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UNEP Governance Structure

At the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development (Rio+20) held in June 2012, world leaders declared their commitment to “strengthening the role of UNEP as the leading global environmental authority that sets the global environmental agenda, that promotes the coherent implementation of the environmental dimension of sustainable development within the UN system and that serves as an authoritative advocate for the global environment”.  To this this end, they called on the UN General Assembly to adopt a resolution to strengthen and upgrade UNEP by, among others, establishing universal membership in the Governing Council of UNEP (paragraph 88 of the Rio+20 outcome document, “The future we want”).  

As a result of this, the General Assembly in its resolution 67/213 established universal membership in the Governing Council (GC) of UNEP and mandated it to initiate the implementation of the provisions contained in paragraph 88 of “The future we want” in its entirety.  At its first universal session held in February 2013 in Nairobi, the Governing Council decided to rename the governing body of UNEP as the United Nations Environment Assembly (UNEA) of the UNEP (Governing Council decision 27/2) to reflect its universal character and to organize it every even year with a view to taking strategic decisions and providing political guidance on global environmental issues.


Secretariat of Governing Bodies