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UN ENVIRONMENT ASSEMBLY (UNEA)

 For the UN system, the Environment Assembly represents the notion that challenges are the best addressed and opportunities realized when the community of nations of the world join forces to promote economic prosperity, social equity, and environmental sustainability in a comprehensive manner. As such, UNEA symbolizes an important change of scope as the new body plays its newly defined role of serving as the world’s authoritative voice on environmental matters across the UN System.

 The idea of creating UNEA appeared at United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development (Rio +20) held in Brazil in July 2012. The main reason for its existence was to give the chance to every nation to get involved into discussions about planet’s environment. Therefore, UNEP Governing Council, which was established in 1972, and since then was comprised of 58 members is changed now, or upgraded to the next level of UN Environmental Assembly in which every 193 member states has the opportunity to express its concerns and proposals about the emerging environmental problems. The resolution of UN General AssemblyA/RES/67/251 madethe transition from UNEP Governing Council to UNEA. This Assembly should be the main body in which environmental discussion will take place and also it should have an authority to impose certain methods and to propose actions that will lead to healthy environment. From this, abovementioned resolution, arises the certain mandate of UNEA which are:

      to take strategic decisions;

      to provide political guidance in the work of UNEP

     to promote science – policy interference.

 UNEA – United Nations Environmental Assembly was established on its first session held in UN Environment Program Headquarters in Nairobi, Kenya from 23rd to 27th of June 2014. It gathered environmental ministers and governmental delegates from various UN member states in one place. Also, representatives of major groups from non – governmental sector were present. The topic for discussion on its first session was: “Sustainable Development Goals and Post – 2015 Development Agenda, including sustainable consumption and production”. The main focus of discussion was the formulation of set of targets and indicators that would succeed Millennium Development Goals. This was also one step closer towards the establishment of new set of Sustainable Development Goals and expiration of MDG-s. Discussions were also focused on illegal trade in wildlife and environmental rule of law. At the same time, ministers and delegates discussed UNEP programme and budgetary questions.

UNEA meets biennially and is supported by 10 member bureau. The governing body of UNEA has its subsidiary body called an “open-ended Committee of Permanent Representatives”. It provides policy advice to the governing body, contributes to the preparation of agenda and decisions that will be adopted by UNEA.

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