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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 |

Monday 05 February 2001

Kenyan and Tanzanian drummers kick off the 21st session of the UNEP GC in Nairobi, accompanied by video messages urging universal responsibility for the environment.

The 21st session of the UNEP Governing Council and Second Global Ministerial Environment Forum opened at UNEP headquarters in Nairobi, Kenya, with a musical performance by a quintet of drummers, followed by opening speeches, the election of officers and adoption of the agenda. Delegates then met concurrently in a plenary session to consider the state of the environment and in a Committee of the Whole to discuss UNEP's work programme, the Environment Fund, and administrative and other budgetary matters.

ENB Daily Report

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László Miklós, outgoing President, UNEP GC.

Opening Statements:

László Miklós, the outgoing President of the Governing Council, noted some significant achievements since the Governing Council's 20th Session in 1999. He said 43 decisions had been adopted during the 20th session, which had led to a number of positive decisions by the UN General Assembly. He drew attention to the first Global Ministerial Environment Forum that took place in Malmö, Sweden, in May 2000, and said the Malmö Declaration had made a significant contribution to the UN Millennium Summit in September 2000, and to the World Summit on Sustainable Development (Rio+10) scheduled for 2002 in South Africa.



Shafqat Kakakhel, UNEP Deputy Executive Director.
  • A message by UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan was read by UNEP Deputy Executive Director Shafqat Kakakhel. In his message, Kofi Annan said the World Summit on Sustainable Development in 2002 should take concrete action, including on the "vicious circle" of poverty and environment degradation. He urged efforts to achieve ratification of the Kyoto Protocol by 2002. He said strong financial support is necessary to address environmental threats, and called for ongoing partnership among governments, civil society and the private sector.


Francis Nyenze, Minister of Environment and Natural Resources, Kenya.

Francis Nyenze, Kenyan Minister of Environment and Natural Resources, welcomed delegates to Kenya and said the grave environmental situation demands international cooperation. He highlighted links between environmental degradation, poverty and lack of resources and said environmental policies must meet basic needs and encourage sustainable economic growth in developing countries. He highlighted disparities in energy consumption, and called for sustained international commitment to improved energy efficiency and renewable energy.



Shalala Oliver Sepiso, Zambia, and Nanako Mizuno, Japan, speak on behalf of the UNEP Youth Advisory Council.

Representatives of the UNEP Youth Advisory Council made a statement calling for implementation of policies, not more meetings and negotiations. They emphasized the link between poverty, overconsumption and environment and called on governments to: cancel debt; fulfill ODA commitments of 0.7 % of national budgets; impose green taxes on international trade; develop and utilize sustainable development indicators; and create incentives, policies and measures to reduce consumption. They urged the establishment of a trust fund for youth activities and said delegates involve youth delegates in ensuring that words are turned into concrete actions.



Anna Tibaijuka, Executive Director, Habitat.
Anna Tibaijuka, Executive Director, Habitat, noted a revitalized spirit of cooperation and synergy between UN Habitat and UNEP programmes. She highlighted areas of joint operations and initiatives, such as the Sustainable Cities Programme and the Urban Environmental Forum. On the issue of human settlements and environment, she stressed that equitable sustainable development could not be addressed without first achieving effective decision-making structures, secure tenure and good urban governance.


Klaus Töpfer, UNEP Executive Director.
UNEP Executive Director Klaus Töpfer provided an outline of UNEP's programme areas and activities. He identified major environmental challenges, including the loss of biodiversity, energy concerns in Africa, the debate on genetically-modified organisms, increasing global populations, rural to urban migration patterns and environmental security issues. Noting the opportunity provided by the upcoming World Summit on Sustainable Development to make progress on key issues. On current and future global energy needs, he hoped discussions on Africa's renewable energy needs would contribute to CSD-9. Citing recent evidence on global climate change, he highlighted the need for a successful conclusion to current climate negotiations. He also stressed the need to address international governance issues and the value of cooperation with civil society. He concluded by emphasizing that it was time for action to implement existing international agreements and decisions.



Organization of the Meeting:

David Anderson, Minster of the Environment, Canada, with Klaus Topfer, Executive Director, UNEP. David Anderson, accepts the position as UNEP GC President.
Following the opening speeches, the Plenary elected the Bureau by acclamation: David Anderson (Canada) as President; Rosa Elena Simeón Negrín (Cuba), Janusz Radziejowski (Poland) and Tupuk Sutrisno (Indonesia) as Vice-Presidents; and Kezimbira Miyingo (Uganda) as Rapporteur. President Anderson underscored the clear link between the environment and human health and noted the negative effects of globalization, noting that the challenge is to find way to influence economic forces to work for the environment. He said the World Summit on Sustainable Development presents an opportunity to improve the lives of the next generation, but its success depends on a number of factors, including the mobilization of both the private sector and civil society, the use of innovative and inclusive strategies, the identification of effective and acceptable solutions and the establishment of institutions to support implementation of outputs.
Representative speaks on behalf of the NGO workshop. Representative speaks on behalf of the Global Compact in Practice. Bedrich Moldan, Chair of the 9th Session of the CSD, Czech Republic.



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