On 8 June, UNITAR led by the Manager, Mr. Craig Boljkovac of the Chemicals and Waste Management Programme (CWM), welcomed a Chinese delegation from Anhui Province’s Environmental Protection agency to discuss and further their understanding on advanced chemical management, in particular on Persistent Organic Pollutants.
The Delegation included high-level government officials who planned to use the knowledge acquired during the tour to implement and raise awareness upon their return to Anhui, China. The Head of the Delegation, Mr. Ni Fake, Vice Governor of Anhui Province, was accompanied by the following members of his delegation – Mr. Miao Xuegang, Director-General of Anhui Environmental Protection Department; Deputy Director-General of Anhui Foreign Affairs Office, Mr. Lu Yoouqin; the Chairman of Anhui Conch Group Co., LTD, Mr. Guo Wensan; General Manager of Anhui Ma Steel International Trade and Economic Corporation, Mr. Lu Kecong, and the Division Director of Anhui Environmental Protection Department, Mr. Xiang Lei.
The full day Study Tour was held in Geneva where the guests were briefed on three of UNITAR’s different programs areas - the Environmental Governance Programme, Local Development Programme and Public Finance and Trade Programme. The Delegation was particular interested in the implementation on the provincial level.
After UNITAR’s presentations, the Delegation took part in a private tour of the Palais des Nations where they were impressed by the architecture of the building and the General Assembly Hall. Furthermore, they received invaluable information from the tour guide on the organization of the United Nations, its structure and function worldwide.
In the latter part of the afternoon, the three Conventions’ Secretariats – Secretariat of the Stockholm Convention, Rotterdam and Basel Conventions – explained the main articles of their conventions. The Delegation asked questions on POPs, electronic waste and were also very interested in waste strategies of member countries such as Switzerland. UNEP Chemicals was also present and explained the Strategic Approach to International Chemicals Management (SAICM) and provided information on the global plan of action as well as the process towards ICCM3.
After a full day of presentations, the Delegation thanked UNITAR and their colleagues for giving them the opportunity to visit its main headquarters, and above all to gain increased knowledge on environmental issues. The Delegation was delighted to have the opportunity to meet with UNITAR staff to discuss their concerns over environmental issues in China with the hope of learning new methodologies to implant in Anhui.