Τhe 12th Special Session of UNEP's Governing Council/Global Ministerial Environment Forum (GCSS-12 /GMEF) was held from 20 to 22 February 2012 in Nairobi, Kenya. Nearly 1000 participants from 150 countries, including ministers, representatives of UN agencies, intergovernmental organizations, civil society, and industry attended the Session.
Ministerial consultations focused on the two central themes of Rio+20: a Green Economy in the context of sustainable development and poverty eradication and the Institutional Framework for Sustainable Development. As Mr. Federico Ramos de Armas, Spain’s State Secretary of the Ministry of the Environment and current President of the UNEP Governing Council, said that the Green Economy was viewed as a way to achieving sustainable development, poverty eradication and the creation of decent jobs “by increasing resource efficiency, supporting the shift to sustainable consumption and production patterns and facilitating low-carbon development”.
With respect to International Environmental Governance, over 100 countries and the European Union have backed an upgrading of UNEP to a specialized agency of the UN as part of the Rio+20 outcomes. As Mr. Achim Steiner, Executive Director of UNEP and Under Secretary General of the UN, underlined: “The world’s ministers responsible for the environment have sent a clear signal to the Rio+20 Summit – namely that there needs to be an urgent focus on scaling up implementation of sustainable development and that bold, transformative decisions need to be taken in four months' time in Brazil”.
The GCSS-12 /GMEF concluded with the adoption of two Decisions on “Consultative Process on Financing Options for Chemicals and Wastes” and on “Enhancing Cooperation and Coordination within Chemicals and Wastes Cluster”, as well as of a ten year programme “Work by the United Nations Environment Programme on Sustainable Consumption and Production”.
Finally, the UNEP ministerial statement, issued on the occasion of its 40th anniversary, commits "to make Rio+20 a success and develop concrete actions to address the pressing environmental issues that we face as a global community within the context of sustainable development".
Source: UNEP News Center, IISD Reporting Services
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