THE ENVIRONMENT IN THE NEWS
                               Monday, 8 November 2004
               UNEP and the Executive D...
The New Zealand Herald
Global warming 'will redraw map of world'

07.11.2004
1.00pm - By GEOFFREY LEAN
Maps of the world w...
``Pipelines would be at risk as the as thawing permafrost turns the tundra into a sea of mud,'' said Paul Prestrud,
vice- ...
A number of overseas stock exchanges, including the London Stock Exchange, have requested the submission
of a sustainabili...
Executive Director Klaus Toepfer in a statement ahead of the International Day for Preventing the Exploitation
of the Envi...
Putin signs up Russia for Kyoto Protocol
November 6, 2004


President Vladimir Putin has approved Russia's ratification of...
In their non-financial reports, firms volunteer an overview of their "environmental and social impact" during
the previous...
The big accounting firms are now developing this side of their business. BP's assurance statement is prepared
by Ernst & Y...
Russia, by contrast, can increase its pollution substantially under the treaty with a positive rather than
detrimental imp...
We can't say we haven't been warned - rising temperatures, disappearing coastlines and dire predictions that
climate chang...
similarly missed the hours of ferocious rain that engorged Cornwall's rivers to an impossible fatness. Until then
Upton th...
Across the capital, concern is being focused on the glinting metal barrier that safeguards the city from
destruction. When...
Aviation is now considered one of the most serious environmental threats facing the world, accounting for the
biggest incr...
However, in spite of or maybe because of this, life expectancy has increased, and most of us have never had a
better stand...
"The whole tissue of argument that makes climate change into the greatest problem facing humanity is based
on a long serie...
Supporters of Kyoto protocol in Russia say that new tougher ecological standards will force national industry to
adopt mod...
Sustainable reports make firms reliable
People's Daily Online, China, 8 November 2004 - For most Chinese listed companies,...
north China's Shanxi Province. The ZY-2, China's second transmitting-type remote sensing satellite, is mainly
used for lan...
permitting," Mr. Annan told reporters in New York. He stressed that the elections must involve the
broadest possible range...
by the denial of emergency health services to refugees and the possibly tragic consequences of delayed
vaccinations. Of sp...
5 November - Kicking off the International Year of Sport and Physical Education, United Nations
Secretary-General Kofi Ann...
environmental degradation could undermine local and international security by "reinforcing and
increasing grievances withi...
Yesterday, after fighting erupted around the towns of Bouaké and Korhogo, tensions rose around the
country, prompting UN h...
They also continued to receive reports of increasing violence by the different parties across the
region.

         In nor...
The Spokesman of the UN Mission in Haiti has reported that the UN Civilian Police component is
monitoring the situation of...
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  1. 1. THE ENVIRONMENT IN THE NEWS Monday, 8 November 2004 UNEP and the Executive Director in the News • The New Zealand Herald - Global warming 'will redraw map of world' • Blomberg Media -Arctic Melting Threatens to Disrupt Oil Pipelines, Report Says • Xinhua - Sustainable reports make firms reliable • UN News Centre - UN official calls for protection of environment during war • The Press Trust of India - UNEP asks warring parties to stop destroying natural resources • Sydney Morning Herald - Putin signs up Russia for Kyoto Protocol • The Economist - Wood for the trees; Non-financial reporting • AP - Bush stands by rejection of limits on gases blamed for global warming Other Environment-related News • PEJ - Flood sweat and tears • BBC - Beckett upbeat on climate change • Reuters - Putin Signs Up Russia for Kyoto Pact • Reutes - UK to push Bush on global warming • Environmental News from the UNEP Regions • ROAP Other UN News • UN Daily News of 5 November 2004 • S.G’s Spokesman Daily Press Briefing of 5 November 2004 Communications and Public Information, P.O. Box 30552, Nairobi, Kenya Tel: (254-2) 623292/93, Fax: [254-2] 62 3927/623692, Email:cpiinfo@unep.org, http://www.unep.org
  2. 2. The New Zealand Herald Global warming 'will redraw map of world' 07.11.2004 1.00pm - By GEOFFREY LEAN Maps of the world will have to be redrawn, as global warming melts the Greenland ice-cap inundating coasts and major cities, the Government's chief scientific adviser warned last week. Sir David King told ministers, senior officials and leaders of industry at a top-level conference on climate change in Berlin that there was a "real risk" the ice sheet would not survive and that "humanity had better be prepared for a complete realignment of the coastal zones, where most of the world's major cities are sited". He added that parts of the ice-sheet had already retreated by up to 30 feet in the past few years, compared to 10 feet during the entire period between 1890 and 1950. Other experts at the conference, which was opened by the Queen to signal her concern about climate change - confirmed that the ice-cap which contains one-sixth of the world's freshwater was already beginning to melt. If the entire ice-cap disappeared, sea levels around the world would rise by 20 feet, drowning much of London, New York, Tokyo, Bombay, Calcutta and other large cities. Sir John Houghton, a former head of the Met Office and the Royal Commission on Environmental Pollution, and one of the world's leading experts on global warming, told The Independent on Sunday: "We are getting almost to the point of irreversible meltdown, and will pass it soon if we are not careful." And Professor Jacqueline McGlade, chief executive of the European Environment Agency, who has just returned from Greenland, added: "You see it happening before your very eyes. I stood by a chasm which, five years ago, had been filled with ice." Delegates to the conference agreed that the threat from climate change was "real, serious and urgent" and that it could have "a devastating impact on human society and the natural environment". And they called on the world to take action that would "go much further than the modest provisions of the Kyoto Protocol", which will come into effect early next year now that Russia has finalised its ratification process. Dr Klaus Topfer, the executive director of the United Nations Environment Programme, who chaired the conference, said: "Climate change is happening and it is increasing in speed. Leadership is urgently needed to take the fight against its devastating impacts forward." - INDEPENDENT Herald Feature: Climate change Related information and links __________________________________________________________________________________________ Blomberg Media Arctic Melting Threatens to Disrupt Oil Pipelines, Report Says Nov. 8 (Bloomberg) -- The second international report in three years to study the impact of atmospheric warming on Arctic icecaps said that melting may disrupt oil pipelines and a nuclear power plant in the U.S. and Russia. The Arctic Climate Impact Assessment, a report by 300 scientists and sponsored by Canada, Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, the Russian, Sweden, and the U.S., embargoed a highlight of its findings for journalists until today. The report, to be presented at a conference in Reykjavik, Iceland this week, follows a 2001 United Nations study that showed melting ice and permafrost would disrupt the Arctic economy. 2
  3. 3. ``Pipelines would be at risk as the as thawing permafrost turns the tundra into a sea of mud,'' said Paul Prestrud, vice- chairman at the Center for Climate Research in Oslo, Norway in an interview. The report said that ``oil and gas extraction will increasingly be disrupted.'' Up to four million people live in the Arctic, spread out between the eight countries that share the region. The Arctic tundra is expected to shrink to its smallest size in 21,000 years over the next century as climate warming causes the sea level to rise, the ACIA said. Most scientists say climate warming in the last 50 years can be attributed to human activities. Since 1974 Arctic sea-ice has shrunk by about one million square kilometres, or the size of Texas and Arizona combined, the ACIA report said. Temperatures are projected to rise another seven to 13 degrees Fahrenheit (4 to 7 Celsius) in the next 100 years. One of the ACIA's next projects will be to design an economic impact model for the region, Prestrud said. People in the Arctic tend to work in the agricultural, fishery and oil industries, he said. ``Warming could also have some economic benefits,'' said ACIA spokeswoman Tove Kolset. She noted the possibility of more frequent cross pole transport and offshore oil exploration. The United Nations Environment Program said in a 2001 report that widespread disintegration of permafrost in the Arctic can cause serious damage to buildings, roads, pipelines and other infrastructure in places like Alaska and Siberia. To contact the reporters on this story: Jonathan Tirone in Vienna at (43) 1 513 2660 50 or jtirone@bloomberg.net To contact the editor responsible for this story: Chris Collins at (44) (20) 7330 7902 or collinsc@bloomberg.net Last Updated: November 7, 2004 14:59 EST Xinhua Sustainable reports make firms reliable www.chinaview.cn 2004-11-08 07:44:51 BEIJING, Nov. 8 (Xinhuanet) -- For most Chinese listed companies, the main obligation of information disclosure is their financial status. But as the world is putting increasing attention on the sustainability of growth, financial figures will not be the only indices to judge the performance or prospect of a business. A sustainability report may tell more. Such a report, combining the analysis and information about a company's environmental, social and economic performance, offers a full scenario of the company to investors, government institutions as well as non- government organizations. And it has become more widely accepted by overseas rating companies and financial markets. "The unprecedented economic growth of China also brings consequent environmental and social issues," said Roger Adams, Technical Executive Director of the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA), an international accountancy body. Both the government and companies should be more concerned about such issues, he said. Right now, sustainability reports are rarely used by Chinese companies, who are often even blamed for insufficient information disclosure of their own financial figures. But the situation is expected to change as the steadily growing Chinese economy and opening-up will force more enterprises to face the challenges of sustainable growth. Sustainability reporting will be of particular importance to Chinese companies conducting foreign trade or those seeking overseas listing, Adams said. 3
  4. 4. A number of overseas stock exchanges, including the London Stock Exchange, have requested the submission of a sustainability report for listing applicants. In Hong Kong, where the government cares much about the environmental and social duty of companies, many businesses have their own sustainability reports. International investors also seek relevant indices to assess the long-term investment value of a company to minimize their risks in investment, Adams said. Meanwhile, many multinationals are investing in China and bringing with them international-standard practices in environmental protection, labour safety, social obligations, etc. As these companies are sourcing products from Chinese suppliers, they need to be ensured that the Chinese suppliers are following similar standards, Adams said. Adams is also a board member of the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI), an organization that develops and disseminates globally applicable sustainability reporting guidelines and is also an official collaborating centre of the United Nations Environment Programme. More than 600 multinational companies are using the guidelines to produce regular reports on social and environmental activities. It took only several years for the world to acknowledge the importance of such non-financial reporting. In China, the promotional campaign has just begun. And there may be some resistance from limited transparency, low efficiency and poor corporate governance. But hopefully more Chinese businesses will become aware of the issue as they catch up with multinationals, Adams said. To promote the application of such standards and reporting in China, ACCA just published the Chinese version of the latest Sustainability Reporting Guidelines, which were introduced overseas by GRI in 2002. "This is only a small first step," Adams said. ACCA will conduct a series of workshop with government departments and enterprises to discuss the ideology and co-operate with domestic organizations to promote the guidelines in the country. Globally, a new set of guidelines on sustainability reporting is expected to be published by GRI in 2006. The benefits to the companies adopting the standards are reduction of risk, cost-saving through improved efficiency and opportunities for new business and clients, Adams said. In the future, the rating of a company will depend not only on its financial soundness, but also on its performance in sustainability growth. Those who fail to satisfy the criteria will be discounted in their rating. ________________________________________________________________________________________ _ UN News Centre UN official calls for protection of environment during war 6 November 2004 – The head of the Nairobi-based United Nations Environment Programme UNEP chief (UNEP) today called on warring parties everywhere to stop destroying natural resources - a Klaus move which he warned potentially worsens conflicts. Toepfer “Across the developing world, including the former Soviet nations, old chemical stockpiles, aging nuclear reactors, damaged factories and other assorted environmental time-bombs are ticking,” said 4
  5. 5. Executive Director Klaus Toepfer in a statement ahead of the International Day for Preventing the Exploitation of the Environment in War and Armed Conflict, marked on 6 November. “These scars, threatening water supplies, the fertility of the land and the cleanliness of the air are recipes for instability between communities and neighboring countries,” he added. Citing a new UNEP report produced in collaboration with the UN Development Programme (UNDP) and the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), Mr. Toepfer stressed that environmental degradation could undermine local and international security by “reinforcing and increasing grievances within and between societies.” The study finds that a decrepit and declining environment can depress economic activity and diminish the authority of the state in the eyes of its citizens. It also points out that the addressing environmental problems can foster trust among communities and neighboring countries. “Joint projects to clean up sites, agreements and treaties to better share resources such as rivers and forests, and strengthening cooperation between the different countries' ministries and institutions may hold the key to building trust, understanding and more stable relations,” said the UNEP chief. In recent years, UNEP has investigated the environmental damage caused by wars in the Balkans, Afghanistan and Iraq and Liberia. Sudan and the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) have requested similar studies of their strife-torn territories. The Press Trust of India November 6, 2004 Saturday UNEP asks warring parties to stop destroying natural resources DATELINE: United Nations, Nov 6 BODY: The United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) has called on warring parties across the world to stop destroying natural resources, a move which according to them potentially worsens conflicts. "Across the developing world, including the former Soviet nations, old chemical stockpiles, ageing nuclear reactors, damaged factories and other assorted environmental time-bombs are ticking," UNEP Executive Director Klaus Toepfer in a statement marking the 'International Day for Preventing the Exploitation of the Environment in War and Armed Conflict' Saturday. "These scars, threatening water supplies, the fertility of the land and the cleanliness of the air are recipes for instability between communities and neighbouring countries," Toepfer said. Citing a new UNEP report produced in collaboration with the UN Development Programme (UNDP) and the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), Toepfer stressed that environmental degradation could undermine local and international security by "reinforcing and increasing grievances within and between societies." "Joint projects to clean up sites, agreements and treaties to better share resources such as rivers and forests, and strengthening cooperation between the different countries' ministries and institutions may hold the key to building trust, understanding and more stable relations," the UNEP chief said. LOAD-DATE: November 7, 2004 Sydney Morning Herald 5
  6. 6. Putin signs up Russia for Kyoto Protocol November 6, 2004 President Vladimir Putin has approved Russia's ratification of the Kyoto Protocol. His approval will make the United Nations environment pact aimed at curbing global warming effective worldwide. A Kremlin spokesman said Putin signed parliament's ratification of the protocol on Thursday. It will come into law in Russia once Putin's decision is officially published. Both chambers of Russia's parliament approved ratification of the pact last month after Putin gave it his blessing. The UN accord aimed at curbing global warming is already backed by 126 countries. But it needed Russia's support to make it internationally binding after the United States, the world's biggest polluter, pulled out in 2001. Australia has also refused to sign. The 1997 Kyoto Protocol obliges rich nations to cut overall emissions of heat-trapping carbon dioxide by 5.2 per cent below 1990 levels by 2008-12 by curbing use of coal, oil and natural gas and shifting to cleaner energies like solar or wind power. AdvertisementAdvertisement To come into force, the pact needed to be ratified by countries accounting for at least 55 per cent of developed nations' greenhouse gas emissions. Russia, which accounts for 17 per cent, became the key to Kyoto after Washington pulled out saying the pact was too costly and unfairly exempted large rapidly industrialising countries such as China and India. Russia signed the Kyoto Protocol in 1999. But it agreed to ratify only in exchange for European Union agreement on terms for Moscow's admission to the World Trade Organisation. Putin signed the bill into law just days before he was due to meet leaders of the EU, which has urged Russia's ratification, at a summit in the Netherlands. Rising global temperatures have been linked to extreme weather including droughts, flooding and higher sea levels, which some see as possible sparks for regional conflicts. But critics of the pact say it will cost trillions of dollars and have scant impact unless countries like China get involved. The Economist November 6, 2004 U.S. Edition HEADLINE: Wood for the trees; Non-financial reporting HIGHLIGHT: Reporting on companies' social and environmental impact BODY: Are company reports on their social and environmental impact any use? CO-OPERATIVE Financial Services (CFS) is a medium-size banking and insurance business with its roots firmly in the north of England and the 19th century. But in one respect at least it is a 21st century world leader. In a ranking of firms' non-financial reports, CFS came out top, ahead of second-placed Novo Nordisk, a Danish drug company, and BP, the British oil giant. The ranking, published this week, has been prepared by the United Nations Environment Programme and SustainAbility, a consultancy, "in partnership with Standard & Poor's" (S&P), the first time a credit-rating agency has been involved. 6
  7. 7. In their non-financial reports, firms volunteer an overview of their "environmental and social impact" during the previous year. Since the last such ranking, in 2002, many more firms have chosen to produce non-financial reports. At the same time, it is claimed, their quality has increased-as, less happily for the environment, has their length. British American Tobacco's (BAT) runs to some 200 pages. What was, ten years ago, a quirky, voluntary fringe practice is now becoming mainstream-in Europe, at least. Only two American firms are in the top 20 (HP and Ford), but several of Europe's biggest businesses are there (BP, BT, Royal Dutch/Shell, Unilever). The British government is proposing that big quoted firms be required to publish some form of such accounts annually. It had intended to introduce the requirement next year, but last month was persuaded that businesses need more time to take on board the implications. The practice started largely in response to pressure from non-governmental organisations (NGOs), which claimed, often contentiously, that many firms lacked social and environmental responsibility. Yet even as NGOs are becoming more cynical about what firms are producing, some investors now think it is (or could be) a valuable source of information, such as about business risks in a swathe of areas not included on standard financial balance sheets. "We are not social activists; we're independent risk assessors," says George Dallas of S&P. The information in non-financial reports "contributes to building up a company's risk profile." And although it has still not been convincingly demonstrated that good environmental and social practices create value for shareholders, it is clear, says Mr Dallas, that bad ones can destroy it. Exxon's cavalier attitude to the oil spillage from the Exxon Valdez drove customers away from its pumps. The style and content of non-financial reports vary greatly. Some firms spend much time and effort giving out information of uncertain value. Among its targets for this year, for example, CFS aims to maintain its CO2 emissions from energy use at less than 0.7kg per customer account-a curiously meaningless statistical correlation. Others undermine their publication's credibility by saying one thing and doing another. BAT, for example, says, "We believe that relevant and meaningful information about our products should continue to be available." Yet the firm makes it very difficult to gain access to the 6m-7m pages of documents about its marketing that litigation by the state of Minnesota forced it to put on the public record. Currently these can be viewed-by appointment only-at a depository in Guildford, a town some 30 miles south of London. At the end of October, a five-year effort to get around this obstruction, led by the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, the University of California and the Mayo Clinic, ended with the launch of an independent website (www.bat.library.ucsf.edu) where about 1m pages of documents can be viewed. The only tool standardising non-financial reports is the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI), a broadly supported checklist of dozens of questions to which almost all of the best reporting firms pay lip service. Rob Lake, head of socially responsible investment engagement and corporate governance at Henderson Global Investors, says "the GRI framework is a good one". But firms can (and do) choose carefully which of its questions they answer. One which particularly interests investors such as Mr Lake is the GRI's request for a geographical breakdown of taxes paid. (Whether most shareholders really want this made public, given the hostile publicity that low bills might attract, is debatable.) Yet only Anglo-American attempts to provide such a breakdown. BAT, which goes through the GRI list methodically, bluntly states its tax data "are not reported by country", and leaves it at that. Yet it is happy to report how many cubic metres of water it uses for every million cigarettes it makes (7.84, if you're interested). The only audit performed on these reports is an "assurance statement". Many of these are written by the army of consulting firms that has arisen in response to this new business opportunity. CFS uses four different such firms to "provide audit and commentary" on its 2003 report. 7
  8. 8. The big accounting firms are now developing this side of their business. BP's assurance statement is prepared by Ernst & Young, the auditor of its financial accounts. Despite the suspicion that Ernst & Young might not wish to antagonize such a big audit client, its report is in places critical. "We consider that BP could have covered the following subject areas in more depth," it says, listing among other things the adequacy of its pension provision for employees, and legal challenges over its $3 billion pipeline from Baku on the Caspian Sea to the Mediterranean port of Ceyhan. The art of non-financial reporting is evolving and "evolution is always messy", says John Elkington, the chairman of SustainAbility. Firms have been free to disclose only what they wished. But if investors follow S&P in recognising "the importance of non-financial disclosure in the overall assessment of a company's risk profile", that may not be good enough. LOAD-DATE: November 5, 2004 The Associated Press November 6, 2004, Saturday, BC cycle Bush stands by rejection of limits on gases blamed for global warming BYLINE: By JOHN HEILPRIN, Associated Press Writer DATELINE: WASHINGTON BODY: President Bush is holding fast to his rejection of mandatory curbs on greenhouse gases that are blamed for global warming, despite a fresh report from 300 scientists in the United States and seven other nations that shows Arctic temperatures are rising. This week, a four-year study of the Arctic will document that the region is warming rapidly, affecting global climates. Scientists project that industrial gases such as carbon dioxide will make the Arctic warmer still, which would raise the level of the seas and make the earth hotter. The world's atmosphere now includes about 380 parts per million of carbon dioxide, compared with 280 parts per million in 1800, according to scientists. Russian President Vladimir Putin signed the Kyoto international climate treaty last week, which puts it into effect early next year without U.S. participation. The treaty requires industrial nations to reduce emissions of greenhouse gases below 1990 levels. "President Bush strongly opposes any treaty or policy that would cause the loss of a single American job, let alone the nearly 5 million jobs Kyoto would have cost," said James Connaughton, chairman of the White House Council on Environmental Quality. Headed into his second term, Bush continues to believe he "made the right leadership choice" by repudiating the U.N.-sponsored pact negotiated in 1997 in Kyoto, Japan, Connaughton said. Former President Clinton's vice president, Al Gore, negotiated the treaty for the United States and had a major role in its final form. "Kyoto was a bad treaty for the United States," said Mike Leavitt, administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency. Leavitt added in an interview Friday that climate change is not an issue the administration dismisses. "I know that it is of importance to the president that we continue to make progress," he said. So far, Bush's policy has amounted to spending a few billion dollars each year on research. White House officials contend the drastic cuts in pollution that the treaty would have imposed on the United States would have cost nearly $400 billion and almost 5 million jobs. Many would have shifted to other countries that were not obligated to reduce their pollution levels, the Bush administration says. 8
  9. 9. Russia, by contrast, can increase its pollution substantially under the treaty with a positive rather than detrimental impact on its job market, the officials say. From 1990 to 2002, U.S. greenhouse gases increased 13.1 percent while Russian greenhouse gases decreased 38.5 percent, partly because of shrinkage in its industrial base after the collapse of the Soviet Union, according to the latest U.N. figures. Global warming is a recurring theme that punctuated the start of Bush's terms in office. In March 2001 Bush broke his campaign promise to regulate carbon emissions and withdrew the United States from the Kyoto treaty, which seeks to slow global warming by reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Gore signed the treaty in 1997, but it never was ratified by the Republican-controlled Senate. Bush said it also should have included developing countries such as China and India, which are major polluters. Achieving the treaty's target will be difficult without participation by the United States, which accounted for 36 percent of the industrialized nations' carbon dioxide emissions in 1990. Russia accounted for 17 percent. Critics say Bush's opposition is ironic because the treaty was modeled after the market-based U.S. program for cutting acid rain created in 1990 by Bush's father and often pointed to by the current administration as a success story. "Indeed, it would be very, very surprising if this instrument were not used by the people who invented it," Klaus Toepfer, executive director of the Kenya-based U.N. Environment Program, said in an interview. Annie Petsonk, a lawyer for New York-based Environmental Defense, a nonprofit group that says it is dedicated to protecting the environment, said the United States will be left isolated on the biggest environmental challenge of the century. She said the White House estimates of Kyoto's costs do not appear to include the cost savings from trading pollution rights. "For business, it's quite serious because it means that the global carbon market is going to move, and U.S. companies are going to be left out of that market," Petsonk said. She helped shape the Kyoto treaty and the first President Bush's climate policy as a Justice Department lawyer. By signing on to the treaty, industrialized nations commit themselves to cutting their collective emissions of carbon dioxide and five other greenhouse gases to 5.2 percent below 1990 levels. The Pew Center on Global Climate Change is releasing a report this week that says there is strong evidence that climate change already has begun to affect ecosystems and wildlife in the United States and around the world. Some animal species are already moving from one habitat to another to adapt to warmer temperatures, according to the Pew report, and future warming probably will exceed the ability of many species to migrate or adjust. On the Net: White House Council on Environmental Quality: http://www.whitehouse.gov/ceq U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change: http://unfccc.int/2860.php LOAD-DATE: November 7, 2004 PEJ Flood sweat and tears Posted by: Mike_Wallace on http://pej.org Sunday, November 07, 2004 - 10:25 AM 218 Reads 9
  10. 10. We can't say we haven't been warned - rising temperatures, disappearing coastlines and dire predictions that climate change poses a greater threat than global terror ... Yet still we fly, drive, consume and pollute like never before. Where will it all end? Flood sweat and tears We can't say we haven't been warned - rising temperatures, disappearing coastlines and dire predictions that climate change poses a greater threat than global terror ... Yet still we fly, drive, consume and pollute like never before. Where will it all end, asks Mark Townsend Sunday November 7, 2004 The Observer Deep below the grassy banks of the River Don, canaries would warn of impending catastrophe. Now that the mineshafts are empty and the birds have gone it can seem the entire kingdom of nature is alerting us to imminent catastrophe. Amid this corner of South Yorkshire, slag heaps and scraps of woodland struggle for space with sprawling rubbish tips alongside the brackish ebb of one of the most polluted waterways in Britain. A few miles down the Don, close to the centre of England, marks the point where Britain's green dream died. Here, opposite the village of Conisborough, lies the world's first environmental theme park. The Earth Centre was meant to inspire us to a cleaner lifestyle. Almost £60m of public money was lavished on the idea that the British public would embrace sustainable development, a way of living that would guarantee future generations do not inherit a broken planet. Eventually, however, the ideology behind Britain's first landmark millennium attraction became unsustainable. The truth is we never really cared. Maybe the Earth Centre was ahead of its time, too esoteric for a society used to the here-and-now. Yet those whose life is devoted to researching the fate of our polluted, populous planet felt its message arrived, if anything, too late. During the five years since the centre wooed us with its imperative for change, the planet's health has steadily deteriorated. Man has embarked on the greatest extinction of species since the dinosaurs vanished 65 million years ago; the great forests are dying; the deepest oceans are haemorrhaging life at a rate almost unimaginable a decade ago; while the highest peaks have shed their shawl of snow for the first time since the last Ice Age. And every day man-made poisons leach into the ground, our water and bodies. No one knows where we are heading. All that seems certain is that the face of our island, disfigured beyond recognition in a few centuries, will change at a rate faster than history can predict. The portents are ominous. Less than two per cent of the UK remains cloaked in ancient forests - 15 times less land than that coated beneath concrete. We have become one of the least-wild countries in Europe, but few seem to mind. Perhaps the concept of climate change and evaporating ice shelves will always remain too abstract for most Britons to comprehend. By contrast, the Dutch and Germans travelled hundreds of miles in their droves to the Earth Centre, until the attraction closed down. Unlike many who live close by, they never doubted ministers who once hailed the project every bit as significant as the Millennium Dome. Brutalised by the complexities of balancing economic competitiveness and the needs of nature, South Yorkshire remains among the most polluted patches of Britain. Long after the Industrial Revolution, two-thirds of all cancer-causing chemicals spewed into our skies are being belched from factories found in the most deprived 10 per cent of communities. It has fallen to Eton-educated Jonathon Porritt to persuade us of the virtues of a sustainable lifestyle. Porritt is the man picked by Tony Blair to succeed where the Earth Centre failed, finished off, ironically, by the rainfall last August, Yorkshire's wettest on record. From his Gloucestershire headquarters, the chairman of the government's Sustainable Development Commission is phlegmatic about the task. 'It is not an easy message to get across, but essential. We need to live in a less damaging way, but raising awareness can be a slow, painful process.' Tony Upton spends most Sunday mornings scrubbing his Peugeot 406. It is more out of pride than necessity: the gleaming metallic-green paintwork parked on the driveway of Doncaster's Stonecross Gardens - four miles from the Earth Centre - could only belong to a new vehicle. It is almost the same model as the old family car, last seen by the nation bobbing down the ripped-out heart of the Cornish village of Boscastle. Viewers missed the 59-year- old yanking his son from the family car moments before it was dragged face-down towards the Atlantic. They 10
  11. 11. similarly missed the hours of ferocious rain that engorged Cornwall's rivers to an impossible fatness. Until then Upton thought he had seen flooding. After all, the River Don, like most these days, is more prone to bursting its banks. The millions who gawped at the images of 'Dinky' cars tossed downstream through a quaint English tourist town knew something terrible had gone wrong. Yet the government's advisers shared only a muted sense of awe: they had been waiting for something like Boscastle for some time. Mention climate change to John Schellnhuber and his features, browned from a never- ending global tour witnessing the latest twist of nature, crease with anxiety. He is research director of the Tyndall Centre, where Britain's most eminent scientists chart the latest erratic meteorological episode. 'This is only the start; we need to raise the reality that we are heading into danger. Things could get grim for us all,' says the 54- year-old physicist. Precisely a month after Boscastle, the Earth Centre, which had been preaching the threat of climate change to its underwhelmed public, closed down. Just when the nation demanded an explanation to the extraordinary events of 16 August, its message had been vanquished. Less than 48 hours after the Doncaster centre bolted its doors, Tony Blair received a final briefing from his chief scientific advisers. For a prime minister dogged by the need to find weapons of mass destruction, one had landed on his doorstep. The following day he announced a new industrial revolution, founded on sustainability. But Blair was not telling the whole story. If he had done so, Chancellor Gordon Brown's prudent book-keeping for a new economy might have been destined for a recyclable paper bin before he even began. Calculations by Schellnhuber suggest climate change could 'bankrupt Britain'. Insurers Munich Re believe that, by 2060, the cost of our changing weather will outstrip the total value of commodities and services produced by the global economy. Documents by United Nations officials completed in mid-October reveal that the number of people in the world struck by natural disasters has doubled over the past decade. Economic losses have more than trebled. At almost the precise point the Earth Centre conceded nobody was interested, nature unleashed a sequence of global calamities. Four violent hurricanes took turns to batter Florida and the Caribbean; Bangladesh reeled from the most ferocious flooding in recent years; even the great glaciers of the Tibetan Plateau, spanning a quarter of China's giant landmass, were found melting at a rate that would make survival this century a miracle. The most extreme temperature increase the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change predicts is 5.8C this century. It may sound modest - we've all wallowed in 30C and, like Schellnhuber, got the tan to prove it. Yet an increase of half that would be enough for the ice sheets that encase Greenland to begin melting faster than they can be replaced, threatening a rise in sea level that could inundate much of south and eastern England; the recognisable lifestyles of millions depend on such distant waters remaining exactly where they are. Such scenarios convince Sir David King, the government's chief scientist, that global warming not only poses a threat greater than global terrorism, it is the biggest obstacle facing civilisation for 5,000 years. Bjorn Lomborg offers a rather different assessment. The Danish statistician, whose book The Skeptical Environmentalist provoked outrage by daring to doubt climate change or in fact that the planet was in a poor state, has grown increasingly influential. Tackling HIV, the planet's chronic water shortages and unfair trade issues should take priority over a threat that is inherently long-term, he argues. His questioning of the risk of global warming is now on school curricula and governments call him for advice. Russia is not known to have sought Lomborg's views before ratifying the Kyoto protocol, the international treaty to reduce climate change gases. The move made Vladimir Putin an unlikely ecological saviour and saved the treaty from imminent collapse. Yet the planet's biggest polluter, the US, remains a seeming advocate of Lomborg's with its refusal to come on board. A previously unpublished map drawn up by Schellnhuber, to persuade the US to take climate change seriously, revealed that a sizeable chunk of Yorkshire could vanish in just over 50 years. Millions along the coast from Hull to Norwich to Colchester to Southend-on-Sea, as well as the capital itself, could find themselves underwater. 'Britain's power came from the coastline and provided the ability to trade and defend itself against enemies. But now the sea could turn into a curse, its wonderful coastline is posing major problems,' says Schellnhuber. So, too, the nation's once enviable infrastructure: London cannot cope with new-style monsoon showers and, for that reason, the Thames could upstage the Don as one of our most polluted rivers. Outrage greeted the 600,000 tonnes of excrement that slipped into the famous waterway in west London after the capital's sewers were overrun during one violent downpour, yet new figures reveal that since April an amount of untreated sewage enough to fill the Royal Albert Hall 120 times over has flowed into the Thames. And now 95.5 per cent of our rivers are in danger of failing new targets on pesticide poisoning and the destruction of endangered wetland habitats. 11
  12. 12. Across the capital, concern is being focused on the glinting metal barrier that safeguards the city from destruction. When the Thames Barrier opened just over 20 years ago it was closed three times that year. In 2003 this rose to a record 19 shutdowns. Soon it will offer no protection. on either side of the barrier are rolling fields which, for centuries, have remained unsettled for fear of being swept away. Yet amid warnings that flooding can only worsen, these vast flats that lie beneath high-tide level are the government's chosen site for tens of thousands of homes. For some, the failure of the Earth Centre lent credence to the claims of woolly thinking that has blunted the ideology of Britain's environmental movement. It is an accusation repeated as the Greens face their greatest conundrum at a time when the earth contemplates its gravest threat. If climate change is man-made, then reducing carbon-dioxide emissions becomes imperative. However, powering Britain in a manner that preserves our largely cosseted lifestyles without imperilling the planet is not that simple. The one proven source of electricity that does not exacerbate climate change is the enduring nemesis of the green ideal: nuclear power. Yet the reality is that Blair's green revolution is stuttering: less than three per cent of our electricity comes from the wind, sun and sea. In addition, Britain's main supply of electricity will soon expire, the North Sea's once-plentiful reserves of gas effectively drained in little more than a decade. For their part, the dirty power stations that drove the Industrial Revolution are no longer tenable; their predilection for coal is what brought Britain to the brink of climate change in the first place. And so a fading nuclear vision, punctured by persistent safety and financial concerns, suddenly burns bright again. For many environmentalists such a move is anathema. Some of the Greens' greatest heroes have risked accusations of betrayal. James Lovelock, who coined the Gaia hypothesis, the notion that earth is sustained by the actions of living things, is among those delighting the still-mighty lobbying arms of the nuclear empire. Lovelock has urged his traditional allies to 'drop their wrongheaded objection to nuclear energy'. Yet Zac Goldsmith, the 29-year-old editor of The Ecologist, is among those unimpressed, believing the nuclear trade is punching hard from its deathbed. Goldsmith says Blair's energy policies have tormented him. 'The government needs to expand his pitiful renewable energy programme and implement a massive programme of energy conservation. Any less would be frightening.' At first glance, the piercing turquoise water looks perfect for a quick dip. But this pool is like no other on earth. Water may be the most basic component of life, but this shimmering pond can only offer a protracted fate. Compound B30, hidden way beneath the rust-streaked towers of Sellafield, is among the most radioactive places on the planet and, increasingly, the site that could derail plans for another era of nuclear power plants. Nestled at its foot is a thick sludge of around 400kg of plutonium, enough for 50 atomic bombs, though even its owners admit to not knowing exactly how much stuff is down there. EU inspectors have been refused full access to B30, prompting unprecedented legal action by Europe over its alleged instability. Should members of al-Qaeda ever find themselves staring into its blue-green depths, such fears would seem academic. If the Cumbrian complex were successfully attacked, Chernobyl would become a mere footnote, according to a British Defence Committee report over the summer. Even without the aid of terrorism, Sellafield's plutonium has somehow contaminated children's teeth across Britain, but to what end remains a mystery. only last month, government advisers admitted they did not understand the potential health effects of radioactive pollution on youngsters. More established are the impacts of the huge power stations that smother Britain. For years children on the M1 have gazed at West Retford, the prehistoric clump of cones a few miles south of Doncaster. The smoking summits of these ancient coal-burning power stations cough out particles linked to cancer, asthma and respiratory diseases that, even without climate change, would see them phased out. As it is, the world's first industrialised nation has more than five million people with asthma, the worst in Europe. The highest death rates from diseases related to air quality such as bronchitis and emphysema are found in Doncaster. Ten minutes' drive from Doncaster, amid the sparse fields and windblown hedges of South Yorkshire, close to the village of Finningley, lies an old RAF station. Close by, ancient oak trees shed yellowing leaves upon scavenging squirrels; a magpie swoops overhead. The solitude is shattered by the groan of a heavy truck, then another, until the skyline is fractured by a massive metal and glass frame. This is Britain's first new international airport for 30 years. By next spring, the £80m project will have begun sating the dreams of 2.3 million holidaymakers a year. It has been named after Robin Hood, the folk hero who revered the lush woodlands of rural Britain. 12
  13. 13. Aviation is now considered one of the most serious environmental threats facing the world, accounting for the biggest increase of climate-change gases in Britain. Soon the Uptons will be able to boycott Boscastle in favour of Bologna, but their three-hour flight will churn out more polluting gases than the average motorist in a year. Blair, though, remains committed to a massive expansion of airport capacity, while imposing no tax on aircraft fuel. There is mounting unease among officials over such a glaring conflict with targets to reduce greenhouse gases. Appointed by the Queen to advise parliament, Sir Tom Blundell, chairman of the Royal Commission on Environmental Pollution, widely considered Britain's leading environmental think-tank, despairs when the issue of air travel is brought up. For the 62-year-old, it is symptomatic of a failure to engage Britain with the environment. 'This expansion of civilian aviation is highly questionable in the context of climate change. We were once seen as the dirty man of Europe, but we still need a change in culture. Even the way we think has to change.' Attempts to cover up the escalation in climate-changing gases from air travel following pressure from the Department of Transport highlight the government's internal embarrassment. New figures show that Britain's carbon-dioxide emissions are 30 per cent higher than the government has previously admitted. Ministers had again selected to eradicate aviation from their calculations. Motorists are similarly being encouraged to carry on as normal despite the fact that carbon-dioxide emissions from Britain's clogged roads are expected to rise 14 per cent between 2000 and 2010. Since this government came to power, the principal climate-change gases have increased. If the proposed wind farms around Thorne Moor, on the outskirts of Doncaster, were approved it might help matters. But, even though they fret over global warming, local conservationists do not want them. A recent Mori Poll found that 18- to 24-year-olds are the least likely to worry about green issues, creating the irony that the moment Blair implores the need for environmental thinking, saving the planet has never seemed less cool. Maybe the movement has moved too mainstream, become too middle aged, too middle class. Matthew Dennys is like most other young teenagers. Not only for his obsession with football and computer games, but because his young body contains 32 toxic industrial chemicals. Some were banned a decade before he was born. The blood of Britain's youth is swirling with chemicals that mimic the female sex-hormone oestrogen and which are used in everyday items including furniture and appliances like the computer-game consoles that Dennys loves. In his short life, the Man United fan from Middleton has accumulated higher levels of everyday brominated flame retardants than his parents or grandmother. When introduced in the 1930s, these chemicals were meant to revolutionise our lives. Dennys is an unwitting guinea pig in an accidental experiment that threatens to dismantle the evolutionary process that has existed for 3.5 billion years. Male infertility is rising, a low sex drive among men is increasingly prevalent, and sperm counts have halved in Britain over the past 50 years. Mother nature is taking over. Those studying the phenomenon believe it could become the public-health scandal of our times. Blundell, a leading biochemist, suggests available evidence, combined with the repeated failure to ban such substances, makes chemical contamination the next 'tobacco'. Yet it is in a British backwater, within the murky flow of the River Aire that winds through the same floodplain as the Don, that the most compelling evidence exists that something strange is rippling throughout the realm of nature. Below the surface, all male fish studied by government scientists were changing sex; ovaries were found within their testes, while their genitals were vastly reduced. Contraceptive pills washed through the sewage system and industrial toxins were blamed. More worrying is that the latest research reveals that the effect of hormone-mimicking chemicals has started clambering up the food chain. Seals, dolphins, otters, falcons and bees are among those suspected of embarking on a unisex existence that can only lead to extinction. Without any safety data for many of the substances linked to such an outcome, Blundell says we may have triggered 'a giant experiment' with both ourselves and nature. There are no more holes left to fill. Just when we craved more, our crowded island has run out of space to discard the detritus of a throwaway society characterised by flapping pizza boxes and crinkled plastic bottles. Now, after new regulations demand dumping should be replaced by recycling, Britain's love affair with the rubbish tip is over. Breaking the habits of a lifetime will not be easy. Dennys, like the rest of us, throws out his own body weight in waste every two months. Yet Manchester, the metropolis on his doorstep, recycles just two per cent of household waste, compared to more than half of those from the countries that so loved the Earth Centre. They are shamed further by towns like Daventry in Northamptonshire, which boasts a national best of 44 per cent. In Doncaster itself, slightly less than the national average is recycled - 14.5 per cent - and the town has already admitted it will not be hitting next year's government target of a quarter. 13
  14. 14. However, in spite of or maybe because of this, life expectancy has increased, and most of us have never had a better standard of living. Progress, however, is always destined to yield new threats and, for his part, Blair has less than two months to put his 'green house' in order. Last month he promised to use the UK's presidency of the G8 group of leading industrial nations to combat the 'catastrophic consequences' of climate change. only time will tell if it is a pledge he can deliver on. BBC Beckett upbeat on climate change There is a chance America could change its stance on global warming despite George Bush's re-election, the UK environment secretary has said. Margaret Beckett said public opinion was bringing change regardless of The Queen has opened a climate who had won the presidential election. change conference in Berlin Mrs Beckett was speaking at a climate change conference in Germany. But Myron Ebell, from a Washington based think tank, said US policy would not change and accused the UK's chief scientist of being "alarmist". Business as usual? The climate change conference at the British embassy in Berlin was opened on Wednesday by the Queen, who has reportedly told Tony Blair of her personal concern on the issue. Russia's upper house of parliament has now backed the Kyoto Protocol, which means it could come into force next year despite the US refusal to ratify the agreement. BBC environment correspondent Roger Harrabin said many of the The whole tissue of argument scientists had been dismayed by President Bush's victory because of his that makes climate change into the refusal to sign the Kyoto agreement. greatest problem facing humanity is based on a long series of But UK Government chief scientist Sir David King said that if any improbabilities country could get the G8 group of leading industrialised nations to make progress on global warming, it would be the UK. Myron Ebell Washington think tank official Sir David, who has criticised the US for failing to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, said he knew the Bush administration officials well and would be getting down to business again. Asked if his heart had not sunk on hearing news of President Bush's victory, he added only: "I have given you my answer." Public pressure? Mrs Beckett was upbeat about the chances of progress. "When I was in the States last Easter... people were saying to me, irrespective of who won the Presidency, they believed things were changing in the United States - if you like, from the bottom up," she said. "And of course that was before, when a lot of people had written off the Kyoto Protocol altogether, believed that it would never be ratified by Russia and would never come into force." She argued that bringing the Kyoto protocol into force could "totally shift the ground". "American companies operating around the world would be affected by the decisions of other governments," she said. 'Alarmism' But Mr Ebell, the director of global warming at the Competitive Enterprise Institute, said he did not think there would be a change, especially as there were also more conservative Republicans in both Houses of Congress. 14
  15. 15. "The whole tissue of argument that makes climate change into the greatest problem facing humanity is based on a long series of improbabilities," he said. Mr Ebell said Sir David had no expertise in climate science and was "alarmist" and denied the world was going through an unprecedented period of warming. Mark Avery, conservation director at the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds, said the issue should be top of the list if President Bush wanted to show he was taking a more inclusive approach in his second term. "If he's looking for an area that shows America cares about the rest of the world, then climate change would be a good one," he told BBC News. Mr Avery suggested global warming was a "testing ground" for the influence of Tony Blair's strong relationship with the US Government. He said: "The prime minister has got the message but can he get this message across to his mate George Bush?" Reuters Putin Signs Up Russia for Kyoto Pact Mail this story to a friend | Printer friendly version RUSSIA: November 8, 2004 MOSCOW - President Vladimir Putin gave his seal of approval for Russia's crucial backing of the Kyoto Protocol, clearing the way for the U.N. environment pact aimed at curbing global warming to come into force early next year. The Kremlin said Putin signed a parliament bill late on Thursday confirming Russia's ratification of the protocol. Both chambers of Russia's parliament approved ratification of the pact last month after Putin pointed the way. The U.N. accord, backed by 126 countries, will formally enter into force 90 days after the Russian ratification documents are filed with the United Nations. Russia's support became crucial after the United States, the world's biggest polluter, pulled out in 2001. The 1997 Kyoto Protocol obliges rich nations to cut overall emissions of heat-trapping carbon dioxide by 5.2 percent below 1990 levels by 2008-12 by curbing use of coal, oil and natural gas and shifting to cleaner energies like solar or wind power. To come into force, the pact needed to be ratified by countries accounting for at least 55 percent of developed nations' greenhouse gas emissions. Russia, which accounts for 17 percent, became the key to Kyoto after Washington pulled out saying the pact was too costly and unfairly exempted large rapidly industrializing countries such as China and India. Russia signed the Kyoto Protocol in 1999. But it agreed to ratify only in exchange for European Union agreement on terms for Moscow's admission to the World Trade Organization. Putin signed the bill into law just days before he was due to meet leaders of the EU, which has urged Russia's ratification, at a summit in the Netherlands. Rising global temperatures have been linked to extreme weather including droughts, flooding and higher sea levels, which some see as possible sparks for regional conflicts. But critics of the pact say it will cost trillions of dollars and have scant impact unless countries like China get involved. 15
  16. 16. Supporters of Kyoto protocol in Russia say that new tougher ecological standards will force national industry to adopt modern technologies and allow them to make money by selling its unused pollution quotas to industrial nations. Optimists believe that Russia, which has seen emissions fall by about 38 percent with the closure of factories following the collapse of the Soviet Union, could earn billions of dollars by selling excess quotas to polluters abroad. Volumes in EU markets for carbon allowances have surged since Russia signaled it would ratify the pact. Prices have been relatively stable around 8.90 euros ($10.86-11.24) a ton of carbon dioxide equivalent. But opponents in Russia say emission limits could undermine Putin's plan to double gross domestic product in 10 years. Story by Oleg Shchedrov Reutes UK to push Bush on global warming Mail this story to a friend | Printer friendly version GERMANY: November 8, 2004 BERLIN - The government hopes it can exert influence on reelected President George W. Bush and push the United States to do more to combat climate change, the government's chief scientist says. Prime Minister Tony Blair has made tackling global warming and reducing carbon emissions one of two priorities for Britain's year-long presidency of the Group of Eight (G8) richest nations starting in January. The United States refused to sign up to the Kyoto treaty on climate change in 2001 and it was held in limbo until Russia's parliament ratified the treaty last month. Speaking on the sidelines of a British-German conference on climate change in Berlin, the government's chief scientific adviser David King, said London was looking to take advantage of its close relationship with Washington as the Bush administration prepared for its second four-year term. "What I can say is that we are looking for advantages in the present situation," King told Reuters. "We'll be in there very quickly discussing these issues with them prior to our G8 presidency," he added. "I think we can feel quite optimistic about that." The Kyoto treaty aims to cut CO2 emissions by 5.2 percent below 1990 levels by 2012. The United States has four percent of the world's population but produces a quarter of global emissions. King said he was encouraged by comments over the summer by Jack Marburger, Bush's chief scientific adviser, and by Secretary of Energy Spencer Abraham. "It's very, very significant the statements that emerged from the U.S. administration over the summer ... stating that they fully accept the scientific arguments for climate change and are keen to play a leadership role," King said. "So far we've been focusing on Russia. Clearly now the spotlight is going to move." ROAP Media Update – 08 November 2004 UN or UNEP in the news 16
  17. 17. Sustainable reports make firms reliable People's Daily Online, China, 8 November 2004 - For most Chinese listed companies, the main obligation of information disclosure is their financial status. But as the world is putting increasing attention on the sustainability of growth, financial figures will not be the only indices to judge the performance or prospect of a business. A sustainability report may tell more. ... disseminates globally applicable sustainability reporting guidelines and is also an official collaborating centre of the United Nations Environment Programme. ... http://english.people.com.cn/200411/08/eng20041108_163081.html Putin Signs Up Russia for Kyoto Pact Publish Date : 11/6/2004 3:27:00 PM Source : World News Onlypunjab.com President Vladimir Putin gave his seal of approval for Russia's crucial backing of the Kyoto Protocol, clearing the way for the U.N. environment pact aimed at curbing global warming to come into force early next year. The Kremlin said Putin signed a parliament bill late on Thursday confirming Russia's ratification of the protocol. Both chambers of Russia's parliament approved ratification of the pact last month after Putin pointed the way. The U.N. accord, backed by 126 countries, will formally enter into force 90 days after the Russian ratification documents are filed with the United Nations. | http://www.onlypunjab.com/fullstory1004-insight-Putin+Signs+Up+Russia+for-status-2-newsID-17308.html Sustainable reports make firms reliable Xinhua, China, 8 November 2004 - http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/2004-11/08/content_2189095.htm Global warming 'will redraw map of world' New Zealand Herald, New Zealand - 07.11.2004, 1.00pm - By GEOFFREY LEAN - Maps of the world will have to be redrawn, as global warming melts the Greenland ice-cap inundating coasts and major cities, the Government's chief scientific adviser warned last week. ... Dr Klaus Topfer, the executive director of the United Nations Environment Programme, who chaired the conference, said: "Climate change is happening and it is ... http://www.nzherald.co.nz/storydisplay.cfm?storyID=3607880&thesection=news&thesubsection=world Putin signs up for Kyoto pact Stuff.co.nz, New Zealand, 06 November 2004 - http://www.stuff.co.nz/stuff/0,2106,3087841a12,00.html Putin signs off on Kyoto protocol ABC Online, Australia, 6 November 2004 - http://www.abc.net.au/news/newsitems/200411/s1235980.htm Putin signs for UN's Kyoto Pact Russia, November 05, 2004 2:28:06 PM IST- http://www.webindia123.com/news/showdetails.asp? id=51729&cat=World ***************************** UNEP China Office’s input to ROAP media update – 8 November 2004 General Environment News Beijing aims for high-tech Olympics Xinhuanet 2004-11-06 Chinese scientists are working towards breakthroughs to help participants of the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games breathe fresh air, eat healthy food, travel quickly, stay safe and even assist Chinese athletes earn more medals. …Breakthroughs have already been made in making Olympic construction sites greener and more energy efficient, as well as the development of electric cars, which are expected to hit the market in 2012. http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/2004-11/06/content_2183961.htm China launches 3rd "ZY-2" resource satellite Xinhuanet 2004-11-06 TAIYUAN-- China successfully put its earth resource satellite, the third of ZY-2, into the orbit with a Chinese Long-March 4-B rocket that blasted off at 11:10 am Saturday from the Taiyuan Satellite Launch Center in 17
  18. 18. north China's Shanxi Province. The ZY-2, China's second transmitting-type remote sensing satellite, is mainly used for land resource surveying, environmental supervision and protection, city planning, crop yield assessment, disaster monitoring and space scientific experiment. http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/2004-11/06/content_2184351.htm _________________________________________________________________________________________ UN Daily News - 5 November 2004 For information media -not an official record In the headlines: • UN aid agencies forced to limit work during renewed fighting in Côte d'Ivoire • Annan says UN will do all it can to help Iraqis advance political process • Internally displaced camp in Sudan's Darfur looted and destroyed, UN says • Chief of UN aid agency for Palestinians asks striking workers to return to jobs • UN receives support on Afghanistan abductions • UN agencies team up to help Afghanistan trade on the international market • Haiti: UN peacekeepers monitor condition of scores of new detainees • UN launches International Year of Sport and Physical Education • UN refugee agency voices concern for Montagnards crossing into Cambodia • Environmental destruction during war exacerbates instability, UN official says • UN agency says attacking AIDS will improve health services in poor countries UN aid agencies forced to limit work during renewed fighting in Côte d'Ivoire 5 November - With six of their vehicles no longer available and roadblocks proliferating, United Nations humanitarian agencies are struggling to continue their work in Côte d'Ivoire, the world's largest exporter of cocoa, during government bombardment of rebel-held areas, a UN spokesman said today. The bombing around the rebel Forces Nouvelles-controlled towns of Bouaké and Korhogo has forced the agencies to restrict staff movements, spokesman Fred Eckhard said. Five agency vehicles were "confiscated" by armed groups and a sixth was destroyed. Continued hostilities could prevent farmers from going to their fields, affecting the harvesting of food, as well as the biggest revenue earner in the south and west, cocoa, he said. Ceasefire agreements have been signed - the latest having been the Accra III Agreement -each aimed at ending the civil strife which has killed thousands and uprooted more than a million people. A zone policed by UN peacekeepers and French Licorne forces divides the West African country in two. In the north, electricity had been cut off to Forces Nouvelles areas, creating a shortage of clean water, since the water pumps run on electricity, and impeding health care. The UN Children's Fund (UNICEF) said it has been protecting former child soldiers who have been living at a demobilization site, Mr. Eckhard said.The two-year-old crisis began with a failed coup against President Laurent Gbagbo. Rebel groups said his election in 2000 was not legitimate because opposition leader Alassane Ouattara had been barred from taking part. Mr. Ouattara's nationality had been questioned, but the justice system has since ruled in his favour. Since the start of the confrontation an estimated 70 per cent of the health services workers in the rebel-held north have left their posts, the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) said yesterday. Back in May there was only one doctor for around 200,000 people in one of the most affected areas. UNICEF has estimated that with the lack of teachers, or the displacement and impoverishment of families, around 700,000 children have been out of school in the past two years. Annan says UN will do all it can to help Iraqis advance political process 5 November - United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan today pledged the world body's full support for the political process in Iraq as a senior UN aide announced that more international staffers would head to the war-ravaged country to help with preparations for January elections. "The United Nations is determined to do whatever it can to assist the Iraqi people, the circumstances 18
  19. 19. permitting," Mr. Annan told reporters in New York. He stressed that the elections must involve the broadest possible range of Iraqis. "Of course there are some extremists whom one can never get into the process, but the more inclusive the process, the greater the possibility that it will succeed and the results of the elections will be productive," he said. Kieran Prendergast, who heads the UN Political Affairs Department, told a press briefing, "The Secretary-General accepts that we need to deploy more people [and] we will be deploying those people as circumstances permit." Joining him was Carina Perelli, head of the UN electoral assistance office, who said conducting out-of-country voting "will be fraught with a lot of technical difficulties." She noted that more resources will be required to facilitate the process. "We will support as much as we can through the mission. We have questions in terms of the feasibility of this exercise, but if [the Iraqis] have taken this decision we will assist them technically as much as we can." Mr. Prendergast also stressed that "there is a difference between what is desirable and what is feasible given the very tight time constraints within which we are working." Iraqis have already started enrolling in the election process, with 85 per cent of the 542 registration centres in place open. Balloting is planned for January to allow Iraqis to choose members of a constituent assembly that will then draw up a constitution. Echoing the Secretary-General's comments about inclusiveness, Mr. Prendergast said, "Constitutions are best designed when they have a very broad base of input into the process" through a wide-ranging consultation. The UN wants the elections to result in the broadest possible range of Iraqi constituencies in the Assembly, he added. He predicted that Iraqi Kurds would participate in large numbers, as would the Shia'a. "Less likely to participate are the communities who are alienated and [we must look at] what can be done to encourage them to come into the process." Ms. Perelli, referring to the importance of hearing the "unmediated voice of the Iraqi people," stressed the importance of ensuring that all centres - not just 85 per cent - can open. This will allow people to "vote with their feet" by indicating their level of interest in participating. "Our job is to ensure that they have the means of participating."She said she did not expect a partial election, but added: "Right now it's too early to make any sort of predications." Meanwhile in Baghdad, talks on the elections were held between the Secretary- General's Special Representative for Iraq, Ashraf Qazi, and the country's Deputy Prime Minister, Barham Saleh.Mr. Saleh is a member of the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan and the two men touched on the situation in that area, according to a UN spokesman. Internally displaced camp in Sudan's Darfur looted and destroyed, UN says 5 November - A humanitarian team, sent by the United Nations mission in Sudan, has found that the El Geer camp, from which Sudanese police and military units removed internally displaced people (IDPs) in Darfur, was looted and destroyed. "The UNICEF-installed water pump and generators had reportedly been looted by police, leaving no water source in the camp," a UN spokesman said at the daily briefing in New York. Several thousand people who had been scattered in the area of Nyala town during the forcible relocation from the camp on Tuesday returned to the camp site on Wednesday. Meanwhile, the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights said its monitors were reporting rising violence by government and rebel groups, especially the Sudan Liberation Army (SLM/A), across the north. Rape, physical harassment, killings and other violence were continuing outside IDP camps in west Darfur, the spokesman said. Chief of UN aid agency for Palestinians asks striking workers to return to jobs 5 November - The head of the United Nations agency helping Palestinian refugees today asked thousands of staff who walked off the job last month because of a pay dispute to return to work delivering food and medicines to people in the West Bank. Peter Hansen, Commissioner-General of the UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA), voiced his growing distress over the effect the strike by 4,000 workers, which began 11 October, is having on the humanitarian situation for over 660,000 Palestinians. Mr. Hansen asked all UNRWA area staff in the West Bank to put the interests of the refugee population that they serve above all other considerations. He said in a statement that the Agency’s management has never closed the door on negotiations and is willing to consider legitimate demands once the strike is over. “The general respect and admiration that UNRWA staff have enjoyed in the past is being undermined by an apparent disregard for the needs of the refugee community that they serve,” he said. The UNRWA chief said he is particularly worried about the effect the absence of teachers from schools is having on 60,000 pupils at UNRWA’s 95 schools in the West Bank, many of whom have already lost hundreds of schools days due to other interruptions caused by curfews and closures. He is also disturbed 19
  20. 20. by the denial of emergency health services to refugees and the possibly tragic consequences of delayed vaccinations. Of special concern are those chronically ill refugees who now have no access to UNRWA- supplied medicines and the current lack of ambulance services. In addition, the Agency is worried about the deteriorating sanitary conditions in refugee camps where solid waste is becoming an increasing health hazard. The strike has also brought to a halt the distribution of basic food rations to some 38,000 of the very poorest refugees – those in UNRWA’s Special Hardship programme as well as the thousands of beneficiaries of UNRWA’s emergency food aid – and has delayed shipments of food items and medical supplies. UN receives support on Afghanistan abductions 5 November - Afghans calling an official hotline in Kabul have expressed their solidarity with the United Nations over the abduction of its three staff members a week ago, authorities told the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) today. In a related development Afghan President Hamid Karzai, in an address to the nation on Thursday, underscored the work that the UN staff have been doing on behalf of the Afghan people, saying "with the help of God, we will manage to get them safely released." Shqipe Hebibi, Annetta Flanigan and Angelito Nayan were abducted by armed gunmen from their UN vehicle on 28 October in the Afghan capital of Kabul. They had been contracted by the UN Development Programme (UNDP) to work on the country's first-ever presidential elections last month. UN agencies team up to help Afghanistan trade on the international market 5 November - Two United Nations agencies have signed a $4.9 million agreement aimed at facilitating trade and customs activities in Afghanistan. The UN Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) and the UN Office for Project Services (UNOPS) will combine their expertise to support the modernization of trade-related activities in the country, which after years of conflict and isolation suffers from severely damaged infrastructure, restrictive trade policies and a flourishing black market. According to UNCTAD, the Afghan Government "cannot depend on a predictable and reliable flow of revenue." The country's $1.7 billion development budget for 2003 was financed entirely by external sources. Officially, reported imports in 2002 totalled $851 million, but due to poor reporting and smuggling, UNCTAD said a more realistic estimate would be $2.4 billion. Earlier this year, the World Bank approved a $31 million interest-free credit for the development and execution of an emergency customs modernization and trade facilitation project in Afghanistan, which will be executed by UNOPS in collaboration with UNCTAD. UNCTAD said the project would help improve the framework for doing business, facilitate foreign trade and create a climate conducive to investment in Afghanistan. Haiti: UN peacekeepers monitor condition of scores of new detainees 5 November - United Nations civilian police are monitoring 90 detainees taken in during a joint operation of UN peacekeepers and the Haitian National Police in the Haitian capital's Bel Air neighbourhood to make sure that they are treated according to international standards, a UN spokesman said today. The detainees were arrested during a security sweep yesterday to rid Bel Air of the gang members which the UN Stabilization Mission in Haiti (MINUSTAH) said had taken over the area, Fred Eckhard told reporters in New York. In 1991, Haiti acceded to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), which has important safeguards concerning arrested persons and fair trials. They include observing proper procedures for arrest and detention, acting independently of political considerations and regardless of ethnic identity, and a ban on torture and extrajudicial executions. A detainee must also have access to a lawyer. In another development, the UN announced today that Hocine Medili of Algeria will serve as Secretary-General Kofi Annan's Principal Deputy Special Representative in Haiti. Mr. Medili had led the multidisciplinary assessment mission that lay the plans for MINUSTAH. Meanwhile, the UN Commission on Human Rights' Independent Expert on Haiti, Louis Joinet, was scheduled to go to the Caribbean country from 6 to 17 November and to meet with senior government officials and representatives of the UN system and the Organization of American States (OAS). UN launches International Year of Sport and Physical Education 20
  21. 21. 5 November - Kicking off the International Year of Sport and Physical Education, United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan today said athletics are a good vehicle for promoting education, health, development and peace as part of the overall effort to achieve the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). "Sport is a universal language," Mr. Annan told a press briefing in New York on the launch of the Year, which will be observed throughout 2005. "At its best it can bring people together, no matter what their origin, background, religious beliefs or economic status. "And when young people participate in sports or have access to physical education, they can experience real exhilaration even as they learn the ideals of teamwork and tolerance." The MDGs are a set of eight time-bound targets for dealing with the world's problems, such as halving extreme poverty and hunger, ensuring universal education and fighting the spread of diseases such as HIV/AIDS and malaria, all by 2015. Adolf Ogi, the Secretary-General's Special Adviser on Sport for Peace and Development, told journalists that sports are critical to improving the world. "Sport can bridge difficulties. Sport can bridge cultures. Sport can bridge conflicts. Sport is the best school of life," he said. "We need desperately this international year…to spread the message that sport offers values to the younger generation." Joining the UN officials were top-ranked tennis player Roger Federer of Switzerland and Margaret Okayo of Kenya, winner of the 2003 New York City Marathon. Both expressed their enthusiasm for the International Year and agreed with the importance of sports for the development of children. They also described assistance programmes they supported in South Africa and Kenya. UN refugee agency voices concern for Montagnards crossing into Cambodia 5 November - The United Nations refugee agency today said it is concerned that a growing number of Montagnards from Viet Nam have crossed into Cambodia under the mistaken impression that it could help them get their confiscated lands back. A spokesman for the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) said that during interviews with many of the 441 Montagnard asylum seekers it became apparent that many of them had crossed the border following rumours and alleged radio reports that the “UN” could help them recover confiscated lands, and not all were fleeing persecution. “Once it was made clear UNHCR could not assist them with their land grievances, some asylum seekers said they wanted to return to Viet Nam,” Ron Redmond said in Geneva. “Others who had already been recognized as refugees also overwhelmingly rejected resettlement.” UNHCR had turned up the Montagnards after conducting missions with Cambodian authorities to the border states of Ratanakiri and Mondulkiri in response to reports that groups of asylum seekers were hiding in the jungle, Mr. Redmond said. “This situation has placed UNHCR in a quandary as our mandate is to provide international protection for refugees, not to resolve land disputes,” he said, noting that the Cambodian Government wants a speedy resettlement. “We are involved in a constructive dialogue with the Vietnamese authorities to find an acceptable humanitarian solution for the repatriation of those asylum seekers who wish to return home,” he added. “But we nevertheless remain concerned that Montagnards, under the illusion that we can help with their land problems, may have put themselves at unnecessary risk and exposed themselves to increased vulnerability by crossing into Cambodia.” Environmental destruction during war exacerbates instability, UN official says 5 November - The head of the Nairobi-based United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) today called on warring parties everywhere to stop destroying natural resources - a move which potentially worsens conflicts. "Across the developing world, including the former Soviet nations, old chemical stockpiles, aging nuclear reactors, damaged factories and other assorted environmental time-bombs are ticking," said Executive Director Klaus Toepfer in a statement ahead of the International Day for Preventing the Exploitation of the Environment in War and Armed Conflict, marked on 6 November. "These scars, threatening water supplies, the fertility of the land and the cleanliness of the air are recipes for instability between communities and neighbouring countries," he added. Citing a new UNEP report produced in collaboration with the UN Development Programme (UNDP) and the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), Mr. Toepfer stressed that 21
  22. 22. environmental degradation could undermine local and international security by "reinforcing and increasing grievances within and between societies." The study finds that a decrepit and declining environment can depress economic activity and diminish the authority of the state in the eyes of its citizens. It also points out that the addressing environmental problems can foster trust among communities and neighbouring countries. "Joint projects to clean up sites, agreements and treaties to better share resources such as rivers and forests, and strengthening cooperation between the different countries' ministries and institutions may hold the key to building trust, understanding and more stable relations," said the UNEP chief. In recent years, UNEP has investigated the environmental damage caused by wars in the Balkans, Afghanistan and Iraq and Liberia. Sudan and the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) have requested similar studies of their strife-torn territories. UN agency says attacking AIDS will improve health services in poor countries 5 November - Training health service workers to tackle HIV/AIDS will also help improve general health care in developing countries, the United Nations public health chief said as he thanked Canada for donating C$100 million (US$82.82 million) to provide such instruction. “I am pleased to announce that while countries are rapidly trying to expand access to AIDS medicines and prevention services, funding from Canada will also help them provide better, and more sustainable health services,” Dr. Lee Jong-wook, Director-General of the UN World Health Organization (WHO), said yesterday in Ottawa during his first official visit to Canada. “One key aspect is to train and retain health workers. There simply are not enough in too many poor countries.” Canada has 500,000 health workers for 31 million people, compared to 600,000 health workers serving 682 million people in all of sub-Saharan Africa. Using Canada’s ratio means that sub- Saharan Africa should have 10 million health workers. WHO said sub-Saharan Africa needed at least 2.5 million to provide its people with essential health services. Doctors and nurses are being trained now to deliver anti-retroviral (ARV) therapy and another 85,000 health workers were to receive ARV training in the next 18 months, WHO said. Meanwhile, WHO was trying to persuade governments and international agencies to raise wages and benefits for the workers to stop their migration from poorer to richer countries. In addition, the Canadian gift, pledged last May, would scale-up HI V/AIDS prevention and treatment efforts, including trying to reach WHO’s “3x5” target of reaching 3 million people with treatment by 2005. “We are determined to reach as many people as we can in the world’s poorest and most hard-hit countries with antiretroviral treatment and information on how to prevent HIV/AIDS,” said Canadian Minister of International Cooperation Aileen Carroll at a news conference with Dr. Lee. “We are also determined to help expand equitable, quality and sustainable health services for people living with HIV/AIDS, their families and their communities.” _________________________________________________________________________________________ 5 November 2004 Daily Press Briefing by the Office of the Spokesman for the Secretary-General Following is a near-verbatim transcript of today’s noon briefing by Fred Eckhard, Spokesman for the Secretary-General. Good afternoon. **Côte d’Ivoire We’re going to start with the situation in Côte d’Ivoire. UN humanitarian agencies are very concerned about the humanitarian consequences of the new military offensive in Côte d'Ivoire. They are trying to resume the full range of their activities there, despite the difficulties they are facing in carrying out their work. 22
  23. 23. Yesterday, after fighting erupted around the towns of Bouaké and Korhogo, tensions rose around the country, prompting UN humanitarian agencies to restrict the movement of their staff. Five vehicles belonging to UN humanitarian groups were “confiscated” by armed groups and another UN vehicle was destroyed. The movement of humanitarian personnel and supplies was severely slowed by checkpoints. The UN Children’s Fund has taken measures to ensure that former child soldiers staying at a demobilization site are being protected. The World Health Organization is still preparing to carry out a polio vaccination campaign scheduled to begin later this month. The UN food agencies are greatly concerned that continued hostilities could prevent populations from accessing their fields, thus jeopardizing the harvest of food stocks as well as cocoa -- the main source of revenue for rural populations in the west and the south. Another cause for concern is that electricity has been cut off in all areas controlled by the Forces Nouvelles, that’s the rebels in the north. They will seriously hamper hospitals’ abilities to deliver services and will create a shortage of clean water, as water distribution facilities depend onelectricity. **Côte d’Ivoire - Security Council And for the record, the Security Council, after listening to a briefing by the Secretary-General on the developments in Côte d’Ivoire, demanded that the ceasefire be fully respected. The Security Council said it was actively engaged and reviewing the situation with a view to deciding on action to be taken. **Sudan - Security Council On Sudan, the Security Council yesterday afternoon joined the Secretary-General in expressing concern about the Government of Sudan’s forced relocations of internally displaced persons in Darfur. In a press statement, the Council said these relocations are contrary to Security Council resolutions. They reiterated their call on the Government of the Sudan to cease all forcible relocations of civilians and to return those who have been removed to their original sites. They also called on Sudan to allow humanitarian relief workers immediate access to all internally displaced camps. **Sudan – Humanitarian From Khartoum today, the UN mission reports that a humanitarian mission had visited two camps where the relocations had taken place. One camp in south Darfur, to which Special Representative Jan Pronk had referred, was completely destroyed, the mission found. The UNICEF-installed water pumps and generators had reportedly been looted by police, leaving no water source in the camp. On Wednesday, when several thousand internally displaced had returned to the camp after being scattered by the disturbances of the previous day, those who had returned said they had no intention of leaving the camp. But no assistance was allowed into that camp. They said the Government had given them no reason for the move, and no assistance. **Sudan - Human Rights Meanwhile, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights reported that its monitors present in the field continue to receive reports of rape, physical harassment, killings and other violence outside camps for the internally displaced in west Darfur. 23
  24. 24. They also continued to receive reports of increasing violence by the different parties across the region. In north Darfur, the overall security situation, according to reports received by the monitors, was becoming increasingly tense, with daily reports of incidents between the Sudan Liberation Army and the Government of Sudan forces. There had been reports of government helicopter gunships operating in the area as well. **Security Council The Security Council has not scheduled any formal meetings or consultations for today. Starting at 4:45 this afternoon, Council members -- in place of their monthly luncheon with the Secretary-General -- will hold an “iftar” with him. The “iftar” is the feast after the sun goes down that ends the Muslim fast, during the month of Ramadan. US Ambassador John Danforth, this month’s Security Council President, had proposed having this meal, instead of the regular lunch, this time around. **Iraq The Secretary-General’s Special Representative for Iraq, Ashraf Qazi, today met with Iraqi Deputy Prime Minister Barham Saleh. Saleh, a member of the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan, and Qazi discussed preparations for the national elections, scheduled for late January, and the technical support the UN is providing to enable the Independent Iraqi Electoral Commission to carry out its duty of organizing the polls. Talks, which took place over an end-of-day “iftar” meal that the Deputy Prime Minister held in honour of Qazi, also dealt with the situation in Kurdistan. **UNRWA Peter Hansen, the Commissioner-General of the UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA), expressed his growing concern and distress over the humanitarian situation of over 660,000 Palestine refugees in the West Bank. The refugees have been denied essential services, including emergency relief, by the continued strike of UNRWA’s 4,000 local staff in that area of its operations. UNRWA’s Area Staff Union began its strike on October 11 in a dispute about staff pay. There is a press release with more information on this upstairs. **Afghanistan The UN Mission in Afghanistan was informed by the Afghan authorities that many callers to a Government-run hotline have expressed solidarity with the United Nations over the abduction of three staff members a week ago. In addition, Afghan President Hamid Karzai, in a nationwide address last night, underscored the work that the UN staff had been doing on behalf of the Afghan people, and expressed his hope that, “with the help of God, we manage to get them safely released”. **Haiti - Update 24
  25. 25. The Spokesman of the UN Mission in Haiti has reported that the UN Civilian Police component is monitoring the situation of some 90 people arrested yesterday by the Haitian National Police, to ensure they are treated according to international standards. The detainees were arrested during a joint UN/Haitian police security operation in the Port-au-Prince neighbourhood of Bel Air, which had been largely controlled by gangs in recent weeks. Louis Joinet, the UN’s Independent Expert on the situation of human rights in that country, will be in Haiti from 6 to 17 November. He is scheduled to meet senior officials from the Transitional Government, as well as senior magistrates and judges, and representatives of the UN system and the Organization of American States. **SG - Lecture Series The next lecture in the Secretary-General’s Lecture Series will be held here on Monday, and the topic is “Why Music Matters”. Professor Leon Botstein, the President of Bard College Conservatory of Music and principal conductor of the American Symphony Orchestra, will speak on the topic, and the presentation will be followed by the usual question-and-answer session. The Secretary-General hosts this lecture series on topics at the forefront of the humanities and natural sciences, as part of an effort to create a strengthened framework for dialogue and mutual understanding within the UN community. The lecture will run from 1:25 p.m. to 2:45 p.m., and it will be held in the ECOSOC Chamber. And, of course, you’re all invited. **SG - Sports Year Launch In just a few minutes, you will have in this room, the International Year of Sport and Physical Education 2005 launching, at 12:30 p.m., following this briefing. The Secretary-General will provide opening remarks at the event, which will outline plans for a year- long push to highlight the power of sport to bridge cultural and ethnic divides. Swiss tennis champ Roger Federer and New York City Marathon record-holder Margaret Okayo will be here for the launch, along with Adolf Ogi, the Special Adviser to the Secretary-General on Sport for Development and Peace. **Appointment I have an appointment here to announce regarding Haiti. The Secretary-General has announced the appointment of Mr. Hocine Medili of Algeria as Principal Deputy Special Representative of the Secretary-General for the United Nations Stabilization Mission in Haiti. Mr. Medili recently led a multidisciplinary assessment mission to Haiti and has vast experience in peacekeeping. He arrived in Haiti earlier this week. We have a copy of his CV available upstairs. And, as usual on Friday, we have the Week Ahead to help you plan your coverage for next week. That’s all I have for you. Edie? **Questions and Answers 25

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