UNEA - What’s it about? World leaders meet in Nairobi to decide on the future of our environment.

29 May 2014, By Boni Odinga

What’s happening? The first UN Environment Assembly will take place in Nairobi, Kenya, from 23 to 27 June 2014, under the slogan A Life of Dignity for All. Ministers and international leaders will gather to discuss two key sustainable development and environmental topics. The UNEA inaugural session is a new building block to global governance. It charts a new course in the way the international community addresses environmental sustainability challenges. UNEA is keen to promote a strong science-policy interface. Basing decisions which will govern the future of our sustainable environment on solid, credible science, reviewing the world’s environmental situation in order to ensure that emerging global environmental problems are given appropriate and adequate consideration by Governments.

Who will be there? UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and the President of the UN General Assembly will attend the first ever United Nations Environment Assembly (UNEA) on 23 June 2014 in Nairobi, the highest level global platform for environmental policy making. UNEA, with its universal membership, provides the world’s environment ministers and other high level participants from government and civil society, for the first time, with an assembly at which they can define international action on the environment.

What will they discuss? UNEA aims to catalyze international action on issues ranging from the management of life-threatening chemicals to animal poaching and beyond. The two main themes for the high-level segment of UNEA are the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), including sustainable consumption and production, and the illegal trade in wildlife.

Who is represented? UNEA has universal membership which allows all UN Member States, Observer States and other stakeholders to gather together for the first time to decide on concrete actions to address key environmental challenges. Heads of international convention secretariats and over 1,200 high-level participants from government, business and civil society will attend.