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Senior Official Calls for More Support for Trust Fund as United Nations Forum on Forests Suspends Eighth Session

1 May 2009
Economic and Social CouncilENV/DEV/1040
Department of Public Information • News and Media Division • New York

United Nations Forum on Forests

Eighth Session

9th Meeting (PM)

senior official calls for more support for Trust Fund as United Nations

forum on forests suspends eighth session


Jan McAlpine, Director of the United Nations Forum on Forests Secretariat, appealed to Member States this afternoon to increase support for the body’s Trust Fund, which had received only about one quarter of its $2.6 million budget for activities during the 2008-2009 period.

Speaking before the Forum suspended its eighth session, she stressed the importance of sufficient funding for its activities.  During its seventh session, the Forum had adopted a multi-year programme of work and launched the non-legally-binding instrument on all types of forests, but it had gotten off to a slow start in carrying out those functions.

She thanked donors to the Trust Fund ‑‑ the United States, which had provided the lion’s share, or 73.4 per cent; as well as Australia, Austria, Canada, the European Community, Finland, Germany, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Republic of Korea, Norway, Sweden, Switzerland and the United Kingdom for their contributions, in addition to Croatia for having donated funds for the 2011 International Year of Forests.

The small Trust Fund supplemented the Forum’s regular budget by covering costs for conference services and travel for Member States to ad hoc meetings or sessions of the Forum, she said.  There was reason to be confident that, upon concluding their meetings, the Forum’s two Working Groups ‑‑ addressing, respectively, issues of forests in a changing environment, enhanced cooperation and regional and subregional processes; and means of implementation, cross-cutting issues of forest law enforcement and financial support for implementation of the non-legally-binding instrument ‑‑ would reach a commitment for action and secure a significant increase in funding from donors.

After suspending the meeting, the Forum opened its ninth session and elected, by acclamation, the following to its Bureau:  Zainol Rahim Zainuddin (Malaysia), on behalf of the Group of Asian States; Raymond Harold Landveld (Suriname), on behalf of the Group of Latin American and Caribbean States; Ingwald Gschwandtl (Austria), on behalf of the Group of Western European and other States; and Ndiawar Dieng (Senegal), on behalf of the Group of African States.

Forum Chairman Boen Purnama ( Indonesia) urged the remaining regional groups to put forward candidates for election during the next meeting of the ninth session.

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For information media • not an official record
For information media. Not an official record.