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August 2000 informal circular letter from the IFF Secretariat

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  • Zehra Aydin
    Forwarding for your information. Zehra Aydin-Sipos ... Dear Colleagues, This is the informal circular letter from the Secretariat of the Intergovernmental
    Message 1 of 1 , Aug 1, 2000
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      Forwarding for your information. Zehra Aydin-Sipos

      Dear Colleagues,

      This is the informal circular letter from the Secretariat of the
      Intergovernmental Forum on Forests (IFF) for August 2000.

      The website for the IFF Secretariat is

      The official Report of the Intergovernmental Forum on Forests on its fourth
      session is available at:

      The report of the eight session of the Commission on Sustainable
      Development (CSD) concerning the IFF is available at:

      ECOSOC Informal Consultations related to International Arrangement on

      Twelve informal consultations concerning the new intergovernmental
      arrangement on forests have been held so far in New York, with more than
      fifty delegates attending regularly. The consultations have been
      facilitated by Ambassador Bagher Asadi (Islamic Republic of Iran). The
      latest informal consultation was held on Thursday 27 July 2000.

      The consultations have contributed notably to a higher level of
      understanding among Governments and to the elimination of several
      ambiguities that existed in the language adopted in IFF4 (February 2000).
      All delegates have shared the common view to establish the UNFF as soon as
      possible, in order to start the implementation of the IPF/IFF proposals for
      action without delay. It was recognised, however, that the placing of the
      UNFF within the UN system has many implications that require further

      Among the sensitive issues discussed during the consultations is the
      membership of the UNFF, that is, limited membership versus universal
      membership. Other challenging matters include the location of the future
      secretariat of the UNFF as well as issues regarding the financing of the
      functioning of the UNFF. Initial offers for hosting the secretariat include
      Rome, (offered by FAO), San Jose (offered by Government of Costa Rica) and
      Geneva (preliminary offer presented by the Government of Switzerland).

      Due to the outstanding issues that require further consultations, the
      substantive session of the ECOSOC (5 July - August) could not yet take
      decision on the establishment of the UNFF. Delegations, therefore, agreed
      to continue with informal consultations, scheduled for 18-22 September,
      with a view to clear the outstanding issues before the resumed session of
      the ECOSOC (late September 2000), where the ECOSOC resolution could be

      Two open briefings (17 and 27 July) have been organised by Ambassador
      Asadi, for the purpose of informing, in particular non-governmental
      organisations (NGOs), on the status of the negotiations as well as to
      receive their inputs. During the informal consultations, Governments have
      continuously expressed the view that they are looking forward to close
      collaboration with NGOs in the future UNFF. Although delegations decided to
      keep the informal consultations closed, they have encouraged NGOs to
      approach Governments for further information and dialogue on the

      IFF Secretariat News

      The IFF Secretariat has continued to service the above described informal
      consultations and briefings. The Secretariat has also started preparations
      related to the organisational meeting and the first substantive session of
      the UNFF (in 2001), and in particular related to the multi-year programme
      of work of the UNFF as well as the plan of action for the implementation of
      the IPF/IFF proposals for action.

      ITFF Meetings

      The latest meeting of the informal, high-level Interagency Taskforce on
      Forests (ITFF) took place during IFF4. The summary records of the ITFF
      meetings are available online at: http://www.un.org/esa/sustdev/iffiac.htm

      An informal meeting is planned during the XXI IUFRO World Congress in Kuala
      Lumpur, Malaysia (7-12 August 2000) among those ITFF members that attend
      the IUFRO Congress.


      7-12 August 2000, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. XXI IUFRO World Congress. Forests
      and Society: The Role of Research.

      4-8 September 2000, Bogota, Colombia. Twenty-First Session of the Latin
      American and Caribbean Forestry Commission (LACFC).

      5-8 September 2000, St. John's, Newfoundland, Canada. International Forest
      Communicators Forum. An initiative by the FAO-ECE Team of Public Relations
      Specialists in the Forest and Forest Industries Sector.

      25-26 September 2000, Vienna, Austria. Third Expert Level Meeting on the
      Follow-up of the Lisbon Conference, organised by the Ministerial Conference
      on Protection of Forests in Europe - Liaison Unit Vienna.

      9-13 October 2000, Rome, Italy. European Forestry Commission (EFC) / ECE
      Timber Committee.

      13-24 November 2000, the Hague, Netherlands. Sixth session of the
      Conference of the Parties of the FCCC.

      22-25 January 2001. International Workshop of Experts on Financing
      Sustainable Forest Management (Oslo Workshop). A Government-led initiative
      in support of the IPF/IFF/UNFF Processes.

      Best regards. Tiina Vähänen

      For further information please contact:

      Secretariat, Intergovernmental Forum on Forests
      Division of Sustainable Development
      Department of Social and Economic Affairs
      United Nations
      Two UN Plaza, 12th Floor, New York, N.Y. 10017
      Tel: + 1 212 963-6208, Fax: +1 212 963-3463
      e-mail: vahanen@...
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