Resources for:
  Governments
  Scientists
  Journalists
  Civil Society
  Business Persons
  Children and Youth

Thematic Areas


 
 Printable Version
 

PROGRAMME MATTERS

1. As decided by the Council at the 1st meeting of the session (see chapter I, paragraphs 18-21, above), agenda item 6 was discussed in the Committee of the Whole.

2. In considering the agenda item, the Council had before it the following documentation: the report of the Executive Director entitled "The Environment Fund budgets: revised proposals for 1996-1997 and proposals for 1998-1999" (UNEP/GC.19/22); the note by the Executive Director on the mid-term review and status of implementation of the programme of work 1996-1997 (UNEP/GC.19/INF.9 (English only)), together with a memorandum dated 24 January 1997 from the Permanent Representative of Colombia to UNEP, as Chairman of the Nairobi Chapter of the Group of 77 and China, transmitting the position of the group of 77 and China on the mid-term review of the programme of work of UNEP (UNEP/GC.19/L.24); the report of the Executive Director on UNEP's role as secretariat of the Global Programme of Action the Protection of the Marine Environment from Land-based Activities (UNEP/GC.19/25), together with the related report of the Administrative Committee on Coordination (ACC) to the UNEP Governing Council on implementation of the Global Programme of Action for the Protection of the Marine Environment from Land-based Activities (UNEP/GC.19/12) submitted under agenda item 4 (c) and an information document on institutional arrangements for implementing of the Global Programme of Action for Protection of Marine Environment from Land-based Activities (UNEP/GC.19/INF.4 (English only)); a progress report by the Executive Director on the development of an international legally binding instrument for the application of the Prior Informed Consent procedure for certain hazardous chemicals in international trade and further measures to reduce the risks from hazardous chemicals (UNEP/GC.19/24), together with a note by the Executive Director transmitting the report of the Government-designated Group of Experts on Further Measures to Reduce the Risks from a Limited Number of Hazardous Chemicals on its work (UNEP/GC.19/INF.7), a summary of the responses to a letter from the Executive Director to Governments seeking their views on a possible integrated international mechanism concerning the management of hazardous chemicals (UNEP/GC.19/INF.21) and an analysis of the cost and benefits of possible further measures to address information needs related to the PIC procedure (UNEP/GC.19/INF.23); the report of the Executive Director on progress made in the implementation of Governing Council decision 18/32, including the recommendations of the Ad Hoc Working Group on Persistent Organic Pollutants of the Intergovernmental Forum on Chemical Safety (UNEP/GC.19/23), together with notes by the Executive Director transmitting the final report of the IFCS Ad Hoc Working Group on Persistent Organic Pollutants (UNEP/GC.19/INF.8) and the views of Greenpeace International on the timing, scope and mandate of an intergovernmental negotiating committee to prepare a global legally binding instrument on persistent organic pollutants (UNEP/GC.19/INF.19 (English only)); a note by the Executive Director transmitting the report of the Chairman of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) to the nineteenth session of the Governing Council ((UNEP/GC.19/INF.22); the report of the Executive Director on progress made in further development of international environmental law aiming at sustainable development (UNEP/GC.19/32), together with notes by the Executive Director transmitting the mid-term report of the Programme for the Development and Periodic Review of Environmental Law for the 1990s (UNEP/GC.19/INF.13 (English only)), the position paper for international environmental law aiming at sustainable development (UNEP/GC.19/INF.12 (English only)), and the report of the Meeting of Senior Government Officials Expert in Environmental Law (UNEP/GC.19/INF.14 (English only)); a note by the Executive Director transmitting a preliminary study on the need for and feasibility of new international instruments aiming at sustainable development (UNEP/GC.19/INF.18); the report of the Executive Director on international conventions and protocols in the field of the environment (UNEP/GC.19/31 and Corr.1 and 2); the report of the Executive Director on the role of women in environment and development (UNEP/GC.19/9); the report of the Executive Director on improvement of the international response to environmental emergencies (UNEP/GC.19/14); and the report of the Executive Director on actions taken to implement the recommendations of the Office of Internal Oversight Services included in the report "In﷓depth evaluation of the programme on environment" (UNEP/GC.19/INF.3 (English only)).

3. It also had before it draft decisions on the following topics that had been prepared by the Drafting Group of the Committee of Permanent Representatives and considered by that Committee: improvement of the international response to environmental emergencies (UNEP/GC.19/L.8); Framework for the North-East Asian Subregional Programme of Environmental Cooperation (UNEP/GC.19/L.14); recommendations by the Intergovernmental Forum on Chemical Safety for international action on persistent organic pollutants (UNEP/GC.19/L.17); progress report on the development of an international legally binding instrument for the application of the prior informed consent procedure for certain hazardous chemicals in international trade, and the consideration of further measures to reduce the risks from hazardous chemicals (UNEP/GC.19/L.18); the role of the United Nations Environment Programme as secretariat of the Global Programme of Action for the Protection of the Marine Environment from Land-based Activities (UNEP/GC.19/L.19); and mid-term review of the Programme for the Development and Periodic Review of Environmental Law for the 1990s and further development of international environmental law aiming at sustainable development (UNEP/GC.19/L.21). In addition, it had before it a draft decision on international conventions and protocols in the field of the environment, contained in section XI of the compilation of suggestions regarding draft decisions that had been considered by the Drafting Group of the Committee of the Permanent Representatives (UNEP/GC.19/L.23), and a draft decision submitted by the Governments of Austria, Belgium and the Netherlands, contained in section XIII of the same document.

4. The item was taken up by the Committee of the Whole at its 2nd meeting, on 28 January. It was also considered by the Programme Subcommittee at its 1st and 2nd meetings, on 29 January.

5. At its 2nd and 3rd meetings, on 28 January 1997, the Committee of the Whole heard statements on programme matters relating to chemicals management from the representatives of Algeria, Australia, Brazil, China, Colombia, Denmark, Ghana, Iceland, Iran (Islamic Republic of), Iran, Japan, the Netherlands (on behalf of the European Union), New Zealand, Norway, Pakistan, Panama, the Philippines, the Republic of Korea, Romania, Switzerland, Turkey, Uganda, the United States of America, Zimbabwe. The representative of Canada made a statement on behalf of the IFCS Ad Hoc Working Group on Persistent Organic Pollutants. The Committee also heard statements on programme matters related to chemicals management from the representatives of the Economic Commission for Europe, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, the United Nations Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR), and the World Health Organization (WHO).

6. It was agreed to set up an informal group on the subject, under the chairmanship of Canada, to report back with draft decisions to the Committee of the Whole.

7. Also at its 3rd meeting, the Committee heard statements concerning the Global Programme of Action for the Protection of the Marine Environment from Land-based Activities from the representatives of Algeria, Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, Colombia, Iceland, Iran (Islamic Republic of), Italy, Japan, Kenya, the Netherlands (on behalf of the European Union),Pakistan, the Philippines, Qatar, the Republic of Korea, and the United States of America. The Committee of the Whole also heard statements relating to the Global Programme of Action from the representatives of the International Maritime Organization (IMO), the Permanent Commission for the South Pacific (CPPS), the Regional Organization for the Protection of the Marine Environment (ROPME), and the World Health Organization (WHO).

8. The representative of Canada also invited delegates to consider an informal meeting to clarify the allocation of resources between freshwater and coastal/ocean issues and institutional arrangements for the Global Programme of Action. It was agreed that the Republic of Korea would coordinate informal discussions on the subject and return to the Committee with a draft decision.

9. Also at its 3rd meeting, the Committee heard statements relating to the environmental law programme from the representatives of Burkina Faso, Canada, China, Ghana, India, Iran (Islamic Republic of), Kenya, Mauritius, the Netherlands (on behalf of the European Union), Pakistan, the Philippines, Romania, the Russian Federation, Switzerland, Uganda, the United Kingdom, and Zimbabwe. Representatives of the International Council for Environmental Law (ICEL), the South Asia Cooperative Environment Programme (SACEP) and the United Nations Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR) also spoke.

10. At its 1st meeting, on 29 January 1997, the Programme Subcommittee heard an introductory statement by the secretariat on subprogramme 1 (Sustainable management and use of natural resources) of the proposed programme of work for the biennium 1998-1999. It then heard statements on issues related to that subprogramme from the representatives of Ghana, Kenya and Uganda. Following a procedural discussion, however, the Subcommittee decided to postpone further discussion on the proposed programme of work.

11. At the same meeting, the Subcommittee also considered the question of improvement of the international response to environmental emergencies and heard statements on the subject from the representatives of Kenya, Mauritania, the Russian Federation, and Switzerland. The representative of the United Nations Department of Humanitarian Affairs also made a statement.

12. Also at the 1st meeting of the Programme Subcommittee, the secretariat introduced the report of the Executive Director on actions taken to implement the recommendations of the Office of Internal Oversight Services included in the report "In﷓depth evaluation of the programme on environment" (UNEP/GC.19/INF.3 (English only)). The representative of Australia made a statement on issues related to the report.

13. At its 4th meeting, on 30 January, the Committee heard a statement under agenda item 6 from the representative of Iraq.

14. At its 5th meeting, on 30 January, the Committee heard a statement by Professor Bolin, Chairman of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, who introduced his report to the Council on progress made in the work of IPCC since the eighteenth session of the Council and reviewed the accomplishments of the Panel over the period.

15. At its 4th, 5th, 6th and 9th to 13th meetings, on 30 and 31 January and 3 and 4 February, the Committee took up draft decisions submitted under this item, together with the relevant background documentation.

Action by the Council

16. On the recommendation of the Committee of the Whole, the Council, at its 8th meeting, on 7 February 1997, adopted the following decisions under this item: decisions 19/13 A to D, 19/14 A to E and 19/15 to 19/21. The text of those decisions is contained in annex I to the present proceedings and the process of adoption, including any comments made at the time, is recorded in chapter II above.