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UK ROUND TABLE ON SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT CONFERENCE

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The UK Round Table on Sustainable Development exists to encourage ...
The UK Round Table on Sustainable Development exists to encourage

discussion on major sustainable development issues to build consensus

between people who have different perspectives and responsibilities.

The establishment of the Northern Ireland and Welsh assemblies, a

Scottish parliament, and nine new regional development agencies

covering all England, represents the most significant constitutional

revision ever undertaken at one period since the formation of the

United Kingdom. These measures also offer unique opportunities for

the explicit inclusion of sustainable development as an overarching

principle in devolved and regional governance of the UK.

The UK Round Table, recognising the importance of these developments

is holding a conference in Belfast on the 9 and 10 October in order

to expand the debate on sustainable development involving as many

stake holders as possible so each can learn from the others'

experiences.

Lord Cranbrook, chairman of the UK Round Table Working Group,

carrying forward this study, said today:

'At this very moment, emerging new political and administrative

structures offer unique opportunities to set the right framework to

embed the concept of sustainable development in all our decision-making.

'At the UK level, despite ministerial and prime ministerial

admonitions, the machinery of government remains compartmentalised.

To meet the target of sustainable development, integration across

economic affairs, housing, transport, agriculture, forestry and the

environment is a minimum requirement. Can this be achieved by the new

assemblies and parliament? How will the English regional development

agencies play their role? These are important questions, and I hope

the Round Table conference will help the process of finding answers.'

NOTES

The UK Round Table on Sustainable Development was established in

early 1995. It aims to encourage discussion on major sustainable

development issues and to build consensus between people who have

different perspectives and different responsibilities.

The Round Table is chaired by Richard Southwood and has members drawn from local government, business, environmental organisations and other sections of the community. The deputy prime Minister, John Prescott, is president of the Round Table and ministers seek to take part in plenary discussions as appropriate. However, this does not imply Government endorsement of the Round Table's recommendations.

The time available at Round Table plenary meetings is limited. Much

of the detailed work is therefore carried out in sub-groups, which

also provide the opportunity for sectors not represented on the Round

Table itself to participate in discussions on particular topics. Lord

Cranbrook, who is a founder member of the UK Round Table, and former

chairman of English Nature, chairs the sub-group: sustainable

development-devolved and regional dimensions. Membership of the

sub-group comprises:

Elizabeth AndrewsRSPB Wales

Graham Ashworth Going for Green

Baroness Denton of Wakefield

Brian Hanna Chief executive, Belfast City Council

Peter Housden Chief executive, Nottinghamshire CC

Lord Lindsay

Corrie McChord Leader, Stirling Council

David Middleton Environmental Business Communications

Ltd

Neil Sinden CPRE

The Round Table Secretariat can be contacted at the address below:

Zone 4/F5 Telephone: 0171 890 4962

Ashdown House Fax: 0171 890 4959

123 Victoria Street

London

SW1E 6DE E-mail 106174.2501@compuserve.com

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