Messages and reflections for Joke 14 Oct 2005
It comes with great sadness and great loss to learn of the passing of Joke Waller-Hunter. She was an
"Advisor" with IAED. And her dedication and work ethic for the United Nations was unequaled.
A wonderful person I am proud to have known. Please send our deepest sympathy and sincere condolences
to her family. "No fasrewell words were spoken. No time to say goodbye. You were gone before we
knew it. And, only God knows why?" She will be missed!
-Dr. Larry T. Gell, IAED
Energy, culture, commitment, humor, smiling; there she was. I was about to invite her to speak at our
university. We will miss her deeply in the climate protection community. My condolences to her family,
friends, and colleagues from UNFCCC secretariat.
-Prof. Jean-Pascal van Ypersele, Université catholique de Louvain-la-Neuve, Belgium
We would like to express the sincere condolencies on the passing awaw of Ms. Waller-Hunter.
-Department for International Affairs, Portuguese Ministry forEnvironment, Spatial Planning and
Joke was the best of what the United Nations offers - kind, compassionate, and courageous in the face
of great difficulties. Joke was a champion for the human environment. She will be sorely missed by
everyone who had the pleasure of knowing her.
-Charles Di Leva, World Bank
My sincerious condolence
-Dr. Ignacio Campino, Deutsche Telekom, Head of Corporate Sustainability and Citizenship
Joke will truly be missed. Her leadership was insightful, strategic and inspiring.
-Jorge E. Illueca, UNEP and the UNFF Secretariat
It is with deep sadness and profound regret that I have just learned of the passing away of Ms. Joke
Waller-Hunter, an esteemed friend and colleague. She will always be fondly remembered for her
dedication and unfailing commitment to her work; a hallmark of her career. She applied her vast
knowledge and international experience to ably surpass in accomplishment and achievement. May these few
words express sincere sympathy to her family and colleagues. May the Good Lord rest her soul in eternal
peace and grant her family and friends grace and strength. With sincere sympathy,
-Hamdallah Zedan, Executive Secretary, Secretariat of the Convention on Biological
My condolences, and our member’s and team's condolences are with Joke's family and
friends and with the entire UNFCCC Secretariat family. It has been a pleasure and a personal honor for
me, having known and worked together with her.
-Sebastian Gallehr, CEO of e5
Ms. Joke Waller-Hunter is truly a great leader in global climate change community. Her firm leadership
as the Executive Director definitely deserves for great respect from all over the world. I do wish she
will rest in peace.…
-Kunihiko Shimada, Institute for Global Environmental Strategies (IGES)
This is very shocking news, however not unexpected for some years givgen her serious illness. Joke and
I go way back a long time when we worked together in the Dutch Environment Ministry in the 80's and
later she was my successor as deputy Director International Affairs before her 'world' career
started. We all can only have the deepest respect for what she has achieved in New York (CSD), Paris
(OECD) and UNFCCC despite the very tragic loss of her husband in Lisbon some years ago and her serious
illness for some years. She deserves a very special green and clean cloud up there as far as I am
Dear Ms. Joke Waller Hunter, It is such a big shock! I really can not think of COP/MOP1 without your
presence. Without your dedicated motivation, it would be much harder for us to make Kyoto effectively
in force. Now it is our duty to make your dreams come true so that none of your efforts are wasted. It
seems that I was one of the last people who had experienced the pleasure of interviewing with you -
even if it was on-line. Now, it has turned into a sad memory. Thank you so much for everything. I wish
the best of patience to all the Kyoto-minded climate change community of the world.
-Yunus ARIKAN, Regional Environmental Center Turkey
I had the pleasure of working with Joke in 2001-2002. She was and is an inspiration to me, as an
environmentalist and as a woman. She does indeed leave me the better for having known her. Goodbye,
Joke. Thank you. You will be greatly missed. But your star will shine on forever.
-Elizabeth Corbett, OECD
Perhaps form a distance but as a representative from my country I have been following the career of
Mrs. Joke Waller-Hunter since her assignment at the department to the UN-CSD. Then OECD and the last
couple of years at UNFCCC. Admiration for what she has done and did. The last time was in Bonn (May
2005) during the Meeting of the UNFCCC - Expert Group on Technology Transfer (EGTT): she was inspiring
to us. We will miss her.
-Bernard MAZIJN, Vice-Chair EGTT (Belgium)
I had the privilege of working closely to Joke, a long standing friend and colleague, during the
preparatory process of the Earth Summit back in 1991 when she represented the Netherlands Government.
It is with deep sadness and profound regret that I have just learned of her passing away. She will
always be fondly remembered for her dedication and professionalism. Please receive my sincere
condolences with great sadness.
-Alicia Bárcena, Deputy Secretary, Economic Commission for Latin America and the
I'm so sorry for missing Joke. She was one of the key persons in climate change. I wish all success
for UNFCCC team.
-Samir TANTAWI; Egyptian Environmental Affairs Agency (EEAA)
I am deeply saddened to learn of Joke's death. She was welcoming and helpful to me when I spent a
few days in Bonn in 2003, and gave me a good interview which was published on the BBC News website. She
inspired many people when the future of the Kyoto Protocol seemed in doubt. Joke will be sadly missed,
and has died far too soon. I send my deep condolences to her family, friends and colleagues.
-Alex Kirby, former BBC correspondent
I mourn the loss of an extraordinary woman and friend. Joke has been an example to many people through
her dedication to making this world a better place, through her integrity in implementing her
responsibilities, the respect she showed for the people around her and through her handling of the
disease that eventually was too strong. Her inspiration will guide us to work for a truly sustainable
world. I will always remember her.
-Bert Metz, Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency and IPCC Working Group III
A very sad news indeed. On this sad day, I want to remember her cheerful smile, her simple and direct
way to relate to people. Every encounter leaves a trace in your soul and body. I keep in myself the
trace of a dinner I had next to her in a small restaurant in New Delhi. I extend my compassion to her
family and colleagues.
I am deeply shocked by the sad passing away of Joke. I have known her for 35 years. She was a good
friend. I always admired her as a person and a hard-working professional. She will be deeply missed by
the international environment community. Her dedication to the cause of sustainable development was
extraordinary. My sympathy goes to her family and the many friends she leaves behind.
-Peter Janus (UNEP)
Joke, grande soeur des Pays-Bas nous a tant appris. Elle a ouvert si courageusement le chemin. Joke
m’a fait souvent penser à Etty Hillesum, qui écrivait en juillet 1942 : «
…Om de nieuwe toon te vinden, die bij het nieuwe levensgevoel past. Men zou moeten zwijgen, tot
men die toon gevonden had. Maar onder het spreken moet men haar trachten te vinden, zwijgen gaat toch
niet, dat is ook een vlucht. De overgang van de oude naar de nieuwe toon moet men ook in al z’n
geledingen volgen...” « …Pour trouver le ton nouveau qui conviendra à un sens
nouveau de la vie. Tant qu’on n’a pas trouvé ce ton, on devrait s’imposer le
silence. Mais c’est en parlant qu’on doit tâcher de le trouver, on ne peut pas se
taire, ce serait aussi une fuite. On doit aussi suivre la transition du ton ancien au ton nouveau
jusque dans ses articulations les plus fines… »
-Nadine Gouzée, Representative of the Belgian Government to the Commission on Sustainable
Au nom de l'Algérie, je voudrais, en ma qualité de Point Focal National de
l'UNFCCC et ayant eu l'honneur de voir à l'Oeuvre Mlle Joke Waller-Hunter, son
dévouement et ses efforts, pour ce processus, exprimer toute ma tristesse et présenter
à sa famille, ses proches et à toute la communauté des changements climatiques mes
plus sincères condoléances.
-Djemouai Kamel - Algeria NFP UNFCCC
merci pour votre disponibilité pour les journalistes.
-Laurent Chemineau, la Tribune
Joke has advised, inspired, and coached me in good and in difficult times. We have shared deep emotions
and we have had a lot of fun. Joke was my helper in life, my friend and she will forever be.
-Bas de Leeuw