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UN assembly commits to battle against planet's woes

By OTIATO OPALI in Nairobi, Kenya | China Daily Global | Updated: 2024-03-04 09:35

Delegates visit an exhibition with virtual reality devices on Friday during the sixth session of the United Nations Environment Assembly in Nairobi. WU XIAOHUI/CHINA DAILY

The United Nations Environment Assembly's sixth session has concluded in Nairobi with the adoption of 15 resolutions, two decisions and a ministerial declaration. The resolutions cover a wide range of environmental challenges as UNEA-6 underscored the critical role of international collaboration in tackling problems.

Making the closing remarks of UNEA-6 on Friday, Inger Andersen, the executive director of the UN Environment Programme, or UNEP, said the ministerial declaration the assembly adopted goes a long way in affirming the world's commitment to slowing climate change, restoring nature and land, and ridding the world of pollution.

"The UNEP will now take forward the responsibilities you have entrusted to us in these new resolutions, in addition to keeping the environment under review, and in addition to fulfilling our obligation to serve as an authoritative advocate for action across the triple planetary crisis."

Leila Benali, UNEA-6 president and minister of energy transition and sustainable development of Morocco, encouraged everyone to look at the resolutions with an open, inclusive and curious mind and a meaningful societal approach. "This is in order to keep vulnerable communities at the center of the objectives and ensure that no one is truly and credibly left behind."

Among the issues addressed by the resolutions reached are water advocacy for a comprehensive approach to managing water resources in agriculture and industry, with a particular emphasis on improving implementation methods, especially in developing countries.

The resolutions also dealt with air pollution, aiming to improve national air quality monitoring, building capacity and coordinating efforts to create and enforce air quality action plans and policies.

Governance of ocean and seas was also in the resolutions, and the assembly stressed the importance of strengthening the link between ocean science and policy, as well as maintaining collaboration and coordination on marine issues.

The Ministerial Declaration adopted at the conclusion of the assembly made it clear that member states would use sustainable multilateral actions to combat deforestation, land degradation, drought and desertification in addition to preserving biodiversity, reducing global warming and eradicating pollution.

As the curtains fell on this year's session, Andersen said the outcomes of UNEA-6 mark a significant step forward in the global fight against environmental degradation. However, the success of these resolutions and commitments will ultimately depend on their implementation by member states and other stakeholders, she said.

"UNEA-6 has opened important conversations, not all of which have landed, but I am sure that they will continue in the spirit of finding solutions that work for people and the planet."

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