UNEA-6 side event: Insights from the Bern III Conference

01 Mar 2024

The high-level side event "MEAs Cooperation and the GBF: insights from the Bern III Conference" presented concrete actions identified along with the perspectives of MEAs Parties and Secretariats.

Monika Stankiewicz (Executive Secretary, Minamata Convention), Osvaldo Alvarez (COP-6 President, Minamata Convention), Megumi Seki (Executive Secretary, Ozone Secretariat)
Monika Stankiewicz (Executive Secretary, Minamata Convention), Osvaldo Álvarez (COP-6 President, Minamata Convention), Megumi Seki (Executive Secretary, Ozone Secretariat)


On February 29, during UNEA-6, the high-level side event presented the outcomes of the Bern III conference, whose goal was to contribute to the efficient and effective implementation of the Kunming-Montreal Global Biodiversity Framework (GBF) by identifying practical opportunities to drive and coordinate an inclusive collaborative approach towards implementation of the framework while respecting the mandates of participating Multilateral Environmental Agreements (MEAs).

The event featured opening remarks from Inger Andersen (UNEP Executive Director), H. E. Huang Runqiu (COP-15 President and Minister of Ecology and Environment, China), Clarisse Kehler Siebert (Co-chair of the Bern III Conference and Senior Policy Advisor of the Environmental Protection Agency, Sweden) and Camila Isabel Zepeda Lizama (Co-chair of the Bern III Conference and Director General for Global Affairs of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Mexico).

It followed with a high-level panel moderated by H.E. Katrin Schneeberger (State Secretary and Director of the Federal Office for the Environment, Switzerland), offering perspectives from MEAs Parties and Secretariats. Osvaldo Álvarez, President of the sixth meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Minamata Convention (COP-6), recalled that, "at the Bern III Conference, I was pleased to see that not only Rio conventions but also chemicals and waste conventions were invited, all of them bringing different perspectives, making this effort much more fruitful".

"The two UN Environment Assembly (UNEA) resolutions on MEAs, which are expected to be gaveled by UNEA-6 on Friday, will benefit the Parties to MEAs", he added. "A key take away from the Bern Conference is that many MEAs are talking to each other, both at the national and secretariats levels".

At the Bern III Conference in January, Minamata Convention Executive Secretary Monika Stankiewicz stated that: "the chemicals and waste cluster plays a pivotal role in advancing the goals and targets of the Global Biodiversity Framework. By including the Minamata Convention in the Bern process, we contribute to a more cohesive and synergistic approach to address global challenges".

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