Envisioning the Next Steps for MEA
Compliance and Enforcement
Colombo, Sri Lanka | 21-22 January 2006
High-Level Meeting on Envisioning the Next Steps for Compliance with and Enforcement of Multilateral Environmental Agreements
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25 January 2006
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Highlights from Saturday, 21 January 2006

The High-Level Meeting on Envisioning the Next Steps for Compliance with and Enforcement of Multilateral Environmental Agreements was officially opened on 21 January 2006 in Colombo, Sri Lanka, in an auspicious traditional Sri Lankan ceremony with the lighting of an oil lamp.

Maithripala Sirisena, Sri Lanka Minister of Environment lights the traditional lamp and speaks at the opening of the session

Bakary Kante, UNEP/DEC Director, on behalf of Klaus Töpfer, UNEP Executive Director, welcomed participants and highlighted the meeting’s mandate to develop concrete recommendations for a UNEP action plan to strengthen MEA implementation. Maithripala Sirisena, Minister of Environment of Sri Lanka, also welcomed participants and noted that developing countries are facing increasing constraints that hamper MEA implementation. He stressed the mandate of the meeting to propose practical recommendations and a way forward. Christopher Weeramantry, former Vice-President, International Court of Justice, made a keynote presentation. He highlighted the role of judges in developing environmental law and the relationship between traditional customs and MEA provisions.

Lal Kurukulasuriya, Director General, Centre for Environmental Research, Training and Education (CERTI) in Sri Lanka Bakary Kante, UNEP Director of the Division of Environmental Conventions speaking on behalf of Klaus Töpfer, UNEP Executive Director Christopher G. Weeramantry, Former Vice-President of the International Court of Justice

Participants then convened in the first two substantive sessions of the meeting. The first session discussed myths and truths about MEA implementation, with Patrick Szell, UK, addressing the international level and Youba Sokona, Executive Secretary OSS, addressing approaches and lessons learned from national MEA implementation. The second session discussed systemic challenges facing MEA implementation with Adil Najam, Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, addressing legal and institutional issues and Marceil Yeater, Chief Legislation and Compliance Unit, CITES Secretariat, addressing socio-economic issues. The day closed with a dinner reception hosted by the Government of Sri Lanka.

Youba Sokona, Executive Secretary of OSS Patrick Szell, speaking on Myths and Truths about MEA Implementation Parvez Hassan, former Chair of the IUCN Environmental Law Commission
Durwood Zaelke, Director INECE Dr. Raman Letchumanan Dr. Philippe Roch, Chair of the meeting

The second session discussed systemic challenges facing MEA implementation with Adil Najam, Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, addressing legal and institutional issues and Marceil Yeater, Chief Legislation and Compliance Unit, CITES Secretariat, addressing socio-economic issues. The day closed with a dinner reception hosted by the Government of Sri Lanka.

Dr. Iwona Rummel-Bulska, former Executive Secretary of the Basel Convention and now with UNEP Division of Policy Development and Law Professor Adil Najam of the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy (Tufts University) speaks on “Systemic Challenges Facing MEA Implementation: Legal and Institutional Issues”
Participants during the meeting
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21 January 2006 - 22 January 2006
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