Messages and reflections for Joke 22 Oct 2005
It was with great sadness that we received word of the passing of Joke Waller-Hunter, Executive Secretary of
the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). Ms. Waller-Hunter was a passionate
proponent of international action to preserve our planet and the well being of humankind - the principles
underlying the UNFCCC and the Kyoto Protocol that she helped make a reality. Her career included many important
accomplishments. She was a driving force behind the Kyoto Protocol’s entry-into-force, displaying the
determination for which she was so well known, and an exceptional commitment to her work. Her reputation for
having great vision, passion and leadership was well earned. In recent months, I have had the privilege of
working closely with Ms. Waller-Hunter in preparation for the forthcoming United Nations Climate Change
Conference (UNCCC) in Montreal. I was fortunate to have the opportunity to get to know her and see first hand
what a truly talented and gracious individual she was. Ms. Waller-Hunter will be deeply missed as the
international community continues to work together to realize her vision for addressing the threat of climate
change through international cooperation. J’ai éprouvé beaucoup tristesse en apprenant la
nouvelle du décès de Joke Waller-Hunter, secrétaire exécutive de la Convention cadre des
Nations Unies sur les changements climatiques (CCNUCC).
-Stéphane Dion , Minister of the Environment , Ministre de l'Environment CANADA
Joke above all impressed me as a chairperson of international meetings. Seemingly effortless, but effective,
with clarity on what to achieve and respect for diversity. Informally, she impressed by providing precisely the
right advice to the design of worldwide environment assessments. I am grateful for the advice she gave and sad
because of the untimely end to her life.
-Jan Bakkes, Netherlands Environment Assessment Agency at RIVM
Dear UNFCCC colleagues: It was with great sadness that all of us at UNESCO-IHE in Delft, The Netherlands
learned of the passing of a great voice for the environment and sustainable development. She will not only be
missed, her steadfast leadership skills and wonderful sense of humor will be very difficult to replace. Leaders
such as Joke only come around periodically. We will lower our flag at UNESCO-IHE out of respect for a great
colleague and due to the fact that our Institute is hosted by her native country.
-Richard A. Meganck, Director, UNESCO-IHE Institute for Water Education
May I express my personal sincere condolences at Joke’s untimely passing, as well as those of our
Ministry and staff, to Joke's family and friends as well as to the UNFCCC Secretariat. It has been a
personal honor for me having known and worked together with her. May God bless her and her family during this
-Ibrahim Bin Ahmed Al-Ajmi, Deputy Director General of Environmental Affairs, Ministry of Regional
Municipalities, Environment & Water Resources, Sultanate of Oman.
Please convey my deepest condolence and sympathy to the family of Ms. Joke Waller-Hunter. May the Almighty
Allah grant her eternal peace and a place in heaven for her. I stand head bowed in admiration of her work
towards creating a better world for all.
-Hajji Abdul Hameed
She was a great person. So nice, cooperative, friendly. She was committed to the matter of environment and
sustainable development. So professional, experienced, successful. It is unbelievable that all this should be
now expressed in past tense. Joke, it would have been so good to meet you and work with you next time in
Montreal. We are so sad that it cannot happen, but we feel obliged to continue the mission to which you
dedicated your life.
-Miklós Persányi minister and Tibor Faragó director-general, Hungarian ministry of
Joke has been and remains to be one of these outstanding persons who has strongly influenced my life, my
attitude to work, people and nature. Her highly professional approach to work, her firm but always kind
leadership, her energy and creativity were each moment linked with great human values. I am grateful that I had
the honour and priviledge to meet Joke, to work with her, to talk to her. Thank you, Joke. I will miss you, but
I will keep you in my mind as the greatest inspiration and example for me. With sincere sympathy,
-Helena Cizkova, Ministry of the Environment of the Czech Republic
We were deeply shocked and saddened by the Ms. Waller-Hunter's sudden departure. Ms. Waller-Hunter's
too early decease brings about a huge loss to the entire process of combating the climate change and global
environment as a whole. Joining you in memory, on my behalf, and on behalf of the staff of our Ministry, our
condolences to the family, collaborates in the UNFCCC Secretariat and friends of respected colleague Ms.
-Nikola Ruzinski, State Secretary, Republic of Croatia, Ministry of Environmental Protection, Physical
Planning and Construction
What a loss for all of us. Joke epitomized the standards both for a dedicated and highly effective
professional, working for the sustainability of our world, and for a wonderfully warm, humorous, interested and
active human being. We will all miss her.
-Paul Isenman, OECD DAC Secretariat (retired)