On 10 May 2018, the UN General Assembly (the Assembly) adopted, resolution 72/277 entitled “Towards a Global Pact for the Environment”.
According to the resolution’s text, the Assembly decided to establish an ad hoc open‑ended working group to consider a technical and evidence-based report that identifies and assesses possible gaps in international environmental law and environment-related instruments with a view to strengthening their implementation. The report is to be submitted to the Assembly’s seventy-third session in 2018 providing a platform to discuss possible options to address these gaps. This may include the need to convene an intergovernmental conference to adopt such an international instrument. The working group has been mandated to present its recommendations to the General Assembly during the first semester of 2019.
The Assembly decided that the ad hoc open-ended working group shall hold the following sessions, in accordance with established practice:
(a) An organizational session, to be held for a duration of three working days, by the end of the seventy-second session of the General Assembly, in New York, to examine matters related to the organization of the work of the ad hoc open-ended working group, including the duration and number of its substantive sessions; and
(b) Substantive sessions, to be held in Nairobi, the first of which at least one month after the submission of the report of the Secretary-General.
The organizational session was held at United Nations Headquarters in New York between 5-7 September 2018. The first substantive session was held at the United Nations Office in Nairobi from 14-18 January 2019. The second substantive session of the working group shall meet in Nairobi, between 14-18 January 2019.
Attendance at the sessions of the ad hoc open-ended working group as observers was open to relevant non-governmental organizations in consultative status with the Economic and Social Council, as well as to those that were accredited to relevant conferences and summits.
Consult background information on the Global Pact for the Environment.