World Environment Day Celebration | Multilateral Solutions to Beat Plastic Pollution
05 Jun 2023
Venue: International Environment House II (Chemin de Balexert 7-9, Châtelaine)
This year marks the 50th anniversary of World Environment Day, which focuses on solutions to plastic pollution. This high-level dialogue will highlight the efforts and progress undertaken by actors in Geneva to beat plastic pollution, building on the momentum generated by this World Environment Day in mobilizing transformative action from every corner of the world. The event will be followed by a reception.
About the Celebration
Since its first celebration in 1973, World Environment Day has been an occasion to raise awareness on environmental problems and to call for collaborative action across actors around the world. Fifty years later, the problem of plastic pollution has become a major contributor to the triple planetary crisis of climate change, biodiversity loss and pollution. With more than 430 million tonnes of plastic produced every year worldwide and predictions of annual production reaching up to 1,100 million tonnes by 2050, bold solutions are necessary as currently only a fraction of these is recycled or reused.
Science and solutions to tackle the problem are available, therefore governments, companies and other stakeholders must scale and speed up actions to solve this crisis. At its resumed session of the fifth meeting in March 2022, the United Nations Environment Assembly adopted a landmark resolution to develop a legally binding instrument on plastic pollution, including in the marine environment, with the ambition to complete the negotiations by end of 2024. The second meeting of the Intergovernmental Negotiating Committee (INC-2) will be held in Paris at the end of May 2023. The instrument is to be based on a comprehensive approach that addresses the full life cycle of plastic.
Building on this momentum and on other milestones addressing plastics on the environmental agenda, this World Environment Day is celebrated under the theme ‘Solutions to Plastic Pollution’ serving as an occasion to mobilize transformative action from every corner of the world.
International Geneva is strongly engaged in the agenda to beat plastic pollution. The outcomes of recent negotiations, and the Geneva Beat Plastic Pollution Dialogues that kicked off at the end of 2020, provided some concrete examples of how multilateral Geneva is engaged in finding solutions to address this major crisis, including the BRS COPs, SAICM ICCM5, UNEA-6, and other processes in Geneva, such as at the World Trade Organization, the World Health Assembly, the International Labour Conference, or the Human Rights Council. Held immediately after the end of the INC-2 negotiations in Paris, this celebration will also highlight outcomes from the intergovernmental process and discuss multilateralism and cooperation in action.
Leading diplomats and international experts taking the floor at this event will highlight how international Geneva multilateral diplomacy system, with its numerous intergovernmental organizations, permanent governmental missions, NGOs, platforms, academic institutions, and other stakeholders, is engaged in finding solutions to beat plastic pollution.
World Environment Day 2023
World Environment Day 2023 is hosted by Côte d’Ivoire with the support of the Government of the Netherlands. Both countries are at the forefront to beat plastic pollution, setting the example at the national and international levels. Côte d’Ivoire has banned the use of plastic bags since 2014, supporting a shift to reusable packaging. The country’s largest city, Abidjan, has also become a hub for start-ups looking to beat plastic pollution. The Government of the Netherlands is a member of the High Ambition Coalition calling for a strong and ambitious international legally binding instrument to combat plastic pollution.
In line with the official World Environment Day 2023 Celebration, held this year in Côte d’Ivoire, the Geneva Environment Network is organizing a high-level dialogue to highlight efforts and progress undertaken by actors in Geneva to beat plastic pollution, including through the Geneva Beat Plastic Pollution Dialogues.
The high-level dialogue will be followed by a reception offered by the Swiss Government and local authorities.
By order of intervention.
Director, Europe Office, UN Environment Programme
H.E. Amb. Allou Lambert YAO
Deputy Permanent Representative of the Republic of Côte d'Ivoire to the United Nations Office and other international organizations in Geneva, Chargé d'Affaires a.i.
Deputy Permanent Representative of France to the United Nations Office at Geneva and other international organizations in Switzerland
Director, Department of Environment, Climate Change and Health, World Health Organization
María Daniela GARCÍA
Deputy Permanent Representative of Ecuador to the World Trade Organization | Chair of the WTO Committee on Trade and Environment
Moustapha Kamal GUEYE
Director, ILO Priority Action Programme on Just Transitions Towards Environmentally Sustainable Economies and Societies
Executive Secretary, Basel, Rotterdam, and Stockholm Conventions
Director of the Thematic Engagement, Special Procedures and Right to Development Division of the UN Human Rights Office (OHCHR)
Senior Policy Advisor, International Union for Conservation of Nature
Zuhair Ahmed KOWSHIK
Global Focal Point, Children and Youth Major Group to UNEP
Executive Vice President, Imperatives, World Business Council for Sustainable Development
Director, Geneva Office and the Environmental Health Program, Center for International Environmental Law
Deputy Permanent Representative of the Kingdom of Morocco to the United Nations Office and other international organizations in Geneva
Deputy Head, International Affairs Division, Swiss Federal Office for the Environment
Mayor, City of Geneva
Carolyn DEERE BIRKBECK
Director, Forum on Trade, Environment and the SDGs (TESS) | Moderator
To be continued.
HIGH LEVEL DIALOGUE
Video | Inger Andersen, from Côte d’Ivoire
Multilateral Solutions to Beat Plastic Pollution
- Intergovernmental Negotiating Committee to Beat Plastic Pollution: From Paris to Geneva
- Scaling Up Work on Plastics and Health
- Trade Solutions to Plastic Pollution
- Just Transition in Plastic Pollution
- Science-based Solutions to Plastic Pollution
- Human Rights Approach to Beat Plastic Pollution
- Nature-based Solutions to Plastic Pollution
- Youth Solutions to Beat Plastic Pollution
- Corporate Accountability to Beat Plastic Pollution
- Civil Society at the Heart of Solutions to Plastic Pollution
- Multilateral Solutions to Beat Plastic Pollution: From Geneva to UNEA
Closing Remarks | Geneva United to Beat Plastic Pollution
- World Environment Day Official Website
- World Environment Day in Geneva
- Addressing the Plastic Crisis from Geneva | Plastics and the Environment Series
- Plastics and the Environment
- We can beat plastic pollution as millions demand change, says UNEP Executive Director
- World Environment Day brings solutions to plastic pollution into focus | UNEP Press Release
- IUCN Director General’s Statement for World Environment Day 2023
- Beat Plastic Pollution Practical Guide | UNEP
- Our Planet is Choking on Plastics | UNEP
- Solutions to Beat Plastic Pollution (Speech) | Inger Andersen | 16 May 2023
- Quiz: How much do you know about the plastic pollution crisis? | UNEP