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GEF Marks 20th Anniversary

23 May 2011: To mark the 20th anniversary of the Global Environment Facility (GEF), the GEF organized a gala reception on the eve of the 40th meeting of the GEF Council.

The 23 May 2011 reception took place at the Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian in Washington, DC, US. As the Master of Ceremonies, Andre Laperriere, Deputy Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the GEF, noted the location was a special place to celebrate a special milestone – a place where participants could honor countless generations who have shown us how to provide responsible stewardship of the land, water and sky.

Monique Barbut, GEF CEO, presented a timeline of the GEF's achievements and looked forward to its continued contributions. She noted that, during her tenure as CEO, she has introduced reforms that reduced the time required for a project to move from concept to approval from 66 months to 18 months, and emphasized that the GEF has a unique role to play in strengthening delivery channels to allow countries to make meaningful investments in sustainable development. Kerri-Ann Jones, US Assistant Secretary of State for Oceans and International Environmental and Scientific Affairs, commended the GEF on its 20 years. Nokuzola Mndende, a Tribal leader/healer connected with the GEF's Small Grants Programme (SGP) and the founding Director at the Icamagu Institute, offered a Tribal Blessing. Hector Parion Oyacachi, Ecuador, a woodcarver with GEF's SGP, presented the GEF CEO with a special GEF anniversary keepsake.

The 40th meeting of the GEF Council will convene from 24-26 May 2011 in Washington, DC, US, to consider agenda items including the Annual Country Portfolio Evaluation Report – 2011, the Annual Performance Report – 2010, the Four-year Work Program and Budget of the Evaluation Office, and the Work Program. [IISD RS Coverage of the 40th Meeting of the GEF Council] [40th Meeting of the GEF Council Website]