11 Envtl. Pol'y & L. 1 (1983)

handle is hein.journals/envpola11 and id is 1 raw text is: 









   It is gradually becoming a tradition that with a double issue we report on the
 UNEP  Governing  Council and the resolutions adopted there. This exercise always
 includes a stocktaking of action on previous resolutions by the governments con-
 cerned. For several years past, government representatives in UNEP have agreed on
 the danger and to take action concerning the problem of acid rain. Although
 some moves  were  initiated no concerted effort was made until recently as the
 damage  was becoming  more and  more obvious and  now there is a danger that it
 could be too late to stop the consequences. How the situation will beforforests and
 lakes at the turn-of-the-century, no-one can as yet foresee. This issue reports once
 again on developments.
 Recognizing the US success in reducing carbon dioxide pollution from
 automobiles, the cabinet of the Federal Republic of Germany has taken a decision
 to make lead-free petrol compulsory for all new cars registered after 1 January,
 1986. It is still questionable if this can be achieved. By taking this initiative, the Ger-
 man Government   hopes  that some other European countries will follow suit.
   With regard to the United States, it is thought that the Clean Air Act could be
amended  during this Congress, as the major obstacle to action last year - acid rain
-   will now be  addressed. This follows findings of the National Academy   of
Science.
  Still on the subject of UNEP: Readers will see from the report that the funding
level has again decreased, so less can be undertaken on the international level.
However,  this is not an aspect special to UNEP alone, but rather a problem affec-
ting the whole UN system.
  For  UNEP  the general decrease is also a result of the fact that it receives mostly
voluntary funding which is, in addition, affected by the rising inflation rate.
  On  account of this shortage of funds the large donor countries especially are ask-
ing for more control in the growth of the UN budgets, and that this control should
include an evaluation of the most effective ways and means of applying these funds.
Some  UN  organizations, as is the case with UNEP, are transparent in their work-
ings, but it is expected that there will be a skirmish, if not a battle, in a couple of
other organizations.
  A  very critical point is the annual increase in the FAQ budget, where last year the
major donor  countries did not vote in favour of this growth, but were overruled and
outvoted by  the majority of Member States, who together contribute only 25 per
cent of the budget. Out of a total of 152 Member Countries, 92 of these contribute
between 0,01 and 0,05 per cent each of the budget - the 92 together, only 1,40 per-
cent of the total.
  It is to be hoped that these questions and the reactions of the larger donor coun-
tries will not prevent increasingly more legislators to block funding until all unsolv-
ed aspects have been cleared. The activities of those UN organizations who operate
with the support of such countries, with a jointly agreed programme and with open
income  and expenditure books would be greatly hampered.
  An  important development is the proposal of the EC to consolidate existing links
and collaboration with UNEP:  On 15th June Gaston Thorn, President of the Com-
mission of the European Community,  wrote to UNEP's  Executive-Director propos-
ing to strengthen and develop cooperation between the two institutions in order to
give a more positive direction to our activities and to help attain even more effective-
ly the objectives of environmental protection. The Commission's cooperation will,
inter alia, cover the following: continued participation by the EC   in UNEP
meetings; exchange of documentation; regular contacts with a view to exchanging
information on each other's activities and programmes; consultations on issues of
common   interest - such as the regional seas programme, environmental evaluation
and  environment and development.  In his reply on 21st June, Mostafa Tolba ex-
pressed UNEP's  full agreement on all the points proposed.           O


October, 1983

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