UNIVERSITY OF PENNSYLVANIA - AFRICAN STUDIES CENTER
AFRICAN MINISTERS TO REVIEW RATIFICATION OF ENVIRONMENT CONVENTIONS AND AGREEMENTSNAIROBI, 3 March 1995 -- Ministers of Environment and senior legal officials from 15 eastern and southern African countries will meet here from 6 to 8 March to review and assess issues and constraints affecting the ratification by African nations of environment Conventions and Agreements that are relevant to the region.
The meeting is being convened by the African Ministerial Conference on Environment (AMCEN) and the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) at its headquarters in Gigiri. Representatives of relevant United Nations agencies and Convention Secretariats, as well as subregional organizations -- the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA), the Southern African Development Community (SADC) and the Intergovernmental Authority on Drought and Development (IGADD) - - will also attend.
The meeting is a result of a decision taken by African Ministers of the Environment at their fifth session in Addis Ababa in November 1993, which called for the "monitoring of the implementation process of regional and global Conventions relevant to Africa". The session had also asked AMCEN to facilitate the harmonization of the region's position and to encourage active participation of countries in all major negotiations as well as promote the signing, ratification and awareness of the benefits of the various treaties.
It is expected that the consultative meeting will lead to a better understanding of issues involved and enable the identification of appropriate action to facilitate African participation in the Conventions.
The participants will further review enabling factors and opportunities for ratifying eight key treaties: the Convention on Biological Diversity; the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change; the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea; the International Convention to Combat Desertification in Countries Experiencing Drought and/or Desertification; the Basel and Bamako Conventions on the Control of Hazardous Wastes; the Lusaka Agreement on Cooperative Enforcement Operations Directed at Illegal Trade in Wild Fauna and Flora and the Convention for the Protection, Management and Development of the Marine and Coastal Environment of the Eastern African Region.
The three-day discussions will offer an opportunity for Environment Ministers to consolidate their partnerships with key arms of their respective Governments, such as the Ministries of Justice or Attorney-Generals' Chambers which play an important role in negotiations, signing, ratification, accession and implementation of the Conventions.
The countries that are expected to attend are: Angola, Comoros, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Kenya, Lesotho, Madagascar, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia, Seychelles, South Africa, Swaziland, Uganda, United Republic of Tanzania and Zambia.
Similar Ministerial meetings are planned for the other subregions before the end of 1995.
* * * For further information, please contact:
Mr. James Kamara Programme Officer AMCEN Secretariat UNEP, Nairobi Tel: 254-2-624288 Fax: 254-2-623928 Mr. Richard Lumbe Information Officer UNEP Regional Office for Africa UNEP, Nairobi Tel: 254-2-623181 Fax: 254-2-623928 Message-Id: [199503050027.TAA12048@orion.sas.upenn.edu] Date: Sat, 4 Mar 1995 19:23:20 -0500 From: Abdul-Rehman Malik as-Shukri
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