DER SPIEGEL –
The most recent committee session in the General Assembly has been fraught with tension. Certain European Member States offer their thoughts on the progress of the committee and their goals.
The atmosphere in the General Assembly Second Committee was tense. Delegates pointed fingers at each other. The Asian bloc, European bloc and Latin American bloc kept to themselves, and it seemed that hopes for cooperation have been lost. However, there is apparently still hope.
The committee continues their discussion on implementing the Convention on Biodiversity, and so far, there is conflict between the Europe bloc and Latin America bloc about alleged theft of ideas. The delegates of the Europe bloc speak up, but they do not reveal much.
In terms of the progress of committee, the delegate of France believes that it is running smoothly, but she is still concerned about the lack of cooperation among delegates.
“I think the only concern that France has is the lack of collaboration, and we think it’s possibly due to falsehoods that have been spread around throughout the committee about our specific position on things,” explained the French delegation. Particularly, France claimed that the bloc was falsely accused of overlooking the Nagoya Protocol in their working paper (which is a document that has yet to become a draft resolution). The delegate claims that they “reaffirmed it” in their work. A delegate from the Europe bloc itself (specifically, the delegate of Hungary) accused a delegate from the Latin America bloc of stealing ideas and vice versa.
In disagreeing with these accusations of theft, the delegate of France explained: “We’re a unanimous body typically, so it’s very understandable that we have very similar views.”
The French delegation hopes that there will be conversation between the Europe bloc and Latin America for the sake of international cooperation.
What other European Member States had to say
Like France, the Hungarian delegation remarks that committee has been going smoothly, and the delegate has also insisted on collaboration with other blocs. However, this does come off as rather strange, as the delegate of Hungary allegedly accused the delegate of Peru of stealing ideas from the Europe bloc.
Our delegation has decided to stray away from discussing the tensions among fellow delegates, and the delegate began discussing the progress of the working paper itself.
“France, the United Kingdom and Austria are really leading the development of this resolution,” the delegate remarked.
Germany advocated for the implementation of the Convention on Biological Diversity. In terms of the working paper, the delegate wanted to bring to light “forms of life that are usually ignored (such as fungi) are microbial.” The delegate pointed out the lack of a national plan in countries around the world that would help save fungi.
“Fungi is where we got penicillin, and fungi is where we got all these antibiotics that saved millions of lives, yet we don’t seem as concerned in saving it,” the German delegation outlined.
The delegate of Germany also acknowledges the interests of other Member States, particularly the incorporation of indigenous knowledge in biodiversity, and expresses concern over loss of this knowledge.
On the international stage, the delegate asserted that there is the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES), which Germany strongly advocates. This is an organization that emphasizes the importance of biodiversity, and as a body made up of 100 countries, one of its main objectives is to help advise Member States in drafting legislation about the issue at hand.
Along with the United Kingdom, France and Austria, Germany is working on a resolution that would hopefully help fulfill the UN 2030 agenda.