Interventions on behalf of the EU and its MS
Agenda Item 4: Report of the Executive Director
Agenda Item 5: Contribution of UNEA to HLPF
Agenda Item 6: Organisation of the inter-sessional period or UNEA-4
- date of the fourth Open-ended meeting of CPR (OECPR-4):
- the 5th Annual meeting of CPR Subcommittee (ASC-5):
- deadlines for resolutions and reports:
- roadmap on developing PoW+B 2020-2021:
Agenda Item 7: Preparations for UNEA-4
- concept note for the theme of UNEA-4:
- implementation plan of UNEA-3:
Agenda Item 8: Programme Performance Report 2016-2017
- Programme Performance Report:
- Evaluation Synthesis Report 2016-2017:
EU and its Member States comments
On the Quarterly report
(Agenda item 4)
The EU and its Member States thank the Secretariat for providing the Quarterly Report to the 142nd Meeting of the CPR, covering the period January-March 2018. We appreciate that the document responds to the demands and adheres to key principles expressed by the Members States in previous discussions. Given that the report in its new format is provided to the CPR for the first time, we would like to highlight some elements, in its format and content that could be further improved.
On the format of the report:
- The report provides us with a comprehensible and clear overview of activities and of state of play of the current Programme of Work as well as global and internal developments, making necessary links with the PoW where appropriate.
- The EU appreciates the references to other reports if more information is needed. A practical suggestion could be to include more hyperlinks to information available on line for better accessibility.
- Section with links to expected accomplishments is appreciated.
- One could also consider the period covered in this and future reports against scheduling of the CPR meeting. The CPR should have the best reasonably available update. If we stick to the current timetable, this intention may be compromised: 2nd quarter 2018 reported in September 2018; 3rd quarter 2018 reported in December 2018/January 2019.
On the content of the report:
- The section on main opportunities and challenges is not consistently included in all subprograms’ sections. For instance it has not been included at all for the ecosystem management and chemical and waste subprograms are not described, although these subprograms were “lagging behind” during the previous biennium, so there should be some C&As identified.
- Implementation of resolutions is not addressed consistently either. An update on state of play could be more elaborated throughout the report, not a lot of specific action mentioned. One suggestion could be to include an annex with an update on all resolutions containing active mandates for UNEP to report on the progress on these mandates. One useful reference to consider could be the brief update sheets (1 page per resolution) presented to OECPR-3. The updates should also include financial allocations (or lack thereof).
- Concerning the financial information: the allocations to subprograms (page 26) should not be limited to the Environment Fund but demonstrate the complementary funding from earmarked funding as well as the UN Regular Budget; the information on campaigns, crosscutting areas and “special initiatives” (pages 19-23) should also include the figures on funding.
- With regard to resources, a link to a comprehensive information on the current status of contributions from all sources (table readily available within UNEP) should be made available for an ease of consultation.
- We appreciate the reference to the Resources Mobilization Strategy, approved internally in November 2017. We look forward to discussing it in CPR at earliest convenience and in view of upcoming work on the new PoW/B.
- Regarding the Human Resources section, we welcome the very useful information provided, as well as keeping the CPR aware of new recruitments. We would welcome to be updated on the ongoing managerial recruitment process (ASGs, D2s, D1s) as well as any allocations and creations of such posts in the structure of the Secretariat and with regard to the Programme’s delivery.
EU and its Member States comments
On the Concept Note for the theme of UNEA-4
(Agenda item 7)
- The EU and its Member States thank the Secretariat for providing the Note on the theme of UNEA-4.
- We reiterate the importance to have an attractive theme to strengthen the visibility, communication and political role of UNEA.
- The current concept note appears to put ‘innovative solutions’ as the theme of UNEA-4, with SCP as a sub-element of it. However, the compromise reached during the Joint Bureaux retreat was that both themes (innovative solutions and SCP) would be equally presented. We therefore believe the note needs to be more balanced.
- We would like to support the proposal from UNEP to use the framework « 3D’s and E » (de-carbonize, de-toxify, decouple resource use and change lifestyles, and enhance ecosystem resilience and protection of the planet’s natural systems) but we would like the note to explain how this framework would contribute specifically to the themes of the Assembly (SCP and innovation).
- With this framework in mind, we would like to see the part on SCP strengthened, including chemicals and wastes issues, relating to health and environment, to marine litter and micro-plastics, to production and products, and not limited only to the 10-YFP.
- The text on SCP should be introduced earlier, at least as para 2, before the GEO-6 para, as it is being also an integral part of the theme.
- We would like also to suggest referring to "The Future We Want" (TFWW/Rio+20) and the 2030 Agenda language, especially TFWW para 224: "We recognize that fundamental changes in the way societies consume and produce are indispensable for achieving global sustainable development."
- We would like a specific reference to goal 12, target 8.4, quoting especially the first part: "8.4 Improve progressively, through 2030, global resource efficiency in consumption and production and endeavour to decouple economic growth from environmental degradation...”.
- The note would benefit from a clearer focus. The list of themes (under the section "possible outline") could be presented in a more coherent way and making clearer the link to the SCP and innovation themes. For example, the theme “Define the key environmental challenges based on…” is neither related neither to SCP nor to innovation specifically. The theme “Focus on barriers, challenges and opportunities for, by identifying innovative solutions to enable actions/scale up actions” seems too vague. A possible way to focus could be to look at the SDG 12 targets and focus on the themes they cover.
- We would like also to see a point added under the “Possible Outline” chapter that is dedicated to SCP and explaining its possibilities comprehensively.
- We are happy to see that UNEP has taken a broad approach to tackle “innovation” (i.e. not limited to only technological innovation). We support the notion of innovation as encompassing both science and technology and knowledge-based assets. Innovative education and awareness-raising approaches, aimed at changing mentalities and behaviours, must also be considered. By using this comprehensive definition, innovative solutions are applicable to a wide range of stakeholders.
- However, as we pointed out earlier, the innovative solutions cannot be presented as the only solution to environment degradation. It is also very important to implement existing solutions. Hence, a focus on innovative solutions should not de-prioritise solutions which are already known, and just need fuller implementation. This would be regrettable, since in many fields better application of methods and solutions which are already tried and tested have huge potential benefits.
- We support the linkage between innovative solutions and the results of UNEA-3, e.g. in relation to the voluntary commitments. At the same time, the follow-up to these voluntary commitments may not depend on the availability of innovative solutions and the UNEA-4 should not limit the execution of these commitments.
- We stand ready to offer more detailed comments in writing by 20 May 2018.
EU and its Member States comments
On the Programme Performance Report 2-16-2017
(Agenda item 8)
- The EU and its Member States thank the Secretariat for providing the Programme Performance Report 2016-2017.
- We share UNEP’s concerns with regards to the gap between the proposed budget for the Environment Fund (EF) and the actual income. Quite a few EU MS are strong contributors to the EF and the European Commission commission continues to follow an approach of earmarking. We remain committed to secure and predictable funding for UNEP. However we have to keep these figures in mind and therefore we would like to stresses the need to prepare a realistic budget for 2020-2021.
- In implementing its resource mobilization strategy UNEP should continue to strive for increased contributions to the EF. Developing partnerships with private sector and efforts made in this regard are also important. Enhancing the visibility of the EF donors throughout the year, through the different campaigns and initiatives launched, could support this effort.
- We share the concern of the organization that the reliance on earmarked funding has the risk of an unequal delivery of the PoW. In relation to this, when looking at the distribution of resources between different sub-programmes only one sub-programme seems underfunded: “Environment under review”. This sub-programme seems to attract little earmarked funding. When preparing the new PoW and allocating resources from the EF this should be taken into account, since the work of this sub-programme is very important for the delivery of the other components of the PoW.
- The need to strengthen the use of programme performance information in strategic decision making, including the resource allocation process, is articulated as a requirement in the assessment of the effectiveness of the organization. The EU and its Memebr States strongly encourage UNEP to make further progress, as this is essential for an effective results based management.
- In general the EU and its Member States welcome the progress that has been made during the past biennium. However some expected results have not been achieved. The PPR doesn’t shed much light on specific causes for this. There is information on how UNEP is planning to improve its effectiveness in general and we welcome the analysis that has been made to address certain issues dealing with results based management. The preparation of the next PoW should be based on more specific lessons learned, and an analysis of why some components of certain sub-programmes “lag behind” (lack of budget, staff issues, other barriers?).
- Climate change: We welcome the progress made. With regards to the activities aimed at making the global energy mix more “renewable”, we acknowledge that this is a shared effort and essential for the achievement of Agenda 2030. The sub-programme has not made the same progress in this domain in comparison with results achieved relating to energy efficiency and adaptation. We encourage UNEP to enhance its efforts in the current biennium and the next, since increasing the percentage of renewable energy in the global energy mix is of course pivotal.
- We are pleased that compared with the 2014-2015 biennium, there seems to be a better balance in the progress made for adaptation versus mitigation.
- Ecosystem Based Management: Several indicators have not been met in this sub-programme. However there does not seem a lack of funding for the sub-programme as a whole (however heavy reliance on earmarked funding). Which are the lessons learned that could be drawn from UNEP’s experience with regards to this sub-programme in order to make further progress in the current biennium?
- Chemicals and waste: We note that several indicators have not been achieved, especially as regards enabling environment (aii) on the use of economic and market-based incentives and business policies and practices that promote the Sustainable management of Chemicals and Waste (a)iii) Increased number and percentage of countries assisted by UNEP reporting the use of industry reporting schemes that promote the take up of sound chemicals and waste management. Indicator (b) i) Increased number and percentage of Governments addressing priority chemical issues, towards SAICM objectives and their obligations under the chemicals has been partially achieved. We would urge UNEP to take this into account in the further work to promote achievement, including in its role as SAICM and MEAs secretariat, and consider this also in relation to general/horizontal SCP efforts and the achievement of the 2020 SDG target 12.4. Also uneven delivery of the sub-programe.
- Environment under review: Underfunded (see above). Good quality products, but how to improve dissemination and use, make formats more attractive? How can UNEP be even more pro-active in making sure wide range of policy makers and stakeholders use the delivered products?