Resources for:
  Governments
  Scientists
  Journalists
  Civil Society
  Business Persons
  Children and Youth

Thematic Areas


 
 Printable Version
 

(XXV11). Institutional and Financial Arrangements for International Environmental Co-operation

The General Assembly,

Convinced of the need for prompt and effective implementation by Governments and the international community of measures designed to safeguard and enhance the human environment for the benefit of present and future generations of man,

Recognizing that responsibility for action to protect and enhance the human environment rests primarily with Governments and, in the first instance, can be exercised more effectively at the national and regional levels,

Recognizing that environmental problems of broad international significance fall within the competence of the United Nations system,

Bearing in mind that international co-operative programmes in the field of the environment must be undertaken with due respect to the sovereign rights of States and in conformity with the Charter of the United Nations and principles of international law,

Mindful of the sectoral responsibilities of the organizations of the United Nations system,

Conscious of the significance of regional and sub-regional co-operation in the field of the environment and of the important role of the regional economic commissions and other regional intergovernmental organizations,

Emphasizing that problems of the environment constitute a new and important area for international co-operation and that the complexity and interdependence of such problems requires new approaches,

Recognizing that the relevant international scientific and other professional communities can make an important contribution to international co-operation in the field of the environment,

Conscious of the need for processes within the United Nations system which would effectively assist developing countries to implement environmental policies and programmes that are compatible with their development plans and to participate meaningfully in international environmental programmes,

Convinced that, in order to be effective, international cooperation in the field of the human environment requires additional financial and technical resources

Aware of the urgent need for a permanent institutional arrangement within the United Nations system for the protection and improvement of the environment,

Taking note of the report of the Secretary-General on the United Nations Conference on the Human Environment

GOVERNING COUNCIL FOR UNITED NATIONS ENVIRONMENT PROGRAMME

  1. Decides to establish a Governing Council for Environmental Programmes composed of 54 members, elected by the General Assembly for three-year terms on the following basis;
    1. Sixteen seats for African States;
    2. Thirteen seats for Asian States;
    3. Six seats for Eastern Europe States;
    4. Ten seats for Latin American States;
    5. Thirteen seats for Western European and other States;
  2. Decides that the Governing Council shall have the following main functions and responsibilities:

    1. To promote international co-operation in the field of environment and to recommend, as appropriate, policies to this end;
    2. To provide general policy guidance for the direction and co-ordination of Environmental Programmes within the United Nations system;
    3. To receive and review the periodic reports of the Executive Director of the United Nations Environmental Programme, referred to in section II, paragraph 2, below, on the implementation of environmental programmes within the United Nations system;
    4. To keep under review the world environmental situation in order to ensure that emerging environmental problems of wide international significance receive appropriate and adequate consideration by Governments;
    5. To promote the contribution of the relevant international scientific and other professional communities to the acquisition, assessment and exchange of environmental knowledge and information and, as appropriate, to the technical aspects of the formulation and implementation of Environmental Programmes within the United Nations system;
    6. To maintain under continuing review the impact of national and international Environmental policies and measures on developing countries, as well as the problem of additional costs that might be incurred by developing countries in the implementation of environmental programmes and projects, to ensure that such programmes and projects shall be compatible with the development plans and priorities of those countries;
    7. To review and approve annually the programme of utilization of resources of the Environment Fund referred to in section III below;
  3. Decides that the Governing Council shall report annually to the General Assembly through the Economic and Social Council, which will transmit to the Assembly such comments on the report as it may deem necessary, particularly with regard to questions of coordination and to the relationship of Environment policies and programmes within the United Nations system to over-all economic and social policies and priorities;

ENVIRONMENT SECRETARIAT

  1. Decides that a small secretariat shall be established in the United Nations to serve as a focal point for environmental action and co-ordination within the United Nations system in such a way as to ensure a high degree of effective management;
  2. Decides that the environment secretariat shall be headed by the Executive Director of the United Nations Environmental Programme, who shall be elected by the General Assembly on the nomination of the Secretary-General for a term of four years and who shall be entrusted, inter alia, with the following responsibilities:
    1. To provide substantive support to the Governing Council of the United Nations environment Programme;
    2. To co-ordinate, under the guidance of the Governing Council, environmental programmes within the United Nations system, to keep their implementation under review and to assess their effectiveness;
    3. To advise, as appropriate and under the guidance of the Governing Council, intergovernmental bodies of the United Nations system on the formulation and implementation of environmental programmes;
    4. To secure the effective co-operation of, and contribution from, the relevant scientific and other professional communities from all parts of the world;
    5. To provide, at the request of all parties concerned, advisory services for the promotion of international co-operation in the field of the environment;
    6. To submit to the Governing Council, on his own initiative or upon request, proposals embodying medium-range and long-range planning for United Nations programmes in the field of the environment;
    7. To bring to the attention of the Governing Council any matter which he deems to require consideration by it;
    8. To administer, under the authority and policy guidance of the Governing Council, the Environment Fund;
    9. To report on Environment matters to the Governing Council;
    10. To perform such other functions as may be entrusted to him by the Governing Council;

ENVIRONMENT FUND

  1. Decides that, in order to provide for additional financing for environmental programmes, a voluntary fund be established in accordance with existing United Nations financial procedures;
  2. Decides that, in order to enable the Governing Council of the United Nations Environmental Programme to fulfill its policy-guidance role for the direction and co-ordination of environmental activities, the Environment Fund shall finance wholly or partly the costs of the new Environmental initiatives undertaken within the United Nations system- which will include the initiatives envisaged in the Action Plan for the Human Environment, with particular attention to integrated projects, and such other environmental activities as may be decided upon by the Governing Council-and that the Governing Council shall review these initiatives with a view to taking appropriate decisions as to their continued financing;
  3. Decides that the Environment Fund shall be used for financing such programmes of general interest as regional and global monitoring, assessment and data-collecting systems, including, as appropriate, costs for national counterparts; the improvement of environmental quality management; environmental research; information exchange and dissemination; public education and training; assistance for national, regional and global environmental institutions; the promotion of environmental research and studies for the development of industrial and other technologies best suited to a policy of economic growth compatible with adequate environmental safeguards; and such other programmes as the Governing Council may decide upon, and that in the implementation of such programmes due account should be taken of the special needs of the developing countries;
  4. Decides that, in order to ensure that the development priorities of developing countries shall not be adversely affected, adequate measures shall be taken to provide additional financial resources on terms compatible with the economic situation of the recipient developing country, and that, to this end, the Executive director, in co-operation with competent organizations, shall keep this problem under continuing review;
  5. Decides that the Fund, in pursuance of the objectives stated in paragraphs 2 and 3 above, shall be directed to the need for effective co-ordination in the implementation of international environmental programmes of the organizations of the United Nations system and other international organizations;
  6. Decides that, in the implementation of programmes to be financed by the Environment Fund, organizations outside the United Nations system, particularly those in the countries and regions concerned, shall also be utilized as appropriate, in accordance with the procedures established by the Governing Council and that such organizations are invited to support the United Nations Environmental Programmes by complementary initiatives and contributions;
  7. Decides that the Governing Council shall formulate such general procedures as are necessary to govern the operations of the Environment Fund;