|Civil Society Views on Observer Participation and Rules of Procedure of the 1st GCF Board Meeting|
|Written by Administrator|
|Monday, 03 September 2012 10:33|
31 August, 2012
In response to the invitation of the co-chairs at the first meeting of the Board of the Green Climate Fund in Geneva, the following constitutes recommendations on the interrelated issues of observer participation and rules of procedure from a multi-constituency group of CSOs registered as observers for the first GCF Board meeting, as well as other CSOs informed and consulted after the meeting.
A. Observer participation – in reference to “Arrangements for observer participation in the Board meetings,” GCF/B.01?12/03, 3 August 2012
I. Effort should be made to accommodate all registered observers in the Board meeting room.
This was the practice for most of the Transitional Committee, and it worked well. An overflow room should only be used when there is a genuine lack of space for all those present.
II. The Board should hold consultations with civil society before each meeting, as the Secretariat proposed in para 31.
III. To ensure effective participation, there should be full and timely disclosure of information, as contemplated in paras 33?37.
IV. Meetings should be publicly webcast and made available on the GCF website, as was the practice of the Transitional Committee.
V. Concerning the two active civil society observers, the principle of parity with the members of the Board should apply, with the exception of voting rights:
a. Active observers should be allowed to intervene on issues as they arise in the deliberations.
b. The opportunity to intervene should not be conditioned on unanimous consent of Board members.
c. The two active civil society observers should be able to rely on alternates and advisors, in parity with Board members.
d. The two active civil society observers or their designated alternates should be able to participate in sub?committees, subsidiary bodies or other GCF working groups, in parity with Board members, including by electronic communications.
VI. There should be a formalized and open, facilitated self?selection process for active observers (both CSO and private sector) as described in para 28(b). The Board should not be involved in selecting active observers. The two active civil society observers will be supported by a broader civil society advisory council, whose composition should properly reflect the diversity of constituencies, with gender and geographical balance, from which alternate members could be selected.
VII. As proposed in para 39, sufficient financial resources should be made available to support effective and meaningful active observer participation (from both civil society and private sector) such as travel costs to meetings, information sharing and consultation, and additional activities as needed.
VIII. Civil society should be able to make written submissions on all issues, which should be made publicly available on the web. There should be a process for taking submissions into consideration for decision?making on the issue.
IX. The interim arrangements provided by the Board for the first meeting should not set a precedent for future civil society participation in Board meetings.
B. Rules of Procedure – in reference to “Additional rules of procedure of the Board,” GCF/B.01?12/02, 3 August 2012.
I. The Board should make publicly available records and recordings of meetings, through webcasting and archiving (e.g. see paras 24, 41).
II. Documents and revised agendas should be made immediately public online, as well as immediately available to observers as hard copies during Board meetings.
III. There should be a strong presumption against holding closed executive sessions, with clear and limited criteria about when those sessions may be permitted (e.g. see para 29). Similarly clear and limited criteria should be established to justify not making any records of Board proceedings public (e.g. see para 40). Active civil society observers should be invited to any executive session and receive all records of Board proceedings at the same time as Board members and alternates.
IV. The Board should strive to translate documents into all official UN languages, as it is a UN body, or, as a minimum, into the three UN working languages of English, French and Spanish. Simultaneous interpretation into official UN languages should be provided as required, if possible (e.g. see paras 35?36).
V. Until the GCF’s own accreditation process has been established, all UNFCCC and GEF accredited observers should automatically be given the opportunity to observe Board meetings (e.g. see paras 26, 27). Once the GCF’s own accreditation process has been established, all GCF accredited observers should automatically be given the opportunity to observe Board meetings.
VI. The two active observers from accredited civil society organisations should be treated with parity to Board members, with the exception of voting rights, and as such should have alternates. Following the same parity principle, active civil society observers and their alternates should have:
a. Equal access to documents, subsidiary bodies (including other entities and external working groups established by subsidiary bodies) and executive sessions as members and their alternates (e.g. see paras 21, 29, 33, 34).
b. Equal access to information circulated to Board members for proposed decisions outside of in?person Board meetings, in the same timely manner. In addition, active observers and their alternates should be given the opportunity to comment on decisions (e.g. see paras 46?48).
c. Equal requirements regarding rules of confidentiality and conflicts of interest, which should be publicly disclosed, as members and alternate members (e.g. see paras 49?54).
VII. Sufficient financial resources should be made available to support effective and meaningful active observer participation such as travel costs to meetings (e.g. para 37).
VIII. Voting should not be based on contributions of funds to the GCF (e.g. see para 45). The approach of the Multilateral Fund under the Montreal Protocol could provide a good model for voting and decision?making.[i]
11.11.11? The coalition of the Flemish North?South movement
CENN – Caucasus Environmental NGO Network
Centre national de coopération au développement, CNCD?11.11.11
Coalicion Clima Espana Earth in Brackets Ecologistas en Accion Forest Peoples Programme
Friends of the Earth England, Wales and Northern Ireland
Friends of the Earth U.S. Germanwatch
Global Alliance for Incinerator Alternatives
Heinrich Boell Foundation North America
Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy
ITUC ? International Trade Union Confederation
Jamaa Resource Initiatives
Nadi Ghati Morcha
Quaker Earthcare Witness
Peoples' Movement on Climate Change
Sub Regional Platform of Farmers' Organisations in Central Africa (PROFAC) Sustainable Energy & Economy Network, Institute for Policy Studies
Third World Network
Women and Gender Constituency
World Farmers' Organization
Youth Non?governmental Organizations (YOUNGOs)
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