• English

Building Bridges to the Future

The Sixth Ministerial Conference "Environment for Europe"
Belgrade, 10-12 October 2007

“Building Bridges to the Future”

Official opening of the Conference

Summary of the session

Conference documents

Statements

Summary of the session

The Belgrade Conference was opened by the Chair of the Conference, Mr. Saša Dragin, Minister of Environmental Protection of Serbia. He welcomed delegates and introduced the provisional agenda of the Conference.

The President of the Republic of Serbia, Mr. Boris Tadić, welcomed delegates in an opening address. In his address he pointed out that the relation between environmental problems at the global and regional levels, international stability, and peace and security was increasingly recognized and that there was no alternative to the concept of sustainable development. He also stressed his country’s efforts and progress made towards the development of an efficient system of environmental protection. In this context, he proposed the initiative “Zero Emission – Zero Tax”, which aims at introducing tax exemptions for production and the placing on the market of zero emission vehicles in all UNECE countries.

Mr. Sviatoslav Kurulenko, First Deputy Minister of Environmental Protection, Ukraine, passed the “Environment for Europe torch” from Kiev to Belgrade.

The Executive Secretary of UNECE, Mr. Marek Belka, stressed the importance of the “Environment for Europe” process as a unique partnership of Governments, international organizations, non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and other stakeholders in the region and as an example of coherence. While considerable progress had been achieved in many countries since the inception of the process, a number of important challenges remained. The integration of environmental policies into national development strategies was of particular importance, as neglecting environmental aspects in their economic development would be very costly for countries in the long run.

This message was reinforced by Mr. Achim Steiner, the Executive Director of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) in his opening address. He pointed out the importance of policy integration for achieving sustainable development at the global level. He also highlighted that the development path of the twentieth century did not need to be followed in the current century, and that the environment was a resource for development, not an asset to be exploited. After the opening addresses, participants enjoyed an opening ceremony with a performance by artists from the host country.

Conference documents

Category I documents

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Annotated provisional agenda for the Conference (ECE/BELGRADE.CONF/2007/1/Rev.1)

List of documents (ECE/BELGRADE.CONF/2007/3)

Compilation of summaries of documents for action by ministers (ECE/BELGRADE.CONF/2007/5)

Compilation of summaries of background documents (ECE/BELGRADE.CONF/2007/6)



Statements

Keynote addresses

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Mr. Boris Tadic, President of Serbia

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Mr. Sviatoslav Kurulenko, First Deputy Minister of Environmental Protection, Ukraine

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Mr. Marek Belka, Executive Secretary of the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE)

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Mr. Achim Steiner, Executive Director of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP)

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