The 27th session of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) Governing Council/Global Ministerial Environment Forum (GC27/GMEF) convened in Nairobi, Kenya, from 18-22 February 2013.
This was the first Universal Session of the GC following the decision of the UN General Assembly to strengthen and upgrade UNEP, as called for in the Rio+20 outcome document.
25 February 2013: The 27th session of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) Governing Council/Global Ministerial Environment Forum (GC27/GMEF) convened in Nairobi, Kenya, from 18-22 February 2013. This was the first Universal Session of the GC following the decision of the UN General Assembly to strengthen and upgrade UNEP, as called for in the Rio+20 outcome document.
During the session delegates adopted 13 decisions, on inter alia: institutional arrangements; the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES); coordination across the UN system, including the Environment Management Group (EMG); oceans; sustainable consumption and production (SCP); the green economy in the context of sustainable development; advancing justice, governance and law; state of the environment; and chemicals and wastes.
An omnibus decision on chemicals and wastes includes sections on: lead and cadmium, mercury, implementation of the Strategic Approach to International Chemicals Management (SAICM), waste management, persistent organic pollutants (POPs), enhancing cooperation and coordination within the chemicals cluster, and the consultative process on financing options for chemicals and wastes.
On mercury, the GC: authorizes the Executive Director to provide Secretariat support to the Minamata Convention on Mercury and, if so decided by the Conference of Plenipotentiaries of the Minamata Convention on Mercury, to provide an interim secretariat to the instrument prior to its entry into force.
It also invites Parties to the Basel, Rotterdam and Stockholm Conventions to consider, at their next meeting, steps that would facilitate possible future cooperation and coordination with the Minamata Convention on Mercury, and to forward any outcome of that consideration to the Minamata Conference of Plenipotentiaries.
On waste management, the GC requests the Executive Director to review existing UNEP efforts on waste, to develop a UNEP-wide waste strategy to prioritize its work, and to make recommendations on existing and future areas of UNEP work on wastes. It also requests the Executive Director to develop a global outlook of challenges, trends and policies in relation to waste prevention, minimization and management, taking into account the materials life cycle, subject to the availability of extra-budgetary resources.
On the consultative process for financing chemicals and wastes, the GC, inter alia: invites all countries to further strengthen dedicated external financing through the provision of adequate, predictable and timely financial resources; and invites the Global Environment Facility (GEF), in the context of its sixth replenishment, to revise its focal area structure and strategy in order to address the chemicals and wastes agenda. [IISD RS Meeting Coverage] [GC27/GMEF Meeting Website]