iSting: a reader’s thoughts on the UN Environment Assembly 2017

UN Environment Assembly 2017

(UN Environment, 2017)

This article was exclusively written for the Sting by one of our passionate readers Mr Animesh Upadhyay. The opinions expressed within reflect only the writer’s views and not The European Sting’s position on the issue.

Plastique! If current pollution rates continue, there will be more plastic in the sea than fish by 2050, said the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) president, Erik Solheim. The head quarter situated in Nairobi, Kenya was filled with eminent leaders from about 193 countries (an astounding 200, as the media stated) in one room discussing and uplifting the previous UNEP assembly held in 2016.

The event occurred from 4th to the 6th of December overcrowded with concerned politicians. All the countries signed a U.N. resolution in Nairobi on Wednesday to eliminate plastic pollution in the sea, a move some delegates hoped would pave the way to a legally binding treaty.

UNEA-3 was convened in an unusually shorter session from the above mentioned date, following an agreement at UNEA-2 in 2016; which was to hold future sessions of UNEA in alternate rather odd numbered years, to align with the UN budgeting cycle and avoid lapses in funding.

A very intelligent decision was made in order to maintain records and to achieve efficient accountability. The Open-Ended Committee of Permanent Representatives (OECPR), who had their own 3 day meeting starting from 1st of December participated in negotiations that took place in five contact groups, four of which discussed the proposed resolutions, while the fifth group, considered draft decisions on administrative and communication matters.

The latter group agreed to extend the delivery of the Global Environment Outlook report (GEO-6) to 2019, so as to ensure its alignment with the fourth session of the UN Environment Assembly (UNEA-4), which is scheduled to take place the same year.

The concoction of plastic waste with air, water and soil pollution lead to an extreme operation with the overarching theme of UNEA-3 signifying ‘Towards a Pollution-Free Planet’. The assembly aims to deliver a number of tangible commitments to end the pollution of our air, land, waterways, and oceans, and to safely manage our chemicals and waste.

Outcomes are expected to include: a political declaration on pollution, linked to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs); resolutions and decisions adopted by Member States to address specific dimensions of pollution; voluntary commitments by governments, private sector entities and civil society organizations to clean up the planet; and the Clean Planet Pledge- a collection of individual commitments to take personal action to end pollution in all its forms.

The delegates and the assembly highlighted that the UN Environment Programme #BeatPollution campaign had gathered nearly 2.5 million pledges from individuals across the world. In-spite of such an immense response, it remained a mystery that if the youth of today was involved elsewhere in this social campaign, then why many countries were selectively not entailed in it; like India- to name a few. Mr. Atul Bagai – the Indian representative of UNEP, inadvertently showed the participation of the undergraduates and the scholars to be insignificant.

The response of the mass would have been immense, considering it is the 2nd most heavily populated country, and amusingly on the path of surpassing China, if not in any other domain. The most important and immediate right to life is the air that we breathe every day,” said actor Dia Mirza, UN Environment’s newly appointed Goodwill Ambassador for India.

Along with all the hustle, the UN Development Programme (UNDP) and the UN Environment Programme (UNEP) announced a joint project on pro-poor environmental action for the SDGs. The new joint project titled, ‘Poverty-Environment Action for Sustainable Development Goals (2018-2022)’, is a five-year project that will support “equitable and pro-poor sustainable development” in the Least Developed Countries (LDCs).

The project will seek to apply social and environmental safeguards to government’s legal and regulatory frameworks; enable governments to screen investment proposals and support governments in assessing the economic, ecological and social impacts of proposed investments.

In a press release, UNEP underscored that if “all commitments are met, 1.49 billion people will breathe clean air, one-third of the world’s coastlines will be clean, and US$18.6 billion of investment will come online.”

The social media was surging up with all sorts of tweets and posts. There was hash tagging of various morally correct ideas put together into a single word; for instance “plasticpollution”, “>200Nations” and “BeatPollution” like substantial words. Astonishingly the UNEP even nudged over there, mentioning that “China is the biggest producer of plastic waste but has started making efforts to cut down”.

Is this our future, waiting for the world leaders to decide for the entire globe, the outcome of their implied perspective? Leaders are biased, it is the gift of humanity, to give humans their own point of view, their own opinion. The longing for these ideologically sculpted treaties to become a reality is the only thing we all can hope for, and to realize if it was ever meant to happen or vanish like just another day dream.

Join the Hive!

the sting Milestones

Featured Stings

Can we feed everyone without unleashing disaster? Read on

These campaigners want to give a quarter of the UK back to nature

How to build a more resilient and inclusive global system

Stopping antimicrobial resistance would cost just USD 2 per person a year

Obesity rates soar due to dramatic global diet shift, says UN food agency

Which countries get the most sleep – and how much do we really need?

EU mobilises emergency assistance following floods in Ukraine

Change is happening – and young people are leading the way forward

Women must have an equal share in politics, say MEPs and national MPs

Making the move to more sustainable mobility – three steps for companies

How Europe’s science offers hope in tackling the climate emergency

The EU Commission by serving the banks offers poor support to European mainstream political parties

Creating shared value: an opportunity and challenge for entrepreneurship

May led Britain to chaos, now looks for way out with unpredictable DUP

Why maps matter in our response to COVID-19

A record one million Syrians displaced over six months, during six key battles: UN investigators

American negotiators can’t pay for their trip to Brussels, EU-US trade agreement freezes

We need to protect 30% of the planet by 2030. This is how we can do it

The Commission calls for a climate neutral Europe by 2050*

Negotiations on new EU collective redress rules to begin

How to unleash the enormous power of global healthcare data

EYE to kick off on Friday: 8000+ young people discussing the future of Europe 1 – 2 June

On Kristallnacht anniversary, UN chief urges renewed fight against ‘crime’ of anti-Semitism

At last Britain considers a super-soft Brexit

A Sting Exclusive: “Europe must be more ambitious in COP21 and lead on climate finance and sustainable development”, Green UK MEP Jean Lambert points out from Brussels

UN must bring more women police officers into the fold to be effective – UN peacekeeping official

This simple solution might help with one of the biggest challenges of working from home

Consumer protection: Commission revises EU rules on product safety and consumer credit

Libya’s migrants and refugees with tuberculosis ‘left to die’ in detention centres

How Europe’s green tech ‘scale-ups’ can help tackle climate change

Eurozone’s credibility rock solid

Coronavirus: Commission unveils EU vaccines strategy

#TwitterisblockedinTurkey and so is Erdogan

This is why attractive cities do better economically

Global hunger is on the rise. These simple steps could help eradicate it

UN General Assembly celebrates 20 years of promoting a culture of peace

UN chief seeking ‘renewed commitment’ to global rules and values, as world leaders head to New York

EU founding values: Commission starts legal action against Hungary and Poland for violations of fundamental rights of LGBTIQ people

This wristband tells you what food to buy based on your DNA

Disillusioned young people – France thinks it has a solution

New El Salvador law, a victory for forced displacement victims: UN refugee agency

Look no hands: self-driving vehicles’ public trust problem

GSMA Mobile 360 – Africa: Rise of the Digital Citizen, Kigali 16 – 18 July 2019, in association with The European Sting

Is there a way out of the next financial crisis? Can more printed money or austerity save us all?

Do we really understand the value of independent journalism?

The EU bows to Turkey in view of the talks for a political settlement in Syria

Syria: Why did the US-Russia brokered ceasefire collapse? What does the duo care for?

Coronavirus in Brazil: mental health in tragedy

The technologies – and thoughtful collaborations – that can build resilience in the food system after COVID-19

Union of Equality: European Commission presents Strategy for the Rights of Persons with Disabilities 2021-2030

Politics is failing to protect the Amazon. It’s time for finance to step up instead

To save biodiversity, MEPs call for binding targets at global and EU level

Visa-free access to the EU for UK nationals and to the UK for EU nationals

Teenagers’ career expectations narrowing to limited range of jobs, OECD PISA report finds

The new era of Matriarchy?

EU solidarity in action: Commission proposes €86.7 million for the recent natural disasters in France and Greece

African cities will double in population by 2050. Here are 4 ways to make sure they thrive

How to stay in shape and step up support for refugees

Elections in Britain may reserve a surprise for May’s Tories

19th EU-China Summit: A historical advance in the Chino-European rapprochement

International community urged to deliver on promise for better future for Bosnia and Herzegovina

Grexit no longer a threat but how to manage a “tutti frutti” government if not with fear?

What is blockchain and what can it do?

The world needs a grand coalition to tackle climate change

More Stings?

Speak your Mind Here

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s