UN and OSCE to move onto second phase of joint initiative on environment and security

The OSCE Economic Forum in Prague was linked via video to a conference on the environment in Kyiv Tuesday, boosting efforts to promote cooperation in environmental and security matters.

PRAGUE, May 21, 2003 -- A joint United Nations-OSCE initiative to promote co-operation in environmental matters and security questions received a boost when the OSCE Economic Forum, taking place in Prague, was linked via video to a ministerial conference on the environment in Kyiv.

"This initiative is new," said Marcin Swiecicki, the Co-ordinator of OSCE Economic and Environmental Activities. "It presents for the first time a catalogue of the most neglected security threats in two regions -- south-eastern Europe and Central Asia -- and sets up an agenda for environmental co-operation for many years to come."

The Environment and Security (ENVSEC) Initiative was launched by the United Nations Development and Environment Programmes (UNDP, UNEP) and the OSCE in autumn 2002. It aims at promoting the use of environmental management strategies to reduce insecurity in south-eastern Europe and Central Asia. It currently represents nine countries in south-eastern Europe and five in Central Asia.

The video-link to discuss the outcome of the first phase of the ENVSEC Initiative is a significant part of both the 11th OSCE Economic Forum and the ministerial meeting Environment for Europe taking place from 21 to 23 May in Kyiv, Ukraine. Klaus Toepfer, the Executive Director of UNEP, and Mark Malloch Brown, the head of UNDP, will be the key speakers in Kyiv during the video debate.

More information on the OSCE Economic Forum can be found at the special web site. A web feature explaining the background to the ENVSEC Initiative is also available.

Visit http://www.osce.org/news for related links, documents, news and photos.

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