Minister Haavisto to attend the first session of the United Nations Environment Assembly in Nairobi

Press release 2014-06-24 at 13:01

The United Nations Environment Assembly (UNEA) will meet for its first session in Nairobi on 23 to 27 June. The UNEA’s goal is to set strategic objectives for global environmental cooperation and to promote effective interaction between science and policy. UNEA was born in 2012 when the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development (Rio+20) decided to strengthen the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) by expanding its former Board of Supervisors to cover all Member States of the United Nations.

Representatives from 160 UN Member States will attend the meeting in Nairobi. The Finnish delegation is led by Development Minister Pekka Haavisto and State Secretary Katariina Poskiparta from the Ministry of the Environment.

The main theme of the Ministerial Plenary is how the environment is reflected in the global Sustainable Development Goals now under preparation. The intention is that the Ministerial Plenary of the meeting will result in a strong proclamation that sends a powerful message on the importance of the environmental dimension of sustainable development to the UN’s high-level political forum and the UN General Assembly. In addition, the Ministers will discuss, among others, the illegal trade in wildlife.

In Nairobi, Minister Haavisto will also meet with the representatives of the Government of Kenya as well as national and international actors. The topics of discussion will include the regional situation in the Horn of Africa, social reform in Kenya, and the country’s role as a regional actor and stabilizer in the region of the Horn of Africa. In addition, Haavisto will meet with representatives of the World Bank and donors, with whom he will discuss the political and security situation in Somalia as well as the coordination of international assistance in the country.

Kenya has long been one of Finland’s partner countries. Finland supports the development of Kenya into a democratic and accountable country that respects human rights. In addition, an objective of Finland’s development cooperation in Kenya is to reduce poverty and inequality through growth in environmentally sustainable and inclusive agricultural production. Some of Finnish assistance is allocated to improving forest and water resource management and use.

Additional information:

State Secretary Katarina Poskiparta, Ministry of the Environment, tel. +358 295 250 235,

Adviser Tita Korvenoja, Ministry of the Environment, tel. +358 295 250 138,

Sofie From-Emmesberger, Ambassador of Finland to Kenya, tel. +254 722 325 683, firstname.surname@