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UN Documentation: Environment

United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP)

UNEP is the lead UN programme concerned with the environment.  

  • UNEP website
  • Established by General Assembly resolution 2997 (XXVII) of 15 December 1972
  • Agenda 21 (the outcome document of the 1992 Rio Conference) reinforced the mandate
  • Governing Council adopted Nairobi Declaration on the Role and Mandate of UNEP on 7 February 1997
  • Issues press releases on website
  • Executive Directors
    • 2016- : Erik Solheim (Norway) (Press release SG/A/1657-BIO/4837-UNEP/335) 
    • 2006-2016: Achim Steiner (Germany) (Press release GA/10450, SG/A/989-BIO/3750-UNEP/318 [2006]) (Re-elected - Press release GA/11487 [2014]) 
    • 1998-2006: Klaus Topfer (Germany) (A/52/695 of 24 Nov. 1997, General Assembly decision 52/316 of 3 Dec. 1997, Press release BIO/3122-UNEP/21 [1997], A/56/516 of 16 Nov. 2001, General Assembly decision 56/312 of 21 Nov. 2001)
    • 1993-1997: Elizabeth Dowdeswell (Canada) (Press release SG/A/516 [1992], Press release SG/A/521-BIO/2729-HE/797 [1992], ST/SGB/258 of 11 Mar. 1993)
    • 1975-1992: Mostafa Kamal Tolba (Egypt) (Press release BIO/1270-HE/294 [1975])
    • 1973-1974: Maurice F. Strong (Canada) (A/8965 of 13 Dec. 1972)
  • Governing Body
    • 2013-present, UN Environment Assembly (UNEA)
    • 1972-2013, Governing Council

UN Environment Assembly (UNEA), 2013-present

The UN Environment Assembly is the policy-making organ of UNEP.

  • Governing Council membership expanded by General Assembly resolution 67/213 of 21 December 2012
  • Governing Council name changed to United Nations Environment Assembly by General Assembly resolution 67/251 of 13 March 2013
  • UN Environment Assembly website
  • First session held in June 2014 
  • Document series symbol for working documents
  • Sessional reports
    • Supplement 25 to the General Assembly Official Records (GAOR)
    • First report A/69/25
    • A/session/25 
    • Example: A/71/25
    • Provide summaries of the work concluded
    • Contain the texts of resolutions and decisions adopted by the Assembly

Governing Council of the UNEP, 1972-2013

  • Former policy-making organ of UNEP
  • Met annually in Nairobi
  • Documents series symbol for working documents
  • Sessional reports
    • Supplement 25 to the General Assembly Official Records (GAOR)
    • A/session/25
    • Example: A/68/25 [last report]
    • Provide summaries of the work concluded
    • Contain the texts of resolutions and decisions adopted by the Council
  • New York Press releases series symbol
    • Rarely issued now;
    • UNEP/- (formerly HE/-)
    • Example: UNEP/327