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Civil society meetings break all records

On 19 November, UNEP’s sub-regional Major Group and Stakeholder (MGS) meeting brought together representatives from environmental NGOs and other civil society organizations from 12 Eastern European and Caucasus countries, back to back with the 6th Eastern Partnership Civil Society Forum in Batumi, Georgia. The MGS meetings are platforms for UNEP Regional Office for Europe to strengthen civil society engagement in the global and regional work of UNEP, and one of the main entry points for MGS to get involved in the policy development and implementation of a range of environmental governance issues. The meeting offered an opportunity to share and exchange information and initiatives linked to the outcome of the First United Nations Environment Assembly (UNEA1), UNEP's role and contribution to the SDGs/Post-2015 Development Agenda, the 10 Year Framework Programme (10-YFP) on Sustainable Consumption and Production (SCP), preparations for the Global Environment Outlook (GEO-6) and the Global Gender and Environment Outlook (GGEO) reports, implementation of UNEP's work programme in the European region and opportunities for MGS engagement in the EaP countries, to name a few. Participants were presented with different opportunities to engage in the work of UNEP and they welcomed the format of having sub-regional consultations that would help strengthen partnership not only with UNEP but also amongst the different MGS. The meeting was organized by organizing partner “WECF International” and local Georgian partners “Rural Communities Development Agency” and “Black Sea Eco Academy”.


The 6th Eastern Partnership Civil Society Forum (EaP CSO), which brought together over 250 participants from the Eastern Partnership countries and the EU, took place in Batumi, Georgia on November 20-21. Civil society representatives, officials and experts met under the overall theme of “EU Integration and Common Security: Making it Happen”. Funded by the European Commission and supported by the Georgian government, the forum featured three expert panels, thematic workshops and a number of side events on topical issues for the Eastern Partnership. The outcome of the Forum included the adoption of resolutions geared towards addressing relevant developments in the region, including, establishment of civil society platforms between the European Union and Ukraine, Republic of Moldova, and Georgia envisioned in the Association Agreements, cooperation with the EU-Russia Civil Society Forum, to name a few. Participants of the UNEP sub-regional Major Group and Stakeholder (MGS) meeting took part in the EaP CSF as observers and attended the working group on environment, climate change and energy security; and agreed to create more opportunities for joint undertakings and partnerships between the EaP CSO process and UNEP in the future.

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