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B - Financial resources of the Environment Fund

37. There was general recognition in the Governing Council that, whatever might be done to increase UNEP's effectiveness, the need for increased funding was inescapable. The representatives of Australia, Austria, the Federal Republic of Germany, and the USSR informed the Council that their Governments were presently considering an increase in their contributions to the Fund. Many representatives stated that their Government had already increased theircontributions to the Environment Fund. The representatives of Bulgaria, France and Japan indicated that their Governments would increase their contribution in the future. The representative of Finland announced that his Government would increase its Fund contribution in 1990 by 50 per cent compared with the present level. The representative of Malta stated that his country intended to double its current contribution. The representative of the Netherlands indicated annual increases in contributions leading to a doubling of its present contributions by 1994 and said that he was willing to consider the doubling to be reached by 1992. The representative of Switzerland informed the Council that as long ago as 1987 his Government had decided to double its contribution by 1991. A number of representatives considered the $100 million target to be realistic.

38. Many representatives, from both developed and developing countries, emphasized that the responsibility lay mainly with developed countries to increase their contributions.

39. As to other funding, the representative of Norway stated that her Government was ready to provide initial funding for a three-year period to build up a Nordic GRID monitoring system in Norway. The representative of Switzerland said that his Government was ready to give substantial support to programmes that would aid developing countries, particularly in the framework of IRPTC, the Secretariat of the Basel Convention and GRID. At the same time, one representative observed that the very success of the machinery of trust funds for specific purposes which matched national priorities might possibly prevent some countries from making larger contributions to the Environment Fund. Another representative expressed the view that specific action programmes with targets might bring forth more contributions to trust funds, adding that the growing number of specific funds for conventions, activities related to climatic warming and so on suggested that UNEP should provide a measure of co-ordination in such matters.

40. The representative of Austria announced that his country was considering

increasing its contribution to specific UNEP programmes.

41. Two representatives said that the employment of contributions in local currencies in regional co-operation activities - a mechanism under study in Latin America and the Caribbean - might prove more feasible for developing countries at the present juncture than direct contributions to the Fund.

42. One representative viewed with concern the increasing tendency of some developed countries to provide economic support through bilateral rather than multilateral channels.

43. One representative proposed that a proportion of the debt-servicing obligations of developing countries, as well as the debts themselves, should be converted into payment of contributions to various environment funds of UNEP.

44. Responding to the statements made by representatives, the Executive Director noted that there was general support for increasing UNEP's resources and that several representatives had made a definite commitment to double or substantially increase their contributions by 1992 or earlier. Many representatives had considered the target of $100 million to be realistic. The Governing Council might wish to endorse the target figure in principle and decide that the additional resources for 1990~1991 should be used in accordance with the proposals contained in the supplement to his introductory report (UNEP/GC.1515/Supplement 1). If the Council so wished, an accompanying decision might request the Executive Director to consult the Committee of Permanent Representatives on the use of the additional resources, as and when they became available, in accordance with the Executive Director's recommended additional programmes.