Highlights and images of main proceedings for 10 May 2019

Summary

Highlights for Friday, 10 May 2019

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.

    Photos by IISD/ENB | Franz Dejon

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    L-R: Hossein Moeini Meybodi, UNFF Secretariat; Boris Greguška, Slovakia, UNFF14 Chair; and Lesley Brough, UNFF Secretariat
    Lok Bahadur Chhetri, Nepal
    Mehdi Remaoun, Algeria
    Bojan Grlaš, EU
    Maureen Whelan, Canada
    Closing session of UNFF14
    Thomas Noyal, India
    Keith Anderson, Switzerland
    Catherine Karr-Colque, US
    Myungkil Kim, Republic of Korea
    Luciana Melchert, Brazil
    Ian Naumkin, Russian Federation
    Yoshiko Motoyama, Japan
    Jesse Mahoney, Australia
    Sixian Zheng, China

    Renato Morales, Argentina
    Liubov Poliakova, Ukraine
    Pedro Soust, Uruguay
    Khalid Chekri, Morocco, UNFF14 Rapporteur
    Afsa Kemitale-Rothschild, UNFF Secretariat
    Boris Greguška, Slovakia, UNFF14 Chair, gaveled the meeting to a close at 12:01 pm
    Delegates at the close of UNFF14
    Delegates from Kenya and Japan
    Major Group participants with delegates from the EU

    Participants

    Negotiating blocs
    European Union