The major outcome of the sixteenth session of the UN Forum on Forests (UNFF16) is the adoption of the Forum’s Programme of Work for 2022-2024. However, due to the virtual nature of the meeting, the Forum could not follow its usual procedures for adopting a document.
Due to the unprecedented difficulties presented by COVID-19, the Economic and Social Council adopted decision ECOSOC 2020/206, “Procedure for taking decisions of the Economic and Social Council during the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic.” This procedure is put in place when a plenary meeting of ECOSOC or an ECOSOC subsidiary body is unable to meet due to the COVID-19 pandemic and allows the Bureau to circulate the draft decisions to Member States under a silence procedure lasting at least 72 hours. The decisions are considered adopted if the silence procedure is not broken.
UNFF16 Chair Kitty Sweeb (Suriname) explained that the following agenda items were subject to the silence procedure, pursuant to ECOSOC decision 2020/206, until 4:00 pm EST (GMT-4) on Thursday, 29 April 2021:
- Item 6: Adoption of the Programme of Work of the UNFF for the period 2022–2024 (E/CN.18/2021/L.3);
- Item 7: Date and Venue for UNFF17 (E/CN.18/2021/L.2); and
- Item 8: Provisional Agenda for UNFF17 (E/CN.18/2021/L.1)
She further explained that the following agenda item was subject to silence procedure until 4:00 pm EST (GMT-4) on Friday. 30 April 2021:
- Item 9. Adoption of the UNFF16 report (E/CN.18/2021/L.4).
The UNFF16 closing session may go down as the shortest in the Forum’s history. Without the usual gathering of groups with notes on the Chair’s report and interventions from the floor, the silence procedure adds another level of pandemic-driven distancing. The meeting closed at 9:17 am EST (GMT-4).
This page will be updated once the silence procedure has expired.