On its fourth day, the 17th session of the United Nations Forum on Forests (UNFF17) continued closed-door informal consultations, negotiating changes to the provisions of the draft omnibus resolution proposed by the UNFF Bureau.
During the second reading of the resolution, a number of issues were discussed, namely:
- how to refer to the Glasgow Leaders’ Declaration on Forests and Land Use and other recent international forest-related developments such as the Seoul Forest Declaration;
- how to refer to the post-2020 global biodiversity framework;
- whether to include references to a One Health approach;
- the need for stronger support for means of implementation;
- how to refer to national circumstances;
- how to facilitate access to financial mechanisms for local communities and Indigenous Peoples;
- how to acknowledge the special needs and circumstances of middle-income countries; and
- the need to align the voluntary national contribution cycle to the Global Forest Resources Assessment cycle.
Much of the afternoon was consumed in lengthy “informal-informal consultations,” led by two member states, to forge compromises on contentious resolution paragraphs. Despite the sometimes tense exchanges, compromises were found for some of the difficult issues related to references to national circumstances and the means of implementation by leveraging already-agreed language from UN Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) Resolution 2017/4, by which the UN Strategic Plan for Forests was originally adopted. Resolutions to other sticking points, however, such as references to the Glasgow Declaration and the post-2020 global biodiversity framework, required creative wordsmithing and flexibility from delegates.
Friday’s session will consider the date, venue and provisional agenda of the 18th session of the Forum, and the adoption of the omnibus resolution.
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All ENB photos are free to use with attribution. For UNFF17, please use: Photo by IISD/ENB | Franz Dejon.