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Minister To Attend UNEP Forum

The Minister for the Environment, Marian Hobbs, will represent New Zealand at the first Global Ministerial Environment Forum in Malmo, Sweden next week.

More than 100 world Environment Ministers will discuss major global environmental challenges in the new century as well as strategic policy responses to address such issues. Their findings, to be set out in the "Malmo Declaration", will be presented to the UN's 55th General Assembly, the Millennium Assembly, in New York later this year, Marian Hobbs said.

"We will also focus on the responsibilities of the private sector and civil society to the environment in the globalised world of the 21st century," she added.

The Forum will also consider the contribution of the UN Environment Programme to implementing Agenda 21, the programme of action for sustainable development, produced by the Rio Earth Summit in 1992. New Zealand has just begun a three-year term on the UNEP's Governing Council.

"The Forum reflects the fundamental shift of the United Nations, as expressed by the Secretary General, towards recognising that peace and prosperity cannot be achieved without partnerships involving governments, international organisations, the business community and other components of civil society," Marian Hobbs said.

The Forum runs from May 29 to May 31 after which the Minister will visit London for discussions on broadcasting issues with government and industry representatives.

The Minister leaves on May 27 and returns on June 6.

ends

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