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Governments Agree to 25 Landmark Resolutions to Drive Sustainability Agenda and Paris Climate Agreement


Nairobi, 27 May 2016 – The world’s environment ministers, gathered at the second session of the United Nations Environment Assembly (UNEA-2) in Nairobi on late Friday, passed far reaching decisions on issues such as marine litter, the illegal trade in wildlife, air pollution, chemicals and waste, and sustainable consumption and production – which are an integral part of the global action needed to implement the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the Paris Climate Agreement.

UNEP Executive Director Achim Steiner said, “The environment has always been, and will always be, at the heart of humanity’s prosperity. World nations recognized this in 2015 with global accords, such as the 2030 Agenda, the Paris Agreement, the Sendai Framework on Disaster Risk Reduction and the Addis Ababa Action Agenda.

“What we have seen in the last five days is the same political will and passion for change that brought about the groundbreaking international agreements of 2015. With global consensus affirmed, we are taking steps to bring about a real transformation of our development models. The United Nations Environment Assembly is providing leadership and guidance the world needs to take these unprecedented steps.

“In the decisions made here at this assembly for the environment, we see a significant directional shift that will inform Ministers’ decisions in their home countries. We will now need to see the bold and decisive commitment observed at UNEA transmitted at the national level to drive forward the 2030 Agenda and ensure a brighter future for people and planet.”

Thousands of delegates from 174 countries, 120 at the ministerial level, took part in UNEA-2 and associated side events on issues of global importance, including the Sustainable Innovation Expo and the Science-Policy Forum.

UNEA-2 sessions were attended by UN Deputy Secretary General Jan Eliasson; the President of the Republic of Kenya, H.E. Uhuru Kenyatta; UN Habitat Executive Director Joan Clos; and Vice-President of Iran and Minister of Environment Masoumeh Ebtekar. The sessions were presided over by Costa Rica’s Minister of Environment Edgar Gutiérrez, who took over from Oyun Sanjaasuren, former Minister of Environment and Green Development for Mongolia.

Among the 25 resolutions and actions decided at UNEA-2, the theme of which was “Delivering on the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development”, the following themes dominated:

2030 Agenda and Paris Agreement Implementation

The main theme of UNEA-2, Delivering on the 2030 Agenda, was a particular focus. The implementation of the work to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) will be a primary undertaking of the UN system, and the Assembly showed their full understanding of this.

UNEA asked UNEP to initiate new partnerships and strengthen existing ones, including with the private sector and civil society.

Building on its work in sustainable finance with the UNEP Inquiry into the Design of a Sustainable Financial System and the UNEP Finance Initiative, member states also asked UNEP to continue to build on its work at the intersection of finance and the environment.

With the Paris Agreement one the most significant environmental agreements in recent decades, UNEA also agreed that UNEP should accelerate support to countries, especially developing countries, to build national readiness capacity to implement the Agreement, build implementation capacity and capacity to access finance and technology.

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