Nairobi, Kenya. The fourth session of the UN Environment Assembly (UNEA – 4) began in Nairobi, Kenya on 11th March. with a moment of silence for the victims of the Ethiopian Airlines ET302 accident, which happened on the previous day. The UN flag was flown at half-mast at UN Environment headquarters in Nairobi as the Fourth UN Environment Assembly began, while colorful country flags were removed in honor of the 157 people of 35 nationalities who lost their lives in the crash. Twenty-two were UN staff members, many on their way to the UN Environment Assembly.
Bro. Robert Omondi cmf from St. Charles Lwanga Independent Delegation is representing the Fondazione Proclade Internazionale – Onlus (Claretians) at this important event.
This assembly is the world’s highest-level decision-making body on environment where critical environmental challenges facing the world today are addressed. Inspired by the theme of innovative solutions for environmental challenges and sustainable consumption and production, UNEA – 4 is addressed the following focused areas:
- environmental challenges related to poverty and natural resources management, including sustainable food systems, food security and halting biodiversity loss;
- life-cycle approaches to resource efficiency, energy, chemicals and waste management; and
- innovative sustainable business development at a time of rapid technological change.
More than 4,700 delegates from 170 countries, including almost 100 ministers of the environment, have gathered in Nairobi for the week-long UN Environment Assembly. A major topic in the Assembly is plastic waste. More than 300 million tones of plastics are being produced each year and there are at least five trillion plastic pieces floating in the oceans.
UN Environment, in partnership with faith-based organizations (FBOs), launched the Faith for Earth Initiative in November 2017. The goal of Faith for Earth is to strategically engage with faith-based organizations and partner with them to collectively achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). With the collaboration of Religious leaders and FBOs, Faith for Earth Initiative has organized several events during the UNEA – 4. Br. Robert has attended several of these events.
As Claretians, we see the UN Environment Assembly as a ministerial space which is calling us to eco-conversion and contemplative action. Our objective is to try to respond to the cry of the mother earth, by extending our missionary presence into the subject of ecology and sustainable development at the level of international decision-making forums where the voice of the poor is peripheral. This is also for us a learning period as we endeavor to deepen the quality of our work by opening opportunities for collaboration with others. We seek to learn from them some best practices and skillsets required for organization, animation, lobbying and educating our Claretian family on the emerging issues on subject of ecology.
From this assembly, we as well seek to explore ways to deepen our knowledge on the requisite ecofriendly innovations to help our people to live sustainable and dignified lives. We are also keen to forge new partnerships and networks so that we can gain significant ministerial synergy to defend both our environment and ecological right defenders who have risked their lives for the sake of Our mother earth. The details of the proceedings and conclusion will be communicated at a letter date.
More details on the Assembly: https://www.solvedifferent.eco/