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             28 November 2000

Expert Meeting on Global Accords Discusses Inter-Linkages between Ozone and Climate Change Conventions

The United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), United Nations University (UNU), Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) Global Accords Program, and the Alliance for Global Sustainability (AGS) organized an expert meeting to discuss problems in implementing global accords, specifically on linkages between the ozone and climate change conventions, at the MIT campus, Cambridge Massachusetts on 2 and 3 November 2000.

The meeting focused on the linkages between global accords, the Ozone and Climate Change Conventions in particular, and the potential for their harmonized implementation. The experts explored a number of issues relevant to synergistic implementation of the conventions. These include the advantages and disadvantages of synergistic implementation, and a "broader" approach accord execution in which inter-linked "causes and effects" are considered. Other topics discussed were: institutional implementation at the national level; the roles played by the financial mechanisms that support or were created to support convention implementation; and the "Issue Management Approach," which was highlighted by the UN Secretary- General in his Programme for Reform as a tool to resolve the coordination needs of UN agencies with regards to issues that require an integrated and systematic approach.

The meeting also considered possible opportunities to contribute to the upcoming ten-year review of the Rio Summit (Rio+10) particularly with regards to future perspectives in the further implementation of Agenda 21.

The expert meeting participants included Ambassador Richard Benedick, former US chief negotiator for the Ozone Convention and author of the book Ozone Diplomacy; MIT Institute Professor Mario Molina, winner of the Nobel Prize for his work on stratospheric ozone depletion; Ambassador Rasmus Rasmusson of Sweden, who is a visiting scholar at Harvard University; Mr. K Sarma, former Executive Secretary of the Ozone Secretariat; Mr. She Shuo Lang of the Multilateral Fund Secretariat; Prof. Edith Brown Weiss of Georgetown University; Dr. Raman Letchumanan of the ASEAN Secretariat; other distinguished scholars; negotiators; and policy makers.

A key issue deliberated in the meeting is the scientific and policy linkages between the two conventions. In particular, the rationale behind the substitutes to Ozone Depleting Substances (ODS) within the Ozone Convention which were later found to be potent greenhouse gases and thus a problem for the Climate Change Convention.

Ambassador Benedick stressed that promoting research, development, and diffusion of new technologies is critical for achieving the objectives of the treaties. Ambassador Rasmusson highlighted the need for the respective convention's financial mechanisms to look at possible areas of common interest. Dr. Letchumanan emphasized the importance of capacity building, particularly in developing countries, in order to promote the effective negotiation and implementation of the discussed accords and other agreements.

The meeting concluded with the agreement that there is a need by both the academic community and the UN to investigate the problem of inter-linkages and develop a model approach for promoting synergies in the further implementation of these conventions.

The partners, particularly with regards to contributing to the official Rio+10 process, are now planning follow-up activities.

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Note to the Press

The UNU started its Inter-linkage initiative in 1999 with an international conference on synergies and coordination between multilateral environmental agreements. Based on the results of that conference, a 3-year initiative culminating in Rio+10 is now underway. More information regarding the initiative can be found at the Inter-linkages web portal at:

UNEP jointly with World Bank and NASA launched the report "Protecting our Planet, Securing our Future: Linkages among Global environmental Issues and Human Needs" in November 1998. For activities on the interlinkages between Ozone and Climate Change convention please visit:

The AGS Programme is an international partnership formed by three leading technical research universities - the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, the Swiss Federal Institutes of Technology and the University of Tokyo - to address complex issues that lie at the intersection of environmental and economic goals. The common purpose is to advance understanding of environmental challenges and to develop effective means to address them. Further information about the Alliance can be found at:

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For inquiries, please contact:

The UNU Public Affairs Section
    Tel. (03) 5467-1243, -1246 .     Fax (03) 3406-7346

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For more information about the meeting and follow-up activities being planned, please contact:

Dr. Jerry Velasquez, UNU Academic Programme Officer
    Tel.: (03) 5467-1301         Fax: (03) 3407-8164
Mr. Rajendra Shende, DTIE, UNEP <>
Dr. Joanne Kauffman, MIT, AGS <>
Prof. Nazli Choucri, MIT GSSD, MIT Global Accords Program <>




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