Signed by UNEP Executive Director Klaus Toepfer and World Bank Vice-President for Environment Ian Johnson, the new memorandum of understanding focuses on activities for jointly assisting countries in developing National Implementation Plans for the treaty, which was finalized last December and will be signed and adopted next week. The two partners will also work together to help Governments build national capacity for implementing the Convention. They will provide assistance for developing national POPs inventories and monitoring programmes, and will support activities for eliminating or restricting the production and accidental release of POPs. “This represents a winning partnership in the war on persistent organic pollutants,” said Mr. Toepfer. “The World Bank has an outstanding presence in countries around the world which enables it to deliver support effectively to Governments, and it has a long-proven track record in managing projects. UNEP brings extensive technical expertise on POPs and the Stockholm Convention and has supported countries around the world with over 50 scientific and policy workshops on POPs in the last four years.” Mr. Johnson said the World Bank saw the partnership with UNEP “as a strategic one which will strengthen both of our agencies’ effectiveness in assisting our client countries.” The Stockholm Convention sets out control measures covering the production, import, export, disposal and use of POPs. Governments are to promote the best available technologies for replacing existing POPs, while preventing the development of new ones.