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UNEP 2004 in Jeju

Posted March. 29, 2004 22:48,   


The Eighth Special Session of the Governing Council and Global Ministerial Environment Forum of the UNEP (U.N. Environment Programme) kicked off at the International Convention Center in Jeju on Monday. It will continue until Wednesday.

This session, with its core agenda of “Water and Sanitation,” hit a record in terms of the number of participants in the General Assembly. Delegation from 158 nations, including Environmental Ministers from 102 countries, took part in this meeting.

“This session will come up with its specific framework to supply enough water for 10 billion people worldwide suffering from lack of water and provide 25 billion people with upgraded sanitary services,” South Korea Environment Minister Gwak Gyul-ho said in the opening speech.

“Today, a third of the world population lose their lives due to lack of clean water and 5,000 children under the age of five die of drinking water daily, two million annually. I ask all of you to join our efforts in lowering the death rate of infants under five-years-old to one third of its current state,” UNEP Director General requested in a keynote address.

This meeting will deal with how the international community implements its commitments and secures resources to resolve the current water problem as its top priority. It will also discuss the issue of turning the UNEP’s global environment control network, from an existing system under 58 member of the U.N. Council to a new system under all U.N. member states.

Today’s sea is proved to be a “Dead Zone” where fish can never survive because of oxygen drain. Many agricultural fertilizers, pollutants from cars and factories, and wastes have led us to a serious crisis in terms of fish catch. It has become a grave danger to people in the fish industry, UNEP said in “The Global Environment Almanac in 2003” which was released yesterday.

According to this report, a couple of “Dead Zone” exists, in both the southern seashore of China and southwest seashore of Japan.

Jong-Hoon Lee taylor55@donga.com