Mr. Siim Kiisler, President of the 4th UN Environment Assembly and the Minister of the Environment, Estonia, Meets with the Major Groups.
In his opening statement, the President of the 4th UN Environment Assembly, Mr. Siim Kiisler, said that he saw Major Groups and Stakeholders as partners to UNEA and that he had tried to increase the role of the civil society, both during the preparation for UNEA-4 and during the Assembly itself. The ensuing dialogue with the audience lasted over an hour and included the following issues:
Stakeholder involvement in the Global Environment Outlook (GEO) process; the challenges related to the implementation of the UNEA resolutions; the opportunity for reflection created by the impending 50th anniversary of the
1972 Stockholm Conference; the role of human rights at UNEA; the lack of political ambition with regard to chemicals and waste; the opportunities generated by economic incentives; the governance of geoengineering; and the possibility of an international governance reform of agriculture.
In his response, Mr. Kiisler underlined the need for binding instruments as well as concrete targets and deadlines for the implementation of the UNEA resolutions. He also agreed that some kind of a report recognizing the anniversary of the Stockholm Conference would be welcome, and that human rights should be embraced by environmental governance processes. Mr. Kiisler further stressed the importance of inviting business into the dialogue and noted that this year’s Science-Policy-Business forum and UNEA included more business representatives than the arlier Assemblies. Finally, Mr. Kiisler spoke about the imperative for sustainable public procurement and the need for bringing together discussions on agricultural growth and the environment.