28 May 1997
OVERALL REVIEW AND APPRAISAL OF THE IMPLEMENTATION OF AGENDA 21
Letter dated 28 May 1997 from the Permanent Representative
of Mongolia to the United Nations addressed to the
I have the honour to bring to your attention the Framework for the
North-East Asian Subregional Programme of Environmental Cooperation
adopted by the Third Meeting of Senior Officials of the six
participating countries of the subregion, namely the People's Republic
of China, the Democratic People's Republic of Korea, Japan, Mongolia,
the Republic of Korea and the Russian Federation, which was held at
Ulaanbaatar in September 1996 (see annex).
The Framework for the North-East Asian Subregional Programme of
Environmental Cooperation aims at promoting subregional cooperation to
achieve environmentally sound and sustainable development in North-
East Asia and as such constitutes a substantive input to the overall
review and appraisal of the implementation of Agenda 21.
Since Mongolia was the host country of the above meeting, and in
accordance with resolution 53/3 of the Economic and Social Commission
for Asia and the Pacific of 30 April 1997, I kindly request that the
text of the present letter and its annex be distributed as an official
United Nations document of the nineteenth special session of the
(Signed) Jargalsaikhany ENKHSAIKHAN
Permanent Representative of
Mongolia to the United Nations
Framework for the North-East Asian Subregional Programme of
1. The Senior Officials designated by the Governments of China, the
Democratic People's Republic of Korea, Japan, Mongolia, the Republic
of Korea and the Russian Federation, hereinafter referred to as the
Participating Parties, having met at their Third Meeting, in
Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia, from 17 to 20 September 1996, have agreed as
1.1 The Participating Parties affirm their commitment to promote
subregional cooperation to achieve environmentally sound and
sustainable development in North-East Asia by actively and effectively
promoting the North-East Asian Subregional Programme of Environmental
Cooperation, as a follow-up to the United Nations Conference on
Environment and Development of 1992.
1.2 The Programme will be coordinated, to the extent possible, with
other regional arrangements and activities of the Economic and Social
Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP) to enhance the overall
effectiveness of environmental cooperation in the subregion.
1.3 The Rio Declaration and Agenda 21, as adopted by the Conference,
should continue to provide general policy guidance on subregional
cooperation in North-East Asia.
2. Geographical coverage
2.1 The geographical scope of the Programme is defined as the areas
under the jurisdiction of the following Participating Parties:
þ Democratic People's Republic of Korea;
þ Republic of Korea;
þ Russian Federation.
2.2 Other Parties and relevant institutions that have an interest and
commitment in furthering cooperation in North-East Asia may be invited
to join in the Programme activities and provide financial support, as
3. Programme objectives
3.1 The principal objective of the Programme is to promote
subregional environmental cooperation and sustainable development
efforts for enhancement of the quality of life and the well-being of
present and future generations in accordance with the spirit of the
United Nations Conference on Environment and Development.
3.2 The activities under the Programme are intended to enhance the
capacities of the Participating Parties in environmental management
efforts through subregional cooperation. To facilitate the complete
and effective participation of national institutions at all levels in
sustainable development efforts, the activities of the Programme will
be aimed primarily at strengthening their relevant technological and
3.3 It would be advantageous to have a step-by-step and practical
approach towards this subregional cooperation and consolidate the
results as the Programme develops in the future. That approach could
be used as building blocks for strengthening subregional cooperation
4. Senior Officials meeting on environmental cooperation
in North-East Asia
4.1 The Meeting of Senior Officials on Environmental Cooperation in
North-East Asia will act as the Governing Body for the Programme. It
will, accordingly, provide overall policy guidance as well as project
coordination and management to the Programme.
4.2 The Meeting of Senior Officials will make all policy decisions
concerning all substantive and financial matters related to the
Programme and, in particular, will:
(a) Keep the Programme under constant review, with a view to
identifying further areas of cooperation and project-related
activities in a step-by-step approach;
(b) Review the progress in implementing the Programme and
projects and evaluate the results achieved;
(c) Approve the budget and work plan of the Programme and
(d) Attempt to formulate a common framework of policies on
subregional and international environmental issues over time, on the
basis of the Rio Declaration;
(e) Review the institutional and financial arrangements for the
subregional cooperation and suggest appropriate mechanisms;
(f) Serve as a forum for sharing experience on policy matters,
information exchange, consultation and stocktaking on activities which
would promote environmental cooperation in North-East Asia.
4.3 The Meeting of Senior Officials on Environmental Cooperation in
North-East Asia will be held, in principle, annually in the country of
one of the Participating Parties, on a rotating basis.
4.4 The Meeting will work towards practical institutional and
financial arrangements for the Programme, as appropriate.
4.5 During the interim period, the support of the ESCAP secretariat
to the Meeting of Senior Officials is requested in collaboration with
the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), the United Nations
Environment Programme (UNEP), the Asian Development Bank (ADB), the
World Bank and other relevant institutions, pending the final decision
on the future institutional and financial arrangements of the
5. Participation, coordination and management
5.1 Each Participating Party will designate national focal points
whose responsibilities will, inter alia, be the following:
(a) To undertake routine work in connection with the relevant
(b) To act as official channels of communication between the
institutions participating in the Programme, the Meeting of Senior
Officials on Environmental Cooperation in North-East Asia, the ESCAP
secretariat and other collaborating agencies and institutions;
(c) To consult and provide guidance to the relevant national
institutions in connection with the implementation of the approved
(d) To collate and present information on the implementation of
the approved projects and activities, as appropriate;
(e) To assist participating and collaborating institutions and
international agencies in undertaking the implementation of the
approved projects and activities.
5.2 The activities under the Programme will generally be executed by
the secretariat. The Meeting of Senior Officials may also designate
one or more agencies to assume overall responsibility for implementing
any specific project. The secretariat and the designated agencies
will accordingly develop project proposals and activities, including
budgetary support requirements, seek funding support and present
periodic reports, as desired.
5.3 The participating institutions (such as government agencies,
research centres, laboratories, universities, etc.) will be designated
by the Participating Parties to implement and carry out the relevant
approved activities under the Programme.
5.4 Regional consultants and institutions will be used, to the extent
possible, for the implementation of approved projects/activities.
6. Collaborating agencies
6.1 The United Nations bodies and agencies such as ESCAP, UNDP and
UNEP and multilateral financing institutions such as the Asian
Development Bank and the World Bank are invited to assist in the
implementation of the Programme, as their follow-up contribution to
the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development in the
North-East Asian subregion in accordance with chapter 38 of Agenda 21.
Their technical, financial and managerial support will be sought on a
continuing basis to further the work of the Programme. Other
collaborating agencies will be invited as necessary.
7. Financial mechanism
7.1 Financial support for the activities of the Programme may be
available from the following sources:
(a) Voluntary contributions from the Participating Parties in
cash or in kind or both;
(b) Collaborating agencies on a project-funding basis;
(c) Contributions from bilateral and multilateral donors;
(d) The private sector on a project-funding basis;
(e) Other contributions.
7.2 The Meeting of Senior Officials on Environmental Cooperation in
North-East Asia will strive to reach a consensus on establishing a
trust fund, to be funded by donors, collaborating agencies and
Participating Parties on a voluntary basis, to ensure the effective
and efficient implementation of the Programme over a longer time-
8. Criteria for project/activity selection
8.1 Commonality of interests, contribution to capacity-building,
priority setting by the countries themselves, the impact on
environment and sustainable development efforts, tangible subregional
environmental benefits, and cost-effectiveness will be the principal
factors in the selection of projects for subregional cooperation.
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Date last posted: 15 January 2000 16:15:30
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