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Upton Appointed Chair Of OECD Round Table

Paris, 12 February 2001

Simon Upton Appointed Chair Of OECD Round Table On Sustainable Development

The Secretary-General of the OECD, Mr. Donald Johnston, is pleased to announce the arrival of Simon Upton to the posts of Special Counsellor and full-time Chairman of the OECD Round Table on Sustainable Development.

Part of the OECD's initiative on Sustainable Development, the Round Table is an informal forum. Since 1998 it has given key participants in the sustainable development debate an opportunity to take stock of progress at the global level and think laterally about solutions that are difficult to introduce in formal negotiating processes. Ministers of Environment and of Economics, the heads (or their nominees) of OECD, World Bank, UNDP, UNEP, WTO and UNCTAD, and invited individuals from business organisations and NGOs meet twice a year to tackle some of the more intractable problems that defy negotiated solutions.

The participants in the Round Table share information on their respective activities, assist in the development of the international agenda on sustainable development and explore the underlying economic and environmental issues. The Round Table does not seek to generate negotiated outcomes, but highlights issues and possible solutions that members can feed into their own work programmes.

Simon Upton, has chaired the OECD Round Table on Sustainable Development on a part-time basis since its creation. His 3-year appointment as the full-time chair will provide additional momentum to this work, which should contribute both to efforts to launch a new trade round and preparations for the Rio+10 Summit in 2002.

Mr. Upton was a member of the New Zealand parliament for 19 years. Prior to the general election in 1999, he was one of the longest serving environment ministers in the world. In that capacity, Mr. Upton played a significant role in the international debate on oceans and climate issues. He chaired the meeting of OECD Environment Ministers in 1997 and in 1998-1999 was chairman of the 7th session of the UN's Commission on Sustainable Development.

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