UNEP and the Organization of American States Renew Joint-Efforts to Enhance Environmental Rule of law
This agreement is fundamental to continuing the Organization's work in member States with Judges, Parliamentarians and Civil Society Organizations which are strategic partners to advancing the environmental rule of law UNEP and the Organization of American States Renew Joint-Efforts to Enhance Environmental Rule of law The UN South-South Cooperation Expo on enhancing cooperation for sustainable development served as the stage for the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between UNEP and the Organization of American States (OAS) designed to foster increased cooperation between the two organizations on the development and implementation of environmental rule of law for the promotion of sustainable development. The relevance of consolidating the existing partnership with UNEP was emphasized by UN Under-Secretary-General and UNEP Executive Director Achim Steiner, who indicated that the ties with the OAS and the complementary nature of the work carried out by both organizations in the attainment of shared goals is essential for achieving sustainable development in the context of the proposed post-2015 development agenda. The Global Symposium on Environmental Rule of Law, held earlier this year at the first United Nations Environment Assembly in Nairobi, brought together Chief Justices, Heads of Jurisdiction, Attorneys General, Auditors General, Chief Prosecutors, lawyers and legal experts from around the world to raise awareness of the role of environmental law as an indispensable tool in achieving sustainable development and a Green Economy. Recent research confirms that only 4 out of 90 of the world's most important environmental goals have registered significant progress. Participants were informed that although close to 130 national constitutions contain a right to a safe, healthy, and ecologically balanced environment, violations of environmental laws often fail to prompt the required response from governments and the law enforcement agencies. During the signing ceremony, Hugo de Zela, in charge of the General Secretariat said, "This agreement is fundamental to continuing the Organization's work in member States with Judges, Parliamentarians and Civil Society Organizations which are strategic partners to advancing the environmental rule of law." "The Inter-American Democratic Charter is clear in establishing that implementing legal frameworks for Environmental protection and Multilateral Environmental Agreements Contributes to Democratic Governance". Based on the Parties' respective mandates and programs the following areas of common interest were identified by the parties: Development and implementation of an Inter-American Judicial Capacity Building Program on Environmental Rule of Law and establishment of an Inter-American Congress on Environmental Rule of Law; Strengthening of parliamentarian capacity and facilitation of international exchange of best practices on legislation and oversight on environmental rule of law in pursuit of sustainable development; Support implementation of the Inter-American Strategy for Public Participation in Sustainable Development Decision Making and the Bali Guidelines for the Development of National Legislation on Access to Information, Public Participation and Access to Justice in Environmental Matters; Multilateral Environmental Agreement implementation support; Exchange information on Sustainable Consumption and Production through the International Resource Panel. The OAS and UNEP began cooperation regarding the environmental rule of law in preparations for the Rio +20 conference and the World Congress on Justice, Governance and Law for Environmental Sustainability. Cooperative actions under the signed MOU will build on these efforts.