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PREPARATIONS FOR THE SEVENTH SESSION OF THE COMMISSION ON SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT

1. Agenda item 8 was taken up by the Council at its 5th plenary meeting, on 3 February 1999.

2. In considering the item, the Council had before it the reports of the Executive Director on the contribution of UNEP to the Commission at its seventh session, on UNEP activities regarding small island developing States (UNEP/GC.20/19); on UNEP activities regarding oceans management (UNEP/GC.20/19/Add.1); on UNEP activities regarding tourism (UNEP/GC.20/19/Add.2); and on the role of UNEP in the promotion of sustainable production and consumption (UNEP/GC.20/42). Those reports were supplemented by an information note by the Executive Director circulating position papers prepared for submission to the Commission on Sustainable Development by the small island developing States in the Indian Ocean, Mediterranean and Atlantic regions and by the Pacific island countries (UNEP/GC.20/INF/15). The Council had before it a draft decisions submitted by the Committee of Permanent Representatives on UNEP's contribution to the seventh session of the Commission on Sustainable Development (UNEP/GC.20/L.4) on oceans and seas; the Global Programme of Action for the Protection of the Marine Environment from Land-based Activities, on sustainable tourism, on small island developing States, and on changing production and consumption patterns (UNEP/GC.20/L.4).

3. Introducing the item, the Deputy Executive Director drew attention to salient points in the papers prepared by the secretariat and explained that, in response to the recommendation of the small working group set up to consider the issue, it had been decided to combine the separate draft decisions that had been prepared under the item into a single, omnibus decision, but that the text of that omnibus decision had not been considered by the Committee of Permanent Representatives.

4. Following that introduction, at the invitation of the President, Ms. Joanne Disano, representing the secretariat of the Commission on Sustainable Development, also made an introductory statement, in which she reaffirmed the need for a strong and effective UNEP and hoped that the contribution sent by UNEP to the forthcoming session of the Commission would clearly identify the role of UNEP in the Commission's activities. It was also important that sufficient financial resources were secured to enable UNEP to fulfil that role. The decision to be adopted by UNEP could include an undertaking to strengthen both the regional seas programme and the role of the Global Programme of Action for the Protection of the Marine Environment from Land﷓based Activities and efforts to ensure the full integration of environmental considerations in tourism﷓related work, including in collaboration with the World Tourism Organization and the International Labour Organization (ILO).

5. Following those introductory statements, the Council, at its 5th plenary meeting, heard statements under the item from the representatives of Australia, Bangladesh, Canada, Germany (on behalf of the European Union), Iceland, Indonesia, the Islamic Republic of Iran, Jamaica, Japan, Kenya, Malta (on behalf of the small island developing States of the Indian Ocean, Mediterranean and Atlantic regions), the Republic of Korea, Romania, Tunisia, Turkey and the United States of America. Statements under the item were also made the representatives of the International Maritime Organization (IMO) and the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission (IOC) of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO). The representative of the International Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts also made a more general statement.

6. At the 6th plenary meeting of the session, Ms. Jaqueline Aloisi de Larderel, Director, Technology, Industry and Economics Division, and Mr. Jorge Illueca, Assistant Executive Director, Division of Environmental Conventions, responded to questions and concerns raised by speakers, assuring the Council of the determination of UNEP to achieve the ambitious goals it had set itself in the areas under consideration and, in particular, to promote sustainable consumption and to strengthen the regional seas programme. It was also clarified that the papers before the Council would be revised to incorporate improvements suggested by representatives and submitted as background papers to the Commission on Sustainable Development at its seventh session, while the omnibus decision to be adopted by the Council would be forwarded as its recommendation to the Commission.

Action by the Council

7. At the 11th meeting of the session, on 5 February 1999, the Governing Council adopted decision 20/19 under this item. The text of the decision is contained in annex I to the present proceedings, and the process of adoption, including any comments made at the time, is recorded in chapter II above.