5th UN Environment Assembly Convenes in Kenya to Reduce Plastic Pollution

The fifth session of the UN Environment Assembly (UNEA-5) convened on Monday in Kenya’s capital Nairobi with a focus on plastic pollution.

Attended by over 3,400 in-person and 1,500 online participants from 175 UN Member States, 79 ministers and 17 high-level officials, the theme of the three-day UNEA-5 is “Strengthening Actions for Nature to Achieve the Sustainable Development Goals”.

The President of UNEA-5 and Norway’s Environment Minister, Espen Barth Eide in his opening remarks said that “the world is watching us. Expectations are high for substantial, concrete outcomes that will be felt for years to come and benefit future generations.”

“Plastic pollution has grown into an epidemic of its own. I am convinced that the time has come for a legally binding treaty to end plastic pollution,” he said.

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Executive Director of the UN Environment Program (UNEP), Inger Andersen told the participants that participants have a huge task to deliver solutions to the triple planetary crisis of climate change, nature and biodiversity loss, and pollution and waste.

Andersen said environmentalists have called on the UN to establish an international treaty to tackle the plastic pollution menace.

“I have complete faith that once endorsed by the Assembly, we will have something truly historic on our hands. If we can achieve all of this, we will indeed have the most important international multilateral environmental deal since Paris.”

Kenya’s Environment Minister Keriako Tobiko also urged delegates to come up with a binding resolution on eliminating plastic products pollution.

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