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UNEP Executive Director addresses meeting of Carpathian Convention

Opening Speech at the High Level Segment of the Third Meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Carpathian Convention (COP3)

Excellencies, Representatives of the Parties to the Carpathian Convention, Ladies and Gentlemen, distinguished audience.

It is a great honor to welcome you to the Third Meeting of the Conference of the Par-ties to the Carpathian Convention. Exactly ten years ago, Ukraine asked the United Nations Environment Programme to facilitate an intergovernmental consultation process among the Carpathian countries with the aim of drafting an international convention on the Carpathian Mountains.

With the substantial support of several international organizations, academic institu-tions and NGOs, a series of formal and informal negotiations finally led to the Adoption to the framework Convention on the Protection and Sustainable Development of the Carpathians in Kiev, 2003. Currently, UNEP provides the administration of the Interim Secretariat of the Carpathian Convention based in Vienna, at the request of the seven Carpathian countries and the generous offer of Austria to host the interim Secretariat. Furthermore, UNEP is supporting the implementation of some key activities of the work of the Carpathian Convention through the UNEP Programme of Work ? for instance, the development of the Protocol on Sustainable Forest Management was supported by UNEP, as an important contribution to the International year of the Forest 2011.

I have to acknowledge the achievements that have been made within the last years by the Convention and its contracting Parties. Implementation efforts on different lev-els of action have further developed this legal framework into a vital platform of ex-change and development of common efforts on different priority subjects of the Con-vention. We particularly welcome the fruitful cooperation between the European Commission and the Carpathian Convention, in many strategic fields including re-gional development and climate change adaptation.

In particular I would like to point out the achievements regarding the implementation of the Biodiversity Protocol, the constructive work of the different working groups of the Convention, and the establishment of Strategic Partnerships with other Conven-tions and Institutions such as the Alpine Convention, the International Commission for the Protection of the Danube River, the Convention on Biological Diversity or the Carpathian Wetland Initiative. Let me also mention the importance of the realization of concrete projects and initiatives in various thematic fields that bring the Convention and its goals to the ground and to the people in the Carpathian area.



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