Madam Chair, distinguished delegates, the Executive Director and representatives of the UNEP Secretariat, observers, ladies and gentlemen,
I have the honour to deliver this statement on behalf of the European Union, its Member States. Ukraine also aligns itself with this statement.
The EU and its Member States would like to thank the UNEP Secretariat for the good preparation of this important meeting, the timely distribution of the background documents and the food for thought that they provide.
In line with its mandate, the basic purpose of this session of the Annual Sub-Committee is to review the implementation of UNEP’s Programme of Work and Budget for the period 2016-2017 and the Resolutions adopted by the United Nations Environment Assembly (UNEA).
The EU and its Member States would like to congratulate UNEP on its encouraging results and the progress made in the implementation of several subprograms including of the policy guidelines brought to those sub-programmes by UNEA's Resolutions. This demonstrates the quality of UNEP’s work as well as the success of its upgrading and strengthening after Rio+20.
However, not all goals and targets have been achieved yet and a lot of work still remains to be done. This meeting provides an important opportunity for Member States to provide guidance to UNEP to shape that work.
In that spirit, it is vital that the information provided to the meeting should allow Member States to both review the progress made and understand the barriers to implementation. To enable Member States to provide adequate guidance to UNEP it would be helpful if UNEP's reports to future Annual Subcommittee meetings set out in more detail how UNEP is using the budget and intends to face emerging challenges to implementation that were not foreseen when the Programme of Work was approved and how UNEP expects to respond to the barriers perceived. We would also request UNEP to provide follow-up information to the CPR, where needed.
This week, we will also discuss UNEA’s contribution to this year’s High Level Political Forum. As the HLPF has a central role in overseeing the follow-up and review of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development [and its Sustainable Development Goals], input from UNEA is crucial to allow a holistic assessment of progress that pays proper attention to all three dimensions of sustainable development. UNEA’s contribution to the HLPF should demonstrate how addressing environmental issues in a comprehensive and urgent manner contributes to poverty eradication, sustainable economic growth and the social dimension. Further, it should build on the strengths of UNEP and UNEA by showing that people, their health and their development is dependent on effectively addressing environment issues at all levels.
Given the timing and transitional nature of UNEA-3, planned back-to back with OECPR-3 in December 2017, the Annual Sub-Committee will also discuss preparations for UNEA-3.
The EU and its Member States are looking forward to an exchange views with other delegations on all aspects of UNEA-3 preparation, including organizational matters, potential outcomes as well as the number and timelines for resolutions. We hope at the end of this week MS will be much better placed to complete their preparations in the run up to UNEA-3 and work collaboratively towards a successful Assembly.
Madam Chair, distinguished colleagues, I wish all of us a fruitful meeting.
I thank you.