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EMG 2016 Highlights

Dear Colleagues,

As we enter this new year, we would like to take the opportunity to share with you a brief picture of the past year's EMG highlights as well as plans for Group for the year ahead. We would like to thank you for your contributions to this collective work and look forward to our continued collaboration in 2017.

2016 Highlights

2016 was a momentous year with many noteworthy highlights such as:

UN System Wide Framework of Strategies on the Environment (SWFS)

On May 25, in the margins of second session of the United Nations Environment Assembly, the United Nations System-Wide Framework of Strategies on the Environment (SWFS)was launched. The Framework is a result of constructive and effective collaboration between EMG members over the past two years. It will serve as an important tool to achieve greater synergy, collaboration and coherence in the UN system for delivering on the environmental dimensions of the 2030 Agenda.

UN System Wide Report on Sound Management of Chemicals

The EMG Issue Management Group (IMG) on Sound Management of Chemicals including 25 UN entities completed its tasks by the adoption of a Joint Statement and the release of a system-wide report on the importance of sound chemicals management to the broader sustainable development agenda.

Establishment of the Issue Management Group on E-Waste

19 UN agencies have agreed to work together to strengthen the coordination of initiatives in the UN system to support Member States in the area of prevention of e-waste and its environmentally sound management.

Enhancing environmental sustainability in the management and operations of the UN system

The work to support the UN system in its efforts to enhance environmental and social sustainability has made substantial progress. The Framework on Environmental and Social Sustainability has been proven useful by seven pilot agencies, and 20 agencies have reached climate neutrality with the support of the IMG on environmental sustainability management.

Environmental Management Peer Reviews

After conducting four Peer Reviews at headquarter level for UNEP, UNIDO,WMO and IMF , the interest in the peer review mechanism has continued to grow. Two new reviews were carried out in 2016 for WFP and UNRWA, testing the peer review concept in the UN field operations in Amman, Jordan.

Enhancing EMG’s Effectiveness to serve the 2030 Agenda

The Report on enhancing the EMG effectiveness was submitted to UNEA in May 2016 containing recommendations for improving EMG’s modalities of work and Terms of Reference. This work has advanced by preparing a revised ToR and Rules of Procedures for the EMG for consideration of the EMG members.

 
2017 Plans

EMG Nexus Dialogues

The EMG Senior Officials at their 22nd meeting called for more regular dialogues among the UN agencies for identifying new and inspiring opportunities for collaboration in the frames of the 2030 Agenda. The EMG Secretariat in collaboration with the Swedish Stockholm Institute for Environment intend to organize a series of dialogues on the nexus issues of the Sustainable Development Goals where partners will view the SDGs from a nexus perspective, and will seek to identify practical strategies for integrating the environment into action toward the SDGs. A concept note outlining the nexus dialogues will be shared in early 2017.

First Synthesis Report of the UN system contribution to the environmental dimensions of the SDGs

The implementation of the SWFS will form a significant part of the EMG work going forward. This will include collecting and analysing information from UN agencies, and providing a regular report to UNEA on the UN system’s contribution to the delivery of the environmental dimensions of the 2030 Agenda.

Continuation of the Peer Reviews

The Peer Review concept will be further developed with three to four more peer reviews expected to be initiated (UNDP and UNOPS in Amman and UNFCC and IFAD Headquarters to be confirmed).

Continued support to UN agencies on enhancing environmental management of their operations

Support to UN agencies with the view to strengthen coherence in the area of environmental and social sustainability in UN operations will continue. Focus will be, inter alia, on safeguards, moving towards UN climate neutrality and the introduction of Environmental Management Systems.

Updated/Revitalized EMG Terms of Reference

The discussion on EMG effectiveness will continue and may lead to an updated EMG TOR and Rules of Procedure.

Organisation of the 2017 EMG Senior Officials meeting

As 2017 begins, we look forward to another successful year of fruitful inter-agency partnership, building on our accomplishments to continue to collectively enhance the implementation of the 2030 Agenda in the area of environment. The EMG Secretariat wishes you a happy and prosperous new year.

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