Global Pact Initiative Ends Calling For Speedy Ratification and Effective Implementation of MEAs by Member States

Global Pact Initiative Ends Calling For Speedy Ratification and Effective Implementation of MEAs by Member States

Media release of the Government of Saint Lucia

The Third Substantive Session of the Ad Hoc Open-Ended Working Group (OEWG) recently came to a close at the United Nations Office, in Nairobi, KENYA on May 23, 2019.

This meeting which began on May 20, 2019 was the culmination of three previous Sessions held to consider options to address possible gaps in International Environmental Law (IEL) and Environment-related Instruments, with a view to compiling suitable recommendations to bridge such gaps, exploring the possibility of a “Global Pact” as an overarching framework which can be serve as a panacea for those gaps.

The Meeting which was widely considered by Member States of the United Nations and Specialized Agencies as a success has made some concrete recommendations to the United Nations General Assembly:

Firstly, the Meeting identified five (5) objectives which guide these recommendations namely:

  • Reinforcing the protection of the environment for present and future generations

  • Upholding respective obligations and commitments under IEL of Member States of the UN and members of Specialized Agencies.

  • Contributing to the strengthening of implementation of IEL and environment-related Instruments.

  • Supporting the full implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development as well as the outcome of the UN Conference on Environment and Development ( Rio+ 20) including its paragraphs 88 and 89.

  • Not undermining existing related legal instruments and frameworks and related global, regional and sectoral bodies.

The substantive Recommendations include:

  1. Reaffirming the role of UNEP as the lead global environmental authority setting the environmental agenda, promoting the coherent implementation of the environmental dimension of sustainable development within the UN system, and serving as an authoritative advocate for global environment issues in collaboration with UNEA.

  2. Invites the scientific community to further their work on interconnectiveness and crosscutting works by sharing information among the lead scientific, technical and technological bodies that inform the work of MEAs and environment processes as well as encourages these bodies to strengthen cooperation among themselves.

  3. Encouraging all Member States to ratify MEAs and effectively implement them

  4. Encourages Member States of the UN like Saint Lucia to strengthen environmental laws, policies and regulatory frameworks at the national level as well as capacities across all sectors for effective implementation of IEL, including the administrative and justice sectors in accordance with national legal systems while acknowledging the importance of international cooperation in supporting and complementing national actions.

  5. Encourages Member States and Specialized Agencies to mainstream environment issues into sectoral policies and programs at all levels, including national development and sustainable development plans, to enhance the implementation of IEL and applicable environmental-related instruments.

  6. Encourages active and meaningful participation of all stakeholders at all levels in the different for a related to the implementation of IEL and environment-related instruments.

  7. Exploring further ways for States like Saint Lucia to support and make full use of the Montevideo Programme (V) adopted by the Fourth Session of UNEA, to foster  the environmental rule of law and advance the implementation of IEL at all levels.

  8. For system wide collaboration to continue between UNEP as the Chair of the Environment Management Group(EMG) and all group members for the implementation of effective strategies on the environment as well as providing institutional support where needed.

In moving forward, the Third Substantive Session of the Ad hoc OEWG resolved to circulate the full gamut of the Recommendations to all Member States of the UN and Specialized Agencies for their consideration and action.

The OEWG also resolved to forward these Recommendations to UNEA for its consideration and to prepare at its Fifth Session in February 2021,  a political Declaration  for a UN High –Level Meeting, subject to voluntary funding, in the context of the  commemoration of the creation of a UN environment program by the UN Conference on the Human Environment held in Stockholm (June 1972), with a view to strengthening the implementation of IEL and its governance in line with paragraph 88 of “The Future We Want”.

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Kate Wilson Legal Officer, Department of Sustainable Development Ministry of Education, Innovation, Gender Relations and Sustainable Development, Government of Saint-Lucia
Kate Wilson Legal Officer, Department of Sustainable Development Ministry of Education, Innovation, Gender Relations and Sustainable Development, Government of Saint-Lucia
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The Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS) is an International Organisation dedicated to economic harmonisation and integration, protection of human and legal rights, and the encouragement of good governance among independent and non-independent countries in the Eastern Caribbean. The OECS came into being on June 18th 1981, when seven Eastern Caribbean countries signed a treaty agreeing to cooperate with each other while promoting unity and solidarity among its Members. The Treaty became known as the Treaty of Basseterre, so named in honour of the capital city of St. Kitts and Nevis where it was signed. The OECS today, currently has eleven members, spread across the Eastern Caribbean comprising Antigua and Barbuda, Commonwealth of Dominica, Grenada, Montserrat, St. Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, St Vincent and The Grenadines, British Virgin Islands, Anguilla, Martinique and Guadeloupe. 

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