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Press Releases, 6/30/2014 | Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Finland

The UN Environment Assembly sent a strong signal to the world

Press release 153/2014
28 June 2014

The Finnish delegation to the first UN Environment Assembly was led by Minister for International Development Pekka Haavisto. He emphasised the importance of the meeting to the strengthening of the environmental dimension in the future Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) of the UN. "The UN Environment Programme UNEP plays a key role in the implementation and monitoring of the goals concerning the environment", said Minister Haavisto.  Ministers had a number of bilateral meetings with their counterparts, representatives of UN agencies and Kenyan and Somali representatives.

Several decisions and resolutions were made related to, for example, countering the illegal trade in wildlife, reduction of marine plastic debris, management of chemicals and promotion of air quality.

The final report of the meeting underlines the critical importance of the environment to the materialisation of sustainable development. The final report also reaffirms UNEPs' significant role as a promoter of international environmental cooperation especially as concerns the production of scientific information to serve a basis for decision-making. Other matters that were emphasised in the final report include promotion of sustainable consumption and production, implementation of environmental commitments, protection of natural diversity, and fight against climate change. Challenging topics of discussion on the agenda dealt with, among other things, improvement of the division of labour between UN agencies, budget issues, and increasing civil society's opportunities of participation.

The UN Environment Assembly in Nairobi, Kenya, from 23 to 27 June 2014 was concluded by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and the President of Kenya Uhuru Kenyatta. The final report was adopted late at night on 27 June. 163 countries had sent their delegations to the meeting. There were ministers from 113 countries and the total number of participants was nearly 1100.

Inquiries: Johanna Sumuvuori, Special Adviser to Minister Haavisto, tel. +358 40 5059289

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Updated 6/30/2014

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