The second Substantive Session of the Ad Hoc Open Ended Working Group was drawn to a close Wednesday with the adoption of a provisional agenda and dates for the third session, which will convene for three days from 20 to 22 May 2019. The three-day arrangement was agreed as part of a compromise after a series of exchanges on scheduling, taking into account the need to allow for adequate time for the OEWG to meet the demands of its mandate from the UN General Assembly (UNGA resolution 72/277). The Co-Chairs will also make themselves available for informal consultations on the preceding weekend.
Co-Chairs Francisco Duarte Lopes, Portugal, and Amal Mudallali, Lebanon, will circulate elements of draft recommendations during the intersessional period, as delegations prepare to move to negotiations on a series of emergent recommendations to the UN General Assembly, possibly including a legal instrument, high level declaration, and other possible responses to gaps or challenges in international environmental law (IEL) and related instruments.
In a non-exhaustive oral summary of points addressed during the second session, the Co-Chairs noted discussion on:
A broad approach to gaps, understood as lacunae, deficiencies or challenges in IEL or related instruments;
The interpretation, unequal application and lack of consistency in approaches to IEL principles;
Different views on the nature of a new instrument, including the possibility of a legally or non-legally binding instrument; a high-level declaration; and/or a document from the UN General Assembly;
Agreement on strengthening international environmental governance, following observations on a lack of system coherence, implementation challenges, and a failure to adequately reflect the interdependent nature of the earth’s ecosystems; and
The need to address and strengthen the roles of UNEP and UNEA in line with paragraphs 88 and 89 of the Rio+20 outcomes document, in the context of strengthening international environmental governance and IEL on a system-wide basis across the UN system.
Delegations were invited to submit further recommendations to the Co-Chairs by 12 April.
The day began with a moment of silence to mark the passing of Ambassador Brenda Muntemba of Zambia, who died in a road traffic accident, and a tribute to three UN interpreters who lost their lives in the Ethiopian Airlines crash in the run-up to the meeting.
Mudallali then thanked the OEWG for their hard work before Duarte gavelled the close of the meeting at 16.04.
For more details, read our summary and analysis of the second Substantive Session of the Ad Hoc Open Ended Working Group.
IISD Reporting Services, through its ENB Meeting Coverage, has provided daily web coverage and a summary and analysis report from the 2nd Substantive Session of the Ad Hoc Open Ended Working Group Towards a Global Pact for the Environment. The summary and analysis report is now available in HTML and PDF.
Co-Chair Francisco António Duarte Lopes, Permanent Representative to the United Nations, Portugal
Co-Chair Amal Mudallali, Permanent Representative to the United Nations, Lebanon
Jamil Ahmad, UNEP
Maribe Mujinga Nsompo, Democratic Republic of the Congo
Alejandro Garofali and Marcelo Cousillas, Uruguay
Jamil Ahmad, UNEP, with Peter Doran, IISD Reporting Services (IISD-RS)
Patrick Luna, Brazil, and Co-Chair Francisco António Duarte Lopes, Permanent Representative to the United Nations, Portugal
From L-R: Co-Chair Francisco António Duarte Lopes, Permanent Representative to the United Nations, Portugal; Co-Chair Amal Mudallali, Permanent Representative to the United Nations, Lebanon; Jamil Ahmad, UNEP; and Fernando Coimbra, Brazil
From L-R: Nathan Glassey, New Zealand; Trevor Analo, Australia; and Vigen Ananyan, Armenia
Helge Elisabeth Zeitler and Sebastian Gil, European Union
Alexandros Kolliopoulos, Greece, with Thomas Liébault, France
Jamil Ahmad, UNEP, with Co-Chair Francisco António Duarte Lopes, Permanent Representative to the United Nations, Portugal
Abdullah Tawlah, Saudi Arabia
Songelael Shilla, Tanzania
View of the dais during the session
Suzan Moh'd Al Ajjawi, Bahrain
Shannon-Marie Soni, Canada
Jin Sun, China
Meriem El Hilali, Morocco
Camila Zepeda Lizama, Mexico
Jacqueline Ruesga, Canada
Carmen Marques Ruiz, European Commission
Participants conferring before the session
Aldo Claure Banegas, Bolivia
Esther Nkomo, Zambia
Camila Zepeda Lizama and Erasmo Martínez, Mexico
Alphonce Muia, Catholic Youth Network for Environmental Sustainability in Africa (CYNESA), with Isis Gondola, Panama
Nassira Rheyati, Morocco, and Mariline Diara, Senegal
Natalie Jones, IISD-RS, with Jacqueline Ruesga, Canada
The Mexican delegation. From L-R: Lino Santacruz Moctezuma, Azucena Sahagun, Camila Zepeda Lizama, and Erasmo Martínez
Wael Aboulmagd, Egypt, and Andrés Cordova, Ecuador
Delegates conferring during the session
Delegates conferring a break
Laura Bullon-Cassis and Natalie Jones, IISD-RS, with Marco Crugnola, Switzerland
Marta Juárez Ruiz, Costa Rica
Delegates from the Group of Latin America and the Caribbean (GRULAC)
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