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B - Management of the Fund

410. In considering agenda item 8 (b), the Committee had before it documents UNEP/GC.9/10 and Corr.1 and 2 and Add.1-9.

1. Contributions

411. The Acting Assistant Executive Director, Office of Environment Fund and Administration, introducing the report of the Executive Director on the Management of the Fund and the Executive Director's note on developments in the Fund between 1 January and 30 April 1981 (UNEP/GC.9/10 and Corr.1 and 2, and UNEP/GC.9/10/Add.5), drew particular attention to the uncertainty about the resources available to the Fund. Due to inflation and the decline in the real value of the contributions to the Fund since 1978, the effective value of the Fund had been diminished and this had had a significant impact on the level of the Fund programme activities. Fluctuations in exchange rates of national currencies against the dollar had also had an impact on contributions to the Fund, and engendered uncertainty in the estimation of resources available to it. Every effort had been made to increase the level of contributions and to increase the convertibility of non-convertible currency contributions, but with only limited success. Indeed, two countries had reduced their contributions in 1980 and one had made no contribution at all. Contrary to previous years, cash balances had been run down in 1980, and by the end of 1981, the Fund's accumulated balances would have reached a minimum working level and would be totally dependent on current contributions, at least as far as the convertible currency programme was concerned. Under those circumstances, it would be very difficult to reinforce the catalytic and coordinating impact-of the Fund unless there was a significant increase in voluntary contributions in 1982-1983.

412. In order to meet the situation, the Executive Director was making two requests to the Governing Council, namely to consider, evaluate and approve the medium-term plan for 1982-1983 as set out in document UNEP/GC.9/6, the programme of activities under which would require a total of around $120 million to implement, and, if the level of activities proposed was not acceptable, to inform him which particular activities and programme elements were to be cut or reduced, and by how much.

413. The $120 million figure was based on a core group of activities recommended by the Governing Council on a priority basis at different times since its first session, requests made by United Nations bodies for co-operative projects as part of the system-wide environment programme, and the needs of supporting organizations. It was also based on an assessment of what might be regarded as a minimal level of new programmes, reflecting current rates of inflation and a modest real growth rate of 5 per cent. Approval of the $120 million target would not mean an automatic increase of traditional donors' contributions; the $120 million was a goal which the Executive Director would try to reach.

414. Many delegations supported the Executive Director's proposal. Others felt that his target figure was far too modest; a few suggested provision should be made for a 25 per cent growth rate, which would mean a target of between $145 million and $150 million. Still others, while agreeing that $120 million was rather a low figure in relation to global environmental needs, were of the opinion that the contributions required to reach a $145 million target would not be forthcoming, and therefore supported the Executive Director's proposal. Several delegations expressed the view that programme needs should govern the settling of the target for 1982-1983 rather than contributions likely to be received. Four delegations announced probable increases in their Government's contributions to the Fund. Three others informed the Committee that their Governments did not plan to increase their contributions.

415. One of the delegations referred to as having reduced its contribution in 1980 said that its contribution in 1979 had been exceptional and the apparent reduction was due merely to a return to its habitual contributing pattern. Another delegation pointed out that fluctuations in exchange rates had in fact meant that Governments' contributions had cost them more in national currency to maintain the same level.

416. Several other delegations were of the opinion that the Executive Director's proposal was unrealistic. It was pointed out that to meet the proposed 5 per cent growth and estimated 14 per cent inflation, a doubling of the contributions currently received by the Fund would be required. The overwhelming opinion expressed at the informal consultations in December 1980 that the growth rate should be held at zero was recalled, and a request was made for the Committee to be provided with figures based both on a zero growth rate and on one of 2.5 per cent. Questions were asked about the figure of i4 per cent for inflation; it was pointed out in that connexion that the Consultative Committee on Administrative Questions (CCAQ) had recommended a rate of 12 per cent and the United Nations Centre for Human Settlements had recently accepted a rate of 11 per cent.

417. A number of delegations considered that the programme should be reduced to correspond to the funds available and supported a programme of between $65 million and $67 million. It was suggested by two delegations that a better programme might result as less effective projects could be weeded out and better management me@khods would be encouraged. One delegation suggested calculating the programme budget total by applying the CCAQ inflation rate of 12 per cent to the 1980-1981 total, which would give a programme of $75 million.

418. Several delegations expressed concern over the relatively high level of programme and programme support costs compared with the level of Fund programme activities, and suggested that if cuts proved necessary, they should be made to the former rather than the latter.

419. One delegation stressed the fact that appropriate, sound environmental management was necessary for a healthy economy as well as integral to any development programme, and pointed out the incongruity of having an environment programme decrease in times of economic depression. While recognizing that this was the actual situation, it urged Governments to change the trend and contribute more generously to the Fund. Another delegation supported that appeal, observing that if Governments contributed a mere 0.001 per cent of their defence budgets to the Fund, resources would increase by $5 million per year.

420. The Acting Assistant Executive Director drew attention to figures that had been circulated at the request of several delegations showing alternatives for the 1982-1983 programme with a zero growth rate, a 2.5 per cent growth rate and a 5 per cent growth rate, and incorporating a 12 per cent and 14 per cent inflation rate. He said that there were many options in deciding the target figure and the Executive Director would of course follow the directives of the Governing Council. However, it would be asked to decide the priorities. The Executive Director had proposed a programme which he considered to be the best possible one in a time of economic stringency, and it should be remembered that whatever the target figure, in the implementation of the Fund programme activities some basic elements had to be taken into consideration, namely the actual level of contributions received, the structure of the contributions (namely, the amount received in convertible currency and non-convertible currency contributions) the liquidity of the Fund and its apportionment to priority activities.

421. During detailed discussion of the target figure, the members of the Asian group of delegations differed from the majority view of the Committee that the letter from the Chairman to the Chairman of Sessional Committee I regarding the target of the Fund for the biennium 1982-1983 should mention that expected contributions were not likely to exceed $77 million, since that would reduce the changes of reaching the $120 million target. After informal deliberations, however, they agreed to accept such a mention, which other delegations believed was a realistic projection, based on experience in previous years, and which one pointed out was in line with the Executive Director's own assessment of the situation.

422. The Committee subsequently decided to transmit to Sessional Committee I its views regarding the target for the biennium 1982-1983 (reflected in decision 9/23, paras. 11-13) .

423. In response to a comment from the secretariat, one delegation emphasized the need for a report providing information on implementation of the programme and on projects and activities according to their designation as global, regional, interregional, subregional and national, and indicating commitments and expenditures incurred, but agreed that such information could be provided through Report to Governments if the report being called for from the Executive Director was appropriately cross-referenced.

424. At the conclusion of its discussion, the Committee recommended a draft decision to the Governing Council for adoption. For the text of the decision as adopted by the Governing Council, see annex 1, decision 9/23.

425. After the approval of the draft decision, the representative of the United Kingdom, speaking on behalf of the delegations of Belgium, France, Germany, Federal Republic of, Italy, Netherlands, Switzerland and the United States of America, expressed concern at the way in which the Governing Council had been obliged to conduct its business at its present session. They regarded as unacceptable the procedure by which the Committee had been confronted with a request for a budget figure greatly in excess of the amount that seemed likely to be obtained through contributions. While fully understanding the desirability of a generous appropriation figure to provide an incentive for increased contributions, they considered that if the figure was greatly in excess of current estimates of total income, sound financial management required that the Governing Council be given the opportunity to consider a realistic programme. They considered that it was the responsibility of the Executive Director to present to the Governing Council an analysis which would enable it to take a sensible view regarding the allocation of appropriations, assuming different levels of over-all contributions, and they called upon him to present the Council with such an analysis if a similar situation arose in future. The representatives of Australia and Japan associated their delegations with the foregoing views.

2. Non-convertible currencies

426. The Acting Assistant Executive Directpr, Office of the Environment Fund and Administration, introducing the report of the Executive Director on the impact of non-convertible currency balances on Fund project selection and implementation (UNEP/GC.9/10/Add.1), which had been prepared in response to Governing Council decision 8/18, paragraph 8, reminded the Committee of how the problem of non-convertible currencies had become acute in 1979 when they had comprised 62 per cent of the Fund resources. The Board of External Auditors and the Governing Council had both called for act@-ion to rectify the situation. In 1980, as a result of the joint efforts of the Executive Director and the Governments of the countries contributing in non-convertible currencies, expenditure in those currencies had exceeded income, reaching the equivalent of $5.8 million. Non-convertible currency projects were now part of the over-all programme, although primarily in the training field. The Executive Director's conclusions were contained in paragraph 20 of the report; one was that the level of the existing balances of non-convertible currencies in the environment Fund did not unduly influence the selection of projects. The action he suggested might be taken to improve the situation included requesting Governments of countries contributing in non-convertible currencies to pay a greater proportion of their contributions in convertible currencies and setting a ceiling for non-convertible currency projects of 20 per cent of the total programme. Such action was necessary to maintain a balanced programme.

427. The Executive Director's report was generally welcomed, although attention was drawn to some disturbing conclusions: the higher cost of implementing non-convertible currency projects, the additional time and administrative support required the distortion of the programme, even if only in terms of geographical location of implementation. One delegation observed that project selection standards appeared to be less rigorous for non-convertible currency projects and another said that the same standards should apply to all projects. other delegations, pointing out that non-convertible currencies, by their very nature, were restricted in use, urged non-convertible currency contributing countries to make greater efforts to pay their contributions in convertible currency because of the need for the greatest possible flexibility in using scarce Fund resources. The need for resources to be usable anywhere, by any party and for the benefit of all, and particularly for the developing countries, was stressed and it was pointed out that many countries whose national currencies were non-convertible still managed to pay their contributions in convertible currency. It was also pointed out that some part of the cost of non-convertible currency projects had to be met in convertible currency; consequently, UNEP should not spend non-convertible currencies for the sake of spending them, since the total convertible currency resources available for the Fund programme were diminished at the same time.

428. One delegation asked what "convertible" roubles and the "prescribed circumstances" under which they could be converted were; why balances of certain non-convertible currencies were increasing when no contributions in them seemed to be being made, whether some non-convertible currencies were more readily convertible than others, whether there were contributions in non-convertible currencies other than those shown in the table in the report (UNEP/GC.9/10/Add.1, para. 6) which were convertible within the United Nations, why non-convertible currency training courses were longer and more costly than others and whether there was a trend for the number of non-convertible currency contributors to increase or decrease. Another delegation suggested that as most convertible currency donor countries had some expenses in the non-convertible currency donor countries, due, for example, to maintenance of embassies, some of UNEP's accumulated non-convertible currencies might be exchanged with them for convertible currencies, thus benefiting all three parties concerned.

429. Replying to the foregoing questions, the Chief, Fund Programme Management Branch, said that up to 25 per cent of the USSR contribution could be converted by reimbursing, in dollars, costs incurred by employing USSR nationals as staff or as consultants, the cost of tickets purchased for travel by the national airline Aeroflot, the cost of purchasing supplies and equipment used in projects implemented in the USSR and for costs incurred in transporting and erecting equipment purchased in the USSR for use in projects outside that country. The convertible portion of the roubles had not been utilized, proportionally speaking, as much as the non-convertible portion because of these limitations on their use. The increase in certain non-convertible currencies not matched by increased contributions was due to exchange rate fluctuations. Some non-convertible currencies were more usable than others because of projects being implemented in the contributing country; for example, German Democratic Republic marks were largely used in the eco-management training course in Dresden. Furthermore, some countries, like India, contributed in their national currency, but their contribution could be exchanged for convertible currencies within the United Nations system. The ratio of non-convertible currency to convertible currency contributions had remained relatively constant.

430. Several delegations supported the action suggested by the Executive Director (UNEP/GC.9/10/Add.1, annex II) in principle, and a number considered that rule 203.4 of the Financial Rules of the Fund should be amended to avoid having to restrict programme implementation.

431. Several others were opposed to the action suggested; they saw no problem in the contribution or use of non-convertible currencies, as the projects implemented with them benefited the least developed countries. The voluntary nature of contributions to the Fund was stressed; accordingly Governments should not be restricted as to the type or form of their contributions. In any case, as expenditure in non-convertible currencies ha s exceeded contributions in those currencies by the equivalent of some $1.5 million in 1980, the problem of non-convertible currencies accumulation appeared to have been solved. A number of delegations considered that the accumulation of non-convertible currencies had been artificially created as a problem. Non-convertible currency projects were completely in harmony with and formed a vital element of the UNEP programme and encouraged wide co-operation among countries. Several delegations felt that amending rule 203.4 would nullify the voluntary character of contributions. They. questioned, moreover, whether the Governing Council was legally entitled to amend the Financial Rules of the Fund.

432. In reply to the question as to whether the Governing Council was competent to amend the Financial Rules, the Chief, Fund Programme Management Branch, said that as the Governing Council had itself drawn up the Financial Rules of the Fund for subsequent approval by the General Assembly, there was no reason, in principle, why it should not propose amendments to them, subject to similar approval.

433. One delegation pointed out that non-convertible currencies had an advantage over convertible currencies in that they were not affected by inflation nor subject to fluctuations. Another said that it was preferable to utilize non-convertible currencies in a project rather than forego the activity entirely. Others pointed out that the non-convertible currencies were contributed for a purpose, and it was suggested that the donors might advise UNIRP on how to make the most effective use of their currencies for the benefit of the programme. Another delegation observed that if the effect of such a practice would be that each country would decide the activity for which its contribution was to be used, there would be no point in the Governing Council deciding how the pooled resources in the Fund should be allocated.

434. Replying to a question concerning the word "ceiling" in annex II, paragraph (c) of the document, the Actirg Assistant Executive Director said that the 20 per cent ceiling or limit on the portion of the programme to be implemented in non-convertible currency had been proposed solely so as to maintain the balance of the programme. The Committee could, of course, recommend any limit it liked. With the resources of the Fund for 1982-1983 estimated at $30 million n convertible currency and the equivalent of $16 million in non-convertible currency, the Executive Director felt that it would be advisable to set some limit on non-convertible currency project implementation under the proposed programme. There was no intention whatsoever to change the voluntary nature of contributions to the UNEP Fund. With regard to possible programme distortion due to the use of non-convertible currencies, no significant distortion had occurred, but a certain bias was created in the geographical location of projects. Paragraphs 4 and 5 in the draft decision suggested to the Governing Council (UNEP/GC.9/10, annex) renewed the appeals made by the latter at its eighth session and were in keeping with the terms of rule 203.4 of the Financial Rules of the Fund which provided that contributions should be accepted in currencies that were readily usable by the Fund.

435. Referring to the suggested fixing of a ceiling for non-convertible currency commitments, one delegation said it would be useful for the Executive Director to have the support of the Governing Council in avoiding distorting the programme. Other delegations did not consider it necessary to fix a ceiling as there was no evidence of any significant distortion. Several delegations underlined the need for readily usable contributions and for more convertible currencies which would be of greater benefit to the developing countries.

436. Several delegations considered that the suggested action had legal implications and would require an amendment of the Financial Rules of the Fund; they were not in favour of mentioning any percentage figure in respect of the proportion of convertible currency in non-convertible currency contributions nor of fixing a ceiling for commitments in these currencies. In this connexion, one delegation considered that the action suggested would constitute an infringement of the sovereignty of States. Its Government's contribution in non-convertible currency was made in the interests of the developing countries.

437. At the conclusion of its debate on the subject, the Committee recommended a draft decision to the Governing Council for adoption. For the text of the decision as adopted by the Governing Council, see annex I, decision 9/23.

3. Additional resources for environmental problems in developing countries

438. The Acting Assistant Executive Director, Office of the Environment Fund and Administration, introducing the report of the Executive Director on additional resources for environmental problems in developing countries (UNEP/GC.9/10/Add.2), which had been prepared in response to Economic and Social Council resolution 1980/49, paragraph 9, said that the Governing Councills advice was being sought on suggested new ways of obtaining additional resources for the Fund to deal with serious environmental problems in developing countries. Of the four new means proposed, the "special window' merited special attention as being the most feasible.

439. The report, and the "special window' concept in particular, was welcomed by many delegations. One delegation, referring to the request made to the Executive Director by the Governing Council at the eighth session to report on intersessional developments, asked what developments there had been on the 'special window" issue. The fact that the "special window" approach was particularly well geared to the environmental needs of developing countries was stressed by other delegations, which wholeheartedly supported the proposal, particularly in view of the Fund's small resources. However, some delegations, while welcoming the spirit behind the proposal, stressed the complexity of the issue, which required careful consideration. They pointed out that earmarking the funds contributed to UNEP for specific purposes might reduce the flexibility of the over-all programme, introduce a technical assistance element which would be contrary to UNEP's coordinating and catalytic role, have the effect of sanctioning tied contributions, a feature which had been objected to in the case of non-convertible currencies, and might lead to funds being contributed to the "special window" instead of to the general programme which would jeopardize the volume of Fund resources in contravention of rule 203.4 of the Financial Rules of the Environment Programme.

440. Clarification of how the funds received under the "special window" would be allocated was sought. One delegation asked whether a trust fund would not serve the same purpose and another asked whether the same end would not be achieved by a reallocation of priorities in Sessional Committee I.

441. The Swedish delegation, which had introduced the concept of the "special window", explained that the funds would be allocated to programmes identified by the Governing Council as being directed to the gravest environmental problems of the developing countries, the Executive Director would then identify, within those programmes, the projects and activities to be undertaken, and a special report on these would be submitted to the Governing Council at each session. The 'special window' approach was not geared to the United Nations Development Programme, as certain development activities had environmental parameters outside the normal rubric of international development aid or bilateral aid groups; for example, the environmentally appropriate selection of species in a tree plantation. Moreover, the UNEP progamme already had development aspects, in the areas of environment and development, for example. The 'special window" approach had been developed to tap the larger sources of international and bilateral aid generally earmarked for development projects.

442. Concern was expressed by some delegations that a national emphasis might be introduced into the programme at the expense of the global or regional emphasis set forth in UNEP's mandate. Others considered that the development of the "special window' approach would increase the regional benefits accruing to the less developed countries from multilateral donors.

443. The Acting Assistant Executive Director said that the full list of responses to the Executive Director's proposals would be circulated. Owing to the'13 per cent charge for administrative costs which the Executive Director was required to make for trust funds, the Swedish Government, in consultation with UNEP, had evolved the idea of the "special window'. Under this approach, UNEP could receive the funds without any loss to administrative costs. Two categories of projects would be eligible for "special window' funds: those ensuring adequate environmental assessment and impact statements before a large development project began, and those connected with activities of a global scope which required large sums to ensure proper co-ordination and programming; for example, desertification, deforestration. He shared the concern that some donors might contribute to the "special window' at the expense of the regular programme; however, no assurance could be given on that point as it was the prerogative of each Government to donate as it wished and contributions would be entirely voluntary. The Executive Director felt that the "special window" was an encouraging development in the search for ' additional sources of financing for programmes on the major environmental problems of developing countries.

444. in the ensuing discussion, additional points were raised by those supporting the "special window' proposal, and the fact that its main objective was to increase environment activities in the developing countries because UNEP's activities had had little impact in them to date, was stressed. In that connexion, it was felt that as UNEP had such very limited resources, additional funds should not be refused because of technical difficulties posed by the Financial Rules; some delegations considered that if the Rules as they stood prevented the establishment of the "special window", they should be amended to make it possible. Those in favour of amending the Rules did not consider that the character of the Fund would change as a result; countries could contribute to both the "special window" and the Fund. one delegation announced its Government's intention to contribute to the "special window", if created.

445. Other delegations considered that amending the Financial Rules would create a dangerous precedent and would, in fact, result in an alteration of the structure and purpose of the Fund. one delegation said that its Government would have'to reconsider its contribution should the Rules be amended in the way suggested. Several delegations reiterated their concern that contributions to the Fund would decrease and that a trend would develop for donors to prefer to earmark their contributions.

446. A number of delegations said that although they were not actively opposed to the establishment of the 'special window", their Governments had no intention of contributing to it; there was therefore a distinct risk that it would attract very little in the way of resources. However, one delegation thought that even if initial contributions were minimal, they might accelerate. It suggested that the "special window' be established, subject to review after six or seven years.

447. The Committee subsequently recommended a draft decision to the Governing Council for adoption. For the text of the decision as adopted by the Governing Council, see annex 1, decision 9/24.

4. Financing of plans of action

448. The Acting Assistant Executive Director, Office of the Environment Fund and Administration, introducing the Executive Director's report on financing plans of action (UNEP/GC.9/10/Add.3), which had been prepared in response to Governing Council decision 8/1, section VII, pointed out that the General Assembly, the Economic and Social Council and the Governing Council itself had often approved plans of action without ensuring financial provision for their implementation. Five financing mechanisms which the Executive Director believed were workable were outlined in paragraph 12 and conclusions and recommendations, upon which the Committee's advice was sought, were contained in paragraphs 19 to 29.

449. The report was commended by several delegations as providing a useful perspective of solutions to the problem, but some concernwas expressed at the connexion between the conclusions and recommendations and the suggestion in the annex to the document that the Governing Council should merely note the report and approve the recommendations. One delegation said that it was important that UNEP should not withdraw its technical and financial support too soon from a project with an approved action plan, and suggested that a phrase to that effect be included in the suggested action. The suggestion was supported by several delegations. Another delegation asked for clarification of the statement in paragraph 23 that primary responsibility for financing regional activities should be placed on States in the region; the least developed countries might have difficulty in supporting activities under action plans and it wondered what would happen then.

450. The Acting Assistant Executive Director replied that while the initial financing for implementing regional plans of action was primarily a national responsibility, the international community should stand ready to help where it could. Paragraph 23 could be clarified in that sense.

451. At the conclusion of the debate, the Committee recommended a draft decision to the Governing Council for adoption. For the text of the decision as adopted by the Governing Council, see annex I, decision 9/25.

5. revised general Procedures qoverninq the operations of the Environment Fund

452. The Chief, Fund Programme Management Branch, introducing the Executive Director's note on the revised general procedures governing the operations of the Environment Fund (UNEP/GC.9/10/Add.4), informed the Committee that as the final form of the system-wide medium-term programme would affect the procedures, the Executive Director felt that it would be premature to adopt a definitive revision at this stage. Proposals would be submitted to the Governing Council at its tenth session, and all the Committee was required to do at present was to take note of the document.

453. One delegation asked what the difference was between the procedures governing the operations of the Fund and the Financial Rules of the Fund, and asked for an assurance that the proposed revised procedures would not affect the Financial Rules in any way.

454. in reply, the Chief, Fund Programme-Management Branch, said that the Financial Rules governed the financial operations of the Fund, whereas the general procedures concerned the Fund's day-to-day working arrangements. The system-wide medium-term programme, which involved the United Nations system as a whole, was very much concerned with the day-to-day working arrangements and it was therefore important that the working relations with the organizations of the United Nations under the system-wide medium-term programme were clarified fully before a final decision was taken on how the over-all procedures should be changed. It was unlikely that the revised procedures would have any effect on the Financial Rules.

455. The Committee took note of the note by the Executive Director on revised general procedures governing the operations of the Environment Fund6. Management of trust funds456. The Chief, Fund Programme Management Branch, introducing the Executive Ditector's note on the management of trust funds (UNEP/GC.9/10/Add.6), apologized for the late distribution of the document, which had been unavoidable because most of the meetings on the trust funds had not been held until March or April 1981. He drew attention to documents UNEP/GC.9/9/Background 4 and UNEP/GC.9/9, paragraphs 20-27, which were also relevant to the discussion. Referring to the Trust Fund for Regional Training Workshops on Environmental Management, he pointed out that the establishment of a Trust Fund had been the only mechanism by which the funds offered by the Swedish International Development Authority (SIDA) to finance regional training workshops on environmental management could be accepted. The 13 per cent charge referred to in paragraph 2 of the note was a charge the Executive Director, in common with the Executive Heads of organizations within the United Nations system, was required by the Secretary-General to make.

457. The necessity for extending the Kuwait Trust Fund until 31 December 1981, when the interim secretariat was to be transferred to the regional organization from 1 July, was queried by one delegation. Other delegations asked about the mechanisms involved in setting up a trust fund and how a trust fund programme was implemented. Another delegation asked if the mechanism used in connexion with the training workshops for the pulp and paper industry would be extended to other training workshops.

458. Replying to the first point, the Chief, Fund Programme Management Branch, explained that the Kuwait Trust Fund had to be extended until 31 December 1981 to clear all outstanding bills; when that was done, the Trust Fund would be closed. The SIDA Trust Fund resulted from a specific national initiative; he was not aware of any intention to extend it to other fields 459. The Acting Assistant Executive Director, referring to the procedure for setting up a trust fund, said that the process took a long time, involving meetings of interested parties at various levels to agree on a plan of action and on financing. When the parties agreed to request establishment of a trust fund, the project was submitted to the Governing Council for its approval.

460. The Acting Assistant Executive Director, office of the Environment Fund and Administration, introducing the Executive Director's note on the establishment of a regional trust fund for the East Asian Region (UNEP/GC.9/10/Add.9), said that the request dealt with had been received since the beginning of the Governing Councills present session and had not been included in the agenda as approved.

461. The Committee took note of the Executive Director's note on the establishment of a regional trust fund for the implementation of the Action Plan for the Protection and Development of the Marine Environment and Coastal Areas of the East Asian Region and approved the suggestion that the Executive Director seek the Secretary-Generalls consent to the establishment of the trust fund in question (see decision 9/26).

462. The Acting Assistant Executive Director drew attention to the note by the Executive Director (UNEP/GC.9/10/Add.7) concerning a communication received from the International Union for the Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources, which was self-explanatory.

463. The Committee took note of the Executive Director's note on the provision of permanent secretariat and interim arrangements for the Ramsar Convention.

464. Following its discussion of trust funds, the Committee recommended a draft decision to the Governing Council for adoption. For the text of the decision as adopted by the Governing Council, see annex I, decision 9/26