, NAIROBI, Kenya, June 27 — President Uhuru Kenyatta and United Nations (UN) Secretary General Ban Ki Moon on Friday called on all 193 member States of the United Nations Environment Assembly (UNEA) to back their resolutions on the environment with action.
The two who spoke at the closing ceremony of the inaugural UNEA agreed that the passing of environment-friendly resolutions was not enough as urgent action was required to ensure the environment did not pay the price for development.
“This is just the beginning. Your job will not be easy. There are very many vested interests and entrenched attitudes that will stand in your way. You’ll have to advocate hard with your partners in finance, energy, agriculture and trade,” Ban Ki Moon told the about 100 Ministers who represented their governments at UNEA.
Sentiments that were shared by President Kenyatta in his address, “The sustainable development goals currently under consideration will remain mere aims unless we can secure the means to effect them. Here again let our experience in the implementation of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) be our teacher. We should make certain that we match our funds to the ambitious new goals that we have set our selves.”
But in doing so he urged member States not to turn their backs on the MDGs, many of which were unmet, but to continue to work toward their attainment.
“We should remember the value of continuity. Let the unfinished business of the MDGs be done even in the new dispensation that we have adopted for ourselves,” he stated.
President Kenyatta went on to thank the member States for adopting a resolution to work together in the fight against the illegal trade in wildlife for which Kenya has been a victim.
A call for which he had made in his opening address of the high-level segment of UNEA on Thursday.
A report by the United Nations Environment Programme and Interpol, launched on Tuesday, had shown that environment crime amounted to an estimated USD 231 billion annually and financed criminal enterprises that include terrorists.
In addition to a resolution on the illegal trade in wildlife, the UNEA also adopted resolutions on air pollution, chemicals and waste.