By MICHAEL CASEY by pl0rfFN

VIEWS: 42 PAGES: 62

									                            THE ENVIRONMENT IN THE NEWS
                                   Friday, 4 May 2007


     UNEP and the Executive Director in the News

     Global Warming Can Be Kept in Check, UN Panel Says (Bloomberg)
     The IPCC and the UN climate survey (Jurnalo.com)
     Bangkok Climate Change Report Underway (Prensa Latina)
     Forum looks beyond Kyoto Protocol / Both developed and developing countries
      (Yomiuri Shimbun)
     US to lock horns over tigers, whale trade (AFP)
     Biodiversité : Pour une sécurisation foncière des sites (Le Soleil (Dakar)
     Contest encourages students' creative environmental ideas (Jakarta Post)


              Other Environment News

     Climate change 'can be tackled' (BBC)
     UN says global warming halt affordable (Reuters/Financial Times)
     Deal reached on climate change report (Associated Press)
     Climate panel reaches consensus on reducing harmful emissions (IHT)
     Agreement Reached on Climate Report (The Guardian)
     Malaria fear as global warming increases (The Independent)
     China seen as a roadblock to U.N. climate report (LA Times)
     Int'l green group urges Thais to move faster than govt (The Bangkok Post)
     The Aussie ?Big Dry? (New York Times)
     Bill Proposes Climate Study Focused on U.S. Defense (New York Times)
     Expertos de la ONU afirman que frenar el cambio climático es posible y más barato que
      no hacer nada (El Pais)
     Climat: les émissions de gaz doivent décroître à partir de 2015 (Giec) (Le Monde)


              Environmental News from the UNEP Regions

     ROAP
     ROA

              Other UN News

     UN Daily News of 3 May 2007
     S.G.’s Spokesman Daily Press Briefing of 3 May 2007




                  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
Bloomberg: Global Warming Can Be Kept in Check, UN Panel Says (Update2)
By Alex Morales
May 4 (Bloomberg) -- Greenhouse gases in the atmosphere can be kept at levels that avoid the
worst ravages of global warming by using available technologies and strategies, an international
panel said.
Keeping concentrations of gases at levels similar to those in the air today will cost less than 3
percent of world economic output by 2030, the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on
Climate Change said today in its third report of the year.
``The key message is that we can keep the climate safe and we can do that with currently
available technologies at a cost that is almost negligible,'' said Hans Verolme, head of the World
Wildlife Fund's climate change campaign, in an interview in Bangkok today. ``We don't need to
wait for a silver bullet.''
The final report, debated line-by-line by government envoys from more than 120 nations
meeting in Bangkok, was handed to reporters before a press conference scheduled for 1 p.m.
today.
Formal talks among country officials continued until about 3 a.m. this morning, final
corrections were completed soon after dawn and the final report was approved at about 11 a.m.,
said Michael Williams, a spokesman for the United Nations Environment Programme, one of
the panel's parent groups.
Current atmospheric concentrations of greenhouse gases are about 425 parts per million (ppm)
and rising. Stabilizing greenhouse gases at 445 ppm may hold increases in global temperature
since industrialization at 2 degrees Celsius, according to the report. That's the level beyond
which the European Union has said the impact on climate change, such as droughts, extinctions
and storms, may become dangerous and irreversible.
Emission Peak
To achieve stabilization at that level, emissions must peak by 2015 and then decline by 50
percent to 85 percent by 2050, the panel said. Global average temperatures have risen 0.76 of a
degree already.
The report also says that stabilization of greenhouse gases can be achieved by changing the
energy mix used around the world, by introducing more fuel-efficient vehicles and appliances,
improving home insulation and changing the way agricultural land is managed.
Carbon Trading
Another tool available to government is carbon trading. Establishing a price equal to $50 per ton
of carbon dioxide could reduce emissions by more than half and a price of $100 could achieve a
63 percent cut, according to the document.
Under carbon trading, companies are set emission targets. If they undershoot those targets
they're able to sell credits to other businesses that are unable to meet their targets.




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Emissions of carbon dioxide, the most important greenhouse gas, are projected to rise by as
much as 110 percent by 2030 if no action is taken to minimize them, the panel said. Scientists
have linked the gas, produced by burning fossil fuels, to climate change. Higher emissions lead
to higher temperatures, they say.
``With current climate change mitigation policies and related sustainable development practices,
global greenhouse gas emissions will continue to grow,'' the panel said. ``Mitigation efforts over
the next two-to-three decades will have a large impact on opportunities to achieve lower
stabilization levels'' of greenhouse gases.
The cost of stabilizing atmospheric greenhouse gases at between 535 and 590 ppm would be
about 0.6 percent of world output, and at 590 to 710 ppm, the cost would be 0.2 percent,
according to the panel. Those concentrations equate to temperature gains of as much as 3.2 and
4.0 degrees Celsius.
Inclusion of a passage in the final version referring to the cost-effectiveness of efforts to
stabilize at 445 ppm was the subject of intense debate this week among meeting delegates. The
EU wanted the costs emphasized, while China's representatives asked for it to be deleted
because they said there was insufficient evidence behind the figures.
China Wary
China and other developing nations have been wary of efforts to restrict their emissions, which
they say will hamper growth. Without an agreement on the costs of efforts to restrict the gases
at lower levels, future talks might have been greatly hampered, according to the World Wildlife
Fund.
The Fund's Verolme said the 3 percent GDP cost was a bargain compared with the cost of
inaction. A U.K. government report last year said that failure to take action to stave off climate
change would cost the world 5 percent to 20 percent of GDP.
China, poised to become the biggest emitter of greenhouse gases as early as this year, had also
pushed for the document to say industrialized nations such as EU members and the U.S. are
responsible for the bulk of historical emissions of carbon dioxide, methane and other gases
blamed for global warming.
Human Cause
The IPCC is this year carrying out its biggest overview of climate change since 2001. Global
warming is ``very likely'' caused by human emissions of gases such as carbon dioxide and
methane, the panel said Feb. 2. On April 6, it warned of floods and droughts because of rising
temperatures.
At present, 35 countries and the European Union are bound by the Kyoto Protocol, which
requires them to cut emissions of greenhouse gases by a combined 5 percent by 2012, when its
provisions end. The U.S. rejected the treaty in 2001, and developing nations such as China
aren't assigned targets.
To contact the reporter on this story: Alex Morales in Bangkok at amorales2@bloomberg.net
_____________________________________________________________________________

Jurnalo.com: The IPCC and the UN climate survey
Friday 04 May 2007 08:19



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The United Nations climate panel was founded in 1988 to investigate the risks of global
warming.
The body was tasked with gathering, assessing and presenting scientific data on climate change
in an understandable format. The world body, with the full title, Intergovernmental Panel on
Climate Change (IPCC), was set up by the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) and the
United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP).

Based in Geneva, the panel has so far published three comprehensive reports on climate change,
in 1990, 1995 and 2001. The body does not conduct its own scientific research, but pulls
together scientific and technical studies released over the period between reports.

The IPCC reports examine the scientific basis for global warming and how changes are
affecting the environment and society, as well as offering strategies for mitigating and adapting
to climate change.

The fundamental conclusions of the researchers have been the same throughout, though the
certainty attributed to them has increased: humans are exacerbating the greenhouse effect, are
heating up the planet with untold consequences and must make a determined effort to counteract
climate change.

Some 2,500 researchers and 450 main authors have worked on the fourth assessment report for
the past six years. The results will be presented in three parts and a concluding summary.

The first part of the report deals with the scientific principles of climate change, examining the
current and historical observations of climate researchers as well as predictions of future
temperatures based on mathematical models.

The first working group presented its report, The Physical Science Basis, on February 2 in Paris.

The second part of the report deals with the effects of climate change, possible adaptations to
deal with it and the "vulnerability of humans" faced with the observed changes in temperature.

The second working group presented its part of the report, Impacts, Adaptation and
Vulnerability, on April 6 in Brussels.

The third part of the report deals with the possibilities for people and policymakers to put the
brakes on climate change and makes suggestions in order to do this.

The third working group presented its findings, titled Mitigation of Climate Change, on Friday
in the Thai capital Bangkok.

A final draft of each section is made available to governments for review months before the
reports are released. Officials and experts from governments, research institutions and other
organizations hold a summit meeting to approve the document days before it is presented to the
public. (Internet: www. ipcc. ch) dpa tr yyzz tim wjh emc cc pw

_____________________________________________________________________________

Prensa Latina: Bangkok Climate Change Report Underway




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Bangkok, May 3 (Prensa Latina) Delegates of the Inter-Governmental Panel on Climate Change
are drafting a final report in Bangkok, Thailand, that will include measures to combat climate
change.
Recognizing the problem of potential global climate change, the World Meteorological
Organization and the UN Environment Programme established the IPCC in 1988. It is open to
all members of the United Nations and WMO.
As of Monday, the experts have been discussing possible solutions to mitigate greenhouse gas
exhaust and pleading for an increased use of nuclear energy, the use of modified biofuels and a
cut in CO2.
The nuclear energy option, described by defenders as clean, is expected to trigger protests from
several international environmental organizations that consider it unsafe and unviable.
For its part, the European Union reiterated the commitment to considerably reduce gas
emissions into the atmosphere, while the US continues to reject limits, arguing they are too
demanding.
"We want to curb climate change, as it affects our economy and society," said European expert
Tom van Ierland.
Meanwhile, China presented an amendment, saying that it will be difficult to make considerable
progress if countries with a high emission index fail to manage to reduce it significantly.
It is possible to fight global warming using available technologies to control increasing
pollution, as long as governments invest enough to do it, according to scientists.
Other views discussed in the IPCC meeting in Bangkok urged a change in lifestyle in developed
countries, as the ideal way to face the impact of the increasing consumption of fossil fuels in
modern societies.
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Yomiuri Shimbun: Forum looks beyond Kyoto Protocol / Both developed and developing
countries must take measures to tackle global warming

Tokyo University Prof. Ryuji Matsuhashi focused on the history and the current situation
surrounding global warming and climate change in considering a potential framework for the
post-Kyoto Protocol period in a keynote speech at the recently held "Kyoto Protocol Forum--
Efforts to curb global warming."
In the opening address, Fujio Mitarai, chairman of Japan Business Federation (Nippon
Keidanren), called for the adoption of drastic measures both in the home and in business to
achieve the goals set by the Kyoto Protocol.
The event, which included a panel discussion after Matsuhashi's keynote speech, was organized
by Keizai Koho Center (Japan Institute for Social and Economic Affairs) with the support of
Nippon Keidanren. Diet members, diplomats and business people were among the 230 people
who attended the forum.




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Excerpts from Matsuhashi's speech follow:
The first step to addressing global warming and climate change was taken at the 1988 Group of
Seven summit meeting at which major industrialized countries for the first time discussed
reducing carbon dioxide emissions.
Almost 20 years have passed since then, and the issues of global warming and climate change
have become important items, leading to the implementation of the Kyoto Protocol.
The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), a U.N. organization of international
researchers and scientists, conducts tests and assesses possible impacts on the environment,
compiling a report every five years since 1990.
The report compiled by one of its working groups in February concluded that it was very likely
that man-made greenhouse gas emissions are responsible for the global rise in temperature since
the mid-20th century.
It is now believed that such emissions could be adversely impacting the warming of the ocean,
rises of average land temperatures and escalating wind patterns, among other changes.
Using scientific data on the past, the IPCC is studying a number of scenarios to examine how
such changes could impact society, in an effort to find appropriate measures to minimize the
risk.
In 1972, the U.N. Conference on the Human Environment was held in Stockholm under the
motto of "Only One Earth." In the years following the conference, the U.N. Environment
Program was launched, while the Ramsar Convention and Washington Convention were
implemented, in addition to the Vienna Convention for the Protection of the Ozone Layer.
The 1990s saw more active movements to tackle climate change, most prominently with the
adoption of the Kyoto Protocol to the U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change.
The administration of U.S. President George W. Bush, however, has not ratified this treaty. But
following Russia's ratification, the pact was brought into force in 2005.
There have been twists and turns surrounding the pact due to national interests and economic
issues. But if we look at the drive in the three decades since 1972, it is unmistakable that a
movement to tackle global warming, climate change and various other environmental issues has
been gathering pace.
Under the protocol, Japan pledged to cut its greenhouse gas emissions by 6 percent from its
1990 level by 2010. We now know this is a hard goal to achieve because the nation's level of
gas emissions has been increasing instead.
Under such circumstances, both the public and private sectors are reviewing measures. The
level of emissions from the industrial sector has stopped growing since 1990, while, on the
other hand, figures from the transportation sector and households have greatly increased.
How we are going to deal with such increases is an important aspect to be discussed. The
government has plans to meet the goal with detailed targets and currently is reviewing them one
by one to examine what is feasible and what is not.
For example, for the industrial sector, the number of energy-saving products to be manufactured
can be clearly specified. For the household category, however, the government cannot force




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consumers to replace vehicles, air conditioners and other home electrical appliances with new
energy-saving products. Therefore, how the government proceeds in this respect will be the key
to the future.
Regarding international cooperation, the protocol proposed three mechanisms with which
developed countries, such as Japan, can try to meet their emission targets, such as by
introducing technologies to cut carbon dioxide and greenhouse gas emissions in other countries.
As for the post-Kyoto Protocol period, scientists have made various proposals. Actions to
protect the environment should be taken at the global level. But unfortunately, the United States
has not ratified the protocol, while developing nations have not set numerical targets for
greenhouse gas emissions.
Therefore, under the Kyoto mechanisms, particularly the Clean Development Mechanism,
developed countries with numerical targets and developing nations without them can work
together to cut gas emissions. By making this system function ideally, developing countries can
be included in the future framework as their levels of gas emissions will likely increase.
Among various proposals for the next framework is a sectoral approach, which sets targets in
each industry. The study from tests based on the data from the first commitment period and
various scenarios showed that this approach would be the most effective way.
By expanding this approach with energy-efficiency targets to developing countries, CO2
emissions could greatly be reduced in the future.
(May. 4, 2007)
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AFP: US to lock horns over tigers, whale trade


US delegates plan to lock horns with China and Japan over protecting tigers and whales, while
lobbying to remove bobcats from endangered lists next month, witnesses told Congress
Thursday.
"China is seriously considering lifting its domestic ban on trade in tiger parts," said Todd
Willins, who will head the US delegation to the meeting of the Convention on International
Trade in Endangered Species, to be held in The Hague June 3-15.
"Authorizing such trade would create a legal market for the tiger farms that already exist in
China, but more importantly, would provide a cover for poached tiger products to enter the
market," Willins told legislators.
The United States also plans to take a hard line on harvest of African elephant tusks and on
Japan's proposal that CITES encourage a foreshortening of International Whaling Commission
management, he said.
Another US concern is removal of the bobcat from the CITES protection lists, arguing that time
and money spent complying with CITES could be better used to help species that need it.
"The bobcat is the most widely distributed native cat in North America," Willins said, noting
that a million could be found in the United States alone.




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The bobcat was listed 30 years ago to help enforcement because of its similar appearance to
other lynxes, he said.
"Skins are almost always auctioned as dry skins with fur out and usually complete, including a
bobcat's distinguishing features on the ears and tail," he said.
"Bobcats should not present a look-alike problem to CITES parties," he told the House
Committee on Natural Resources Subcommittee on Fisheries, Wildlife and Oceans.
The Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species was signed in Washington in
1975 and has 171 member nations who enforce CITES restrictions on trade in flora and fauna.
The program is administered through a secretariat at the UN Environment Program in
Switzerland.
Representatives will meet in The Hague for the 14th Conference of the Parties in June to allow
countries to amend rules aimed at defining and protecting endangered species.
Some 530 animal and 300 plant species enjoy complete bans on trade under CITES, while trade
of another 4,460 animal and 28,000 plants is restricted.
_____________________________________________________________________________
Le Soleil (Dakar): Biodiversité : Pour une sécurisation foncière des sites
Au terme de 48 heures de débats enrichissants et fructueux à Saint-louis, le plan de travail 2007
dont la mise en œuvre devra coûter 1.597.500 de dollars et le rapport d’activités 2006 ont été
adoptés à l’unanimité, par les membres du comité régional de pilotage du projet Biodiversité
Sénégal-Mauritanie.
Ces assises se sont déroulées en présence d’une forte délégation des partenaires mauritaniens,
conduite par Dahmoud Ould Merzoug, chargé de mission du ministre mauritanien de
l’environnement, du colonel Demba Bâ, conseiller technique du ministre sénégalais de
l’environnement et de la protection de la nature, du coordonnateur régional du projet
Mohammed Bocoum, du colonel Ndiogou Gueye chef de l’unité nationale sénégalaise de ce
projet, des représentants du FEM, des Pays-Bas, de la GTZ , du PNUD, de l’UNOPS, du PNUE,
des organisations paysannes, des présidents des conseils ruraux de Dodel et de Gandon.
L’occasion a été saisie par Ibrahima Mamadou Kâne, adjoint au coordonnateur du comité
régional de pilotage du projet, pour préciser que le recentrage des activités du projet, pour une
meilleure prise en compte de la conservation de la biodiversité, s’est traduit par la réduction du
nombre des sites d’intervention du projet et par l’augmentation de leurs superficies et a
nécessité la définition d’indicateurs d’impact et la révision du cadre logique et de son plan
d’opérations (2004-2008). Avec les différentes techniques de gestion/conservation utilisées, a-t-
il poursuivi, on assiste à un début de régénération/constitution du couvert végétal des sites
d’intervention, à une réapparition d’espèces qui avaient disparu de la zone.
Parlant des difficultés auxquelles le projet est confronté, M. Kâne a laissé entendre que la
première difficulté concerne la sécurisation foncière des sites et la reconnaissance juridique des
associations et coopératives inter villageoises par les autorités administratives et locales dans le
cadre de la gestion des ressources naturelles. Cette sécurisation est indispensable pour une
gestion durable et équitable des écosystèmes de la vallée par les populations locales. Une autre
difficulté, c’est de savoir comment amener ces populations locales à appliquer une gestion
rationnelle des ressources naturelles dans un contexte de pauvreté et d’absence d’alternatives




                                                                                                       8
fortes à une gestion minière des ressources naturelles. Il est difficile aujourd’hui de mesurer
l’impact des activités génératrices de revenus (AGR) qui viennent de démarrer, sur les revenus
des bénéficiaires et sur l’exploitation des ressources naturelles.
Concernant les contreparties financières des Etats au profit de l’UCR, des réponses aux requêtes
adressées aux gouvernements, sont attendues.
_____________________________________________________________________________

Jakarta Post: Contest encourages students' creative environmental ideas
Prodita Sabarini, The Jakarta Post, Jakarta
Mutiara Arum Sari is a witness to the declining condition of the Ciliwung River.
Having lived in the industrial Cibinong area of Bogor since childhood, the 21-year-old has seen
factories dumping waste into the river, only to have the water consumed by people living on the
opposite bank.
Exposed to real ecological problems right in her own backyard, Mutiara developed a concern
about the environment early on.
Now she has translated those concerns into a practical idea for how civil society can work
together to save the river and make it sustainable.
"I've been thinking about this issue for quite some time, since I live in an environment where
manufacturing industries dump their waste to rivers," she said.
When chemical manufacturer PT Bayer Indonesia challenged university students to come up
with practical ideas for sustainable development through its Eco-Minds 2007 program, this year
following the theme "Thinking Sustainability: Fresh Water Supply", Mutiara was up for the
challenge.
So were 138 university students from all over Indonesia.
The program, which called on university students to send in their ideas on sustainable
development, was carried out for the second time ever this year. The program was part of the
Asia Pacific Eco-Minds 2007 forum, a joint project between Bayer and the United Nations
Environment Programme (UNEP).
Bayer's president director, Hans-Josef Schill, said the program, which is held every two years,
aimed to encourage young thinkers' awareness of environmental issues.
Of 13 selected finalists, three winners would represent Indonesia in the forum, which will be
held in Thailand between May 31 and June 2.
Mutiara was one of the winners of this year's program.
Mutiara's idea was to create a subdistrict level plan for river basin management, in which all
local stakeholders would play a part in river conservation.
"The government, industry, the community, and experts should sit down and have a dialogue to
build a strategy for river management. They will run the program they put together and evaluate
it (as it goes)," she said.




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Fiddy Semba Prasetiya from Padjadjaran University in Bandung, and Wini Rizkining Ayu from
Gajah Mada University in Yogyakarta were also among the winners announced Thursday.
Dedy Darnaedy, head of the Indonesia Research Center on Biology and one of the judges of the
program, said the students had wonderful and original ideas.
"They can identify problems, analyze them, and can come up with practical solutions," he said.
Sudaryono, deputy for information and community empowerment at the State Ministry for the
Environment, said that the role of youth in environmental protection was important and should
be encouraged.
"In the next 10 to 15 years these young people will be the ones who will be sitting in strategic
positions in legislative government, the executive, non-governmental organizations and
industry. By increasing their awareness of environment issues, we hope that when they are in
the position of being decision makers, they will protect the environment at least."
Last year's winner, Ilsa Meidina, 22, from the University of Indonesia, said that participating in
the Asia Pacific Eco-Minds Forum, then held in the Philippines, changed her outlook on the
environment.


"I was deeply disturbed (about environmental issues). I really wanted to make a change," she
said.
She tried to get her friends involved with environmental conservation, but with limited success.
"It's kind of hard to get people to pay attention to the environment. Especially when the issue is
not a mainstream one, like politics. However, I try to campaign about it whenever I can.
Because that's the key: to get involved," she said.




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                                  Other Environmental News



BBC: Climate change 'can be tackled'
4 May 2007

The growth in greenhouse gas emissions can be curbed at reasonable cost, experts at a major
UN climate change conference in Bangkok have agreed.

Boosting renewable energy, reducing deforestation and improving energy efficiency can all
help, they said.

This is the third report this year from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC),
and aims to set out the costs and benefits of various policies.

IPCC chair Rajendra Pachauri said the report was "stunning".

        If we continue to do what we are doing now, we are in deep trouble
Ogunlade Davidson, IPCC Most computers will open this document automatically, but you may
need Adobe Reader
"Human society as a whole has to look for changes in consumption patterns," he told reporters
at a news conference in the Thai capital.

The report suggests that if major climate impacts are to be avoided, global emissions should
peak and begin declining within one or two decades.

The IPCC has already this year produced the two other elements of this global assessment
report - its fourth since 1990 - dealing respectively with the science of climate change and the
potential impacts.

Continued growth

Greenhouse gas emissions have risen by 70% since 1970, and will rise by between 25% and
90% over the next 25 years under "business as usual".

        Renewable energy generally has a positive impact on energy security, employment and
air quality
IPCC report
That rise will mainly be caused by an expansion in the use of fossil fuels, which are set to
continue as the world's dominant energy source.

"If we continue to do what we are doing now, we are in deep trouble," observed Ogunlade
Davidson, a senior author on the report.

During the early part of the week, China had repeatedly tried to tone down some elements of the
draft text, delegates said, being keen to remove references to scenarios which it feared could
affect its short-term economic growth.

But in later sessions it played a more consensual hand.




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Stable futures

The report assesses the likely costs to the global economy of stabilising greenhouse gases at
various concentrations in the atmosphere.

Stabilisation at reasonable cost is possible, it concludes, commenting: "There is considerable
economic potential for the mitigation of global greenhouse gas emissions over the coming
decades, that could offset the projected growth of global emisions or reduce emissions below
current levels."

The sharpest cuts, keeping greenhouse gas concentrations to levels equivalent to between 445
and 535 parts per million of carbon dioxide, might cost anything up to 3% of global GDP by
2030, while milder curbs could even enhance growth.


COSTS OF STABILISATION
IPCC assesses the likely impacts on global GDP by 2030 if cost-effective routes are used
stabilisation between 445ppm and 535ppm would cost less than 3% of global GDP, it concludes
between 535ppm and 590ppm would cost 0.2-2.5%
between 590ppm and 710ppm would bring anything between a net benefit of 0.6% and a net
cost of 1.2%
different greenhouse gases have different impacts on warming per volume; total concentrations
are expressed as the equivalent in parts per million of a certain volume of CO2 (ppm CO2-eq)
current concentration is about 425ppm CO2-eq
The current atmospheric concentrations are equivalent to about 425 parts per million of CO2.

Assessing the impacts of a given concentration is not an exact science, but many scientists
believe that keeping concentrations below about 450ppm CO2-eq is necessary if the average
global temperature rise is to be kept below 2C, and major impacts avoided.

The IPCC suggests that concentrations between 445ppm and 490ppm would keep the
temperature rise to 2.0-2.8C. European Union policy is to avoid a rise greater than 2C.

"If you want to stabilise around 450ppm, that means in a decade or two you have to start
reducing emissions far below the current level," said Dr Pachauri.

"So in other words, we have a very short window for turning around the trend we have in rising
greenhouse gas emissions. We don't have the luxury of time.

Building concensus

Many technologies can play a role in cutting emissions, the IPCC says; but it singles out the
building sector as a potential major contributer, and energy efficiency as something that "plays a
key role across many scenarios for most regions and timescales".

Nuclear power and carbon capture and storage, where emissions from fossil fuel power stations
are captured and buried underground, could play important roles; but with nuclear, "safety,
weapons, proliferation and waste remain as constraints".




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But, observed Dr Pachauri, economic incentives are needed to drive any technological
transformation.

"Technology alone will not be enough," he told BBC News, "and in any case, technology has a
clear connection with government policy.

"Incentives... must come from taxes or a carbon price."

Catherine Pearce, international climate campaigner with Friends of the Earth UK, said there was
now no economic excuse for inaction.


HAVE YOUR SAY
You cannot cut back CO2 without catastrophic economic consequences
Mark, USA

"This report shows that many affordable technologies and effective policies are readily available
to tackle climate change," she said.

"By introducing measures and investment that will stimulate sustainable renewable energies and
energy efficiency, governments can help to achieve cuts in global emissions by 50% by 2050.
Without this, we face devastating consequences."
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Reuters/Financial Times:UN says global warming halt affordable
By Reuters May 04 08:56:36
Humans need to make sweeping cuts in greenhouse gas emissions over the next 50 years to
keep global warming in check, but it need cost only a tiny fraction of world output, a major UN
climate change report said on Friday.
The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), in the third of a series of reports, said
keeping the rise in temperatures to within 2 degrees Centigrade would cost only 0.12 per cent of
annual gross domestic product.
ADVERTISEMENT
”It’s a low premium to pay to reduce the risk of major climate damage,” Bill Hare, a
Greenpeace adviser who co-authored the report, told Reuters after the culmination of the
marathon talks which ran over their four-day schedule.
”It’s a great report and it’s very strong and it shows that it’s economically and technically
feasible to make deep emission reductions sufficient to limit warming to 2 degrees,” he said. ”It
shows that the costs of doing this are quite modest.”
To keep within the 2 degree threshold which scientists say is needed to stave off disastrous
changes to the world’s climate, emissions of carbon dioxide need to drop between 50 and 85 per
cent by 2050, the report said.
However, technological advances – particularly in producing and using energy more efficiently
– meant that such targets were within reach, the report said.



                                                                                               13
It highlighted the use of nuclear, solar and wind power, more energy-efficient buildings and
lighting, as well as capturing and storing carbon dioxide spewed from coal-fired power stations
and oil and gas rigs.
The report, agreed by scientists and officials from more than 100 countries, does not set out
policies. It reviews the latest science on the costs and ways to curb emissions growth and is
designed as a blueprint for governments.
Current policies were inadequate, and action was needed now, it said.
”The need for immediate short-term action in order to make any significant impact in the longer
term has become apparent,” it said.
Delegates said the onus was now on governments to put the report into action.
”This is a good report to guide governments,” Stephan Singer of environmental group WWF
said.
In some cases, technology could lead to substantial benefits, such as cutting health costs by
tackling pollution.
Even changing planting times for rice paddies or managing cattle and sheep flocks better could
cut emissions of methane, another powerful greenhouse gas, said the report by the UN panel
which draws on the work of 2,500 scientists.
Its previous two reports painted a grim future of human-induced global warming causing more
hunger, droughts, heatwaves and rising sea levels which would drown low-lying islands.
In Bangkok, China and Europe sparred about the costs and levels of greenhouse gas emissions
which ought to be allowed. Delegates also debated the role of nuclear power.
China, the world’s number two emitter of greenhouse gases after the United States, wanted the
IPCC report to exclude language which would promote stabilising emissions near current levels
in part because of the limited economic studies available.
The steeper the emissions cuts, the more costly to the global economy, the report says.
In 2030 the costs for limiting greenhouse gases at ”stabilisation” levels of between 445 and 710
ppm (parts per million) CO2-equivalent range from a 3 percent decrease of global GDP to a
small increase, it said.
However, regional costs might differ significantly from global averages, it added.
Greenhouse gas concentrations are now at about 430 ppm CO2-equivalent.
”It’s done,” he told Reuters after five days of intense wrangling about how much the battle
against climate change would cost and how to go about it.
The talks in Bangkok ran into the early hours as scientists and government officials from more
than 100 countries tried to resolve complex issues in the report by the Intergovernmental Panel
on Climate Change (IPCC).
The report deals with ways to curb rapid growth in greenhouse gases, particularly carbon
dioxide from burning fossil fuels and forests, that scientists say are causing global warming.




                                                                                                 14
It also says current policies are inadequate.
”With current climate-change-mitigation policies and related sustainable-development practices,
global greenhouse gas emissions will continue to grow over the next few decades,” a revised
draft of the report says.
The formal report, yet to be published, does not set out policies. It reviews the latest science on
the costs and ways to curb emissions growth and is designed to be a blueprint for governments.
But it says there is a wide variety of technology already available to fight climate change at
costs bearable by much of the developing world responsible for a lot of the current growth.
They include as nuclear, solar and wind power, more energy-efficient buildings and lighting.
Capturing and storing carbon dioxide spewed from coal-fired power stations and oil and gas rigs
is also feasible.
In some cases, such technologies could lead to substantial benefits, such as cutting health costs
by tackling pollution.
Even changing planting times for rice paddies or managing cattle and sheep flocks better could
cut emissions of methane, another powerful greenhouse gas, it says.
The report is the third to be released this year by the UN panel, which draws on the work of
2,500 scientists.
The previous two painted a grim future of human-induced global warming causing more
hunger, droughts, heatwaves and rising sea levels which would drown low-lying islands.
In Bangkok, China and Europe sparred about the costs and levels of greenhouse gas emissions
which ought to be allowed. Delegates also debated the role of nuclear power.
China, the world’s number two emitter of greenhouse gases after the United States, wanted the
IPCC report to exclude language which would promote stabilising emissions near current levels
in part because of the limited economic studies available.
The report says the steeper the emissions cuts, the more costly to the global economy.
The amended draft says that in 2030 the costs for mitigating greenhouse gases at stabilisation
levels of 445 and 710 ppm CO2-equivalent are estimated at between a 3 per cent decrease of
global GDP and a small increase.
But it says regional costs might differ significantly from global averages.
The senior delegate said focusing on 445 ppm (parts per million) was unrealistic given the rapid
growth in emissions, particularly from the developing world.
The European Union wants the lowest level possible to achieve its goal of a maximum two
degrees Celsius rise in global temperatures, a level it says is a threshold for ”dangerous”
changes to the climate system.
Greenhouse gas concentrations are now at about 430 ppm CO2-equivalent.
A UN official said approval was expected within a few hours.




                                                                                                  15
”The text has been agreed but formal approval is at 10 am,” said meeting spokeswoman Carola
Traverso Saibante, referring to the 0300 GMT time when delegates were due to reconvene to
endorse the report.
The talks between scientists and government officials from more than 100 countries ran into the
early hours of Friday to try to resolve complex issues raised in the report by the
Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).
The final issue to be decided centred on the meaning of the word ”uncertainty” in one of the
report’s annexes, said a delegate who did not want to be named.
China and Europe sparred over the costs and levels of greenhouse gas emissions. Delegates also
debated the role of nuclear power.
China, the world’s number two emitter of greenhouse gases after the United States, wanted the
IPCC report to exclude wording about scenarios for stabilising gas levels near current levels.
Beijing objects to any language suggesting a cap on emissions or stabilisation levels, wording it
feels could leave it vulnerable to demands in future climate talks to slow rapid economic growth
or spend vast sums on cleaner technology.
The report is the third to be released this year by the UN panel, which draws on the work of
2,500 scientists.
The previous two painted a grim future of human-induced global warming causing more
hunger, droughts, heatwaves and rising seas.
_____________________________________________________________________________

Associated Press: Deal reached on climate change report
[also appearing in CNN]
POSTED: 0604 GMT (1404 HKT), May 4, 2007
Adjust font size:
BANGKOK, Thailand (AP) -- International delegates reached an agreement early Friday on the
best ways to combat climate change despite efforts by China to water down language on cutting
destructive greenhouse gas emissions.

The closed-door debate over everything from nuclear power to the cost of cleaner energy ran
into the early morning hours with quibbling over wording. But consensus was eventually
reached on a report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, a U.N. network of
2,000 scientists and delegates from more than 120 nations.

"It's all done," said Peter Lukey, a member of the South Africa delegation. "Everything we
wanted to see was there and more. The message is: We have to do something now." (Watch
what proposals could help save the planet )

China, the world's second-largest greenhouse gas emitter after the United States, took a strong
stance during the four-day meeting in Thailand. Along with India and other developing
countries, it had pushed to raise the lowest target for carbon dioxide in the atmosphere,
delegates said.




                                                                                                  16
A draft of the report proposed the world limit concentrations of greenhouse gases to between
445 parts per million and 650 parts per million, but China sought to strike the lower range over
fears it would hinder its booming economy, Michael Muller, Germany's vice-minister for the
environment, told reporters before the agreement was reached.

According to a partial version of the finalized document obtained by The Associated Press,
China's efforts failed to remove the lower emission target from the report.

"This is still an excellent report," French delegate Michel Petit said, adding that China and the
other developing countries ended up compromising on all major issues.

"Nothing important was removed during the process," he said.

The report is the third segment of an overall IPCC blueprint that will shape the way the world
tackles global warming. The final version was not made available when the meeting broke
around 4:30 a.m. Friday, but delegates said it largely resembled a draft version that said
emissions can be cut below current levels if the world shifts away from carbon-heavy fuels like
coal, embraces energy efficiency and significantly reduces deforestation.

"The strong message (from the report) is that it's possible to stabilize greenhouse gas emissions
at the level where severe climatic change can be avoided," said Lars Nilsson, a delegate from
Sweden.

Two previous IPCC reports this year warned that unabated greenhouse gas emissions could
drive global temperatures up as much as 11 degrees by 2100. Even a 3.6-degree rise could
subject up to 2 billion people to water shortages by 2050 and threaten extinction for 20 percent
to 30 percent of the world's species, the IPCC said.

The third report, which was expected to be formally announced later in the morning, makes
clear the world must quickly embrace a basket of technological options -- both already available
and developing -- just to keep the temperature rise to 3.6 degrees Fahrenheit.

Much of this week's debate has centered around how much it will cost to adopt greener policies.

China is facing increasing international pressure as its economy expands -- it posted 11.1
percent growth in the first quarter -- and it pumps increasing amounts of greenhouse gases into
the atmosphere.

At this week's meeting, Beijing campaigned for wording that would clearly blame the top
industrialized countries in North America and Europe for global warming and give them the
responsibility for solving it, rather than latecomers like China and India, delegates said. (Watch
how China is on track to being the world's top polluter )

Chinese delegates did not discuss their positions publicly, but environmental activists suggested
Thursday that China was being unfairly targeted, saying it was making strong efforts to improve
energy efficiency and rein in emissions.

Stephan Singer, of the conservation group WWF International, said China had a worthy target
of increasing energy efficiency by 20 percent from 2006 to 2010.




                                                                                                    17
"It's a very ambitious target and I would wish many industrialized countries would have the
same target," Singer told reporters.

The U.S. remained surprisingly quiet on most issues at the meeting, but some delegates said it
appeared to be content letting China take the lead. However, the U.S. delegation was vocal over
the role nuclear power could play in efforts to reduce greenhouse gases. European nations
reminded policymakers not to forget the security risks that could be associated with that.

The world needs to divert substantially from today's main energy sources within a few decades
to limit centuries of rising temperatures and seas driven by the buildup of heat-trapping
emissions in the air, the top body studying climate change has concluded.
In an all-night session capping four days of talks in Bangkok, economists, scientists and
government officials from more than 100 countries agreed early Friday on the last sections of a
report outlining ways to limit such emissions, led by carbon dioxide, an unavoidable byproduct
of burning coal and oil.
The final report, from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, said prompt slowing of
emissions could set the stage later in the century for stabilization of the concentration of carbon
dioxide, which, at 380 parts per million now, has risen more than a third since the start of the
industrial revolution and could easily double from the preindustrial level within decades.
The report, which awaits only formal adoption this afternoon, concluded that significant
progress toward that goal could be made in the next 25 years with known technologies and
policy shifts, but would still need to be followed by a century-long transition to new energy
sources that come with no climate impacts.
Several authors, while declining to discuss specific results before the report was formally
adopted, said its message was clear.

We can no longer make the excuse that we need to wait for more science, or the excuse that we
need to wait for more technologies and policy knowledge," said Adil Najam, an author of one
chapter and an associate professor of international negotiation at the Fletcher School at Tufts
University. "To me the big message is that we now have both and we do not need to wait any
longer."
The report also made clear the risks of delay, noting that emissions of greenhouse gases have
risen 70 percent since 1970 and could rise an additional 90 percent by 2030 if nothing is done.
Carbon dioxide is particularly important not only because so much is produced each year —
about 25 billion tons — but because much of it persists in the atmosphere, building like unpaid
credit card debt.
To stop the rise, report authors said, countries would need to expand adoption of existing
policies that can cut emissions — like a fuel tax or the binding limits set by the Kyoto Protocol
— while also increasing research seeking new energy options. This work would include pushing
for advances in solar and nuclear power.
The meeting ended just after dawn Friday in Bangkok with several authors of the report saying
that there had been relatively little last-minute fighting with government officials over details.
China had resisted language that implied big cuts would have to be made in fast-growing




                                                                                                  18
developing countries, which will soon surpass rich countries as the dominant source of
greenhouse gases.
According to several authors, the final version estimates that bringing global carbon dioxide
emissions by 2030 to levels measured in 2000 would require a cost on released carbon dioxide
of $50 to $100 a ton, roughly on a par — in terms of fossil fuel prices — of an additional 25
cents to 50 cents for a gallon of gasoline.
The report projects that this shift might cause a small blunting of global economic activity,
resulting in an overall reduction of perhaps one-tenth of a percentage point per year through
2100 in the world's total economic activity, the authors said.
Some of the experts and government officials involved in the final discussions said in telephone
interviews and in e-mail messages that the costs could be substantially greater than that.
But a variety of participants, including some from the United States, said in interviews that it
was hard to argue against such an investment, given the potential costs of inaction.
William Moomaw, a lead author of a chapter on energy options and a professor of international
environmental policy at Tufts University, said that he saw evidence that big cuts could happen.
"Here in the early years of the 21st century, we're looking for an energy revolution that's as
comprehensive as the one that occurred at the beginning of the 20th century when we went from
gaslight and horse-drawn carriages to light bulbs and automobiles," Moomaw said. "In 1905,
only 3 percent of homes had electricity. Right now, 3 percent is about the same range as the
amount of renewable energy we have today. None of us can predict the future any more than we
could in 1905, but that suggests to me it may not be impossible to make that kind of revolution
again."


_____________________________________________________________________________

The Guardian (UK): Agreement Reached on Climate Report
Friday May 4, 2007 4:31 AM
By MICHAEL CASEY
AP Environmental Writer
BANGKOK, Thailand (AP) - International delegates reached an agreement early Friday on the
best ways to combat climate change despite efforts by China to water down language on cutting
destructive greenhouse gas emissions.
The closed-door debate over everything from nuclear power to the cost of cleaner energy ran
into the early morning hours with quibbling over wording. But consensus was eventually
reached on a report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, a U.N. network of
2,000 scientists and delegates from more than 120 nations.
``It's all done,'' said Peter Lukey, a member of the South Africa delegation. ``Everything we
wanted to see was there and more. The message is: We have to do something now.''




                                                                                                   19
China, the world's second-largest greenhouse gas emitter after the United States, took a strong
stance during the four-day meeting in Thailand. Along with India and other developing
countries, it had pushed to raise the lowest target for carbon dioxide in the atmosphere,
delegates said.
A draft of the report proposed the world limit concentrations of greenhouse gases to between
445 parts per million and 650 parts per million, but China sought to strike the lower range over
fears it would hinder its booming economy, Michael Muller, Germany's vice-minister for the
environment, told reporters before the agreement was reached.
According to a partial version of the finalized document obtained by The Associated Press,
China's efforts failed to remove the lower emission target from the report.
``This is still an excellent report,'' French delegate Michel Petit said, adding that China and the
other developing countries ended up compromising on all major issues.
``Nothing important was removed during the process,'' he said.
The report is the third segment of an overall IPCC blueprint that will shape the way the world
tackles global warming. The final version was not made available when the meeting broke
around 4:30 a.m. Friday, but delegates said it largely resembled a draft version that said
emissions can be cut below current levels if the world shifts away from carbon-heavy fuels like
coal, embraces energy efficiency and significantly reduces deforestation.
``The strong message (from the report) is that it's possible to stabilize greenhouse gas emissions
at the level where severe climatic change can be avoided,'' said Lars Nilsson, a delegate from
Sweden.
Two previous IPCC reports this year warned that unabated greenhouse gas emissions could
drive global temperatures up as much as 11 degrees by 2100. Even a 3.6-degree rise could
subject up to 2 billion people to water shortages by 2050 and threaten extinction for 20 percent
to 30 percent of the world's species, the IPCC said.
The third report, which was expected to be formally announced later in the morning, makes
clear the world must quickly embrace a basket of technological options - both already available
and developing - just to keep the temperature rise to 3.6 degrees Fahrenheit.
Much of this week's debate has centered around how much it will cost to adopt greener policies.
China is facing increasing international pressure as its economy expands - it posted 11.1 percent
growth in the first quarter - and it pumps increasing amounts of greenhouse gases into the
atmosphere.
At this week's meeting, Beijing campaigned for wording that would clearly blame the top
industrialized countries in North America and Europe for global warming and give them the
responsibility for solving it, rather than latecomers like China and India, delegates said.
Chinese delegates did not discuss their positions publicly, but environmental activists suggested
Thursday that China was being unfairly targeted, saying it was making strong efforts to improve
energy efficiency and rein in emissions.
Stephan Singer, of the conservation group WWF International, said China had a worthy target
of increasing energy efficiency by 20 percent from 2006 to 2010.




                                                                                                  20
``It's a very ambitious target and I would wish many industrialized countries would have the
same target,'' Singer told reporters.
The U.S. remained surprisingly quiet on most issues at the meeting, but some delegates said it
appeared to be content letting China take the lead. However, the U.S. delegation was vocal over
the role nuclear power could play in efforts to reduce greenhouse gasses. European nations
reminded policymakers not to forget the security risks that could be associated with that.


_____________________________________________________________________________

The Independent (UK): Malaria fear as global warming increases
By Colin Brown, Deputy Political Editor
Published: 04 May 2007
Global warming could lead to a return of insect-borne diseases in Britain such as malaria, and
increased incidence of skin cancer caused by exposure to the sun, a government report warns
today.
With temperatures forecast to rise into the high 30s this summer, scientists fear Britain could be
in line for at least one extreme heatwave before 2012. Tick-borne diseases are set to increase,
along with the threat of other diseases associated with hotter climates.
The report by a group of scientists for the Department of Health updates earlier warnings that
climate change could see heat-related deaths rise to more than 2,800 a year in Britain.
Heatstroke claimed the lives of nearly 15,000 people in France in exceptional conditions in
2003, and today's report by the Department of Health warns that could be a taste of things to
come in Britain.
The French deaths were caused when temperatures soared to 40C, but some forecasters have
warned that Britain could be heading towards such temperatures as a result of the changing
climate.
Last month was the hottest April on record and plants and wildlife are reacting to the hotter
temperatures in a spring which has felt more like summer for many in the south of England.
The report comes as the UN's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) prepares to
release highly controversial proposals for averting the worst consequences of global warming.
They include a major expansion of nuclear power, the use of GM crops to boost biofuel
production and reliance on technologies which critics say are unproven.
The Department of Health's report says people are learning to live with the consequences of
climate change and are taking precautions against skin cancer and other increased risks of
disease, but more measures are needed to combat the threats.
One of the main threats could be vector-borne diseases transmitted by mosquitoes or ticks,
which are climate-sensitive and can increase or arrive in the country as a result of climate
change. There are fears that malaria could re-establish itself unless vigilance is maintained to
prevent the malaria-carrying mosquitoes surviving.
Experts believe the risk of malaria becoming endemic in Britain is still remote, but more cases
could be imported by travellers returning to Britain.




                                                                                                   21
Climate change might also increases water-borne diseases in Britain. Secure sanitation should
safeguard supplies of drinking water but possible contamination of storm-water outflows could
carry disease into rivers and basements.
Global warming could also increase the number of storms and floods in Britain. An increase in
the frequency of severe winter storms could lead to a rise in personal injuries from flying debris
and falling trees.
But there is a silver lining - milder winters could continue to see a drop in winter deaths and
ease pressure on the NHS, which used to suffer an annual winter emergency. Some estimates
suggest that the number of cold-related winter deaths could fall by up to 20,000.

The main findings
* There is a one in 40 chance that south-eastern England will experience a serious heatwave by
2012, and there is a serious risk of a substantial rise in heat-related deaths.
* Increased exposure to sunshine and ultraviolet light will lead to more skin cancers.
* Risk of flooding will increase, threatening the supply of clean water in rivers.
* Vector-borne diseases are likely to become more common in the UK, with higher risk of
diseases such as malaria, being imported from around the world.
* Periods of very cold weather will become less common, while we will see an increase in
periods of very hot weather.
* The number of deaths occurring in winter will continue to decline as the climate warms.


____________________________________________________________________________

Los Angeles Times: China seen as a roadblock to U.N. climate report

Beijing wants the U.S. and Europe to bear most of the blame and costs for controlling global
warming.
By Alan Zarembo, Times Staff Writer
May 3, 2007

China, on pace to become the world's biggest emitter of greenhouse gases, has emerged as the
major stumbling block in approving a United Nations report on how to stabilize global warming
and generate the trillions of dollars needed for the endeavor.

The report, to be released Friday in Bangkok, Thailand, is the third of four installments being
issued this year by the U.N.'s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.

The first two reports, on the causes and effects of global warming, were largely scientific
documents. The new report outlines a specific strategy to charge polluters for their emissions.

China, which is powering its industrial development with its massive coal reserves, has been
pushing for wealthy nations to bear the bulk of the blame — and eventually the costs.




                                                                                                  22
At the same time, China has tried to downplay the responsibility of developing nations like
itself, according to some delegates at the weeklong U.N. meeting in Bangkok.

Negotiations over the report have slowed to a crawl.

"China has been the biggest obstacle," said one participant, who did not want to be identified
because the talks were closed.

A bigger dispute looms as negotiations enter their final day.

Debate over the economic feasibility of quick action, which pits the United States against
Europe, was postponed earlier this week.

In formal comments obtained by The Times, the U.S. delegation suggested that reducing
emissions immediately could be too costly.

"The main issue is the interpretation of costs, whether it is reasonable or affordable," said a
European scientist who helped write the draft now being revised. "Some studies say we can
afford it. The question is whether we have to do it."

The U.N. reports on global warming, which have been released periodically since 1990, are not
binding agreements. But they have become powerful in forging an international consensus on
climate change.

Scientists and policymakers from more than 100 countries have been involved in drafting the
documents.

The United States is the biggest emitter of greenhouse gases, accounting for 25% of all
emissions, followed by China and Europe.

The U.N. report suggests that stabilizing greenhouse gas levels in the atmosphere would require
charging polluters up to $100 per ton of carbon by 2030, according to a draft of the report,
which was obtained by an environmental group and provided to The Times.

The idea is that if polluting becomes too expensive, industries will adopt new technologies to
reduce emissions.

The most stringent, and most expensive, scenario in the draft seeks to hold temperature
increases below 3 degrees Fahrenheit. It would require global emissions to peak in 15 years and
fall to half of current levels by the middle of the century.

By 2030, the annual costs of mitigation would amount to 3% of global gross domestic product
— about $2 trillion, or a year's worth of economic growth.

The most lenient scheme would cost 0.2% of GDP in 2030. Emissions would peak in 55 years,
allowing temperatures to rise by as much as 7 degrees.

The last U.N. report, released in April, said such warming would be catastrophic, with rising sea
levels, flooding and drought affecting billions of people.
_____________________________________________________________________________




                                                                                                  23
The Bangkok Post: Int'l green group urges Thais to move faster than govt
APINYA WIPATAYOTIN

An international green group yesterday called on the Thai people to ''act faster'' than the
government to tackle climate change. ''We have to move quicker than the government in
combating global warming, which should be done at a small or individual level,'' Stephen
Singer, the head of WWF's Climate Change Policy Unit, told yesterday's press conference, held
on the sidelines of the meeting of the UN scientists panel on climate change in Bangkok.

''Small steps are very important pieces of the jigsaw to cope with such a pressing problem,'' he
said.

WWF yesterday launched a report on 15 ways in which people, businesses and the state sector
could reduce greenhouse gas emissions, especially carbon dioxide.

A new campaign in Britain, where people had agreed to unplug mobile phone chargers after use
to cut power consumption, and Australia's ''Earth Hour'' campaign, in which citizens and
businesses in big cities turned off their lights for an hour, were examples of ''small moves'' that
could save the world from climate change, said Mr Singer.

He also lauded the Chinese government's goal of cutting energy consumption by 20% in three
years.

Thailand's plan to increase the number of bio-fuel power plants to feed electricity into the
country's power grid was another good example, he said.

However, people's small steps were not enough to cope with the climate change problem,
according to the WWF.

The group yesterday called on governments around the world to set aside money to mitigate
climate change.

The cost of saving the world's climate was worth paying with no reason to object; otherwise, the
world community would not be able to survive natural catastrophes caused by rising
temperatures, said Hans Verolme, director of WWF's global climate change programme.

''According to the agency's study, only 0.1% of global GDP will be needed to save the world's
climate. The amount of money will not even affect people or economic growth,'' he said.

In the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change's (IPCC) report, up to 30% of plant and
animal species in the world will be at risk of extinction with a temperature increase of around
two degrees Celsius.

''Taking action brings real savings and other benefits to consumers and businesses while
preventing dangerous climate change,'' said the activist.

Mr Verolme also urged the public to keep a close watch on the IPCC's report on climate change
mitigation measures, which will be launched today, saying that it might contain unreasonable
ones.




                                                                                                   24
Among these was the price scheme of the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM), which might
prevent investors from joining the scheme.

The CDM is a pact designed to help industrialised countries reach their targets for cutting
greenhouse gas emissions by investing in clean technology in developing countries in exchange
for carbon credits.

Around 400 scientists and government officials from 120 countries are taking part in a four-day
meeting in Bangkok to consider a draft report for policymakers on mitigating climate change.


_____________________________________________________________________________

The New Yorks Times: The Aussie ?Big Dry?
May 4, 2007
Op-Ed Columnist
By THOMAS L. FRIEDMAN

SYDNEY, Australia

Almost everywhere you travel these days, people are talking about their weather ? and how it
has changed. Nowhere have I found this more true, though, than in Australia, where ?the big
dry,? a six-year record drought, has parched the Aussie breadbasket so severely that on April
19, Prime Minister John Howard actually asked the whole country to pray for rain. ?I told
people you have to pray for rain,? Mr. Howard remarked to me, adding, ?I said it without a hint
of irony.?

And here?s what?s really funny: It actually started to rain! But not enough, which is one reason
Australia is about to have its first election in which climate change will be a top issue. In just 12
months, climate change has gone from being a nonissue here to being one that could tip the
vote.

In the process, Prime Minister John Howard, a conservative now in his 11th year in office, has
moved from being a climate skeptic to what he calls a ?climate realist,? who knows that he must
offer programs to reduce global-warming greenhouse gas emissions in Australia, but wants to
do it without economic pain or imposed targets, like Kyoto?s. He is proposing emissions trading
and nuclear power.

The Labor Party, led by Kevin Rudd, proposes a hard target ? a 60 percent reduction in
Australian CO2 emissions from 2000 levels by 2050 ? and subsidies for Aussies to retrofit their
homes with energy-saving systems. The whole issue has come from the bottom up, and it has
come on so quickly that neither party can be sure it has its finger on the public?s pulse.

?What was considered left a year ago is now center, and in six months it will be conservative ?
that is how quickly the debate about climate change is moving here,? said Michael Roux,
chairman of RI Capital, a Melbourne investment firm. ?It is being led by young people around
the dinner table with their parents, and the C.E.O.?s and politicians are all playing catch-up.?

I asked Mr. Howard how it had happened. ?It was a perfect storm,? he said. First came a
warning from Nicholas Stern of Britain, who said climate change was not only real but could be
economically devastating for Australia. Then the prolonged drought forced Mr. Howard to




                                                                                                   25
declare last month that ?if it doesn?t rain in sufficient volume over the next six to eight weeks,
there will be no water allocations for irrigation purposes? until May 2008 for crops and cattle in
the Murray-Darling river basin, which accounts for 41 percent of Australian agriculture.

It was as if the pharaoh had banned irrigation from the Nile. Australians were shocked. Then the
traditional Australian bush fires, which usually come in January, started in October because
everything was so dry. Finally, in the middle of all this, Al Gore came to Australia and showed
his film, ?An Inconvenient Truth.?

?The coincidence of all those things ... shifted the whole debate,? Mr. Howard said. While he
tends to focus on the economic costs of acting too aggressively on climate change, his
challenger, Mr. Rudd, has been focusing on the costs of not acting. Today, Mr. Rudd said,
Australian businesses are demanding that the politicians ?get a regulatory environment settled?
on carbon emissions trading so companies know what framework they will have to operate in ?
because they know change is coming.

When you look at the climate debate around the world, remarked Peter Garrett, the former lead
singer for the Australian band Midnight Oil, who now heads the Labor Party?s climate efforts,
there are two kinds of conservatives. The ones like George Bush and John Howard, he said,
deep down remain very skeptical about environmentalism and climate change ?because they
have been someone else?s agenda for so long,? but they also know they must now offer policies
to at least defuse this issue politically.

And then there are conservatives like Arnold Schwarzenegger and David Cameron, the Tory
Party leader in London, who understand that climate is becoming a huge defining issue and
actually want to take it away from liberals by being more forward-leaning than they are.

In short, climate change is the first issue in a long time that could really scramble Western
politics. Traditional conservatives can now build bridges to green liberals; traditional liberals
can make common cause with green businesses; young climate voters are newly up for grabs.
And while coal-mining unions oppose global warming restrictions, service unions, which serve
coastal tourist hotels, need to embrace them. You can see all of this and more in Australia today.

Politics gets interesting when it stops raining.

_____________________________________________________________________________
The New York Times: Bill Proposes Climate Study Focused on U.S. Defense
May 4, 2007

By MARK MAZZETTI

WASHINGTON, May 3 ? Given the jobs of hunting Al Qaeda, tracking nuclear programs in
Iran and North Korea, and monitoring the civil strife in Iraq, American spy agencies are not
lacking for work these days. Should they also take on the task of analyzing global warming?

That question is being argued in Congress, as Democrats are fighting for a measure that would
require intelligence agencies to produce a comprehensive study on the effects of global climate
change on America?s national defense.




                                                                                                26
Democrats are arguing that large-scale crises caused by climate change, like drought,
pandemics, famine and rising sea levels, will affect how the United States conducts foreign
policy and where American military resources will be used over the next several decades.

The proposed National Intelligence Estimate would project the effects of global warming over
the next 30 years, examining political, social, economic and agricultural risks.

But Republicans are dismissing the proposed study as an unnecessary burden on intelligence
agencies already weighed down by the demands of Iraq and Afghanistan and by efforts to
combat Islamic radicalism worldwide.

?The Republican members believe that those resources should be directed to clear and present
dangers that pose a threat to the lives of Americans and our families,? said Jamal Ware, a
spokesman for Representative Peter Hoekstra of Michigan, the ranking Republican on the
House intelligence committee.

An intelligence bill awaiting a vote in the House includes language that would make the climate
change study mandatory, but it was opposed in a party-line vote by all nine Republican
members of the intelligence committee. The Republicans argued that with $6.5 billion already
being spent by other government agencies on climate change research, American spies have
other priorities.

The question of whether American intelligence agencies should devote resources to global
environmental issues is not new. In the 1990s, after the cold war ended, intelligence agencies
shifted more money and people into exploring the potential effects of pollution, migration and
scarce natural resources, but cut back drastically on those efforts after the terrorist attacks of
Sept. 11, 2001.

A small Center for Environmental Intelligence was established in December 1996, but several
years later was folded into another analysis unit in the intelligence community.

Intelligence analysts have already begun working on the effect of climate change on national
security, officials said. They said they were using existing scientific research as the basis for
their analysis.

The Democrats said that the proposed assessment would not require a diversion of intelligence-
collecting staff from high-priority missions, and that much of the work could come from
existing unclassified research within the agencies.

?This is the largest intelligence bill ever,? said Representative Silvestre Reyes, Democrat of
Texas and chairman of the intelligence committee. ?The notion that we are shortchanging
intelligence is not accurate.?

National Intelligence Estimates represent the consensus view of 16 agencies, and usually take
several months to produce. The House bill, if enacted, would require delivery of the projections
within nine months of passage of the legislation.

The Democratic proposal to require that intelligence agencies produce a comprehensive study
on climate change has the backing of several retired senior military officers, who last month
produced a report concluding that climate change ?poses a serious threat to America?s national
security? and could be a tipping point that further destabilizes fragile regimes.




                                                                                                     27
?In already weakened states, extreme weather events, drought, flooding, sea level rise, retreating
glaciers and the rapid spread of life-threatening diseases will themselves have likely effects:
increased migrations, further weakened and failed states? the report said.

The report concluded that the United States would be increasingly asked to provide stability and
reconstruction resources during these situations.

That report was written by retired Gen. Anthony C. Zinni, the former head of United States
Central Command; retired Gen. Charles F. Wald, former deputy commander of United States
European Command; and several other retired generals and admirals.

The sum of money authorized in the intelligence bill is classified, but Congressional officials
said the total was larger than the amount the White House requested.

The intelligence bill is the first to come up for a vote since the Democrats took control of
Congress in January, and officials said there was a broad consensus among Democrats and
Republicans that favored increasing financing for intelligence-collection staff, improving
language training for Central Intelligence Agency operatives, and stationing more intelligence
analysts overseas.

A Democratic amendment was offered during public debate on Wednesday that would require
detainees in C.I.A. custody to receive regular visits from the International Red Cross. The
proposal was withdrawn but might be reconsidered later, the officials said.

_____________________________________________________________________________

El Pais:Expertos de la ONU afirman que frenar el cambio climático es posible y más barato que no
hacer nada
Detener el calentamiento global costaría un 0,1% del PIB mundial y no hacer nada, el 0,3%,
según el último informe oficial
AGENCIAS / ELPAIS.com - Bangkok / Madrid - 04/05/2007


Los expertos de la ONU han concluido que para limitar el calentamiento global a dos grados
centígrados las emisiones de gases de efecto invernadero deberán empezar a reducirse a partir
de 2015. Los especialistas afirman que ello costaría un 0,12% del Producto Interior Bruto
Mundial y que en la actualidad existen medios técnicos suficientes para alcanzar dicho objetivo.

El Grupo Intergubernamental sobre el Cambio Climático (IPCC) ha llegado a estas conclusiones
en Bangkok (Tailandia), después de cuatro días de negociaciones sobre el informe acerca de las
estrategias y tecnologías destinadas a combatir el calentamiento global.

El informe, elaborado por científicos y representantes de unos 150 países, y el tercero de los
realizados en el 2007, asegura que mantener el actual nivel de concentración de partículas de
dióxido de carbono en la atmósfera costará casi el 0,3% del Producto Bruto mundial, es decir,
bastante más de lo que costaría no hacer nada.




                                                                                                   28
Las negociaciones, celebradas a puerta cerrada en la sede de la Comisión Económica y Social
de Naciones Unidas para Asia y el Pacífico (CESAP), han terminado está madrugada tras
alcanzar un consenso, han dicho los delegados europeos.

Un último repaso

"Esta mañana daremos un último repaso al documento antes de aprobarlo", ha precisado
Michael Willian, portavoz del Programa Medioambiental de las Naciones Unidas.Las
delegaciones de China, el segundo país que más contamina tras Estados Unidos, y la de India,
fueron las que más se resistieron a que el IPCC recomendara estabilizar en un nivel bajo la
concentración de partículas de CO2.

El nivel actual de concentración es de unas 430 partículas de CO2 por millón, de acuerdo con
los expertos. El IPCC dice también en su informe que la estabilización de los gases causantes
del llamado efecto invernadero puede conseguirse mediante las tecnologías existentes y reducir
la quema de combustibles fósiles.

_____________________________________________________________________________

Le Monde: Climat: les émissions de gaz doivent décroître à partir de 2015 (Giec)

Les émissions mondiales de gaz à effet de serre doivent décroître à partir de 2015 si on veut
contenir la hausse de la température mondiale moyenne entre + 2°C et + 2,4°C, a indiqué
vendredi le Groupe intergouvernemental d'experts sur l'évolution du climat (Giec).

Les émissions mondiales de gaz à effet de serre (GES) doivent atteindre d'ici 2015 un "pic" et
décroître par la suite si on veut contenir la hausse de la température moyenne entre + 2°C et +
2,4°C, selon le meilleur scénario présenté par les délégués du Giec qui étaient réunis depuis
lundi à Bangkok.

"Plus on voudra atteindre un niveau de stabilisation bas, plus vite ce pic devra être atteint et le
déclin des émissions s'amorcer", a précisé le Giec dans son "résumé à l'intention des décideurs"
politiques publié vendredi.

Pour stabiliser cette pollution à des niveaux situés entre 445 et 490 parties par millions (ppm) de
CO2 et autres GES et contenir ainsi la hausse moyenne de la température entre + 2°C et + 2,4°C
par rapport à la période pré-industrielle, il faudrait que ces émissions atteignent un pic d'ici 2015
et redescendent ensuite à 50% des niveaux actuels (379 ppm) d'ici 2050, selon ce document.




                                                                                                  29
Selon un précédent rapport du Giec publié en février à Paris, la hausse des températures pourrait
atteindre jusqu'à + 6,4°C d'ici 2100, dans le pire des cas, par rapport à la période 1980-1999.

Dans une conférence de presse vendredi, les responsables du Giec n'ont pas caché leur
inquiétude. "Si nous continuons à faire ce que nous faisons maintenant, nous aurons de sérieux
problèmes", a averti Ogunlade Davidson, vice-président du groupe de travail qui a achevé ses
travaux à Bangkok.


____________________________________________________________________________

                                ROAP MEDIA UPDATE
                           THE ENVIRONMENT IN THE NEWS
                                 Thursday, 3 May 2007

                                     UN or UNEP in the news

Bangkok Post ; Int'l green group urges Thais to move faster than govt
APINYA WIPATAYOTIN, 4 May 2007

An international green group yesterday called on the Thai people to ''act faster'' than the
government to tackle climate change. ''We have to move quicker than the government in
combating global warming, which should be done at a small or individual level,'' Stephen
Singer, the head of WWF's Climate Change Policy Unit, told yesterday's press conference, held
on the sidelines of the meeting of the UN scientists panel on climate change in Bangkok.

''Small steps are very important pieces of the jigsaw to cope with such a pressing problem,'' he
said.

WWF yesterday launched a report on 15 ways in which people, businesses and the state sector
could reduce greenhouse gas emissions, especially carbon dioxide.

A new campaign in Britain, where people had agreed to unplug mobile phone chargers after use
to cut power consumption, and Australia's ''Earth Hour'' campaign, in which citizens and
businesses in big cities turned off their lights for an hour, were examples of ''small moves'' that
could save the world from climate change, said Mr Singer.

He also lauded the Chinese government's goal of cutting energy consumption by 20% in three
years.

Thailand's plan to increase the number of bio-fuel power plants to feed electricity into the
country's power grid was another good example, he said.

However, people's small steps were not enough to cope with the climate change problem,
according to the WWF.

The group yesterday called on governments around the world to set aside money to mitigate
climate change.



                                                                                                   30
The cost of saving the world's climate was worth paying with no reason to object; otherwise, the
world community would not be able to survive natural catastrophes caused by rising
temperatures, said Hans Verolme, director of WWF's global climate change programme.

''According to the agency's study, only 0.1% of global GDP will be needed to save the world's
climate. The amount of money will not even affect people or economic growth,'' he said.

In the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change's (IPCC) report, up to 30% of plant and
animal species in the world will be at risk of extinction with a temperature increase of around
two degrees Celsius.

''Taking action brings real savings and other benefits to consumers and businesses while
preventing dangerous climate change,'' said the activist.

Mr Verolme also urged the public to keep a close watch on the IPCC's report on climate change
mitigation measures, which will be launched today, saying that it might contain unreasonable
ones.

Among these was the price scheme of the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM), which might
prevent investors from joining the scheme.

The CDM is a pact designed to help industrialised countries reach their targets for cutting
greenhouse gas emissions by investing in clean technology in developing countries in exchange
for carbon credits.

Around 400 scientists and government officials from 120 countries are taking part in a four-day
meeting in Bangkok to consider a draft report for policymakers on mitigating climate change.
http://www.bangkokpost.com/News/04May2007_news04.php
……………………………….
The Yomiuri Shimbun : Forum looks beyond Kyoto Protocol / Both developed and developing
countries must take measures to tackle global warming

Tokyo University Prof. Ryuji Matsuhashi focused on the history and the current situation
surrounding global warming and climate change in considering a potential framework for the
post-Kyoto Protocol period in a keynote speech at the recently held "Kyoto Protocol Forum--
Efforts to curb global warming."

In the opening address, Fujio Mitarai, chairman of Japan Business Federation (Nippon
Keidanren), called for the adoption of drastic measures both in the home and in business to
achieve the goals set by the Kyoto Protocol.

The event, which included a panel discussion after Matsuhashi's keynote speech, was organized
by Keizai Koho Center (Japan Institute for Social and Economic Affairs) with the support of
Nippon Keidanren. Diet members, diplomats and business people were among the 230 people
who attended the forum.

Excerpts from Matsuhashi's speech follow:




                                                                                                31
The first step to addressing global warming and climate change was taken at the 1988 Group of
Seven summit meeting at which major industrialized countries for the first time discussed
reducing carbon dioxide emissions.

Almost 20 years have passed since then, and the issues of global warming and climate change
have become important items, leading to the implementation of the Kyoto Protocol.

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), a U.N. organization of international
researchers and scientists, conducts tests and assesses possible impacts on the environment,
compiling a report every five years since 1990.

The report compiled by one of its working groups in February concluded that it was very likely
that man-made greenhouse gas emissions are responsible for the global rise in temperature since
the mid-20th century.

It is now believed that such emissions could be adversely impacting the warming of the ocean,
rises of average land temperatures and escalating wind patterns, among other changes.

Using scientific data on the past, the IPCC is studying a number of scenarios to examine how
such changes could impact society, in an effort to find appropriate measures to minimize the
risk.

In 1972, the U.N. Conference on the Human Environment was held in Stockholm under the
motto of "Only One Earth." In the years following the conference, the U.N. Environment
Program was launched, while the Ramsar Convention and Washington Convention were
implemented, in addition to the Vienna Convention for the Protection of the Ozone Layer.

The 1990s saw more active movements to tackle climate change, most prominently with the
adoption of the Kyoto Protocol to the U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change.

The administration of U.S. President George W. Bush, however, has not ratified this treaty. But
following Russia's ratification, the pact was brought into force in 2005.

There have been twists and turns surrounding the pact due to national interests and economic
issues. But if we look at the drive in the three decades since 1972, it is unmistakable that a
movement to tackle global warming, climate change and various other environmental issues has
been gathering pace.

Under the protocol, Japan pledged to cut its greenhouse gas emissions by 6 percent from its
1990 level by 2010. We now know this is a hard goal to achieve because the nation's level of
gas emissions has been increasing instead.

Under such circumstances, both the public and private sectors are reviewing measures. The
level of emissions from the industrial sector has stopped growing since 1990, while, on the
other hand, figures from the transportation sector and households have greatly increased.

How we are going to deal with such increases is an important aspect to be discussed. The
government has plans to meet the goal with detailed targets and currently is reviewing them one
by one to examine what is feasible and what is not.




                                                                                               32
For example, for the industrial sector, the number of energy-saving products to be manufactured
can be clearly specified. For the household category, however, the government cannot force
consumers to replace vehicles, air conditioners and other home electrical appliances with new
energy-saving products. Therefore, how the government proceeds in this respect will be the key
to the future.

Regarding international cooperation, the protocol proposed three mechanisms with which
developed countries, such as Japan, can try to meet their emission targets, such as by
introducing technologies to cut carbon dioxide and greenhouse gas emissions in other countries.

As for the post-Kyoto Protocol period, scientists have made various proposals. Actions to
protect the environment should be taken at the global level. But unfortunately, the United States
has not ratified the protocol, while developing nations have not set numerical targets for
greenhouse gas emissions.

Therefore, under the Kyoto mechanisms, particularly the Clean Development Mechanism,
developed countries with numerical targets and developing nations without them can work
together to cut gas emissions. By making this system function ideally, developing countries can
be included in the future framework as their levels of gas emissions will likely increase.

Among various proposals for the next framework is a sectoral approach, which sets targets in
each industry. The study from tests based on the data from the first commitment period and
various scenarios showed that this approach would be the most effective way.

By expanding this approach with energy-efficiency targets to developing countries, CO2
emissions could greatly be reduced in the future.
http://www.yomiuri.co.jp/dy/national/20070504TDY12002.htm
..............................................
Newindpress (subscription) - Chennai,India : NRI Oriya bags award
Thursday May 3 2007 15:58 IST

BERHAMPUR: After Dr Kailash Sahu, who made the Oriyas proud by discovering 16 planets
in the Milky Way, Dr Sachidananda Satpathy of Ganjam district has brought laurels to the State
by bagging the prestigious Stratospheric Ozone Protection Award for 2007.

The US Environment Protection Agency (EPA) presented the award to him on Tuesday at
Washington. Dr Satpathy has been working as National Programme Manager in SPPU, Ozone
Cell under the UNDP-implemented project (Ministry of Environment) since 2003.

Son of Kishore Chandra Satpathy, he hails from Bijaya Laxmi Saranpur in Ganjam district. He
did his doctorate in Chemical Toxicology under the supervision of Prof B N Mishra, former
vice-chancellor, Berhampur University.

Various educational institutions, including the varsity, have congratulated him. Dr Satpathy is
closely associated with implementation of the ‘Vienna Convention For Protection Of The
Ozone Layer’ and the Montreal Protocol On Substances That Deplete The Ozone Layer’ in
India from 1994 to 2002.




                                                                                                  33
While the Vienna Convention was signed in 1985, the Montreal Protocol was signed in 1987.
India, being a party to both, mandates to comply with the provisions of the Protocol to protect
the ozone layer.

A country programme was also prepared in 1993 and is under implementation. Through his
active involvement, India achieved its first compliance target of freezing of production and
consumption of chlorofluorocarbons (CFC)) and other subsequent targets.

Dr Satpathy has also participated in various Montreal Protocol meetings and helped negotiate
technical input for replenishment of the Multilateral Fund for 2003-05.

He helped implement the Technical Assistance Component, monitoring and evaluation projects
under sector phase out plan and is coordinating India’s CFC consumption phase out in the foam,
commercial refrigeration and aerosol sectors.

He has helped deploy technical services and servicing equipment to implement the phase out
and also helped achieve a reduction of 85 percent in CFC consumption in India, including total
phase out in the metal cleaning sector.

Dr Satpathy has contributed significantly to development of regulatory measures to specifically
implement a licensing system controlling ODS trade in India.
http://www.newindpress.com/NewsItems.asp?ID=IEQ20070503053647&Page=Q&Title=ORIS
SA&Topic=0
…………………………………….
Islands Business, Fiji : Environment: FUTURE LEADERS SPEARHEAD CHANGE
The need to work with communities

Asterio Takesy

For generations, Pacific islanders have carved their traditions, culture and living from the
natural resources of land and sea.

The Pacific way, our island life, is built on a foundation of respect for the environment and the
natural systems that sustain our livelihoods.

Within the current global climate of change, there is an urgent need to work with communities
to learn to adapt the onset of changes in order to protect Pacific history, culture and traditions.

Throughout the region, considerable resources are invested in areas that will help communities
and governments prepare for change.

There is a critical urgency to invest in people—to build the social capital of the Pacific islands;
to ensure that the future leaders are equipped with the skills, knowledge, outlook and
commitment to use the limited natural resources with the least impact on the fabric of Pacific
identity. To help them make decisions that meet the needs of the present, without compromising
the needs of the future, and with respect for the past. That’s what this article is about.

From April 2-4, SPREP and UNEP brought together more than 30 young people: current and
aspiring professionals, working or studying in the environment field, to attend the Pacific Future
Environment Leaders Forum in Apia, Samoa.




                                                                                                      34
Representing 14 Pacific countries and territories, the Forum explored the notions of global and
regional leadership, whilst providing sessions in practical skills pivotal to strong environmental
management including project management, proposal writing, and negotiation skills.

The participants included a large contingent of students from USP in Suva, who came with
smiles, a guitar, energy and a desire to learn and share their knowledge and experiences.

While there are many philosophical discussions on what constitutes a ‘good’ leader, there is
common agreement about what comprises leadership. Some key statements at the meeting: “We
can say that leadership is courage and spirit. Leadership is about growing people. Leadership is
about getting the job done. Leadership is about knowing the issues. Leadership is about looking
to the future and having a vision.”

The Forum allowed the young people to look forward to the future, to envision the impact of
issues such as climate change. In one of the sessions, the participants learnt about the effects of
climate change on their communities, such as drought, sea level rise, effects on agriculture and
biodiversity loss.

Within these scenarios, the participants then developed possible community-based adaptation
measures. The ideas, vision and creativity that emerged from this session highlighted the
incredible talent of this region’s future leaders.

Not only did the young people identify similar adaptive measures highlighted through extensive
national consultations, they approached the task with passion, commitment and teamwork, and
an overarching ethos that “where there’s a will, there’s a way.”

This Youth Forum was the first regional capacity building workshop, facilitated by SPREP,
which was aimed directly at young people promoting environmental sustainability in the region.
The Forum is part of an ongoing programme for future leaders in the environment sector as part
of SPREP’s commitment to build capacity of Pacific islanders for strengthening environmental
management.

The Forum complemented the work undertaken by the Secretariat of the Pacific Community
(SPC), to support young people in the region; it was a privilege to have the presence and
participation of a key SPC representatives throughout.

Samoa’s Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment provided support in an ongoing
partnership with SPREP.

Amidst the uncertainty of the future, there is a growing recognition of the critical need for
strong voices from the region. Voices that will share with the rest of the world the needs, the
complexities, and the right solutions for the more than 8 million people living in the Pacific.

Voices that will take the messages from the people of the vast Pacific islands region to a global
platform.

The forum provided an opportunity to strengthen the Pacific Youth Environmental Network
(PYEN), established by UNEP to act as a vehicle to unite the growing numbers of young Pacific
Islanders who are concerned about protecting the Pacific environment.




                                                                                                  35
The challenge now for young people is to embody the change they wish to see in this region: to
have the courage to embrace the principles, spirit and integrity to continue to strive for the
change that needs to happen in the Pacific; to become the Pacific’s future environment leaders;
and to ensure that the beauty, uniqueness and diversity of the Pacific islands are protected for
future generations.

• Asterio Takesy is director of SPREP based in Apia, Samoa.
http://www.islandsbusiness.com/islands_business/index_dynamic/containerNameToReplace=M
iddleMiddle/focusModuleID=17412/overideSkinName=issueArticle-full.tpl
…………………………………..
Daily Times, Pakistan : LETTERS: Solar power success

Post letters to Letters to the Editor, The Daily Times, 41-N, Industrial Area, Gulberg II, Lahore,
Pakistan Phone: 92-42-5878614-19; Fax: 92-42-5878620 E-mail: letters@dailytimes.com.pk
Letters may be edited for length and clarity

Solar power success

Sir: A United Nations-sponsored environment programme has provided an estimated 100,000
people in poverty-stricken rural India with several hours of reliable solar-powered light every
night. According to a UN report the programme is set to expand to a number of other
developing countries. The executive director of the United Nations Environment Programme
(UNEP) said that the project underlines the multiple benefits of providing clean and renewable
energies in developing countries. Even a few hours of 20 to 40-watt solar-powered light in
homes and small shops nightly has been credited with better grades for schoolchildren, better
productivity for needlework artisan groups and other cottage industries, and even better sales at
fruit stands, where produce is no longer spoiled by fumes from kerosene lamps.

Developing countries all over the world should use renewable energy provided by solar power.
Rural areas in Pakistan could derive an immense benefit by replacing harmful and
environmentally unfriendly power sources currently in use with solar power.
ENGINEER SAMRA RAFIQUE
Karachi

Regularise contract workers

Sir: This is in reference to the news report ‘Regularize Contract Workers: KESC Labour Union’
(Daily Times, May 02). In my view, the resolution demanding regularisation of contractual
workers and an increase in salaries is completely justified. The authorities should immediately
act upon it to improve the functioning and infrastructure of the corporation. Such types of
progressive amendments, along with strategies to curb power shortage in the country, may
result in better service delivery by KESC.

Progress is impossible without the preservation of labourers’ rights. As labourers form the
backbone of our economy, let us hope that pleas made on several social fora can become
effective in producing favourable results.
RABIA RAHIM
Karachi




                                                                                                36
Pakistan’s political crisis

Sir: As a former citizen of Pakistan I am appalled by the recent events in the country. The
constitutional crisis created by the current regime has weakened the foundations of Pakistan and
threaten its national security. It was a denial of democratic government by an army bent on
misruling the country that created a constitutional struggle that resulted in the creation of
Bangladesh. The massacre of innocent citizens of former East Pakistan, by a debauch military
ruler, after denial of the 1971 election results, was the last nail in the coffin of democracy. There
was already a lot of resentment against the imposition of Urdu as the national language, in
violation of democratic norms. It is ironic that Bangladesh was created to achieve the goals set
by Quaid-e-Azam, which were subverted by his successors immediately after his untimely
death.

The present protests in Pakistan augur well for the future of democracy. We wish Pakistanis
well, and hope they realise that the only way to ensure the long-term national security of
Pakistan is to have a democratic system of government, with no political role for the army, an
independent judiciary and a free press. The people of Pakistan should reject politics based on
religion, ethnicity or linguistic divisions.
RIAZ UL HAQUE
Bangladesh

GT Road off-limits

Sir: Recently Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry was advised against travelling to
Lahore via GT Road to address the Lahore Bar Association on May 05, as there were reports by
the ‘agencies’ of a possible terrorist attack on him. Who would want to kill the CJ? His present
struggle and the judgements of the Supreme Court under him in several controversial cases have
made him very popular. The government should not be attempting to bar him from using his
constitutional and lawful right of addressing bench and bar. It would amount to a breach of the
government’s promise not to restrict the CJ’s movement across the country.

Preventing the CJ from travelling on the GT Road and live media coverage of the proceedings
might usher in another big crisis, which the government might not be able to handle.
YASSIR RASHEED
Rawalpindi

A1 Grand Prix

Sir: The A1 Grand Prix is the latest high performance car race event that started last year. The
race is held between teams from different countries but in similar cars. Pakistan also competed
in this event. When the A1 was first announced Pakistan did not have a race-car driver of high
calibre. Finally a Karachi born, US based race driver, was selected to represent the team.

Although Pakistan was in the middle of the grid when the race started, soon the Pakistani driver
started to slow down his pace. He was braking approximately 3 seconds before the other cars
around the corners. And soon enough other drivers were starting to lap him.

To make things worse, the Pakistani driver was letting the other cars pass him by, moving to the
side into the dirt and not fighting for any of the positions. The race ended with Pakistan being




                                                                                                  37
lapped 5 times by the race leaders. India came in fourth after a very tough battle with Italy. It
was a very embarrassing day for Pakistani supporters at Brands Hatch Circuit on April 29.

I think the A1 Pakistan team should start looking for a new driver for the next season, or maybe
two drivers, to select the better one. The current team seems to have lost the energy and
ambition to win the A1 Grand Prix competition.
SHAHRYAR BASEER
UK

Time for change

Sir: It is great to learn that the Daily Times team is launching an Urdu daily, Aaj Kal. It is time
for an Urdu paper that would propagate progressive, secular and liberal values in society.

There is little doubt that Urdu is the most widely read language of Pakistan. Unfortunately,
Urdu language newspapers often propagate rightwing and obscurantist ideas. Against this
backdrop, it is heartening to know that the Daily Times, which has earned credibility by
reporting and analysing current affairs sensibly, is launching a paper in the lingua franca of the
country. I wish all the best to your team and look forward to reading a progressive and modern
newspaper.
KAZIM AIZAZ ALAM
Karachi

A scary thought

Sir: The stand by the chief justice has unquestionably raised the spirits and rekindled the hopes
of the disheartened people of Pakistan. It has inspired the indifferent and depressed people to
stand up against the military dictatorship. Imagine what a Mush-CJ deal at this time would do to
the present movement for democracy, rule of law and the independence of judiciary. Such a deal
will make the people lose hope in any good ever happening in the country. Why would any one
think that a Mush-PPP deal would be any less devastating for the people of this country?
AZIZ NAREJO
Via email

Mobile phone scam

Sir: Mobile phone companies probably earned billions of rupees within a few hours due to the
mobile virus rumour spread across the country recently. Within a span of six hours mobile
companies generated record revenue. Now I am not a controversy theorist, but why do I feel this
whole thing was started by one of the mobile phone service providers just to make some extra
money?
UZMA ZAHEER, Karachi
http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/default.asp?page=2007%5C05%5C04%5Cstory_4-5-
2007_pg3_7


                                    General Environment News

Bangkok Post : Rain to bring flash floods, mudslides - About 2,400 villages in 51 provinces at risk




                                                                                                    38
About 2,400 villages in 51 provinces are at risk of mudslides and flash floods from torrential
rains expected over the next few days, Mineral Resources Department chief Apichai
Chvajarernpun warned yesterday. A disaster warning system, with the participation of local
people and administrative bodies, should be put in place to prevent losses caused by natural
disasters, he said while attending a mudslide seminar in Tak.

A total of 83 people were confirmed killed when mudslides and flash floods hit the northern
provinces of Uttaradit, Sukhothai, Phrae, Lampang and Nan on May 22 last year.

Another 33 are still missing and the lives of about 170,000 people were badly affected.

Meteorologists forecast that torrential rains in Chiang Mai, Mae Hong Son and Tak will
continue until tomorrow.

Mr Apichai said that in Tak, 380 villages are at risk from mudslides, 210 others are at risk from
mountain runoff and another 92 face the threat of flash flooding.

In Chiang Mai, disaster prevention and mitigation officials have instructed 113 communities in
19 districts to be alert for flash floods, mountain runoff and mudslides. The greatest danger is to
Fang, Chiang Dao, Mae Ai, Chai Prakan, Samoeng, Omkoi and Mae Chaem districts, given
their mountainous topography.

Chalermsak Vanichsombat, head of the National Parks, Wildlife and Plant Conservation
Department, said staff kept abreast of weather changes and had prepared equipment for rescue
operations.

The department will temporarily close national parks where the rainfall tops 100mm in 24
hours, to prevent unwary people getting caught by floods or landslides, he said.

In Rayong, the chief of the provincial disaster prevention and mitigation office, Pitchurai
Panthip, said people living near mountains should closely observe changing natural conditions.

A change in the colour of water in streams or in the sound of water coming down from the
mountains were signs of mountain runoff and potential danger, she said.

If the signs became clear, they should evacuate to safe areas and alert the authorities, she said.

In Prachuap Khiri Khan, the resort town of Hua Hin remained flooded for the fourth day
yesterday.

Floodwater on the Phetkasem highway was 30-70cm deep, while in some villages it was at
waist level.

The Meteorological Department said a depression in the Gulf of Thailand had moved into the
Andaman Sea and would soon move into Burma.

It was expected to bring heavy rain to northern and western provinces _ particularly Mae Hong
Son, Chiang Rai, Chiang Mai, Tak, Sukhothai, Kamphaeng Phet, Nakhon Sawan, Uthai Thani,
Suphan Buri, Kanchanaburi, Ratchaburi and Phetchaburi _ from last night onwards.




                                                                                                     39
The department also warned boats and swimmers that the Andaman Sea would be rough with
strong winds during the next few days.
http://www.bangkokpost.com/News/04May2007_news03.php
........................................
Stuff.co.nz : Indonesia deforestation fastest in world - Greenpeace
Reuters | Friday, 4 May 2007

JAKARTA: Indonesia had the fastest pace of deforestation in the world between 2000-2005,
with an area of forest equivalent to 300 soccer pitches destroyed every hour, Greenpeace said on
Thursday.

"The next generation of Indonesians will not see any forest if no action is taken by the
government to deal with the problem," Greenpeace Indonesia forest campaigner Bustar Maitar
told a news conference.

The Guinness World Records had approved a proposal by Greenpeace that Indonesia's forest
destruction be included in its 2008 record book to be published in September this year, said
Greenpeace Southeast Asia campaigner Hapsoro.

Displaying a replica of the certificate from the global authority of records, he said the citation
from the publication would read: "Of the 44 countries which collectively account for 90 per cent
of the world's forests, the country which pursues the highest annual rate of deforestation is
Indonesia with 1.8 million hectares of forest destroyed each year between 2000-2005."

Indonesia has lost 72 per cent of its intact ancient forests and half of what remains is threatened
by commercial logging, forest fires and clearances for palm oil plantations, Greenpeace said.

The group urged the Indonesian government to impose a temporary ban on commercial logging
in natural forests nationwide, accusing authorities of failing to control lawlessness and
corruption in the forestry sector.

International demand for timber and paper as well as commodities such as palm oil was driving
the destruction of the country's forest, currently covering 120.3 million hectares, it said.

Indonesia is the second-largest palm oil producer after Malaysia and is poised to be the world's
biggest producer of the commodity with more than 16 million tonnes this year.

Greenpeace said while Indonesia was destroying its forests at a faster pace than any other
country, Brazil destroyed a larger area of forest every year.

The group said Indonesia's rate of forest destruction also made the country the third-largest
greenhouse polluter after the United States and China.

Experts say up to 25 per cent of greenhouse gas emissions comes from tropical forest clearance.

Indonesia wants rich countries to pay developing nations to preserve their forests and plans to
push this proposal at a UN conference in Bali on climate change in December.
http://www.stuff.co.nz/stuff/4047151a7693.html




                                                                                                  40
                      REGIONAL OFFICE FOR AFRICA - NEWS UPDATE

                                                              4 May 2007
=======================================================================

                                 General Environment News

Côte d'Ivoire: New Farms, New Lives - At An Environmental Cost

Inter Press Service (Johannesburg): For Katienéfoha Yéo, two decades of cotton farming that
resulted in nothing but debt were enough to get him on the road, out of Tanikaha in northern
Côte d'Ivoire to Sarala in the west. He is one of tens of thousands of farmers who have moved
into regions of centre-west and western Côte d'Ivoire over recent years, establishing new
villages and encampments. "Youths who're leaving the savannahs of the north are to a certain
extent forced to do this, as their land has become unproductive and agricultural yields almost
negligible," Siriki Yéo, chief of the village of Yèkaha in western Côte d'Ivoire, told IPS. The
improved farming conditions that migrants find come at a cost, however, as farmers are settling
in forested areas that should remain uninhabited for the conservation of natural resources.
Additional forest areas are occupied every day says Benoît Cinan Soro, director of Rural
Activities of Korhogo (Animation rurale de Korhogo, ARK), a non-governmental organization
that defends the rights of subsistence farmers. http://allafrica.com/stories/200705030682.html

Nigeria: ERA Sue Tobacco Firms for $21bn

Vanguard (Lagos): The Lagos State Government and Environmental Rights Action (ERA) have
filed an action at the Lagos State High Court against several big tobacco companies seeking
extensive relief that intend to regulate tobacco smoking especially as it affects youth and under-
aged smokers. The claimants also sought special, general, punitive and anticipatory damages in
the sum of $21,617,605, 885.17 (N2, 702,200,735,647.17) from the Defendants. The suit was
filed by the Attorney General of Lagos State, Professor Yemi Osinbajo (SAN) on behalf of the
State Government and the Environmental Rights Action/Friends of the Earth, Nigeria
(ERA/FoEN). In their suit, the claimants are making the following allegations: That the
defendants have recently admitted that tobacco smoking has severe health implications
including but not limited to cancer, cardiovascular and pulmonary complications; In spite of the
obvious knowledge of the adverse effect of their product, the defendants have surreptitiously
and fraudulently targeted young and under-aged persons in their advertising and marketing;
That through the use of market surveys and sophisticated advertising, the defendants have
utilized such means as music, cinema and fashion, to attract and addict young and underage
persons into smoking. http://allafrica.com/stories/200705030116.html

Uganda: APAC to Evict Encroachers

New Vision (Kampala): As the Government is planning to give away part of Mabira Forest
reserve, Apac district authorities have started implementing the council's decision to evict at
least 2,000 wetland encroachers. The exercise, which started on April 23 has seen about 725
sudd-dwellers quitting, according to the district environment officer, Jasper Otimoi. In a recent
meeting presided over by the district speaker, Dickens Wasio, technocrats were asked to go
ahead and evict the estimated 2,000 wetland encroachers for they were already served with
eviction notice. http://allafrica.com/stories/200705030155.html




                                                                                               41
Uganda: Govt to Compensate Victims of Mabira Demonstration

The Monitor (Kampala): The families of the four Ugandans slain in the April 12 city protest
against the re-allocation of Mabira Forest to Sugar Company, Scoul will be compensated after
investigations are concluded, the government said Wednesday. The announcement comes a day
after the government delegation left for India to offer the country's condolences to the family of
Devang Rawal who was lynched during the protest. The government offered Shs 18m to the
family. Dr Ruhakana Rugunda who led the government delegation told journalists in Entebbe,
shortly before departure that police are investigating the circumstances under which the
Ugandans lost their lives. http://allafrica.com/stories/200705030765.html




                                                                                               42
                           UN DAILY NEWS
                          Thursday, 3 May 2007
===============================================================

Over $30 billion in commitments made at UN-chaired IraqCompact meeting

3 May - In support of the International Compact on Iraq, a five-year plan for peace and
development in the war-torn country co-launched today by United Nations Secretary-General
Ban Ki-moon, world leaders assembled in Sharm el-Sheik, Egypt have pledged their partnership
with the Iraqi Government, with over $30 billion in specific financial commitments announced
so far.

The 74 delegations unanimously adopted a resolution reaffirming their shared commitment to a
secure and stable Iraq and emphasizing the need for improved governance, anti-corruption
measures, equal protection for all Iraqis and an institutional framework based on the rule of law.
Secretary-General Ban, in a press conference following the adoption of the resolution, said he
was pleased that a number of countries have already made concrete commitments, estimated at
over $30 billion. “This includes commitments of debt relief on the Paris Club terms, from
Bulgaria, China, Saudi Arabia and Greece. It also includes financial commitments from the
United Kingdom, Australia, Spain, China, Denmark and Korea, and other key participants,” he
said.

“Today’s meeting demonstrated that there is broad support for the people and Government of
Iraq in overcoming current challenges.” Mr. Ban said. “This is not an easy task, and we will
face numerous obstacles.” He pledged the world body’s full support. “The United Nations
stands ready to assist the Government of Iraq in the implementation of the Compact.”Under the
Compact, the Government will work to meet basic needs, protect the rights of all citizens and
ensure the optimal use of the country’s resources for the common good and the country’s
international partners are committed to providing financial, technical and political support.

Ban Ki-moon stresses need for international support at launch of new Iraq plan

3 May - Launching a five-year peace and development plan for Iraq today, United Nations
Secretary- General Ban Ki-moon urged the international community to assist the violence-
plagued country to follow through on commitments for progress in security, unity, resource
sharing and other areas.

“Iraq faces immense challenges. We cannot leave Iraq on its own to cope with them,” Mr. Ban
said at the launch of the plan, known as International Compact, at a high-level meeting in
Sharm-el-Sheik, Egypt, that includes the foreign ministers of Iraq’s neighbours, representatives
of the Permanent Members of the Security Council and other principal stakeholders.

“It is essential that we do our utmost to help the Iraqi people build a secure, peaceful, unified,
federal and democratic nation, founded on the principles of freedom and equality,” he told the
assembled. Under the plan, the Government of Prime Minister Nouri Al-Maliki has committed
itself to meet basic needs, protect the rights of all citizens and ensure the optimal use of the
country’s resources for the common good, according to Mr. Ban.




                                                                                                 43
“Prime Minister Al-Maliki has pledged to pursue a bold programme of reform to safeguard his
country's long-term economic future. His Government is also determined to seek progress in the
political and security fields which, I believe we can all agree, are prerequisites for Iraq's
normalization and economic revitalization.” He said the Government has also committed itself
to initiatives to promote national dialogue and reconciliation, to adhere to a legislative
timetable designed to strengthen Iraqi unity and to ensure the equitable sharing of Iraq's natural
resources and
wealth.

“Together, these efforts can build momentum for the political process,” he said. Mr. Ban said
the UN, together with the World Bank and other key partners will work with the Government of
Iraq to achieve its vision. The Joint Monitoring Matrix, which is part of the Compact, sets out
actions that would enable the Government to meet clear and realistic objectives, and will
facilitate the monitoring and reporting of progress. Turning to the international community, he
asked for active support to all the country’s goals, along with further debt forgiveness.

“There is no doubt,” Mr. Ban said, “that more must be done to bring a halt to the ongoing
violence in Iraq, the brunt of which is being borne by innocent civilians. Beyond the terrorist
attacks and sectarian violence, a humanitarian crisis is stretching the patience and ability of
ordinary people to cope with everyday life.”

“This makes it all the more important to develop a framework for Iraq's normalization,” he said.
Earlier today, Mr. Ban discussed Iran’s nuclear programme with the country’s Foreign Minister,
Manouchehr Motaki, urging him to continue discussions with the European Union, according to
a UN spokesperson, who said that the two also talked about Lebanon as well as Iraq, where the
Secretary-General said Iran should play a constructive role in building a national consensus.

Calling for release of kidnapped BBC journalist, UN observes Press Freedom Day

3 May - The United Nations today marked World Press Freedom Day by calling for the release
of British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) journalist Alan Johnston, who has been detained in
Gaza since 12 March, and all other reporters in captivity.

“Attacks on freedom of press are attacks against international law, against humanity, against
freedom itself –against everything the United Nations stands for,” Secretary-General Ban Ki-
moon said today. “A free, secure and independent press is among the very foundations of
democracy and peace.”
He voiced his dismay of the abduction in the Palestinian Gaza Strip of BBC reporter Alan
Johnston, who has been held in captivity for the past 52 days.

“I appeal again for Alan Johnston’s immediate and safe release,” he said. “No cause is served,
and any cause is undermined, by his continued captivity.” Mr. Ban also voiced alarm that in the
past year, over 150 media professionals have died and many others have been injured, harassed,
detained or abducted, becoming targets as they sought “to shed light on the plight of others.”

Scores of people gathered across the street from UN Headquarters in New York to rally for Mr.
Johnston’s prompt release in an event organized by the BBC.
“No cause is served by Alan’s captivity,” Deputy Secretary-General Asha-Rose Migiro told the
crowd of sign-waving supporters, including numerous fellow journalists who had gathered in a




                                                                                                  44
show of solidarity. BBC’s world news editor Jon Williams praised his colleague’s objectivity in
his reporting.

“Serious, dispassionate, impartial journalism is at a premium,” he said at the rally. “That is what
Alan Johnston was doing in Gaza.”

He underscored the risks involved in reporting, and in calling for Mr. Johnston’s release said,
“Alan Johnston represents the dangers facing journalists around the world.” The head of the UN
Education, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), the body that is mandated to
protect freedom of expression, honoured all those journalists who have risked their lives and
affirmed the significance of the role of the media.

“They understand better than anyone that media contributes significantly to processes of
accountability, reconstruction and reconciliation,” UNESCO’s Director-General Koïchiro
Matsuura said, adding that they also command admiration, respect and support. “Indeed, the
growth in violence against journalists is telling, if tragic, testimony to the importance of the
media to modern democracies.” UNESCO’s theme for this year’s World Press Freedom Day,
which was established by the UN in 1993, is the safety of journalists.

In particular, Mr. Matsuura deplored the violence perpetrated against journalists in Iraq, where
69 media professionals were killed last year alone. Since the start of the conflict in April 2003,
170 journalists, mostly local ones, have perished there.
“Never in recorded history has there been such a large-scale killing of journalists,” he noted.
Mr. Matsuura also asserted that journalists’ safety must be bolstered, urging governments to
bring an end to the “pervasive culture of impunity that surrounds violence against journalists.”
General Assembly President Sheikha Haya Rashed Al Khalifa paid tribute to journalists who
have been impeded in their efforts.

“Our hearts go out to all journalists who have been silenced or those whose freedom has been
restricted in any way,” she said in a statement delivered on her behalf by Christian Wenaweser,
the Permanent Representative of Liechtenstein. “And to those who have paid the ultimate price,
giving up their lives in pursuit of freedom of expression and greater public awareness,” she
added. “Their memories will be forever etched in our hearts.” Sheikha Haya joined the chorus
demanding Mr. Johnston’s immediate and safe release. “But not just Alan Johnston, every
reporter unlawfully imprisoned must be set free.” Echoing her sentiments, the UN Staff Union
also called for Mr. Johnston to be freed, highlighting the common risks both UN personnel
working in to bring peace and relief and journalists endeavouring to tell their story face.

“A world where reporters and humanitarian workers cannot do their job in reasonably secure
conditions is a world much less safe, transparent and free for all of us.” The top UN human
rights official lauded the courage of journalists striving to contribute to building free societies.
“In the face of these dangers, there has never been more information available to so many
around the world,” said Louise Arbour, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights. “This
represents a vibrant tribute to the perseverance and courage of the press and workers in ‘old’
and ‘new’ media, and evidence of the unquenchable human thirst for information and
knowledge.”

Governments are obliged to “respect the right of al to hold opinions without interference,” she
added, regardless whether or not they “recognize that attempting to curtail the free flow of ideas
is ultimately futile.” The High Commissioner also called attention to the fact that media




                                                                                                       45
professionals are not only in danger in conflict zones, pointing out that journalists have been
harassed, killed and intimidated by Government authorities, members of organized crime and
armed groups “in countries that are nominally at peace.”

Numerous events are being held around the world marking the day, including a two-day event
in Medellin, Colombia, organized by UNESCO with tributes, seminars and an award ceremony
for the prestigious 2007 UNESCO/Guillermo Cano World Press Freedom Prize.

To mark the tenth anniversary of the Prize, the day is being commemorated by UNESCO in
Medellin, the hometown of Guillermo Cano, the newspaper publisher for whom the award is
named. Mr. Cano was assassinated 20 years ago for criticizing the activities of powerful drug
barons in his country.
For the first time in its 10-year history, the honour has been posthumously bestowed. Mr.
Matsuura will present the award to the Illya Politkovskaya, son of the winner, Anna
Politkovskaya.
Ms. Politkovskaya, esteemed Russian journalist and outspoken human rights campaigner, was
murdered outside her Moscow apartment last October. Particularly well-known for her coverage
of the conflict in Chechnya as a columnist for the Novaya Gazeta newspaper, her work was
recognized worldwide.

At UN Headquarters, UNESCO also held discussions on issues relating to the nexus of press
freedom, journalists’ safety and impunity, as well as on the role of the Internet as it pertains to
free speech.
Meanwhile, in Juba, Sudan, UNESCO has joined forces with the UN Development Agency
(UNDP), the Union of Journalists of Southern Sudan and others for a two-day celebration of
World Press Freedom Day. A workshop was held yesterday, in which participants conferred on
the obstacles to the freedoms of the press and expression, while today a procession was held
from Peace Square to the grave of John Garang, the first Vice-President and ex-southern rebel
leader who died in a tragic helicopter crash in 2005.

Disarmament in full swing in DR Congo, UN mission reports

3 May - Progress is being made in disarmament efforts in the Democratic Republic of the
Congo
(DRC) as the notorious leader of one of the Central African country’s largest militias announced
that
500 more of his fighters will surrender their weapons this week, the United Nations
peacekeeping
mission in the country said today.

These fighters loyal to Peter Karim, who is the commander of the Front des Nationalistes and
Intégrationnistes (FNI), will also reintegrate into civilian life, UN spokesperson Marie Okabe
told
reporters in New York. In February, Mr. Karim ordered the surrender and disarmament of 170
of his troops, including many children, while demanding amnesty.

“I want peace, as does the DRC Government,” he told the mission, known as MONUC, in a rare
interview in February. However, he stated that neither he nor his senior deputies would
surrender without a definite official pardon. “If an amnesty was guaranteed for us, I would be
willing to surrender tomorrow.” MONUC also stated that a joint UN-Congolese Army unit has




                                                                                                  46
verified that 320 people have been disarmed at a naval base in Mbandaka, the capital of
Equateur province in the west of the country.

Also in the province, an additional 50 soldiers and 130 former presidential security officers
have been registered for integration, the mission said. In another development, MONUC is
assisting those who have been displaced by clashes between the Congolese Armed Forces
(FARDC) and the Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda (FDLR) in North and South
Kivu. Among other
efforts, MONUC is ensuring that humanitarian workers have safe access to provide relief to
those in need.
Darfur: International Criminal Court holds outreach mission in neighbouring Chad

3 May - Following this week’s arrest warrants by the International Criminal Court (ICC)
against
suspects wanted in connection with the violence in Sudan’s Darfur region, ICC officials are
conducting a three-day visit to refugee camps in eastern Chad to explain their work to some of
the
estimated 2 million people who have fled there. The ICC Registrar Bruno Cathala and the Head
of the Division of Victims and Counsel Didier Preira arrived in eastern Chad yesterday to talk
with refugee representatives in three camps, the Court said in a press release.

Those camps, at Bredjing, Farchana and Treguine, are together home to about 65,000 people
who are part of the vast population of Sudanese displaced by the conflict that has raged in
Darfur since 2003.
During the visit, which is part of the Court’s outreach strategy on Darfur, Mr. Cathala and Mr.
Preira will focus on the rights of victims to participate in ICC proceedings, including in
presenting their views and concerns at all stages, regardless of whether they are called to testify
as witnesses.
Yesterday, one of the ICC’s pre-trial chambers issued arrest warrants for crimes against
humanity and war crimes for two men after endorsing the evidence found during an
investigation by Prosecutor Luis Moreno-Ocampo into the situation in Darfur. Ahmad
Muhammad Harun, former Minister of State for the Interior of the Government of Sudan and
currently Minister of State for Humanitarian Affairs, and Janjaweed militia leader Ali
Muhammad Al Abd-Al-Rahman, also known as Ali Kushayb, now face arrest. The two men are
accused of targeting civilians in attacks on four villages in West Darfur between August 2003
and March 2004, according to the warrant that outlines multiple counts of personal
responsibility for murder, pillaging and rape for each.

Somalia: UN agency steps up aid to first wave of people who fled Mogadishu

3 May - The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) today said it was stepping up a
drive to
deliver food to almost 100,000 of the 365,000 people driven from their homes in Mogadishu,
the capital of Somalia, which in recent weeks as seen the worst fighting experienced by the
country in 16 years. With the worst clashes having died down, the agency said hopes to soon
feed up to 150,000 of the displaced given the urgency of the situation. “We have to help these
people now,” said WFP Executive Director Josette Sheeran. “Women, children and the elderly
are sheltering from the rain under trees and cholera is spreading.”




                                                                                                 47
The agency, which last week reached 32,000 people west of Mogadishu, is expanding its
operations further west and south. “Many people left the capital with virtually nothing but the
clothes on their backs – they are now trickling back only to find their homes in ruins,” Ms.
Sheeran said. “The majority of those who fled the fighting are still suffering in terrible
conditions outside the city.” On behalf of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR),
WFP on Wednesday airlifted 14 tons of urgently-needed supply items to Baidoa thanks to a
donation from the Italian Government. The blankets, plastic sheeting, water tanks and water
purification equipment are now being trucked from Baidoa to Afgoye for distribution to the
internally displaced. “With heavy fighting having died down over the past few days and with
the cooperation of the Transitional Federal Government, we can now accelerate food
distributions and expand into new areas previously cut off,” Ms. Sheeran said.

The agency is also urgently exploring ways to assist people inside Mogadishu itself. UNHCR
estimates 365,000 people have fled Mogadishu – over a third of the city's population – since 1
February. Somalia has been wracked by fighting in recent months. The country's Transitional
Federal Government (TFG), backed by Ethiopian forces, dislodged the Union of Islamic Courts
(UIC) from Mogadishu and much of the country last December. Since then, there has been an
upsurge in violence, including with the involvement of clan-based militias, especially in the
capital.

Cyprus problem requires a local solution to succeed, UN envoy stresses
3 May - No plan to resolve the Cyprus problem will be successful in the long run unless it is a
local one in which every person in both communities feels their voice has been heard and they
understand the ramifications of what is proposed, the head of the United Nations Peacekeeping
Force in Cyprus (UNFICYP) said today. Michael Møller, who is also the Secretary-General’s
Special Representative for Cyprus, called on Cypriots to step up, engage in dialogue and “bring
home new ideas and inspiration for action” as part of the debate over the Mediterranean island’s
future.

Michael Møller, who is also the Secretary-General’s Special Representative for Cyprus, called
on Cypriots to step up, engage in dialogue and “bring home new ideas and inspiration for
action” as part of the debate over the Mediterranean island’s future.
Speaking at the International Civil Society Fair, held in Nicosia, Mr. Møller noted that an inter-
communal survey released last week by UNFICYP found that both Greek Cypriots and Turkish
Cypriots supported the creation of more contacts between the two communities, but were also
wary of any non-Cypriot attempts in this area that could be perceived as interfering or
meddling, instead of assisting or facilitating. “Understanding and peace is best achieved by
those who already know each other,” Mr. Møller said. “It is seldom sustainable if imposed by
outsiders. And the population of this island instinctively understands this.”

He therefore called on Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots to become part of a more active
and less passive civil society that can offer grassroots ideas about solutions that might then have
more chance of success in the longer-term. “I am convinced that no solution to the problem of
Cyprus will be sustainable or take sufficiently strong root unless every Cypriot has the
conviction that he or she truly understands all its components and ramifications and, more
importantly, feels that their voice has been heard and that they have had a say in shaping that
solution. The Cyprus problem must have a Cypriot solution.”

UN agencies call for increased use of vaccine monitors to boost access to immunization




                                                                                                 48
3 May - The United Nations World Health Organization (WHO) and the UN Children’s Fund
(UNICEF) today jointly called for greater funding and use of vaccine vial monitors, simple
tools which warn if dosages have been damaged by heat, on the tenth anniversary of their
introduction into immunization programmes.

“Handling vaccines requires great care,” said Daisy Mafubelu, WHO’s Assistant Director-
General of the Family and Community Health Cluster. “Vaccine vial monitors are useful tools
for detection of the vaccine’s exposure to excessive temperature, thus contributing to success of
immunization programmes.” Since their introduction in 1996, nearly two billion monitors have
been used on vaccine vials, improving children’s access to vaccines. The two agencies estimate
that the use of vaccine vial monitors saves the global health community at least $5 million
annually.

A vaccine vial monitor is a circular indicator which is printed directly on the label of a vaccine
vial or is attached to the top of the vial. Made of heat-sensitive material that is light in colour
but darkens when exposed to heat, it indicates to health workers when a vial may no longer be
effective.

Much of the infrastructure was damaged, including refrigeration facilities at health centres,
during the May 2006 earthquake in Yogyakarta, Indonesia, which killed thousands of people.
Typically, unrefrigerated vaccines need to be thrown out, but in this case, by observing the
vaccine vial monitors, health workers were able to see that the vaccines were still usable. As a
result, up to 50,000 dosages were saved. WHO and UNICEF urge all vaccine self-procuring
countries to include vaccine vial monitors in their purchases, and also appeals to all donor
agencies and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) to include vaccine vial monitors in all
vaccine donations. The monitors were developed in 1979 with assistance from WHO. In 1996,
they were first adhered to dosages of the oral polio vaccine, adding only a few cents to the price
of each vial.

High level of crime threatens Caribbean economic growth: UN report

3 May - The highest murder and assault rates in the world are undermining economic growth in
the Caribbean region, according to a report published today by the World Bank and the United
Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) which blames the illicit drug trade and calls for
international measures to address the problem.
According to the report “Crime, Violence, and Development: Trends, Costs, and Policy Options
in the Caribbean,” increased crime severely hinders financing, causes a decline in worker
productivity and makes governments, business and individuals spend precious resources on
security measures.

“The report clearly shows that crime and violence are development issues,” according to
Caroline Anstey, World Bank Director for the Caribbean, who called for assistance from the
Organization for Economic and Cooperative Development (OECD), which promotes
democratic governance and the market economy.

“Donors and OECD countries need to work together with Caribbean countries to reduce the
current levels in the region,” she said. The primary cause of skyrocketing crime in the region is
illicit drug traffic, particularly in cocaine, and the proliferation of guns that accompanies that
trade. Since Caribbean countries are transit points and not producers of cocaine, the report
states,




                                                                                                  49
interdiction needs to be complemented by other strategies outside the region.

Policies should also focus on limiting the availability of firearms and on providing meaningful
work alternatives to youth, according to the report. “Although there is no one ideal approach for
crime and violence prevention, interventions such as slum-upgrading projects,
youth development initiatives and criminal justice system reform can contribute to reducing
crime and violence,” Francis Maertens, Director of UNODC’s Division for Policy Analysis and
Public Affairs said.

Canadian legal expert takes top ethics post at UN
3 May - A Canadian lawyer with extensive experience in governmental ethics has been
appointed Director of the United Nations Ethics Office, a key element of reform of the
Organization mandated by the 2005 World Summit, a UN spokesperson announced today.

Robert F. Benson served as the Interim Ethics Commissioner in the Canadian Parliament and,
prior to that, was Deputy Ethics Counsellor within the Canadian Government. Mr. Benson
succeeds Nancy Hurtz-Soyka who has been the Interim Director of the Ethics Office since its
inception in early 2006.
Conceived by former Secretary-General Kofi Annan, the Office was established to administer
financial disclosure and whistleblower policies mandated by the General Assembly in its 60th
Session.
In addition, the Office provides confidential advice to staff to help them avert conflict of interest
problems. Mr. Benson started work at United Nations Headquarters in New York on 1 May.

UN envoy to Liberia opens workshop series for immigration officers

3 May - The senior United Nations envoy to Liberia today opened the first of a series of six
workshops aimed at strengthening the skills of immigration officers posted throughout the
country, as part of efforts to improve controls in a region renowned for having porous borders.
Alan Doss, the Secretary-General’s Special Representative for Liberia, called on the 50
participants at the first workshop to carefully control the borders of the country while avoiding
corrupt practices and keeping strictly within both domestic laws and the international
agreements and commitments made by the Government.

“You are the face of Liberia for most foreign investors and you have to give them a good
impression,” he said. The training workshops, which have been organized in part by the UN
Mission in Liberia (UNMIL), are expected to attract about 700 immigration officers, from
regional commanders to more junior staff members. Participants will discuss such topics as
migration law, interview techniques, the powers and ethical conduct of immigration officers,
and their relationship with the court system.


====================================================================




                                                                                                  50
 DAILY PRESS BRIEFING BY THE OFFICES OF THE SPOKESPERSON FOR THE
   SECRETARY-GENERAL AND THE SPOKESPERSON FOR THE GENERAL
                       ASSEMBLY PRESIDENT
3 May 2007
=======================================================================

      The following is a near-verbatim transcript of today’s noon briefing by Marie Okabe,
Deputy Spokesperson for the Secretary-General, and Frehiwot Bekele, Special Assistant to the
Spokesperson for the President of the General Assembly.

        Briefing by Deputy Spokesperson for the Secretary-General

        Good afternoon. Sorry I’m a few minutes late.

        **Secretary-General in Sharm el-Sheikh

        The Secretary-General today co-chaired the launch of the International Compact with
Iraq in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt, and he told the delegates gathered for the launch that the
Compact represents a road map for the next five years, aimed at helping Iraq achieve economic
prosperity, political stability and lasting security.

         The Secretary-General said, “Much work will be needed to keep Iraq on track, but I am
confident that the people and the Government are up to the challenge.” He emphasized that,
under the Compact, the Government has committed itself to pursuing a number of important
initiatives to promote dialogue and reconciliation and to adhere to a legislative timetable
designed to strengthen Iraqi unity.

       “ Iraq is at a critical juncture,” he said. “Political solutions are essential to building the
foundations for a peaceful and prosperous country.” And we have the entire speech upstairs.

       The Compact meeting has just adopted by acclamation a resolution reaffirming the
shared commitment of the 74 delegations to strengthen their partnership for a secure and stable
Iraq. The Government of Iraq and the international community stressed the need for the Iraqi
Government to pursue fundamental reforms in governance, strengthened anti-corruption
measures, equal protection for all Iraqis and an institutional framework based on the rule of law.

      The resolution adopted at Sharm el-Sheikh also pledges substantive international
engagement and investments to bridge the gap between Iraq’s needs and its capabilities in the
medium term, with a special emphasis on the granting of debt relief to Iraq.

       Earlier today, the Secretary-General held a number of bilateral meetings, one of which
was with the Foreign Minister of Iran, Mr. Motaki. The Secretary-General discussed the
nuclear issue with Motaki and urged Iran to continue its discussions with the European Union.
They also talked about Lebanon and Iraq, with the Secretary-General calling for Iran to play a
constructive role in building a national consensus in Iraq.

        The Secretary-General, in a press conference just a few minutes ago, said he was pleased
that a number of countries have made concrete commitments under the Compact today. He said




                                                                                                    51
that the specific financial commitments made by particular countries are estimated to be over
$30 billion, including some commitments of debt relief on the Paris Club terms. And we have
his opening remarks at the press conference upstairs and we should have a transcript of that
press conference later today.

       **Democratic Republic of Congo

        Turning to the Democratic Republic of the Congo, the UN Mission there reports
progress in the disarmament process with the announcement by Peter Karim, a leader of one of
eastern DRC’s largest militias, that an additional 500 of his fighters will surrender their
weapons and reintegrate into civilian life this week. The Mission also reports that a joint UN-
Congolese Army unit was able to verify the effective disarmament of some 320 individuals at
the Mbandaka naval base. And a team from the Military Integration Structure recently left the
Equateur province after registering some 50 soldiers and 130 former presidential security
officers for reintegration. And we have copies of this press briefing upstairs.

       ** Liberia

       And in Liberia, the UN Mission there says that Alan Doss, the Special Representative of
the Secretary-General, has presided over the official handover by the United Nations of a
regional diamond certification office to the Liberian Government at a ceremony in Tubmanburg,
a town near the capital, Monrovia.

        Mr. Doss also took part in the dedication of the Liberian Government Diamond Office,
and later attended a series of workshops intended to strengthen the skills of Liberian
immigration workers.

       ** Cyprus

       And on Cyprus, the Secretary-General’s Special Representative for Cyprus, Michael
Møller, today addressed a gathering of international civil society in Nicosia.

       In his remarks, he said no solution to the Cyprus problem would be sustainable unless
every Cypriot truly felt that their voice had been heard as it was being shaped.

      The Cyprus problem must have a Cypriot solution, Møller said. And we have his full
remarks upstairs.

       ** Sudan

       And on Sudan, the Registrar of the International Criminal Court is visiting three camps
housing Sudanese refugees in eastern Chad as part of the outreach strategy the Court has to deal
with Darfur.

         His three-day visit, which ends tomorrow, is intended to explain the mandate and
activities of the Court, especially the right of victims to participate in Court proceedings. The
ICC has a press release with more details.

       ** Somalia




                                                                                                    52
        And turning to Somalia, the World Food Programme (WFP) says that it was stepping up
a drive to deliver food to almost one third of the 365,000 people driven from their homes in
Mogadishu by the recent fighting.

       And meanwhile, on behalf of the UN refugee agency, WFP yesterday airlifted 14 tons of
urgently needed relief supplies to Baidoa. And there’s more on that upstairs as well.

       **World Health Organization/United Nations Children’s Fund

        In a joint policy statement issued today in Geneva, the World Health Organization
(WHO) and UNICEF are urging countries, donor agencies and NGOs to fund and promote the
use of vaccine vial monitors.

      The monitors are printed directly on vaccine vials, and change colour when a vaccine
may have been damaged by heat and rendered ineffective.

        WHO says the monitors not only allow health workers to recognize and replace millions
of doses of unusable vaccines, but also allow them to keep tens of thousands of unrefrigerated
doses that are still effective and previously might have been discarded. And there’s a press
release on that.

       **United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime/World Bank

        We also want to flag to you a joint report from the UN Office on Drugs and Crime
(UNODC) and the World Bank on the high rate of crime and violence in the Caribbean and its
threat to growth and prosperity.

        The report is being released in Washington, D.C., at 1 p.m. And there’s an embargoed
press release upstairs on that.

       **World Press Freedom Day

       And as you are no doubt aware, today is World Press Freedom Day.

        In a message to mark the occasion, the Secretary-General notes that more than 150
media professionals lost their lives in the line of duty in the past year. He also appeals once
again for the immediate and safe release of BBC journalist Alan Johnston.

     We have copies of his message upstairs, as well as a message from the High
Commissioner for Human Rights, Louise Arbour.

       UNESCO, meanwhile, is marking World Press Freedom Day by holding a two-day
seminar in Medellin, Colombia, where it plans to award its Guillermo Cano Press Freedom
Prize posthumously to slain Russian journalist Anna Politkovskaya.

        Here in New York, UNESCO is also sponsoring a luncheon at 1 p.m. on “Press
Freedom, Safety of Journalists and Impunity”. And at 1:15 p.m. in Conference Room 5, there
will be a panel discussion on “The citizen journalist: The Internet as a tool for freedom of
speech”.




                                                                                                  53
       **Ethics

       And just a couple of things: one is an appointment that we should just flag for you and
another is a clarification.

       Robert F. Benson of Canada has been appointed Director of the Ethics Office and began
his work on 1 May. Mr. Benson is a former Interim Ethics Commissioner in the Canadian
Parliament and, prior to that, he served as Deputy Ethics Counsellor within the Canadian
Government. There’s a short bio upstairs of him.

       Mr. Benson succeeds Ms. Nancy Hurtz-Soyka who has served as Interim Director of the
Ethics Office since its inception in early 2006.

       **Clarification

       And the clarification is in response to some press queries about a meeting that the
Secretary-General held on Lebanon two days ago.

       The Secretary-General and Ambassador Mohamed Chatah, Senior Adviser to the
Lebanese Prime Minister, discussed the proposed establishment of a tribunal of an international
character for Lebanon.

       Contrary to some reports, at no time did Ambassador Chatah ask if he could attend a
meeting of the Security Council. Accordingly, there was no rejection of such a request.

      Ambassador Chatah presented to the Secretary-General the views of the Government of
Lebanon regarding the status and prospects for ratifying the tribunal. He also underlined the
commitment of the Lebanese Government to see that the tribunal is established in order to
enhance stability and the rule of law in Lebanon.

        In response, the Secretary-General briefed Ambassador Chatah on discussions taking
place at the United Nations on this issue.

        And that’s what I have for you. We have the General Assembly Spokeswoman here to
brief you as well. But before we turn to her, any questions for me? Let’s go from the back to
the front.

       **Questions and Answers

       Question: At the beginning of this week there was a meeting of the Afghan President
and Pakistani President in Ankara. Did the United Nations issue a statement about it and does
the UN have a comment about the meeting?

       Spokesperson: I’m sorry. I didn’t quite hear. There was a meeting in Ankara?

       Question: Yes. In Ankara between Afghan President Karzai and Pakistan President
Musharraf with the Turkish President. So I just wonder if the UN issued any statement about
the meeting or declaration.

       Spokesperson: No. We have not.




                                                                                                54
      [The Deputy Spokesperson later added that the UN Mission in Afghanistan believed the
Ankara Declaration deserves support and says that it looks forward to seeing it being acted
upon. The UN has consistently advocated for better dialogue and cooperation between
Afghanistan and Pakistan, she added.]

        Question: Yesterday, it was announced that Jan Egeland, the Special Adviser to the
Secretary-General on Political Affairs, was appointed Director of the Norwegian Institute of
International Affairs. Is the Secretary-General concerned that this might be seen as a conflict of
interest?

         Spokesperson: I don’t believe so. As you know, Mr. Egeland will be taking up
appointments from time to time and he will be affiliated with the Department of Political
Affairs on this. And I checked with them and I think he will continue to work on an as-needed
basis if there are reasons for him to contribute.

       Question: Tuesday it was announced that the report on resolution 1559 would be
released, and then yesterday. Why this delay? Do you have any reason?

       Spokesperson: No. I don’t know if there was an actual due date for this, but I
understand that the report is being finalized and I’ll let you know as soon as it goes to Council
members, as we usually do.

        Question: It’s a follow-up to Mr. Abbadi’s question. Yesterday, I was told that Jan
Egeland and other people are paid on this “whenever actually employed basis”. That they’re
paid as a USG but just for the days that they work. But they have another employer. Are they
also paid by the other employer at the same time? Meaning, are they serving two masters? And
what’s the review process? In this case there was no conflict. But who in the UN reviews
whether someone working for the UN and also a private entity, that there’s not a conflict?
What’s the process?

        Spokesperson: Yes, if they are working as a part-time job, they are paid from their other
employer. Well, you’d have to ask them about their other employer. In terms of if there’s a
conflict of interest, that’s something that the OHRM, our Human Resources Department, would
be vetting and, if necessary, with the advice of our Legal Department.

     Question: How many “whenever actually employed” people are there working for the
UN? And can we get a list of those?

       Spokesperson: I think we’ve mentioned this from this podium. But, as you know, the
new Secretary-General is still in the process of reviewing the various senior officials. So as
soon as the line-up is complete, we will obviously let you know.

       Question: Can we even just know the current line-up? I’m not saying like who he’s
going to appoint. I got a sense yesterday when I got your answer that I didn’t know how many
of them that there are.

       Spokesperson: I think there is a review process going on. So I don’t think we’ll have
anything available until that is complete. But if I can get you something, I will.




                                                                                                    55
         Question: Just to follow up on this first of all before I go to my question. Is there any
criteria to decide whether world luminaries who are working on a per-job basis get USG-type
compensation or do they get $1 a year? Who decides which person deserves $1 a year and
which person deserves a USG-scale compensation?

       Spokesperson: It’s the Secretary-General ultimately.

       Question: Is there any criteria or is it just pressures?

        Spokesperson: Senior appointments at that level, the Secretary-General, as you know,
has, as in the Climate Change Envoys, chosen people of a certain calibre that he can utilize to
bring about global consensus. And for that kind of a job he taps people who may not be
necessarily available on a full-time basis and it’s basically an economical way to get his work
done.

        Question: And then you get people that are just as prominent like Egeland and working
for their Government at the same time, and how come they get USG scale rather than $1? I
mean, you can use the same economical way there?

       Spokesperson: Well, this is part of the negotiations as in any job.

         Question: So the people who get $1 a year are (inaudible)? But to my real question, this
is just to follow up on a question I asked earlier this week, have the auditors in North Korea
asked for a visa to enter the country and was that visa accepted or rejected?

        Spokesperson: On that, as you know, there is an audit going on by the external Board of
Auditors. It is still ongoing and so, as long as the process is ongoing, we really can’t comment
further on this. My understanding on your specific question about the visas to North Korea is
that the visas were not requested. And as far as we know they have been doing their work out
of New York. The reason why I say that it is our understanding is because we don’t speak for
the external Board of Auditors. The external Board of Auditors is independent of the
Secretariat. They were asked by the ACABQ to conduct this audit at our request. So we do
really need to pose that question to the external Board of Auditors.

       Question: To follow up on that, would the Secretary-General accept an audit of a
country programme if the auditor had not visited the country? Would it be seen by the
Secretary-General as a comprehensive audit?

       Spokesperson: Again, right now the audit process is ongoing. As long as the audit
process is ongoing, we can’t comment on it. The report has not been submitted to the ACABQ
yet.

       Question: If the visa was denied, would the Secretary-General consider pressuring
North Korea to grant a visa to auditors?

        Spokesperson: Again, Benny, I think you are asking a hypothetical question because at
this point the process is still ongoing. The Board of Auditors is still working on their report.

       Question: I have two questions: one is a follow-up on this conversation that’s taken
place now between you and Benny. Do you have a list of people who were hired at $1 a day




                                                                                                     56
with diplomatic immunity who are not being reconsidered for the jobs again because there are
some big people who were here who have been rehired? Is there a list of this from the
Secretary-General? Can we get that list?

        Spokesperson: As I mentioned earlier, the intention was to provide such a list once the
review process was complete and we have the whole new line-up. There are, as you know,
some senior officials whose contracts have lapsed and they have not continued. So taking all of
this into consideration, I think the intention is to make this all transparent and available once the
review process is complete.

         Question: Since today is World Press Freedom Day, I’d just like to point out that most
of the journalists who have been killed in the line of duty have been in Iraq in the last four or
five years. Who is responsible? Is the Iraqi Government responsible for bringing those people
to justice or the Coalition Forces, the occupying forces over there, to bring these people who
have been kidnapping the journalists, to bring these people to justice? Can you tell us about
that? And also I asked about certain attacks taking place in Pakistan. I had asked about a
Secretary-General statement. I was promised they would look into it, but they never have.

       Spokesperson: I’m sorry. What is your question about Pakistan?

        Question: I had asked Michele once about when there were attacks against Pakistani
newspapers, and does the Secretary-General have something to say? And she said not at this
time, probably later. And now in Iraq in particular, where most of the kidnappings have taken
place, has there been accountability at all of who has been killing the journalists?

        Spokesperson: On your specific question, I will follow up. I wasn’t aware that this
request had been made. But in terms of how the Secretary-General feels about the freedom of
press and journalists, of course he considers a free and secure press to be one of the key
ingredients for democracy and peace. Your question about Iraq, it sounds to me it requires a
legal answer. I’d have to find that out for you.

       Question: But the only thing is do you know, you don’t necessarily have to have this
answer right now, do you know if the Iraqi Government or the Coalition Forces, out of dozens
of kidnappings of journalists and beheadings, were they ever able to apprehend the people who
did commit these crimes?

        Spokesperson: I’d have to check with our Mission there to see if they have any first-
hand information. But as for your general question about who is responsible for the protection
of their citizens, and which is in this case Iraq, it is usually the country which is responsible for
the protection of their citizens.

       Question: (inaudible) there was no comment in Iraq (inaudible)?

       Spokesperson: We’ll check with UNAMI, we’ll check with our Mission in Iraq and get
back to you if there’s anything more on this.

       Question: Who is responsible for this in Gaza?




                                                                                                    57
        Question: Going back to Iraq, does the Secretary-General have any intention to
announce an increase of the UN presence in Iraq in the framework of the Iraq Compact Group
and all the talk that’s taking place in Sharm el-Sheikh?

        Spokesperson: I think he’s answered this on a number of occasions. The security
concerns in Iraq are very much on his mind. And if he and the experts feel that the security
conditions are right, then there is nothing more the Secretary-General would like than to be in
Iraq to help the people of Iraq.

         Question: But in the framework of this conference taking place on Iraq, can (inaudible)

         Spokesperson: No. This is, as he pointed out, setting the groundwork for the future.

        Question: Two questions: one is that the UN nuclear conference today failed over
Iranian objectives. What does the UN have to say about this? And my second question is that
in the Danish press today, there were calls to the UN to (inaudible) the move with the “oil-for-
food” scandal by the UN. As they say in the Danish press, the UN has stopped investigating.
Can you say something on that, too, please?

        Spokesperson: On your second question, I’m not familiar with this press report, so we’d
have to look at it before. I don’t quite understand the context that it’s coming from. Your first
question was about the NPT Conference in Vienna. My understanding of that is it’s one of the
preliminary conferences in a long process and our understanding is that it’s a process that is
ongoing and will be resuming shortly. But it is a lead-up to something that will be happening
quite a ways down, so let’s see what happens.

        Question: I just have a follow-up question related to the DESA investigation. I don’t
know if you have an answer today but it would be helpful to have it tomorrow. There is a
rumour out there that Guido Bertucci, who heads the Division of Administration, is going to be
retiring soon. And the question is, how might this impact on the investigation? If he retires,
does that mean it ends? Does it continue? Do they hold off his retirement? I mean we had
some precedence, like Alexander Yakovlev and Benon Sevan in which they were allowed to
retire with their pension and everything intact. What becomes of the investigation? And also,
there’s talk out there that, even though there were recommendations made to DESA on how to
fix things within their shop, those recommendations were not being followed. Do you have any
follow-up on that?

         Spokesperson: I have nothing further on this today, so I’d have to look into it for you.

         [The Deputy Spokesperson later added that Bertucci’s retirement was not until July
2008.]

       Question: I understand that the Lebanese Mission had requested to attend yesterday’s
meeting of the Security Council. Are they not aware about the regulations regarding closed
meetings of the Security Council?

        Spokesperson: I just read you a clarification on your precise question, so if you could
pick it up, or I can give it to you after this.




                                                                                                    58
       Question: When you were talking about the meeting of the Secretary-General in Egypt,
he addressed, obviously, Iran, and Michèle previously said that he did not have any intention to
go to Tehran. Did he get any invitation by the Iranian officials so far to visit Iran?

       Spokesperson: Not that I know of, but I’m reading you what was reported to me from
their meeting today. So I don’t have anything further on that.

       [The Deputy Spokesperson later told the reporter that the Secretary-General had
received an invitation to visit Iran but that no decision had been taken on that yet.]

       Question: I wanted to follow up on Benny’s question about the North Korea audit. I
thought the Secretary-General had written to North Korea on 28 February and you all
announced it on 6 March that he’d written to North Korea saying please help my auditors. So if
they weren’t even going to apply for a visa, what was the thinking behind that letter? Can you
say why Ban Ki-moon wrote to North Korea and said help me if in fact there was no help
needed?

       Spokesperson: You’d have to ask the Board of Auditors.

       Question: He wrote the letter.

        Spokesperson: Ever since he called for or he asked the ACABQ to request the audit,
there have been a number of steps. Actually what it was, it was that DPRK, I believe, is the one
who sent him a letter expressing their concerns and he responded back to DPRK about their
concerns. I think that’s the letter you’re referring to.

       Question: Yeah, but he said help us.

        Spokesperson: But again, you’d have to ask the Board of Auditors because they’re the
ones who investigated. We don’t know how much cooperation or non-cooperation they are
receiving.

        Question: Just one follow-up on this, just a reminder, the idea when he announced, I
distinctly remember the figure of 90 days on this, then 100 and something anniversary day. Is there
any thinking about the slipping of the deadline?

        Spokesperson: I checked back to see, because we had Warren Sachs actually brief you
about this process, and we checked back at his transcript. And what he said was that it would
have been a proposed time frame of 90 days so again you’d have to ask the Board of Auditors if
they consider this to be a delay.

        Question: But if the proposal deadline is passed and gone, how much would we let it
slip? I mean if it becomes 190 days, is that acceptable?

       Spokesperson: My understanding again is, and it’s only my understanding because we
don’t speak for the Board of Auditors, but the ACABQ which I mentioned is the body that
requested the audit is starting to meet on 14 May. So my understanding again is that at this
session there will be something presented.




                                                                                               59
         Question: I also remember Michèle said something like “the clock is ticking”. So it’s
ticking. Yesterday, we had a meeting of the Committee to Protect Journalists and they made a
list of the 10 backsliding countries. Number 3 was the Democratic Republic of the Congo, where
obviously the UN has had a big presence for many years. So a question that was raised, and
obviously they didn’t know because they just did the report, what is the UN, DPKO and other
parts of the UN system doing in countries where they have a big presence to actually actualize
and implement freedom of the press? If incidents take place in countries where they have a big
presence, do they speak to the Government? Just in DRC for example -- where they were almost
running the country -- how does the UN itself actually implement freedom of press on the
ground, in countries like Haiti, where journalists are killed, or like the DRC?

          Spokesperson: I’ll check in the DRC for you.

       [The correspondent was later told that, in the case of the Democratic Republic of the
Congo, the UN Mission there, as part of its general mandate, monitors human rights conditions
and protests violations of press freedom.]

      Question: On Kosovo, the members of the UN mission to Kosovo returned and it
seemed that they came back with different ideas or different concepts about the problem in
Kosovo. I was wondering about the position of the Secretary-General. Does he still believe in
Mr. Ahtisaari’s plan?

          Spokesperson: Yes, he does. Okay, now the General Assembly Spokesperson.

          Briefing by Special Assistant to the Spokesperson for the General Assembly President

          I am going to be very brief. I don’t have much.

          **World Press Freedom Day

        Regarding World Press Freedom Day, this morning at the Department of Public
Information (DPI) conference held on the occasion of World Press Freedom Day, Assembly
President Sheikha Haya Al Khalifa had a statement delivered on her behalf by a Vice-President
of the Assembly, Ambassador Christian Wenaweser of Liechtenstein.

      In her statement, the President made a special plea for the immediate and safe release of
the BBC’s correspondent, Alan Johnston. “Not just Alan Johnston, but every reporter
unlawfully imprisoned must be set free,” she emphasized.

          **Security Council Reform

          The other two items are just things that I would like to flag again. We announced them
before.

      This afternoon, the Assembly President will chair an informal meeting of the General
Assembly’s Open-ended Working Group on Security Council Reform.

          **Thematic Debate




                                                                                                 60
        And next week, Thursday and Friday, she is convening an informal thematic debate on
the topic “Civilizations and the Challenge for Peace: Obstacles and Opportunities.”

       As I mentioned before, this will consist of four panel discussions on four themes and
there will be a concert on Thursday and a side event on Friday at lunchtime on the arts as a
means to bridge gaps between different cultures.

       **Questions and Answers

      Question: On this report on the Security Council reforms, is the President of the General
Assembly concerned that rivalry is the main problem, that the Security Council reforms are
somehow…

       Spokesperson: You mean rivalry?

       Question: Yes, rivalry.

       Spokesperson: Well, it’s something that the Member States will have to work out
among themselves. Of course, it’s a very contentious, very difficult question, so they all have to
come to some agreement. There are differences on all kinds of aspects of the reform of the
Security Council.

       Question: Did she stress any of her personal concerns about the report that’s been
digested so far?

       Spokesperson: Well, this afternoon is the first opportunity that the Member States will
have to express their opinions about the report and then we’ll see where things are from there.

       Question: Is the ACABQ [Advisory Committee on Administrative and Budgetary
Questions] willing to pay for the audit much beyond 90 days?

       Spokesperson: I’ll have to find out. I don’t know. I’ll have to find out, Benny.

        Question: There’s some controversy about two GA-related appointments. One would
be Zimbabwe now slated to head the CSD [Commission on Sustainable Development] and
Belarus’ application or running to be on the Human Rights Council in Geneva. So, I’m
wondering if the President of the General Assembly has a comment, if not on these particular
countries’ bids, then on the fact that in the elections there’s no competition; there’s just regional
groups who put forward a name and they get on it. This was the idea behind the Human Rights
Council and the CSD. Does she have any comment on whether these are working out,
particularly the Human Rights Council, in the way in which they were hoped as a GA reform?

       Spokesperson: On the Human Rights Council elections, the results are not automatic.
Not every country that just puts its name for candidacy will be elected. They have to get an
absolute majority. It’s an absolute majority, not just a simple majority of those present and
voting. That was what was agreed upon during a protracted negotiation process last year. So
having your candidacy on the slate doesn’t automatically mean that you’re going to be elected.

        Question: But I think it was reported that in this round of elections, that in all of the
seats there was only one person running for it.




                                                                                                    61
        Spokesperson: It doesn’t mean that they will get automatically elected. They have to
get an absolute majority vote.

       Question: So there could be regions that aren’t even represented on it?

       Spokesperson: We’ll have to see what the election results will be. Every country that’s
going to be on the Council will have to get an absolute majority vote.

       Question: Just because there’s some controversy, if she has any comments on it.

       Spokesperson: I will see if she has any comments to make on it.

       Thank you.

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