Global leaders have shown firm resolve to expedite collaborative efforts addressing the triple planetary crisis of climate change, biodiversity loss, and pollution at the UN Environment Programme (UNEP) headquarters in Nairobi during the High-Level Segment of the sixth session of the UN Environment Assembly (UNEA-6).

Heads of State and Governments raised awareness about the exacerbating impacts of climate change on communities, recognizing the necessity for robust multilateral actions due to the cross-border nature of environmental challenges.

UN Secretary-General António Guterres in a video message underscored the pivotal role of the Assembly in propelling environmental initiatives forward. He cited the recent landmark decision to negotiate a plastic treaty as evidence of the Assembly's ability to unify efforts and deliver meaningful outcomes.

“I urge you to do so again – and go further. There are many important resolutions before you. So, please, take this chance to drive multilateral solutions.” 

UNEA-6 marks the first inter-governmental global gathering after COP28, bestowing upon the Assembly a significant obligation to promptly fulfill its agenda entirely, thus showcasing the potential of international collaboration and successful multilateralism.

President of UNEA-6 and Minister of Energy Transition and Sustainable Development for the Kingdom of Morocco, Leila Benali, expressed optimism that the UN Environment Assembly would illustrate that challenges are most effectively tackled when nations and global citizens unite with open-mindedness.

“Our efforts today will be crucial to secure our world – for the benefit of people and planet,” Madam Benali said.

Leila Benali

President Ruto informed delegates that addressing the task at hand is formidable, especially considering that nations worldwide are contending with a dynamic and intricate array of interconnected challenges. These challenges include sluggish economic growth, conflicts, wars, and geopolitical fragmentation, adding complexity to the endeavour.

“This is a challenging task, which is complicated by the fact that nations of the world are all grappling with a dynamic complex of interconnected and multifaceted threats, risks, uncertainties and shocks, ranging from sluggish economic growth, conflict and wars, and geopolitical fragmentation.”

Executive Director of UNEP, Inger Andersen emphasised that the global community has the capacity to combat the triple planetary crisis if leaders demonstrate unity of purpose, both during the Assembly and in their actions beyond it.

“Purpose to shun fossil fuels and look to renewable energy sources. Purpose to conserve and restore the natural world and our lands, which give us life. Purpose to keep harmful chemicals, pollution and waste out of our ecosystems and yes, out of our bodies,” she said.

“But I also ask you to recall that this Assembly is much more than one set of resolutions or decisions,” she added. 

Inger emphasised that the assembly serves as a platform where the global community comes together to think ambitiously and envision even grander possibilities. It's an opportunity to rethink how leaders can collaborate more effectively, efficiently, and swiftly to shape the future they envision and turn it into reality.

The UN Environment Assembly stands as the foremost governing entity on environmental matters globally, boasting membership from all 193 UN Member States. It convenes biennially to shape worldwide environmental policies, while also delineating the scope of action for the UN Environment Programme (UNEP).

Over 7,000 delegates from 182 UN Member States, including over 170 Ministers, have registered for UNEA-6. The Assembly is currently deliberating on 19 resolutions and two decisions, addressing various topics such as circular economy, sustainable multilateral actions for climate justice, solar radiation modification, sound management of chemicals and waste, and mitigation of sand and dust storms.

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DISCLAIMER: The Views, Comments, Opinions, Contributions and Statements made by Readers and Contributors on this platform do not necessarily represent the views or policy of Multimedia Group Limited.

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