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 exchange.
-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
-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 Waller-Hunter.
-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 time.
-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
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
-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 Bhutan
Ms. Joke Waller-Hunter's dedication really contributed to sustainable development in the world. My sincere
-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 family.
-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 miss you.
-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 staff.
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
-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
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 generations.
-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
-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