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Thematic Areas


 
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Decisions 83 (V), 98 (v), 96 (v) and 97 (V), respectively.

State of the environment

1. Welcomes the new format adopted for the state of the environment report, and endorses the criteria for the choice of topics presented in that report; 8/

2. Draws the attention of Governments, United Nations organizations and other bodies to the conclusions of that report, and to the need for concerted national and international effort to deal with problems in the areas of ozone, environmental carcinogens, soil loss and firewood;

3. Notes the Executive Director's plans to initiate work leading to the production of the first quinquennial review on the state of the environment in 1982;

Relationships of the secretariat with Governments

and others

1. Approves the suggestion of the Executive Director that he should report in detail to the Council on a limited number of areas of the programme at each session with a view to covering the whole programme within the period of the medium-term plan, and decides that for the sixth session the Executive Director will report on the following areas: pollution and human health, arid lands - soil and water, regional seas, the International Register of Potentially Toxic Chemicals, environmental education, and communication, reporting only very briefly on other topics;

2. Further approves the intention of the Executive Director to present for consideration by the Council at each session the areas on which he proposes to report in detail to the next session;

3. Requests the Executive Director to conduct consultations with Governments of member States of the Governing Council on the advisability and feasibility of the Council approving projects of the United Nations Environment Programme, and to report to the Council at its sixth session on the results of these consultations;

4. Notes the progress made in improving the quality of documents for the fifth session of the Governing Council, in particular the programme document and the new UNEP/GC/INFORMATION/- series;

5. Urges the Executive Director to intensify his efforts to reduce the length of documents and improve their quality further, taking into account the recommendations of the informal working group established during the fifth session of the Council to advise him on documentation, particularly as they relate to the type of information provided and the format of presentation, and to submit appropriate documentation for sessions of the Governing Council in every working language in accordance with the six-week rule;

6. Calls upon the Executive Director to develop further the means of maintaining regular communication on programme and related developments between the secretariat and Governments, in particular through effective liaison with national representatives accredited to the Programme, and through further improvements in Report to Governments, taking into account the recommendations of the informal working group on documentation;

7. Urges the Executive Director to strengthen the operational capacity of

the regional offices in order to facilitate their relations with Governments and

the implementation of their programmes;

8. Notes with appreciation the Executive Director's efforts to improve the channels of communication between the secretariat and the broad international constituency of the Programme, in particular through the development of an improved and expanded programme of publications, and urges the Executive Director to develop these channels further, using all possible efforts of mass media and non-governmental organizations and the relevant international scientific and other professional communities;

9. Requests the Executive Director to take into account, in planning the use of the opportunities provided by World Environment Day for communication with the public at large, the recommendations of the evaluation report 9/ and comments by Governments;

10. Urges Governments to co-operate with the Executive Director in promoting a network of "friends of the environment" to enhance public awareness of environmental issues and to disseminate information about the Programme and its activities;

11. Further urges Governments and others to respond promptly, as appropriate, to requests for information from the secretariat, which should be precise in specifying the information sought;

12. Further urges the secretariat to respond promptly to requests from Governments for information;

Environment Co-ordination Board, joint programming and other

co-ordination questions

1. Approves of the analysis carried out by the Environment Co-ordination Board of its purposes and ways of working, of the definition of the Board's function and of the Board's proposals to ensure the establishment of ways and means of more efficient and effective co-ordination;

2. Notes the progress made in joint programming, and emphasizes the need to ensure that the catalytic role of the Programme is more effectively performed and that the resources of the United Nations system are better marshalled to implement the programme;

3. Welcomes, in particular the progress made, through joint programming and in other ways, in strengthening the links between the Programme and the regional commissions of the United Nations, and stresses the importance of further developing regional co-operation for environmental activities;

4. Agrees to the Environment Co-ordination Board's recommendation IO/ that in future more emphasis should be given in joint programming to the consideration of subjects in which a number of agencies have an interest, and urges agencies and United Nations organs to co-operate fully with the Executive Director in this endeavour;

5. Requests ' the Executive Director to submit agreed memoranda of understanding on joint programming between the Programme and other agencies of the United Nations system to the Governing Council for information and comment;

6. Notes the report made by the Board on the steps taken by its members to

implement the strategies of the environment programme, 1l/ and requests the

Executive Director to develop this method of presentation further, in consultation

with the Board;

7. Invites the governing bodies of all organizations -within the United

Nations system to authorize their executive heads to collaborate fully with the

Executive Director, through the Environment Co-ordination Board and otherwise, by:

(a)Contributing to the development of specific objectives for environmental programmes within the United Nations system;

(b) Identifying the extent to which their activities contribute to these objecti7ves;

(c) Providing total and annual cost estimates and projected completion dates

for px7ojects implemented by them;

(d) Identifying, through joint programming, gaps which need to be filled by

the United Nations Environment Programme;

(e) Reviewing progress annually and preparing each year a coordinated

up-date-d work plan;

8. Further requests the Executive Director to produce each year a programme document containing the information referred to in paragraph 7 above;

9. Requests the Executive Director also to take into consideration the comments of the Advisory Committee on Administrative and Budgetary Questions when coordinating environmental activities within the United Nations system;

IV

International forums

Considers that, while the subject of trip environment has received some attention in international forums during the course of the previous year, it is important for Governments further to harmonize the policies they adopt towards the environment in the Governing Council and in other intergovernmental forums, and thus to ensure that decisions which the Governing Council takes, especially in the area of environment and development, are reflected in the actions of these other forums;

Assessment of environmental risks

1. Requests the Executive Director to report to the Governments concerned and, if necessary, through the Governing Council and in other appropriate ways, to the world community, when there is sufficient evidence to suggest that there is a potentially great risk to the environment;

2. Believes that in respect of environmental risks, the role of the United Nations Environment Programme, in co-operation with the relevant members of the United Nations system, should also include the identification of alternative courses of action which are less environmentally harmful and the promotion of appropriate international agreements;

3. Notes that the ultimate responsibility for environmental management rests with Governments, and that it is through the actions which they take, individually and collectively, that environmental protection and enhancement can be attained and the purposes of the environment programme achieved;

VI Goals for 1982

1. Approves the list of goals for 1982 proposed by the Executive Director in his introductory statement 12/ and decides that it should consider these goals further at its sixth session;

2. Invites Governments to express their preliminary views on the proposed list in writing or at the informal consultations in January 1978;

3. Endorses the intention of the Executive Director to undertake a thorough analysis of the status of projects supported by the Fund of the United Nations Environment Programme before entering into new commitments.