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3 February  

4 February

5 February

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7 February


Twenty Second Session of the Governing Council/Global Ministerial Environment Forum 
3-7 February 2003
Nairobi, Kenya 

Highlights from Tuesday, 4 February

Delegates met in Plenary throughout the day, discussing policy issues, outcomes of the World Summit on Sustainable Development (WSSD), and linkages among environment-related conventions, with a particular focus on chemicals, trade and water issues. The Committee of the Whole (COW) also met in morning and afternoon sessions to consider programmatic, administrative and budgetary matters, the state of the environment, emerging policy issues, and the role of civil society. A drafting committee convened to begin deliberations on various draft decisions, and contact groups were formed on the budget and chemicals.

Photo: Morning Plenary session on chemicals and trade (left to right): Hussein Abaza, Chief of UNEPís Trade Programme, Jacqueline Aloisi de Larderel, UNEPGoverning Council President Ruhakana Rugunda, Beverly Miller, Secretariat, Rapporteur Václav Hubinger, and Jim Willis, Director of UNEPís Chemicals Programme

Plenary: Chemicals, Trade and Water
Governing Council Vice-President Suk Jo Lee (Republic of Korea) presided over the morning Plenary session
Hussein Abaza, Chief of UNEPís Trade Programme, reflected on UNEPís work in this area and on key issues emerging from the WSSD and the fourth Ministerial Conference of the World Trade Organization, held at Doha in November 2001 (UNEP/GC.22/10/Add.2/Rev.1).
Jim Willis, Director of UNEPís Chemicals Programme, reported on its work (UNEP/GC.22/10/Add.1) and highlighted the focus on issues emphasized at the WSSD. Drawing attention to chemicals-related draft decisions before the Governing Council (UNEP/GC.22/L.1), he noted that some delegations - including the EU, Norway, Switzerland, and US - had submitted alternative texts.

Norway's intervention on chemicals

On the global mercury assessment, the EU and Norway (left) supported a legally-binding instrument, while Canda, Colombia, the Czech Republic, and Mexico opposed it.

Nigeria (left)

intervenes on chemicals and trade


Sweden highlighted two reports on lead and cadmium,
called for phasing out lead in gasoline, and hoped for eventual international action on lead and cadmium

Zambia's intervention during the morning Plenary

On the proposal for an Intergovernmental Panel on Global Environmental Change (IPEC), Ethiopia (above) said it could improve efficiency, while Japan and Mauritius noted their objections to the idea.

Mexico (left) opposed a legally binding instrument on mercury assessment

Jennifer Macmillan, New Zealand (right)


The US and others opposed a proposal that UNEP host bi-annual meetings of environment and trade ministers. The US also said capacity building was the best entry point for UNEPís work on trade issues.


Swiss intervention on chemicals and trade

Swiss intervention on water

Beat Nobs (Switzerland) with CBD Executive Secretary Hamdallah Zedan

Patrick Rata, WTO

Basel Convention Executive Secretary Sachiko Kuwabara-Yamamoto

Hussein Abaza and Jacqueline Aloisi de Larderel, UNEP Assistant Executive Director and Director of the Division of Technology, Industry and Economics

Jeremy Wates, Secretary to the Aarhus Convention, UNECE

Interventions on chemicals and trade: Senegal ** Czech Republic

UNEP Executive Director Klaus Töpfer drew attention to the Millennium Development Goals, adding that 2003 has been declared the International Year of Freshwater, and that the third World Water Forum will be held in March.

Halifa Drammeh, UNEP, discussing UNEP's response to the WSSD outcomes relating to freshwater, water supply and sanitation, coastal zones and oceans, and small island developing states (SIDS).

Governing Council President Ruhakana Rugunda and Beverly Miller, Secretariat
Ana Elisa Osorio, Venezuelan Environment Minister (right) underscored water as a public good.
Ahmed M. Hassan, International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies

Delmar Blasco, Secretary General of the Ramsar Convention, noted its recent development of guidelines for integrated coastal zone management and for water management in maintaining wetlands.

Jorge Illueca, UNFF (right)

Interventions on water: New Zealand ** Holy See ** Greece, speaking for the EU

Committee of the Whole

UNEP Deputy Executive Director Shafqat Kakakhel

Excerpts from Kakakhel introduction to the budget

Kakakhel introduces the programme areas

Kakakhel discusses other issues?

Deputy Executive Secretary Kakakhel outlined the major elements of the proposed UNEP budget for 2003/2004 (UNEP/GC.22/6, UNEP/GC.22/6/Add.1 & UNEP/GC.22/7). He noted a net budgetary increase of US$41.6 million from the 2002/2003 budget. He then outlined UNEPís proposed programme of work highlighting seven key areas: assessment and early warning; environmental policy development and law; environmental policy implementation; technology, industry and economics; regional cooperation and representation; environmental conventions; and communications and public information (UNEP/GC.22/6).
Delegates from Mexico and Brazil
Delegates from Greece during the morning session of the Committee of the Whole

Drafting Group

Masa Nagai, UNEP, Drafting Group Chair Juergen Weerth (Germany), and Werner Obermeyer, UNEP

Chair Juergen Weerth opened the Committeeís first session, and introduced the draft decisions as submitted by the CPR (UNEP/GC.22/L.1). The Committee approved decisions addressing the restructured GEF and the revision of financial rules of the Environment Fund, while the draft decision on the loan from the Environment Fund financial reserve was finalized with minor changes. Draft decisions on long-term strategies for the involvement of young people in environmental issues and for sport and the environment were supported following the inclusion of several minor amendments.

Contact Group on the Budget
Contact Group Chair John Ashe (Antigua and Barbuda) is seated on the right with members of the Secretariat

Contact Group on Chemicals

Contact group chair Halldór Thorgeirsson (Iceland) (right)

In the Chemicals Contact Group, chaired by Halldor Thorgeirsson (Iceland), developed countries emphasized the need for openness and transparency in the strategic approach to international chemicals management, suggesting that key recommendations be drawn from GCSS-7/GMEF-3 and the WSSD outcomes, the Bahia Declaration, and the steering committee on the strategic approach. Delegates stressed the need for clarity and avoiding duplication of other organizationís work in formulating a mercury programme.

Miscellaneous Photos
John Matuzak, US delegation, and Kimo Goree, ENB Managing Editor
A youth delegate speaks at a reception hosted by UNEP


ENB Summary of UNEP-21 in PDF (English), txt and html
ENB Coverage of the Third Global Ministerial Environment Forum (Seventh Special Session of the UNEP Governing Council)
ENB Coverage of the World Summit on Sustainable Development
UNEP website,with information about the Governing Council
UNEP website on International Environmental Governance

UNEP-22 Homepage with the Provisional Agenda and Working Documents for the meeting, as well as information documents
UNEP.Net, the United Nations Environment Network: a global portal to authoritative environmental information based on themes and regions.



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