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Special Edition

1st United Nations Environment Assembly
Nairobi, 23 - 27 June 2014

"The world counts on the UN Environment Assembly to help us
provide a life of dignity for all"

Next week, the first-ever meeting of the United Nations Environment Assembly (UNEA) will convene at the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) Headquarters in Nairobi, Kenya. The UNEA will be a historic moment, as it is the first assembly with universal membership to bring environmental issues to the forefront, thereby contributing to a strengthened environmental governance in line with Rio+20 outcomes. The Assembly will be providing political guidance and leadership to the environmental dimension of sustainable development.
UNEA "symbolizes a fundamental change of scope as the new body plays its newly defined role of serving as the world’s authoritative voice on environmental matters across the UN System."
UN Under-Secretary-General and UNEP Executive Director, Achim Steiner

Replacing UNEP’s previous Governing Council, the assembly will convene every two years to give all of the 193 United Nations Member States, Observer States and other stakeholders the ability to participate in discussions and decision-making on issues that affect the state of the environment and global sustainability. 

The 1st UNEA deliberations will conclude with a High-Level Segment led by UN Secretary-General   Ban Ki-moon and President of the General Assembly John Ashe. It will comprise: a strategic briefing on the state of the environment by UNEP Executive Director Achim Steiner; ministerial plenaries on Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), including Sustainable Consumption and Production (SCP), and the illegal trade in wildlife.

UNEA will convene two Symposia that address two key aspects of environmental sustainability, the environmental rule of law and on the role of Finance in the Green Economy.
In addition, during the UNEA week, more than 40 special and side events, fora and high level dialogues will take place at UNEP's headquarters, covering a range of issues, such as: climate change, gender and the environment, green jobs, air quality, Small Island Developing States (SIDS) and the sound management of chemicals, among other topics. 


26-27 June 2014

The Ministerial Plenary on Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and Post-2015 Agenda, including Sustainable Consumption and Production (SCP)

Deliberations at this Ministerial Plenary are intended to contribute to the ongoing formulation of a set of targets and indicators on SDGs, thereby contributing to embed environment into these goals.

Related Resources 

The Ministerial Dialogue on Illegal Trade in Wildlife 

The Ministerial Dialogue on Illegal Trade in Wildlife will provide a high level forum, building on previous and on-going initiatives, to exchange views and experiences on the challenges of - and progress towards addressing - the illegal trade in wildlife. The session will be the largest Ministerial gathering to consider illegal wildlife trade convened in the current poaching crisis. (26 June)

Financing a Green Economy 

It is clear from statistics that we need to rechannel trillions from the existing assets entrenching today’s unsustainable economy into greener growth. However it is less clear where the necessary finance to deliver the change will come from and how to mobilize it to enable this transition. To address these challenges, UNEP will be hosting a Symposium on Financing a Green Economy, that will provide a platform for raising awareness and conversations regarding the financing required to green the economy. It will bring together Ministers of Environment, policymakers and actors from across financial markets, to examine the relationship between capital markets and a greener economy, current good practices and to offer guidance on mobilising finance for the green economy. (25 June)

Environmental Rule of Law 

The principal aim of the Symposium is to raise awareness of the role of environmental law as an indispensable tool on the path towards sustainable development and a Green Economy, and identify the ways and means by which the further development and implementation of environmental rule of law can help ensure just and sustainable development outcomes.

To achieve this aim, the Symposium will bring together key representatives from among the world´s Chief Justices, Heads of Jurisdiction, Attorneys General, Auditors General, Chief Prosecutors, other high-ranking representatives of the judicial, legal and auditing professions, government, civil society and participants to the first session of the UNEA. (24 June)

Global Major Groups and Stakeholders Forum 

This Forum aims at facilitating the preparations of Major Groups and Stakeholders accredited to UNEP towards the first UNEA, allowing them to discuss the main themes and to prepare their input to UNEA. A highlight of the event will be an open dialogue with Achim Steiner, UN Under-Secretary-General and UNEP Executive Director. (21- 22 June)

Gender Forum  

The Forum will focus on Gender and Environment within the context of the SDGs and will draw links with Section K (Women and Environment) of 1995 Beijing Platform of Action and, thereafter come up with recommendations for post-2015 implementation. Further, a summary of the recommendations will be presented at the Special Debate on Commitment for Action that will take place in the evening of 24 June and at a meeting of the Network of Women Ministers and Leaders for the Environment on 27 June 2014 for further follow-up.

Side Events

  • Improving air quality in African cities
  • Transforming consumption and production systems through the SDGs
  • Detoxifying sustainable development
  • Illegal trade in wildlife
  • Green and decent jobs
  • SIDS ministerial consultation

Ministerial Working Dinner on Climate Change 

Poland, Peru and France, the hosts of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change conferences in 2013, 2014 and 2015 respectively are organising in the margins of the UNEA a Ministerial working dinner with a view of moving forward on climate change discussions on the road to UN Secretary General's Climate Summit in New York in September 2014 and the COP Lima in December 2014. (25 June)

Click here for the full calendar of events



"On the Road to UNEA" Newsletters

UNEA Calendar of Events

Who is Coming?

Over 1200 participants 
160 national delegations 
100 ministers are expected.
Participants include:
Macharia Kamau, Co-Chair of Open Working Group on SDGs
Amina Mohammed, Special Advisor of UN Secretary-General on Post-2015 Development Planning

The EU will be represented by Janez Potočnik, European Commissioner for Envi-ronment, and 
Ioannis Maniatis, Minister of Environment, Energy & Climate Change of Greece.
DG Environment, DG Development Cooperation, the European External Action Service and the European Economic and Social Committee will also be represented.  

Click here to view more participants.

Video message on UNEA 
from Janez Potočnik, European Commissioner for Environment
Prelude to UNEA at Green Week, 3-5 June in Brussels

In the margins of the New Environmentalism Summit on 3 June, UNEP Executive Director Mr Achim Steiner together with Environment Commissioner Potocnik raised attention in a press briefing for the UNEA and the need to mainstream environment policy into the new SDGs that are expected to be agreed next year to replace the Millennium Development Goals.

Achim Steiner interview with viEUws TV on the post-2015 SDGs and UNEA 
Flagship reports to be launched include:

- The 2014 UNEP Year Book (23 June)
- Launch of the World Investment Report (TBC)
- Launch of the Rapid Response Assessment on Wildlife Trade and announcement of the International Partnership to Fight the Illegal Trade in Timber (25 June)
- The UNEP South-South Trade and Green Economy Report (24 June)  

How to follow?

Proceedings of the UNEA plenary, incl-uding the high-level segment, will be web-cast to the public. 

Daily Reports
The Earth Nego-tiations Bulletin from the International Ins-titute for Sustainable Development (IISD RS) will provide daily reports, daily web coverage, and a summary and ana-lysis of the UNEA meetings. 

See here as of Mon-day, 23 June 2014, for more information and to register to receive a free copy of their daily reports from the first UNEA to UNEP.
UNEP-EC Memorandum of Understanding
The UN Under-Secretary-General and Executive Director of UNEP,  Achim Steiner and the EU Commissioner for Envi-ronment, Janez Potočnik, will sign on 25 June 2014 a new Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to reinforce the collaboration between the European Commission and UNEP in the field of environment and climate change, both at global and regional levels, as a Rio+20 outcomes follow-up and on the road to Post 2015. More information will be available here.

Download the “UNEP Events” app to navigate easily throughout the UNEA meeting 


#UNEA #environmentmatters

UNEP Annual Report 2013

The report focuses on UNEP’s achievements in the key focus areas of Climate Change; Disasters and Conflicts; Ecosystem Management; Environmental Governance; Harmful Substances and Hazardous Waste; and Resource Efficiency. It also highlights the key role UNEP plays in providing environmental leadership to the UN system and the international community. Available in English | Chinese | French | Spanish | Russian | Arabic

For EU-focused UNEP reports & events join our online group UNEP - Environment for Development.

For EU-focused UNEP information, follow us on Twitter @UNEP_EU

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