What is UNEA-6 and why is ProVeg going?

In just a few days, ProVeg will be participating in the sixth session of the United National Environmental Assembly (UNEA), held in Nairobi, Kenya. This is the third time that our UN Advocacy team will be represented at the conference. 

What is the United National Environmental Assembly? 

Headquartered in Nairobi, Kenya, and operating under the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP), the annual Environmental Assembly serves as the world’s highest-level decision-making body on environmental matters. It sets the global environmental agenda, provides overarching policy guidance to the UN’s 193 member states, and defines policy responses to address emerging environmental challenges. The key aim of the annual conference is to establish strategic guidance on the future direction of UNEP. 

UNEA-6 runs from 26 February to 1 March, and is preceded by the sixth Open-Ended Meeting of the Committee of Permanent Representatives (OECPR-6), which runs from 19 to 23 February. The OECPR serves as a preparatory meeting for UNEA, in which pre-negotiations and deliberations on proposed resolutions, declarations, and decisions take place, for endorsement and approval by the Assembly. 

This edition of UNEA will focus on effective, inclusive, and sustainable multilateral actions that tackle climate change, biodiversity loss, and pollution.

Stephanie Maw, Senior UN Policy and Advocacy Manager attended OECPR-6 last week

What does ProVeg do at UNEA? 

ProVeg first attended the Assembly in 2020, in its fourth year, co-hosting a side event on food, forests, and climate per the UN’s social development goals. In January 2021, we returned for the fifth session of UNEA, having obtained formal accreditation. Our participation culminated in the adoption of the groundbreaking resolution on Animal Welfare, sponsored by countries such as Ghana, Burkina Faso, Pakistan, Senegal, South Sudan, Ethiopia, and the Democratic Republic of Congo, to which we provided strong support. This resolution was the first to highlight the link between the welfare of animals, environmental challenges, and sustainable development. 

Building on this important step forward, we are returning to UNEA this year to emphasize the importance of integrating food systems and sustainable consumption into the heart of the negotiations. We were excited to once again host a side event during OECPR-6, a workshop that explored sustainable protein diversification and multilateral environmental action, which took place in the Green Room on 22 February 2024. Participants engaged in active discussions and exchanges to identify challenges and opportunities to promote protein diversification and how these can be addressed within the UNEA framework. It ended with a clear call to action, inviting participants to champion alternative proteins as a critical environmental solution in specific food-systems draft resolutions at UNEA-6.

Stephanie Maw at the UN Campus in Nairobi
Stephanie Maw at the UN Campus in Nairobi

By attending UNEA, ProVeg gets to engage in discussions and influence long-term environmental policy on a global scale. Being an accredited participant allows us to actively engage in public meetings and negotiations, contribute to regional civil society statements, access the Assembly’s working documents, and submit written contributions. 

Juliette Tronchon, ProVeg’s Head of UN Affairs, and Stephanie Maw, Senior UN Policy and Advocacy Manager, will be on the ground in Nairobi, advocating for food-systems transformation as an integral element of national sustainability plans. 

We’ll be providing updates on our social media channels – make sure to follow us so that you don’t miss out on the latest news about the negotiations and outcomes at UNEA.

Zoé Constantini

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