Mrs. Ritt Bjerregaard, Commissioner responsible for environment, met with the G7 Environment Ministers in Cabourg, France, on 8-10 May 1996. The two dominant themes of the meeting were trade and environment, and reform of the UN institutions dealing with the environment. On the question of trade and environment, Mrs. Bjerregaard emphasized the need to devise effective solutions to accommodate the use of trade measures taken in the framework of multilateral environmental agreements within the World Trade Organization system. Trade measures can be necessary to ensure the effectiveness of a multilateral environmental agreement and the fact that they are adopted in conformity with a multilateral agreement constitutes the best guarantee against the risk of protectionist abuse. Mrs. Bjerregaard underlined the importance for the World Trade Organization to demonstrate its ability to effectively take into account environmental protection and sustainable development concerns.