Efforts on harmonization and synergies within the United Nations system to achieve better environmental governance at the global level have received strong political support including from the 64th and 65th meetings of the United Nations General Assembly, as well as from various meetings of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) Governing Council, the Environmental Management Group (EMG), and from the Plan of Implementation of the World Summit on Sustainable Development (WSSD). Moreover, Conferences of the Parties (COPs) of a number of multilateral environmental agreements (MEAs) have requested enhanced cooperation and coordination among the three Rio conventions (Convention on Biological Diversity, UN Framework Convention on Climate Change and the UN Convention to Combat Desertification) in order to support Governments in their efforts to implement, comply with and enforce the conventions. Governments also placed the issue harmonization on the agenda for UNCED in 2012 (Rio 2012).
It is now widely recognized that gender equality and equity are matters of both fundamental human rights and social justice, and, in fact, a pre-condition for sustainable development – enhancing the effectiveness of programmes, projects and initiatives.
In support of the UN General Assembly resolution A/RES/64/289 of 2 July 2010 (which aims to assist the United Nations system to be accountable for its own commitments on gender equality and which includes the regular monitoring of system-wide progress in this regard), the Office of the IUCN Global Senior Gender Adviser and the gender focal point of the CBD convened informal discussions among the gender focal points of the three Rio conventions and the Global Environment Facility (GEF) during the UNFCCC CoP15 held in Cancun, Mexico, to assess the feasibility of working towards a coordinated framework on gender mainstreaming.