10 February 2006

Background Release

Sixth Session of United Nations Forum on Forests at Headquarters 13 - 24 February

NEW YORK, 9 February (UN Headquarters) -- The United Nations Forum on Forests will hold its sixth session at United Nations Headquarters in New York from 13 to 24 February.  The Forum will resume negotiations on the review of the effectiveness of the International Arrangement on Forests (IAF) and the future direction of the intergovernmental body, which were initiated during the fifth session held in May 2005.

During the fifth session, delegations reviewed the effectiveness of the IAF; considered the parameters of a mandate for developing a legal framework on all types of forests; and considered enhanced cooperation, and policy and programme coordination.

The fifth session of the Forum tentatively agreed to four global goals on:

An important part of the session will focus on the possible negotiation, at some future date, of an instrument for the sustainable management of forests, such as a voluntary forest code, international technical guidelines or an international understanding. Further negotiations on means of implementation will be crucial for strengthening the future international arrangement on forests.

As part of the sixth session, a side event on 13 February, entitled "Contributions of Civil Society to Sustainable Forest Management: From Policy Development to Implementation", will provide an opportunity to engage Member States in a discussion on the benefits of cooperation with civil society.  It will provide examples of best practices for such collaboration at the local, national and regional levels, and consider ways and means of improving the use of substantive contributions of major groups to the Forum.

The Chairperson of the sixth session is Judith Mbula Bahemuka (Kenya) and the Bureau members include Tono Kruzic (Croatia), Majdi Ramadan (Lebanon), José Antonio Doig (Peru) and Franz Perrez (Switzerland).

Media representatives without United Nations credentials who wish to attend the session should contact the Media Accreditation and Liaison Unit, United Nations Department of Public Information, fax: +1 212 963 4642; tel.: +1-212-963-2318.

For media queries regarding the Forum on Forests, please contact Renata Sivacolundhu, United Nations Department of Public Information, tel: +1 212 963 2932, email: mediainfo@un.org ; or Njeri Kariuki, UN Forum on Forests Secretariat, tel.: +1 917 367 6048, email: kariuki@un.org .  Website: http://www.un.org/esa/forests/session.html .

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