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23rd Session of the UNEP Governing Council /
Global Ministerial Environment Forum (GC-23/GMEF)

21-25 February 2005 | Nairobi, Kenya


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Daily Web coverage
24 Feb
25 Feb &


Highlights from Thursday, 24 February

Delegates to GC-23/GMEF met throughout the day in the Committee of the Whole to consider draft decisions on poverty and the environment, and on sustainable procurement. The Plenary met in the morning and afternoon to consider CSD-13, chemicals, the Bali Strategic Plan, and the state of the environment. Contact groups on the Programme of Work and Budget, and the drafting group met throughout the day and into the night. Informal consultations on gender and the environment and on chemicals management also took place.


CSD-13 Chair John Ashe (Antigua and Barbuda) (left) expressed satisfaction with the outcome and recommendations made during the ministerial consultations. He highlighting the need to: address poverty and human development; mobile financial resources, both public and private; involve local-level stakeholders; accelerate IWRM; and enhance the role of women; GC President Rachmat Witoelar with Beverly Miller, GC Secretary (right)
Klaus Töpfer, UNEP Executive Director (right), making a statement during the morning Plenary


Halifa Drammeh, Deputy Director, Division of Policy Development and Law, UNEP (left) emphasized the need to improve interagency cooperation (pictured with Veerle Vandeweerd, UNEP)

Veerle Vandeweerd, Global Programme of Action for the Protection of the Marine Environment from Land Based Activities, UNEP, said that the ecosystem approach, IWRM and poverty reduction are three important elements in water management.
Adnan Amin, Director, UNEP New York Office, introduced the background and process leading to the development of the Bali Strategic Plan. He said the Secretariat is developing a plan and a resource mobilization strategy, and is making arrangements for its implementation. He stressed the regional aspects of implementation and the need for adequate funding.
Chair of the chemicals management contact group Viveka Bohn (right) , presented an overview of the SAICM process. She highlighted: the importance of the strategic approaches taken within SAICM; the need for technical support, capacity building and awareness raising in developing countries and countries with economies in transition; and the modalities for financing the SAICM process.

John Buccini, UNEP Chemicals (left) stated that the SAICM would be presented for adoption at the 9th Special Session of the GC/GMEF to be held in Dubai; John Arseneau, Canada (right), along with Norway and Austrialia highlighted their financial contributions to the SAICM process

Regarding the issue of chemicals management, Senegal (left) emphasized the need to focus on African countries and the importance of adequate funding within the SAICM process. Hamad Almadfa, Minister of Health and Chairman of UAE Federal Environment Agency, with Wolfgang Bahenne, Center for Environmental Law (right); The United Arab Emirates will host the 9th Special Session of the GC/GMEF in 2006

Discussion on the state of the environment and capacity building: Sudan (left) inquired about measures to help developing countries develop policy decisions relating to water, sanitation and human settlements; Ousmane Kane, Executive Direcotr, African Regional Centre for Technology (center), reaffirmed his committment to working together with UNEP; and a representative of Youth stressed the need for action and the inclusion of youth in country delegations.
Jean Luc Roux, Greenpeace (left), asked how much the planet could sustain when discussing the threshold of greenhouse gas levels; Steve Lonergan, Director, Division of Early Warning and Assessment, UNEP (right) summarized the emerging environmental problems identified by UNEP and outlined the findings contained in the 2004 Global Environment Outlook Year Book.

Committee of the Whole
Saul Irureta, Uruguay's Minister of the Environment and President of COP-7 of the Basel Convention (left) and Jakob Ström, Sweden, facilitator of the discussions on gender


EU delegates consult on the draft decision on sustainable procurement programme for UNEP acquisitions


Marco Cabral (Brazil) (center) said the G-77/China would prefer not to have a decision on procurement at all, but if it was adopted, it should include the references to equity.


John Matuszak, US, in the COW discussions on the draft decsion on a sustainable procurement programme for UNEP acqusitions
Delegates mingle outside the Conference room, waiting for the afternoon COW session to begin; Felix Dodds, Stakeholder Forum, and Kevin Stairs, Greenpeace (right);

Contact Group: Budget and Programme of Work
Contact group chair Frederic Renard (Belgium); On the budget for the Bali Strategic Plan, delegates agreed to a revised text stating that the Executive Director’s proposal for the further implementation of the Plan should include an assessment of the availability of requisite technical and financial resources, as well as the implications of the Plan for UNEP’s Programme of Work and Budget.

Special Event: African Business and Sustainable Development Roundtable


This roundtable was coorganized by UNEP with the Intenrational Chamber of Commerce (ICC), World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD) and the World Energy Council (WEC) Representatives of UNDP, GEF, the Commonwealth Secretariat and the Organisation Internationale de la Francophonie (OIF) also attended the event. The discussions were facilitated by Mohamed El-Ashry, Senior Fellow with the UN Foundation and former CEO of the GEF (right)

The meeting examined how the provision of water and energy underpins the sustainable development needs of Africa and can contribute to the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals and the Johannesburg Plan of Implementation.


Press Conference with participants of the rountable on Africa Business and Sustainable Development
During this press conference the participants discussed, inter alia, a plan to harness the power of hte Congo River to generate electricity being drawn up by one of Africa's biggest energy companies
Monique Barbut, Director, UNEP's Division of Technology Industry and Economics, Elliot Morley, UK 's Minister for Environment and Agri-Environment, Elliot Morley, Reuel Khoza, chairman of the South-African based power company Eskom Holdings, and Gerald Doucet, Secretary-General, WEC
Reuel Khoza, Eskom Holdings (left), African journalists (center), and Monique Barbut, UNEP (right)

Side Event: Tsunami Aftermath: Anticipating Future Environmental Disaster, organized by Indonesia
Agus Purnomo, Indonesia (right) chaired this side event, during which Japan outlined what it is doing in the wake of the tsunami and for early warning systems in the future

Side Event: Biodiversity, Agriculture and Poverty and Hunger Reduction
UNEP Executive Director Klaus Toepfer, Achim Steiner, Director-General IUCN, Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Wangari Maathai, and Robert Watson, World Bank
Robert Watson, Chief Scientist, World Bank (right), addressed "Agricultural Assessment: what we know and what we need to know"
Achim Steiner, IUCN (left), spoke on "Biodiversity: Underpinning the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals," and Caterina Batello, Agricultural Officer, FAO, Rome, Italy (right), spoke on "Biodiversity and Food Security"


 Pre-session events and Parallel Events

ENB coverage of relevant and preparatory meetings:

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

Other relavent meetings:

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