First UNEA Session Adopts Resolutions and Decisions

Outgoing GC-27/GMEF President Hassan Abdel Hilal congratulates incoming UNEA President Oyun Sanjaasuren27 June 2014: The first session of the UN Environment Assembly (UNEA) concluded with delegates from 160 countries adopting a decision and resolutions on, inter alia: strengthening the UN Environment Programme's (UNEP) role in promoting air quality; the science-policy interface (SPI); ecosystem-based adaptation (EbA); implementation of Principle 10 of the Rio Declaration on Environment and Development; illegal trade in wildlife; chemicals and waste; and marine debris and microplastics. UNEA took place from 23-27 June 2014 in Nairobi, Kenya.

President of the Republic of Kenya, Uhuru Kenyatta, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, UN General Assembly President, John Ashe, UN Development Programme (UNDP) Administrator, Helen Clark, and UN Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) Secretary-General Mukhisa Kituyi, among many other dignitaries, addressed delegates on issues relating to the overarching theme of the meeting, ‘Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the Post-2015 Development Agenda, including sustainable consumption and production (SCP).' Delegates elected Oyun Sanjaasuren, Minister of Environment and Green Development, Mongolia, as the first UNEA President. Ministers and senior officials attended a High-Level Segment during the final two days of the conference, and adopted a Ministerial Outcome Document. The UNEA also convened two symposia addressing: the environmental rule of law; and financing a green economy.

UNEP Executive Director, Achim Steiner, noted that the resolutions agreed by Member States at UNEA would "help shape the global environmental agenda" and determine collaborative action on priority issues. In a press release on the meeting, UNEP highlighted that this first session of UNEA would determine its relevance in the international setting and define UNEP's ability to address the world's greatest environmental challenges.

In coordination with the session, UNEP launched six publications addressing: South-South trade in renewable energy; plastics; UNEP's 2013 performance; environmental crime; emerging issues for small island developing states (SIDS); and 'Our Planet,' which focused on UNEA. In addition, UNCTAD launched the 'World Investment Report 2014,' which presents an action plan for investing in the forthcoming SDGs.

In its final decision, (UNEP/EA.1/L.19), the UNEA decided to hold the second session of UNEA at UNEP headquarters in Nairobi, Kenya from 23-27 May 2016. [UNEP Opening Press Release] [UNEP Closing Press Release] [UNEA Website] [UNEP Publications webpage] [IISD-RS Coverage of UNEA]