Statement by Mr. Jamil Ahmad, Deputy Permanent Representative of Pakistan to UNEP, Nairobi, on behalf of the Group of 77 and China, at the First Meeting of the High-level Open-ended Intergovernmental Working Group on an Intergovernmental Strategic Plan for Technology Support and Capacity Building (New York, 25 June 2004)

Mr. Chairman,

I am taking the floor on behalf of the Group of 77 and China.

The G-77 welcomes the convening of the first meeting of the Working Group.

The G-77 attaches great importance to the process which is being initiated today.

We are confident that this process will lead to the completion and adoption of the Integrated Strategic Plan for Technology Support and Capacity Building by the 23 rd session of the UNEP Governing Council next year in Nairobi as stipulated in the decision CGSS/VIII/8 of the 8 th Special Session of UNEP Governing Council/Global Ministerial Environment Forum (GC/GMEF)

Mr. Chairman,

On our part, the G-77 will be participating in this meeting in a positive manner and spirit. We are sure that we shall be able to maintain a cooperative working relationship with our partners throughout the process to achieve our objective, that is, to develop and implement the strategic plan, which is of crucial importance to encourage effective implementation of the international agenda for environmental protection and to facilitate the achievement of MDGs and other targets agreed at the international level.

Mr. Chairman,

We offer thanks for the briefing by the Secretariat, the input so far and the preparation of documentation for this meeting. As the Executive Director of UNEP mentioned, UNEP has been acting in the field of technology support and capacity building. The Strategic Plan will better place UNEP to work more effectively as the mandate for this is not new. It exists and dates back to the 27 th session of the General Assembly in 1972 when it adopted resolution No. 2997 which:

2- AGENDA 21:

(a) While giving UNEP the definition of “the principal body within the United Nation system in the field of environment” chapter 38 stipulates the role of UNEP in:

(b) UNEP’s role has also been previously identified in Agenda 21 in chapter 34 regarding the objectives of transfer of environmentally sound technology, cooperation and capacity-building to support endogenous capacity building, in particular in developing countries, so they can assess, adopt, manage and apply environmentally sound technologies. This could be achieved through:

3- JPOI:

 Paras 105-136 cover a wide range of targets for capacity building and technology support; least to mention:

4 – The IEG (UNEP seventh special session- Cartagena)

( Para 31) Environmental governance should be considered from a multi-level approach – international, regional, sub-regional and national. The ability of developing countries, as well as countries with economies in transition, to participate fully in the development of international environmental policy and to support those countries in their efforts towards achieving the environmental objectives of sustainable development, and to undertake the requisite implementation of international agreements at the national level, must be strengthened. The need to strengthen the capacity and capability of developing countries, as well as those with economies in transition, remains a major requirement for sustainable development and in particular on issues related to poverty eradication. Such efforts must include all relevant partners and emphasize in particular capacity‑building and training, as well as national-level coordination, under leadership of national governments and according to national priorities, of the environmental component of sustainable development. To this end, effective and time-bound measures will be required at international, regional and national levels. In this regard the strengthening of national institutions, including the ministries of environment, in developing countries is an important aspect. Arrangements for the access to, and transfer of, environmentally sound technologies to developing countries should be established and facilitated as they are very important for achieving sustainable development. For progress in this field, steps should be taken expeditiously for the transfer of publicly owned technology.

( Para 32) International environmental governance should also cover and support regional and subregional efforts. UNEP, in cooperation with relevant regional and subregional organizations could provide support to the strengthening of regional environmental governance to improve coordination; implementation, capacity‑building and technology transfer in support of regional initiatives. The New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD) initiative should be supported as the framework for sustainable development in Africa.

( Para 33) In its resolution 53/242, the General Assembly stressed the need to ensure that capacity-building and technical assistance, in particular with respect to institutional strengthening in developing countries, remained an important component of the work of UNEP. This should build on the ongoing capacity‑building needs assessment being carried out by GEF through its implementing agencies, including UNEP. A strengthened programme of capacity-building should be clearly defined in the work of UNEP, building on its demonstrated comparative advantage and in the context of pursuing the ongoing strategic partnership with GEF, respecting its governance structure and in close cooperation with the United Nations organizations and other international organizations active in the area of the environment.

( Para 34) In this regard, an intergovernmental strategic plan for technology support and capacity-building to developing countries should be developed to improve the effectiveness of capacity-building, and to address the gaps identified by assessments of existing activities and needs, including the ongoing GEF inventory, subject to the availability of funds other than the Environment Fund, taking into account that additional resources need to be made available for this purpose. Such a strategic plan could be implemented through enhanced coordination between UNEP and other relevant bodies, including GEF and UNDP. It could include an increased role for UNEP in country-level capacity delivery in particular through greater collaboration with UNDP. This could be built on the following two components:

(a) Capacity-building and training: The strengthening of the national institutions responsible for environment and the implementation of multilateral environmental agreements, which will promote the achievement of the objectives of the environmental component of sustainable development. Efforts by UNEP, in response to requests by Governments, to develop local and national capacity in environmental issues and for dissemination of best practices and experiences will build on its role as one of the three implementing agencies of GEF as well as on the expected benefits from the multi-year UNEP/GEF strategic partnership as envisaged in the UNEP/GEF Action Plan on Complementarity;

(b) National-level coordination of the environmental component of sustainable development: In addition to the mobilization of domestic resources, developing countries require access to financial, technological and technical resources from the international community, as well as better internal coordination to implement sustainable development strategies. Efforts for environmental improvement at all levels and the implementation of multilateral environmental agreements must converge for countries to achieve their national priorities and objectives. Countries are encouraged to promote the coordination of the multiple national frameworks that currently exist in the field of environment at the ministerial level.

(Para-35) The strategic partnership between UNEP and GEF should be based on the decisions of their respective governing bodies and involve strengthening the capacity of UNEP to fulfil its role as provided for in the UNEP/GEF Action Plan on Complementarity. UNEP’s strength as one of the three GEF implementing agencies should be fostered. It should also take into account the special relationship with UNDP, building on its unique national field capacity, which can contribute to these efforts and also facilitate the mobilization of additional resources with positive results for the environment at both national and global levels.

Targets – priority areas of the SPCB:

Agenda 21 :

Elements for Capacity building and Technology Support could interalia include;

Implementation modalities :

Finally, an annual follow-up process could be established to monitor the development of the Strategic Plan, at the intergovernmental level, during the sessions of the GC/ MEF.

Mr. Chairman,

These points are neither conclusive nor exhaustive. We have just taken a first step in the process. We will add to it as we proceed along.

Allow me to conclude by thanking the representatives of “experts” and the civil society for providing their contribution to this intergovernmental process.

Thank you.