In late June, on the occasion of the UNITAR Board of Trustees meeting in Beijing, UNITAR Executive Director Carlos Lopes and UNITAR staff undertook a series of key meetings with a wide variety of senior officials in the Chinese government and academia. The meetings were aimed at strengthening the already close cooperation between UNITAR and China.
Mr. Lopes met with the Vice-Minister Li Ganjie of the Ministry of Environmental Protection on 25 June 2010. The Vice-Minister and Mr. Lopes recounted the long history of close cooperation between MEP and UNITAR in the area of sound chemicals management including capacity building and training for the implementation of key multilateral environmental agreements such as the Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants. The Vice-Minister immediately accepted a UNITAR requested that China act as a pilot country for amended guidance (including an e-learning component) on implementation of the Stockholm Convention as part of a new Global Environment Facility project. Possible future cooperation on capacity building and training for the new convention on mercury (currently under negoitiation under the auspices of UNEP) was also discussed.
On 24 June 2010, the UNITAR delegation met with Prof. Yu Gang, the Dean of the Department of Environmental Science & Engineering at Tsinghua University in Beijing. Mr. Lopes thanked Prof. Yu for ongoing close cooperation with Tsinghua University in the environment (particularly chemicals management) field, including a recent Asia-Pacific Regional Workshop on Nanotechnology and Manufactured Nanomaterials, which was hosted by the Basel/Stockholm Convention Regional Centre, housed within the department.
Future plans including the holding of other regional and national workshops, closer cooperation on technical assistance activities, and the possibility of students from the department undertaking internships at UNITAR were also discussed.
On the same day, Mr. Lopes and the rest of the delegation also visited the National Center for Nanoscience and Technology of China, which is shared by Peking and Tsinghua Universities. China, as one of the world’s leading countries in the field of Nanotechnologies and Manufactured Nanomaterials, has close cooperation with UNITAR and its partner OECD on capacity building, training and awareness raising activities.