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SENIOR OFFICIALS GROUP BUREAU 13

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SENIOR OFFICIALS GROUP BUREAU 13

SENIOR OFFICIALS GROUP BUREAU

    Sixteenth Meeting

    Stockholm, Sweden

    March 2, 2004

    17 March 2004

    LW/040317/4

Report from the Sixteenth SOG Bureau Meeting

Introduction

    The Sixteenth Meeting of the Senior Officials Group (SOG) Bureau was held on 2 March 2004, in Stockholm, Sweden.

    The Meeting was chaired by the SOG Chairman, Mr. Valdis Bisters.

    The list of participants in the Meeting is attached to this report as Annex 1, and the list of documents submitted as Annex 2.

1. Welcome and opening of the Meeting

    The Meeting was opened by Mr. Valdis Bisters, the SOG Chairman.

2. Adoption of the Agenda

    The Meeting adopted the Agenda as submitted in the document SOG Bureau 16/2/1.

     th3. Baltic 21 policy and strategy and the preparations for the 5 Baltic Sea States

    Summit

    The Chairman introduced this item by recalling the Joint journal article of the Prime Ministers of Sweden and Estonia, were an Eco-Region concept was introduced.

    The Chairman further gave a background to the Draft WGPS II documents and an account of the WGPS II process.

    The documentation from the WGPS II, in document SOG Bureau 16/3/1 presented to the Bureau consisted of:

    ; A Draft Report to SOG from WGPS

    ; A one page proposal for a new mandate

    ; A Five Year report to Prime Minister as required in the Baltic 21 Main document

    ; A draft Annex to the Chairman’s Conclusions of the Prime Ministers containing the new

    Strategy

    ; An Implementation Plan submitted by CCB

Concerning the WGPS II report to the SOG, the Meeting agreed that the statement on the

    Commitment of Baltic 21 should be renamed and be called “Vision of Baltic 21.”

    Sweden pointed out that the wording “funding mechanism” should be rephrased in the proposal so as to read “a mechanism for identifying funding sources”.

    Finland proposed that the Five year Report to Prime Ministers should be shorter more to the point, and include an account of concrete activities rather than general statements.

    The Chairman supported this idea and added that future challenges should be issues of importance for sustainable development of the region.

    Concerning the implementation plan Sweden proposed that a task force for the funding sources should be established.

    Finland aligned itself with Sweden and emphasised that a task force should actively involve financing institutions.

    Furthermore Sweden proposed that the implementation plan submitted by the CCB should be revised in a manner that the activities would follow the three parts of the proposal for a new mandate (think-tank function, lighthouse projects and identifying funding sources).

    The Meeting agreed tat the further elaboration of the implementation plan, according to the structure of the three parts of the proposal, could be a starting point for the group discussions during the SOG 20.

    The Meeting decided to divide the document in two parts. Document one would contain the report to the SOG with the implementation plan developed by CCB annexed to it. Document two would consist of the draft Five Year report with the one page proposal annexed to it.

The Meeting requested the Secretariat to make the proposed changes and distribute the

    documents to WGPS II for comments before submitting them to the SOG.

    The Meeting also decided to obtain the views of the SOG members on the WGPS II proposal prior to the Meeting and advised the Secretariat to request the SOG members to submit their comments to the Secretariat ca. two weeks before the SOG 20 Meeting.

Furthermore, the Bureau elaborated a draft text on Baltic 21 the be proposed for inclusion in the thChairman’s conclusions from the 5 Baltic Sea States Summit.

4. Baltic 21 priority projects

    4.1 Project development and fund-raising

    The Secretariat gave brief information on the outcome of the project. Two consultants were involved during different periods of the duration of the project, which was from 1 June 2002 until 31 October 2003. The consultants have not been used by the Baltic 21 Sectors and Joint Actions to the extent that it was expected at the outset of the project. This can be explained by the fact that Lead party rotation was taking place in two sectors, (Agriculture and Forests), one sector (Tourism) is in a start-up phase with new persons in leading countries, one sector (Transport) is currently inactive and the energy sector is confined within BASREC.

    A tangible outcome of the project is the database of financing institutions that can be useful for identifying funding opportunities for Baltic 21 projects.

    The Secretariat had submitted to Germany in December 2003 a report from this operation and received the final installment of the grant.

    As regards possible continuation of the project, in November 2003 Germany informed the Secretariat that they would like to postpone its decision on this matter until the SOG 20 comes to an agreement about the future policy and strategy of Baltic 21 and it will be known what kind of assistance will best benefit Baltic 21.

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    The Meeting expressed its appreciation to Germany for their readiness to continue providing extra financial support to Baltic 21 and decided to revert to the issue of how to continue the support to Baltic 21 process after that the SOG has decided on the future strategy.

4.2 Public awareness and monitoring of the Baltic 21 process

    With reference to document SOG Bureau 16/4.2/Info 1the consultant for this project Ms Laila Kule introduced this item by giving the Meeting a review of achievements so far.

    The list of products and services provided in 2003 by this project (i.e. developed by the consultant, the Secretariat and/or other companies) comprises:

    ; Two issues of the Newsletter;

    ; Several information materials;

    ; Website updating as well as a new sophisticated Baltic 21 website;

    ; Dissemination of information and updating of the distribution database;

    ; Baltic 21 2000-2002 report (triennial report) both a printed and a web-based versions.

    The Bureau thanked the consultant for her services provided so far. Furthermore the Bureau advised the consultant to slightly revise document SOG Bureau 16/4.2/Info 1 so as not to go with planning beyond the time when a new policy and strategy is likely to be started to be implemented and then submit the paper to the SOG 20 for information.

    Sweden announced that their Ministry of Foreign Affairs has decided to allocate SEK 100,000 to Baltic 21 for the purpose of this project. The Ministry of Environment has also decided to donate SEK 200,000 for the same purpose. Altogether Sweden will fund the project with SEK 300,000. Sweden also requested the Secretariat to report how the previous grant for the years 2002 and 2003 has been used.

The Meeting thanked Sweden for this generous offer.

    The Bureau discussed the appropriateness of prolonging the current contract with the consultant and came to the conclusion that new Terms of Reference for the projects should be seen in the light of the expected new mandate for Baltic 21. The earliest occasion for the SOG to decide on revised Terms of reference would be during the autumn SOG Meeting. Based on this notion the Bureau decided to continue to use the services of the consultant until 31 August 2004.

5. Preparations for the SOG 20 Meeting

    5.1 Draft provisional agenda

    The Secretariat introduced a draft Provisional agenda with timetable for the SOG 20 Meeting (submitted as document SOG Bureau 16/5.1/1).

    The Meeting approved the agenda with minor changes resulting from the discussions under agenda item 5.2 below.

5.2 Other matters

    The Meeting discussed the set-up and modalities for introducing and discussing the WGPS II outcome and how to prepare a decision by the SOG on this matter. It decided to propose to the

    SOG that three groups should work simultaneously with each of them on a respective part of the implementation plan dealing with one of the three main issues being part of the new proposed mandate (think-tank function, lighthouse projects, funding sources).

6. Any other business

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    The Secretariat presented the new Baltic 21 website and proposed options and modalities for the launch of the web-site (submitted as document SOG Bureau 16/6/1).

    The Meeting decided that the formal launch of the website should be made after the SOG 20 Meeting, and that both the outcome of the SOG 20 and the new website should be publicized in one press-release to be distributed after the meeting. In the meantime, the members of the Baltic 21 network should be invited to give their comments and provide updated or additional information. In addition the Bureau emphasised that it is important to use information channels such as newsletter from other organisations of the Baltic 21 network for spreading the news about the Baltic 21 website.

7. Next SOG Bureau Meeting

    The Meeting decided to postpone the final decision regarding the date and place of the next SOG Bureau meeting bearing mind that a new SOG Bureau will be elected by the SOG 20 in April 2004.

    Furthermore, the Meeting discussed a tentative schedule for coming meeting. In order to have a prompt start of the implementation of the new mandate it might be advisable to hold the next SOG Meeting earlier than usually. This matter shall be discussed by the SOG 20. If the SOG agrees to this proposal, the new SOG Bureau might wish to meet already in early July 2004.

8. Adoption of the SOG Bureau 16 report

    The Meeting agreed to the procedure for the adoption of the SOG Bureau 16 report suggested by the Secretariat and requested it to provide the draft report to the participants of the Meeting on 11 March 2004, and that comments to the draft would be due at the latest on 16 March 2004. A revised report would then be distributed on 17 March 2004 to be adopted by the SOG Bureau per

    capsulam, provided that no further comments are submitted within one week.

9. Closing of the Meeting

    The Chairman closed the Meeting at 17:30 hours and thanked the participants for their constructive work.

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SENIOR OFFICIALS GROUP BUREAU Report from the Meeting

    Sixteenth Meeting Annex 1

    Stockholm, Sweden

    March 2, 2004

List of participants

    CHAIRMAN

    GUESTS Mr. Valdis Bisters

    Ministry of Environment Ms. Maria Kekki Peldu 25, LV-1494 RIGA, LATVIA Intern

    Phone: +371 7026 417 CBSS Secretariat Fax: +371 7026 553 P.O. Box 2010 E-mail: valdis.bisters@varam.gov.lv SE-103 11 STOCKHOLM, SWEDEN

     Phone: +46 8 440 1937 FINLAND Fax: +46 8 440 1944 Ms. Tuire Nikulainen E-mail: maria.kekki@cbss.st Ministry of the Environment

    P.O. Box 380 Mr. Christian Floer

    Ministry of the Environment FIN-00023 HELSINKI

    S-103 33 STOCKHOLM Phone: + 358 9 1991 39432

    Phone: +46 8 405 2873 Fax: + 358 9 1991 39453

    Fax: +46 8 10 3807 E-mail: tuire.nikulainen@ymparisto.fi E-mail: SWEDEN christian.floer@environment.ministry.se

    Ms. Anne-Cerise Nilsson

    Ministry of the Environment

    S-103 33 STOCKHOLM

    Phone: +46 8 405 4750

    Fax: +46 8 10 3807

    E-mail: anne-

    cerise.nilsson@environment.ministry.se

BALTIC 21 SECRETARIAT

    Mr. Marek Maciejowski

    Baltic 21 Unit, CBSS Secretariat P.O. Box 2010

    SE-103 11 STOCKHOLM, SWEDEN

    Phone: +46 8 440 1938

    Fax: +46 8 440 1944

    E-mail: marek.maciejowski@cbss.st

Mr. Lars Westermark

    Baltic 21 Unit, CBSS Secretariat P.O. Box 2010

    SE-103 11 STOCKHOLM, SWEDEN

    Phone: +46 8 440 1941

    Fax: +46 8 440 1944

    E-mail: lars.westermark@cbss.st

CONSULTANTS

    Ms. Laila Kule

    P.O. Box A/K 60

    LV 1004 RIGA, LATVIA

    Phone: +371 7627439

    E-mail: laila.kule@apollo.lv

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SENIOR OFFICIALS GROUP BUREAU Report from the Meeting

    Sixteenth Meeting Annex 2

    Stockholm, Sweden

    March 2, 2004

List of documents submitted to the Meeting

Main documents

    Code Title Submitted by

    Provisional agenda Secretariat ; SOG Bureau 16/2/1

    Provisional annotated agenda Secretariat ; SOG Bureau 16/2/2

    Result of the WGPS II WGPS II ; SOG Bureau 16/3/1

    Progress report on the Baltic 21 Priority project “Public The ; SOG Bureau 16/4.2/Info 1

    awareness and monitoring of the Baltic 21 process” Consultant

    Draft Provisional agenda with timetable for the SOG Secretariat ; SOG Bureau 16/5.1/1

    20 Meeting

    Launch of the new Baltic 21 website Secretariat ; SOG Bureau 16/6/1

    and the

    Consultant

Auxiliary documents

    Code Title Submitted by

    Practical information for participants Secretariat ; Non-coded

    Preliminary timetable Secretariat ; SOG Bureau 16/Info 1

    Preliminary list of participants Secretariat ; SOG Bureau 16/Info 2

    List of documents submitted to the Meeting Secretariat ; SOG Bureau 16/Info 3

    Revised list of documents submitted to the Meeting Secretariat ; SOG Bureau 16/Info

    3/Rev. 1

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