Delegates at the 25th session of the UNEP Governing Council/Global Ministerial Environment Forum (GC-25/GMEF) convened on 16 February 2009 for the opening ceremony in Nairobi, Kenya.
GC-24/GMEF President, His Excellency Roberto Dobles, Minister of Environment for Costa Rica, welcomed delegates and noted several achievements including the completion of the 2010-2013 UNEP Medium-term Strategy (MTS). Angela Cropper, Deputy Executive Director of UNEP, read a message on behalf of UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon. Secretary General Ban stressed the importance of the GC process and said he would look to it for leadership in the months ahead. Inga Klevby, Deputy Executive Director of UN-Habitat, explained that cities are a driving force for global trade, but that they also generated the bulk of waste. UNEP Executive Director Achim Steiner said that UNEP challenges the myth that, when the economy is in crisis, environment and social issues take a back seat. The Right Honorable President of the Republic of Kenya, His Excellency Mwai Kibaki took part in the opening, calling for greater vigor in addressing current environmental problems.
During the ceremony, the plenary elected Dr Oliver Dulić, Minister of Environment for Serbia as GC-25/GMEF President.
Nobel Laureate, Wangari Maathai, attended the event which also included a high-energy performance from the African Sakata Acrobats and an excerpt from Yann Arthurs-Bertrand’s film, “Home”.