The third and final substantive session of the Ad Hoc Open-ended Working Group (OEWG) established by the United Nations General Assembly resolution 72/277 (“Towards a Global Pact for the Environment”) convened in plenary in the morning and afternoon, before breaking out for informal discussions.
In plenary, delegates were invited to respond to a non-paper prepared by Co-Chairs Amal Mudallali, Lebanon, and Francisco António Duarte Lopes, Portugal, which had been circulated in April. The non-paper has three sections:
1. Elements related to the objectives informing the recommendations of the OEWG;
2. Elements related to the substantive recommendations of the OEWG; and
3. Elements related to the process.
Differences mainly emerged in response to "Elements related to the process", including references to “the adoption of an international instrument at a high-level UN conference”, establishing a “preparatory committee” ahead of the 73rd session of the UNGA in 2020, a timeline, and open “negotiations.”
In mid-afternoon, having noted the wide range of opinions, including assertions that no consensus exists on a new international instrument, whether binding or non-binding, the Co-Chairs mandated two delegates, Elizabeth Taylor, Colombia, and Solveig Crompton, Norway, to co-facilitate informal discussions on section three of the non-paper. Delegations welcomed the informal setting for discussions, with some noting that the format had come late in the process; and took the opportunity to detail the rationale behind their positions on the merits of the section.
The Co-Chairs also undertook to prepare a “zero text” for Tuesday on sections one and two.
To read the Co-Chairs’ non-paper, please click here.
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