9. The 1995 RONA evaluation recommended that the regional advisory services project as it existed then be closed down and a new project formulated, based on the needs of North America. The regional advisory services project had been developed for the developing regions of the world and was therefore considered inappropriate for North America. The new project was to take into account the changing context of UNEP programming and its new emphasis on regionalbased delivery.
10. RONA implemented that recommendation by developing a new project FP/52509601, which ran from 1 January 1996 to 31 December 1997. On its completion, another project, FP/52509801, was developed and it ran from 1 January 1998 to 31 December 1998. The evaluation also covers work done in 1999, including the use of the management and administrative support costs (MASC) budget to support the activities of the two umbrella projects, which provided the main vehicle by which RONA would implement its environmental mission. Evaluating the umbrella project therefore means examining how the 1995 evaluation recommendations have been implemented.
11. RONA is located at the seat of the United Nations and in a highly developed region of the world. New York is the centre of intense media and nongovernmental organization activity, where environmental issues are of high concern. The Governments in North America have shown an active interests in UNEP work by contributing financially to the organizations Environment Fund.
12. The thrust of UNEP activities in North America is interagency work, liaison and outreach. In North America, UNEP carries out critical liaison and monitoring functions through regular communications with the United Nations General Assembly, subsidiary bodies, United Nations Permanent Missions, the United Nations Secretariat and the media. UNEP interagency activities are important, given that such major United Nations bodies as the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF), the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the United Nations Commission for Sustainable Development are all located here. But RONA also maintains close contacts with Canadian and United States government officials, environmental agencies and regional bodies such as the North American Free Trade Association (NAFTA), the Organization of American States (OAS) and the Commission for Environment Cooperation.