View of the UNFF14 session from the public gallery
The final day of the fourteenth session of the UN Forum on Forests (UNFF14) marked another milestone for the Forum, as delegates completed their deliberations in a record three hours.
Discussions of the day included Monitoring Assessment and Reporting (MAR), Means of Implementation (MOI), Emerging Issues and the UNFF Trust Fund.
On MAR, Australia, Canada and New Zealand presented a proposal from an informal brainstorming meeting on the Forum’s Flagship Report, calling for:
a clearly articulated and effective communication of why forests matter for sustainable development, and for progress in achieving the Global Forest Goals and the Sustainable Development Goals;
a roadmap outlining key steps and timelines of publication;
launch of the publication at the XV World Forestry Congress to be hosted by Korea in 2021; and
an advisory committee to guide the secretariat on the publication.
MOI discussions reopened the spirited debate on the Global Forest Financing Facilitation Network (GFFFN) office, with several governments expressing support for the office, but calling for transparency on ongoing negotiations.
Delegates thereafter adopted the UNFF14 report and took note of the UNFF14 Chair’s Summary, which contains four parts:
summary of technical discussions, for transmission to UNFF15;
UNFF14 inputs to the 2019 UN High-Level Political Forum on Sustainable Development (HLPF), for transmission to the HLPF;
Information on UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs (UN DESA) reforms pertaining to the Forum, for transmission by UN DESA to appropriate UN bodies that are considering and deciding on the reforms; and
an indicative list of intersessional activities suggested during UNFF14 to facilitate policy deliberations at UNFF15.
They also agreed on the date, venue and agenda for UNFF15, noting that it would be held at the UN Headquarters in New York from 4-8 May 2020.
As the meeting gaveled to a close at 12:01 pm, many delegates lingered, discussing scenarios for the future of the Forum in hushed tones. Delegates murmured about financial resources, noting the need for cost effectiveness by the Secretariat, particularly over-reliance on consultants instead of doing things in-house. Some delegates continued to discuss the GFFFN new office, questioning its long-term sustainability. Some expressed hope that, withholding of fund by some important donors, would trigger more transparency and better communication with Member States, and set the ground for open discussions at UNFF15.
IISD Reporting Services, through its Earth Negotiations Bulletin (ENB) meeting coverage, has provided daily web coverage and a summary and analysis report from UNFF14, which is available in HTML and PDF.
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