International Environmental Governance and Sustainable Development: Background Paper for the Ministerial Consultations’

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This paper addresses the following:

  • Outcomes of the consultative group meetings on international environmental governance

  • Recommendations of the Joint Inspection Unit arising out of the management review of environmental governance within the United Nations system

  • Responses to the Joint Inspection Unit of the Secretary-General through the United Nations System Chief Executives Board for Coordination and the Executive Director of UNEP

  • Preparations for the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development to be held in 2012; the way forward; and possible outcomes of the consultations to be held at the special session.

Consultative Group of Ministers or High-Level Representatives
This group was established by a decision of UNEP Governing Council in 2009 to get together a regionally representative, consultative group of ministers or high-level representatives to discuss and present options to improve International Environmental Governance at UNEP’s 11th Governing Council session in 2010. The group convened in June 2009 in Belgrade and in October 2009 in Rome. In his opening speech at the Belgrade meeting, Mr Oliver Dulic, Mr. Oliver Dulić, President of the Governing Council and Minister of Environment and Spatial Planning of Serbia, stated: ‘For the first time in many years there is a chance to make headway on international environmental governance as part of the ongoing climate change negotiations and the count-down to a possible Rio + 20 in 2012.

Among a host of principles guiding the consultative group, that of paramount importance is the principle that form should follow function. Based on its two meetings in 2009, the group has concluded that, ‘while incremental reforms could assist in meeting the objectives and functions of the international environmental governance system, broader reforms should also be
considered alongside immediate improvements to the system, without prejudging the outcomes.’

The outcome of the consultative group is presented in a separate paper to the 11th session of UNEP Governing Council: International environmental governance: outcome of the work of the consultative group of ministers or high-level representatives: Note by the Executive Director: UNEP/GCSS.XI/4


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