Highlights for Friday, 12 October 2007
Chair Saŝa Dragin, Minister of Environmental Protection, Serbia, introduced delegates to the morning plenary focusing on the future of the Environment for Europe (EfE) process. In a keynote address, Francisco Nunes Correria, Minister of Environment, Portugal, on behalf of the EU, reaffirmed the EU’s commitment to the continuation of the EfE process in a manner that accounts for the new political, economic and social landscape in the region. Subsequent discussion focused on newly emerging challenges, the constant, continuous involvement of ministers, responsibility to citizens to achieve real results, more coordinated efforts on behalf on donors, and the power of partnerships and the private sector as a way forward.
Chair Dragin introduced the Ministerial Declaration and delegates adopted it without amendment. Highlights of the Ministerial Declaration include delegates expressing that they: were committed to strive to achieve and maintain a healthy environment for present and future generations; welcomed the efforts of Central European countries in achieving sustainable development goals; reaffirmed their commitment to significantly reduce the rate of loss of biological diversity by 2010; stressed the need to further improve indicator-based environmental assessments and reporting; welcomed efforts to meet the objectives of the United Nations Decade for Education for Sustainable Development; noted opportunities to diffuse tension amongst governments via environmental collaboration; recognized the need to improve the management of chemicals; emphasized the goal if international competitiveness; would actively seek partnerships with civil society; welcomed the offer of the Government of Kazakhstan to host the next Conference in 2011; and, expressed gratitude to the Government of Serbia for having hosted the Conference in 2007.
In concluding remarks, Chair Dragin announced that the 2007 Nobel Prize for Peace had just been awarded to Al Gore and Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. He introduced the Chair’s summary and thanked delegates for the fruitful and productive discussions in Belgrade
. He gaveled the meeting to a close at 1
The future of the process
Conference Chair Saŝa Dragin, Minister of Environmental Protection, Serbia, during his introductory remarks.
Francisco Nunes Correia, Minister of Environment, Portugal, on behalf of the EU, during the keynote address.
Alexey Varlamov, Deputy Minister of Natural Resources, the Russian Federation
Bruno Oberle, State Secretary, Federal Office for the Environment, Switzerland
Kimmo Tiilikainen, Minister of Environment, Finland
Sviatoslav Kurulenko, First Deputy Minister of Environmental Protection, Ukraine
Åsa-Brit Karlsson, State Secretary, Ministry of the Environment, Sweden
Daniel Reifsnyder, State Department Deputy Assistant Secretary for Environment, Bureau of Oceans and International Environmental and Scientific Affairs, US
Bert-Axel Szelinski, Federal Ministry of Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety, Germany
Grégoire de Kalbermatten, UNCCD Deputy Executive Secretary, said EfE could be mobilized to address land and soil management.
Anke Stock, Women in Europe for Common Future
Anna Golubovskaya-Onissimova, European ECO-Forum
Alla Lytvynenko, Chair of the Board of the Youth and Environment Europe
John Hontelez, Secretary General, European Environmental Bureau
Marek Belka, Executive Secretary, UNECE
Leonty Khoruzhik, Minister of Natural Resources and Environmental Protection, Belarus
Alzhan Braliev, Deputy Minister of Environmental Protection, Kazakhstan, expressed desire for his country to host the next EfE in song.
Dais congratulating the delegate of Belarus on his birthday
Closure of the Conference
Delegates listening to Chair’s closing remarks
Conference Chair Saŝa Dragin is congratulated by Marek Belka, Executive Secretary, UNECE
Delegates congratulate Saŝa Dragin on the Chair’s summary.
Reception offered by the Serbian Government
Your IISD team. L-R: Melanie Ashton, Team Leader, Australia; Diego Noguera, Digital Editor, Colombia; and Sarah Stewart Johnson, Writer, United States of America, at the Kalemegdan Fortress.