VI - PROGRAMME MATTERS, INCLUDING THE IMPLEMENTATION OF THE PLAN OF ACTION TO COMBAT DESERTIFICATION
1. Agenda item 8 was considered by the Committee of the Whole, under the chairmanship of Mr. German Garcia (Colombia), at its lst to 15th meetings, held between 15 and 24 May.
2. In considering the item, the Committee had before it the following
documentation: a summary of the documentation under the item (UNEPIGC.1519); chapter III of the 1987 Annual Report of the Executive Director (UNEPIGC.1513); chapter III of the 1988 Annual Report of the Executive Director (UNEPIGC.1514); the proposed programme budget of UNEP for the biennium 1990-1991 (UNEPIGC.1519/Add.1); the report of the Executive Director on programme matters requiring policy guidance from the Council (UNEPIGC.1519/Add.2 and Corr.1 and Supplements 1, 2 and 3 and Corr.1); the report of the Executive Director on progress concerning the protection of the ozone layer (UNEPIGC.1519/Add.3); the report of the Executive Director on the implementation of the Plan of Action to Combat Desertification 1987-1988 (UNEPIGC.15/9/Add.4); the report of the Executive Director on international conventions and protocols in the field of the environment (UNEPIGC.1519/Add.5); the Secretary-General's report on the effects on the environment of the dumping of nuclear wastes (UNEP/GC.1519/Add.6); the report of the Executive Director on progress in the control of transboundary movements of hazardous wastes (UNEPIGC.1519/Add.7); the report of the Joint Inspection Unit on the contribution of the United Nations system to the preservation and management of cultural and natural heritage in Western Asia (UNEPIGC.15/L.1); the "Register of international treaties and other agreements in the field of the environment" (UNEP/GC.15/Inf.2); a note by the Executive Director on the relationship between UNEP targets to be reached by 1995 and the approved UNEP medium-term plan for the period 1990-1995 (UNEPIGC.15/Inf.3); and an executive summary of the Beijer Institute report "Possible responses to climate change" (UNEPIGC.15/Inf.5).
3 . The Assistant Executive Director, Office of the Environment Programme, introduced item 8, indicating those areas that required policy guidance. He pointed out the relationship of the proposed programme budget for the biennium 1990-1991 (UNEPIGC.1519/Add.1) to the system-wide medium-term environment programme for the period 1990-1995 (UNEP/GCSS.I/7/Add.1), the medium-term plan for the United Nations Environment Programme for the same six year period (UNEPIGCSS.I/7/Add.2), and the targets for 1995 approved by the Governing Council at its first special session, in 1988 (UNEPIGCSS.I/3/Add.1). The Assistant Executive Director also drew the attention of the Committee to a change in approach to various subprogrames that had been proposed by the Executive Director, namely that the activities of the programme should be focused on six major environmental problems. The Assistant Executive Director asked the members of the Committee for their views and guidance.
4. Opening the Committee's consideration of item 8, the Chairman suggested that the proposal by the Executive Director to focus activities on six major problem areas should be discussed in plenary. One representative, commanding the Secretariat on its preparation of the proposed programme budget, suggested that agreement on what the programme should seek to accomplish should precede discussion of financial apportionment. The Assistant Executive Directorexplained that the Committee normally examined the budget first on a programme-by-programme basin. reviewing the activities carried out during the previous two years and discussing proposed activities and priorities for the next biennium before making budget allocations in the light of relevant financial decisions taken in plenary; these allocations would then be reported back to plenary. This procedure was agreed upon by the Committee.