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Minister To Attend UN Commission

Climate change and sustainable agricultural practices will be key issues at meetings the Minister for the Environment, Marian Hobbs, will be attending in New York next week.

She leaves on Monday for the annual session of the Commission on Sustainable Development, the United Nations' top body dealing with sustainable development issues.

The Commission monitors progress on the implementation of the sustainable development action programme agreed at the 1992 Rio Earth Summit. It comprises 53 members of the UN elected for a three-year term. New Zealand was elected in 1998.

The Commission focus this year is on agriculture, land use and sustainability.

"Sustainable development is a priority for the Government and we are seen as a key, activist member of the Commission," Marian Hobbs said.

"There will be a strong turnout of Ministers from a wide range of countries and this will also enable additional discussions to take place on climate change.

"This is a crucial time for climate change negotiation and I will be joining a range of other ministers on Friday (April 28) to assess how we can ensure that much needed progress on this issue is achieved."

She will return to New Zealand on May 1.

ends

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