Cablegate: South African Response On Proposed Environmental

This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.




E.O. 12958: N/A

REF: STATE 246829


1. (SBU) Embassy conveyed reftel points to officials at
Department of Environmental Affairs and Tourism (DEAT) and
Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA). According to DEAT's
Director for International Relations, Zaheer Fakir, his
Department was invited but never participated in discussions
regarding future governance of UNEP, and DEAT does not
support the French proposal.

2. (SBU) DFA Multilateral Branch's Deputy Director for
Conservation Elize Haber told EST Officer that South
Africa's Ambassador to Nairobi attended the Stockholm
meetings, which focused on UNEP's governing body rather than
creation of a UN Environment Organization (UNEO). She noted
that in light of South Africa's strong interest in UN
reform, it remains open to discussion with France about its
proposal. At present South Africa is unconvinced of the
merits of transforming UNEP to a UNEO. The SAG believes the
current governance structure works well. It shares USG
concerns about the potential effectiveness of UNEO and the
financial impact of creating UNEO, particularly on
developing countries. In addition, South Africa is
concerned about a possible move of any new organization from
Nairobi to a location outside Africa. Haber also commented
that her DEAT colleague did not appear to have complete
information about the issue.


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