Ninth Special Session of the UNEP Governing Council/Global Ministerial Environment Forum (GMEF)
7-9 February 2006 | Dubai, United Arab Emirates
International Conference on Chemicals Management
4-6 February 2006 | Dubai, United Arab Emirates

 Earth Negotiations Bulletin - ENB

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Wed 8  
Thu 9 & Summary






Highlights from Wednesday, 8 2006

Delegates attended ministerial consultations on energy and the environment and on tourism and the environment. They also met in the Committee of the Whole (COW) to discuss international environmental governance (IEG), implementation of UNEP's Programme of Work, follow-up to the World Summit on Sustainable Development (WSSD) and outcomes of intergovernmental meetings, and a draft decision on chemicals management. In the evening, ministers met in plenary to discuss IEG and the outcome of the 2005 World Summit, including universal membership of the Governing Council (GC) .

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Ministerial Consultations on Energy and Environment



Mark Radka, UNEP (right), summarized the background paper focusing on, among others, the global energy situation, and links between energy and development.

Speaking for youth, Juan Hoffmaister, SustainUS and UNEP Youth Advisor for North America (left), stressed the need for immediate energy solutions, reducing reliance on fossil fuels, and full assessments of the environmental and social factors. Moderators Sigridur Anna Thordardottir, Iceland's Minister of Environment, and Eng Khalid Al-Irani, Jordan's Minister of Environment (right)


Bhutan noted UNEP's contributions to solar energy development. Fatemeh Vaez Javadi, Vice President and Head of the Department of Environment, Iran, said her region would take a leading role in providing clean energy to the world, including nuclear energy. The International Chamber of Commerce supported good governance to attract investment.


Saudi Arabia said fossil fuels would remain a major source of energy in the coming decades, and proposed sending a message to the CSD about the need for technologies to make fuel cleaner. The Czech Republic stressed the need to ensure that CDM investments are used for environmentally-friendly technologies


Danish Environment Minister Connie Hedegaard (left) proposed that the next GMEF address the effects of globalization on the environment. An NGO representative indicated that energy issues needed a home, and urged greater political will to promote renewable energy and energy efficiency. Sigridur Kristjansdottir, Minister of Environment, Iceland, commended the contribution of UNEP's programme for transfer of geothermal technologies to developing countries


Namin Barzingy, Minister of Environment, Iraq (left), called for special support to countries affected by war.

Lena Sommestad, Minister of Environment, Sweden, highlighted local financing sources, and the use of sustainable hydro.

Tibor Faragó, Hungary, drew attention to the link between transportation and energy, wondering how to avoid switching from mass transportation modes to individual ones.


Kathleen Abdullah and Mohammed Reza Salamat, UN DESA

German Environment Minister Sigmar Gabriel, highlighted the Kyoto Protocol's Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) as a technology transfer mechanism.

Ministerial Consultations on Sustainable Tourism

In a keynote speech, Deidre Shurland, Caribbean Alliance for Sustainable Tourism, stressed that sustainable tourism requires diversified products, effective planning and control, and the dissemination of best practices.


Moderators Atilio Savino, Secretary of State for the Environment, Argentina, and Claudia McMurray, Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Environment, US, and Deidre Shurland, Caribbean Alliance for Sustainable Tourism,


Namibia said tourism had been accepted in many remote communities because of its economic benefits, and this could lead to cultural erosion.

Ministerial Consultations on environmental governance and the outcome of the 2005 World Summit, including universal membership of the GC/GMEF
Adnan Amin, Executive Director, Secretary-General's Panel on UN System Wide Coherence, presented on the ongoing reform initiatives as follow-up of the 2005 World Summit, in particular the Secretary-General's Panel and the relevant process initiated by the President of the UN General Assembly.
French Environment Minister Nelly Olin argued for transforming UNEP into a United Nations Environment Organization.

Committee of the Whole

Monique Barbut, Director, Division of Technology, Industry and Economics (DTIE), UNEP.

Shafqat Kakakhel, UNEP Deputy Executive Director.

COW Chair Beat Nobs introduced a draft decision on the Strategic Approach to International Chemicals Management (SAICM).

Following several interventions on chemicals, a drafting group was formed to finalize the text (above). The group finished its discussions in the afternoon, adding one preambular paragraph and three additional operative paragraphs dealing with voluntary extrabudgetary resources, contributions to the Quick Start Programme (QSP) voluntary trust fund, and resources for relevant UNEP activities and the QSP.


Halifa Drammeh, UNEP (left) and Veerle Vandeweerd, Director, UNEP Regional Seas Programme (right), introduced its revised draft water strategy (UNEP/GCSS.IX/4), noting that it provides an overview and guidance for future work programmes.


The Russian Federation called for greater cost-savings in the UN system by reducing fragmentation. Austria, speaking for the EU, introduced the EU proposal to transform UNEP into a UN Environment Organization and also urged the successful fourth replenishment of the GEF. Regarding the followup to WSSD and outcomes of intergovernmental meetings, Nigeria drew attention to the 2006 Year of Deserts and Desertification.

Side Event: Arab-China Conference on Environment
Zhu Guangyao, Vice Minister, State Environmental Protection Administration, China, His Royal Highness Sheikh Abdulah Bin Hamad Al-Khalifa, Head of Public Commission for the Protection of Marine Resources, Environment and Wildlife, Bahrain, and Chair of the 17th Session of the Council of Arab Ministers Responsible for the Environment (CAMRE), and UNEP Executive Director Klaus Toepfer
His Royal Highness Sheikh Abdulah Bin Hamad Al-Khalifa, CAMRE Chair, and Zhu Guangyao, Vice Minister, State Environmental Protection Administration, China,
Fatma El-Mallah, Representative of the Secretary-General of the League of Arab States (LAS)

Side Event: Sustainable Tourism as a development tool, organized by Norway
A film on sustainable tourism was shown (left); Helen Bjørnøy, Minister of the Environment, Norway and Kivutha Kibwana, Minister of Environment and Natural Resources, Kenya (right)

Side Event: Sustainable Development: The potential of eco-innovation hosted by the European Union
Soledad Blanco, European Commission's Environment Directorate

REN21 (Renewable Energy Policy Network for the 21st Century)
John Christensen, UNEP RISO Center, Connie Heedegaard, Minister of Environment, Denmark, Peter Tulej, IEA

Miscellaneous Photos

Relevant links:

 Pre-session events and Parallel Events

ENB coverage of relevant and preparatory meetings:

ENB coverage of the 23rd Session of the UNEP Governing Council/Global Ministerial Environment Forum, Nairobi Kenya, 2005

Eighth Special Session of GC and the Fifth Global Ministerial Environment Forum, Jeju, South Korea, 2004

ENB coverage of UNEP's Intergovernmental Strategic Plan for Technology Support and Capacity Building:

  • ISP-3 Bali, Indonesia, 2-4 December, 2004
  • ISP-2 Nairobi, Kenya, 2-4 September, 2004
  • ISP-1 New York, US 25 June, 2004

ENB Coverage of the process for the Further Development of a Strategic Approach to International Chemicals Management (SAICM):

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