"Their signatures formalize, in front of their peers, their countries' commitment to the preventive environmental management strategy of cleaner production", said UNEP Executive Director, Klaus Toepfer, who will preside over the event to welcome the new Declaration partners and to demonstrate UNEP's appreciation and support for the current signatories.
At its launch at UNEP's Fifth International High-level Seminar on Cleaner Production in October 1998, in the Republic of Korea, the Declaration attained 67 inaugural signatories. Since then, over 1800 signatures have been received at various international signing ceremonies.
"We are extremely pleased at the results the Declaration has achieved since the Korea launch", said Toepfer. "The signing ceremonies to date have proven the success of this initiative, and its ability to bring together various governments, businesses and other organizations to focus on and promote the cleaner production strategy."
At UNEP's 20th Governing Council session in February, the Declaration also received firm support from the German Government on behalf of the European Union, which encouraged countries that have not yet signed the Declaration to do so. To date, 19 national governments have signed the Declaration, alongside numerous international businesses, associations and other organizations. At least 10 more countries are expected to formalize their commitment at this signing event to be attended by representatives from more than 25 nations.
The Environment Minister of Canada, Ms Christine Stewart, upon signing the Declaration, is expected to announce that her country has agreed to host the 6th High-level UNEP Cleaner Production Conference next year. "We look forward to sharing our experiences with successful pollution prevention measures with the international environmental community", said Minister Stewart.
"The ultimate goal of the Declaration is to spread awareness of the cleaner production strategy and encourage its wide-scale adoption towards achieving sustainable production and consumption", said Jacqueline Aloisi de Larderel, Director of UNEP's Division of Technology, Industry and Economics. To accomplish this goal, the Declaration outlines a set of principles, which when implemented will lead to increased understanding and, ultimately, demand for cleaner production. For Cleaner Production advocates, it is a tool to encourage more governments, businesses and organizations to adopt and further promote the strategy.
"We will work with our Declaration partners to ensure that implementation of the Declaration and measurement of its progress is a priority", continued Mrs. Aloisi de Larderel. "Towards this end, we will soon launch a web site which will provide information and support for current and future signatories." The 'Declaration on the Web' site provides background information, news, lists of signatories and will in the future carry stories of how signatories have implemented the Declaration principles as well as guidelines for implementation.
The UN Commission on Sustainable Development has held annual meetings since its creation after the 1992 Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro. The 1997 Special Session of the United Nations General Assembly asked the Commission to focus on one economic sector each year. For 1998, the focus was on industry in general, with special attention to sectors not covered in subsequent years. The UNEP International Declaration on Cleaner Production is complimentary to the CSD's focus on industry and changing consumption and production patterns.
For further information, please contact:
UNEP's Division of Technology, Industry and Economics
39-43 Quai Andre Citroen,
75739 Paris - Cedex 15,
Tel:+33 1 44 37 14 50; Fax: +331 44 37 14 74
In Nairobi, contact:
Tore J. Brevik,
on tel: (+254-2) 623292,
on tel: 623084, fax: 623692,
UNEP News Release 1999/33