentarians, and intergovernmental organizations, including UN agencies. Since 2004, the Global Major Groups and Stakeholder Forum (GMGSF) preceding the annual UNEP Governing Council/Global Ministerial Environment Forum (GC/GMEF), which is called the United Nations Environment Assembly of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEA) since February 2013 and has become the core of UNEP’s engagement with civil society.

Regional Consultation Meetings

Regional Consultation Meetings (RCM) constitutes one of the main platforms for engagement with Major Groups and Stakeholders (MGS) at the regional level. They help build capacity and networking among MGS in the regions and Regional Offices. MGS and their representatives are invited to convene two to three-day consultation meetings to prepare for their input into the GMGSF. During the Regional Consultation Meeting MGS representatives dialogue on environmental issues of global significance that will be discussed during the UN Environment Assembly and GCSF, and produce a regional statement. Representatives of major groups are also elected to attend the GCSF.

Rio+20 Outcomes and MGS:

There are many references in the Rio+20 outcome document to strengthen public participation, access to information and access to justice in environmental matters. It underlines the importance of partnerships with MGS to achieve the ambitions of the outcome document, premised on the understanding that involving citizens and civil society in decision-making processes will result in better decision making and increase legitimacy and effectiveness. This will also engender stronger sense of ownership and encourage citizens and civil society to be active in delivering policy on the ground, in partnership with governments and other stakeholders.

Two paragraphs are particularly important in this context:

Paragraph 88 states: UNEP to “Ensure the active participation of all relevant stakeholders drawing on best practices and models from relevant multilateral institutions and exploring new mechanisms to promote transparency and the effective engagement of civil society.”

Paragraph 99 states: “We encourage action at regional, national, sub-national and local levels to promote access to information, public participation and access to justice in environmental matters, as appropriate.”

Furthermore, Decision 27/2 of UNEP’s Governing Council in February 2013, stated in response to the above mentioned paragraphs:

GC 27/2, para. 5(e): propose options for a multi-stakeholder dialogue at high level segment of UNEA in 2014;

GC 27/2 para. 7 (a), (c), 9, 10: develop a new policy for stakeholder accreditation and participation in intergovernmental decision-making processes, e.g. the work of the governing bodies and that of its subsidiary bodies;

GC 27/2, para. 7 (b): develop mechanisms for expert input and advice;

GC 27/2, para. 17: develop mechanisms to increase transparency and establishment of a written access- to-information strategy.

UNEP has put in place a consultative process to ensure that the implementation of these decisions will lead to more transparency and more opportunities for Major Groups and Stakeholders to participate in UNEP’s work at global, regional, sub-regional and national level.

Asia Pacific Regional Consultation Meeting

The Asia Pacific Regional Consultation Meeting will take place in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, 17-18 September 2013, and will address the topics below. This year’s meeting will focus on looking at ways to realize the aspirations of the Rio+20 Outcome Document by looking at mechanisms and ways to better engage with MGSs in the formulation and implementation of the global environmental agenda, MGS participation in global and regional foras and in decision-making processes. Furthermore, a more general discussion UN Post 2015 Development Agenda, SDGs and environmental sustainability will be discussed.

  • Environment Sustainability in the Post 2015 Development Agenda and SDGs
  • Mechanisms for Stakeholder’s Engagement and Transparency which will include:

-          Discussions on involvement of MGS in identifying emerging Issues and setting global environment Agenda

-          Participation of MGS in UNEP’s Governing bodies and related subsidiary bodies

-          Participation of MGS in regional and global intergovernmental foras

-          MGS participation in Implementation

  • Other Topics as relevant for the region (to be decided)

The RCM will result in a regional message/statement that can be fed into the 2014 GMGSF and the UNEA. This will also be shared with partners, MGS in the region and where relevant, to the wider UN community including UNCSD.

MGS from Asia Pacific interested in participating in the meeting are requested to fill in the application form below and return it by 26 August 2013. 

Power Point Presentations