Inaugural UN Environment Assembly Kicks Off in Nairobi

Tuesday, 03 June 2014

Nairobi | UNEP

The first United Nations Environment Assembly (UNEA) – the highest-level global platform for environmental policy making – will take place next month in Nairobi, tackling issues ranging from wildlife crime and poaching to fossil fuel subsidy reform and beyond.

Preparations are underway throughout the UN Environment Programme (UNEP) and the entire UNON community, as they prepare to host some 1,200 participants, including Environment Ministers and Government delegates from 193 UN Member States and Observer States and high-level experts from across the spectrum of global environmental issues.

UNEA, which takes place from 23-27 June 2014, will meet biennially beginning this year. It places the environment, for the first time, on an equal footing with issues of peace, security, finance, trade and health.

The theme of this year’s Assembly is “A Life of Dignity for All.” Speakers will include Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, General Assembly President John Ashe, UN Under-Secretary-General and UNEP Executive Director Achim Steiner, FAO Director-General José Graziano da Silva, and Special Adviser on Post-2015 Development Planning Amina J. Mohammed.

On the agenda are two symposia on “Environmental Rule of Law” and “Financing a Green Economy”; a high-level segment on the “Sustainable Development Goals and the Post-2015 Development Agenda”; and a Ministerial Dialogue on “Illegal Trade in Wildlife”. A number of media roundtables will also be held on various topics, with participation from international and local media outlets alike.

As UNEP's new governing body, UNEA will coordinate and direct UNEP's mandate as the voice for the environment within the United Nations system.

The Assembly will take strategic decisions in a number of areas by providing overarching policy guidance; undertaking policy review, dialogue and exchange of experiences; setting the strategic guidance for the future direction of UNEP; and fostering partnerships for the achievement of environmental goals.

UNEA is a subsidiary body of the General Assembly, with the mandate to set the global environmental agenda, and to promote coherent implementation of the environmental dimension of sustainable development in the United Nations system.

It will inform the discussions in the General Assembly on the Post-2015 Development Agenda and Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), in order to ensure the integration of environmental dimension and an integrated approach. Where appropriate, UNEA can recommend draft resolutions for adoption at the General Assembly for the United Nations system-wide implementation.

All interested are invited to engage with UNEA by visiting the UNEA blog or on Twitter by using the hashtag #UNEA.