Naoko Ishii, GEF CEO and Chairperson (left), confers with GEF Secretariat staff members.

Highlights and images of main proceedings for 17 December 2019

Washington, DC, United States of America

Summary

Naoko Ishii, GEF CEO and Chairperson (left), confers with GEF Secretariat staff members.
Naoko Ishii, GEF CEO and Chairperson (left), confers with GEF Secretariat staff members.

Naoko Ishii, GEF CEO and Chairperson, opened the 57th meeting of the GEF Council, highlighting the GEF’s role in “navigating” the needed “massive, unprecedented” systems change, underpinned by scientific findings and economic benefits. Warning about the “huge costs of inaction,” she called for a multi-stakeholder coalition of national and subnational governments, businesses and citizens to transform the energy, food and city systems. She also suggested using “super year 2020” to set a nature target, similar to the 1.5°C climate goal, and identifying ways to achieve it. 

The GEF Secretariat presented the GEF Monitoring Report 2019, which includes a “deep dive” on the GEF Small Grant Programme (SGP). Council Members welcomed the Report, identifying several areas for improvement and seeking clarification on, among other things, the governance of the SGP and the low performance rating of certain focal areas.

Council Members considered a proposed updated policy on minimum fiduciary standards. Discussion focused, in particular, on numerous suggestions made by many Council Members for strengthening language on when and how the Council is informed of any potential issue with regard to compliance with the standards. Following proposals to establish an audit committee for review of compliance, in the context of Agencies’ sensitivities about confidentiality, several members undertook to draft terms of reference for such a committee, for later consideration. 

The Council discussed the first report assessing compliance by the 18 implementing Agencies with the GEF’s minimum standards on environmental and social safeguards, gender equality and stakeholder engagement, including 14 Agencies’ action plans for coming into full compliance. Council Members adopted a decision asking the Secretariat to update future Council sessions on progress in implementing the plans of action. 

The Secretariat presented a report on improving the durability of GEF investments, suggesting four elements to incorporate into the design and implementation of projects and programs. The Council adopted a decision welcoming the analysis and agreeing on follow-up steps suggested by the Secretariat.

Council Members also heard a report of the Chairperson of the Scientific and Technical Advisory Panel (STAP).

Participants

National governments
US