Over 2,000 UN delegates in Kenya to discuss plastic waste

Governments have been under intense pressure to unite in action against plastic waste

Photo by Mohamed Abdulraheem/shutterstock

The fifth session of the United Nations Environment Assembly (UNEA) kicks off today hosted by UN Environment Programme (UNEP) in Nairobi.

The delegates span over 193 member states and will come together for three days both virtually and physically to discuss climate change, nature and biodiversity loss, pollution, and waste.

The overall theme for UNEA-5 is “Strengthening Actions for Nature to Achieve the Sustainable Development Goals”. This highlights the pivotal role nature plays in daily life and in social, economic and environmentally sustainable development.

"UNEA-5 is an opportunity for Member States to share best practices for sustainability. It will create momentum for governments build on and catalyze impact on multilateral environmental efforts to protect and restore the natural world on which our economies and societies depend," read a statement from UNEP.

The meeting between the global leaders has been touted as a critical moment in progress towards the first-ever global treaty to tackle plastic waste.

Inger Andersen, Director of UNEP, said an agreement at the UN Environment Assembly might be an important multilateral pact since the Paris climate accord in 2015.

“This is a big moment. This is one for the history books,” Andersen, told AFP this week.

Ahead of the summit, Andersen, while addressing the delegates stressed that the world is witnessing the situation with 'anxiety and hope'.

She highlighted that it is for the first time they are witnessing the willingness of the international community to fight plastic pollution.

World leaders will focus on plastics and deliberate on proposals to establish an Intergovernmental Negotiating Committee (INC) to work towards a legally binding global agreement.

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