Governments Review Issues to Top World Environment Agenda Ahead of First-Ever UN Environment Assembly
Nairobi, 25 March 2014 - Nearly 300 delegates representing 97 countries participated in the first meeting of the Open-Ended Committee of Permanent Representatives (OECPR) to the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) with a focus on UNEP's critical inputs to the post-2015 development agenda.
Just months ahead of the first-ever United Nations Environmental Assembly (UNEA) - a new body with universal membership among UN member states - the week-long OECPR is mandated to contribute to the preparation of the UNEA agenda and provide advice to new Assembly on policy matters.
"This open-ended CPR is a very special moment in the evolution of the history of this very auspicious body that has guided and accompanied UNEP's evolution," said UN Under-Secretary-General and UNEP Executive Director Achim Steiner.
"The year that lies behind us was a year of many important milestones both for the environmental dimension of sustainable development. Ultimately, the decisions by heads of states and governments to strengthen and upgrade UNEP and to create a new modus operandi through the Open-ended CPR demonstrate a sense of trust and confidence. Through this newly established body, we have a reason to be optimistic about moving forward."
"UNEP is actively engaged in providing inputs on targets and indicators for the post-2015 development agenda. In short, we are working to provide a narrative of how the environmental dimension, in the spirit and intent of Rio+20, can find its way into a specific set of signals in the future development agenda," he added.
Countries underscored the value of UNEP's input into the evolution of a set of Sustainable Development Goals as part of the post-2015 development agenda, noting that the organization's input would be critical to ensuring that the environmental pillar was embedded in all outcomes.
They also highlighted a number of priority issues, including the appropriate management of chemicals and waste; the illegal trade in wildlife and timber; support for sustainable development in Small Island Developing States; and the overall transition to an inclusive green economy around the world.
During the opening of the meeting, Ambassador Sunu Soemarno (Indonesia) was elected Chair of the OECPR.
The session, which will run from 24 to 28 March 2014, will provide an opportunity for the preparation of thematic and programmatic debates, as well as the preparation of draft decisions for adoption by UNEA.
More information on the OECPR, including daily updates, is available at http://www.iisd.ca/unep/cpr/cpr126/24mar.htmla>