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21st Session of the UNEP Governing Council

Nairobi, KENYA
05 - 09 February 2001

 

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Thursday 08 February 2001

Nobel Prize Laureate Wole Soyinka meets the press and public at a news conference this afternoon.

Delegates convened in Plenary for the high-level segment of the meeting, which included a round-table ministerial dialogue on implementation and development of the Nairobi and Malmö Declarations, and a consultation on poverty and environment. Two break-out groups - on poverty and pollution and on poverty and health - were also held. The Committee of the Whole (COW) convened in afternoon and evening sessions to continue considering draft decisions. The drafting group and the working group on budget and administrative matters also met, and a number of informal contact groups were convened.

For streaming video of negotiations, press conferences, and side events,
visit the UNEP GC website at
http://www1.unep.org/video/

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Opening Ceremony :

President Moi, Kenya, adresses the plenary during this morning's high level segment.
In his introductory remarks, Governing Council President Anderson reminded delegates of the importance of the Ministerial Forum to the 2002 World Summit for Sustainable Development. Nitin Desai, UN Under Secretary-General of Economic and Social Affairs, hoped the Session would guide and shape the Summit's outputs. South Africa's Minister of Environment and Tourism, Mohammed Valli Moosa, noted the interlinkages between poverty, environment and development. Regarding preparations for the 2002 World Summit for Sustainable Development, he underscored the need for public mobilization and proposed seven elements to guide discussions on governance and institutional arrangements, inter alia: defining workable institutional arrangements; addressing finances, including looking into the decision-making of international financial institutions; and instituting a system that empowers small and developing countries to participate meaningfully. This discussion should be conducted at Ministerial level, as the issues are political. Two children said they were making two sculptures: a tree symbolizing the tree of life; and a bridge, symbolizing dialogue among civilizations, and bridges between the rich and poor and the young and old. UNEP/ONON/UNHCS staff President Mary Odhiambo, paid special tribute to UNEP Executive Director Klaus Töpfer on efforts to promote open staff dialogue. Tokiko Kato, UNEP Envoy of Japan, stressed concern over a changing global environment and performed two songs. UNEP Executive Director, Klaus Topfer stressed the need for a successful World Summit on Sustainable Development resulting in concrete decisions and actions. He urged for financial backing to assist UNEP fulfill its commitment to the Summit. Kenyan President Daniel Moi highlighted UNEP's financial constraints, and, stressing mobilization of traditional and nontraditional resources, urged the private sector to make contributions.

 

 

SIDE EVENTS:

Special Reading by World Renowned Nigerian Writer & Nobel Prize Laureate

Nigerian writer and Nobel Prize Laureate Wole Soyinka gave a special reading of a poem written especially for this occassion, in the memory of the 1998 bomb blast victims of Kenya and Tanzania.

Wole Soyinka, reads a poem for the occassion, joined by UNEP Executive Director Klaus Topfer, GC President David Andersen, and Habitat Executive Director Anna Tibaijuka.

 

 

Launching UNEP.net

Noel Dempsey (Ireland) plugs in the new UNEP.net website, while Tim Foresman looks on from behind.

Tim Foresman, Director, UNEP Division of Early Warning and Assessment (DEWA) presented the launch of the UNEP.net website. The new online application serves up a network portal offering a forum for scientific, technical peer review; provision of insights on environmental issues to the global communityl and exchange of ideas, information and data. It also contains a user-driven map-generating facility and compiles information culled from databases of partnering organizations.

Developed with industry, academic, government and NGO partners, UNEP.net is an internet-based environmental information network that brings together new integrated information frameworks and harmonized, readily accessible data sets, including UNEP's own assessment activities.

 

 

 
 

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