Multilateralism plays a crucial role at the UN Environment Assembly in tackling climate change, nature loss and pollution

26 Feb 2024

As the world's highest decision-making body on the environment, UNEA aims to help restore harmony between humanity and nature, improving the lives of the world's most vulnerable people.

UNEP Deputy Executive and heads of MEAs

Under the theme "Effective, inclusive and sustainable multilateral actions to tackle climate change, biodiversity loss, and pollution", the sixth session of the United Nations Environment Assembly (UNEA-6) kicked off at the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) headquarters in Nairobi, Kenya.

From 26 February to 1 March, UNEA-6 will focus on how multilateralism can help tackle the triple planetary crisis of climate change, nature and biodiversity loss, and pollution and waste. The Assembly will highlight the importance of cooperation with Multilateral Environmental Agreements (MEAs) with a full day (28 February 2024) devoted to the discussion to enhance its relationship with the MEAs by strengthening convergence of actions and sharing of experiences. 

"I welcome this unique opportunity at UNEA-6 to engage closely with delegates, stakeholders, and the broader Multilateral Environmental Agreements (MEAs) community. Throughout this pivotal week, the Assembly will provide a major platform for the exchange of insights and approaches to effectively combat pollution, mitigate climate change and safeguard biodiversity. In this collaborative spirit, at the Minamata Convention on Mercury and other MEAs, we stand ready to share our vision and expertise on how we can best support our Parties in implementing the Conventions, ensuring co-benefits that positively impact both the people and the health of our planet", said Monika Stankiewicz, Minamata Convention Executive Secretary.

"MEA Day" is structured into an opening plenary meeting and two consecutive high-level dialogues, one on the science-policy interface (10:00 EAT) and the other on cooperation between UNEA, UNEP and the MEAs (15:00 EAT).

At the opening plenary, Rolph Payet, Executive Secretary of the Basel Rotterdam and Stockholm Conventions, will deliver a statement on behalf of the chemicals cluster family, and Osvaldo Pérez, Minamata Convention COP-6 President, will have an intervention at the second high-level dialogue.

MEA side events

MEAs will also have the opportunity to showcase cooperation, knowledge sharing and insightful discussions with a 3-day programme of side events and daily networking in the exhibition area to stimulate commitments to protecting people and the environment.

The Secretariat of the Minamata Convention will take an active part in the Assembly, including organizing and participating in several activities relevant to the Convention, from knowledge-driven capacity-building, linkages with biodiversity, to effective multilateral action and opportunities for integrated solutions. These events include (all times in EAT Nairobi time):

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