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3 February  

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7 February

SUMMARY

Twenty Second Session of the Governing Council/Global Ministerial Environment Forum 
3-7 February 2003
Nairobi, Kenya 

E N B
S U M M A R Y

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Highlights from Friday, 7 February

Delegates met in a morning Plenary session to conclude the Ministerial Forum, and to begin adopting decisions. The COW also met in morning and afternoon sessions. The drafting group, met throughout the morning and into the afternoon, and informal consultations on the budget continued throughout the day. A contact group on consumption and production patterns convened in the afternoon. The budget contact group convened at 4:00 and reached consensus in the evening. As a result of delays caused by ongoing negotiations on the Work Programme and budget and on consumption and production patterns, the formal close of the meeting did not take place until Friday evening, when decisions on these issues were finally adopted. Following the adoption of these decisions, delegates made their closing remarks. Governing Council President gaveled the meeting to a close at 8:45 pm. Photo: UNEP Deputy Executive Director Shafqat Kakakhel, Executive Director Klaus Töpfer and Governing Council President Ruhakana Rugunda


Morning Plenary
On Friday morning, Governing Council President Rugunda reported to Plenary on discussions and outcomes from the ministerial consultations held during the past two days. Noting that the discussions had yielded some important conclusions and recommendations, he highlighted the delegatesí conclusions that the environmental components of the NEPAD action plan should be finalized as soon as possible, and that UNEP should play a strong role supporting this. On regional implementation he underscored speakersí recommendations that regional partnerships with other institutions and ministerial forums should be fostered and supported by UNEP, that the role and capacity of UNEPís regional offices and programmes should be enhanced, and that capacity building should be a key component of UNEP's regional work. Regarding sustainable consumption and production, he noted support for UNEP strengthening its sustainable consumption and production activities and have a leading role in developing and implementing the ten-year framework of programmes on consumption and production. Finally, on use of the natural resource base to fight poverty, he took note of the important role UNEP has in awareness-raising and promotion of partnerships among stakeholders, implementation of the WEHAB, capacity building, provision of legal and technical assistance, and operationalization of UNEPís conceptual framework on poverty and ecosystems

Lee Maanee, Ministry of the Environment, Republic of Korea, offered to host the Eighth Special Session of the Governing Council and the Fifth Global Ministerial Environment Forum

Yousef Abu Safieh, Minister, Palestinian National Authority, Palestine

Delegates unanimously adopted a decision on the environment in the Occupied Palestinian Territories (UNEP/GC.22/L.4), which, inter alia welcomes the desk study outlining the state of the environment in the Occupied Territories presented by the Executive Director, including the recommendations contained within the report


Committee of the Whole

COW Chair Tanya Van Gool (the Netherlands) at the close of the session

Algeria intervenes on the proposal on the International Year of the Deserts, which it submitted along with others

The International Maritime Organization makes an intervention during the discussions on marine safety and protection of the marine environment from accidental pollution, which was submitted by the EU



Drafting Group
Chair Juergen Weerth (Germany) with members of the US delegation discuss the civil society draft decision
Delegates in the drafting group discuss the draft decision on civil society participation

Contact Group on Budget

Informal consultations were held throughout the day on the budget. The contact group reconvened in the late afternoon to conclude its work

Contact Group Chair John Ashe with members of the US delegation

EU ministers meet in the morning to discuss the budget
Michael Meacher, Minister of State, Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, UK, with Chair Ashe and members of the EU (left), and Ministers Michael Meacher and David Anderson, Canada (right)
Norway with Canada (left) and the UK with Chair Ashe
Chair Ashe chats with Finland after the consensus is reached on the budget

Closing Plenary

Richard Ballhorn, Canada, chaired the contact group on consumption and production (left) and Budget Contact Group Chair (right)

Minister Michael Meacher, UK, with John Turner, Assistant Secretary, Bureau of Oceans and International Environmental and Scientific Affairs, after agreement in the budget group was reached

On the budget, John Turner, United States, noted the strong commitment of the US to UNEP, and that it is a large financial contributor. However, he stressed that the proposed Programme of Work includes initiatives outside of UNEPís traditional strengths and other initiatives that have not received adequate consideration by the Governing Council. He said that while joining the consensus to the decision, they could not endorse the programme overview or the subprogramme narratives and underscored their intention to submit detailed comments to remedy the deficiencies in the programme, expressing a desire to work with other delegations and the Executive Director to strengthen the process of drafting and reviewing the budget and accompanying work programme.

Minister Michael Meacher, UK, speaking on behalf of the EU, expressed their full support for UNEP, the Programme of Work and budget, and endorsed UNEP playing a central role in the follow up the WSSD.


In his closing remarks, Minister Michael Meacher, on behalf of the EU, thanked delegates for maintaining the momentum from the WSSD, and said the EU would remain faithful to the commitments it had made. Asserting that UNEPís role as the lead environmental agency has been confirmed, he said EU ministers are committed to making the Global Ministerial Environment Forum the key worldwide arena for international policy guidance on environmental issues.

Uganda, speaking for the Africa region (left), speaking for AMCEN, said this session of the Governing Council had built on the work of the WSSD, particularly in relation to Africa. He called for further strengthening of UNEPís regional office for Africa.

 

Declaring this to be ďone of the most successful sessions in recent times,Ē Professor Wangari Mathaai, Assistant Minister, Ministry of Environment, Natural Resources and Wildlife, Kenya, said the Governing Council had charted a way forward towards regional implementation of the WSSD. She noted that decisions had been taken on a wide range of issues, adding that the challenge now was to translate these agreements into action.

 

On the budget, Morocco, on behalf of the G77/China, supporting the statement of the EU, called for a strong UNEP to carry out its mandate as outlined in the Programme of Work.

In his closing remarks, he indicated that it was satisfied with the outcomes of the meeting, although results on some issues had not lived up to its expectations. Syria, for the Arab Group, drew attention to the decision on the Occupied Palestinian Territories.

In his closing remarks, UNEP Executive Director Klaus Töpfer said that it had been a difficult but positive week. He welcomed criticism and feedback on how to continue improving the organization, adding that UNEP was dedicated to continuing to strive for perfection. Drawing attention to the fact that this was the most well-attended Governing Council session ever, he expressed the wish that the two years leading into the next session would result in ongoing progress and advances in UNEPís work.

Topfer is pictured here with Deputy Executive Director Shafqat Kakakhel

Governing Council President Ruhakana Rugunda expressed pleasure at the successful conclusion of the Governing Councilís agenda. Calling particular attention to the focus on Africa and NEPAD, he said UNEP should play a leading role in implementing. Expressing his appreciation to all participants and organizers for their hard work, he gavelled the meeting to a close at 8:45 PM
 

Press Conference on the Occupied Palestinian Territories


UNEP Executive Director Klaus Töpfer and Pekka Haavisto, former Finnish Minister of Environment and Development Cooperation, and head of the UNEP Post Conflict Assessment Unit, which compiled the desk report on the environmental situation in the Occupied Palestinian Territories

Klaus Töpfer reiterated that the adoption of a decision by the Governing Council endorsing the desk report on the environment in the Occupied Palestinian Territories, and giving the go ahead for action to improve the environment in the Occupied Palestinian Territories was a great achievement.

Pekka Haavisto provided general information on the report on the environmental situation in the Occupied Palestinian Territories

The desk study and the Governing Council decision on the Environment in the Occupied Palestinian Territories is available at www.unep.org

Tree Planting Ceremony for the late Kjell Larssen, former Swedish Environment Minister

UNEP Executive Director Klaus Töpfer and Swedish Environment Minister Lena Sommestad

 

A Pistache tree in planted in memory of Kjell Larssen, former Swedish Environment Minister

UNEP Launches the Ogiek Study Report during the Fourth UNEP Global Civil Society Forum

Kenya's Castaways- The Ogiek and National Development Processes; Published by Minority Rights Group International in Partnership with the Center for Minority Rights Development

Adnan Amin, UNEP New York Executive Director, addressing the
gathered delegates before Officially launching the report

Minister for Lands and
Settlement, Hon Amos Kimunya giving his speech


Miscellaneous Photos
Delegates from Liberia, Cameroon and Cape Verde
Venezuelan Environment Minister Ana Elisa Osorio Granado (left), Ignatius Jean, Minister, Ministry of Physical Development, Environment and Housing (right)
ENB writers Andrey Vavilov and Hugh Wilkins (left) and Vavilov with Andrey Vasiliev, CSD Secretariat (right)
On Wednesday, 5 February, Anna Tibaijuka, Executive Director of UN-Habitat (left) and Jeanne Rebstock Foust, Environmental Systems Research Institute, launched a US$15 million initiative to provide over 1000 cities in developing countries with geographic information systems (GIS) software and training to be provided by Environmental Systems Research Institute (ESRI)
Jimena Nieto, Colombia, and African delegates consult
UN Security and delegates from Saudi Arabia

Klaus Töpfer with Senegalese President Abdoulaye Wade and Kenyan Environment Minister Newton Kulundu during a luncheon held Wednesday, 5 February, and Anyang Nyong'o, Kenyan Minister of Planning and National Development with Governing Council President Ruhakana Rugunda

Links

ENB Summary of UNEP-21 in PDF (English), txt and html
ENB Coverage of the Third Global Ministerial Environment Forum (Seventh Special Session of the UNEP Governing Council)
ENB Coverage of the World Summit on Sustainable Development
UNEP website,with information about the Governing Council
UNEP website on International Environmental Governance

UNEP-22 Homepage with the Provisional Agenda and Working Documents for the meeting, as well as information documents
UNEP.Net, the United Nations Environment Network: a global portal to authoritative environmental information based on themes and regions.

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