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Press Release for 'Hosting The 9th Special Session Of The UNEP Governing Council / Global Ministerial Environmental Forum And Associated Events In Dubai, 04 - 09 February 2006'

Saturday 4th of February 2006

In a press conference held today at the Dubai Press Club, H. E. Mr. Hamad Abdulrahman Al Midfaa, Minister of Health – Chairman of the Federal Environmental Agency Board, and H.E. Dr. Klaus Töpfer, the Executive Director of the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP), signed the "HOST COUNTRY AGREEMENT" to host "the 9th Special Session of the UNEP Governing Council (GCSS)" and "the Global Ministerial Environment Forum (GMEF)" together with other Associated Meetings, in tandem with the "The Third Award Ceremony of the Zayed Prize", during the period of 04-09th February 2006 at the Dubai International Convention Center.

This is the culmination of long negotiations between the Zayed International Prize for the Environment, which will be the main focal point for this grand event in the UAE, and the UNEP. This is actually 5 major events in one which are going to be held under the patronage of H. H. General Sheikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai – UAE Defense Minister.

First, the Zayed Prize Award Ceremony of the Third Cycle is a grand event by itself, attended by dignitaries from all five continents of the world. The General H. H. Sheikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai – UAE Defense Minister, will honour the winners of the Zayed Prize in a unique ceremony.

At the same time he will, together with the UN officials, launch the 9th GCSS/ GMEF which will start the next morning. Former USA President, Jimmy Carter was awarded the Zayed Prize for Global Leadership in Environment, in the Inaugural Cycle (2001). In the Second cycle (2003), it was awarded to the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC). The other two categories are the "Scientific/ Technological Achievements" and "Environmental Achievements that have positive impact on Society"

Second: the 9th Special Session of the UNEP Governing Council (GCSS) which is attended by no less than 120 ministers, their Technical Advisors and all international and regional organizations working on environmental issues. They will discuss the new developments in policies that govern UNEP work and approve, on behalf of their governments, any new agreements or strategies that have been negotiated in preparatory meetings.

Third: The Global Ministerial Environment Forum (GMEF) which will take place during 07-09 February 2006 in tandem with the GCSS. The GMEF will discuss global and regional policies related to environment and sustainable development; especially, the implementation of the Johannesburg Plan of Action, the Millennium Development Goals and any new environmental issues.

Fourth: The International Conference on Chemicals Management which will issue the "Dubai Declaration on the Strategic Approach to International Chemicals Management (SAICM)" as a culmination of negotiations that took place during the preparatory meetings; the last one being the Vienna Conference in September 2005, which was attended by a delegation from Zayed Prize.

Fifth: The 7th Global Civil Society Forum (GCSF). This will be the largest gathering of non-governmental organizations to take place in this region. They will represent local communities and the people at large in these important meetings. The GCSF usually contributes significant initiatives and information towards any action plans or strategies at local, regional and international levels.

In addition, several other activities such youth meetings, seminars and exhibitions will also take place, capitalizing on the presence of so many ministers, policy makers and experts from all the world around. Hence, we are hoping that the local, regional and international press will start from now coverage and analysis of all issues that are going to be discussed in these important meetings.

This grand event will become a landmark on the map of international environmental meetings and will reflect the new role that United Arab Emirates is now playing in the international arena.

Finally, with the unprecedented support and close follow up of the Patron, H. H. General Sheikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai – UAE Defense Minister, and in close cooperation and collaboration with the UNEP and other organizations, the Zayed Prize will spare no effort in supporting and encouraging good environmental work, especially in the areas of environmental education and awareness.

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