Editor's Note

It is hard to remember another two-week period when as many critical processes and pressures related to key sustainable development issues have taken place. … article continues

Lynn Wagner, Ph.D.

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Latest News - Thursday, 19 April 2007

UN headquarters, New York, 18 April—The UN Security Council has discussed climate change for the first time. The meeting, held on 17 April, focused on the impact of climate change on peace and security. Over 50 participants spoke. Some delegates, including China and Pakistan, which spoke for the “Group of 77” developing countries, raised doubts regarding the Council’s role on this issue, with some suggesting that it was primarily a socio-economic and/or sustainable development issue that should be addressed by the General Assembly. However, many others, particularly small island States, welcomed the Council’s discussions. Many speakers also urged the UN to give urgent consideration to holding a global summit on climate change. More.

Photo: Margaret Beckett, UK Foreign Secretary, chaired the Security Council discussion on climate change (IISD RS file photo).


UN headquarters, New York, 14 April—The Symposium on the State of the Conservation of Whales in the 21st Century, which convened from 12-13 April 2007, at UN Headquarters in New York, US, analyzed options for the conservation of whales, specifically exploring policies for resolving the current impasse over commercial whaling in the International Whaling Commission (IWC). The symposium, which was organized by the Varda Group on behalf of the Pew Charitable Trusts, focused on: the state of the world’s whale stocks; implications for policy makers; whether the International Convention for the Regulation of Whaling is outdated; why it has been so difficult to find an acceptable solution in whaling policy; and the way(s) forward. The Symposium’s recommendations will be presented during a side event at the upcoming IWC meeting, scheduled to take place in Anchorage, Alaska, US, in May 2007. More.

Photo: Symposium Chair Sir Geoffrey Palmer, New Zealand, gave the keynote address. 

Beijing, 14 April—The UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) Asian Regional Workshop on Adaptation, which met in Beijing, China, from 11-13 April 2007, highlighted Asian concerns related to climate change adaptation and vulnerability reduction, with a view to identifying specific adaptation needs to be considered under the UNFCCC. Participants discussed recent developments under the UNFCCC, climate change in Asia, integrated impact and vulnerability assessments, agriculture and food security, water resources, coastal zones, health, mountainous regions, support for adaptation in the context of sustainable development, and South-South and North-South collaboration. More.

Photo: L-R: Workshop and SBI Chair Bagher Asadi, Iran, with Cao Ziyi, Ministry of Agriculture, China, and Gao Fung, UNFCCC, during the closing session of the workshop.

Brussels, 7 April—The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Working Group II has approved its contribution to the Fourth Assessment Report (AR4). The Working Group, which met in Brussels, Belgium, from 2-6 April 2007, went past its scheduled 5 April deadline, as delegates sought to finalize the report. However, after extensive discussions, participants approved “Climate Change 2007: Impacts, adaptation and vulnerability,” including the Summary for Policy Makers (SPM) and the underlying report and Technical Summary. The key findings of the SPM emphasize the observed and projected impacts of climate change, including accumulating evidence that changes in many physical and biological systems are linked to anthropogenic warming. More.

Photo: IPCC Plenary at work

Other News
Sustainable Development
High-level meeting of ECOSOC, BWI, WTO and UNCTAD considers decision making, financing for development
Shared learning and review meeting develops recommendations for Republic of Korea
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Biodiversity and Wildlife
CMS Scientific Council concludes
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Water, Wetlands, Oceans
Commission on the Limits of the Continental Shelf examines submissions
Workshop on marine litter convenes in Japan
Task Force on HELCOM’s Baltic recovery plan convenes
US proposes cuts in fisheries subsidies
More Water News
Climate and Atmosphere
China, Japan commit to post-2012 talks
US Supreme Court, military push climate agenda
Illegal trade in ozone-depleting chemicals a problem in India
More Climate News

Forests, Desertification and Land Issues
Delegates at UNFF7 begin deliberations
Chinese wood-processing industries blamed for forests losses
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Human Development
Commission on Population and Development focuses on changing population age structures
More Development News
Chemicals Management
Chemicals conventions discuss enhanced cooperation
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Intergovernmental Organizations
UN Secretary-General says streamlined UN will benefit all
UN Secretary-General unveils response to reform recommendations
Workshop assesses Africa’s progress towards MDGs
Global Compact holds second board meeting
Rwanda joins “One UN” pilot programme
More IGO News

Trade, Finance and Investment
World Bank/IMF Development Committee addresses MDGs and a low-carbon economy
More Trade News

Key meetings in the next two weeks

Twenty-first Session of the UN-HABITAT Governing Council: 16-20 April 2007, Nairobi, Kenya

Seventh Session of the United Nations Forum on Forests (UNFF-7): 16-27 April 2007, New York, US
Sixth Informal Consultations of States Parties to the UN Fish Stocks Agreement: 23-24 April 2007, New York, US
European Regional Consultation of the IMOSEB Process: 26-28 April 2007, Geneva, Switzerland
Third Conference of the Parties to the Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants: 30 April - 4 May 2007, Dakar, Senegal
Ninth Session of IPCC Working Group III and 26th Session of IPCC: 30 April - 4 May 2007, Bangkok, Thailand
Fifteenth Session of the Commission on Sustainable Development: 30 April - 11 May 2007, New York, US
30th Antarctic Treaty Consultative Meeting: 30 April - 11 May 2007, New Delhi, India

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