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UNEP to Host UNEA-6 in Nairobi, Kenya: A Milestone in Global Environmental Diplomacy

Soipan Tuya and Inger Andersen
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Writes Baboloki Semele
Nairobi, Kenya – The United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) is set to host the sixth session of the United Nations Environment Assembly (UNEA-6) in Nairobi, Kenya, from 26th February to 1st March 2024. This prestigious event, known as UNEA-6, is the world’s highest-level decision-making body on environmental matters and is expected to attract more than 70 Ministers and 3,000 delegates from around the globe.
The theme for UNEA-6, “Effective, inclusive, and sustainable multilateral actions to tackle climate change, biodiversity loss, and pollution,” underscores the urgency of addressing pressing environmental challenges facing our planet today. Against the backdrop of escalating climate change impacts, biodiversity loss, and pollution crises, the assembly aims to forge united, inclusive, and multilateral action to tackle these interconnected issues.
The forthcoming UNEA-6 session will see discussions on twenty draft resolutions and two draft decisions, covering a wide array of environmental topics. These deliberations will involve ministers, intergovernmental organizations, civil society groups, the scientific community, and the private sector, shaping global environmental policy and providing strategic direction for environmental action.
Ms. Inger Andersen, Executive Director of UNEP, highlighted the significance of UNEA-6 in addressing what UNEP terms the triple planetary crisis: climate change, biodiversity loss, and pollution. The African continent, including Kenya, bears a disproportionate burden of these crises, making UNEA-6 particularly relevant for the region.
Addressing the assembled media, Hon. Soipan Tuya, Cabinet Secretary for Environment, Climate Change & Forestry of the Republic of Kenya, expressed Kenya’s pride in hosting UNEA-6. She emphasized Kenya’s commitment to environmental conservation and climate action, citing initiatives such as the Africa Climate Summit and the Nairobi Declaration on Climate Change and Call-to-Action.
UNEA-6 is organized around six thematic areas aimed at fostering effective, inclusive, and sustainable multilateral action. The assembly will feature various activities, including leadership dialogues on finance, science, data, and digitalization, as well as a Youth Environment Assembly. Additionally, a day will be dedicated to aligning the efforts of various multilateral environmental agreements towards unified action.
The importance of UNEA-6 transcends merely setting policies; it represents a concerted effort to mobilize global resources and political will towards solving the world’s environmental challenges. As Ms. Andersen noted, while UNEA-6 may not solve all problems overnight, it will serve as a catalyst for environmental action, guiding the work of UNEP in this critical period for people and the planet.
As Kenya gears up to welcome delegates from 193 United Nations Member States, including Heads of State and Government, for UNEA-6, the country reaffirms its commitment to environmental stewardship and climate leadership on the global stage.
UNEA-6 promises to be an intense week of deliberations, bilateral meetings, and side events, with outcomes expected to significantly impact global environmental governance. The assembly provides an opportunity for nations to unite under the banner of environmental action and work towards a sustainable future for all.
The world is watching as UNEA-6 unfolds in Nairobi, Kenya, marking a pivotal moment in global environmental diplomacy.

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Byron Adonis Mutingwende