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Wrapping up the GEF Assembly

In continuation of the 4th GEF Assembly in Punta del Este, Uruguay, the third day of events proved to be just as eventful as the first two, which had included a Civil Society Forum, plenary sessions, and roundtable discussions. Wednesday’s events were comprised of an address by the President of Uruguay, José Mujica, side events, more plenary meetings, a discussion on GEF country membership, and finally, the closing of the Assembly by GEF CEO and Chairperson Monique Barbut.

A series of side events were held in the morning, covering a wide range of topics. Some of these events included: a presentation of the Fourth Overall Performance Study of the GEF (OPS4), a panel on the Coral Triangle Initiative, and other panels on investing in sustainable transport and conservation of biodiversity and sustainable development in Uruguay.

In the afternoon, President of Uruguay José Mujica addressed the plenary, praising participants for their work, after which constituencies continued offering their comments and suggestions for GEF improvements for its fifth cycle.

After the Assembly approved the Chairs Summary and minor changes to the GEF Instrument, Monique Barbut thanked Uruguay for hosting the event and closed the Assembly. The remaining days two days in Punta del Este will include a celebration of the 2010 International Year of Biodiversity with an exhibition and reception in the Uruguayan Parliament, and site visits to GEF projects.

Overall, the 4th GEF Assembly has been very successful in contributing to the further progress of the GEF. The GEF Council, along with delegations and constituency countries, hailed the GEF’s improvements since its GEF-4 cycle and greatly supported the GEF-5 reforms for the next four years.