Highlights and images of main proceedings for 15 January 2019



Highlights for Tuesday, 15 January 2019

Delegates from the GRULAC region conferring during a break.

On the second day of the first substantive session of the Ad hoc Open-ended Working Group (AHWG) established by the UN General Assembly to consider a technical and evidence-based report by the Secretary-General (A/73/419) identifying and assessing possible gaps in international environmental law (IEL) and environment-related instruments, delegations began a chapter-by-chapter consideration of its introduction and of chapters on gaps concerning principles of IEL and gaps relating to existing regulatory regimes.

Member states’ reflections related to, inter alia:

  • Authoritative sources of principles of IEL and related instruments;
  • Questions about the report’s analysis of gaps in the IEL system, including the evidence provided for this analysis;
  • The report’s treatment of issues such as universalization and the role and underlying causes of fragmentation in IEL;
  • The prioritization of universal participation and/or addressing implementation and compliance;
  • The need for the AHWG to remain within its mandate;
  • Consideration of established principles such as common but differentiated responsibilities and sovereignty over resources, and of the risk of undoing established context-specific principles in existing multilateral environmental agreements;
  • Missing elements such as the intrinsic value of nature, planetary boundaries, and environmental justice;
  • Consideration of new and emergent principles (e.g. intergenerational equity, environmental democracy, earth system approaches), including some already incorporated in regional environmental instruments, and consideration of principles in need of updating or qualification;
  • The relationship between IEL and human rights, and other regimes; and
  • The unintended consequences of certain principles such as non-regression and a possible weakening of new commitments in the context of IEL.
  • IISD Reporting Services, through its Earth Negotiations Bulletin (ENB) Meeting Coverage, povided daily web coverage and a summary and analysis report from the 1st Substantive Session of the Ad Hoc Open Ended Working Group Towards a Global Pact for the Environment.

    Photos by IISD/ENB | Mike Muzurakis

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    From L-R: Co-Chair Francisco António Duarte Lopes, Permanent Representative to the United Nations, Portugal; Jamil Ahmad, UN Environment (UNEP); and Co-Chair Amal Mudallali, Permanent Representative to the United Nations, Lebanon
    Kevin Khng, Singapore
    Dmitry Maksimychev, Russian Federation
    Lazhar Soualem, Algeria
    Maribe Mujinga Nsompo, Democratic Republic of the Congo
    Dragan Županjevac, Serbia
    Wael Aboulmagd, Egypt
    Abdu al-Sharif, Saudi Arabia
    Jean Kenfack, Cameroon
    Sebastian König and Marco Crugnola, Switzerland
    Carlos Ivan Zambrana Flores, Bolivia
    Zerubabel Getachew, Ethopia
    Birthe Ivars, Norway
    Samuel Victor Makwe, Nigeria
    Delegates from Saudi Arabia and Egypt
    Marianne Simeon, Benin
    Thiyu Kohoga Essobiyou, Togo
    Haibo Gou, China, and Abdullah Tawlah, Saudi Arabia
    Brenda Muntemba, Zambia, and Marta Juarez Ruiz, Costa Rica
    Camila Zepeda Lizama, Mexico
    Maria del Rosario Lemos, with Sergio Salazar Alzate, Colombia
    Atsushi Iwasaki, Japan
    Natalie Jones, IISD Reporting Services, and Maria del Mar Requena, Spain
    Peter Doran, IISD Reporting Services, and Maribe Mujinga Nsompo, Democratic Republic of the Congo
    From L-R: Martin Gronda, Argentina; Alejandro Garofali, Uruguay; and Marcelo Cousillas, Uruguay
    Troy Torrington, Guyana
    Mariline Diara, Senegal
    Delegates from China and Switzerland during a break
    Janice Cox, World Animal Net
    Paulo Magalhães, Common Home of Humanity
    Rossana Silva Repetto, Executive Secretary, Minamata Convention on Mercury
    Delegates were briefed on the security situation in the city centre following a terrorist incident.
    Around the venue