Renewing our commitment,
celebrating our progress
THE HONOURABLE CHRISTINE STEWART
Canadian Minister of the Environment
Environment is life; it is a heritage that we pass on to future generations. To protect this heritage, 162 countries have now signed the Montreal Protocol of 16 September 1987, a major step forward in protecting the global environment.
In signing the Protocol these countries have demonstrated true leadership. Their response to the promptings of the scientific community, combined with the cooperation of the business and technology sectors, has permitted the development of coordinated and effective national and international policies. Ten years later, it can be said that the Montreal Protocol has become a model of international cooperation.
The Government of Canada is honoured to welcome delegates, observers, representatives of United Nations organizations and of companies and environmental organizations, as well as the general public, to Montreal in September 1997 to mark the tenth anniversary of the initial signing of the Protocol.
The Government views this meeting as an opportunity for all Parties to renew their long-term commitment to protecting the ozone layer. Delegates will specifically focus on ways of providing countries with the technology they need to respect the Protocol's commitments and on encouraging other countries to become signatories to the Protocol and its Amendments, thereby joining this international effort to preserve the environment.
Canada is renewing its own commitments, both national and international, and is instituting measures to ensure the accelerated elimination of remaining ozone-depleting substances. It also supports the recovery and recycling of these substances and the dissemination of information both to users of possible substitutes and to the public at large, so that they may be made aware of the issue and of possible solutions. The Canadian strategy of accelerated elimination has received the support of federal and provincial governments alike and is already leading to positive results.
The ninth meeting of the Parties, and a number of related activities in celebration of the tenth anniversary, will take place at the new head office of the International Civil Aviation Organization located in the heart of Montreal, at the crossroads of the historical, cultural and business districts.
Participants will enjoy a friendly welcome. Montreal is a large, North American, bilingual city known for its exceptional quality of life, cultural dynamism and safety, both as a home and a place to visit. In such sectors as telecommunications, informatics, aeronautics, multimedia and biotechnology, Montreal is also a centre of knowledge for the New Economy. The city boasts four large French- and English-language universities and several specialized industrial parks.
Many of the 50 international organizations based in Montreal are concerned with environmental issues. The city is host to the United Nations Multilateral Fund Secretariat for the Montreal Protocol, the Commission for Environmental Cooperation, which stems from the North American Free Trade Agreement, and the United Nations Secretariat for the Convention on Biological Diversity, and is currently in the running to become the host city for the United Nations Secretariat for the Convention to Combat Desertification.
UNEP, the Government of Canada, the Government of Quebec, the City of Montreal and the Société des Célébrations of the tenth anniversary have worked together to prepare events to mark the anniversary and to enable participants to contribute to a productive meeting of
The Government of Canada sincerely hopes that this setting will enable all participants to meet the challenge of protecting the ozone layer on behalf of future generations