Nairobi -- United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, concluding his visit to Kenya in the wake of the first United Nations Environment Assembly (UNEA), looked forward to the swift agreement on the upcoming Sustainable Development Goals and a new climate deal.
The inaugural UNEA concluded its five-day deliberations at the headquarters of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) in Nairobi on Friday. The meeting agreed 16 decisions and resolutions that encourage international action on major environmental issues ranging from air pollution and the illegal trade in wildlife, to plastic debris in the oceans, chemicals and waste.
The international community participated in the Assembly in record numbers, with high-level delegations from 160 UN Member and Observer States and stakeholders from multiple sectors present.
The Secretary-General, who at the close of UNEA on Friday said we are 'poised for the crucial next stage of human development', on Saturday adopted a six-month-old lioness at the Kenya Wildlife Service's animal orphanage.
He named the lioness 'Tumaini', the Kiswahili word for 'hope', to symbolize his hope for a sustainable future in which 'people live harmoniously with nature'.
'It is my hope that the post-2015 Sustainable Development Agenda will be shaped as soon as possible, and also my sincere hope that a new climate change agreement will be adopted by the end of next year,' he said following the adoption of the lion.
The Secretary-General this September is hosting a Climate Summit in New York, aimed at catalyzing action by governments, business, finance, industry, and civil society in areas for new commitments and contributions that will help the world shift toward a low-carbon economy.
The summit is aimed at building a solid foundation upon which to anchor negotiations for a new climate deal, to be agreed in Paris at the end of 2015.
At a lunch organized by UNEP in Nairobi's National Park, the Secretary-General met local business leaders - such as the heads of telecommunications company Safaricom and the Lake Turkana Windpower Project -to discuss how to boost the renewable energy market share, and combat climate change, as part of his Sustainable Energy for All Initiative.
About the United Nations Environment Assembly (UNEA)
UNEA is the highest-level UN body ever convened on the environment. It enjoys universal membership of all 193 UN member states as well as other stakeholder groups. With this wide reach into the legislative, financial and development arenas, the new body presents a ground-breaking platform for leadership on global environmental policy. UNEA boasts over 1200 participants, 170 national delegations, 80 ministers and 40 events during the five-day event from 23 to 27 June 2014 at UNEP's HQ in Nairobi, Kenya.