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21st Session of the UNEP Governing Council

Nairobi, KENYA
05 - 09 February 2001


| monday 05 | tuesday 06 | wednesday 07 | thursday 08 | friday 09 |summary |

Friday 09 February 2001

A single red light. On a draft decision regarding the occupied Palestinian and other Arab territories, forwarded from the COW to the Plenary, a vote resulting from non-consensus was taken electronically; the results of which are displayed above on the scoreboard. After some concern was expressed by delegates over the validity of the process given a mis-vote by Saudi Arabia (which was registered as "Abstain" rather than "Yes"), the plenary was asked to express their support for the process by a show of cards. Overwhelming support for the result of the vote and the process itself, overturned heavy American opposition to discussion of the proposal

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Koichiro Matsuura, Director-General, UNESCO, encourages further collaboration between UNEP and UNESCO.

On Friday evening, delegates met for the closing Plenary, adopting remaining draft decisions and the report of the meeting (UNEP/GC/21/L.2 and Add.1). Koichiro Matsuura, Director-General of UNESCO stressed the importance of collaboration between UNEP and UNESCO and supported a greater scientific input into environmental policy making. He highlighted water management as a key global issue, and discussed UNESCO's work in this area. He said the opportunity to mobilize political will and encourage action through the upcoming World Summit on Sustainable Development should not be missed.

Bangladesh, on behalf of the Asia Group, highlighted the spirit of collaboration that had contributed to the session's successful outcome of the session. Colombia, for the Group of Latin American Countries and the Caribbean, noted that UNEP had benefitted from recent reforms resulting in greater dynamism, depth and efficiency in developing its activities. Speaking for the Western European and Others Group (WEOG), the UK identified future challenges of implementing the Governing Council outcomes in CSD-9 and the lead-up up to the World Summit on Sustainable Development. Morocco, for the African Group, thanked UNEP's Executive Director for revitalizing UNEP and supporting Africa.

Sweden for the EU, hopes that Global Ministerial Environmental Fora will continue to grow and adapt to gains in experience.

Slovakia, on behalf of Central and Eastern Europe, commended the Council President for the success of the Session. Recognizing the success of the meeting, India, on behalf of the G-77/China Nairobi Chapter, noted the Session's contribution to raising awareness on key environmental challenges among relevant stakeholders, while noting that much remains to be done.

The EU expressed hope that Global Ministerial Environmental Forums will continue and adjust as experience is gained and noted with satisfaction the outcomes of the meeting, including the programme of work, decisions taken on chemicals and water strategies, the new ten-year programme on international environmental law and launch of a high level political preparatory process on international environmental governance.

Kenya noted the Session's innovations, expressed satisfaction at the positive consideration given to poverty and environment. Noting that the issue of environmental governance seemed to have taken center stage, he reiterated Kenya's confidence in UNEP as the lead international environmental agency and said governance initiatives should not deviate from this path.



Klaus Töpfer, UNEP Executive Director, thanks everybody and his mother for their hard work.

In his closing remarks, UNEP Executive Director Klaus Töpfer thanked delegates for their hard work and dedication. He called for ratification of the Kyoto Protocol and drew attention to the symbolic "tree of life" developed by children in the last week. Noting this was the first time a Governing Council and Global Ministerial Environment Forum had met concurrently, he said a thorough analysis of this meeting would be undertaken to eliminate any shortcomings at the next conference.

David Anderson , UNEP GC President highlighted agreements reached during this session of the GC.

Governing Council President David Anderson highlighted agreements reached during the session, including: the Council's input to the World Summit for Sustainable Development; the need to ratify the Rotterdam Convention on Prior Informed Consent and Stockholm Convention (POPs); the need to remove lead from gasoline; and the assessment of mercury and its compounds. He called for financial support to UNEP, in particular if it is expected to play a major role after the 2002 Sustainable Development summit, and then invited delegates to a 14-minute presentation of a different "final official document," - an on-screen video-montage of highlights from the week long meetings, side-events, reception, and behind-the-scenes preparatory footage. President Anderson then gaveled the meeting to a close at 8.00 pm.





Workshop on Renewable Energy Technology: Potential for Africa

This popular side event, popular with participants and delegates from the CSD and UNFCCC processes, gathered Klaus Töpfer, UNEP Executive Director; Mohammed Reza Salamat, Co-Chair of the Ad Hoc Open-Ended Intergovernmental Group of Experts on Energy and Sustainable Development; and Sir Mark Moody-Stuart, Co-Chair, G8 Renewable Energy Task Force, for discussions on the viability of renewable energy technologies.

Moody-Stuart underscored the necessity for reducing the costs for renewable energy technologies in order to integrate them effectively with existing power infrastructures. While the socio-economic climate in the North America seems receptive to utilizing renewable energy in harmony with present technologies, Moody-Stuart acknowledged that this context is unique to the west.

Mark Moody-Stuart, G8 Renewable Energy Taskforce and Shell Group of companies; with UNEP Executive Director Klaus Töpfer; and Mohammed Reza Salamat, Ad Hoc Group of Experts on Energy and Sustainable Development.

Reza Salamat presented recommendations from the the Ad Hoc Open-Ended Intergovernmental Group of Experts on Energy and Sustainable Development, for key issues to be addressed by the 9th Session of the Commission on Sustainable Development (CSD9) this spring. These include: accessibility of energy; energy efficiency; renewable energy; advanced fossil fuel technologies; nuclear energy technologies; rural energy; energy-related issues of transportation.


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