Highlights and images for 27 May 2016



The second UN Environment Assembly of the UN Environment Programme (UNEA-2) continued into the early hours of Saturday, 28 May 2016 in Nairobi, Kenya, after a full day of negotiations and other events on Friday.

A ministerial policy review session took place in the morning, in which ministers were presented with the findings of the “Healthy Environment, Healthy People” report, a joint effort of several organizations, including the UN Environment Programme (UNEP), the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) Secretariat. Ministers and other high-level delegates proceeded to discuss the topic in two parallel roundtables before lunchtime.

Drafting groups worked through the day to finalize the text of all resolutions.

In the COW closing plenary, delegates accepted the package of resolutions, including resolutions on the UNEP Medium-Term Strategy, Programme of Work and budget. They agreed to change the UNEA cycle so that future meetings will take place in odd, not even, years, with the next meeting to take place in late 2017. Delegates forwarded the package to the UNEA-2 plenary for adoption.

In a late-night session, UNEA-2 accepted a package of 24 resolutions and 2 decisions. Delegates debated whether to put a G-77/China-sponsored resolution on “Field-based environment assessment of the Gaza strip” (UNEP/EA.2/CRP.6) to a vote.

11:20 pm Israel calls for a vote.

11:30 pm Syria calls for a motion of “no action.”

11:57 pm Plenary suspended to allow parties to consult.

12:31 am Plenary resumes.

12: 35 am
G-77/China announces the draft resolution will not be withdrawn.

12:53 am
UNEA-2 Chair invites delegates to vote on whether they wish to proceed to a substantive vote on the Gaza resolution. Brazil and Syria raise points of order.

12:57 am Delegates vote by holding up pink cards. Many abstain.

1:00 am Achim Steiner, UNEP Executive Director, announces results of the procedural vote: 36 in favour, 4 against, and 35 abstentions. He explains that UNEA requires a quorum of 97 for the result to be valid, and the quorum has not been reached in this case.

1:20 am Egypt questions interpretation of quorum rule. Secretariat apologizes for misinterpretation and says there are sufficient numbers to proceed. US disagrees, moves to suspend the session in the absence of a quorum.

1:45 am Plenary comes to a halt as delegates discuss the status of the meeting on the sidelines.

1:59 am UNEA-2 President calls for a Bureau meeting, asks delegates to remain in the room meanwhile.

2:27 am #UNEA2 Bureau returns to the room. Secretariat to conduct a roll call to check if there is a quorum present.

2:55 am Roll call shows 78 members present. One-third needed to have a legal session. But majority must be here to proceed to a vote. #UNEA2

2:59 am #UNEA2 President calls to adjourn the session, suggest to reconvene 11 am Saturday 28 May.

3:11 am Delegates consider proposal to reconvene. Egypt and Pakistan, question legal status of meeting. Colombia, EU, Ukraine and others express appreciation to all for the hard work done this week, and the agreement on 25 resolutions at UNEA-2.

3:49 am UNEA-2 President notes overwhelming support to close the session rather than reconvening. Many delegates welcome the 24 resolutions previously adopted. Rapporteur presents report of the meeting.

3:56 am #UNEA2 adopts meeting report, President gavels the meeting to a close.

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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L-R: Andy Haines, Professor of Public Health and Primary Care, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, UK; Mary
, Former President of Ireland and President of the Mary Robinson Foundation; Achim Steiner, UNEP Executive Director;
Edgar Gutiérrez Espeleta, President of UNEA-2 and Jorge Laguna-Celis, Secretary of the Governing Bodies,

Achim Steiner, UNEP Executive Director

Petteri Taalas, Secretary-General, World Meteorological

, Former President of Ireland and President of the Mary Robinson Foundation

Video message by Margaret Chan, Director-General, World Health Organization (WHO)

Andy Haines, Professor of Public Health and Primary Care, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, UK

L-R: Barbara Pompili, Minister of State for Biodiversity, France, and Jean-Patrick Le Duc, France


View of the room of the Ministerial Roundtable 1

Co-Chairs of Roundtable 1, Daniel Ortega Pacheco, Minister of Environment, Ecuador, and
Masoumeh Ebtekar, Vice President of Iran and Head of the Environmental
Protection Organization

Leonardo Trasande, Associate Professor, Department of Environmental Medicine, New York University School of Medicine, US

Omar Abdi, Assistant Secretary-General and Deputy Executive Secretary, UNICEF

Braulio Ferreira de Souza Dias, Executive Secretary, Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD)

Christine Dawson and Daniel Reifsnyder, US

Mustafa Satilmiş, Turkey

Cristina Tirado - von der Pahlen, University of California Los Angeles (UCLA)

Aminiasi Qareqare, Fiji

L-R: Cristina Romanelli and Amy Fraenkel, CBD


L-R: Jochen Flasbarth, State Secretary, Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation, Building
and Nuclear Safety, Germany; Edna Molewa, Minister of Environmental Affairs, South Africa; and Jamil Ahmad,
Deputy Director, UNEP Office in New York

Jane Nishida, Deputy Assistant Administrator, Environmental Protection
Agency, US, and
Chair of the Advisory Group of the Global
to Eliminate Lead Paint

Yannick Glemarec
, UN Women

Tina Birmpili, Executive Secretary, Ozone Secretariat

Delegates from Senegal

Chencho Norbu, Bhutan

Johanita Ndahimananjara
, Minister of Environment, Ecology and Forests, Madagascar

Rachid Firadi, Morocco

Thoriq Ibrahim, Minister of Energy and Environment, Maldives

Eleanor Parkes, Aotearoa Youth Leadership Institute, speaking on behalf of Children and Youth Major Group

Mariano Castro, Vice-Mnister for Environmental Management, Ministry of Environment, Peru

Delegates from China


View of the multi-stakeholder dialogue on "Restoring and sustaining healthy ecosystems for people and planet: partnerships
to jointly deliver on the environmental dimension of Agenda 2030"

L-R: Dialogue moderators, Andrew Steer, CEO, World Resources Institute (WRI), and Sharon Sharon Dijksma, State
Secretary of the Ministry of Infrastructure and the Environment, the Netherlands

Mark Halle, Director of Trade and Investment, International Institute for
Sustainable Development

Joan Carling, Secretary-General, Asia Indigenous Peoples Pact

Antonio Herman Benjamin, Justice of the National High Court, Brazil

Jan-Gustav Strandenaes, Stakeholder Forum

O. C. Z. Muchinguri, Minister of Environment, Water and Climate, Zimbabwe

John Scanlon, Secretary-General, Convention on
International Trade in Endangered Species
Wild Fauna
and Flora (CITES)

Participants from Major Groups and Stakeholders

L-R: Andrea Reimer, Councilor, City of Vancouver, Canada, and Yunus Arikan, ICLEI


L-R: Ibrahim Thiaw, Deputy Executive Director, UNEP; COW Chair Idunn Eidheim, Norway;
Tim Kasten, UNEP; and Masa Nagai, UNEP

COW Chair Idunn Eidheim, Norway

Hushan Al-Fityan, Rapporteur

Yahel Vilan, Israel

Drafting Group 1 Co-Chair Tita Korvenoja, Finland

Drafting Group 2 Co-Chair Pedro Escosteguy Cardoso, Brazil

Drafting Group 3 Co-Chair Corinna Enders,


L-R: Achim Steiner, UNEP Executive Director; Edgar Gutiérrez Espeleta, President of UNEA-2
and Jorge
, Secretary of the Governing Bodies,

Delegates from Arab States in informal consultations

Masoumeh Ebtekar, Vice President of Iran and Head of the Environmental
Protection Organization

Voting flags being distributed in plenary

Masa Nagai, Senior Legal Advisor, UNEP, confers with UNEA-2 Secretariat on Rules of Procedure.