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                               2 July 1999

UNU International Conference on Inter-Linkages between Multilateral Enviromental Agreements

From 14 to 16 July 1999, the United Nations University (UNU), in cooperation with the UNU Institute of Advanced Studies (UNU/IAS), Global Environment Information Centre (GEIC), and United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), will hold “Inter-Linkages: International Conference on Synergies and Coordination between Multilateral Environmental Agreements” at the UNU Centre in Tokyo.

The negative impacts of globalization and environmental damage continue to gain momentum, yet the development of a synergistic, coordinated approach to environmental protection remains elusive. National and international policy-making is typically segregated on the basis of topic, sector, or territory, resulting in treaties that may overlap or even conflict.

The key to implementing a holistic approach to global environmental protection is identifying natural synergies, achieving effective policy coordination between multilateral environmental agreements (MEAs), and ensuring the compatibility of environmental concerns with the regulation of international trade and investment. During this three-day conference, representatives from international organizations, scholars, and other relevant interest-holders will discuss issues related to existing and potential inter-linkages between MEAs in an attempt to identify concrete, feasible mechanisms and “next steps” for moving forward.

Key participants and speakers will include: Klaus Töpfer, Executive Director of UNEP; Bob Watson, Chairman of Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and Director, Environment Division, World Bank; and Akiko Domoto, President of Global Legislators Organization for a Balanced Environment (GLOBE) Japan and Member of the Japanese House of Councillors. Further, executive representatives of nine Multilateral Environmental Agreements (MEAs) will attend. Following the opening-day Plenary, participants will break into working groups focusing on Finance, Harmonization of Information Systems and Information Exchanges, Issue Management, Scientific Mechanisms, and a Special Working Group on Synergies for Sustainable Development.

The conference will be in English, with Japanese interpretation during Plenary sessions only. Please note that there will be both open and closed sessions during this conference (see programme. Representatives of the press are cordially invited to attend the open sessions. Reporters from Earth Negotiations Bulletin (ENB) will be attending all sessions and posting daily summaries on the web site, For information on proceedings of the closed sessions, please refer to this web site during the conference.

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For additional information, please contact:
The UNU Public Affairs Section
Tel. (03) 5467-1243, -1246     Fax (03) 3406-7346
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