Strengthened UNEP to meet for landmark conference

Hundreds of environment ministers, decision makers, scientists, civil society representatives and business leaders will gather at the UN Environment Programme (UNEP) headquarters in an attempt to galvanize a new era of stronger action on pressing environmental issues.

Issues that will be discussed include sustainable consumption, financing options for chemicals and waste, and system-wide coordination on Rio+20 follow-up.

The conference next week, is the first ever meeting of the UNEP Governing Council/Global Ministerial Environment Forum (GC/GMEF), under universal membership. 

The gathering is a direct result of Rio+20, when heads of state and governments decided to strengthen and upgrade UNEP – a move which represented the first institutional reform of the environment programme of the UN since the Stockholm UN Conference on the Human Environment established UNEP in 1972.

A major new UNEP-led technology initiative that focuses on the transfer of technology and expertise to developing countries in order to intensify the battle against climate change will also be announced.

UN Under-Secretary-General and UNEP Executive Director Achim Steiner said: “UNEP – with its long history of working with partners from governments, the UN family, cities, the scientific community, businesses and civil society – is entering a new phase that can better serve the needs of a growing global population while keeping humanity’s footprint within planetary boundaries.”

“The theme of the Governing Council, Rio+20: From Outcome to Implementation, highlights that the time has come for the world to scale-up and accelerate the implementation of the array of treaties and transformational policies that have been agreed and successfully demonstrated across the globe for over four decades.”

Conor McGlone

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