Yearbook of the United Nations, 2009. Part 3, Economic and social questions. Chapter 7, Environment and human settlements
In 2009, the United Nations and the international community continued to work towards protecting the environment through legally binding instruments and the activities of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP). The twenty-fifth session of the UNEP Governing Council/Global Ministerial Environment Forum discussed the emerging policy themes of globalization and the environment and international environmental governance, and approved the 2010–2011 budget and work programme. It adopted decisions on, among other issues, the world environment situation; international environmental governance; environmental law; an intergovernmental science-policy platform on biodiversity; support to Africa in environmental management and protection; the environmental situation in Gaza; the engagement of young people in environmental issues; and chemicals management, including mercury. With regard to the latter, the Council agreed to the elaboration of a legally binding instrument on mercury to reduce risks to human health and the environment; an intergovernmental negotiating committee was to prepare that instrument, beginning its work in 2010. In September, the Secretary-General convened a high-level summit on climate change to mobilize the political will and vision needed to reach a substantive agreed outcome at the UN climate talks in Copenhagen, Denmark. In December, the fifteenth session of the Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change produced the Copenhagen Accord, which expressed the intent to constrain carbon and respond to climate change, and contained elements on which the views of Governments converged, including the long-term goal of limiting the maximum global average temperature increase to no more than 2 degrees Celsius. However, participants were not able to reach an agreement on how to achieve that goal in practical terms. During the year, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change addressed preparations of its Fifth Assessment Report. Also in December, the parties to the 1979 Convention on Long-range Transboundary Air Pollution adopted amendments to the 1998 Protocol on Persistent Organic Pollutants. In October, a special session of the ninth session of the United Nations Forum on Forests established an intergovernmental expert group to conduct an in-depth analysis of all aspects of forest financing and a facilitative process on forest financing to assist countries to mobilize funding from all sources. In April, the General Assembly designated 22 April as International Mother Earth Day and in December adopted a resolution on promoting life in harmony with nature. The United Nations Human Settlements Programme (UN-Habitat) continued to support the implementation of the 1996 Habitat Agenda and the Millennium Development Goals. The twenty-second session of the UN-Habitat Governing Council approved the 2010–2011 work programme and budget of UN-Habitat, reviewed progress made in implementing the 2008–2013 medium-term strategic and institutional plan, and focused on affordable housing finance systems, strengthening the development of urban youth, access to basic services for all, and South-South cooperation in human settlements. The Governing Council recommended to the General Assembly that it consider convening in 2016 a third United Nations conference on housing and sustainable urban development.
Yearbook of the United Nations, 2009. v. 63; Vol. 63
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