Convening prior to the sixth session of the UN Environment Assembly (UNEA-6), Major Groups and Stakeholders (MGS) carried out in-depth review of draft resolutions and draft decisions to be finalized by the Assembly. Among their recommendations, MGS called for stronger enforcement of environmental rights, protection of Indigenous Peoples’ rights, and bringing more stakeholder groups into the MGS “tent.”

The Forum highlighted the urgency of addressing environmental challenges through collaborative efforts involving diverse stakeholders, underscoring the need for equitable and inclusive approaches to achieve sustainable outcomes.

Participants considered the draft resolutions in five clusters: abating pollution and promoting the sound management of chemicals and waste; halting and reversing the loss of nature while restoring ecosystems; international environmental governance; root causes of climate change, biodiversity loss, and pollution; and procedural, budgetary, and administrative matters.

According to the Earth Negotiations Bulletin (ENB) summary report of the meeting, key themes in discussion related to:

  • solar radiation modification (SRM) to reduce global warming, and proposals to convene an expert or scientific group on SRM;
  • enforcement of the polluter-pays principle for hazardous pesticides;
  • environmental governance in conflict zones; and
  • the rights of waste workers and other vulnerable groups in the transition to circular economies.

During a session with MGS, UNEA-6 President Leila Benali and UN Environment Programme (UNEP) Executive Director Inger Anderson appreciated MGS’ contribution to the UNEA-6 negotiations, acknowledging that MGS “are instrumental in developing policies, acting both as think tanks and watch dogs.”

Another key point in the discussions with the UNEA and UNEP leadership was the importance of multilateralism and MGS engagement in responding to global environmental challenges, with speakers calling for ambitious outcomes, accountability, and broad-based participation in UNEA sessions.

The ENB report further highlights that MGS “held an exchange with Member States on a proposed ‘group of friends of MGS’ in order to: enhance civil society engagement in UNEP processes; and provide a platform for continuous collaboration between Member States and MGS on emerging environmental issues and priorities.”

The 20th Global Major Groups and Stakeholders Forum (GMGSF-20) took place from 24-25 February 2024 in Nairobi, Kenya. UNEA-6 convened immediately after, from 26 February to 1 March. [ENB Coverage of GMGSF-20 at UNEA-6] [SDG Knowledge Hub Story on UNEA-6]