On 10 and 11 April in Geneva, representatives of the governments of Denmark, Finland, Norway and Sweden met with UN Environment Programme officials to discuss priorities, challenges and the way forward for the global environmental agenda and UN Environment Programme’s role in it.
The Nordic countries reinforced their commitment to strengthening UN Environment Programme in line with the Rio+20 outcome and within the broader framework of the 2030 Agenda and UN Reforms. The group advocates for a strong focus on environmental matters in the reformed UN and urges UN Environment to actively play its coordination role.
The Nordic representatives also emphasized the need to translate UN Envrionment’s political vision into concrete actions within the organization's Programme of Work. They stressed that it was essential for UN Environment to work closely with other UN bodies and partners, including on the programme areas that were discussed specifically at the meeting: oceans and marine litter, pollution, environment and health, and environment and security.
Close engagement with the private sector was commended, with the Nordics highlighting the need for high ethical awareness and strategic alliances that do not compromise the organization’s values and the need to continue working closely with civil society and other stakeholders, as well. They noted that regular communication with Member States was critical to retain current and attract new funding partners, as well as for transparency. The positive findings of the independent Multilateral Organization Performance Assessment Network (MOPAN) and the implementation of its recommendations are valuable tools for broadening the donor base and mobilizing resources.
UN Environment Programme was represented by Executive Director Erik Solheim and Deputy Executive Director Ibrahim Thiaw. The Nordics were headed by Ambassador Morten Jespersen (Denmark), Ambassador Tarja Fernandez (Finland), Ambassador Hans Brattskar (Norway) and Ambassador Anna Jardfelt (Sweden).
The Nordics are major funding partners of UN Environment Programme. In 2017, the four countries contributed $10.48 million to the income to core funding (representing 16 per cent of the total) and $15.29 million to earmarked funds.