From UNEA-6 :GCH addresses critical issues for LRGs

The GCH works in various, including the environment, climate, and pollution to make the voice and concerns of LRGs heard. Here are some highlights of our activities from the last couple of weeks.

  • UNEA-6 is the sixth session of the UN Environment Assembly, a major event in international environmental diplomacy held in Nairobi every two years;
  • The main objective of this UN intergovernmental body is to promote comprehensive environmental action and strengthen international cooperation to address environmental challenges;
  • Local and regional governments (LRGs) can only participate through city networks or other organizations, because they cannot be granted with a formal status at UNEA. They therefore can contribute only through city networks and/or a group, called “Local Authorities Major Group”, as well as informal events organized in the margins of UNEA.
  • In this context, the GCH aimed to demonstrate the importance of LRGs in multilateral environmental action, especially on issues of great relevance to them such as climate action, air pollution, water management and the localisation;
  • The GCH also sought to promote the participation of LRGs in intergovernmental negotiations and to include their role and perspectives in the official decisions of UNEA-6.
  • These efforts match further effort deployed at the same effect under climate COPs and other COPs in environment, waste management  and biodiversity;
  • The GCH participated as an observer in the Local Authorities Major Group (LAMG) and contributed to negotiations on relevant resolutions. Indeed, referring to LRGs in the resolutions themselves is important, so as to encourage States and the UNEA secretariat (which is UNEP, the UN Environment Programme) to take into account LRGs’ interests when implementing the resolutions.
  • The GCH also co-organized and participated in the Cities and Regions Summit, an UNEA-6 associated event organized by UNEP. The Summit discussed, among other things, that the empowerment of LRGs through improved governance structures and financial stability are essential steps towards achieving sustainable urban development.
  • As UNEA-6 demonstrated its potential to become a major assembly in environmental diplomacy, it is crucial for LRGs to better understand negotiation processes and become more involved.
  • Strengthening ties with UNEP to secure the implementation of resolutions for LRGs is something that the GCH will continue to do in intersessional period before UNEA -7.
  • GCH will continue to work with partners to amplify impact on the next Summit of Cities and Regions during UNEA-7.
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