The online session of the fifth meeting of the Open-Ended Committee of Permanent Representatives (OECPR-5) concluded its work on Wednesday. Lengthy and difficult discussions took place during the day on a draft decision on the adjournment and resumption of the fifth meeting of the UN Environment Assembly (UNEA-5).
The complex points in the deliberations included:
- the mandate entrusted to UNEA by General Assembly resolution 73/333 of 30 August 2019, to prepare a political declaration for a United Nations high-level meeting, and more specifically, whether the adoption of such declaration should be linked to a special session of UNEA to commemorate the 50th anniversary of UN Environment Programme (UNEP);
- the length of the special session of UNEA for the commemoration; and
- the cycle of term of office of the CPR Bureau in relation to the UNEA Bureau.
Despite differing opinions and arduous deliberations, Members reached consensus and the OECPR endorsed the draft decision and recommended it for adoption at the online meeting of UNEA-5 next week.
UNEA-5 President Sveinung Rotevatn (Norway) briefed the Committee on the consensual message to be delivered to the online session of UNEA-5 entitled “Looking ahead to the resumed UNEA in 2022 – Message from online UNEA-5.” The message, he noted, has shown the world that UNEA has found a common ground and shared purpose despite working together on this in a virtual setting.
UNEP Executive Director Inger Andersen congratulated Members on reaching consensus on three important draft decisions to be adopted at the online session of UNEA-5. She emphasized that it shows commitment and that “we are still in business even in the time of global pandemic.” She underscored the need to look to the future with a bold vision and a strategic direction.
OECPR Chair Coimbra reminded delegates that the meeting was scheduled to resume at a date to be decided at the online session of UNEA-5. He thanked all participants for the hard work and the spirit of compromise, and adjourned the meeting at 6:49 pm.
The ENB Summary will be available on Friday, 19 February