“After several years of tough negotiation, the institutions and detailed procedures of the Kyoto Protocol are now in place,” said Michael Zammit Cutajar, the Convention’s Executive Secretary. “The next step is to test their effectiveness in overseeing the 5 per cent cut in greenhouse gas emissions by developed countries over the next decade.” Speaking in Marrakech at the 7th annual meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the climate change Convention, Mr. Zammit Cutajar said important progress had been made on strengthening the flow of financial and technological support to developing countries, to help them move toward a sustainable energy future. The Marrakech meeting, held from 29 October to 9 November, sent a clear signal to business, local governments and the general public that climate-friendly products, services, and activities will be rewarded by consumers and national policies alike, said Mr. Zammit Cutajar, who after 10 years in his post will be stepping down at yearend. The meeting also adopted the Marrakech Ministerial Declaration as an input into next September’s World Summit on Sustainable Development in Johannesburg, South Africa. The Declaration emphasizes the contribution that action on climate change can make to sustainable development and calls for capacity building, technology innovation, and cooperation with the biodiversity and desertification conventions. The 1997 Kyoto Protocol will enter into force and become legally binding after it has been ratified by at least 55 Parties to the Convention, including industrialized countries representing at least 55 per cent of the total 1990 carbon dioxide emissions from this group. So far, 40 countries have ratified, including one industrialized country (Romania). Many governments have called for the entry into force to take place in 2002. The Marrakech conference was attended by 171 governments and a total of some 4,500 participants. Next year’s meeting, which India has offered to host, will be held from 23 to 1 November.