UNEA Calls For Stronger Multilateral Action To Address Triple Planetary Crisis

As climate change intensifies, a million species head towards extinction, and pollution remains one of the world’s leading causes of premature death, the United Nations Environment Assembly (UNEA) is set to address these critical issues by focusing on the triple planetary crisis of climate change, nature, and biodiversity loss, and pollution and waste.

More than 7,000 delegates from 180 UN Member States and Ministers of Environment and other leaders have convened for one week for the sixth session of the United Nations Environment Assembly (UNEA-6) which starts on February 26 to 1 March at UNEP Headquarters, Gigiri, Nairobi.

A series of leadership and multi-stakeholder dialogues and more than 30 official side events and associated events are expected to lay the grounds for strengthened future global and regional coordinated efforts by the United Nations, Member States, and partners to deliver high-impact planetary action.

Cabinet Secretary for the Environment, Climate Change, and Forestry for the Republic
of Kenya, Soipan Tuya speaking at the same event said there has been tremendous progress over the years to combat the triple threat planetary in a view of protecting and strengthen actions to protect the environment from pollution, hazards, treats to human, plants, animals.

Tuya said the country has seen positive global progress on several fronts in the past few years which include the adoption of the global framework on chemicals, pollution, and waste and the UNEA 5.2, a resolution to end plastic pollution and forge an international legally binding agreement by end of this year.

‘We are participating in the negotiations of new treaties like the international legally binding global plastics treaty,’ she said adding that UNEA 6 comes at a time when the world is also called upon to accelerate the implementation of the UN 2030 Agenda if we are to stay on course on sustainable development goals

The CS divulged that unfortunately, for millions in the developing regions of the world, including here in Africa, po
verty still remains a daily reality while economic inequality is increasing globally.

‘It is against this backdrop that the world will be looking to us here in Nairobi this week to renew hope. And hope we must provide.’ She noted that UNEA-6 is themed ‘effective, inclusive and sustainable multilateral actions to tackle climate change, biodiversity loss and pollution.

Leila Benali, President of UNEA-6 and Minister of Energy Transition and Sustainable Development for the Kingdom of Morocco said during the open plenary of the Assembly that the Assembly will see countries consider some 19 resolutions, which is part of a broader push to spur ambitious multilateral environmental action.

‘This year’s Assembly will be negotiating resolutions on issues ranging from nature-based solutions and highly hazardous pesticides to land degradation and drought, and environmental aspects of minerals and metals,’ said Benali.

The President of UNEA 6 said the resolutions will focus on strengthening environmental multilateralis
m across countries to address the triple planetary crisis of climate change, nature and biodiversity loss and pollution and waste.

‘The resolutions will cover, among other issues, inclusive and sustainable multilateral actions towards climate justice, sound management of chemicals, and effective solar radiation modification among others,’ she said adding that our response must demonstrate that multilateral diplomacy can deliver.

Benali further said this can be achieved by agreeing on the resolutions before UNEA-6 to boost multilateral action for today and tomorrow and secure intergenerational justice and equity.

‘As we meet here in 2024, we must be self-critical and work towards inclusive, networked and effective multilateralism that can make a tangible difference to people’s lives,’ she said adding that we must also include voices beyond government, youth, indigenous peoples and local communities, by focusing on issues of gender and human rights and leaving no one behind.

Inger Andersen, Executive Direct
or of UNEP said that UNEA-6 comes at a time when the world is called upon to accelerate the implementation of the UN 2030 Agenda if we are to stay on course on sustainable development.

‘It is time to lay political differences aside and focus on this little blue planet, beaming with life. Time to lift our sights to our common goal: a pathway to a sustainable and safe future,’ she said.

Andersen further said UNEA-6 will also highlight the importance of cooperation with multilateral environmental agreements (MEAs) – International agreements that address the most pressing environmental issues of global or regional concern and are critical instruments of international environmental governance and international environmental law.

The UN Environment Assembly is the world’s highest-level decision-making body to tackle some of the planet’s most pressing environmental challenges.

It provides overarching policy guidance and defines policy responses to address emerging environmental challenges and set the global envi
ronmental agenda.

Source: Kenya News Agency