28 Envtl. Pol'y & L. 1 (1998)

handle is hein.journals/envpola28 and id is 1 raw text is: 








   We hope  that the long awaited improvement of UNEP has begun. The former German Minister
for the Environment Klaus Tipfer (see last Editorial), has not only become UNEP's Executive
Director but also the Director-General of the UN Office in Nairobi and Head of the UN Centre for
Human   Settlements (Habitat). In addition, UN Secretary Kofi Annan has asked Klaus Topfer to
chair a task force to prepare proposals for strengthening activities in thefield of environmental law.
So now that so many tasks and powers are assembled, we can expect postive future developments in
the field of sustainable development.
   On  taking up his work on 7 February, Klaus Tdpfer emphasised UNEP's  catalytic role and
responsibility, at a time of increasing globalisation, to ensure that economic growth must be
accompanied   by environmental and  social developments which in turn can  make  economic
achievements sustainable. At the same time, he noted that it would take extraordinary, dedicated
efforts to bring environmental issues back to the centre of global political activity.
                                  *          *          *
   In his first address to ECOSOC this year the UN Secretary-General noted that there was a new
political consensus on strengthening the Economic and Social Council and that this opportunity
must be seized. Howeve, he said that reform issues still remained on the Council's agenda and
that reform of ECOSOC  was, in some ways, a test case for the Organisation's ability to enhance
relevance and impact.
   Also under the umbrella of ECOSOC, the first meeting of the Sixth Session of the Commission
on Sustainable Development was held on 21 December
   At its 1997 session, ECOSOC, acting upon a recommendation of the Special Session of the UN
General Assembly, decided to change the pattern of elections of the Chairman and other members
of the Bureau of the CSD: The goal being to ensure that the same Chair and other persons on the
Bureau lead the preparations for the session of the CSD during which they will chair meetings (to
date, the old Bureau prepared  for the next session and the new one  chaired the meeting).
Consequently, the Chair and Bureau of the Seventh Session (the substantive part of which will be
held in Spring 1999), will be elected on 1 May 1998, during the first organisational meeting of
that session, which will take place immediately after the conclusion of the Sixth Session from
20 April-1 May  1998.

   The last meeting of the Working Group for the preparation of a draft convention on access to
environmental information and public participation in environmental decision-making, under the
auspices of the Committee on Environmental Policy of the UN Economic Commission for Europe,
will be held at the beginning of March. A report is planned for the next issue of the Journal.

   You may be surprised to find no report on the Kyoto Climate Conference in this issue. Why, you
will see on page 11.

                                                                      18 February, 1997


[  BDITRI                                ]

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