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Messages and reflections for Joke 20 Oct 2005
We are profoundly saddened by the news of the passing of Joke Waller-Hunter, the Executive Secretary of the secretariat of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). In reducing greenhouse gas emissions responsible for man-made global warming, Ms Waller-Hunter had played a leading role in preparation for the implementation of the Kyoto Protocol. We very much appreciated her interest in the Red Cross and Red Crescent views on climate change risk reduction and her direct and informal way of encouraging and involving people like ourselves in the UNFCCC process. Through you, we wish to convey to her family, as well as to her colleagues our deepest sorrow and heartfelt sympathy. As we pursue the challenging endeavour relating to climate change, we will always remember the great work she has initiated.
-Mr Markku Niskala, Secretary General, International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, together with the Red Cross and Red Crescent Centre on Climate Change and Disaster Preparedness

Lieve Joke, je bent er niet meer. Wat een schok om dat te vernemen. Een verre, lieve vriendin, collega. Ik mis je. Met warmte denk ik aan onze momenten samen in New York en in Woudschoten. En de telefoongesprekken en brieven. En alle fantastische mensen die ik via jou heb leren kennen. Je bent een internationaal voorbeeld geworden voor iedereen die werkzaam is binnen de milieu/duurzame ontwikkelings wereld en ook daarbuiten. Als Nederlanders zijn we zo trots op je, als vrouwen zijn we zo trots op je. De vele berichten op deze website zijn prachtig. Ze getuigen van de grote menselijkheid waarmee jij het zware internationale werk hebt weten uit te voeren. Ondanks alles bleef je de menselijke kant van het werk zien. Dat is uitzonderlijk. Ik vind dat de zin van het leven besloten ligt in datgene wat we in het leven van anderen betekenen. Jij hebt ontzettend veel betekend en zult voor altijd veel betekenen in het leven van zovele mensen in de hele wereld. Is dat niet geweldig. Ondanks het grote verdriet om het verlies. Ik ben het helemaal eens met alle anderen die schrijven hoe dankbaar ze zijn dat je er geweest bent in hun leven, dat ze je hebben gekend en dat ze met je hebben mogen samen werken. We zullen je nooit vergeten Joke, en we zullen jouw werk voortzetten. For a better world. For ever
-Ida Koppen, Vice President Sustainability Challenge Foundation, Geneva/Tilburg

The Embassy of Lesotho in Berlin was shocked to learn about the passing away of Joke. May all the bereaved take comfort in the knowledge that there are many who share their loss.
-S.R.Kikine Ambassador of Lesotho in Germany

It is with deep regret and sadness that we learned of the death of Ms Joke Waller-Hunter. Joke was a dedicated fighter against climate change and committed to strengthening global cooperation to tackle this growing threat to our livelihoods and our planet. We always appreciated the excellent cooperation we enjoyed with her and wish to convey our heartfelt condolences to her family, friends and the staff of the UNFCCC Secretariat. We will miss her.
-Catherine Day, Director-General, on behalf of the staff of DG Environment, European Commission, Brussels

Joke was my mentor and my hero - at the UN, at OECD and ever since. She was the most amazing, smart, dedicated, unselfish and warm person I have ever known. A fantastic friend. Joke - we will keep your spirit alive through our wonderful families.
-Lars Mortensen, EEA (former UNCSD and OECD)

While somehow knowing that the inevitable could not be challenged, Joke’s death still comes as a shock and as something not easy to comprehend. We in the UN family in Bonn have lost a dear colleague and a close friend. When we last talked over lunch we talked openly about her illness but focused on all the good and exciting things that were still ahead. Her professionalism and deep commitment to the protection of the environment and work of UNFCCC has always been a source of inspiration. We will surely miss her.
-Ad de Raad, Executive Coordinator, United Nations Volunteers

With deep sorrow I received the news of the death of Ms. Joke Waller-Hunter, Executive Secretary of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. With the passing away of Ms. Waller-Hunter the UNFCCC has lost an resolute defender of the worldwide cooperation to reach the goals of that organization. About this grievous loss let me express, in name of all the co-workers of this Embassy, to the family of Ms. Waller-Hunter, as well as to all the representatives of the UNFCCC, my most sincere condolence.
-Enrique Candioti, Ambassador of Argentina, Berlin

I have had the pleasure and honor of working with Joke since "Rio"--and benefiting from her brilliant leadership in launching and guiding the CSD process, in injecting sustainable developemnt within the OECD, and effectively moving forward the climate change agenda at the UNFCCC. Joke's concept of sustainable development as a truly balanced interrelationship of its three pillars--economic, environment and social--was not just a philosophy--it was her operational objective. Her wisdom, common sense, joy of life, and compassion for others enabled her to inspire and guide so many of us who were on the same trail. Joke was our "guide"--always ready with practical, insightful and very friendly personal advise and support. But even more than our profound respect for Joke's professional--and I believe sustainable--contribution to the protection of our planet and especially its people; Carol and I will miss her personal friendship and will always treasure those special times we shared together with Joke in Paris. We send our deepest condolences to her family, colleagues, and many friends.
-Larry and Carol Kohler, ( ILO, ICSU and IHDP)

It is a sense of shock and disbelief. Joke and I had been cooperating in different ways ever since we first met in the Preparatory Committee for the Rio Conference, when she was a most efficient vice-chair of Working Group II. I followed her career with admiration and I was delighted when she was appointed Executive Secretary of the FCCC - with her broad experience of national and international policy-making she was the very symbol of the new diplomacy for sustainable development, she was the ideal choice. We have also seen what a great contribution she has made to promoting a global conscience and global action on an issue of central importance for our future. Her role was of course emphasized by the entry into force of the Kyoto Protocol, and it is very sad to realize that she will not be there to guide the process further. All through her professional activities, she has also remained a very good friend and colleague. It was always a pleasure to meet her and to enjoy her intelligence and wit. Many of my colleagues here in Sweden are joining me in expressing our deep sorrow and regrets at this moment. Her role has been so important and her personality so strong; her memory will not fade; she will forever be part of the international effort to tackle global change. I will miss her very much, and I send my deeply felt condolences to her family.
-Bo Kjellén, Former Chief Negotiator of Sweden, Stockholm Environment Institute

On behalf of the Government and the people of the Republic of South Africa, I wish to express our most sincere condolences to the family and colleagues of Joke Waller-Hunter. We are deeply saddened by the loss of one the leading figures in our continued struggle to make this a better world for all its citizens
-Moses Chikane, Ambassador of the Republic of South Africa to Germany

Joke was not only a superb colleague, but also a great friend. No matter how busy she was or how much she had to fight for her health, she always had time for you and you could always stay at her apartment, whether it was in New York, Paris or Bonn. The best thing we can do is to continue in her spirit with that wonderful mixture of energy and kindness.
-Wouter Veening, Institute for Environmental Security, The Hague, Netherlands

I have known Joke since she came to visit her sister in law Liesbeth Waller in Zambezi, Zambia, in 1976, and have had very pleasant working contact with her on several occasions throughout the years, last time in Buenos Aeres in December last year. I will remember Joke as a very human and dedicated person. My deep felt condolences to the family, in particular Liesbeth, and her collegues at UNFCCC.
-Henk van Schaik, Co-operative Programme on Water and Climate