Messages and reflections for Joke 19 Oct 2005
It is with deep sorrow that we have learned of the passing away of Ms. Joke Waller-Hunter, Executive
Secretary of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). On behalf of the
Council and the Secretariat of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), and on our own
behalf, we would like to convey our most sincere condolences to the family of Ms. Waller-Hunter as well
as to her friends and colleagues at the UNFCCC Secretariat.
-Taieb Chérif, Secretary General, ICAO
This is with real sorrow that I learn the disparition of Joke Waller Hunter. As a former observer on
behalf of an industrial federation, I appreciated her energy, warm contact, and challenging
-Marc Darras, former IGU representative
We express our sincere condolences on the passing away of Ms. Waller-Hunter. With deep respect for what
she has achieved for the necessary turn in climate change policy.
-Society for threatened peoples, Göttingen, Germany
I have learned with deep sorrow that Joke passed away. She was a remarkable person – a leader and
a friend. Her work was devoted to the protection of the environment, in personal contacts one could
feel her warmth and kindness. She was never too busy to stop and listen, to discuss a problem, to give
an advice if needed. I will miss her. My sincere condolences to Joke’s family and to colleagues
in the secretariat.
-Andrej Kranjc, Ministry of the Environment, Slovenia
With deep sorrow, we express our sincere condelecences for loss of Ms Joke Waller-Hunter. Please
deliver our compliments to her family and close relatives.
-Mr.Muhamed Lisic, Minister, Ministry of Physical Planning, Civil Engineering and Ecology of
Republika Srpska, UNFCCC Focal point of Bosnia and Herzegovina
Joke Waller-Hunter is eminent personality who devoted most of her physical and mental strength to save
our climate for betterment of mankind. I express my strong codolence for sad loss of Joke
-Dr. S.Chinnaraj, Tamilnadu Newsprint and papers Ltd, TN - 649 136 INDIA
Althou not unexpected, I was shocked by the news of her passing awau. Joke is a personal friend of me,
for a long time, and I will miss her terribly. No more weekends in Paris or Bonn, no more discussions
about the environment, politics, literature etc. Joke was a remarkable woman, strong, interested in
everybody and everything, and above all, she was such a warm person. It is an honour for me to have
been one of her friends, and to have known her so very well. Thank you Joke, I'll miss you.
-Marjan van Giezen, ministry of Environment, Netherlands
On behalf of Olav Kjorven, Director of Environment, and all staff in UNDP's Energy and Environment
Group which includes the GEF, MP and DDC Units, please accept our heartfelt sympathies and condolences
on the sudden demise of UNFCCC Executive Secretary, Joke Waller-Hunter. We recall how closely we have
interacted with her over the years, both at COP meetings and at other events. She provided strong and
dynamic leadership to the UNFCCC Secretariat and the whole Climate Change Convention and she will be
sorely missed. Our thoughts are with you and your UNFCCC Secretariat colleagues at this difficult
-Frank Pinto, GEF Executive Coordinator, EEG/BDP/UNDP
With deep sadness we have learned that Ms Joke Waller-Hunter has passed away. Joke Waller-Hunter was a
very exceptional woman and dear friend with great dedication towards sustainable development, the
environment and climate change of our global community. We will miss her natural and deep devotion to
the common course. Our sincere condolences to her family, friends and colleagues.
-Kees Zoeteman, Globus, Institute for Globalization & Sust.ainable Development, Tilburg
University, The Netherlands
I learned with deep sorrow and regret from the sudden death of Joke Waller-Hunter. I will always
remember her competence and dedication to the goals of the UNFCCC. I admire how she was willing to
contribute to our joint effort as long as she was able to do so. We are loosing a great personality. My
heart is also with her family and colleagues.
-Klaus Radunsky, Umweltbundesamt Wien
On behalf of the Royal Government of Bhutan and the National Environment Commission, I would like to
extend our heartfelt condolences on the sad demise of Ms. Joke Waller-Hunter, Executive Secretary of
the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. Her untimely demise is a global loss that
will be felt by all the members of the UNFCCC parties. Her contribution in the implementation of the
UNFCCC shall be remembered by all. We pray for her soul to rest in peace.
-H.E. Nado Rinchhen, Deputy Minister, National Environment Commission, Royal Government of
Ms. Joke Waller-Hunter's dedication really contributed to sustainable development in the world. My
-Hitomi Kimura, Institute for Global Environmental Strategies (IGES)
It is with deep sorrow that I write this message. I feel much honored to have known her and to have
worked with her. She has been an inspiration and motivation for me. Her commitment and the leadership
motivated us all. Thanks to her dedication, sustainable development is now securely placed on the
international development agenda. I also remember her openness and kind thoughts towards her friends
and colleagues. She is greatly missed. My husband joins me in expressing sincere condolences to her
family and friends.
-Chikako Takase, DESA, United Nations
It was great shock and deep sorrow to receive the news Ms. Waller-Hunter passing away, I can’t
imagine COP/MOP1 without her, my deep condolences for all UNFCCC Secretariat and especially for her
-Dr. El-Sayed MANSOUR, Focal Point of UNFCCC, Egyptian Environmental Affairs Agency (EEAA)
Thankfulness for efforts to keep ours futurity.
-Tihomir Popovic, Serbian Environmental Protection Agency
Una gran pérdida para quienes creemos en el trabajo profesional, cristalino y honesto
-William Alpízar, Oficina Costarricense de Implementación Conjunta
Mis más sinceras condolencias a su familia y amigos cercanos,por esta lamentable pérdida
en esta tierra, pero una ganancia en el cielo.
-Ministerio de Relaciones Exteriores-PROCHILE
It was a great pleasure to work and become friends with Joke. Her intuition, style, finesse, conviction
on improving the environment, work devotion, candor, and pizzazz are only but a few of her qualities
that anyone could ever wish from a colleague and boss. She made OECD more fun, environmental concerns
more relevant and while not being an economist herself, fully recognized its importance in
understanding and addressing environmental problems. Her philosophy of working hard yet having fun was
always stimulating. Joke thank you for the opportunity to work with you and getting to know you. I will
-Dan Biller, The World Bank
I was sadden and shaken by the sad news. I wish I had the chance to meet her in person but I am sure I
will feel and see her legacy in the UNFCCC. My condolences to her family, friends and the UNFCCC
It is with profound sadness that my colleagues and I in the CSD Secretariat learned of Joke’s
passing. I spoke to her barely three weeks ago about an upcoming Secretariat co-ordination meeting on
climate change. I had known Joke for many years as a fellow delegate and as a Secretariat colleague.
Her tireless efforts to advance sustainable development worldwide and to take on the many other
challenges in her career won admiration and respect from all – government officials, UN
colleagues and civil society groups, etc. Her years as the first Director of the CSD Secretariat are
remembered with deep affection and admiration by colleagues. Joke’s lifelong dedication to
sustainable development remains an inspiration to us all. Our personal grief at this time is great but
we will also hold dear the memories of a life very well lived.
Like many of my colleagues who have been involved in the climate change process, the news of Joke
Waller-Hunter’s death was both tragic and deeply felt. From a personal perspective, I do consider
myself somewhat fortunate, if not lucky, to have known her during her various stints of dedicated
service to the international community. Most of all, though, I will remember her infinite patience,
dedication and in-depth knowledge that were forever on display during the endless hours of negotiations
on the budget of the Convention Secretariat.
-H.E. Dr. John W. Ashe, Chairman of the 5th Committee of the 60th session of the UN General
Joke Waller Hunter was an extraordinary citizen of the world who loved this planet, worked tirelessly
with great creativity and clarity to make it a better place, and succeeded. She inspired all who knew
her through the honesty, deep commitment, humour and persistence she applied to the most significant of
world issues and the smallest details of daily life. It has been a blessing to have Joke in my life.
She will continue to inspire me for the rest of my days.
-Dr. Elizabeth Dickson, Canadian Institutes of Health Research (former advisor to the Secretary
General at the OECD)
It is with shock and sadness that the World Council of Churches has learned of the loss of a great
champion of global action on climate change. We deeply appreciated the leadership of Ms. Joke
Waller-Hunter within the Secretariat of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change. We pray that
God's blessing will be upon all her colleagues and family at this difficult time. The greatest
tribute that we can make to her is to re-energise our collective efforts to reduce the threat of
climate change particularly on the most vulnerable peoples and ecosystems and on future
-Dr. David G. Hallman, World Council of Churches, Climate Change Programme Coordinator
Deseamos expresar nuestro más sincero dolor y pesame a los familiares de la Sra Joke
Waller-Hunter, y a la familia del Secretariado de la Convención, por la pérdida de una
valiente luchadora por salvar nuestro planeta.
-Oscar Paz, Programa Nacional de Cambios Climáticos de Bolivia.
It is realy sorrowful. but what could be done. Only we have dedicate more towards the accomplishment of
her dreams. May God shower His blessing on her.
-Firdous A. Wani