UNEP’s 13th Global Major Groups and Stakeholders Forum
The United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) organized the 13th Global Major Groups and Stakeholders Forum (GMGSF-13) at its headquarters in Nairobi, Kenya on 18-19 February 2012. The Global Forum is an annual event organized right before the UNEP Governing Council, to provide an opportunity for civil society and other groups to exchange ideas and get prepared before the government delegations arrive.
The 13th Global Forum brought together approximately 150 participants from all regions of the world, mainly from the nine major groups identified in Agenda 21 as stakeholders in sustainable development. Live webcast made the meeting accessible for additional worldwide participation, and most speeches and presentations are available online.
The GMGSF-13 agenda included plenary presentations, interventions, working groups on the Rio+20 themes, coordination meetings for the 6 regions and 9 major groups, and an interactive dialogue with UNEP’s Executive Director Achim Steiner.
Three parallel working groups discussed international environmental governance (IEG) in the context of the institutional framework for sustainable development (IFSD), green economy in the context of sustainable development and poverty eradication, and emerging issues.
The Working group on IEG and IFSD identified four issues for discussion:
1. Implementing Principle 10 of the Rio Declaration
2. Strengthening UNEP and CSD
3. Commitments to achieve sustainable development
4. Ombudsperson for Future Generations.
Participants in the Global Forum expressed dissatisfaction with the weak language and slow progress of the preparatory process for the UN Conference on Sustainable Development, and a sense of urgency to increase mobilization and lobbying efforts for making Rio+20 a success. The coming months were defined as a huge opportunity and participants expressed commitment to focus on implementation and action.