On 24-25 September, more than six hundred persons participated in the UNECE Regional Ministerial Meeting, jointly organized with UNEP and convened at the Palais des Nations, in Geneva, Switzerland. Among the participants representing the 55 member States of UNECE were 22 Ministers and 15 Deputy Ministers. More than 200 persons from approximately100 non-governmental organizations, represented all Major Groups.
At the Meeting, the Ministers and heads of delegations of member States of the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE), adopted a Ministerial Statement for the World Summit on Sustainable Development. In addition, the Chair of the Meeting prepared a Chairman's summary of the Meeting. Both of these are contained in the Report of the UNECE Ministerial Meeting for the World Summit on Sustainable Development (English, Francais, Russian) .
The Ministerial Meeting elected all members of its Bureau by acclamation. These included the Chair, Mr. Joseph DEISS (Federal Councellor and Head of the Department for Foreign Affairs, Switzerland), and the following Vice-Chairs: Mr. Richard BALLHORN (Director General, Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade, Canada); Mr. Ioan JELEV (State Secretary for Environmental Protection, Ministry of Waters and Environmental Protection, Romania); Mr. Kjell LARSSON (Minister of the Environment, Sweden); and Mr. Serhii KURYKIN (Minister of Environment and Natural Resources, Ukraine).
Two Panels were organized during the Ministerial Meeting. The first was a Panel on Governance and Sustainable Development, chaired by Mr. Svend AUKEN (Minister of Environment and Energy, Denmark). Members of the Panel included M. Olivier DELEUZE (State Secretary of Energy and Sustainable Development, Belgium); Mr. Yves COCHET (Minister of Environment and Spatial Planning, France); Dr. Ilona BODA, (Political Secretary of State, Hungary); Mr. Nurlan ISKAKOV (Vice-Minster of Natural Resources and Environment Protection, Kazakhstan); Mr. Nicolae STRATAN (Deputy Minister, Ministry of Ecology, Construction and Territorial Development); Ms. Paula DOBRIANSKY (Under-Secretary-of State for Global Affairs, United States); Sir Mark Moody STUART (Business Action for Sustainable Development); and Ms. Victoria ELIAS (European EcoForum).
The second was a Panel on Poverty and Sustainable Development, chaired by Mr. Jan PRONK (Minister of Housing, Spatial Planning and the Environment, the Netherlands). Panel members included Dr. Richard HAWORTH (Acting Deputy Minister, Natural Resources Canada, Canada); Mrs. Nino CHKHOBADZE (Minister of Environment and Natural Resources Protection, Georgia); Mr. Serhii KURYKIN (Minister, Environment and Natural Resources, Ukraine); Mr. Michael MEACHER (Minister of State, Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, United Kingdom); Ms. Irene DANKELMAN (Women's Environment and Development Organization); and Ms. Karine DANIELYAN (NGO Association for Sustainable Human Development).