The “Third Session of the United Nations Environment Assembly (UNEA-3)” was convened on 4-6 December 2017 in Nairobi, Kenya under the overarching theme “Towards a Pollution-Free Planet”. UNEA-3 brought together over 4,300 delegates, including heads of state, ministers and other delegates from more than 170 Member States, UN officials, inter-governmental organizations, business leaders, civil society representatives, activists and celebrities.
For the first time in UNEA, the environment ministers adopted a negotiated Ministerial Declaration, through which they agreed to address the pollution of air, land and soil, freshwater, and oceans. The Declaration committed to, inter alia, increasing research and development, targeting pollution through tailored actions, moving societies towards sustainable lifestyles based on a circular economy, promoting fiscal incentives to move markets and promote positive change, strengthening and enforcing laws on pollution. The consensus achieved by more than 170 counties on the text was marked as a clear sign of the global relevance of pollution.
The Assembly also passed 13 non-binding resolutions and three decisions. The resolutions and decisions called for accelerated action and strengthened partnerships to, inter alia, improve air quality globally; combat the spread of marine plastic litter and microplastics; eliminate exposure to lead paint and promote sound management of used lead-acid batteries; address water pollution; manage soil pollution; and control pollution in areas affected by terrorist operations and armed conflict.
Director of Energy, Minerals and Environment of ECO Secretariat, Mr. Fuad Farzalibeyov participated at the High Level Segment of UNEA-3. On the sidelines of the Event, he had meetings with the officials of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), notably with Dr. Jian Liu, Chief Scientist and Director of Science Division, Mr. Jan Dusik, Director of Europe Office and his colleagues from Europe Office. During the course of the meetings, ECO Secretariat and UNEP deliberated on UNEP’s possible contribution to the elaboration of the first State of Environment (SoE) Report/Study for the ECO Region that may serve as a solid basis for any regional plan of action on environment to be developed for future. ECO Director appreciated UNEP for its continuous support and interest in ECO activities. Both sides resolved on continuing consultations. ECO-UNEP MoU was signed in August 2004 to institutionalize cooperation in environmental matters, particularly on enhancing environmentally sound and renewable energy services and resources, capacity building in environmental law, environmental education, ecotourism and supporting environmental assessment services.
ECO Director also met Dr. Otto Simonett, Director of Zoï Environment Network and discussed the ways and means on possible cooperation in areas of interest for ECO Region.
UNEA is the world’s highest-level decision-making body on the environment and addresses the critical environmental challenges facing the world. Understanding these challenges and preserving and rehabilitating the environment is at the heart of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. UNEA meets biennially to set priorities for global environmental policies and actions. ECO was granted in 2015 the Standing Observer Status in UNEA.