Thursday, 19 April 2007

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.

The UN Security Council’s unprecedented discussion of climate change on Tuesday, 17 April, topped off an already full fortnight of climate change news, beginning with the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change Working Group II’s adoption of its report emphasizing the observed and projected impacts of climate change. Actions in the US by its Supreme Court and a study group including eleven former US military leaders, which highlighted the implications of climate change for US security and urged the government to become a more constructive partner multilaterally, alongside reports of commitments from China and Japan to participate in talks to establish an international post-2012 framework for combating climate change, offer hope that those debates will move forward during the coming year.

Lynn Wagner, Ph.D.
Editor, Linkages Update
and MEA Bulletin

The release of the UN Secretary-General’s report on the recommendations of the High-level Panel on UN System-wide Coherence, and the General Assembly’s related discussion and establishment of a process to review the Secretary-General’s report, promise to keep reform of the international environmental architecture on the agenda for the coming year. The high-level meeting of the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) with the Bretton Woods Institutions, World Trade Organization and UN Conference on Trade and Development fed into another reform process: ECOSOC’s first Annual Ministerial Review and Development Cooperation Forum in July 2007.

On still another front, the Symposium on the State of the Conservation of Whales in the 21st Century analyzed options for the conservation of whales, specifically exploring policies for resolving the current impasse over commercial whaling in the International Whaling Commission, which holds its next meeting in May 2007.

It remains to be seen whether the April 2007 events will provide turning points in the sustainable development debate, but we will monitor these processes over the coming months as they continue to unfold.

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