Friday, July 4, 2014

The First UN Environment Assembly

The first UNEA flew last week in Nairobi. During the early years of the millenium a major issue which was debated in international fora related to the environment concerned the need for a strong,over arching and inclusive body which would include all members of the international community.After years of negotiations and debates the UN Environment Assembly was finally launched. This body if democratically managed, could serve as a model of multilateralism in today's world. 
The first Assembly was an opportunity to debate important challenges such as air quality, illegal trade in wildlife and timber, the new sustainable development goals, sustainable production and consumption and chemicals.The event was of such importance that the President of Kenya attended both the opening and the closing along with Ban Ki Moon the UNSG. More than 160 countries attended mostly at the ministerial level. http://www.unep.org/unea/en/
The event also provides an important opportunity for exchange of views and dialogue at the bilateral level. On the sidelines of this Assembly Last week I met with Achim Steiner , UNEP executive director and gave him our national team's jersey with the Persian Cheetah design.
I also met with the President of Kenya and spoke of the importance of improving bilateral relations. The environment Ministers of Kenya, Norway, India, Italy, were among those I met and discussed grounds for bilateral collaboration.
A final outcome report was to be adopted at the closing session, but due to the deletion of a phrase reiterating one of the fundamental principles of international law:"common but differentiated responsibilities" consensus was not achieved. This insistence by one certain western state resulted in discord among member states specifically developing countries. This is an indication of the existing rifts between the north and south. 
The global environment is seriously endangered and requires a strong and unified approach among nations to confront current threats and change unsustainable trends. 

1 comment:

boinky said...

One would love to know the details, but since the larger conference is being held in NYCity right now, one suspects the west will be able to push through all the "sustainable development" goals they want.