Member States & Bureau
UNFF1 Meeting Summary - 7 June 2001
Meeting of the UNFF Bureau Members and Contact Persons in
the UN Missions in New York
meeting took place at the UNFF Secretariat in New York
on Thursday, 7 June 2001 (11:00 AM to 12:30 PM). The
meeting was chaired by Ambassador Mubarak Rahmtalla
(Sudan), Chairman of the UNFF Bureau. Other attendees
were Ambassador M. Slamet Hidayat (Indonesia), Vice-Chairman,
as well as Geir Tonnessen (Norway) and Ruben Espinoza
(Peru). Jag Maini, Jaime Hurtubia and Mahendra Joshi
from the UNFF Secretariat and Ms. June Chesney from
ECOSOC Secretariat assisted the meeting.
1. Briefing by the Chairman on the preparation for the UNFF I
2. Organization of work
3. Other issues
4. Postponement of the UNFF Bureau meeting
following were the main points of the meeting:
Briefing by the Chairman on the preparation for the UNFF
Rahmtalla opened the meeting with two positive notes: (1)
the intergovernmental process on forest sector in the past
decade has been heralded as a success story on sustainable
development and (2) the governments had appreciated the
excellent work done by the UNFF Secretariat.
informed the meeting about: (i) the three briefings to the
regional groups on UNFF I in May, (ii) his participation
to the Pan European Forest Process in Brussels, (iii) the
meeting between himself and Dr. Emil Salim, Chairman of
CSD 10, and (iv) the meeting between himself and the Swedish
Ambassador Mr. Norman who will be heading the EU delegation
at the UNFF I. He also informed that he had written to the
chairmen of the regional groups requesting them to consider
election of the Bureau for UNFF II.
meeting recognized that UNFF I should focus on reaching
decision on its multi-year programme of work and formulating
a framework for the development of the UNFF Plan of Action
(POA). The main thrust of the session should be on making
the UNFF action-oriented and forward looking, while remaining
of scheduling of the ministerial segment and timing of the
second session were also noted. The modality of inputs from
UNFF to WSSD was also considered in this context.
Organization of Work
- The functioning of UNFF I in the coming two weeks would
be based on the provisional agenda as per the ECOSOC resolution.
The daily meetings would be either in Plenary or in two
working sessions. It was considered that the Chairman
would chair the plenary sessions while working groups
would be chaired by two Vice-Chairmen. Ambassador Hidayat
would chair the working group on POA and CPF while Mr.
Knut Øistad (Norway) was invited to chair the working
group on MYPOW. Mr. Tonnessen would inform the Chairman
on this after consulting with Mr. Øistad.
- Taking into consideration the conflict of timing on
Monday, 11 June between the UNFF and the special session
of the General Assembly on Children (at 10 am), it was
decided that the UNFF would open its session at 11 AM
on that day. This would be announced in the UN Journal.
- It was considered desirable to convene daily brief Bureau
meetings to review the progress in deliberations and/or
plan for the coming days.
- The proposed organization of work, that planned to begin
negotiatios the soonest, i.e., from Wednesday, 13 June
2001, was found acceptable.
- The meeting took note of the need to accredit the IGOs,
including CIFOR and ITTO by the Forum. The Note from the
Secretariat had been prepared for this purpose. No difficulty
in receiving the accreditation from the Forum was anticipated.
Different options were also considered in providing access
to NGOs that have not yet received accreditation with
- It was noted that Chairman and the Bureau members would
convene an informal meeting by with NGOs and other stakeholders
on Thursday, June 14 at 6:15 PM to exchange views regarding
how to organize multi-stakeholder dialogues in the future
also brought to the attention of the participants of the
meeting the following issues raised by the governments during
the regional briefings as well as his personal consultations
- Drafting of decisions for UNFF. Group of 77 and
China requested him to consider the system followed by
the Second Committee as one option. This option allows
the Group of 77 and China to present a draft decision
as the first text for negotiations. This system, however,
does not prevent any other regional group or individual
state member from presenting their own drafts for further
consideration and negotiations.
- Financial stability of the UNFF Secretariat.
Governments were concerned that the Proposed Programme
Budget for the biennium 2002-2003 (A/56/6 (sect. 9) did
not include the budget for the UNFF Secretariat. Chairman
would contact personnel in the Programme Planning and
Budget Division and inform them of the interest of the
UNFF to hear their explanation to the Forum on the issue.
- Establishment of expert groups. The governments
expressed their interest to know when and how many expert
groups, on different issues under consideration by the
UNFF, would be established by the UNFF.
Postponement of the UNFF Bureau meeting
meeting considered that since it was able to cover all items
on the agenda of the Bureau meeting scheduled for Sunday,
10 June 2001, there was no need for the Bureau to meet on
Sunday. This would be so communicated to the Vice-Chairmen
from Norway and Peru by their respective contact persons
present in the meeting, and to Russian Federation (through
Mr. Dmitry Maksimychev) by the UNFF Secretariat.
decided that the Bureau would meet on Monday, 11 June 2001
at 10:30 AM at the UN Secretariat in Room 1.