Vol. 114 No. 1
SUMMARY OF THE
“ENVIRONMENT FOR THE MDGS” HIGH-LEVEL EVENTS:
Two events convened in New York on Wednesday, 14 September 2005, to address the theme of the “Environment for the Millennium Development Goals.” Both events were organized by members of the Poverty-Environment Partnership (PEP), a network of more than 30 development and environment agencies and organizations formed to address the link between poverty and environment in the context of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). The key organizers and sponsors of these events were the UN Development Programme (UNDP), UN Environment Programme (UNEP), and governments of Denmark, Germany, Sweden and the UK, as well as IUCN-The World Conservation Union, International Institute for Environment and Development (IIED), SNV Netherlands Development Organization, World Resources Institute and WWF International.
The first event, a High-level Policy Dialogue, took place in the afternoon near United Nations headquarters. The event took as its theme, “Investing in the Environment to Fight Poverty: The Economic Case and Priorities for Action and Implications for the 2005 World Summit and Beyond.” Several hundred participants attended the meeting, including a number of senior politicians, government officials, and representatives of civil society and intergovernmental organizations. In addition, a large number of people from around the world observed the proceedings and asked questions via a live weblink (visit: ).
The policy dialogue was followed by a second event – a dinner for Heads of State held at The Boathouse in Central Park. The dinner, which was attended by leading figures from the political, business, academic and entertainment communities, also included various announcements on initiatives focusing on environment and poverty.
Timed to coincide with the United Nations’ 2005 World Summit, these events are expected to encourage and support “leadership and action to reach the Millennium Development Goals.”
A BRIEF HISTORY OF THE POVERTY-ENVIRONMENT PARTNERSHIP
The Poverty-Environment Partnership (PEP) is a network of development agencies, multilateral development banks, UN agencies and international non-governmental organizations seeking to tackle key poverty-environment issues “within the framework of international efforts to achieve the Millennium Development Goals.” The MDGs, which were articulated by UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan and based on the outcomes of the Millennium Summit in September 2000, set out a series of goals aimed at supporting development and combating poverty within set timeframes. The seventh goal (MDG 7) addresses the environmental context, calling for environmental sustainability.
Since 2000, there has been a growing concern among some experts that MDG 7 has not received sufficient support or attention. Responding to this concern, the PEP has sought to reinvigorate political attention and commitment to tackling the environmental challenges in meeting the MDGs. This has included developing and presenting evidence on the economic importance of the environment to poverty reduction and pro-poor growth. In 2005, the PEP published several reports presenting this evidence, including Investing in Environmental Wealth for Poverty Reduction and Assessing Environment’s Contribution to Poverty Reduction. The PEP also planned two high-visibility events to coincide with the World Summit in September 2005.
HIGH-LEVEL POLICY DIALOGUE
The High-level Policy Dialogue took place on Wednesday afternoon, 14 September. The event consisted of three sessions. The first session examined the case for investing in the environment to reduce poverty. The second focused on future priorities and “building on what works.” The third considered the implications for the 2005 World Summit and beyond. Each session involved presentations from a panel of eminent speakers, followed by a question-and-answer period.
Charles McNeill, Environment Programme Team Manager, UNDP, welcomed participants and introduced UNEP Executive Director Klaus Töpfer, who opened the event by noting the critical challenge of overcoming poverty. Highlighting the linkages between poverty and the environment, he stressed UNEP’s close cooperation with UNDP.
SESSION ONE: THE CASE FOR INVESTING IN ENVIRONMENT TO REDUCE POVERTY
Mary Robinson, Chair of the Board of the International Institute for Environment and Development (IIED), moderated the first session on the case for investing in environment to reduce poverty. Highlighting the issue of climate change and the grave global threat it presents, she expressed surprise that the issue has not been taken up as part of achieving the MDGs.
PANEL PRESENTATIONS: Olav Kjørven, Director, Energy and Environment Group, UNDP, speaking for UNDP Administrator Kemal Derviş, noted that participants were at this meeting to discuss the importance of the environment in achieving pro-poor growth, adding that most countries are not on track to achieve MDG 7. He outlined the work of the PEP on economic aspects of this issue, and praised the work of the late David Pearce, Emeritus Professor at University College London. He stressed that it was no longer possible to “hide behind the argument that environmental degradation is needed for economic growth,” and argued that pro-poor investments are often very competitive when compared with conventional investments. He drew attention to estimates that some US$60-90 billion needs to be spent in the next few years in using MDG 7 to achieve MDG 1 (halving extreme poverty). Noting that much good analysis already exists, he called on participants to “cross the bridge from analysis to action” and establish a concrete plan for implementation.
Hilary Benn, Secretary of State for International Development, UK, welcomed PEP’s research. He raised the issue of underinvestment and questions of who has access to, and controls, environmental assets. He discussed the growing problems with water availability and the challenges related to climate change, and emphasized the political challenge of persuading people to take action now in expectation of a long-term benefit to come. Highlighting Kyoto as a “stop-gap” given that the world’s largest polluter has not joined the treaty, he underscored the need for long-term solutions and action on the part of developed countries that currently use a large share of global resources.
Jane Weru, Director of the Pamoja Trust (part of Slum and Shackdwellers International), said PEP’s research had set out statistical information but did not show the reality of poverty. She explained the daily reality of life for many living in poverty in Kenya, including their lack of water and sanitation facilities – a situation that she said strips people of their dignity. She explained that many are also affected by AIDS, typhoid or diarrhea, and noted that Kenya’s water scarcity is becoming more pronounced. She predicted that water scarcity will cause wars in the future unless it is addressed.
Ian Johnson, Vice President for Sustainable Development, World Bank, highlighted PEP’s analysis on environment and poverty as a step in the right direction, and called for implementation to build on such analysis. He stressed the links between the MDGs on environment and health, noting that many health issues, such as infant mortality, are closely tied to the environment. He highlighted the World Bank’s new publication, Where is the Wealth of Nations?, which argues for “green accounting” that takes into consideration natural resources and environmental factors. He also urged the use of country rankings as a point of comparison on progress towards sustainability.
Connie Hedegaard, Danish Minister for the Environment and Nordic Cooperation, emphasized environment-health linkages, such as the impact of air pollution on human health. She expressed serious concerns about the climate change problem, and suggested that environmental issues need to be mainstreamed across government agencies, arguing that it is not a lack of will but the absence of knowledge and awareness that is a major impediment to progress.
IUCN Director General Achim Steiner argued that environmental issues should not be “locked into a corner.” He expressed concern that the concept of sustainable development has been increasingly sidelined rather than mainstreamed since the Rio Earth Summit. He also raised concerns that the relationship between nature and people continues to be misunderstood, and observed that the poor are the first to be affected during disasters, whether they occur in Indonesia or New Orleans.
Jeffrey Sachs, Director of the Earth Institute at Columbia University, stressed the complexity and local specificity of many environmental issues, arguing that it appears to be often beyond the capacity of most governments to internalize ecological factors in economic or policy decisions. He suggested that climate change was such a complex issue that “almost nobody knows how to handle [it]… right now.” He added that solving the climate change problem would cost a lot of money, “so we better get it right.” Noting that the solutions are not easy to identify, he observed that not much progress has been made.
DISCUSSION: In the ensuing discussion, Adil Najam, Associate Professor of International Negotiation and Diplomacy, The Fletcher School, Tufts University, and representative of The RING Alliance, highlighted the need to expand from the macro-level to the micro, noting that it is the poor that live closest to the environment. He supported green accounting, and highlighted a tendency to count the easiest indicators, but not always the most relevant ones. He urged serious action in the North on climate change, including changes at the individual level – for instance, targeting habits such as the use of fuel-inefficient SUVs. Jeffrey Sachs disagreed that SUV use was the “big story” on climate change, arguing instead that the greatest looming challenge is the impact of economic development in the developing world, which contains five-sixths of the world’s population, and is set to triple global emissions under business-as-usual scenarios. Connie Hedegaard agreed, while cautioning that recognizing this challenge was obviously no excuse for failing to act in the developed world. She said the developed countries should be taking the lead and could support developing countries in their efforts, for instance in using more environmentally-friendly technologies.
One participant expressed disappointment at the lack of focus on women by the PEP, given that women are most affected by poverty. Another noted the challenge of encouraging the people who work on the frontline in the fight against poverty, hunger and disease to think about environmental issues in their daily work.
Summarizing the session’s discussions, Mary Robinson said it was clear that the PEP’s analysis on these issues is widely regarded as sound and helpful, although consideration of the gender perspective needed to be strengthened. She also noted comments that the poor need to have a voice and be listened to, and drew attention to the work of the High-level Commission on the Legal Empowerment of the Poor in this regard. She highlighted the discussion on the need for green accounting and ranking countries, and observed that although issues such as climate change are complicated, there is a strongly held view that they must be addressed and can be solved.
SESSION TWO: FUTURE PRIORITIES – BUILDING ON WHAT WORKS
UNEP Executive Director Klaus Töpfer opened this session by highlighting the value of calculating benefit-cost ratios for different investments, including ecosystem services. He noted that a lack of “environment capital” represents a bottleneck for further development.
Hilde Johnson, Minister of International Development, Norway, moderated this session. She expressed concern at the lack of progress in scaling-up solutions since the Rio Earth Summit, and urged a focus on implementation. She asked the panel to discuss how to build on what works, bearing in mind what is already working at a local, national and international level, what are the “win-wins” for delivering on multiple MDGs at the same time, and what is required in terms of policy reform.
PANEL PRESENTATIONS: Benson Venegas Robinson, Director of Asociación ANAI, Equator Initiative Board of Directors, outlined the work of the Equator Initiative since the World Summit on Sustainable Development in 2002, noting the Initiative’s focus on partnerships and numerous successful examples of reducing poverty while protecting and using biodiversity sustainably.
Agnes van Ardenne-van der Hoeven, Minister for Development Cooperation, the Netherlands, drew attention to the greening of markets through the supply chain as one activity that could be scaled-up. She also supported greening countries’ Poverty Reduction Strategy Papers (PRSPs), including environmental considerations in water management, and greening capital flows worldwide by engaging with the private sector, for instance through the Global Compact.
Björn Stigson, President of the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD), noted the growing recognition among the private sector of environmental issues such as climate change. He observed that it made sense for business to understand and address these issues, as it would otherwise expose companies to greater risk. He argued that a key issue in making progress was the public’s lack of trust both in the corporate sector and government, and asked whether civil society would be willing to “sell part of its trust to make trade-offs happen” and bring further progress.
Carlos Manuel Rodríguez, Minister of Environment and Energy, Costa Rica, outlined his country’s efforts to safeguard the environment, realize the value of ecosystems for its people, and internalize the ecological costs of water in all public services. He also highlighted the country’s investments in biodiversity, and the economic benefits.
Claude Martin, Director-General of WWF International, discussed the issue of widespread rural poverty, stressing the need to understand the root causes of poverty in order to identify solutions. He took issue with what he described as the constant search for “blueprint economics” to solve these problems, and questioned the Kuznets Curve (a theory that links levels of inequality with stages of development/industrialization). He argued that some of the best and easiest solutions can be found in the water area, and noted recent work by WWF.
Kumi Naidoo, Chair, Global Call for Action Against Poverty, observed that there is already a major “compliance deficit” with the commitments made under the MDGs. He called for a twin-track strategy of seeking incremental gains at the micro-level while also seeking to raise high-level political commitment. He called for action on over-consumption, and urged partnerships that engaged civil society at the macro-, meso-, and micro levels, adding that effective partnerships take hard work, investment and good will on all sides.
DISCUSSION: In the ensuing discussion, Leonard Good, CEO and Chair of the Global Environment Facility, informed participants that the focus of his organization would increasingly be on filling the gap between poverty and the environment. This meant, for instance, that its emphasis on climate change work would be on activities to support improvements in areas such as energy services for the poor.
Livingstone Maluleke, Executive member of the Makuleke Communal Property Association in South Africa, described the experience of his community, Makuleke in South Africa. He explained that the community had been forcibly removed from their ancestral lands by the Apartheid regime in 1969, had successfully reclaimed their land in 1996, but is now voluntarily agreeing to suspend all hunting on their lands to preserve biodiversity, since they are receiving substantial revenue from ecotourism. He emphasized the importance of good governance, both globally and locally.
Supachai Panitchpakdi, Secretary-General of the UN Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), highlighted various opportunities for progress from a trade perspective, including in the areas of traditional knowledge and intellectual property services. He said the upcoming Hong Kong ministerial meeting in December 2005 would need to tackle issues of market access, which is critical to the development agenda.
One participant raised the issue of building trust and addressing land tenure issues, while another cited an example of a successful partnership that engaged local communities in Albania in collaborative forest management. A significant shift in how businesses are approaching sustainability was observed by another participant.
Summarizing the discussions, Hilde Johnson said the main message she had taken from this session was the need to link global, national and local together. She stressed the need to make rules and regulations work in favor of the environment, as well as to mobilize and empower the poor to improve their livelihoods and the environment.
SESSION THREE: IMPLICATIONS FOR THE 2005 WORLD SUMMIT AND BEYOND
Olav Kjørven, UNDP, opened the session, asking what are the options for making progress now and in the longer term, and what individual institutions and governments are willing to do to enable this to happen.
PANEL PRESENTATIONS: Laila Freivalds, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Sweden, said the 2005 World Summit represented a critical opportunity for progress. She added that, while we cannot rid the world of risks, we are well-equipped to reduce vulnerability dramatically, as well as to combat poverty and improve livelihoods. She stressed that the MDGs will not be achieved through a business-as-usual approach, and highlighted the Johannesburg Plan of Implementation and Monterrey Consensus as keys to achieving the MDGs. She called for integrating the environmental dimension in development planning, a focus on the day-to day problems affecting the poor, such as air pollution, disease and lack of clean water, and an increase in official development assistance (ODA).
Rachmat Witoelar, Minister of Environment, Indonesia, called for greater commitment and solidarity. He urged sustainable fiscal policies, supported a greater recognition of environment-poverty linkages, and noted the role of international bodies such as UNEP and UNDP.
Margaret Beckett, British Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, affirmed the need to address poverty and environment together. Noting that there was now a widespread agreement on this linkage, she said the next step was to act on it. She suggested that the 2005 World Summit’s outcome document was “reasonably progressive,” but needs effective follow up. She also suggested that countries need to integrate environment into national planning, and urged greater cooperation. She highlighted global governance issues and support for UNEP becoming a specialized agency – a UN environment organization. She also noted the British Chancellor of the Exchequer’s proposal for an international finance facility, and called for agreement in the Doha round of trade talks on measures that will benefit the poorest countries.
Edgar M. Majogo, Minister of State, Vice President’s Office, Tanzania, outlined his country’s work on a national strategy for growth and reduction of poverty, and efforts to mainstream environment as part of the PRSPs. He suggested broadening the current understanding of these issues to incorporate related areas such as transport policy, energy, agriculture and health.
Philippe Douste-Blazy, Minister of Foreign Affairs of France, said ignoring the environment had major socioeconomic impacts. He also linked security with poverty. He urged the international community to find ways to make its work more coherent and effective. Noting the proliferation of over 500 treaties and processes relevant to the environment, he advocated steps to strengthen governance, and supported the creation of a UN environment organization, which he said was supported by the EU and 50 member States of the Francophone organization. He also supported ongoing work on early warning systems such as the one being developed for the Indian Ocean.
DISCUSSION: Responding to a question on the proposed airline tax to support development, Philippe Douste-Blazy said the idea, supported by a number of countries, was to use a levy to raise funding to fight diseases such as AIDs and malaria. On a question about the proposed international finance facility, Margaret Beckett said the goal was to help meet the MDGs. She suggested that those who might have questions or concerns about the proposal should take a positive approach, proposing alternative options or improvements to the scheme. One participant highlighted the impact of population growth on the environment.
Reflecting on the discussions, Olav Kjørven noted calls for true solidarity, compassion for individual suffering, which often has an environmental basis, the need to “rewire” how government operates, and the importance of coherent global institutions that are results-oriented. He also noted comments on increased ODA and the lead Sweden and others are taking in this regard, as well as the need to improve the quality of aid, mainstream environmental issues, remove subsidies, and strengthen the PEP as an instrument to help move from analysis to action. He thanked the governments of Denmark, Germany, Sweden and the UK, as well as WWF, IUCN, IIED, SNV Netherlands development agency, WRI, UNEP and UNDP for sponsoring and organizing this event. The meeting concluded shortly after 6:00 pm.
HEAD OF STATE DINNER
On Wednesday evening, 14 September 2005, a second event – a “Head of State dinner”– was held at The Boathouse in Central Park. The dinner was attended by more than 400 people, including leading figures from civil society and the political, business, academic, and entertainment communities. The event also involved various announcements on initiatives focusing on environment and poverty.
The event began with a reception and words of welcome and opening remarks by United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan, UNDP Administrator Kemal Derviş and UNEP Executive Director Klaus Töpfer. This was followed by a presentation by Alhaji Yahya Jammeh, President of the Gambia, and a special tribute to, and remarks by, Ted Turner, Chair of the United Nations Foundation, in recognition of his one billion dollar gift to the United Nations.
A series of announcements were also made over the course of the evening. The masters of ceremonies for the evening were Norway’s International Development Minister Hilde Johnson, Steve McCormick, President and CEO of The Nature Conservancy, and Yaa Ntiamoa-Baidu, Director of WWF International’s Africa Programme.
CONSERVATION ORGANIZATIONS’ COMMITMENT: Leaders from various environment and conservation organizations took the stage to announce a joint commitment to “integrate conservation and development efforts…. and seek sustainable responses to the root causes that lead to both poverty and ecological disruption.” The announcement involved: Pete Seligmann, CEO of Conservation International; Chief Emeka Anyaoku, President of WWF International; Jonathan Lash, President of the World Resources Institute; Steve McCormick, President and CEO, The Nature Conservancy; Michael Rands, Director and Chief Executive of BirdLife International; and John Robinson, Vice President, Wildlife Conservation Society.
EUROPEAN UNION FUNDING PLEDGE: In a recorded video announcement, the European Commissioner for Development and Humanitarian Aid, Louis Michel, presented the European Council’s recent decision to increase funding for development assistance by €20 billion annually. The new European Union Development Policy will place particular emphasis on environment and sustainable management of natural resources and cooperation with Africa.
ENERGY FOR SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT OF AFRICA: Syda Bbumba, Uganda’s Minister of Energy and Mineral Development and Chair of the Forum for Energy Ministers of Africa, announced plans to ensure that at least 50% of Africa’s poor have access to sustainable modern energy services and technologies by 2015.
COALITION FOR RAINFOREST NATIONS: A group of developing nations with rainforests announced they would be offering voluntary carbon emission reductions by preserving forests in exchange for access to international markets for emissions trading. A second initiative, which will be presented to the UN International Tropical Timber Agreement, urged fairer prices for indigenous loggers who employ sustainable harvesting practices. The announcement involved: Jeffrey Sachs, Director of The Earth Institute at Columbia University; Carlos Manuel Rodriguez, Minister of Environment and Energy, Costa Rica: Sato Kilman, Deputy Prime Minister of the Republic of Vanuatu; Jorge Briz Abularach, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Guatemala; Norman Caldera, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Nicaragua; Lauri Chan, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Solomon Islands; and Sir Rabbie Namaliu, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Papua New Guinea.
UNDP/UNEP POVERTY AND ENVIRONMENT INITIATIVE: UNDP and UNEP announced a new UN partnership to help achieve the MDGs – the UNDP/UNEP “Poverty and Environment Initiative.” The partnership, announced by Kemal Derviş and Klaus Töpfer, will seek to mobilize global and national coalitions, as well as a significant expansion in funding and capacity development support, to “enable countries to more effectively integrate environment into their national poverty reduction strategies and investment programmes.”
CONSERVATION FOR POVERTY REDUCTION: IUCN – The World Conservation Union announced the Conservation for Poverty Reduction Initiative, which seeks to improve the livelihoods of poor rural communities in Asia, Latin America and, in particular, in Africa. The initiative was introduced by singer/songwriter and UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador Angelique Kidjo, and announced by IUCN’s Director General, Achim Steiner.
MAKULEKE COMMUNITY HUNTING RIGHTS SUSPENSION: Mashangu Livingstone Maluleke, Executive Member of the Makuleke Communal Property Association, announced the Makulele community’s decision to suspend their right to hunt on their own land in order to preserve the biodiversity they are responsible for managing.
THE BUSINESS OF DEVELOPMENT: Björn Stigson, President of the World Business Council for Sustainable Development, announced a new Development Focus Area involving over 70 member companies investing in new business models that create sustainable livelihoods.
THE SUSTAINABILITY BILLION: Sweden’s Foreign Affairs Minister Laila Freivalds announced an increase in Sweden’s official development assistance in 2006 to one percent of the country’s gross domestic income. One billion Swedish kronor of this increase (approximately US$150 million) will be targeted at investment in environmental protection for the poor.
CLOSING REMARKS AND LIVE PERFORMANCE
Former US Vice President Al Gore reflected on the evening, drawing attention to the presence of many leading figures from around the world at this event and noting the importance of joint efforts to fight poverty by investing in the environment to meet the MDGs.
Wyclef Jean, musician and founder of Yéle Haiti gave a live musical performance and helped mark the launch of “Vert Espoir,” a new national association of Haitian non-governmental organizations involved in a tree-planting campaign that has poverty reduction and environment rehabilitation goals. The event ended late on Wednesday evening, 14 September.
2005 ANNUAL MEETINGS OF THE WORLD BANK GROUP AND INTERNATIONAL MONETARY FUND: The 2005 Annual Meetings of the World Bank/IMF will take place from 24-25 September in Washington, DC. For more information contact: IMF Annual Meeting inquiries; tel: +1-202-473-7272; fax: +1-202-623-4100; e-mail: ; Internet:
REGIONAL MEETING ON MAINSTREAMING ENVIRONMENT INTO THE DEVELOPMENT PROCESSES: PRACTICAL EXPERIENCES AND TOOLS FROM SUB-SAHARAN AFRICA: This event is taking place in Accra, Ghana from 3-7 October 2005. For more information contact:
52ND SESSION OF UNCTAD TRADE AND DEVELOPMENT BOARD: UNCTAD’s Trade and Development Board will hold its 52nd session in Geneva from 3-14 October 2005. For more information contact: UNCTAD Secretariat; tel: ++41-22-917-5809; fax: +41-22-917-0051; e-mail: ; Internet:
SEMINAR ON ENVIRONMENTAL SERVICES AND FINANCING FOR THE PROTECTION AND SUSTAINABLE USE OF ECOSYSTEMS: Scheduled for 10-11 October 2005, in Geneva, Switzerland, this meeting will review methods for valuing ecosystems services, existing legal and contractual arrangements for the payment of ecosystems services and challenges in their practical implementation. It will also consider experiences in the UNECE region and elsewhere. The Seminar is being organized by the Swiss Agency for the Environment, Forests and Landscape, the UNECE Secretariat of the Water Convention, the Ramsar Convention Secretariat and IUCN - the World Conservation Union. For more information contact: Water Convention Secretariat, UNECE, Geneva; tel: +41-22-917-2373 or 2463; fax: +41-22-917-0107; e-mail: ; Internet:
UNEP FINANCE INITIATIVE GLOBAL
ROUNDTABLE: Taking place from
25-26 October 2005, in New York, the 2005 UNEP Finance Initiative
Global Roundtable will provide a forum for the exchange of ideas and
information in the fields of finance, insurance and sustainability.
This will include a strong focus on the issues of carbon and
responsible investment. For more information contact: UNEP FI
Roundtable Secretariat; tel: +41-22-917-8178; fax: +41-22-796-9240;
GEF CONSULTATIONS AND COUNCIL MEETING: The Global Environment Facility consultations and Council meeting are taking place in Washington, DC, from 7-11 November 2005. For more information contact: GEF Secretariat; tel: +1-202-473-0508; fax: +1-202-522-3240; e-mail: ; Internet:
FIRST MEETING OF PARTIES TO THE KYOTO PROTOCOL AND ELEVENTH CONFERENCE OF PARTIES TO THE UNFCCC: Scheduled for 28 November to 9 December 2005 in Montreal, Canada, the first Meeting of Parties to the Kyoto Protocol (MOP-1) is taking place in conjunction with the eleventh session of the Conference of Parties (COP-11) to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). For more information contact: UNFCCC Secretariat; tel: +49-228-815-1000; fax: +49-228-815-1999; e-mail: email@example.com; Internet:
SIXTH WTO MINISTERIAL CONFERENCE: From 13-18 December 2005, in Hong Kong, China this major event for the World Trade Organization is expected to mark a key moment in the Doha round of trade negotiations. Originally slated for completion in January 2005, the Doha round has suffered from delays due to disagreements at the previous ministerial conference in Cancï¿½n, Mexico in 2003. The conference will be preceded by numerous formal and informal preparatory meetings and events. For more information contact: WTO Secretariat; tel: +41-22-739-5111; fax: +41-22-731-4206; e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org; Internet:
NINTH SPECIAL SESSION OF THE UNEP GOVERNING COUNCIL/SEVENTH GLOBAL MINISTERIAL ENVIRONMENT FORUM: These events will convene from 7-9 February 2006 in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. The major agenda items for UNEP GCSS-9/GMEF are energy and environment and chemicals management. For more information contact: Beverly Miller, Secretary for UNEP Governing Council; tel: +254-2-623-431; fax: +254-2-623-929; e-mail: ; Internet: