29 Envtl. Pol'y & L. 1 (1999)

handle is hein.journals/envpola29 and id is 1 raw text is: 








[ mmon


   1999  started with a number of important events, although we have not yet covered everything from the
end of last year (for example, the 53rd session of the United Nations General Assembly: the first part fin-
ished in mid-December and a report is scheduled for the next issue).


   Last month saw three important meetings: On 2 January, UNEP's International Working Group of Legal
Experts met in New Delhi, to finish the study on dispute avoidance and dispute settlement in international
environmental law. The paper was  subsequently presented as document GC.20/Inf 16, to the Governing
Council of the United Nations Environment Programme. On 25 January, the second session of the Interna-
tional Negotiating Committee (INC.2) for an International Legally Binding Instrument for Implementing
Action on Certain Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs) commenced in Nairobi, just one week before the
UNEP   Governing Council. Reports on all three meetings are planned for the next issue.


   The  very substantial documentation for the Governing Council arrived quite late, thus preventing any
preliminary report in this issue. There were over 40 GC papers and 30 Information papers, most with many
pages, in addition to those papers produced during the conference.
   However   as I do not want to anticipate our report in the next issue, I want to limit myself to just one
remark on the Council: there was not a delegate at the Meeting who was not aware of a change in the atmo-
sphere, and the energetic and enthusiastic attempt of Executive Director Klaus Tipfer to reform UNEP This
was reflected in the results on the budget and the Task Force (see also EPL Vol. 28 at page 214). All of which
meant  that delegates departed from Nairobi with a new enthusiasm.


   At the time of writing, the Ad-Hoc Intersessional Working Groups for the preparation of the Seventh Ses-
sion of the Commission on Sustainable Development (CSD) are beginning their work for the April meeting
of the Commission.


   At the end of this month, the Extraordinary Conference of the Parties on Biosafety will be meeting in
Cartagena  tofinalise and adopt the biosafety protocol to the UN Biodiversity Convention, aimed at reducing
the risk of uncontrolled releases of Living Modified Organisms into the environment. Following two-and-a-
half years of difficult negotiations, important issues still remain to be resolved. There is much opposition
from industry and US business groups, for example, have opposed the proposed protocol which they argue
will impose onerous and unnecessary controls on trade in LMOs. We shall report in the next issue.





                                                                             16 February, 1999

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