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Simon Upton Resignation from Parliament

Simon Upton
National Member of Parliament

21 September 2000

Resignation from Parliament

National list MP and Foreign Affairs Spokesperson, Simon Upton, announced today that he would be resigning from Parliament early in the New Year to take up a full time position at the OECD in Paris for the next three years.

Mr Upton is currently chairperson of the OECD's Round Table on Sustainable Development. His appointment will enable him to continue his work as chairperson on a full time basis.

Mr Upton chaired the meeting of OECD environment ministers in 1997 and in 1998-99 was chairperson of the 7th session of the UN's Commission on Sustainable Development. At the time of the 1999 General Election, Mr Upton was one of the longest serving environment ministers in the world and had played a significant role in the international debate on oceans and climate issues.

The New Zealand Government has agreed to second an officer from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade to the OECD to work with Mr Upton.

Mr Upton entered Parliament in 1981 as the MP for Waikato, aged 23. He represented the Raglan electorate from 1984 until the advent of MMP in 1996 when he became a list MP. He is currently the second longest serving member of the National Opposition and the last remaining member of National's 1981 intake.

The OECD Roundtable on Sustainable Development

The Round Table was formed in 1998 as an informal forum which brought together governments, NGOs, business and multi-lateral agencies (such as UNEP, UNDP and the World Bank). The rapid expansion of international negotiations in the wake of the Rio conference in 1992 meant a greatly expanded agenda for sustainability issues but relatively few forums at which some of the underlying economic and environmental issues could be explored. The Round Table has endeavoured to provide such a forum. Two major parallel processes over the next two years - the attempt to launch a new trade round and the 2002 review of UNCED (the Rio process) - mean that sustainable development issues will have a high profile. The interface between trade and development issues and environmental issues raise some of the most complex and challenging issues that confront the global community.

Ends

----------------------------------------------------------- A printable formatted copy of this press release will be available on http://www.national.org.nz along with an archive of previous releases.


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