Highlights and images for 23 May 2016



The second UN Environment Assembly of the UN Environment Programme (UNEA-2) opened on Monday at UN Environment Programme (UNEP) headquarters in Nairobi, Kenya. Outgoing UNEA President Oyun Sanjaasuren (Mongolia) opened the conference, inviting delegates to observe a minute’s silence to remember those who have lost their lives in the protection of the environment. UNEP Executive Director Achim Steiner described UNEA-2 as an expression of hope and “a clarion call” for the world, noting that with well over 2000 participants, 170 nations, and hundreds of stakeholders represented, “we truly have a UN Environment Assembly.” Delegates heard opening messages, and adopted the agenda and organization of work. The plenary elected Edgar Gutiérrez Espeleta (Costa Rica) as President of UNEA-2, and also elected Bureau members and a rapporteur.

In the afternoon, the Committee of the Whole (COW) met in plenary, where they discussed the organization of drafting groups to finalize the proposed resolutions. A working group met in the evening for a first reading of resolutions.

The Sustainable Innovation Expo (SIE), organized by UNEP in parallel with the meeting, also opened today. Three SIE panel discussions took place on: South-South cooperation; big data and innovation; and air quality.

In the evening, delegates attended a reception hosted by the Governement of Kenya.

IISD Reporting Services, through its ENB Meeting Coverage, has published a briefing note for the GMGSF 2016 and provided daily web coverage, daily reports from the UNEA-2. In addition, IISD Reporting Services has published a summary and analysis report from this meeting, which is available in HTML and PDF format.
Photos by IISD/ENB | Francis Dejon
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UNEA-2 plenary observed a moment of silence to remember those who have lost their lives in the protection of the environment

"Welcome to UNEA" film presentation

L-R: Ibrahim Thiaw, Deputy Executive Director, UNEP; Achim Steiner, Executive Director, UNEP; UNEA President Oyun Sanjaasuren;
Judi Wakhungu, Cabinet Secretary for Environment and Regional Development Authorities, Kenya; Sahle-Work Zewde,
Director-General, UNON; and Jorge Laguna-Celis, Secretary of the Governing Bodies of UNEP

Achim Steiner, Executive Director, UNEP, delivers opening remarks to UNEA-2 delegates

UNEA President Oyun Sanjaasuren

Ibrahim Thiaw, Deputy Executive Director, UNEP, speaking on behalf of Ban Ki-moon, UN Secretary-General

Judi Wakhungu, Cabinet Secretary for Environment and Regional Development Authorities, Kenya

Sahle-Work Zewde, Director-General, UNON

Edgar Gutiérrez Espeleta, Costa Rica, incoming UNEA-2 President delivers his opening remarks

Jassim Abdulaziz Al-falahy, Iraq

Julia Pataki, Romania

Frans Makken, the Netherlands, on behalf of the EU

Taefu Lemi, Samoa

Bibiana Jones, Argentina, on behalf of
G-77/China and GRULAC

Daniel Reifsnyder, US

Abdelmoneim Mohammed Mabrouk, League of Arab States

Yugratna Srivastava, on behalf of the Major Groups and Stakeholders

Soehardjono Sastromihardjo, Indonesia

Edgar Gutiérrez Espeleta, UNEA-2 President


View of the COW plenary

COW Chair Idunn Eidheim, Norway

John Matuszak, US

Marcela Nicodemos, Brazil

Franz Perrez, Switzerland

Abdullah Khalid Tawlah, Saudi Arabia

Neranda Maurice-George
, Saint Lucia

Hugo Enrique Cañiza, Paraguay

Kerstin Stendahl, Deputy Executive Secretary of the Basel, Rotterdam and Stockholm Conventions

Roy Samson Dinyi Thorofo, South Sudan

Cyrie Sendashonga, IUCN

Delegates from the Philippines

L-R: Mohammed Khashashneh, Jordan; Adalah Atira, Palestine; and Mohamad Afana, Jordan


Sustainable Innovation Expo: South-South Cooperation panel discussions

L-R: Anote Tong, Former President of Kiribati; Jorge Chediek, UN Envoy on South-South Cooperation; Mesghan
Al Awar
, United Arab Emirates; Zhang Jieqing, China; and George Mwenda, Geothermal Development, Kenya

L-R: Doug Cress, Great Apes Survival Partnership (GRASP), Jaime Webb, UN-REDD; Anyaa Vohiri,
Liberia; and Johannes Refisch, GRASP

L-R: Isabelle Louis, UNEP; Elizabeth Mrema, UNEP; Hillary Alisson, UNEP World Conservation
Monitoring Centre
(WCMC); and Braulio Ferreira de
Souza Dias
, Executive
Secretary, Convention on Biological
Diversity (CBD) at the launch of the State of the
Biodiversity Reports

Braulio Ferreira de Souza Dias, Executive
Secretary, CBD


UNEA-2 reception hosted by the Government of Kenya