An informal approach to issues

As a follow-up to the Rio summit, the Canadian environment minister set in motion events that have led to a new environmental grouping. The discussions were held for two days and had no formal agenda or speeches, but it set in motion events that have led to a new grouping of environment ministers.

Ministers and their aides raised various issues for discussion and support and because the participants were not expected to reach formal agreement, they were reported to be more forthright even concerning domestic political constraints. A participant in the meeting, however, points out that because of informal agreement reached on broad issues, the UNEP governing council meeting in May and the CSD meeting in June had smooth sailing.

This group plans to meet again to continue providing "leadership" on the global environmental agenda, by seeking to resolve conflicts informally.