The United Nations Environment Assembly (UNEA) is the world’s highest-level decision-making body on the environment, with a universal membership of all 193 Member States. The Assembly meets biennially in Nairobi, Kenya, to set priorities for global environmental policies and develop international environmental law. Through its ministerial declaration and resolutions, the Assembly provides leadership, catalyses intergovernmental action on the environment, and contributes to the implementation of the UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. In the words of former UNEP Executive Director, Achim Steiner, UNEA is “the world’s parliament on the environment”.
UNEA-5 was no exception to the influence of the COVID-19 pandemic. The UNEA Secretariat decided to organise the fifth session (UNEA-5) in two parts: virtually in 2021 and hybrid in 2022.
The overall theme of UNEA-5 is "Strengthening Action for Nature to Achieve the Sustainable Development Goals", which calls for enhanced action to protect and restore nature, and nature-based solutions to achieve the SDGs. It also seeks to ensure that investments in economic recovery after the COVID-19 pandemic contribute to sustainable development, and that member countries and stakeholders achieve a better and greener recovery.
The first session of UNEA-5 was conducted online on 22-23 February 2021. You can find our experts' views here.
On this page we will introduce the background of and discussions at UNEA-5.2 through our podcasts and related IGES publications.
Listen to our podcast and get involved!
About Sustainability… is a podcast presented by the Institute for Global Environmental Strategies, featuring IGES staff and guests having in-depth discussions about sustainability-related topics. In this episode, Simon shares his knowledge on UNEA-5.2, the second half of UNEP’s biennial United Nations Environment Assembly (UNEA), and the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP). UNEA functions as the world’s parliament on the environment, where global environment ministers congregate to debate and decide on priorities of environmental concern in the context of nation states and the global community. Due to COVID-19, the event was divided into two halves with the first part taking place almost entirely online in early 2021, and the second half shortly taking place at the end of February 2022.
About Sustainability…Episode 1 What is UNEA-5.2?
Some key questions covered:
- What is UNEA? How is it different from other environment conferences, like the climate COP?
- What should we expect from UNEA-5.2 at the end of February?
- Behind the scenes - How did UNEA come to have universal membership?
- The big question - How strong do countries wish environmental governance to be?
- How is UNEA different from other international processes?
- Stockholm+50 and UNEP50
About Sustainability… is a podcast presented by the Institute for Global Environmental Strategies, featuring IGES staff and guests having in-depth discussions about sustainability-related topics.