Last updated: 26 Feb 2024

The sixth session of the United Nations Environment Assembly takes place from 26 February to 1 March 2024 at the headquarters of the United Nations Environment Programme, in Nairobi, Kenya, pursuing decision 5/4 taken at UNEA-5 in March 2022. The event was preceded by the sixth meeting of the Open-ended Committee of Permanent Representatives from 19 to 23 February 2024, and other preparatory events.

About the United Nations Environment Assembly

The United Nations Environment Assembly (UNEA) is the world’s highest-level decision-making body on the environment. Established in June 2012 as a result of the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development. Since 2014, UNEA has held five sessions during which 90 resolutions have spurred action on critically important issues, including air pollution, biodiversity and health, financing for development, plastic pollution, marine litter, environmental education, water management, nature-based solutions, sustainable consumption and production, sustainable and resilient infrastructure, climate change, Science-Policy Panel for chemicals and waste and to prevent pollution, the illegal wildlife trade and protecting the environment in areas affected by armed conflict and disasters, minerals and metals management, sustainable and resilient infrastructure, amongst many others.

About UNEA-6

The sixth session of the United Nations Environment Assembly (UNEA-6) will be held from 26 February to 1 March 2024 at UNEP’s headquarters in Nairobi, Kenya, pursuing decision 5/4 of 2 March 2022 (UNEA-5.2). In accordance with this decision and paragraph 10 of Governing Council decision 27/2 of 23 February 2013, the Assembly will be preceded by the Sixth Meeting of the Open-ended Committee of Permanent Representatives taking place from 19 to 23 February 2024. The Kingdom of Morocco – represented by H.E. Leila Benali, Minister of Energy Transition and Sustainable Development – was elected to the presidency of UNEA-6.

UNEA-6, to be held under the theme “Effective, inclusive and sustainable multilateral actions to tackle climate change, biodiversity loss and pollution”, will be a moment to advance the global environmental agenda, building on the pledges made at the fifth session (UNEA-5) and on the numerous environmental processes that have unfolded between the two assemblies. Member States and stakeholders will come together at UNEA-6 to discuss how to advance the Decade of Action with a focus on addressing the interlinkages of the three planetary environmental crises. A series of leadership and multi-stakeholder dialogues and more than 30 official side events and associated events are expected to lay the grounds for strengthened future global and regional coordinated efforts by the United Nations, Member States, and partners to deliver high-impact planetary action.

Various processes led in Geneva are contributing to addressing the triple planetary crisis, and contributing to actions and measures to be adopted at UNEA. Many stakeholders from international Geneva join the assembly and its preparatory meetings.

UNEA-6 Programme

  • Monday, 26 February | Opening plenary
  • Monday to Wednesday, 26-28 February | The Committee of the Whole
  • Wednesday, 28 February | “MEA day”
    Devoted to consideration of the item on “Cooperation with multilateral environmental agreements”, in the form of a formal opening (2nd plenary) followed by two consecutive high-level panel discussions.
  • Thursday to Friday, 29 February – 1 March | High-level segment
    Composed of an opening plenary (3rd plenary) with statements by key dignitaries, national statements, three leadership dialoguesa multi-stakeholder dialogue, and a closing plenary meeting during which UNEA will take action on the draft Ministerial declaration as well as the draft resolutions and decisions. 

Check UNEA-6 Programme Page

For a detailed outlook on the items to be addressed at UNEA-6, consulting the Annoted Provisional Agenda (Advance Unedited Version) is advised.

What to Expect from UNEA-6

In her report, UNEP Executive Director Inger Andersen  identified six areas where the Assembly may wish to compel more effective, inclusive and sustainable multilateral action:

  1. Implementation of the Kunming-Montreal Global Biodiversity Framework,
  2. Advancing integrated approaches for a water-secure world,
  3. Ensuring responsible mining and sustainable minerals and metals use,
  4. Advancing cooperation around nutrients, especially phosphorus,
  5. Reviewing climate-altering technologies and measures, and
  6. Aligning the financial system for sustainability.

Rewatch the 2 November 2023 Briefing to Member States by the UNEP Executive Director on her report to UNEA-6, and the briefings organized by the Geneva Environment Network and its partners.

Resolutions

The draft resolutions or decisions submitted by Member States for adoption by UNEA represent current collective thinking on pressing environmental issues, build consensus and are a vital first step in spurring action. They also define priority areas of work for UNEP and are therefore central in the process.

Draft Resolutions 

Draft resolutions and decisions to be discussed at UNEA-6 for adoption currently include:

Cluster A | Draft resolutions relating to abating pollution and promoting sound management of chemicals and waste.

  1. Ethiopia: Global alliance on highly hazardous pesticides.
  2. Switzerland, co-sponsored by Mexico: Sound management of chemicals and waste.
  3. United States of America and Canada, co-sponsored by Chile: Promoting regional cooperation to improve air quality globally.
  4. Iran: Combating Sand and Dust Storms.
  5. Guinea, Monaco, Senegal and Switzerland: Solar radiation modification.

Cluster B | Draft resolutions relating to halting and reversing the loss of nature while restoring ecosystems.

  1. Saudi Arabia: Strengthening international efforts to halt land degradation, restore degraded lands and increase ecosystem and communities’ resilience to drought.
  2. Cameroon and other 17 member states, co-sponsored by Algeria, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cameroon, Cote d’Ivoire, Egypt, Ghana, Kenya, Malawi, Mauritius, Morocco, Namibia, Nigeria, São Tomé and Príncipe, Senegal, South Africa, South Sudan, Zimbabwe: Standards, norms and criteria for the implementation of Nature-based Solutions for supporting sustainable development.
  3. Costa Rica and the EU, on behalf of the EU and its Member States, co-sponsored by Chile and Barbados: Strengthening ocean and seas governance to tackle climate change, marine biodiversity loss and pollution

Cluster C | Draft resolutions relating to international environmental governance.

  1. Malawi and Morocco: Fostering national action to address environmental challenges through increased cooperation between UNEA, UNEP, and MEAs.
  2. Malawi: Enhancing the role and viability of regional forums for environmental ministers and environmental authorities and regional offices in achieving multilateral cooperation to tackle environmental challenges.
  3. Japan, co-sponsored by Fiji, Canada and Chile: Promoting synergistic approach to address the triple crisis on climate change, biodiversity loss and pollution and support sustainable development.
  4. Sri Lanka: Effective, Inclusive and Sustainable Multilateral Actions towards Climate Justice.

Cluster D | Draft resolutions relating to addressing root causes of climate change, nature and biodiversity loss and pollution.

  1. European Union, on behalf of the EU and its Member States: Stepping up efforts for enhancing the circular economy transition domestically, regionally, and globally.
  2. Senegal and Switzerland, co-sponsored by Armenia, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Democratic Republic of Congo, Ethiopia, Gambia, Haiti, Sierra Leone, Tchad: Follow-up to UNEA resolution 5/12 on the environmental aspects of minerals and metals management.
  3. Ukraine: Environmental assistance and recovery in areas affected by armed conflicts.
  4. India: Sustainable lifestyles.
  5. Cuba, co-sponsored by Brazil: Draft resolution on Circularity of a resilient and low-carbon sugar cane agroindustry

Cluster E | Draft resolutions and draft decisions relating to procedural, budgetary, and administrative matters.

Draft resolutions and decisions on administrative and organizational-related matters 

  1. The Secretariat on behalf of the Chair of the Committee of Permanent Representatives. Amendments to the Instrument for the Establishment of the Restructured Global Environment Facility (GEF)
  2. The Chair of the Committee of Permanent Representatives. Draft decision on Dates and provisional Agenda for UNEA-7 and OECPR-7
  3.  The Secretariat. Management of trust funds and earmarked contributions.

At OECPR-6, the Committee decided to undertake no further action on the following draft resolutions, which were withdrawn by the proponents:

  • UNEP/OECPR.6/L.5 – Draft resolution on sustainable management of Cascades Systems, submitted
    by Sri Lanka.
  •  UNEP/OECPR.6/L.18 – Draft resolution on effective and inclusive solutions to strengthen water policies for sustainable development in the context of climate change, biodiversity loss and pollution, submitted by the European Union on behalf of the EU and its Member States.
    3) UNEP/OECPR.6/L.23 – Draft resolution on Living Well in balance and harmony with Mother Earth and Mother Earth Centric Actions by Bolivia

Multilateral Environmental Agreements Day

UNEA-6 will highlight the importance of cooperation with multilateral environmental agreements (MEAs) with a full day (28 February 2024) devoted to the discussion with an opening plenary meeting (2nd plenary) and two consecutive high-level dialogues with a view to enhancing its relationship with the MEAs by strengthening convergence of actions and sharing of experiences while also providing increased visibility to the MEAs. The discussions are supported by a note by the secretariat (UNEP/EA.6/INF/6). The outcomes of the two dialogues will be presented at the last plenary meeting of UNEA-6 on 1 March 2024.

Geneva hosts five of the global MEAs administrated by UNEP and other global and regional MEAs administrated by UNEP and key actors, such as IUCN and UNECE. The MEAs Day will therefore include active participation from numerous Geneva actors.

MEAs Side Events & Geneva

To complement the MEA day, a 3-day program of MEA side events will be held from 28 February to 1 March 2024. The programme and events are led by the MEAs themselves and open to all UNEA-6 participants. Geneva actors will bring forward thematics of interests for International Geneva and its expertise through various sessions.

Effective multilateral actions for responsible mining

29 February 2024 | 10:00 – 11:30 EAT

United Nations Environment Programme

Catalyzing Environmental Impact and Visibility through Digital Transformation: MEAs Embracing Knowledge-Driven Capacity-Building

29 February 2024 | 11:30 – 13:00 EAT

Secretariat of the Minamata Convention, United Nations Environment Programme

Effective multilateral actions to protect people and nature from pollution – building on synergies between the chemicals, waste and biodiversity agendas

29 February 2024 | 13:15 – 15:15 EAT 

Basel, Rotterdam and Stockholm Conventions,  Nordic Countries, United Nations Environment Programme

Greening Customs for People, Planet and Prosperity: The Case of Waste Management

29 February 2024 |  13:15 – 15:15 EAT

United Nations Environment Programme and the Secretariat of the Basel, Rotterdam and Stockholm conventions

Decarbonization and detoxification: Linkages and Opportunities for integrated solutions

29 February 2024 | 17:15 – 18:30 EAT

Secretariat of the Basel, Rotterdam and Stockholm conventions, secretariat of the Minamata Convention and United Nations Environment Programme

MEA synergies for wetland biodiversity and water

1 March 2024 | 10:00 – 11:30 EAT

Ramsar Convention on Wetlands

MEA exhibitions

MEAs exhibitions will be organized during the full week of UNEA-6, to showcase cooperation between UNEP and MEAs, the other UN entities and MEAs as well as among the MEAs on cross-cutting topics of interest which are relevant to the theme of UNEA-6.

Side Events & Geneva Engagement

Official side events will be convened in person and virtually over the five days of the sixth session of the UN Environment Assembly (UNEA-6), during lunch breaks and in the evenings. A total of 16 slots have been allocated for in-person side events and another 17 slots for virtual side events. Each of these 75-minute side events is intended to enrich and complement the UNEA-6 session by providing a great opportunity to discuss the theme, share experiences, find solutions, and inspire partnerships toward tackling climate change, biodiversity loss, and pollution. Geneva stakeholders are convening or joining the panels of various side events, including:

Seaweed as a nature-based solution to tackle the triple planetary crisis: Climate change, biodiversity loss and pollution

26 February 2024 | 13:30 – 14:45  EAT / 11:30 – 12:45 CET (ONLINE)
UNCTAD, UN Global Compact (Global Seaweed Coalition), Government of Madagascar, Government of Indonesia, UNEP, World Bank, IOC-UNESCO, Friends of Ocean

Transboundary Ecosystem Restoration: Key to Addressing the Planetary Crises

27 February 2024 | 13:30 – 14:45 EAT

Government of Slovenia, Costa Rica, Water Convention, Ramsar Convention, IUCN

Ensuring that the energy transition contributes to a nature and people positive planet

27 February 2024 | 13:30 – 14:45 EAT / 11:30 – 12:45 CET (ONLINE)

Fauna & Flora, International Council on Mining and Metals, International Petroleum Industry Environmental Conservation Association, International Union for Conservation of Nature

Sustainable consumption for biodiversity: Unleashing the power of GBF targets 15 and 16

27 February 2024 | 18:30 – 19:45 EAT / 16:30-17:45 CET (ONLINE)

UNCTAD, One Planet network and Forest Stewardship Council

Inclusive Pathways: Advancing Gender and Indigenous Perspectives in Multilateral Environmental Cooperation for Sustainable Future for All

28 February 2024 | 18:30 – 19:45 EAT / 16:30-17:45 CET (ONLINE)

Asia Indigenous Peoples Pact, Cultural Survival Organization, International Fund for Indigenous Peoples, Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, Soka Gakkai International, Stockholm Resilience Centre, United Nations Development Programme, United Nations Environment Programme,  Women4Biodiversity

Tackling the Triple Planetary Crisis: Building the Linkages from Science to Action

28 February 2024 | 18:30 – 19:45 EAT

BRS Convention, Secretariat of the Open-Ended Working Group on the Science Policy Interface on Chemicals, Waste and Pollution Prevention

Action to deliver cleaner air and climate mitigation for the health of people and planet

28 February 2024 | 18:30 – 19:45 EAT

Climate and Clean Air Coalition, Partners: United States, UK, Sweden, Kenya, Colombia, Japan, Clean Air Fund, Council on Energy, Environment and Water, Global Methane Hub, WHO, UNECE, UNESCAP, AUC

Promoting Sustainable Transportation: Global Standards for Fuels and Vehicles

29 February 2024 | 13:30 – 14:45 EAT

Dutch Ministry of Infrastructure and Water Management, Partners: UNEP, European Commission, Rwanda, Republic of Ghana, World Bank

Launch of the State of ENACT NbS Goals Report: Year one Roadmap

1 March 2024, 14:25 – 14:45 EAT / 12:25 – 12:45 CET (ONLINE)

IUCN

Associated Events

Sixth meeting of the Open-ended Committee of Permanent Representatives | OECPR-6

Preparations for UNEA-6 began in July 2022 following the appointments set out in the Roadmap for the Bureau of the Sixth Session of the UN Environment Assembly, and concluded with the Open-ended Committee of Permanent Representatives.

The Open-ended Committee of Permanent Representatives (OECPR-6) is the intersessional subsidiary body of UNEA. The OECPR serves as a preparatory meeting of the UNEA agenda and pre-negotiates and deliberates the content and wording of proposed resolutions, declarations, and decisions for endorsement and approval by the Assembly.  Comprising of all accredited representatives to the Committee of Permanent Representatives, the OECPR prepares for the meetings of UNEA.

In accordance with paragraph 10 of Governing Council decision 27/2 of 23 February 2013 and decision 5/4 of 2 March 2022, the sixth meeting of the Open-ended Committee of Permanent Representatives was held from 19 to 23 February 2024. → Consult the Draft Chair’s Summary of OECPR-6 and Rewatch OECPR-6 plenaries: Monday 19 February | Wednesday 21 February, and Friday 23 February.

 

Consultations on the Draft Ministerial Declaration of UNEA-6

The roadmap for an open, transparent and inclusive consultation on the draft ministerial declaration of UNEA-6 was developed based on the guidance from the Bureau of the United Nations Environment Assembly and the Committee of Permanent Representatives (CPR) and taking into account the comments provided by the Member States, observers and major groups and stakeholders at the 161st  meeting of the CPR. The revised final draft of the ministerial declaration, as well as the inputs and comments submitted by Member States and Stakeholders are available on the UNEA-6 website.

In the margins of the sixth meeting of the Open-ended Committee of Permanent Representatives, the Presidency convened the last informal consultations on 22 February 2024 to finalize the text of the draft ministerial declaration, through paragraph-by-paragraph reading, for adoption at UNEA-6.

Global Major Groups and Stakeholder Forum 

The 20th Global Major Groups and Stakeholders Forum (GMGSF 20) took place from 24-25 February 2024.

GMGSF 20 provided an opportunity for representatives from Major Groups and Stakeholders accredited to UNEP to prepare positions, statements and inputs to the UNEA-6 process, including formal meetings as well as the negotiations taking place under the Assembly. The Forum was open to non-accredited MGS since it is a self-organized meeting. The Forum also provided an opportunity for stakeholder representatives to engage in an exchange of views with each other, as well as representatives from the UNEP Secretariat and interested Member States.

The Role of Geneva

Highly engaged in the process, actors and stakeholders from International Geneva have provided written submissions for the Draft Ministerial Declaration: BRS Zero Draft  / BRS First Draft | IUCN Zero Draft  / IUCN First Draft | OHCHR Zero Draft / OHCHR First Draft| WWF First Draft

Actors from International Geneva will participate and contribute to UNEA-6:

Preparatory Events in Geneva

High-Level Briefing on the 6th Session of the United Nations Environment Assembly

A Geneva high-level briefing took place on 6 February 2024 to provide an update on the preparations and the presidency priorities for the sixth session of the UN Environment Assembly (UNEA-6).→ Revisit the session

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