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Sixth special session of the Governing Council of the
United Nations Environment Programme

 
Malmö, Sweden; 29 - 31 May,  2000

BNT (version française)

 
The first Global Ministerial Environment Forum - in the form of the Sixth Special Session of the Governing Council (GC) of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) - took place in Malmö, Sweden, from 29-31 May 2000. Over 500 delegates from more than 130 countries - including 73 ministers, and representatives of IGOs and NGOs - attended the three-day Forum. The purpose of the Forum was to institute a process for regaining policy coherence in the field of the environment, in direct response to the need for such action emphasized in the 1998 report of the UN Secretary-General on environment and human settlements. The Forum convened in parallel sessions of Ministerial Consultations, a Committee of the Whole (COW) and a working group on the Malmö Declaration. The ministers also considered a report by UNEP Executive Director Klaus Töpfer on UNEP's activities and the organization's contribution to the implementation of Agenda 21. The outcome of the Forum will be presented to the fifty-fifth session of the General Assembly (the Millennium Assembly) in September 2000. The Forum provided UNEP and its Governing Council with a key opportunity to influence the international environmental agenda of the 21st century. Environment ministers discussed major global environmental challenges in the new century and strategic policy responses to such issues, as well as the roles of the private sector and civil society. Consideration was also given to the need to ensure the effective and efficient functioning of UNEP governance mechanisms, and possible financial implications. Central themes of the Forum were the need to match commitments with action, the key role of UNEP in international environmental politics, and concerns about how to make Rio+10 a "real" success.

Wednesday, 31 May
Ministers and delegates convened for the final Plenary to adopt the report of the meeting.

Hossein Moeni Maybodi, Iran, presented the draft report of the Forum. Colombia suggested that a letter circulated from Colombia’s Minister of Environment on the inclusion of civil society participation in the Rio +10 process should be mentioned in the final report. The US suggested that paragraph 9 on the role of NGOs in promoting environmental agreements and public awareness should include “promoting transparency and non-corrupt practices in environmental decision making.” In paragraph 11 on civil society, Pakistan stressed the need to build on capacity in civil society for such things as environmental impact assessment. Benin commented that the private sector should not allow for the relocation of environmental problems such as pollution from one place to another. Angola stated that the role of women has been overlooked and stressed their involvement in policy and strategies for improving the environment in developing and developed countries. She also commented on the importance of supporting youth in policy-making. After these amendments, the report of the meeting was adopted.

 

UNEP Executive Director Klaus Töpfer said the UNGA decision to give the world’s environment ministers a forum for discussion such as the Global Ministerial Environment Forum had proved to be a good one. He stated the Forum had provided a good start in the preparations for Rio+10.
Zhenhua Xie, Minister of State, Environment Protection Administration in discussion with Zhijia Wang, Director General, Department of International Cooperation, China.

Delegates were treated to a performance by the Vega, brass quintet prior to the commencement of the closing Plenary.

 

ENB Summary

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Tue, 30 May

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Birgitta Dahl, Speaker of the Swedish Parliament, reminded delegates that UNEP was the product of the United Nations Conference on the Human Environment, held in Stockholm 1972.

Swedish Environment Minister Kjell Larsson closed the meeting but putting down the gavel at 1:35 pm.

A traditional Swedish thank you was offered to delegates on behalf of the organizers and staff.

Naeem Hasan, with fellow delegates from Pakistan.

K.B Kaigama, Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Environment, Nigeria, catching up on some reading prior to the start of the Plenary.

Birgitta Dahl, Speaker of the Swedish Parliament and Hassan Adamu, Minister for Environment, Nigeria, at the conclusion of the Plenary. 

Hassan Adamu, speaking on behalf of all African environment ministers at the meeting, congratulated all ministers at the meeting to the completion of the Malm� Declaration, saying it would send the right signals to the Heads of State at the Millennium Summit.

Dong-soo Chung, Vice Minister, Ministry of Environment, Korea, going over the documentation produced by the Malm� Declaration.

Elisabeth Corell and Leila Mead, ENB, interview Vishwanath Anand, Secretary to the Government of India, Ministry of Environment and Forests, India.

The ENB team, (left to right) Molly Rosenman, Leila Mead, Leanne Burney, Kimo Goree, Jonathan Krueger, Elisabeth Corell, Hernan Lopez and Emily Boyd. Photo taken by David Fernau.




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