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Reform of the international structures of environmental governance has been debated at the margins of the international agenda for a number of years. While some progress has been made in the area of strengthening the United Nations Environment Programme, lack of political will has meant that more substantial proposals have had little traction. With the World Summit in September 2005, recognition of the need to reform the UN’s environment and development architecture has quietly taken hold. Several processes have been initiated to harness the momentum and translate this support into more formalised mechanisms for exploring options to reform the UN. ieg-dossier is a clearing house dedicated to providing information on intergovernmental negotiations and processes related to the strengthening of the United Nation’s environment and development architecture. ieg-dossier focuses on providing insightful information regarding current or future negotiations related to UN reform, outlining: the status of reform negotiations; developing country proposals; developed country proposals; the UN system’s response; intergovernmental proposals; and NGO and Major Group proposals. To submit statements, articles, or papers to ieg-dossier email the editors.

Highlights

Sustainable Development in the Context of UN Reform

On Tuesday 1 May 2007 a dialogue was held on the subject of sustainable development in the context of UN reform. The discussion, endorsed by six former Chairs of the Commission on Sustainable Development (CSD), emphasised the need for a process of reflection on sustainable development governance and the role of the CSD in particular.
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UNEO: A Champion for environment in the 21st century, but what role for stakeholders?

On 3 May, 2007 more than 25 representatives of civil society and the private sector met with representatives of the French government in New York to discuss the reform of international environmental governance (IEG) and, in particular, the idea of transforming the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) into a United Nations Environment Organisation (UNEO). The meeting provided participants with an update on developments in IEG reform, as well as an opportunity to discuss possible models for engaging stakeholders in a UNEO.
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The UN System and Sustainable Development: Proposals for a Sustainable Development Institutional Initiative

This Stakeholder Forum paper explores how to address the current challenges related to international governance for sustainable development governance.  The paper notes that while paragraph 157 of the Johannesburg Plan of Implementation provides a clear mandate for governments to keep the UN’s sustainable development institutions under review, this is not occurring. The paper proposes launching a two-track sustainable development initiative to enhance ‘confidence building’ between industrialized and developing countries in an effort define the areas where the UN’s institutions, and the CSD in particular, could make a distinctive contribution to the implementation of sustainable development. It proposed two options for creating this much needed space for discussion:

  • the establishment of an incremental process under the CSD, in the form of an open-ended Ad Hoc Working Group to focus mainly on the future and role of the CSD, including through a stocktaking process of the first two cycles; and, as a complementary step,
  • an incremental process under the auspices of the General Assembly (GA) to identify the building blocks of a more robust intergovernmental framework for sustainable development.

Full Paper

From Words to Action: Civil Society Representatives Call for a Strong Follow-up to the High Level Panel on System-wide Coherence

On 9 November 2006, the High Level Panel on UN System-wide Coherence in areas of Development, Humanitarian Assistance, Environment released its report Delivering As One.  On the same day, Stakeholder Forum (SF), the Brazilian Forum of NGOs and Social Movements for Environment and Development (FBOMS), ANPED—Northern Alliance for Sustainability, and the UN Non-Governmental Liaison Service (UN NGLS) initiated a Call for Input to gather submissions from civil society.  The aim of the Call for Input is to develop a civil society response to the Panel’s recommendations in the area of environment and sustainable development, for consideration by UN Member States and other actors.  More

Workshop on UN System-wide Coherence, 28 February 2007, UN Headquarters, New York

On 28 February 2007, Stakeholder Forum (SF), the Brazilian Forum of NGOs and Social Movements for Environment and Development (FBOMS), ANPED—Northern Alliance for Sustainability, and the UN Non-Governmental Liaison Service (UN NGLS) hosted a workshop on UN system-wide coherence at UN Headquarters in New York.  The meeting was a free and frank exchange of views between government and civil society representatives in their personal capacity on the issue of international environmental governance (IEG) in the context of UN reform.
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What's New to ieg-dossier

Intergovernmental process on System-wide Coherence
New York, 25 May 2007
In a letter of 25 May 2007, Haya Rashed Al-Khalifa, President of the General Assembly, announced the beginning of an intergovernmental process on System-wide Coherence.  

Opinion: Unifying the UN
8 November 2006
Opinion piece by Shaukat Aziz, prime minister of Pakistan, Luísa Dias Diogo, prime minister of Mozambique, and Jens Stoltenberg, prime minister of Norway, on the report of the High-level Panel on System-wide Coherence.

Second Committee: Introduction of draft decision on Sustainable Development
New York, 7 November 2006
The Second Committee met to take action on a number of draft resolutions, with various delegates introduced texts relating to sustainable development, operational activities for development, and strengthening the coordination of humanitarian and disaster relief assistance of the United Nations, including special economic assistance, for action later in the session.

G-77 and China: Statement on Operational Activities for Development
New York, 2 November 2006
In a statement to the Second Committee’s discussion on operational activities for development the Group of 77 and China reiterated the importance of operational activities for development and in particular to ensure that development remains a priority in deliberations on the reform of the United Nations.

China: Statement on Desertification
New York, 30 October 2006
In a statement by Advisor of the Chinese Delegation Wang Qi under the agenda item on desertification, China said desertification was a grave ecological problem on a global scale.

G-77 and China: Statement on Human Settlements
New York, 26 October 2006
In a statement to the Second Committee’s debate on Human Settlements, the Group of 77 and China addressed issues regarding finance, regional consultative forums, disasters and UN reform.

Norway: Statement on Climate Change
New York, 26 October 2006
In a statement by First Secretary Lars S. Alsaker, Norway outlined its views on the CSD, climate change and biodiversity.

IUCN Statement on Sustainable Development
New York, October 26, 2006
In a statement delivered by Ambassador Bhagwat Singh, the IUCN outlined its views regarding climate change, energy, desertification, biodiversity and UNEP.

Second Committee Debate on Sustainable Development
New York, 25 October 2006
The Second Committee (Economic and Financial) began its debate on the range agenda items dealing with sustainable development.

G-77 and China: Statement on Sustainable Development
New York, 25 October 2006
In a statement to the Second Committee debate on sustainable development the Group of 77 and China outlined its views regarding research and development, CSD-15, small island developing states, disasters, climate change, biodiversity and the UN Environment Programme (UNEP).

Australia: Statement on sustainable development
New York, 25 October 2006
In a statement delivered by Dr Dean Bialek, Australia outlined its views on the Commission on Sustainable Development (CSD) and international environmental governance.

China: Statement on Sustainable Development
New York, 25 October 2006
In a statement by Deputy Permanent Representative of China to the United Nations, Liu Zhenmin, China outlined its views on sustainable development, small island developing States, disasters, climate change and UNEP.

India: Statement on Sustainable Development
New York, 25 October 2006
In statement by Rahul Gandhi, India outlined its views on international sustainable development governance, energy, biodiversity, intellectual property rights and small islands developing states.

US: Statement on Sustainable Development
New York, October 25, 2006
In a statement by Michael Snowden, Advisor, Economic and Social Affairs, to the Second Committee debate on Sustainable Development, the US outlined its views on the Commission on Sustainable Development (CSD) and international environmental governance.

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