HC Deb 18 March 1997 vol 292 c518W
Mr. Dafis

To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will make a statement on the current financial position of the UN Environment Programme. [19137]

Mr. Clappison

The 19th governing council of the United Nations environment programme met in Nairobi from 27 January to 7 February. The Government's main objective was to secure decisions which would restore confidence in UNEP and hence reverse the sharp decline in UNEP's funding over recent years. Satisfactory proposals on the governing structure and UNEP's mandate were proposed by the president of the Governing Council, and gathered a wide measure of support from developed and developing countries, but were resisted by some member of the Committee of Permanent Representatives. The governing council was suspended and the Secretary of State took the view that we should suspend our voluntary contribution to the environment fund until these issues are resolved. The United States and Spain took the same view. The Government are now actively seeking ways of resolving this problem with all interested parties.