Mise à jour: 12 Jan 2022

The second segment of the fifth UN Environment Assembly (UNEA-5) is planned to take place from 28 February to 2 March 2022 (discussions on postponement ongoing). UNEA-5 is the opportunity to strengthen international action for climate, nature and a pollution-free planet. Various events are held in the run-up to UNEA-5.2 in order to maintain momentum for the environment. Find the programme, resources, and links on this page.

About UNEA-5

The United Nations Environment Assembly is the world’s highest-level decision-making body on the environment. The fifth UN Environment Assembly (UNEA-5) will be the opportunity to strengthen international efforts to tackle the triple planetary crisis we are facing – climate change, nature loss & pollution. UNEA-5 is taking place in two-parts. A first online session took place in February 2021 (UNEA-5.1), and a resumed session is scheduled to take place from 28 February to 2 March 2022 (UNEA-5.2).

However, as the COVID-19 pandemic continues to disrupt the global environmental agenda, discussions are ongoing with Member States on possible options on format and timing for the resumed session of UNEA-5.

The theme “Strengthening Actions for Nature to Achieve the Sustainable Development Goals” calls for strengthened action to protect and restore nature and the nature-based solutions to achieve the sustainable development goals in its three complementary dimensions (social, economic and environmental). Full of diversity and complexity, nature underpins our economies and our societies. However, humanity is destroying these life-giving services through over-exploitation, unchecked development and climate change. UNEA-5 emphasizes that collectively we have the knowledge, technology and the resources to protect and restore our natural world by making the transition to a nature-positive future that will benefit our health, our economies and our future.

I very much look forward to working with UNEP and Executive Secretary Inger Andersen on key environmental challenges, including initiating negotiations towards a strong global treaty to fight plastic pollution.

H.E. Espen Barth Eide, Minister of Environment and Climate of Norway, President of UN Environment Assembly | 14 November 2021

Draft Resolutions

Draft resolutions proposed for discussion and adoption at UNEA-5.2 include:

Draft ministerial declaration

Looking ahead to the resumed session of UNEA.5, the President has re-initiated the consultations process on a Ministerial Declaration. A first full draft ministerial declaration was shared on 13 December 2021.

Programme & Supporting Events

Despite its special format, UNEA-5.2 is by no means a small event. Thanks to the energy and motivation of stakeholders and member States, numerous supporting activities are taking place in the run-up to UNEA-5.2. A draft structure has been circulated but has yet to be approved by the Joint Bureaux of the UN Environment Assembly and Committee of Permanent Representatives. The full programme will be made available on the UNEA-5.2 webpage in due time.

However, as the COVID-19 pandemic continues to disrupt the global environmental agenda, discussions are ongoing with Member States on possible options on format and timing for the resumed session of UNEA-5. The dates indicated below are thus subject to change.

Global Major Groups and Stakeholders Forum | 14 – 17 February

The Global Major Groups and Stakeholders Forum (GMGSF) 2022 will be held online ahead of UNEA-5.2 from 14-17 February 2022. The forum is self-organized by the Major Group Facilitating Committee (MGFC), the European Environmental Bureau (EEB) and Women Engage for a Common Future (WECF). The GMGSF will allow Major Groups and Stakeholders (MGS) to review, share and organize their input towards the upcoming meetings. In light of the COVID pandemic, the GMGSF 2022 will be held as an online meeting, with access for accredited and non-accredited organizations.

Open-Ended Committee of Permanent Representative | 21 – 25 February

More information will be made available on the CPR webpage. Updates on key meetings of UNEP Governing Bodies are presented in the Roadmap for the UN Environment Programme Governing Bodies. The previous CPR meeting was held 30 November 2021; see the outcomes here.

UNEP@50 Special Session| 3 – 4 March

UNEA-5.2 will be followed by a Special Session of the UN Environment Assembly, to be held 3 – 4 March 2022, and will be devoted to the commemoration of the 50th anniversary of the creation of UNEP in 1972. UNEP@50 is a time to reflect on the past and envision the future. It provides an opportunity to reinvigorate international cooperation and spur collective action to address the triple planetary crisis of climate change, nature and biodiversity loss, and pollution and waste.

UNEP@50 will feature side events that will shed light on key topics related to the future of multilateralism, within the context of the three planetary crises.

Geneva Preparatory Events

UN System Response to Marine Litter and Plastic Pollution

Geneva Beat Plastic Pollution Dialogues | 13 January 2022 | 14.00 – 15.30 CET | Online

Basis for Financial Cooperation and Technical Assistance in a New Plastic Agreement

Geneva Beat Plastic Pollution Dialogues | 18 January 2022 | 14.00 – 15.30 CET | Online

UNEA-5.2 High Level Dialogue on a Global Instrument on Plastic Pollution

Geneva Beat Plastic Pollution Dialogues | 1 February 2021 | 14.00 – 15.30 CET | Online

High-Level Briefing on the Second Segment of the 5th Session of the United Nations Environment Assembly

GENeva UNEA-5.2 Briefing | 14 February 2022 | 13.00 – 14.00 CET | Online

Plastic Pollution @ UNEA-5.2

The world is facing a plastic crisis, the status quo is not an option. Plastic pollution is a serious issue of global concern which requires an urgent and international response involving all relevant actors at different levels. UNEA-3 recognized the importance of the issue and established a mandate for the Ad Hoc Open-Ended Expert Group (AHEG) on Marine Litter and Microplastics which was extended at UNEA-4. After several meetings over the last two years, the expert group produced a final report highlighting progress made in addressing plastic pollution and potential responses options for the future. UNEA-5 will be the opportunity to further these discussions.

The biggest hope that civil society has is that UNEA-5 can deliver on plastic solution with very concrete outcomes. We hope that we can maintain the momentum towards UNEA-5.2 to adopt a mandate to start negotiations for a legally binding instrument to tackle plastic pollution.

Patrizia HEIDEGGER, Director of Global Policies and Sustainability, European Environment Bureau

Two draft resolutions have been submitted on the matter: one proposed by Rwanda and Peru at the Ministerial Conference in September, and one by Japan. The Centre for International Environmental Law (CIEL) provides a useful comparison of these two potential resolutions.

In the run-up to UNEA-5.1 & UNEA-5.2, the Geneva Beat Plastic Pollution Dialogues aim to facilitate further engagement and discussions among the International Geneva stakeholders and actors across the regions and support coordinated approaches that can lead to more efficient global decision making. The first series of dialogues ended in February 2021 and a second series is running until February 2022, addressing a range of issues to prepare for the negotiations at UNEA-5.2.

Science-Policy Interface for Chemicals and Pollution @ UNEA-5.2

In 2019, UNEA-4 recognized that science is needed to set priorities, for policymaking and to monitor progress: science-based decision-making should be promoted at all levels, and that the science-policy interface (SPI) needs to be strengthened (resolution 4/8). UNEA-4 further requested the Executive Director of UNEP to prepare an assessment of options for strengthening the science-policy interface at the international level. Ahead of UNEA-5.2, Costa Rica, Ghana, Mali, Norway, Switzerland, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, and Uruguay have submitted a Proposal for a draft resolution to establish a Science–Policy Panel to support action on chemicals, waste and pollution.

In light of these developments, Albania, Mali, North-Macedonia, Switzerland and Uruguay convened a series of webinars in preparation for discussions expected to take place at the second segment of the fifth session of the UN Environment Assembly (UNEA-5.2). The webinars are hosted with the support of UNEP and, in Geneva, within the framework of the Geneva Environment Network. Outcomes of the webinar are available online.

First Online Segment UNEA-5.1

The online segment of UNEA-5 was sucessfully concluded, after the Assembly agreed on key aspects of UNEP’s work, and kicked off the commemoration of UNEP’s 50th anniversary and held leadership dialogues where speakers addressed how to build a resilient and inclusive post-pandemic world. Member States agreed on a statement outlining their deep concerns about the devastating effects of the global pandemic and acknowledging the urgency to continue their efforts to protect our planet in this time of crisis.

The last few days have been encouraging. We saw a new global effort on resource-efficient, circular economies. A push on financing emission reductions from forests. Governments, scientists and businesses coming together to look at big data as a tool for change. Youth raising their voices and telling us ‘nothing about us, without us’ and calling for targeted funds to enable their deeper engagement

Inger Andersen, Executive Director, UN Environment Programme | 23 February 2021

Resources and news about UNEA-5.1:

International Geneva at UNEA-5.1

Geneva is an international hub for environmental governance, in support to the Nairobi hub where the UNEP headquarters are located. International actors based in Geneva are actively taking part in UNEA-5. These actors are working to maintain momentum around the important environmental challenges that have to be addressed. They were involved in the various events in the run-up to UNEA-5.1 and will organize more events next year in the run-up to UNEA-5.2.
The High-level Briefing hosted by the Geneva Environment Network provided an overview of the UNEA-5 processes to actors based in Geneva and worldwide. The event covered the President’s priorities for the Assembly and conveyed messages from Ambassadors, civil society representatives and UNEP executives. The video and summary of the event are available online.