Since its establishment in 1972, UNEP has been promoting green and sustainable development. Its work mainly focuses on collecting and analysing environmental data, developing strategies and policies for environmental protection, as well as sharing of knowledge and technologies facilitating green and sustainable development. As part of the Rio+20 Conference (United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development) in July 2012, UNEP’s governing body was upgraded to universal membership, which means that all 193 UN member states are now also members of the UN Environment Assembly (UNEA). Every two years, UNEP invites all member states to Nairobi to participate in this summit.
Erik Solheim, former Norwegian Minister of the Environment and International Development is the current Executive Director of UNEP. In December 2017, the third UN Environment Assembly (UNEA 3) was held under the motto “Towards a Pollution Free Planet.” The conference put emphasis on actively engaging civil society and economic actors and to jointly develop innovative solutions. Usually the Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation, Building and Nuclear Safety leads the German delegation to UNEA.
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