High hopes for UN Environment Assembly’s first meeting, states UNEP Executive Director

Achim Steiner, Executive Director of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) meets with leading environment journalist Sonja van Renssen to discuss post-2015 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the inaugural UN Environment Assembly (UNEA) meeting in Nairobi, Kenya from 23-27 June.

Key issues for for the UNEA meeting will be the SDGs and illegal wildlife trade. According to Steiner, countries cannot solve environmental problems just through local action anymore and sustainable development is as much an issue for developed as developing countries. The UNEA will establish a platform for debate among environment ministers from all over the world who will seek to agree universal goals – taking into account countries’ different stages of development – and put environment at the heart of sustainable development. The Executive Director of UNEP underlines that many regions are looking to Europe as an unprecedented example of regional integration combined with a holistic social, environmental and economic development agenda.

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