ECO Consultative Ministerial Meeting on Environment in Nairobi

 

The “ECO Consultative Ministerial Meeting on Environment” was held on 25 June 2014 in Nairobi, Kenya on the sidelines of the “United Nations Environment Assembly” (UNEA). The Meeting was attended by the Ministers/High Level Officials from the ECO Member States as well as a delegation from the ECO Secretariat. Mr. Achim Steiner, Executive Director of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) also attended the Meeting. The Meeting was chaired by H.E. Dr. Ma'soumeh Ebtekar, Vice-President of the Islamic Republic of Iran and the Head of Department of Environment. In her opening remarks, she considered the UNEA meeting in Nairobi as an opportunity for ECO Member States to discuss the common regional strategy on environment and emphasized on the need for implementation of ECO plans of action on environment in the light of new developments at the regional and global levels. The Chairperson also referred to the cross-sectoral nature of environment and called for a synergic approach to environment within ECO.

ECO Deputy Secretary General also briefed the ECO Ministerial Meeting on the state of play of ECO cooperation on environment and underlined the imperative of environment for ECO as an Organization dealing with economic cooperation and requested the Ministerial Meeting to give new momentum from policy perspective to the ECO profile on environment. He also referred to the timeliness of this ECO ministerial consultation on the sidelines of the UNEA and considered it as an opportunity to both upgrade ECO visibility at the international level and link up its regional prospects with global trends.

Mr. Achim Steiner, UNEP Executive Director, praised ECO and its individual member states for their active and pioneer role in environment and ensured the ECO Ministers of continued support and advisory services to ECO by UNEP. He highlighted the complementary role of agreed global context for national and regional programmes on environment and called for ECO support to UNEA meeting.

During this important Meeting, Ministers/Heads of delegation of ECO Member States delivered statements on the current status of environment in their countries and shared their views on the possible ways of enhancing regional cooperation on environment and instructed the ECO Secretariat to undertake necessary measures to conduct a study on the "State of Environment (SoE) for ECO Region, to define, in collaboration with relevant international bodies, a sound and synergic ECO regional approach to “green economy”, to continue to expand its outreach through enhanced cooperation/partnerships with relevant international organizations, particularly UNEP, to address natural disasters in ECO Region from environmental impacts perspective, to explore the possible collaboration with UNFCCC to develop a regional ECO Strategy on combating climate change, and to  explore possible ways to establish permanent contact with UNEP Secretariat.  The Ministers also requested the ECO Council of Ministers to designate “Environment” as a cross-sectoral priority of the Organization to be seriously considered by all ECO activities and events on different issues and at different levels.

The Ministers also decided to have their 5th regular meeting in Istanbul in October 2014.

 

Coverage of the Meeting by UNEP:

http://www.iisd.ca/unep/unea/unea1/enbots/25jun.html