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April 15, 2024
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Nairobi hosts United Nations assembly to combat climate crisis

Government officials, environmental experts, and stakeholders from around the world have gathered in Nairobi, Kenya, for the sixth session of the United Nations Environment Assembly (UNEA). This crucial meeting aims to devise collaborative strategies to combat pressing environmental challenges, including climate change, pollution, and biodiversity loss.

Nairobi hosts United Nations assembly to combat climate crisis

According to a report by the Associated Press (AP), the assembly, held at the U.N. Environment Programme headquarters, commenced with a call to action from Leila Benali, this year’s assembly president. Benali emphasized the imperative of delivering tangible solutions that positively impact people’s lives, advocating for a cleaner, greener, and safer future for all.

Kenya’s environment minister, Soipan Tuya, highlighted the significance of the assembly as an opportunity to instill optimism and rebuild trust in global environmental governance systems. Throughout the assembly, member states will deliberate on various draft resolutions covering a spectrum of environmental issues. These resolutions, once adopted by consensus, serve as blueprints for countries to enact meaningful change.

Inger Andersen, Executive Director of UNEP, stressed the interconnectedness of nations in addressing environmental challenges, emphasizing the necessity of collaborative dialogue to find effective solutions. The previous assembly in 2022, also held in Nairobi, resulted in the adoption of 14 resolutions, notably including the commitment to develop a legally binding instrument to combat plastic pollution globally. Andersen hailed this agreement as a landmark achievement in environmental multilateralism, comparable to the Paris Agreement on climate change.

This year’s agenda includes discussions on 19 draft resolutions, ranging from efforts to restore degraded lands to strategies for mitigating the environmental impact of metal and mineral mining. Despite differing national priorities, there is optimism for progress at UNEA-6. Andersen expressed confidence in the forward momentum of the draft resolutions, signaling potential advancements in global environmental cooperation.

UNEP seeks to build upon past successes in multilateral environmental agreements, such as the Minamata Convention and the Montreal Protocol, in addressing emerging challenges. Björn Beeler, international coordinator for the International Pollutants Elimination Network, anticipates gradual progress on complex issues like financing for chemical and waste management. However, he foresees contentious debates, particularly concerning a draft resolution aimed at phasing out highly hazardous pesticides.

Beeler highlighted the significance of global cooperation in addressing pesticide use, underscoring the potential historic implications of such a resolution. With more than 7,000 attendees expected, UNEA-6 represents a critical opportunity for decision-makers to proactively address looming environmental threats. In closing, Andersen emphasized the importance of foresight and proactive measures in safeguarding the planet against imminent challenges, urging attendees to prioritize preventative action.

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