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Thirteenth Meeting of the Parties to the Montreal
Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer

Colombo, Sri Lanka - 16-19 October 2001
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Highlights for Thursday, 18 October

The high-level segment opened in the morning with cultural performances and statements by dignitaries, and continued in the afternoon with statements from, inter alia, the Assessment Panels, implementing agencies and delegations. The preparatory segment resumed early in the morning and in the afternoon to complete outstanding work.
Left: Sri Lankan Prime Minister Ratnasiri Wickremanayeke is escorted into the conference hall by Michael Graber, Deputy Executive Secretary; Dinesh Gunewardana, Minister of Transport and Environment, Sri Lanka; Shafqat Kakakhel, Deputy Executive Director of UNEP; and traditional Sri Lankan drummers.

 
Prime Minister Wickremanayeke lighting the traditional oil lamp before opening the high-level segment of MOP-13 as Minister Gunewardana (far left) looks on.
 
Standing for the Sri Lankan national anthem, from left to right: Gunewardana; Wickremanayeke; Kakakhel; Milton Catelin, President of MOP-12; Graber; and Nelson Sadogal, Chief Scientific Officer, Ozone Secretariat.
 
   
Kandyan dancers performing during the opening ceremony
 

 Milton Catelin, MOP-12 President (right), opened the high-level segment. He urged Parties to ratify the Protocol's amendments and expressed concern over the delay in appointing the new Ozone Secretariat Executive Secretary.

Dinesh Gunawardena, Sri Lankan Minister of Transport and Environment, commented that Sri Lanka is ahead of schedule in meeting its Montreal Protocol obligations. Noting Sri Lanka's concern over climate change as a small island State, he underscored cooperation among developed and developing countries.

Shafqat Kakakhel, UNEP Deputy Executive Director (center), welcomed delegates on behalf of UNEP Executive Director Klaus Töpfer, and thanked Sri Lanka for its hospitality. He said the low cost of CFCs and the export of used CFC-dependent equipment to developing countries may impede Article 5 Party compliance. He urged the Multilateral Fund to facilitate accelerated reduction of CFC production in Article 5 Parties. He flagged illegal trade and new ODS as additional challenges to the ozone layer's recovery.

 
   
Ratnasiri Wickremanayeke, Prime Minister of Sri Lanka, welcomed delegates to Sri Lanka and underscored the importance of strengthened international cooperation to protect the ozone layer. He stated that Sri Lanka uses relatively small amounts of CFCs and plans to phase them out by 2005, and has already implemented regulations to control ODS imports. He assured delegates that Sri Lanka would meet its commitment to protecting the ozone layer, and appealed to the global community to do the same.
 
View of the conference hall during the opening ceremony
   
Envelope bearing the new stamp issued by the Sri Lankan Postal Service to commemorate MOP-13. The stamp was officially unveiled at the conclusion of the opening ceremony of the high-level segment.
   
Election of officers
Delegates elected by acclamation Katana Ngala (Kenya) as MOP-13 President. Ngala (left) is shown here with Graber.
 
Tribute to Széll and Kraus
   
MOP-12 President Catelin paid tribute to Patrick Széll (UK, above left) and Heinrich Kraus (Germany, above right), who are retiring from the ozone process, lauding their contributions to protecting the ozone layer.  
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