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UNEP Upgraded After Concerted Efforts by Kenya at Rio+20 Conference

The 67th Session of the United Nations General Assembly, second committee agenda focused on the follow up processes of the outcomes of the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil which included negotiations on the strengthening and upgrading UNEP in Nairobi. This was achieved by the General Assembly resolution 67/213 on upgrading of UNEP.

The Kenya Mission coordinated this resolution on behalf of the G77 and China through plenary, round table discussions and informal consultations. A simple, focused and concise resolution which referred the implementation of paragraph 88 of the Rio+20 Outcome document, “the future we want” in its entirely to the first universal membership of the Governing Council of UNEP convened in Nairobi from February 18th -23rd 2013.

The Kenya UN Mission followed up on the matter and negotiated the UNEP Resolution in Nairobi, officially renaming the Governing Council of United Nations Environment Programme as the United Nations Environment Assembly of UNEP. The General Assembly adopted the Resolution by consensus on March 14th 2013, which allows for the participation of the entire 193 UN member states in its deliberations and decision making. This will make Kenya the leading diplomatic hub in the region. It will also promote the coherent implementation of the environmental dimension of sustainable development within the United Nations system and serve as an authoritative advocate for global protection of the environment. The financial resources allocated to UNEP from the UN regular budget as well as voluntary funding of UNEP are also expected to significantly upscale the implementation of the new mandates bearing that UNEP shall now have the powers to convene universal Assembly with High Level Segments which could include participation of Heads of State and Government on a biannual basis. This is very prestigious for Kenya and recognition of the continued critical role it plays in securing and safeguarding the environment. A copy of the resolution can be found on the UNEP website.

Vision

To be a leader in pursuit of Kenya’s interests within the multilateral framework of the United Nations.

Mission

To project, promote and protect the interests and values of the Kenyan people through effective diplomatic engagement.

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