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Alpine Convention shows solidarity with other mountain regions

The keynote event of the 32nd Meeting of the Standing Committee of the Alpine Conference focused on international mountain partnerships. In future the Alpine Convention is aiming to co-operate first and foremost with players from the mountain regions of Central Asia, the Caucasus, the Carpathians and the Balkans.
Key aspects are to include setting up and supporting networks of communities and networks of protected areas.
A wide range of other issues was also addressed at the meeting held in Bolzano/I on 4 to 6 April. Work on the area of Population and Culture is currently in abeyance, with only the elaboration of a non-binding political declaration planned at present. As things stand at present, this elaboration still requires a certain degree of attention to ensure that the declaration by the alpine population provides genuine benefits once accepted by the ministerial conference. The many reservations tabled by France regarding the ratification of the Transport Protocol were also a delicate issue. It appears that a number of states will lodge a protest against these reservations so that the twelve-month deadline is not exceeded.
The fact that Italy is several years in arrears with the payment of its contributions to the Permanent Secretariat of the Alpine Convention remains a major problem for the operations of the Alpine Convention. As a result the Permanent Secretariat is forced to make do with a reduced budget and a minimum of human resources. The post of Secretary General of the Alpine Convention is to be advertised in June (closing date: 30 June 2006), with the election to be held at the 9th Alpine Conference in November 2006.
Information: www.alpenkonvention.org (de/fr/it/sl)