UNEP Annual Report 2012
2012 – A Resounding Endorsement of Environmental Governance
History was made in 2012 with the first institutional reform of the environment programme of the UN since the Stockholm UN Conference on the Human Environment established UNEP in 1972.
At Rio+20, Heads of State and governments decided to strengthen and upgrade UNEP. This was followed by the adoption of a resolution at the 67th session of the UN General Assembly later in the year.
This transformation – in our 40th anniversary year – was not only a vote of confidence in the mission and work of UNEP but also a signal that the environmental pillar of sustainable development and its anchor institution have moved from the fringes and far more into the centre of nations’ aspirations for The Future We Want.
It is also a tribute to the former Executive Directors and staff who nurtured UNEP and directed it from a small secretariat of around a dozen people, housed initially above a supermarket in downtown Nairobi, to the truly global institution we see today.
When member states meet at UNEP’s Governing Council in February 2013 they will also meet as a forum with universal membership for the first time.
Meanwhile, discussions are already underway on providing UNEP with increased funding from the UN Regular Budget in order to meet the challenges and opportunities, including those possible through a transition to an inclusive Green Economy in the context of sustainable development and poverty eradication.
Additional funding that is stable and predictable will assist in the request from governments for increased support to countries at the national and regional level through enhanced capacity building and technology support.
UNEP – with its long history of working with partners from governments, the UN family, cities, the scientific community, businesses and civil society – is entering a new phase that can better serve the needs of a growing global population.
In short, as a result of reforms put in place in the last six or so years and those delivered at Rio+20 in 2012, UNEP is better placed to deal with the realities of and real opportunities for a sustainable 21st century