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Xinhua president honoured with UN environmental award

BEIJING, Dec 15 – The United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) on Friday presented its first award of “Excellence and Leadership in Media and Environment” to Li Congjun, president of the Xinhua News Agency.

UN Under-Secretary-General and UNEP Executive Director Achim Steiner attended the awarding ceremony and presented a diploma and trophy to Li.

“In recognition of the contribution in raising awareness and encouraging actions in caring for the environment by inspiring, informing and enabling nations and peoples to improve their quality of life without compromising that of future generations,” the diploma said.

This is the second time a UN agency has issued its first edition of a global award to Li. He received the Leaders and Innovators Award from the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS in June.

“This award is not only an encouragement for me and Xinhua, but also a recognition of Chinese media for raising public awareness of environmental protection, the green economy and sustainable development,” Li said.

In response to climate change and environmental deterioration, media should play a unique role and assume due responsibilities, Li said.

The Xinhua president reviewed the just-concluded 18th National Congress of the Communist Party of China, at which Chinese leaders set a target of boosting ecological progress and preserving the beautiful Chinese landscape.

“It is our common cause, responsibility and mission to inspire more people to get involved in environmental protection to build a beautiful homeland,” he said.

Steiner said that in a time full of challenges but also opportunities, the UNEP needs committed partners to fulfill its ambition of making the environment a priority with nations, cities, communities and citizens.

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He said the UNEP could not have established the concept and a pathway toward an inclusive green economy at the recently held Rio+20 Summit without the many organizations and institutions who also recognize the urgency of fundamental and transformative change.

According to Steiner, Xinhua News Agency has shown through its news gathering and publishing that it is a leading organization striving and delivering that vital service to the global public.

“As president of what is now one of the biggest and most influential news agencies on the planet, Li has taken his advocacy for a more sustainable China and world to the four corners of the Earth, shaping public opinion in favor of the future we want,” Steiner said.

Xinhua has forged partnerships with the UN Headquarters and 17 other UN agencies, and signed Memorandums of Understanding on strategic partnerships with eight UN agencies.

Xinhua has also worked closely with UN agencies and launched worldwide pro bono activities covering concerns including children, food, poverty, AIDS and the environment.

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