of the Annual Subcommittee of the
Committee of Permanent Representatives of UNEP
12-16 October 2020
Opening statement on behalf of
the European Union and its Member States
Chair, Madam Executive Director, distinguished colleagues; it is my privilege to speak on behalf of the European Union and its Member States.
Montenegro, Serbia and Ukraine align themselves with this statement.
The EU and its Member States would like to thank the UNEP Secretariat and the CPR Bureau for the excellent preparation of the 7th Annual Subcommittee meeting, despite the challenges related to the COVID-19 pandemic. While the virtual format will for sure impose certain limitations on the proceeding of this meeting, we are very glad that it is taking place timely and with a relevant agenda. We are of the view that only by such perseverance we can deliver an accountable governance of the UN Environment Programme.
Mindful of the very precise mandate of this meeting, the EU and its Member States will seek a thorough and in-depth discussion of the implementation of the Programme of Work and Budget, including the reporting and monitoring tools that were requested by UNEA at its 4th session.
As the substantial contributors to the Environment Fund, we would like to take this opportunity to call on all Member States to provide contributions to the Environment Fund, beside possible earmarked funds, as a key commitment to the effective implementation of the Programme of Work.
One of the fundamental objectives of this meeting is to review the draft Medium Term Strategy and the Programme of Work and Budget for the period starting in 2022. The EU and its Member States find it indispensable that our discussions this week advance the preparation of these critical documents, so that they can be timely endorsed by the CPR and submitted for approval by UNEA in its session in February 2021, to ensure continuity of UNEP’s operations.
Speaking of the preparations for the UNEA-5 session, the EU and its Member States welcome the constructive discussions held by the UNEA Bureau and the Committee of Permanent Representatives regarding the timing and format of that meeting in view of the COVID-19 pandemic. We particularly welcome the leadership of the UNEA President in looking for a consensual and inclusive solution. We also support the way forward as recommended by the UNEA Bureau.
The EU and its Member States are of the strong conviction that keeping the world’s environmental situation under review is the backbone of UNEP’s work. Over the years, the Global Environment Outlook reports have been instrumental in scientifically underpinning and helping build the global environment agenda. In this context, we look forward to the consultations this week on resolution 4/23, including on the future of the GEO to increase its policy relevance for the UNEA and other international policy for as well as for Member States at a national level
Lastly, Chair, allow me to refer to the important process that touches upon the effectiveness and efficiency of our work as the Committee of Permanent Representatives and our duties of supporting our governing body and providing the oversight of the implementation of the Programme of Work, the UNEA resolutions and accountability by UNEP the Secretariat. We have been encouraged by the process of the Review set up by UNEA-4 and skillfully handled by the co-facilitators, Mr. Mapopa Kaunda of Malawi and Mr. Marcus Davies of Canada. We trust that this process and implementation of its result will truly improve the working methods of the governance structures of UNEP.
Concluding, I would like to greet particularly warmly all participants joining us remotely from their capitals and headquarters around the world. Under these strange circumstances and limitations, we must not forget the inclusive spirit of the Annual Subcommittee meetings, especially as regards the participation of capitals colleagues. I am sure that your presence in this year’s meeting, like in previous years, will enrich our debates tremendously.
I thank you.