Eng Festus Ng’eno, Principal Secretary at the State Department for Environment and Climate Change.

The sixth session of the United Nations Environment Assembly (UNEA-6) gives us an opportunity to advance the global environmental agenda. It builds on the pledges made during the fifth session (UNEA-5) and on the numerous other environmental processes that have unfolded between the two assemblies.

Since 2014, UNEA has held five sessions during which 90 resolutions have spurred action on critically important issues. This includes air pollution, biodiversity and health, financing for development, plastic pollution, marine litter, environmental education, water management, nature-based solutions, sustainable consumption and production, sustainable and resilient infrastructure, climate change, the Science-Policy Panel for chemicals and waste and to prevent pollution, illegal wildlife trade and protecting the environment in areas affected by armed conflict and disasters, minerals and metals management, sustainable and resilient infrastructure, amongst many others.

The overall theme for UNEA-6 is “Effective, inclusive, and sustainable multilateral actions to tackle climate change, biodiversity loss, and pollution”. It provides Member States and stakeholders with an opportunity to discuss how to advance the Decade of Action with a focus on addressing the interlinkages between the three planetary environmental crises. 

A series of leadership and multi-stakeholder dialogues and more than 30 official side events and associated events are expected during UNEA 6. This will lay the groundwork for strengthened future global and regional coordinated efforts by the United Nations, Member States, and partners to deliver high-impact planetary action.

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We invite UNEA-6 delegates to join us on 29th February 2024 at the Kenyan-sponsored side event on “Circular economy and extended producer responsibilities in addressing pollution control”. It will leverage effective and inclusive collaboration with financial institutions to accelerate the transition to more circular economies as well as spur action to deliver cleaner air and climate mitigation for the health of people and the planet.

Kenya is committed to multilateralism and has ratified several Multilateral Environmental Agreements. This is with a view to strengthening actions and protecting the environment from threats, hazards or danger to humans, animals, plants, and land including soil, water and air for a safe environment and sustainable development. We are participating in the negotiation of new treaties like the international legally binding global plastics treaty.

Multilateral Environmental Agreements form the overarching international legal basis for global efforts to address particular environmental issues and achieve sustainable development.

We acknowledge the importance of Multilateral Environmental Agreements in the overall framework of environmental laws and conventions, complementing national legislation and bilateral and regional agreements.

The writer, Eng. Festus K. Ng’eno, is the Principal Secretary at the State Department for Environment and Climate Change