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Fourth Meeting of the Open-ended Intergovernmental Group of Ministers or their Representatives on International Environmental Governance
30 November - 1 December 2001


Highlights for Friday, 30 November 2001

The fourth meeting of the Open-ended Intergovernmental Group of Ministers or their Representatives on IEG was declared open by Karen Redman MP, Parliamentary Secretary, Canada, on behalf of David Anderson, President of the UNEP Governing Council, at 3:00 pm on Friday, 30 November. Redman recalled the mandate for the IEG process and described the upcoming meeting of the GMEF in February 2002 as an opportunity for ministers to lay a new path to IEG and formally adopt recommendations for submission to the WSSD.



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Fri 30

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Dec 03

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She noted the Proposals of the President of the UNEP Governing Council for consideration by IGM-4 on IEG (UNEP/IGM/4/2), highlighting additional elements on capacity development and the elaboration of linkages to sustainable development.

Listen to opening address of Karen Redman on behalf of the Minister David Anderson, Prfesident of UNEP Governing Council.

UNEP Executive Director Klaus Töpfer thanked the governments who had recently elected him to a new four-year term in office. He called on the meeting to reach a general consensus on the basic principles of IEG, as captured in the President’s Proposals. He said broad agreement was sufficient to allow the GMEF to make detailed decisions in February.
Iran speaking on behalf of G77/CHINA

Iran, on behalf of the G-77/China, stated that there is no need for discussion on the division of work between the GMEF and the UNEP Governing Council, or GMEF membership and functions. On the relationship of the GMEF with MEAs, other organizations and the Global Environment Facility (GEF), he stated that there should be no independent role for the GMEF.

Belgium, on behalf of the EU, said part of the outcome of the WSSD should be the establishment of the GMEF as the cornerstone of a coherent system of IEG. He advocated a GMEF role in the mainstreaming of the environment into other policy fields, and suggested that the GMEF could provide guidance by identifying global environmental priorities.

Sweden, on behalf of the Committee of Permanent Representatives to UNEP, noted the Committee’s strong support for strengthening the mandate, authority and financing of UNEP.

Japan cautioned against adding new layers of bureaucracy, and highlighted the need for transparency on budget matters in Nairobi.

The GEF emphasized that the President’s Proposals call for a strengthened relationship between UNEP and the GEF, and do not suggest that the GEF provide funding for UNEP.

Algeria welcomed proposals from Norway for a pluri-annual work plan.

The US described an IEG system that has been remarkably resilient. He called for an enhanced role for the GMEF within its existing mandate, consideration of options on UNEP funding, and more effective approaches to MEAs and Conferences of the Parties (COPs), including consideration of bi-annual scheduling.

Norway called for adequate, predicable and stable funding for UNEP as a key outcome of the IEG process. He supported universal membership in the GMEF and provision for civil society participation.

Mexico said institutional strengthening should respect the terms of reference of the Commission for Sustainable Development (CSD). 

The UK supported universal membership of the GMEF and effective participation by NGOs and business. He endorsed a broader and more stable funding base for UNEP using negotiated contributions based on the UN assessed scale.

Switzerland called for a close relationship between the GMEF and the EMG; universal membership of the GMEF; sound and predictable UNEP funding, with fair burden sharing; clustering along the lines set out in the IGM-4 documentation; and capacity building to instill shared ownership of IEG at the national level.

Working Group I, chaired by Philippe Roch (left photo: center), State Secretary of Switzerland, convened on Friday evening, 30 November and Saturday, 1 December, to consider the President’s Proposals on improving coherence in policy-making and on the role and structure of the GMEF.

Kezimbira Miyingo (left), Minister of State for Environment, Uganda, chaired Working Group II, which considered the President’s Proposals on improved coordination and coherence between MEAs, capacity building, technology transfer and country-level coordination for environment and sustainable development, and the role of the EMG in enhanced coordination across the UN system. 


IEG Secretariat web site with official documents and information for participants
ENB Coverage of the Third IEG Meeting
ENB Coverage of the Second IEG Meeting
ENB Coverage of the First IEG Meeting at the 9th Session of the CSD
ENB Summary of
Expert Consultations on IEG
Linkages page for the UNEP Governing Council

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