Latin American and Caribbean: Decisions to Advance Sustainable Development in Region

Mar 17th, 2014 | By | Category: Capacity Development, Development and Climate Change, Government Policies, International Agencies, News

viewimageUNEP News Center: The high-level political dialogue of Latin American and Caribbean Environment Ministers and international experts produced an agreement to advance a regional cooperation framework on the global sustainable development agenda, climate change, biodiversity, chemicals, waste, Small Island Developing States (SIDS), among other crucial areas of action.

Acknowledging the need and opportunities for global-scale leadership by this region for the world´s environment, through the Los Cabos Declaration, the Ministers confirmed the Forum of Ministers of the Environment of Latin America and the Caribbean as one of the most relevant spaces for political and policy dialogue to establish and identify regional priorities. In preparation for the Upcoming United Nations Environment Assembly (UNEA) of the United Nations Environment Programme, the Ministers reiterated the importance of strengthening UNEP´s regional and subregional offices.

The 19th Meeting of the Forum, convened in Los Cabos, Baja California Sur, Mexico, offered its support to Peru in its capacity as President of the 20th session of the Conference of the Parties (COP 20) of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), to be held in Lima in December, and recognized the importance of ratifying the Amendment to the Kyoto Protocol as soon as possible.

The Ministers of the Environment also offered their support to Ecuador as President of the XI Meeting of the Conference of the Parties of the Migratory Species Convention, to be held in Quito, from 1 to 9 November.

“We have completely achieved the targets that we had set,” stressed the Secretary of Environment and Natural Resources of Mexico, Juan José Guerra Abud, on the closing day of the meeting. “Mexico takes over the Chairmanship of this Forum for the next two years. We want the region to be very active in environmental issues. It is an opinion that must be taken into account. Mexico will be an appropriate speaker to convey the opinion of this region at all international fora,” he added.

Achim Steiner, United Nations Under-Secretary-General and Executive Director of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), expressed his gratitude to Secretary Juan José Guerra Abud and the Government and people of Mexico for having organized an “exceptional meeting, with an ambitious set of regional perspectives and with a level of participation that made it a special forum, bringing together the leaders of the region on the environment and attracting an unprecedented number of representatives and experts from the international community who are engaged in work on the environment and sustainable development in Latin America and the Caribbean.”

UNEP was asked to support governments within the region in the development of work programmes to foster the sound management of chemicals and waste. The ministers also identified specific cooperation actions aiming to facilitate the implementation of the Minamata Convention on Mercury and reiterated the importance of mobilizing the necessary financial resources to strengthen global, regional and national efforts in order to comply with international instruments related to chemicals and waste.

In attendance were ministers, vice ministers and experts from 27 countries in the region, in addition to experts from 15 international agencies and global and regional leaders in the fields discussed during the meeting’s ministerial dialogues.

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