World History 1994-1995 - History

World History 1994-1995 - History

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1994 Nelson Mandela is Elected President of South Africa Nelson Mandela was elected the first black leader of South Africa, after the country had its first free multiracial election. F.W. De Klerk became one of the Deputy Premiers.
1994 NATO shoots down Serb Aircraft The NATO Alliance warned Bosnian Serbs against operating ground attack jets in the UN-imposed no-fly zone. The ultimatum was ignored, and NATO shot down four Bosnian Serb jets. This was the first combat action ever taken by NATO in its 45-year history.
1994 Civil War in Chechniya A civil war broke out in the Russian province of Chechniya. The Chechniyans demanded independence, like many of the states of the Soviet Union had been receiving. The Russians claimed that Chechniya was part of Russia and thus would not be granted independence. The war in Chechniya lasted for two years and was marked by brutality on both sides.
1994 Republicans take control of Congress In the mid-term election in November 1994, the Republicans gained control of both houses of Congress. Their major camapign theme was a based on a document called "Contract With America," whose major feature called for balancing the budget and welfare reform.


1995 Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin Assasinated Yitzchak Rabin, Israel's Prime Minister, was assassinated on November 3, by a right wing Israeli opponent of the peace process, Yigal Amir. Rabin was succeeded by his Foreign Minister, Shimon Peres. In a subsequent election in May 1996, Peres was beaten by Benjamin Netanyahu, of the opposition party, which was pledged to slowing the peace process.
1995 Mexican Bailout President Clinton invoked emergency powers and granted a $20 billion loan to bail out Mexico. The loan was controversial, but Mexico repaid the loan early, and the loan averted a major financial crisis.
1995 Murrah Federal Building Destroyed by Blast A truck bomb exploded in front of the Federal Building in Oklahoma City. The bomb was placed by Timothy MacVeigh and Terry Nichols; 168 people were killed in the bombing.
1995 O.J. Simpson- " Not- Guilty" O.J. Simpson, the football superstar, was found "not-guilty" of killing his ex-wife Nicole Brown Simpson and Ronald Goldman. The trial, which was televised, gripped the nation.

Timeline: 1995

Jan 1 Austria, Finland and Sweden enter the European Union.

Jan 9 Valeriy Polyakov, Russian cosmonaut (male), completes 366 days in space, breaking a duration record.

Jan 17 A magnitude 7.3 earthquake near Kobe, Japan, kills 6,434 people.

Jan 31 President Clinton invokes emergency powers to extend a $20 billion loan to help Mexico avert financial collapse.

Feb 13 A UN tribunal on human rights violations in the Balkans charges twenty-one Bosnian Serb commanders with genocide and crimes against humanity.

Mar 1 In Moscow, a popular anti-corruption journalist and TV anchor, Vladislav Listyev, is assassinated, his assailant to forever remain a mystery.

Mar 1 In Santa Clara, California, Yahoo is founded.

Mar 3 The UN peacekeeping mission ends in Somalia.

Mar 20 In Tokyo, religious terrorists release sarin gas on five railway trains, killing 12 and injuring 5,510.

Apr 5 The US House of Representatives votes 246-188 to cut taxes for individuals and corporations. Speaker Gingrich says that the bill "helps to create jobs. It strengthens families. it does what we ought to be doing. And it's the last step in the Contract."

Apr 19 U.S Army veteran Timothy McVeigh is upset concerning the federal government's action against David Koresh and his Branch Davidians in Waco, Texas. In Oklahoma City he and an accomplice, Terry Nichols, set off a bomb that destroys the Murrah Federal Building, killing 168 people, including 8 federal marshals and 19 children.

May 11 More than 170 countries agree to extend the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty indefinitely and without conditions.

Jul 11 Dutch UN peacekeepers are pushed out of the way in the area around Srebrenica, in Bosnia-Herzegovina. Bosnian Serbs round up and kill an estimated 8,000 Muslim men and boys, the largest mass murder in Europe since World War II.

Croatia's Ante Gotovina, to be tried for ethnic cleansing.

Jul 21-22 China tests four missiles aimed at targets 85 miles north of Taiwan.

Aug 3 At peace talks in Switzerland, Croatia appeals to Serbs within Croatia to reintegrate. The Serbs refuse, while Serbia's president, Slobodan Milosevic, is giving the Serbs in Croatia no support in response to their refusal to make peace.

Aug 4 Croatia claims its right to liberate its own territory. Croatia's military advances toward Serbs in the separatist Krajina area in Croatia. Before the force arrives, a 40-mile stream of some 300,000 Serb civilians and armed men flee. Three Croatian generals will be tried in 2008 by a UN war crimes tribunal for ethnic cleansing.

Aug 4 The Clinton Administration discloses intelligence information and opposes lifting economic sanctions against Iraq. President Clinton complains that the Hussein regime still kills opponents abroad and has developed vast stocks of germ warfare agents. At the United Nations, US representative Madelaine Albright lists the UN resolutions that Iraq is supposed to comply with in order for sanctions to be lifted.

Aug 9 Jerry Garcia, guitarist for The Grateful Dead, dies from an overdose of heroin.

Aug 28 A Bosnian Serb mortar shell kills 37 people and wounds 90 in a market place in Sarajevo.

Aug 30 The Serb mortar attack has moved people in Europe to support President Clinton's call for an air attack against Serb forces. NATO air strikes against the Bosnian Serbs around Sarajevo begin. Former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Colin Powell, is opposed. He is for all out war or no war and has advised that air strikes will probably fail to deter Bosnian Serb aggression. Only troops on the ground, he claims, could do that.

Sep 20 NATO strikes have involved 400 aircraft from 15 nations. The air campaign has ended with Bosnian Serbs agreeing to a settlement.

Sep 23 President Clinton speaks to the nation via radio about the inability of the US to force peace on the warring parties in Bosnia. "Only they themselves can make it [peace]," he says. "That's why I have refused to let American ground troops become combatants in Bosnia."

Oct 3 A jury finds O.J. Simpson not guilty of the murder of his former wife and her friend.

Oct 20 The body of Jacabo Arbenz Guzmán is returned to Guatemala City for burial. He was overthrown by the Eisenhower administration in 1954 and driven into exile. He has been dead since 1971. More than 100,000 people gather at the cemetery and chant "Jacabo, Jacabo."

Oct 30 Quebec separatists narrowly lose a referendum for a mandate to negotiate independence from Canada.

Radovan Karadzic, psychiatrist, poet, Bosnian Serb, wanted for ethnic cleansing.

Ratko Mladic. Chief of Staff of the Bosnian Serb Army

Nov 1 Russia, the US and others have applied pressure to bring together the Serbs, Croats and Bosnians to end the war in Bosnia. Negotiations begin in Dayton, Ohio.

Nov 4 In Tel Aviv, Yigal Amir, 25, a religious rightist opposed to peace efforts with the Palestinians, assassinates Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin.

Nov 10 Iraq disarmament crisis: With help from Israel and Jordan, UN inspector Ritter intercepts 240 Russian gyroscopes and accelerometers on their way to Iraq from Russia.

Nov 10 In Nigeria, playwright and environmental activist Ken Saro-Wiwa, along with eight others from the Movement for the Survival of the Ogoni People, are hanged by government forces.

Nov 16 A United Nations tribunal charges Radovan Karadzic and Ratko Mladic with genocide during the Bosnian War.

Nov 21 A peace agreement for Bosnia is reached.

Nov 28 US President Bill Clinton signs the National Highway Designation Act, which ends the federal 55 mph speed limit.

Dec 4 First NATO peacekeeping troops arrive in Sarajevo, including 700 US troops, an international force to number around 60,000.

Dec 14 The Dayton Agreement is signed in Paris, ending three and a half years of war in Bosnia.

Intervention in Haiti, 1994–1995

On September 30, 1991, a military coup under the leadership of Lieutenant General Raoul Cedras overthrew the government of Jean-Bertrand Aristide, the first popularly elected president in Haitian history. President George H.W. Bush called for the restoration of democracy, and worked with the Organization of American States (OAS) to impose a trade embargo on all goods except medicine and food. During his 1992 presidential candidacy, Bill Clinton criticized the Bush administration for its policy on refugee return and promised to increase pressure on the military junta by tightening economic sanctions.

Unburdened by the Cold War international framework that structured U.S. foreign policy for nearly fifty years, the Clinton administration sought to outline new objectives for U.S. foreign policy, including novel uses for military power. Ambassador to the United Nations Madeleine Albright outlined a U.S. policy of “assertive multilateralism,” with an increased role for the United Nations. National Security Advisor Anthony Lake emphasized the role of economic power in the new world order, and argued for a U.S. role in the “enlargement” of the community of free nations. The new administration, however, faced multiple challenges in the former Yugoslavia, Somalia, North Korea, and Haiti that complicated their attempts to implement the broad strategies and objectives defined by the administration’s leaders.

Clinton appointed Lawrence Pezzullo as special envoy for Haiti, and as promised in his campaign, worked to increase economic and diplomatic pressure on the junta. On June 16 the United Nations voted to impose a ban on petroleum sales to Haiti. Cedras agreed to participate in talks sponsored by the United Nations and the OAS. The so-called “Governors Island Accord” signed by Aristide and Cedras on July 3 called for Aristide’s return to Haiti by October 30, 1993, an amnesty for the coup leaders, assistance in modernizing the Haitian Army, and the establishment of a new Haitian police force. The agreement provided for the suspension of U.N. sanctions once Aristide had assumed office in Haiti.

Despite indications that the Haitian military was backing away from the agreement, the United States dispatched the USS Harlan County with 200 U.S. and Canadian engineers and military police on board to prepare for the return of Aristide. On October 11 the ship was met at the pier in Port-au-Prince by a mob of Haitians, appearing to threaten violence. With the street battle in Mogadishu only a week past, the administration proved unwilling to risk casualties in Port-au-Prince. The ship pulled away the following day and returned to the United States, a significant setback for the Clinton administration.

Four days later, the United Nations Security Council imposed a naval blockade on Haiti. Through the following months the administration pursued a dual strategy, planning for military intervention while hoping that the threat of a U.S. invasion would coerce the Haitian leaders to surrender power. Pressure toward action continued to build, with Congressional Black Caucus members especially vocal in demanding an end to military rule in Haiti.

The Clinton administration built the diplomatic foundation for the operation in the summer of 1994, working to secure a United Nations Security Council Resolution (UNSCR) authorizing the removal of the Haitian military regime. On July 31 the Security Council passed UNSCR 940, the first resolution authorizing the use of force to restore democracy for a member nation. It provided for the reinstatement of the Aristide government and a six-month mandate for the United Nations Mission in Haiti (UNMIH), which would maintain order after the operation. The U.N. mandate authorizing the intervention enabled the administration to recruit forces from Caribbean nations to serve in the post-invasion security force.

In early September planning and preparation for the invasion was completed under the code name Operation Uphold Democracy. The invasion force numbered nearly 25,000 military personnel from all services, backed by two aircraft carriers and extensive air support. Although the United States provided the vast majority of the forces, a multinational contingent from Caribbean nations agreed to serve in an operation conducted under U.N. mandate. The addition of these multinational forces shifted the operation from a U.S. military intervention to U.N.-sanctioned multinational action. The operation was scheduled for September 19.

With military action clearly imminent, former President Jimmy Carter led a delegation to Haiti in search of a negotiated settlement. Carter, Senator Sam Nunn, and General Colin Powell flew to Haiti on September 17, well aware that they had little time to reach agreement. President Clinton approved Carter’s mission, but insisted that the military operation would proceed as scheduled. The invasion forces launched with the negotiations in progress, without any certainty whether they would make an opposed or a peaceful entry on to Haitian soil.

The Haitian leadership capitulated in time to avoid bloodshed. Having launched the operation with the expectation of a forced-entry assault, the forces conducting the operation displayed remarkable discipline and flexibility in adjusting to this new and uncertain environment. General Hugh Shelton, commander of the invasion force, was transformed enroute to Haiti from commander to diplomat, charged with working out a peaceful transition of power. Shelton and Cedras met on September 20, 1994, to begin the process, and Aristide returned to Haiti on October 15.

Military planners had defined the conditions for hand-off to UNMIH as the restoration of basic order, the return of Aristide, and the conduction of a presidential election and subsequent peaceful transfer of power. The operation ended with the transfer to UNMIH command on March 31, 1995, and a peaceful election and transferal of power occurred on February 7, 1996. The operation yielded important lessons about the complexities involved in managing complex contingency operations, which were captured in PDD/NSC 56, “Managing Complex Contingency Operations,” issued in May 1997.

Entertainment Software Rating Board

The release of violent video games such as Mortal Kombat, Night Trap, and Doom leads to a set of congressional hearings in 1992. While several companies, including Sega and 3DO, had individual, voluntary ratings systems for their games, there was no industry-wide system in place. As a measure to pre-empt the possibility of a governmental rating board being created, several of the largest game providers created the ESRB to give ratings to video games. These ratings, ranging from Early Childhood to Adults Only, are given to games as a guideline for parents and consumers, similar to those given to films by the MPAA. These ratings have led to some controversy ranging from the appropriateness of the categories themselves to the effect they have on commerce as many stores refuse to stock Adult Only games.

Fashion in 1991

Oscar de la Renta Plaid (1991)

Designers everywhere focused on the jacket as the key to contemporary dressing. Denim jackets and leather biker’s styles appealed to younger people. For the sophisticated woman, there were long, gently curved jackets from major de signers, such as Giorgio Armani and Karl Lagerfeld of Chanel, as well as less expensive versions without
designer labels.

I wore a long, green, army style Eddie Bauer jacket.

A standard way for women to dress for the office was to wear one of these longer jackets over a skirt that stopped short of the knees. But all kinds of combinations were possible, such as jackets with trousers, leggings, or tights. Jackets with shorts also gained acceptance in some areas for more formal daytime wear, as women wore shorts to offices during the hot summer weather.

For women whose lives did not require formal dressing, including most students, T-shirts, sweat shirts, sweat pants, and jeans were the rule. Calvin Klein, Donna Karan, and other major designers introduced special jeans collections to appeal to these women and to
those who dressed informally during the weekend.

The special weekend-wear category was not limited to basic blue jeans. Designers offered white and black jeans, stone washed, and beige styles. Cutoffs and jackets to match appeared in stores, as did overalls and skirts, both short and long.

Skirt length moved into fashion consciousness again. Since 1988, short skirts were considered the standard, though many women wore their hems at midcalf. Designers everywhere in the fashion world introduced some longer styles into their collections. The consensus among fashion leaders was that long and short hemlines could coexist. Many designers claimed that they already did.

Plaids made a strong fall fashion entry, spurred by Oscar de la Renta’s suits, coats, and even furs worked in plaid patterns. They were shown at his Paris debut in March. De la Renta was the first American designer to join the French ready-to-wear shows.

Fashion leadership still remained in the hands of ready-to-wear designers in 1991. But the couture, or made-to-order branch of the fashion industry, based in Paris, showed renewed vigor. Designers such as Lagerfeld at Chanel, with his denim and motorcycle jackets, and Claude Montana, who introduced space age looks at the House of Lanvin, revitalized couture fashion during the year. But all the couture houses also had ready-to-wear collections that were less expensive than made-to-order clothes.


Modern anthropogenic acid deposition began in Europe and eastern North America after World War II, as countries in those areas greatly increased their consumption of fossil fuels. International cooperation to address air pollution and acid deposition began with the 1972 United Nations Conference on the Human Environment in Stockholm, Sweden. In 1979 the Geneva Convention on Long-range Transboundary Air Pollution created the framework for reducing air pollution and acid deposition in Europe. The convention produced the first legally binding international agreement to reduce air pollution on a broad regional basis. This first agreement has been extended by several protocols since its original inception.

In the United States, reductions in acid deposition stem from the Clean Air Act of 1970 and its amendments in 1990. Work toward developing a Memorandum of Intent between the U.S. and Canada to reduce air pollution and acid deposition began in the 1970s. However, it was not formalized until the Canada–United States Air Quality Agreement in 1991, which placed permanent caps on SO2 emissions and guided the reduction of NOx emissions in both countries. The SO2 emissions in the United States and Canada peaked in the late 1970s, but they have subsequently declined as a result of the adoption of government-mandated air pollution standards. The first phase of emission reductions ordered by the U.S. Clean Air Act Amendments of 1990 was begun in 1995, mainly by the regulation of coal-fired power plant emissions. This development marked the beginning of further significant SO2 reductions in the United States and resulted in an 88 percent decline in SO2 emissions between 1990 and 2017.

In contrast, NOx emissions in the United States peaked about 1980 and remained relatively stable until the end of the 1990s, when emissions began to decline more substantially because of controls on emissions from power plants and vehicles. NOx emissions have exceeded SO2 emissions since about 1980, but they too have fallen with the implementation of the Clean Air Act. NO2 emissions, for example, declined by 50 percent between 1990 and 2017. The combined reductions of SO2 and NOx emissions during this period led to a significant drop in acid deposition, as well as sulfate (SO4 2 ) and nitrate (NO3) deposition. Ammonia (NH3) and ammonium deposition continue to increase in some parts of the United States, especially in areas with intensive agriculture and livestock production.

As a result of actions and agreements such as those described above, acid deposition in both Europe and eastern North America has been significantly reduced. The longest continuous record of precipitation chemistry in North America is from the Hubbard Brook Experimental Forest in New Hampshire, U.S., where H + concentration in precipitation declined by about 86 percent from the mid-1960s through 2016. Similar trends were also reflected in data collected at measuring stations located across the eastern United States, which reported a decrease of approximately 40 percent in H + concentration between 1994 and 2008. EPA monitoring sites in largely urban areas have shown that annual average SO2 and nitrogen concentrations present in both wet and dry acid deposition decreased dramatically across the eastern United States between 1989 and 2015, and the greatest declines occurred in the area of dry sulfur deposition, which fell by roughly 82 percent (when regional figures for the Mid-Atlantic, Midwest, Northeast, and Southeast were considered).

Despite significant reductions in acid deposition, some European and North American ecosystems impaired by acid deposition have been slow to recover. Decades of acid deposition in these sensitive regions have depleted the acid-neutralizing capacity of soils. As a result, these soils are even more susceptible to continued acid deposition, even at reduced levels. Further reductions in NOx and SO2 emissions will be necessary to protect such acid-sensitive ecosystems.

In contrast to Europe and North America, acid deposition is increasing in other parts of the world. For example, Asia has seen a steady increase in emissions of SO2 and NOx as well as NH3—a phenomenon most apparent in parts of China and India, where coal burning for industrial and electricity production has greatly expanded since about 2000. However, the introduction of stringent emission controls in China in 2007 produced a 75 percent decline in the country’s SO2 emissions by 2019, whereas India’s SO2 emissions continued to increase.

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The kingdom to 1526

In 892 the Carolingian emperor, Arnulf, attempting to assert his authority over the Moravian duke Svatopluk, called in the help of the Magyars, whose early homes had been on the upper waters of the Volga and Kama rivers. They were driven, at an uncertain date and by unrecorded causes, southward onto the steppes, where they adopted the life of peripatetic herders. In the 9th century they were based on the lower Don, ranging over the steppes to the west of that river. They then comprised a federation of hordes, or tribes, each under a hereditary chieftain and each composed of a varying number of clans, the members of which shared a real or imagined blood kinship. All clan members were free, but the community included slaves taken in battle or in raids. There were seven Magyar tribes, but other elements were part of the federation, including three tribes of Turkic Khazars (the Kavars). Either because of this fact or perhaps because of a memory of earlier conditions, this federation was known to its neighbours as the On-Ogur (literally “Ten Arrows” or “Ten Tribes”). From the Slavic pronunciation of this term, the name Hungarian is derived, with the initial H added because they were thought by some scholars to be descendants of the Huns.

In 889, attacks by a newly arrived Turkic people called the Pechenegs had driven the Magyars and their confederates to the western extremities of the steppes, where they were living when Arnulf’s invitation arrived. The band sent to Arnulf reported back that the plains across the Carpathian Mountains would form a suitable new homeland that could be easily conquered and defended from the rear. Having elected as their chief Árpád, the leader of their most powerful tribe, the Magyars crossed the Carpathians en masse, probably in the spring of 895, and easily subjugated the peoples of the sparsely inhabited central plain. Prior to the conquest, the Magyars lived under a dual kingship that included a sacred ruler with minimal powers called the kende and a de facto leader called the gyula. At the time of the conquest, Árpád occupied the latter position, and, following the death of the last kende in 904, he united the two positions into the office of a duke or prince.

The Magyars destroyed the Moravian state in 906 and in the next year occupied Pannonia, having defeated a German force sent against them. They were then firmly established in the whole centre of the basin, over which their tribes and their associates distributed themselves. Árpád took the central area west of the Danube for his own tribe, on his way to establishing a dynasty. The periphery was guarded by outposts, which were gradually pushed forward, chiefly to the north and the east.

The Early History of Rugby in South Africa

Prior to the passage of apartheid laws both Black and White South Africans played rugby, albeit separately. After the onset of apartheid Black South Africans were segregated from their White countrymen and denied access to rugby pitches and training facilities. During South Africa's hosting of the Rugby World Cup in 1995 Nelson Mandela used the sport and the Springbok symbol to help overcome the legacy of apartheid. This article traces how race relations in South Africa influenced the trajectory of the sport from its inception in 1862 to the present.

On 21 August 1862 the headmaster of Bishop's College Canon George Ogilvie organized the first official rugby match in South Africa. The match took place at Green Point in Cape Town and was played between the Army and the Civil service. Only White South Africans participated that day - both British and Afrikaners.

In 1906-1907 South Africa fielded its first national rugby team on a tour of the British Isles. The all-White team was composed of Afrikaners and British colonial South Africans. The tour helped erase ill-will that had existed between the two groups since the bloody Anglo-Boer war of 1899-1902. The English media referred to the team as the Springboks - an anglicized version of the team's self entitled Afrikaans nickname, the Springbokken.

Participation in rugby was not limited to White South Africans for long. By the late nineteenth century some Blacks had adopted rugby as an element of their identity. In 1896 a celebration was held in honour of H.C. Msikinya for his acceptance into Wilberforce University. At the party Msikinya listed his membership in the Rovers Rugby Football club amongst his various social accomplishments.

Black rugby match, date unknown. Source: Paul Weinberg collection. Permission:

Soon after White South Africans formed rugby's first official governing bodies Black South Africans followed suit. In 1889 the Whites-only South African Rugby Board was founded. Eight years later the South African Coloured Rugby Football Board was founded to organize and oversee club matches between Black South Africans at the regional level.

Rugby played an important role in weakening the divisions between various Black religious groups in the Cape. Matches drew women, men and children from different religious backgrounds as spectators. Community members collaborated with one another and raised money for their respective clubs through activities such as dances. Matches also engendered a sense of mutual respect amongst players for the toughness and bravery of their opponents, even though club membership was strictly divided along religious lines.

From the outset rugby brought South Africans together. Just half a decade after the British had thrown Afrikaners into concentration camps - during the Anglo-Boer War - the two groups played alongside one another under the Springbok banner. The sport also facilitated social interaction amongst the various religious groups of the country's Black inhabitants. Early on rugby demonstrated a capacity to heal wounds and establish commonalities amongst South Africans.

However at times rugby's unifying capacity was ignored and South Africans chose instead to use the sport as an instrument of oppression. During much of the twentieth century rugby in South Africa was hi-jacked and the sport's healing powers were forgotten. Racist ideology and legislation prevented White and Black South Africans from playing the game together until 1976, when the apartheid regime took its reluctant first steps toward sporting reform. Even after the reforms of 1976 Black South Africans faced unofficial barriers to sporting equality such as limited access to training facilities and inadequate nutrition.

Rugby’s role in early South African history was ambiguous. At times the sport brought seemingly disparate South Africans together. At other times the sport reinforced barriers between South Africans, necessitating the formation of two racially segregated governing bodies. One thing about rugby in South Africa would become clear throughout the course of its history. Rugby did not unify or divide the country's inhabitants so much as the meanings attached to it. And no group attached more meaning to rugby than the Afrikaners.

Rugby and the Springbok Symbol in Afrikaner Identity and Politics

Throughout the first half of the nineteenth century rugby and the Springbok symbol became linked to Afrikaner nationalism and politics. Afrikaners viewed the success of the Springboks in international test play as a reflection of their accomplishments as a civilization. The Afrikaner love of the team enabled former players to use their sporting stature to launch into politics, and nearly all former Springboks supported the National Party – the eventual architects of apartheid.

Many Springboks and National Party members were also associated with an organization called the Broederbond. The Broederbond was a secret brotherhood of male Afrikaners whose sole aim was to advance the well being of their people. The group played a crucial role in mobilizing Afrikaners during the months leading up to the National Party's victory in the national elections of 1948.

Upon their election the National Party - with the unofficial support of the Broederbond - extended the exclusive policies of apartheid into the Springbok program. In 1950 the National Party passed the Group Areas Act defining the separate geographic areas within which different South African racial groups could reside. Three years later they passed the Reservation of Separate Amenities Act, effectively segregating all public areas in South Africa – including rugby pitches.

Springboks,1965. Source: Museum Africa Permission:

Segregation along racial boundaries denied Black South Africans access to the top level facilities and training that would enable them to represent South Africa in a Springbok jersey. This effect was surely intentional. The National Party envisioned the Springbok symbol as a representation of the values and characteristics of the Afrikaner people. In their minds allowing Black players to don the sacred jersey was a step toward the erosion of these values. The Springbok had come to symbolize more than rugby excellence to the hard-line Afrikaner – it had come to symbolize racial superiority.

However, South African rugby's racist disposition was not able to maintain itself. Much like apartheid the sport faced mounting pressure to change from both the country's inhabitants and the international community.

SAN-ROC and SACOS: Steps toward Sporting Reform in South Africa

The South African Non-Racial Olympic Committee (SAN-ROC) was formed in 1963 - one year before the Olympic Games in Tokyo. The group decried the fact that only Whites were allowed to represent South Africa at the Olympics and called for a boycott of the country from the 1964 games.

SAN-ROC's agitation for non-racial sport within South Africa made them a target. The group's first president Dennis Brutus was jailed on Robben Island and several of its subsequent leaders were either killed or imprisoned by the apartheid regime. Their sacrifices were not in vain. South Africa was suspended from the 1964 Olympic Games in Tokyo by the International Olympic Committee as a result of its apartheid policies.

In 1970 all Blacks within South Africa had their national citizenships revoked by the enacting of the Bantu Homeland Citizens Act. The act replaced Black South Africans' national citizenships with forced citizenship of the Bantustan designated to their respective ethnic group. In response to increasing internal pressure the apartheid regime extended multi-nationalism to the club level in 1976. The reform meant that Blacks with Bantustan citizenship were officially allowed to participate in the same sporting organizations as whites - pending special permission.

However, few did. Even after the reforms of 1976 Blacks in South Africa faced significant barriers to sporting equality. Many did not have transportation to the remote facilities where Whites trained. Many more were too malnourished to practice with the same intensity as the well-fed Whites.

In 1973 the South African Council on Sport (SACOS) was formed. The group called for sporting reform on a domestic level, advocating non-racial – as opposed to multi-national – development of sport. SACOS argued that the reform of 1976 was a guise intended to appease the international community while maintaining separate racial development in sports. The group advocated for more fundamental change in South Africa. Their slogan was 'No normal sport in an abnormal society.' SACOS leaders and members were persecuted by the apartheid regime's forces but never lost sight of their goal - colour blind sports development in South Africa.

Groups such as SAN-ROC and SACOS represented important steps toward bringing about change in South Africa. Although they used sports as a medium, their message of fundamental equality for Black South Africans transcended all areas. The groups made clear to the apartheid regime that they would not be silenced by intimidation or force.

Apartheid and Springbok Rugby's Path toward Crisis

Rugby did not escape South Africa's apartheid-era sporting controversy. In 1965 the Springboks had a successful tour of New Zealand. After the tour Prime Minister Hendrik Verwoerd of the National Party announced that future New Zealand rugby teams visiting South Africa would not be allowed to include Maori players.

The announcement was a slap in the face to the International Rugby Board (IRB) and New Zealand's rugby program. For these two groups, world class skill was the only prerequisite for representing one's country on the international stage. If a Black South African or a Maori New Zealander were good enough to make their national squads, then they had every right to represent their country on the pitch. In response to Verwoerd's announcement New Zealand's national rugby team - the All Blacks - cancelled their scheduled 1967 tour of South Africa.

New Zealand's cancellation of their South African tour prompted a shift in South African sporting policy in 1967. In an attempt to maintain rugby relations with international rivals, Prime Minister John Vorster proclaimed that the National Party would no longer prescribe rules about the racial composition of sports teams visiting South Africa.

The announcement was controversial. It caused a faction of hard-line conservative Afrikaners to break away from the National Party and form a new political organization in 1969 - the Restored National Party. In a Congressional meeting that same year the party's first leader Albert Hertzog voiced his concern that the admission of Maori All Blacks into South Africa would lead to them dancing with Afrikaner girls at social events. These hard-line Afrikaners preferred to remain in sporting isolation than to allow Maori men a dance with their daughters.

South Africa's rugby leaders faced pressure from all sides during the 60's and 70's. The majority of the country's White inhabitants – save the hard-line Afrikaners mentioned above - were hungry for Springbok rugby. But many of the team's traditional rivals had drifted away as a result of South Africa's racist policies. The country's Black inhabitants saw the Springboks as a symbol of apartheid, and groups such as SACOS advocated for fundamental sporting reform within South Africa. Much like apartheid society Springbok rugby was on a path toward crisis.

Apartheid and Springbok Rugby's International Isolation

South Africa's rugby isolation reached its apex during the 1980's. In 1981 the Springboks toured New Zealand. Every match between the Springboks and All Blacks generated protest. Many New Zealanders had come to view the accommodation of a South African sports team as a step backward. They simply did not want their All Blacks competing against a nation stuck in a racist frame of mind. The second match between the Springboks and All Blacks was cancelled because hundreds of protestors occupied the pitch.

South Africa was banned from the IRB from 1984-1992 as a result of the country's continuation of apartheid policies. The tour of 1981 was the last official international test rugby the Springboks played until 1992. This meant the country was excluded from the first ever Rugby World Cup held in 1987. Even hard-line Afrikaners became increasingly frustrated at the international boycott of the Springboks. The former president of SACOS Norman Middleton accurately summed up the National Party's position on international rugby competition nearly a decade earlier

'I don't think that the Government could care less about such sports as cricket and soccer. They don't really mean much to the true Afrikaner. Therefore the expulsion of the country from international competition doesn't mean too much. But rugby is different. Rugby is the Afrikaner's second religion.' (Middleton, 1976)

South Africa's rugby isolation confronted Afrikaners with a paradox. Afrikaners saw Springbok success at the international level as a reflection of their superiority as a people. However, the Springboks were no longer able to demonstrate that superiority so long as Afrikaners continued to treat Black South Africans as inferior.

The world around and within South Africa was changing but the country's government continued to hold the nation in a stagnant past. South African rugby was suffering the burden of the historic symbols that had been attached to it. The Springbok was in need of rehabilitation.

In 1988 - as the centenary of the SARB loomed - Springbok rugby leaders Danie Craven and Louis Luyt knew that change was necessary. They organized meetings with representatives of both the non-racial South African Rugby Union and the African National Congress (ANC) to discuss the future trajectory of the sport. After three years of negotiations the groups came to an agreement and formed the South African Rugby Football Union (SARFU) on 19 January 1992. South Africa had finally established a unified, non-racial governing body for rugby.

Although rugby was now governed by a non-racial body, perceptions of the game did not change over night. Black South Africans still viewed the Springbok as a symbol of apartheid. Afrikaners still viewed it as a symbol of their racial superiority. These perceptions were reinforced in 1992 when the Springboks faced the All Blacks at Ellis Park stadium for their first international rugby match in eight years. Afrikaner fans waved old South African flags and sung the apartheid anthem Die Stem. It would take both the visionary leadership of Nelson Mandela and a bit of sporting fortune to rally the rainbow nation behind rugby.

The 1995 Rugby World Cup: Rugby as a Road to Racial Reconciliation

On 27 April 1994 South Africa held its first all-race elections. The 1994 elections marked the end of apartheid and the country's transition into a full democracy. It was a time of uncertainty for all South Africans. The young nation sought to establish a new direction but many questions remained unanswered. How could South Africa's various races unite under a single banner with the wounds of apartheid still festering? How could Black South Africans rise above the legacy of a political system that had oppressed them for so long? The first steps toward the answer of these questions required the leadership of one of history's most incredible individuals.

In April 1994 Nelson Mandela was elected as South Africa's first Black president. His inauguration took place on 10 May 1994 in the capital city of Pretoria. From 1964-1990 Mandela had been imprisoned by the apartheid regime for his involvement with the ANC. Ironically, this made him the perfect candidate to lead South Africa towards racial reconciliation.

Mandela had an almost divine capacity for forgiveness. A man who had been imprisoned for nearly three decades - for standing up for the basic human rights of his people – called upon Black South Africans to embrace their historic oppressors. He urged all South Africans to look toward a rainbow future and move beyond their dark past.

In 1992 the IRB awarded the1995 Rugby World Cup (RWC) to South Africa. Mandela seized the opportunity to work toward racial reconciliation. He collaborated with Springbok and SARFU leaders to initiate the 'one team, one country' campaign in the months leading up to the RWC. Black and White South Africans alike embraced the campaign. Throughout the tournament South Africans of all races painted their faces in the colours of the new flag and cheered on the Springboks – who Mandela referred to as 'our boys'.

Rugby World Cup, 24 June 1995. Source: Grant Levarsh/Eimage Agency.Permission:

The Springboks were not the tournament favourites. However, after several hard fought matches the team made it to the finals against their old rivals the All Blacks. On 24 June 1995 the final match took place between the two teams at Ellis Park stadium in Johannesburg. The Springboks emerged victorious, narrowly defeating the All Blacks with a drop-goal in extra time. Nelson Mandela appeared wearing a Springboks cap and jersey before a roaring crowd of 60 000 fans and presented Springbok captain Francois Peinaar with the Ellis Cup. When asked by a reporter about the South African fan support in the stadium Peinaar replied, 'we didn't have 60 000 South Africans, we had 43 million South Africans'. (Peinaar, 1995)

The 1995 RWC was the ultimate rehabilitation of the Springbok. Mandela led all South Africans to a full embrace of a symbol that had once embodied the values of apartheid. Through rugby and the Springbok symbol he demonstrated to the world South Africa's capacity to change. Mandela did not change the game of rugby or the Springbok symbol themselves, he changed the meanings attached to them. Whether his incredible feat led to permanent change remains a subject of debate.

The Ambiguous Future of Rugby in South Africa

After the 1995 RWC there rose the question of whether South Africans would continue to rally around rugby when the eyes of the world were no longer upon them. The tournament was undoubtedly a magical moment in South African history, but just over a year later there was an unfortunate indication that Springbok leaders were still stuck in a racist past.

In February of 1997 a taped conversation between Springbok coach Andre Markgraaff and former player Andre Bester was aired by the South African Broadcasting Corporation. In the tape Markgraaff referred to the Senior Vice President of the SARFU Mululeki George as a 'fucking kaffir' - an incredibly derogatory racial slur. More recently accusations have risen of school age Black rugby players being called 'dogs' as they run out onto the pitch.

Tendai Mtawarira rumbles, 8 August 2008. Source: Brandon Fisher collection. Source: Grant Levarsh/Eimage Agency.Permission:

However, there are also signs that rugby in South Africa has turned a new leaf. Since 1995 the Springboks have held coaching clinics for the country’s disadvantaged youth. They have drastically increased funding for underprivileged rugby organizations. There are also an increasing number of Black South Africans representing the Springboks on the world stage. The current squad has seven Black players - Tendai Mtawarira, Bryan Habana, JP Pieterson, Zane Kirchner, Gio Aplon, Siyabonga Ntubeni and Siya Kolisi. Although the number is disproportionately small, it is a marked improvement from the single Black Springbok who played in the 1995 RWC - Chester Williams.

On Thursday 5 December 2013 the world lost a great leader. Nelson Mandela was an incredible individual and an example for all to aspire to. It is important that South Africans and the rest of the world remember his accomplishment at the 1995 RWC. Mandela showed that rugby does have the power to unite the country.

Black and White South Africans should not ignore rugby's turbulent history. Rather, they should follow in the path Mandela has shown them. He was able to change the meanings associated with the Springbok symbol - evolving it into something great. The challenge lies with South Africans to continue to honour his accomplishment.

This article was written by Simon Pinsky and forms part of the SAHO Public History Internship

A History of Climate Activities

The third WMO (World Meteorological Organization)-convened World Climate Conference, which will be held in Geneva from 31 August to 4 September 2009, should be viewed both as an end and as a beginning. As an end, it represents the culmination of some 30 years of remarkable progress in climate research, monitoring, applications and impact assessment under the World Climate Programme, which was established in the wake of the First World Climate Conference in 1979 and reconstituted, underpinned and refocused following the Second World Climate Conference in 1990. It also seems likely to mark the beginning of a new and more integrated approach to the application of climate science to societal needs through the establishment of a new global framework for climate services which will focus powerful new scientific capabilities on the formidable social, economic and environmental challenges of living with the large natural variability of climate and mitigating and adapting to human-induced climate change.

It is surprisingly little understood how comprehensively and how well WMO and its predecessor and partner organizations have worked together to provide the framework for international cooperation on climate matters since the establishment of the International Meteorological Organization (IMO) in 1873. The non-governmental IMO provided essential international coordination and standardization of climatological practices for more than 70 years, especially, since 1929, through its Commission for Climatology, which was re-established as an intergovernmental body by WMO in 1951 and has been maintained, albeit with a brief change of name to enhance its focus on applications, to the present day. Many of the National Meteorological Services (NMSs) of WMO’s now 188 Member States and Territories owe their origins not so much to their more publicly visible role in daily weather forecasting as to their national responsibility for long-term observation, description and monitoring of climate.

In planning for a new global frame­work for climate service provision through World Climate Conference-3 (WCC‑3), it will be critically important to focus the established and emerging scientific capabilities for climate prediction on the burgeoning societal needs of a world now concerned with climate issues as never before. But it will also be important that the new framework be based not just on a recognition of what is already in place but on a measure of historical insight into the issues explored, challenges met and lessons learned in putting the present international institutional arrangements in place. While there is not space, here, to retrace the fascinating history of international climate science and services in any detail, it may be of interest, as a starting point, to identify a few of the highlights of the past 50 years and especially of the 30 years since the establishment of the World Climate Programme in 1979. Figure 1 provides a schematic, albeit greatly simplified, summary of the milestones in the emergence of climate as an international scientific and political issue since the 1950s.

Origin of the climate issue

While climatology has always been recognized as an important branch of the science and practice of meteorology (Landsberg, 1945) and the basic physics of greenhouse warming has been understood for more than a century (Houghton, 2009), the present global concern with climate issues really dates from the convergence of five important scientific, technological and geopolitical developments of the 1950s:

which shaped the transition of climatology from a descriptive to a physical science (Flohn, 1970) and opened up the prospect of diagnostic and predictive modelling of the global climate system (Bolin, 2007).

These influences were brought together in a 1961 United Nations General Assembly Resolution which called on WMO and the non-governmental International Council for Science (ICSU) to collaborate in developing the new scientific and technological opportunities for monitoring, predicting and eventually controlling, weather and climate and triggered the twin birth of the WMO World Weather Watch and the WMO/ICSU Global Atmospheric Research Programme (GARP). The World Weather Watch was aimed at providing the basic global infrastructure for supporting operational weather forecasting and for describing and monitoring climate, while GARP was focused on the dual objectives of improved weather forecasting and a scientific basis for climate prediction (Davies, 1990).

Figure 1 — The emergence of climate as an international scientific and policy issue: the five major scientific, technological and geopolitical developments on the left converged to inspire UN General Assembly (UNGA) Resolution 1721 (XVI) which triggered the establishment of the WMO World Weather Watch (WWW) and the WMO-ICSU Global Atmospheric Research Programme (GARP) and, later and less directly, the convening of the 1972 United Nations Conference on the Human Environment (UNCHE). The 1974-1977 WMO EC (Executive Committee) Panel of Experts on Climate Change, set up at the request of the sixth special session of the UNGA, triggered the convening of the 1979 World Climate Conference (WCC-1) and the establishment of the four-component World Climate Programme (WCP), including the WMO-ICSU World Climate Research Programme (WCRP). The 1987 report of the World Commission on Environment and Development (WCED), the 1988 Toronto Conference and the First Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) shaped the agenda of the 1990 Second World Climate Conference (WCC-2), which led to the establishment of the Global Climate Observing System (GCOS) and the negotiation of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). The chart also depicts the proposed evolution of the service-oriented components of the WCP into a more integrated World Climate Services System (WCSS), built on GCOS and WCRP, to produce a new Global Framework for Climate Services (see Figure 5).

Already by the late 1960s, as the implementation of the World Weather Watch and GARP was getting underway, scientific concern was beginning to mount, reinforced by the increasing carbon dioxide concentrations evident from the early observations at Mauna Loa, that human activities could, in fact, already be starting to impact on the Earth’s climate at global scales (SMIC, 1971). Then, in the 1970s, not for the first time and certainly not for the last, a counter view emerged, quickly sensationalized by the media (Calder, 1974) that, rather than just a manifestation of the large natural variability of climate superimposed on the expected slow greenhouse warming trend, the devastating Sahelian drought of the 1960s and the series of extremely cold winters in the northern hemisphere in the early 1970s could be the harbingers of the Earth’s imminent descent into a new ice age.

They served to bring the implications of climate variability and change back to the attention of the United Nations, however, and, in 1974, the sixth special session of the General Assembly called on WMO to undertake a study of climate change. WMO established an Executive Committee Panel of Experts on Climate Change which, in its final report (Gibbs et al., 1977), largely dismissed the speculation on global cooling and reaffirmed the general scientific expectation of greenhouse warming but stressed the importance of making better use of existing climate knowledge in learning to live with the large natural variability of climate. It inspired the early WMO planning for an inter-agency World Climate Programme and triggered the WMO decision to convene a World Climate Conference in 1979.

The 1979 World Climate Conference

The 1979 World Climate Conference, now usually referred to as the First World Climate Conference (FWCC or WCC-1), was organized by a Committee chaired by Robert M. White of the USA and held in the International Conference Centre in Geneva from 12 to 23 February 1979 (Figure 2). It was convened by WMO, in collaboration with the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), the World Health Organization (WHO), the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), ICSU and other scientific partners, as “a world conference of experts on climate and mankind”. The first week was attended by some 350 specialists from 53 countries and 24 international organizations and from a wide range of disciplines including agriculture, water resources, fisheries, energy, environment, ecology, biology, medicine, sociology and economics (White, 1979).

Figure 2 — The opening of the World Climate Conference in February 1979. From the left: R. Schneider, Deputy Secretary-General of WMO F. Mayor, Deputy Director-General of UNESCO R.W. Phillips, Deputy Director-General of FAO M.K. Tolba, Executive Director of UNEP H. Mahler, Director-General of WHO K.K.S. Dadzie, Director-General for Development and International Economic Cooperation of the United Nations D.A. Davies, Secretary-General of WMO R.M. White, Conference Chairman Ju.A. Izrael, Acting First Vice-President of WMO E.K. Fedorov Sir John Kendrew, Secretary-General of ICSU O. Vasiliev, Deputy Director of IIASA and H. Taba, Director, Programme Planning and UN Affairs in the WMO Secretariat

At the end of the second week of deliberations in a smaller group of 100 invited experts from all parts of the world, the organizers issued a World Climate Conference Declaration as an appeal to nations in the following terms:

Having regard to the all-pervading influence of climate on human society and on many fields of human activities and endeavour, the Conference finds that it is now urgently necessary for the nations of the world:

(a) To take full advantage of man’s [sic] present knowledge of climate
(b) To take steps to improve significantly that knowledge
(c) To foresee and prevent potential man-made changes in climate that might be adverse to the well-being of humanity.

The WCC-1 Declaration (WMO, 1979(a)) called on all nations to strongly support the proposed World Climate Programme and suggested immediate strategies to assist countries to make better use of climate information in planning for social and economic development.

Establishment of the World Climate Programme

Following the Conference, WMO moved swiftly to give effect to the call for a World Climate Programme. Eighth World Meteorological Congress (Geneva, April/May 1979) agreed that, as the UN specialized agency for meteorology embracing both weather and climate, WMO should take the lead in promoting studies of climate variability and change and their implications for society and the environment (WMO, 1979(b)).

It thus formally established the World Climate Programme with four components: the World Climate Data Programme (WCDP) the World Climate Applications Programme the World Climate Research Programme (WCRP) (initially entitled Climate Change and Variability Research Programme) and the World Climate Impact Study Programme (WCIP), following fairly closely the recommendations of the World Climate Conference.

Congress recognized, however, that climate issues were already becoming highly interdisciplinary and that implementation of the proposed World Climate Programme would require the involvement of many other UN bodies such as UNESCO, FAO, WHO and UNEP, as well as the scientific community through ICSU.

It thus sought their co-sponsorship of the WCP as a whole and invited UNEP to take lead responsibility for the WCIP. It also agreed that WCRP should be implemented as a joint initiative of WMO and ICSU under the terms of an agreement that would follow seamlessly from the WMO-ICSU joint sponsorship of GARP, which had dated from 1967. The WCDP responsibility was passed to the Commission for Special Applications of Meteorology and Climatology (CoSAMC), the successor and predecessor of the WMO Commission for Climatology (CCl).

The Congress considered con­vening a ministerial conference and establishing an overall inter­governmental and interagency coordination mechanism for the WCP but concluded that this would be premature. It decided, instead, to foster prompt implementation of the four components with liaison through a WCP Office. It urged countries to establish their own national climate programmes under the overall umbrella of the WCP. It mapped out an ambitious implementation schedule for the WCP as a whole (Zillman, 1980).

The 1985 Villach Conference and the SCOPE report

The international and national planning and implementation of projects and activities within the framework of the four components of the WCP proceeded vigorously through the early 1980s with a particular focus in the research community on the role of increasing atmospheric concen­trations of greenhouse gases in producing global warming. In October 1985, UNEP, WMO and ICSU convened an international assessment of the role of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases in climate variations and associated impacts. Now widely referred to as “the Villach Conference”, it was attended by scientists from 29 countries who produced a highly influential statement foreshadowing temperature rises in the first half of the 21st century greater than any in human history (WMO, 1986). It drew heavily on a major scientific assessment then underway under the auspices of the ICSU Scientific Committee on Problems of the Environment (SCOPE) (Bolin et al., 1986)

The Villach Conference Statement included a set of recommendations to governments and funding institutions on the monitoring and research needed to further clarify the nature of the threat and, importantly, it also called on UNEP, WMO and ICSU to, inter alia:

The 1987 WMO Congress

Tenth World Meteorological Congress in May 1987 considered both the outcome of the Villach Conference and an advance briefing on the conclusions of the World Commission on Environment and Development (the Brundtland Commission) which had drawn heavily on the Villach findings in highlighting global warming as a major threat to sustainable development (WCED, 1987). There were many calls from national delegations for WMO to provide authoritative information on the state of knowledge of human-induced climate change. Congress agreed with the Villach recommendation for periodic assessments of scientific knowledge but considered that the assessment mechanism should operate under the overall guidance of governments rather than solely through scientists serving in their personal capacities (WMO, 1987). It, and the immediately following session of the WMO Executive Council, authorized the Secretary-General to consult with the Executive Director of UNEP to establish what was soon to become the joint WMO-UNEP Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).

The Toronto Conference

The World Conference on the Changing Atmosphere: Implications for Global Security (the Toronto Conference) was held in Toronto, Canada on 27-30 June 1988 with the participation of more than 300 scientists and policy-makers. The Conference called upon governments, the United Nations and its specialized agencies, industry, educational institutions, non-governmental organizations and individuals “to take specific actions to reduce the impending crisis caused by the pollution of the atmosphere”.

The Toronto Conference Statement called, in particular, for increased resourcing for the research and monitoring efforts within the WCP, support for the work of the proposed IPCC and development of a comprehensive global convention as a framework for protocols on the protection of the atmosphere (Pearman et al., 1989 WMO, 1989).

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change

The first session of the WMO-UNEP Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) in Geneva in November 1988 elaborated its basic concept of operation as an intergovernmentally supervised expert assessment mechanism, established its three working group structure and initiated the work programme which was to lead to its highly influential First Assessment Report approved after long and difficult negotiation at its fourth session in Sundsvall, Sweden, in August 1990.

Under its three successive Chairmen and using increasingly rigorous and comprehensive assessment and review processes, the IPCC produced its Second Assessment Report in 1996, its Third Assessment Report in 2001 and its Fourth Assessment Report in 2007, as well as a number of Special Reports and Technical Papers along the way. It is now working on its Fifth Assessment Report.

Though criticized by some as too cautious and by others as too political and too alarmist, the IPCC has been widely accepted by its sponsors, governments and the competent bodies of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (see below) as the authoritative source of information on the science and impacts of climate change (Bolin, 2007 Zillman, 2007). Though formally constituted as a joint subsidiary mechanism of WMO and UNEP, and reporting regularly to the governing bodies of both its sponsors, it now oper­ates essentially as an independent intergovernmental organization.

The Second World Climate Conference

The Second World Climate Conference (SWCC or WCC-2) took place, under the sponsorship of WMO, UNESCO, UNEP, FAO and ICSU, in Geneva from 29 October to 7 November 1990. It consisted of two parts: six days of scientific and technical presentations and discussions involving 747 participants from 116 countries and two days of ministerial sessions attended by 908 participants from 137 countries. The Conference was held in the Geneva International Conference Centre but the opening of the ministerial sessions was held in the Palais des Nations with addresses from two Heads of State and four Prime Ministers (Jäger and Ferguson, 1991).

Figure 3 — The Secretary-General of WMO, G.O.P. Obasi, addressing the opening of the ministerial sessions of the Second World Climate Conference in the Palais des Nations, Geneva, on 6 November 1990. Behind him (left to right) are the Hon. E. Fenech-Adami, Prime Minister of Malta the Rt Hon. M. Thatcher, Prime Minister of the United Kingdom HM King Hussein I of Jordan Federal Councillor A. Köller, President of the Swiss Confederation M. Rocard, Prime Minister of France and the Rt Hon. B. Paeniu, Prime Minister of Tuvalu.

The original purpose of WCC-2, as envisaged when its planning began in 1986, was to review the first decade of progress under the WCP and the Conference programme included some excellent reviews of the WCP as a whole (Bruce, 1991) and its individual components (Boldirev, 1991) including major achievements in the application of climate information to the challenges of food, water, energy and urban and building design. The second purpose of the Conference, which emerged relatively late in the planning, was to undertake an initial international review of the First Assessment Report of the IPCC (Bolin, 1991 Coughlan and Nyenzi, 1991) as a lead-in to the negotiations for a UN Framework Convention on Climate Change, which were scheduled to begin in Washington DC in February 1991 and to conclude in time for signature at the Rio Earth Summit in June 1992.

The scientific part of WCC-2 included five specialist scientific panels and 12 task groups which produced recommendations for action in areas such as food, water, energy and land use. The resulting seven-page Conference Statement picked up many important issues that emerged from the group discussions, including a recommendation for the urgent establishment of a Global Climate Observing System (GCOS).

The five-page Ministerial Declaration from WCC-2, which was adopted by consensus, after lengthy negotiations on the final day, represented the most broadly based call thus far for cooperative international action on the climate change issue. It set the essential parameters for negotiation of the UNFCCC and invited the forthcoming Eleventh World Meteorological Congress to strengthen the WCP research and monitoring programmes in consultation with UNESCO, UNEP, FAO, ICSU and other relevant international organizations.

Establishment of the Global Climate Observing System

In the light of the WCC-2 Conference Statement and Declaration, the then Chairman of the Joint Scientific Committee (JSC) for the WCRP moved immediately to convene a meeting of experts to formulate a prospectus for the Global Climate Observing System. The meeting was hosted by the UK Meteorological Office at Winchester in January 1991 (Winchester Group, 1991), the concept and sponsorship arrangements were elaborated and agreed by the governing bodies of the proposed sponsors and, by early 1992, a Memorandum of Understanding was in place between WMO, IOC, UNEP and ICSU for the establishment of GCOS. A Joint Planning Office was established at WMO Headquarters in Geneva, a Joint Scientific and Technical Committee was appointed and, by mid-1995, a comprehensive GCOS plan had been finalized (GCOS, 1995).

The fundamental design concept for GCOS was that it be built as a system of climate relevant components of the established observing systems based on the WMO Global Observing System and Global Atmosphere Watch for the atmosphere and the then emerging Global Ocean Observing System (GOOS) and Global Terrestrial Observing System (GTOS) which were also co-sponsored by several of the co-sponsors of WCC-2. The basic purpose of GCOS was to provide observational support for all components of the WCP, the IPCC and the UNFCCC.

GCOS has continued to evolve over the intervening years with a particularly strong focus on support of the UNFCCC (see below) since 1998 (GCOS, 2004). Although its concept of operation has been widely misunderstood and its implementation seriously under-resourced in both developed and developing countries, it is now widely seen as the appropriate international framework for ensuring the availability of all observations required for climate purposes at both the national and international levels and on all time and space scales (Sommeria et al., 2007).

Restructuring of the World Climate Programme

Eleventh World Meteorological Congress (May 1991) responded to the recommendations of WCC-2 by broadening and restructuring the WCP, establishing a broadly based Coordinating Committee for the World Climate Programme (CCWCP), institutionalizing the essential underpinning role of GCOS and foreshadowing an intergovernmental meeting to review the coordination arrangements and identify a resourcing strategy for both WCP and GCOS.

The four restructured components of the WCP became:

with the former Advisory Committee on the World Climate Applications and Data Programmes (ACCAD) broadened to embrace all agencies involved with climate aspects of socio-economic development and IOC invited to join WMO and ICSU as co-sponsors of the WCRP (WMO, 1991).

The sponsorship and organizational arrangements for the re-structured World Climate Programme and associated activities following the 1991 Congress (Zillman, 1995) are shown schematically in Figure 4.

Figure 4 — Organizational structure and sponsorship arrangements for the World Climate Programme (WCP) following the Second World Climate Conference, showing also the underpinning role of the Global Climate Observing System (GCOS) and the link to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and the UN Subsidiary Body for Scientific and Technological Advice (SBSTA) of the Conference of the Parties (COP) to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC)

Negotiation of the UNFCCC

On the basis of the scientific evidence summarized in the First Assessment Report of IPCC and in line with the guidance from WCC-2, the Intergovernmental Negotiating Committee (INC) for a Framework Convention on Climate Change, which was established by the 1990 (45th) session of the UN General Assembly, commenced two years of hectic negotiations which ended with an agreed text for the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change on 9 May 1992. The Convention, whose Articles 4 and 5 include specific commitments to systematic observation and research in support of its ultimate objective (“…..stabilization of greenhouse-gas concentrations in the atmosphere at a level that would prevent dangerous anthropogenic interference with the climate system”), was signed by 155 countries at the Rio Earth Summit in June 1992 and came into force on 21 March 1994 (Mintzer and Leonard, 1994).

The first session of the Conference of the Parties to the UNFCCC reached agreement on the establishment of its subsidiary bodies, including the Subsidiary Body for Scientific and Technological Advice, which serves as the main link between the scientific and technical work of GCOS, WCRP and IPCC and the international policy role of COP. The Article 4 and 5 link between GCOS and UNFCCC was greatly strengthened following the response of the 1997 third (Kyoto) session of the COP to the findings of the 1997 International Conference on WCRP. This was then further reinforced, in conjunction with the research role of WCRP, by the requirements of the 2007 COP‑13 Bali Action Plan for comprehensive scientific information in support of both mitigation of, and adaptation to, climate change.

The Climate Agenda

The April 1993 Intergovernmental Meeting on the World Climate Programme, which had been called for by WMO Congress in 1991 to put in place a broadly based intergovernmental framework for the further development and resourcing of WCP and GCOS (WMO, 1993), was co-sponsored by the established sponsors of WCP (WMO, UNESCO and its IOC, UNEP, FAO and ICSU) along with the United Nations Development Programme. It was attended by 360 delegates from 134 countries and 83 experts from 37 intergovernmental and non-governmental international organizations. It endorsed the concept of The Climate Agenda and, through its nine-page “Statement on the Climate Agenda”, called for development of an integrated proposal to governments with four key thrusts on:

It called especially for the establishment of National Climate Programmes in all countries as a basis for accelerated implementation of WCP and achievement of the agreed objectives of The Climate Agenda.

As part of its follow-up to the Intergovernmental Meeting, Eleventh World Meteorological Congress (1995) authorized the establishment of an Interagency Committee for the Climate Agenda (IACCA), which served as the peak coordination mechanism for GCOS, IPCC, WCP and other international climate-related programmes and activities through the remainder of the 1990s. The development of detailed proposals for resourcing GCOS, WCP and The Climate Agenda, was, however, largely left in abeyance, pending agreement on a new framework for international coordination of climate activities and consideration of proposals for the organization of a third World Climate Conference.

The call for a third World Climate Conference

Already in the second half of the 1990s and in response to growing concern at the failure of the 1993 Intergovernmental Meeting to mobilize the additional resources that were urgently needed for strengthening climate observing networks and climate research and service provision in support of both the specific needs of the UNFCCC and the broader global challenge of living with climate variability and change, pressure developed in WMO and other circles for WMO to convene a third World Climate Conference towards the end of the decade. This did not, however, find universal support and several of those who had been instrumental in shaping the earlier WMO-convened conferences moved instead to support the preparations for the World Climate Change Conference which was held in Moscow in September/October 2003 (Izrael et al., 2004). But, eventually, under the leadership of its Advisory Group on Climate and Environment, which had been established by the WMO Executive Council in 1999, specific proposals were developed for consideration by Thirteenth World Meteorological Congress in 2003.

The convening of a third World Climate Conference was, however, strongly opposed by some countries and the Congress decided, instead, simply to request the Executive Council to keep the matter under consideration.

The growing emphasis on adaptation

Under the influence of the 2001 Third Assessment Report of the IPCC, the 2002 Johannesburg World Summit on Sustainable Development and the growing realization in UNFCCC and other circles that the global challenge of climate change would have to be addressed through a balance of mitigation and adaptation, international awareness began to increase rapidly of the need for comprehensive climate information in support of national and international strategy for reducing greenhouse gas emissions and adapting to unavoidable climate change. The focus moved strongly to the need for “downscaling” climate change projections in support of adaptation at the regional, national and local levels.

This, in turn, underscored the con­tinuing importance of such earlier international initiatives as the Climate Information and Prediction Services project of the World Climate Applications and Services Programme as a framework for meeting the expanding need for the full range of climate services in all countries. The scientific and practical challenges of making better use of climate information to live with climate variability and change were comprehensively addressed in two important WMO-sponsored Conferences in 2006 and 2007:

and the information needs for adaptation have been comprehensively identified through a series of initiatives under the Nairobi Work Programme of the UNFCCC.

Figure 5 — The proposed new Global Framework for Climate Services consisting of a strengthened Global Climate Observing System (GCOS) and World Climate Research Programme (WCRP) supporting closely coupled Information and Application components of a World Climate Services System to complement and support the climate change assessment and policy roles of the IPCC and UNFCCC in achieving mitigation of, and adaptation to, climate change

Planning for WCC-3

In the light of the growing international pressure for more detailed and more reliable climate prediction and information and nearly a decade after the need was first identified within the WMO community, Fifteenth World Meteorological Congress (2007) endorsed the organization of World Climate Conference-3 (WCC-3), by late October 2009, around the theme “Climate prediction for decision-making, focusing on seasonal to interannual time scales, taking into account multi-decadal prediction”.

At the request of Congress and the Executive Council, the Secretary-General of WMO established a WCC-3 International Organizing Committee (WIOC) of some 24 members supported by representatives of 27 co-sponsoring and partner organizations. The Committee met in February and September 2008 and March 2009 to develop the concept and guide the planning, for WCC-3 with a Conference vision for “an international framework for climate services that links science-based climate predictions and information with the management of climate-related risks and opportunities in support of adaptation to climate variability and change in both developed and developing countries”.

The UN System delivering as one

Following the December 2007 UNFCCC adoption of the Bali Action Plan and a series of UN General Assembly and other resolutions, the UN Secretary-General, through the UN Chief Executives Board and its High-Level Committee on Programmes initiated a process to ensure a coherent and coordinated UN System response to the challenge of climate variability and change. In the first instance, this involved the identification of five focus areas (adaptation, capacity-building, finance, reducing emissions from deforestation and degradation, and technology transfer) and four cross­cutting areas of UN System action, one of which, to be co-convened by WMO and UNESCO, was identified as “science, assessment, monitoring and early warning” (“climate knowledge”).

As the first major initiative of the “UN System delivering as one on climate knowledge”, WCC-3 has been designed to guide the establishment of a new global framework for climate services to meet the rapidly growing needs for information in support of the 21st century response to the challenge of climate variability and change. WMO successfully established and operates the international framework for provision of a wide range of meteorological and related services. The successes and lessons learned will motivate and guide the establishment of a wide range of new and improved climate services to support adaptation to climate variability and change.


The new global framework for climate services proposed as the significant concrete outcome from WCC-3 is well placed to build on the remarkable scientific progress of the past 50 years and the solid institutional foundation provided by the international climate observation, research and assessment mechanisms put in place by WMO and its partner organizations over the 30 years since the historic First World Climate Conference of February 1979.

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* Chairman of the International Organizing Com­mittee for World Climate Conference‑3 former President of WMO (1995-2003) and former President of the International Council of Academies of Engineering and Technological Sciences (2005)