UNEP Guidelines for Participation of Major Groups and Stakeholders Under Review: Deadline 15 October
The United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), through its Major Groups and Stakeholders Branch (MGSB) and the Major Groups Facilitating Committee (MGFC), have initiated a process to revise the Guidelines for Participation of Major Groups and Stakeholders in Policy Design at UNEP.
The UN Charter formally recognizes three categories of participants in the UN: (i) representatives of nations, (ii) representatives of international organisations, and (iii) representatives from accredited non-governmental organisations (NGOs). Agenda 21 expands the meaning of this, stating that participation by NGOs in the UN must apply equally to all ‘major groups’. It defines the nine major groups as being Women, Children and Youth, Indigenous Peoples, Non-governmental Organizations, Local Authorities, Workers and Trade Unions, Business and Industry, Science and Technology, and Farmers.
UNEP has embraced the concept of Nine Major Groups as the model for involving non-state actors in its work, and the Guidelines currently under review is the main document regulating this. The Guidelines aim to create a balanced and actively facilitated framework for managing Major Groups input to the UNEP governance process. The document clarifies how the Global Major Groups and Stakeholders Forum (GMGSF) and Regional Consultation Meetings (RCM‘s) can engage with the UNEP Governing Council/Global Ministerial Environment Forum (GC/GMEF). The Guidelines also regulate the composition and Terms of Reference for the UNEP Major Groups Facilitating Committee (MGFC).
When the current Guidelines got adopted in 2009, it was decided that they would be subject to a review after two years. The aim of the revision is enhanced engagement of major groups and stakeholders in the work of UNEP. The process seeks to design a more democratic, transparent, effective, participatory and accountable interaction between UNEP and civil society at both policy and implementation levels, in line with relevant rules and regulations.
The Terms of Reference for the review of the Guidelines describes that the review process is open and participatory and allows all interested organizations to contribute. Proposed changes to the Guidelines shall be sent to Jose de Mesa, Programme Officer in the UNEP Major Groups and Stakeholders Branch: firstname.lastname@example.org. Deadline 15 October 2011.