The plan to win full United Nations backing for an International Year of Planet Earth has come a step closer as the proposal wins the backing of the Executive Board of UNESCO, the United Nations Scientific, Cultural and Educational Organization in Paris [Note 1].
The Project, already supported by the geoscience communities in most IUGS countries was introduced to the Agenda by the Permanent Delegation of the United Republic of Tanzania, led by the ambassador to UNESCO, Prof. Mohammed Sheya. Twenty five (25) nations either spoke in favour or recorded their approval for the project at the meeting, which took place on April 28, and marked a high point in a political and scientific process that began five years ago in 2000 [Note 1]. No nation spoke against, and the proposal was accepted nem. con. The grand total of UN nations supporting the Year politically now stands at 34, representing well over half the population of the Earth.
The proposal will now go forward to the United Nations General Assembly in New York, the only body that is able to proclaim UN years. To maximise its chances of early success, the Management Team [Note 2] has decided to pursue two parallel diplomatic routes. The Year’s sponsorship committee is already beginning work to raise the estimated $20 million to fund the Year’s ambitious Science and Outreach Programmes.
Ted Nield | alfa
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