First ever United Nations Environment Assembly to shape Sustainable Development Goals

United Nations Environment Assembly
© Margaret Badore

The first ever United Nations Environment Assembly (UNEA) is wrapping up its proceedings in Nairobi, Kenya. The week-long conference was conceived at Rio +20 in 2012, to push for a global agenda centered on sustainability. Over 1000 delegates from 163 member states are attending the conference.

One of the major goals of UNEA was to discuss the details of the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals, which will replace the Millennial Development Goals after 2015. Unlike the Millennial Development Goals, which were largely aimed at helping alleviate poverty in developing nations, the Sustainable Development Goals are planned to guide all member nations towards a more environmentally sustainable economy.

Ban Ki-Moon, the Secretary General of the UN, today told the assembly that it has a responsibility to advocate for “a global transformation of attitudes and practice.”

There are currently 17 proposed goals. The proposed goals include promoting actions at all levels to address climate change, attaining conservation and sustainable use of marine resources, oceans and seas, and protecting and restoring terrestrial ecosystems and halting all biodiversity loss. However, there’s also hope that environmental concerns will factor into all 17 of the goals. The proposals agreed upon at UNEA will then be brought forward to the general assembly.

Finding funding to dedicate towards these goals will also be a major point of debate between developed and developing nations. “We should be certain to match our funds to the ambitious goals we have set,” said Uhuru Kenyatta, President of Kenya, said Friday in an address to the assembly.

First ever United Nations Environment Assembly to shape Sustainable Development Goals
Delegates from United Nations member states meet to discuss a global environmental agenda.

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