The United Nations has expressed concern over the sluggish approach of the developed countries in reaching an agreement to reduce emissions of greenhouse gases. A meeting to evolve a common international strategy on this issue was held recently in Bonn, Germany. The European Union had suggested a 15 per cent cut in greenhouse gases by the year 2000. The US and Japan, however, term the figure as unrealistic. During the talks in Bonn, negotiators worked to refine and streamline the draft text for a new agreement under the climate change convention. By the year 2000, the developed countries have agreed to reduce the greenhouse gas emissions to the levels recorded in the year 1990.
Syria on August 11, became the first country to sign the Convention of the Law of the Non-navigational Use of International Watercourses adopted by the General Assembly on 21 May 1997. The Convention would come into force after it receives 35 ratifications. It is open to signature for three years. The treaty deals with the responsibility of nations for international watercourses, environmental uses, management of watercourses, protection and preservation of marine environment and management of installations in watercourses.