Source: Small Island Developing States
UN Member States finalized details of a two-day international meeting in June 2022 on ‘Stockholm+50: A healthy planet for the prosperity of all – our responsibility, our opportunity.’ The draft modalities resolution was informally agreed on 8 September and adopted without a vote on 10 September 2021.
The UN Conference on the Human Environment took place in Stockholm, Sweden from 5-16 June 1972. It was the UN’s first major conference on international environment issues, leading to the creation of the UN Environment Programme (UNEP), which is headquartered in Nairobi, Kenya. UNEP is commemorating its 50th anniversary under the aegis of ‘UNEP@50.’
In May 2021, governments agreed to convene the Stockholm+50 meeting in Stockholm from 2-3 June 2022, during the week of World Environment Day, to commemorate the 1972 Stockholm Conference’s outcomes as “a contribution to the environmental dimension of sustainable development to accelerate the implementation of commitments in the context of the decade of action and delivery for sustainable development, including a sustainable recovery from the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic.” The Government of Sweden will host and assume the costs of the meeting, with support from the Government of Kenya.
To determine additional aspects of the meeting, the delegations of Sweden and Kenya conducted intergovernmental consultations. The resulting draft resolution was informally agreed via silence procedure, before being adopted during a plenary meeting of the UN General Assembly.
The modalities resolution specifies that the event will be held as an “international meeting,” and not a conference, as noted by the Group of 77 and China (G-77/China). The text also addresses the programme for the two-day meeting, participation, side events, and preparatory process.
It says the meeting will comprise: an opening segment, including a “commemorative moment dedicated to” the 1972 Conference; four plenary meetings held in parallel with three leadership dialogues; and a closing segment. The leadership dialogues are envisioned as collaborative and multi-stakeholder, with a focus on recommendations. The three dialogues will address:
- Reflecting on the urgent need for actions to achieve a healthy planet and prosperity of all;
- Achieving a sustainable and inclusive recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic; and
- Accelerating the implementation of the environmental dimension of Sustainable Development in the context of the Decade of Action.
The resolution tasks the UNGA President with convening a one-day preparatory meeting at UN Headquarters in New York by April 2022. The meeting will consider preparations for the leadership dialogues and other aspects of the meeting. Ahead of the preparatory meeting, the Secretary-General of Stockholm+50 – the Executive Director of UNEP – will prepare a concept note and draft background papers on each leadership dialogue.
On participation at the international meeting, the resolution invites participants to “share experiences and initiatives to protect our planet and contribute to sustainable development, including a sustainable, resilient and inclusive recovery from the Covid-19 pandemic.” It invites “all relevant stakeholders, including women, youth, older persons, persons with disabilities, indigenous peoples and local communities” to contribute to both the meeting and its preparations. The text also refers to organizations with a standing invitation from the UNGA as observers, and NGOs in consultative status with ECOSOC. Other stakeholders can seek accreditation as observers. Details on accreditation are provided in an annex, and explanation of terms referring to participation is provided from the co-facilitators in their letter announcing agreement on the draft.
Side events and other parallel events may be organized during the same hours as the plenary meetings and leadership dialogues; interpretation will be provided.
At the UNGA meeting to adopt the resolution, the G-77/China said that regarding outcomes of the meeting, “there is no expectation to redefine, renegotiate, nor mandate new mechanisms or new commitments, nor to go beyond the provisions of multilateral environmental agreements.” [Draft resolution on modalities for Stockholm+50] [Letter announcing agreement]