The Major Groups Facilitating Committee (MGFC) is composed of Major Groups’ facilitators and facilitators from the six UN Environment regions.
Each Major Group selects two facilitators in an email consultation and online bidding process. This means that each of the nine Major Groups has two facilitators from among: Farmers, Women, the Scientific and Technological Community, Children and Youth, Indigenous Peoples and their Communities, Workers and Trade Unions, Business and Industry, Non-Governmental Organizations and Local Authorities.
All Major Groups and Stakeholders' organizations accredited with the United Nations Environment Assembly (UNEA) of UN Environment are authorized to vote. The Major Groups and stakeholders’ facilitators serve a two-year term on the Committee. The work of the MGFC falls under broad categories, including its ability to provide support on logistics and foster understanding of the process so that MGS can maximize their presence, operating within the rules of engagement and procedure that UNEP has set up; and providing guidance and finding expertise to develop policy positions representing the best contributions from the MGS constituencies relevant to the agenda points of UNEA. In doing so, the agendas of MGS meetings will reflect those of UNEA.
During the annual Regional Consultative Meetings two facilitators for each UN Environment region are elected. They represent the six UN Environment regions: Africa, Asia and the Pacific, Europe, Latin America and the Caribbean, North America and West Asia. The regional facilitators serve a one-year term as observers on the Committee and also participate in the Global Major Groups and Stakeholders Forum (GMGSF).
Major groups facilitating committee (MGFC)
The Major Groups Facilitating Committee (MGFC) “facilitates Major Groups and Stakeholders engagement with UN Environment”. The Major Groups Facilitating Committee (MGFC) is not a decision-making body, but provides guidance and coordinates the engagement of Major Groups in the Global Major Groups and Stakeholders Forum (GMGSF) cycle.
Members of the MGFC are expected to adhere to the obligations outlined in this Handbook and to be able to allocate sufficient time to their functions in the MGFC. It is expected that their interventions and actions are based on regular and intensive interaction with their constituency (their respective Major Group). UNEP is not able to provide any financial or other remuneration. Furthermore MGFC members are expected to: Maximize participation of representatives of its Major Group worldwide in UNEA and its related meetings;
- Promote good representation of the respective Major Group at the Regional Consultative Meeting
- (RCM, see below), and ensure that the participants have received the necessary information relating to the agenda beforehand;
- Facilitate the involvement of Major Groups members with specific issue knowledge in UNEP-related work, both in the local, national and regional contexts as well as at UNEA;
- Foster balanced representation on the basis of gender, focus and region;
- Mobilize knowledgeable representatives of the Major Groups to participate in UNEA and its
- subsidiary organs;
- Assist participating Major Group members in: having access to information related to the agenda for the UNEP meetings; participating fully in UNEA and its related meetings; and having free and unfettered access to delegates;
- Provide general information, training and capacity building on UNEP processes;
- Generate broad media-interest, as well as on-going educational programmes around the world;
- Maintain a web-based information hub, issues-based listservs, as well as general informational sites;
- Disseminate issue-based information from the Major Groups and Stakeholders focusing on these issues, to others not directly involved in those issue-networks; and
- Coordinate the preparation of the Major Groups policy papers.
- The MGFC shall also be responsible for coordinating their activities with the regional level in cooperation with their regional networks, Regional Facilitators and with UNEP’s Secretariat and Regional Offices.
- In particular, each of the Major Groups’ facilitators is encouraged to support the UNEP Secretariat to:
- Foster the participation of their Major Group organizations during the RCMs;
- In regions where their Major Groups are underrepresented, help to identify and involve emerging or newly-established Major Groups in the regional meetings;
- Promote inter-regional exchange and coordination of inputs within their Major Group;
- Facilitate the integration of regional concerns into the Major Groups policy statements; and
- Actively participate in identification of skilled or specialized presenters or facilitators at meetings as appropriate.
The Chairs of the MGFC organize, with the support of the UNEP’s Major Groups and Stakeholders Branch/Secretary of the Governing Bodies, regular teleconferences that bring together members of the MGFC, Regional Facilitators as observers, UNEP’s MGSB and others as deemed necessary. These teleconferences take place at least once every six weeks. The draft agenda and meeting minutes are page 28 prepared by the Chairpersons of the MGFC. Minutes are distributed by the MGSB among accredited MGS.
During UNEA, the MGFC also organizes a daily morning briefing/debriefing and process meeting, chaired by MGFC members on a rotational basis, to:
- Provide an overview of the official agenda for that day;
- Appoint volunteers to follow critical issues on the agenda who then report back the next day;
- Promote consensus on Major Group representation during the plenaries and other relevant
- Report back to the morning meeting from the discussions held the preceding day, including sharing central and important observations and comments gathered from the UNEA discussions and possibly facilitate consensus building processes to plan for the day ahead in a strategic manner, including outreach to relevant delegations or other partners;
- Promote discussions on important messages or concerns raised from any of the Major Groups;
- Make announcements and address any other relevant business.
Members of the MGFC can also facilitate the organization of caucus groups meeting to discuss specific
issues, and to caucus, regroup, or nominate people to attend the various sessions.
Major groups representatives
Business and Industry
- Ms. Majda Dabaghi - Senior Policy Executive, Environment and Energy, International Chamber of Commerce in Paris, France
- James Donovan - Chairman, ADEC Innovation Fund, Manila Philippines.
- Norine Kennedy - United States Council for International Business (USCIB) -Alternate
Children & Youth
Indigenous Peoples and their Communities
- Rodion Sulyandziga - Center for support of indigenous peoples of the North (CSIPN)
- Edna Kaptoyo - International Allaince of Indigenous and Tribal Peoples of the tropical Forest
- Rodrigo Messias - nrg4sd - Network of Regional Governments for Sustainable Development
- Yunus Arikan - ICLEI-Local Governments for Sustainability
- Khawla Al-Muhannadi - Environment Friends Society
- Griffins Ochieng - Centre for Environment, Justice and Development
Scientific and Technological Community
- Mohamed Abdel Raouf - Environment Research, Gulf Research Center (GRC)
- Stephen Stec - Central European University
- Dr. Priscilla Achakpa - Women Environmental Programme
- Mrinalini Rai - Global Forest Coalition
- Caroline Usikipedo (Alternate) - Niger Delta Women's Movement for Peace & Development
- Isis Alvarez (Alternate) - Global Forest Coalition
- Giulia Carlini (Alternate) - Center for International Environmental Law
Workers and Trade Unions
- Rhoda Boateng - International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC) Africa
- Bert De Wel - International Trade Union Confederation
Regional Facilitators as at January 2018
At the regional level, Major Groups and other Stakeholders can participate in relevant preparatory meetings often back to back with ministerial regional meetings, and potentially also influence policy-making and decision-making processes. The regional meetings outcomes also contribute to the global agenda and discussions and are considered a preparatory process on the way to the Environment Assemblies providing a focus to regional challenges, needs and opportunities.
Participants in each of the six Regional Consultative Meetings are asked to nominate and elect two Regional Facilitators, with attention to gender balance, to attend United Nations Environment Assembly, and who have the relevant expert knowledge of the thematic issues to be dealt with at the upcoming session. Regional Facilitators must come from organizations accredited to UNEP. They normally serve a one-year term – or until the next Regional Meeting – and participate as observers to the MGFC. Regional Representatives are expected to adhere to the Code of Conduct presented above in the section on the MGFC. They may use the title: “Regional Major Groups and Stakeholder Facilitator to UNEP, Name of the Region.”
- Regional Facilitators s play a purely facilitating and expert role and have no mandate to represent their region or MGS from their region.
- They may present agreed positions emerging from RCMs as well as from other consultation mechanisms developed during their period.
- They are specifically selected to ensure MGS’s regional views in UNEA and its subsidiary organs, as well as in other meetings that may be convened.
Regional Facilitators as at January 2018
- Ms. Kenyangi Gertrude Kabusimbi - Support for Women in Agriculture and Environment (SWAGEN), Uganda
- Fazal Issa - Forumcc, Tanzania
- Ms. April Porteria - Center for Environmental Concerns-Philippines, Inc. (CEC), Philippines
- Mr. Prem Singh Tharu - Asia Indigenous Peoples’ Pact (AIPP), Thailand
- Janis Brizga - European Environmental Bureau, Belgium
- Sascha Gabizon - Women Engage for a Common Future, Netherlands
Latin America and the Carribean
- Pedro Pereira Marques da Cunha - Global Forest Coalition, Paraguay
- Dalia Fernanda Marquez Añe - Asociación Civil Red Ambiental, Argentina
- Ms. Michelle Wyman - National Council for Science and the Environment (NCSE), USA
- Mr. Scott Bohachyk - United Nations Association Canada, Canada
- Ms. Kristan Uhlenbrock - US Climate Variability and Predictability Program (US CLIVAR), USA (Alternate)
- Ms. Deirdre Laframboise - Canadian Climate Forum, Canada (Alternate)
- Ms. Marie Therese Merhei Seif - Human Environment Association of Development (HEAD), Lebanon
- Tareq Ahmed Abdo Hassan - Society for the Protection of Nature in Lebanon, Lebanon
Find out more about the Major Groups Facilitation Committee’s (MGFC) mandate in its Terms of References.