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Opening of the UNEA-UN launches first Environmental Assembly


The first United Nation Environment Assembly (UNEA) was launched on June 23rd in Nairobi, Kenya. The assembly increased the number of governing body member states from 58 to 193 with the aim to strengthen UNEP’s representation in UN. The UNEA is the result of a decision by world leaders on June 2012 at Rio+20 to strengthen the UNEP. This inaugural meeting will discussed on issues of green economy, illegal wildlife trading, environmental rule of law, Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and Post-2015 development agendas, and sustainable food production and consumption for the next 5 days. Beside the major event there will be more than 40 different side events which deal with energy, air and chemical pollution, and waste management. The conference is being attended by more than 1200 participants, 162 member state, 90 ministries and different Non-governmental organizations. The outcomes of UNEA are expected to be adopted by the full plenary of the UN assembly.


The theme of UNEA is “Sustainable development goals and the post-2015 agenda, including sustainable consumption and production” and it will continue up to June 27th .The official opening ceremony started by the address from the General-Director of the United Nations office in Nairobi Sahle-Work Zewde, UNEP Executive Director Achim Steiner and the Kenya Cabinet Secretary of Environment Professor Judi Wakhungu. On the opening day participant’s discussed on key topics including impact of excess nitrogen, air quality, chemical and plastic contamination effects on the environment. Achim Steiner said “plastics have come to play a crucial role in modern life, but the environmental impacts of the way we use them cannot be ignored”. The opening ceremony concluded with appointing of new president Ms. Sanjaasurengiin Oyuun. On the same day UNEP’s Year Book 2014 was launched with 10 years of major and critical issue of the environment.


Six Chinese and International students from IESD, College of Environmental Science and Engineering, and School of Politics and International Relations attend the UNEA as student observers. As an annual project, IESD selects and sends excellent students to such conference every year.