US embassy cable - 02ABUJA1450

NIGERIA: USG PARTICIPATION IN THE JUNE 17-19 SUPER PREP COM IN ABUJA

Identifier: 02ABUJA1450
Wikileaks: View 02ABUJA1450 at Wikileaks.org
Origin: Embassy Abuja
Created: 2002-05-09 14:17:00
Classification: UNCLASSIFIED
Tags: SENV PREL EFIS AORC EAID NI
Redacted: This cable was not redacted by Wikileaks.
This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.

UNCLAS ABUJA 001450 
 
SIPDIS 
 
 
DEPT FOR OES A/S TURNER FROM AMBASSADOR JETER 
ALSO FOR OES SBRANDEL AND KSHIPPE 
AF FOR DAS ROBERT PERRY 
ABIDJAN FOR RHAWKINS 
 
 
E.O. 12958: N/A 
TAGS: SENV, PREL, EFIS, AORC, EAID, NI 
SUBJECT: NIGERIA: USG PARTICIPATION IN THE JUNE 17-19 SUPER 
PREP COM IN ABUJA 
 
 
REF: STATE 85964 
 
 
 1. Minister of State for the Environment Imeh Okopido 
recently called me concerning the level of USG representation 
for the June 17-19 Super Prep Com Ministerial to be hosted by 
President Olusegun Obasanjo.   Okopido told me that he has 
not received a formal response to his March 22 invitation 
letter to Assistant Secretary Turner, but he had heard 
informally that OES was not sending anyone from Washington. 
 
 
2.  As noted in reftel, the Super Prep Com is an important 
step toward the World Summit on Sustainable Development later 
this year.  The African Process, an initiative of eleven 
African countries, is aimed at establishing programs on ocean 
pollution from coastal sources in the regions from East 
Africa around the Cape to West Africa.  It represents a 
serious initiative by Africans to address their environmental 
problems in a regional way. 
 
 
3. Okopido is one of the continent's most knowledgeable and 
dynamic leaders on the environment.  He has focussed 
President Obasanjo's attention on important issues like gas 
flaring.  A positive Super Prep Com (which by Nigerian 
definition would require adequate representation from the 
U.S.) will help solidify the commitment of the Nigerian 
government and President Obasanjo in protecting the African 
environment. 
 
 
4. Our experience in working with President Obasanjo on 
HIV/AIDS is instructive.  His interest and commitment grew as 
he attended and even hosted international conferences with 
high-level visitors such as former U.S. Presidents Carter and 
Clinton and UN Secretary General Annan.  Now President 
Obasanjo is the driving force among African Heads of State on 
this critical issue.  He could serve the same role on the 
environment.  Moreover, he is an architect of NEPAD, and our 
showing high-level interest in the Super Prep Com will 
encourage him to inject environmental concerns into NEPAD 
deliberations.  In short, a successful Super Prep Com can be 
an important step in mobilizing Nigeria's substantial 
diplomatic and regional influence toward more effective 
environmental policies. 
 
 
5. We are particularly hopeful that the Assistant Secretary 
can attend at least the June 19 Ministerial.  If he cannot, 
we would ask support in finding other high-level 
participation perhaps from the EPA or other offices in the 
USG.  We would also ask that USAID send an expert from 
Washington rather than ask a local USAID official to 
participate in the Abuja Super Prep Com.  USAID Nigeria has 
no one on staff with the requisite experience, as environment 
issues are not covered by the Nigeria transitional strategic 
objectives. 
JETER 

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