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 Regional
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 Diversity
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
-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 concerned.
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 Caribbean
I'm so sorry for missing Joke. She was one of the key persons in climate change. I wish all success for
-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
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