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Geneva Declaration of Thirteenth World Meteorological Congress
(Cg-XIII, Annex IV)

We, the delegates from 170 Member States and Territories of the World Meteorological Organization (WMO), meeting in Geneva from 4 to 26 May 1999 at the Thirteenth World Meteorological Congress, declare as follows:

We note that the United Nations General Assembly, the Economic and Social Council and the regional economic and social commissions have appealed to WMO to contribute, within its field of competence, to the action taken at the international, regional and national levels to promote and support sustainable development, especially activities pertinent to weather- and climate-related natural disasters, climate change and the protection of the environment.

We further note the contributions already made by, and through, WMO in response to the above appeal, particularly through the global ensemble of National Meteorological and Hydrometeorological Services which is crucial to international strategies for the protection of the global environment such as in addressing climate change and stratospheric ozone depletion issues, among others.

We recognize the importance of a unique and integrated international system for the observation, collection, processing and dissemination of meteorological and related data and products, implemented within the framework of WMO’s World Weather Watch.

We are aware of the need to ensure the appropriate implementation of the letter and spirit of Resolution 40 adopted by the Twelfth World Meteorological Congress on the “WMO policy and practice for the international exchange of meteorological and related data and products, including guidelines on relationships in commercial meteorological activities”.

We appeal to all governments to ensure that the national practices in force in their countries, especially through their National Meteorological and Hydrometeorological Services, conform with the above referred policy, practice and guidelines for the international exchange of meteorological and related data and products.

We reaffirm the vital importance of the mission of the National Meteorological and Hydrometeorological Services in observing and understanding weather and climate and in providing meteorological and related services in support of national needs. This mission may be expressed as a contribution to national needs in the following areas: (a) Protection of life and property; (b) Safeguarding the environment; (c) Contributing to sustainable development; (d) Ensuring continuity of the observations of meteorological and related data including climatological data; (e) Promotion of endogenous capacity building; (f) Meeting international commitments; and (g) Contributing to international cooperation.

We are cognizant that, weather and climate systems do not recognize political borders and are continuously interacting. Hence, no one country can be fully self-reliant in meeting all of its requirements for meteorological services and countries need to work together in a spirit of mutual assistance and cooperation.

We express deep concern about the potential impacts on the provision of meteorological services worldwide of any development which endangers the unique and integrated international system for obtaining and exchanging meteorological and related data and products, a system which has benefited the global community for over 100 years. These developments can adversely affect the effective and efficient provision of appropriate meteorological data, information, products and services, as well as the role and operation of National Meteorological and Hydrometeorological Services, resulting in unfavourable impacts on national economies, the environment, the well being of peoples and the whole world community.

We recognize that it is for the various stakeholders in each country, in full awareness of their country's national goals, requirements, resources and aspirations to evaluate and decide on a country-specific strategy for future provision of meteorological and related services and to find the greatest possible harmony between the principle of their national sovereignty and their international obligations under the WMO Convention and other related environmental treaties and agreements.

We urge that whatever form or model the National Meteorological and Hydrometeorological Services take, government financial support be provided to operate and maintain the required relevant basic infrastructure, monitoring and services in the national and global public interest, and that such support be strengthened where needed.

We call on all Governments to give due consideration to the statements expressed in this Declaration. We believe that this will be in the interest of sustainable development, in support of national economies and social progress and that this contributes significantly to the reduction of loss of life and property caused by natural disasters and other catastrophic events, as well as to safeguard the environment and the global climat

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