The final day of the virtual session of the First Global Meeting of the National Focal Points under the Fifth Programme for the Development and Periodic Review of Environmental Law (Montevideo Programme V) focused principally on designating a Steering Committee for Implementation and adopting its work modalities so that Programme implementation can move forward.
The day opened with a handful of additional interventions regarding the topic of Programme partnerships and stakeholder engagement. Suggestions offered by delegates included the engagement of religious leaders, the involvement of the Major Groups, the formation of coalitions with nongovernmental organizations on specific issues, and the promotion of citizen oversight of environmental law formation and enforcement.
Regarding the Steering Committee, the Co-Chairs noted the successful completion of informal regional consultations on Committee nominations and presented a list of 14 nominees, two to three for each of the five UN regions. Delegates approved by acclamation the designation of national focal point representatives of Bangladesh, Bhutan, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Burkina Faso, Cambodia, Finland, Peru, Saint Lucia, Slovenia, Switzerland, Uganda, US, Uruguay and Zambia.
The Meeting also considered a revised draft of the proposed modalities of work for the Committee, based on written comments submitted by nine member states. The Meeting adopted the modalities as revised, while noting that the Committee should commence its work immediately and would serve until the end of the second Global Meeting of National Focal Points.
The Meeting also reviewed the Co-Chairs’ summary of the meeting. The summary will form the basis for a final report to be prepared by the Rapporteur.
During closing the Co-Chairs Tim Epp, US, and Marcelo Cousillas, Uruguay, as well as Arnold Kreilhuber, Acting Director, UNEP Law Division, congratulated delegates for achieving the virtual session’s stated goals despite the many technical challenges encountered over the three days, namely the designation of the Steering Committee, the adoption of its work modalities, the designation of an initial priority area focus, and a robust discussion on partnerships and stakeholder engagement. All three stressed that these steps will enable the Programme to begin substantive implementation and make up for time lost during the pandemic.
The Earth Negotiations Bulletin summary of the virtual session of the First Global Meeting of National Focal Points will be available on this site on Sunday, 06 June 2021.