11 September 2018
Delegates Set Agenda for First Session on Global Pact for Environment
Photo by IISD/ENB
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During a three-day organizational meeting, UN Member States decided that the first substantive session on a global pact for the environment will convene from 14-18 January 2019, in Nairobi, Kenya.

By the text adopted on 7 September, the Working Group decided on the agenda for the first substantive session.

Each substantive session will decide on the agenda for each following session.

7 September 2018: UN Member States concluded the organizational meeting of the working group on a global pact for the environment, agreeing on the agenda for the first substantive session of the group. Also during the week the group set dates for three substantive sessions, all of which will take place in Nairobi, Kenya.

The Ad Hoc Open-ended Working Group established by the UN General Assembly (UNGA) via resolution 72/277 convened its organizational session from 5-7 September 2018, in New York, US. The next step is for the UN Secretary-General to issue a “technical and evidence-based report that identifies and assesses possible gaps in international environmental law and environment-related instruments with a view to strengthening their implementation,” for consideration by the Working Group. The report of the Secretary-General is expected at the end of November 2018.

The Working Group then will hold substantive sessions to consider recommendations for the UNGA, which could include the convening of an intergovernmental conference to adopt an international instrument. During the organizational session, the Group agreed to hold its first substantive session from 14-18 January 2019, in Nairobi, Kenya. Dates for two additional sessions were agreed for March and May 2019, and are expected to take place “unless otherwise decided” by the Group.

On the last day of the organizational session, on 7 September, Member States adopted the provisional agenda for the January session. It includes: opening of the session; adoption of the provisional agenda and programme of work; financing of the activities of the working group; general statements; consideration of the report of the Secretary-General; provisional agenda and dates for the second substantive session; other matters; and closure. Regarding the agenda item on financing, the text notes that the Group “may” wish to discuss matters relating to the financing of its activities. Regarding general statements, delegations will have an opportunity to deliver statements of a general nature concerning items under consideration at each substantive session, in accordance with its programme of work.

It was agreed that each substantive session will decide on the provisional agenda for the following session. Each substantive session will adopt its provisional agenda and decide on its programme of work.

Jamil Ahmad, UN Environment Programme (UNEP), announced that France made the second part of its intended contribution; US$585,400 brings its total contribution to the Group to more than US$1.6 million.

General views on the global pact and initial preferences for its work were exchanged during the first day of the organizational session. The Group adopted the report of the meeting (A/AC/289.L1). The co-chairs of the Working Group are Francisco António Duarte Lopes, Permanent Representative of Portugal, and Amal Mudallali, Permanent Representative of Lebanon. [Programme of Work for Organizational Session] UNEP webpage for Global Pact process] [SDG Knowledge Hub sources]

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