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Multilateral Working Group on Environment, Manama, Bahrain

(October 25-26, 1994)

Press Statement of the Gavelholder

The sixth meeting of the Working Group on the Environment met in Manama, Bahrain, on October 25-26,1994. Forty-one delegates participated. Delegations expressed their deep gratitude to the State of Bahrain for their excellent arrangements and kind hospitality.

The group applauded the historic developments of the bilateral negotiations including the Israel-Jordan peace treaty, an historic development in the Middle East peace process, and the ongoing progress in the implementation of the Israeli-Palestinian agreements.

The Working Group has made substantial progress on its four signature projects:

-- The group endorsed "the Bahrain Environmental Code of Conduct for the Middle East" - the first such document endorsed by any of the multilateral working groups;
-- Both the EU and Japan made significant financial commitments to the upper gulf of Aqaba oil spill contingency plan. These commitments will allow work on the agreed-upon implementation to proceed.
-- The group identified specific sites in the region for the U.S.-led project on wastewater treatment and reuse; and
-- The project on combating decertification with the World Bank and UN support is now ready for implementation.

New activities endorsed by the group include:

-- A Bahrain-led effort on a regional environmental center;
-- A U.S.-led effort on environmental health/pesticides; and discussion of hazardous wastes.
U.S. State Department