Working Group Co-Chairs Brief on Progress in Negotiations as United Nations Forum on Forests Holds Penultimate Meeting of Tenth Session

18 April 2013

Working Group Co-Chairs Brief on Progress in Negotiations as United Nations Forum on Forests Holds Penultimate Meeting of Tenth Session

18 April 2013
Economic and Social Council
Department of Public Information • News and Media Division • New York

United Nations Forum on Forests

Tenth Session

13th Meeting (PM)

Working Group Co-chairs Brief on Progress in Negotiations as United Nations


Forum on Forests Holds Penultimate Meeting of Tenth Session


With Delegations Seeking More Time,

Chair Urges Participants to ‘Redouble’ Efforts, Agree on Consensus Resolutions

ISTANBUL, 18 April — With facilitators appealing for more time to wrap up the work of the tenth session of the United Nations Forum on Forests, Chairperson Mario Ruales Carranza (Ecuador) urged delegations to redouble their efforts and show flexibility so that expected late-night negotiations would yield concrete, consensus-based decisions by tomorrow.

Mr. Ruales Carranza made that call following presentations by the Co-Chairs of the Working Groups tasked with steering Government delegations towards agreement on a host of vital forest-related issues under consideration by the session, under way in Istanbul, Turkey, since 8 April and concluding tomorrow.  Announcing that negotiations would pick up again after the closure of the plenary session, he said that with persistence and flexibility, “at the end of this long day the Forum will have before it resolutions that have been agreed by consensus.”

Just ahead of that decision, Shuli Davidovich (Israel) said Working Group 1 was moving forward on a draft resolution dealing with forests and economic development — the session’s main theme — as well as progress in implementation of the Non-legally Binding Instrument on All Types of Forests (forest instrument), regional and subregional inputs, and enhanced cooperation.  At present, delegations had agreed upon language in eight paragraphs, she said, adding that agreement was “close” on a significant number of others.

She said the language agreed thus far concerned, among other things, enhancing the role of forests and sustainable forest management in sustainable development, support for economic development strategies that would avoid deforestation and loss while minimizing negative impacts, policies that would reduce the risks and impacts of natural disasters, and the importance of sharing success stories and best practices.

Thanking delegations on behalf of Vice-Chair Anna Masinja (Zambia), Ms. Davidovich said the negotiations had been characterized by a spirit of cooperation and she expected progress to continue this evening in the hope that consensus could be reached on all elements of her Working Group’s draft resolution.  “We are looking forward to having a comprehensive and forward-looking text by tonight,” she added.

As for Working Group 2, dealing with emerging issues and means of implementing sustainable forest management, Vice-Chair Srećko Juričic ( Croatia) said delegations had been working since Monday, 15 April.  After a first read-through of the part of the text dealing with the review of the international arrangement on forests and the Forum’s intersessional activities, the Working Group had appointed the representatives of New Zealand and South Africa to lead informal discussions, which had produced a “solid and positive outcome”, he said.

Regarding the portions of the text dealing with means of implementation, he said the representative of the United States had been appointed to lead the relevant informal consultations.  While delegations had managed to sort out many of the pending issues, discussions on that vital matter, which included forest financing, would continue after the plenary meeting.  He appealed to the Chair to allow Working Group 2, Co-Chaired by Saiful Azam Martinus Abdullah ( Malaysia), to continue its negotiations until midnight so that final decisions could be reached on all outstanding matters.

The United Nations Forum on Forests will reconvene tomorrow, 19 April, when it is expected to conclude the work of its tenth session.

* *** *

For information media • not an official record
For information media. Not an official record.