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

Malmö, Sweden; 29 - 31 May,  2000
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BNT (version française)

Monday, 29 May


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) – opened today in Malmö, Sweden. After the opening ceremony, Ministers and delegates convened for ministerial consultations, a Committee of the Whole (COW), and a working group on the Malmö Declaration.


The Koritsia choir performed a variety of traditional Swedish songs for the delgates.

Kofi Annan, Secretary-General of the UN, expressed his hope that the Forum would rise to the challenges of the new millennium. He noted that despite success stories, humans continue plundering the environment and that unsustainable practices are embedded in our daily lives.

Massumeh Ebtekar, Vice-President of Iran, László Miklós, Slovak Republic, President of the GC and Kjell Larsson, Swedish Environment Minister.


Victoria Tauli-Corpuz, representing 45 environment and development NGOs (the NGO Forum), said that the 1990s was the decade of environmental agreements, but not of implementing solutions.

László Miklós, Slovak Republic, President of the GC, stressed that the inaugural meeting of the Forum should reflect deeply on failures while charting the way forward. He said that environmental problems cannot be solved outside politics and noted the disconcerting reality that poverty persists.

Ingvar Carlsson, former Swedish Prime Minister, welcomed delegates to Malmö and said the Forum provided an opportunity to send a strong message to the Millennium Summit of the General Assembly.

Massumeh Ebtekar, Vice-President of Iran, delivered a message from President Seyed Mohammad Khatami and said a nostalgic approach to nature cannot provide a viable solution to problems. She stressed spiritual and religious values with respect to nature, and harmony between humans and nature.


Klaus Töpfer, UNEP Executive Director, noted that the Forum was established by the UN General Assembly and highlighted that this meeting signified the largest gathering of environment ministers in UNEP’s history.

Hassan Adamu, Minister for Environment, Nigeria with Rejoce Mabdafhasi, Deputy Minister of Environmental Affairs and Tourism, South Africa.

The Governing Council Secretary leading delegate in the right direction.

Yvonne Maingey (Kenya) and Philip Tinker, UK, Millennium International Children’s Conference on the Environment, challenged delegates and the global community to: enforce environmental laws; provide clean water for everyone in 10 years; increase recycling bins; substitute all plastic bags by 2004; and promote the use of clean energy. They asked delegates to listen to youth as they are the future ministers and leaders.

The Ministerial consultations were televised for the press.

Leandro Arellano, Mexico, chairing the Committee of the Whole.

ďż˝ 1999, Earth Negotiations Bulletin. All rights reserved.

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