The United Nations Environment Program (UNEP), the world’s highest decision-making body with universal membership from all 193 nations, celebrates its 50th anniversary on March 3-4, bringing together governments, businesses , civil society and other stakeholders to address the environmental challenges threatening the planet.
It will be preceded by the fifth session of the United Nations Environment Assembly to be held – in person and online – at UNEP headquarters in Nairobi from February 28 to March 2 to agree policies to address environmental challenges. the most urgent.
Founded in 1972 following the historic United Nations Conference on the Human Environment, UNEP was designed to monitor the state of the environment, inform policy-making through science and coordinate responses to challenges. global environmental.
Since its inception, UNEP has worked closely with its 193 Member States and other stakeholders to galvanize global commitments and coordinated action to address many of the world’s most pressing environmental challenges.
It has also played a leading role as a docking station for 15 multilateral environmental agreements.
Chemicals and waste management, marine litter and a green recovery from Covid-19 are some of the issues the UN Environment Assembly will address when it convenes for its resumed fifth session. , a UNEP spokesperson told IANS on Friday.
Environment ministers are also expected to consider adopting a declaration on strengthening action for nature to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals.
For 50 years, UNEP has coordinated a global effort to tackle the world’s greatest environmental challenges. This global collaboration has repaired the ozone layer, phased out leaded fuel, prevented the extinction of certain endangered species and much more.
UNEP’s convening power and rigorous scientific research have provided a platform for countries to engage, act boldly and advance the global environmental agenda.
To mark UNEP’s 50th anniversary, a series of outreach activities and events are taking place throughout the year under the [email protected] banner. These recognize the significant progress made on global environmental issues and respond to future global challenges.
On October 2, 1973, Kenya’s first President, Jomo Kenyatta, inaugurated UNEP’s headquarters at the Kenyatta International Convention Centre. In 1975 UNEP moved to a new location on the site of a former coffee farm on the outskirts of Nairobi, where it remains today.
The first meeting of the UNEP Governing Council took place at the Palais des Nations, Geneva, in June 1973.
In 2010, the first in a series of landmark UNEP scientific assessments paints a picture of the gap between countries’ greenhouse gas emission commitments and the reductions needed to achieve increased global temperature below 2 degrees Celsius by the end of this century.
In 2016, Erik Solheim was appointed Executive Director of UNEP. Solheim, a Norwegian, served from May 2016 to November 2018, championed the fight against plastic pollution.
After Solheim, Joyce Msuya has been appointed as Acting General Manager. From November 2018 to June 2019, Msuya, a Tanzanian, notably led the fourth United Nations Environment Assembly.
Inger Andersen appointed Executive Director in 2019. A Danish national, she became the eighth and current head of UNEP.
Andersen has over 30 years of experience in international development economics, environmental sustainability, strategy and operations. It focuses the attention of UNEP and the entire United Nations on the triple global crisis of climate change, loss of nature and biodiversity, pollution and waste.
What’s next after the world marks 50 years since the birth of the environmental movement. Stockholm+50 – an international meeting to be held from 2 to 3 June – will aim to accelerate the implementation of the United Nations Decade of Action, including the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, the Paris and the Post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework.
One of the main themes of the conference is to achieve a sustainable and inclusive recovery from the Covid-19 pandemic.
UN Secretary General AntAonio Guterres has described the triple planetary crisis as “our number one existential threat” which requires “an urgent and total effort to turn the tide”.
(Vishal Gulati can be contacted at [email protected])
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