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Governments review issues to top agenda of first-ever UN Environment Assembly

Some 300 delegates representing 97 countries participated in the first meeting of the Open-Ended Committee of Permanent Representatives (OECPR) to the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) with a focus on UNEP's critical inputs to the post-2015 development agenda. The meeting was held at UNEP headquarters in Nairobi, with remote participation of missions in Geneva and Addis Ababa.

Just months ahead of the first-ever United Nations Environmental Assembly (UNEA) a new body with universal membership among UN Member States the week-long OECPR is mandated to contribute to preparing the UNEA agenda and advise the Assembly on policy matters.

"This open-ended CPR is a very special moment in the evolution of the history of this very auspicious body that has guided and accompanied UNEP's evolution," said UN Under-Secretary-General and UNEP Executive Director Achim Steiner.

"The year that lies behind us was a year of many important milestones for the environmental dimension of sustainable development. Ultimately, the decisions by heads of State and governments to strengthen and upgrade UNEP and to create a new modus operandi through the Open-ended Committee demonstrate trust and confidence. Through this newly established body, we have reason to be optimistic about the future”.

"UNEP is providing inputs on targets and indicators for the post-2015 development agenda. We are working to provide a narrative of how the environmental dimension, in the spirit and intent of Rio+20, can find its way into a specific set of signals in the future development agenda," he added.

Countries appreciated the value of UNEP's contribution to drawing up a set of sustainable development goals as part of the post-2015 development agenda. They also highlighted a number of priority issues, including the appropriate management of chemicals and waste; the illegal trade in wildlife and timber; support for sustainable development in Small Island Developing States; and the overall transition to an inclusive green economy around the world.


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