Cooperation within the international organizations
04 January 2022 11:34

United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP)


The United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), established in 1972, is the leading environmental authority in the United Nations system, which addresses global issues of environmental protection, ensuring the efficient use of natural resources as well as sustainable environmental development.

The mandate and objectives of UNEP emanate from United Nations General Assembly resolution 2997 (XXVII) of 15 December 1972 and subsequent amendments adopted at United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED) in 1992, the Nairobi Declaration on the Role and Mandate of UNEP of 1997, and the Malmö Ministerial Declaration of 31 May, 2000.

UNEP work encompasses assessing global, regional and national environmental conditions and trends, developing international and national environmental instruments and strengthening institutions for the sound management of the environment.

UNEP categorizes its work into seven thematic areas. The selection of these areas of concentration was guided by scientific evidence, major priorities emerging from global and regional forums and as well as UNEP Medium term strategy 2022-2025. Among them, inter alia, climate actions, nature actions, chemical and pollution actions, science-policy, environmental governance, finance and economic transformation, digital transformation.

In addition to its progremme activities UNEP continues to focus its efforts on ensuring the transition to an inclusive Green Economy, as well as contributes to the ecological aspect of Sustainable Development Goals and the 2030 Agenda.

UNEP has aided in the development of guidelines and treaties on issues such as the international trade in potentially dangerous chemicals, Tran margin air pollution, and contamination of international waterways.

The head of UNEP is the Executive Director of UNEP (Under-Secretary-General of the UN). The responsibilities of the UNEP Executive Director include the management of the Secretariat and administrative staff of the Progremme. In accordance with General Assembly resolution 2997 (XXVII), the Executive Director of the United Nations Environment Programme shall be elected by the General Assembly on the nomination of the Secretary-General for a term of four years. Inger Andersen is Under-Secretary-General of the United Nations and Executive Director of the United Nations Environment Programme since February 2019. Before Ms. Andersen was the Director-General of the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN).

The governing body of the UN Environment Programme is the UN Environment Assembly, UNEA (preceded till 2013 by the Governing Council of the UNEP). Since 2013 the UN Environment Assembly has universal membership of all 193 UN Member States.

The Main functions of the United Nations Environment Assembly are setting priorities for global environmental policies, ensuring the overall political leadership and defining of the necessary measures to address critical environmental issues, to conduct policy reviews and to facilitate the sharing of experiences, the establishment of strategic governance for the future of UNEP, etc.

The Environment Assembly meets biennially: 1st session in 2014, 2d session – 2016, 3rd session – 2017, 4th session – 2019. In light of the exceptional circumstances associated with the COVID-19 pandemic, the 5th session of the UNEA was split into two stages: the on-line segment held in 2021 and the off-line part in 2022. 6th session was held in 2024.

The working body of UNEP are the Committee of Permanent Representatives (CPR), which meets at least four times every year and its Sub- committee, which meets once or twice per month.

Also, once in two years the meetings of Open-Ended Committee of Permanent Representatives - OPEN-ENDED CPR (OECPR) are held (on the eve of UNEA session, as a rule). Its distinctive feature is that the delegations which do not have permanent representatives at UNEP can also participate at OECPR.

Apart from the abovementioned meetings, an Annual Sub-committee meeting of Permanent Representatives is held. It is among others attended by delegations of relevant agencies of the Member States.

The Assembly and the CPR have their Bureau, composed of ten and five members respectively, representing each of the five UN regions.

UNEP also hosts the secretariats for several environmental agreements (MEAs), in particular secretariat and fund of Montreal Protocol, secretariat of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES), Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), Convention on the Conservation of Migratory Species of Wild Animals (CMS), Basel Convention on the Control of Transboundary Movements of Hazardous Wastes and their Disposal, Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants.

The major sources of UNEP funds are the UN Regular Budget, the Environment Fund and Earmarked Contributions.

UNEP is Headquartered in Nairobi, Kenya. UNEP also has six regional offices and several offices in different countries. The UNEP annually organizes events for World Environment Day (June, 5).

United Nations Human Settlements Programme (UN-Habitat)


The United Nations Human Settlements Programme (UN-Habitat) (former title: the United Nations Centre for Human Settlements) was established in 1978 and is a leading structural unit within the UN system, responsible for coordinating human development activities in two main areas: providing adequate housing for all and sustainable urban development.

 During its existence, the Program has undergone a number of structural changes. Initially, in accordance with the recommendations of the first United Nations Conference on Human Settlements (Habitat-I, Vancouver, Canada, from May-June 1976), the United Nations Center for Human Settlements was established on the basis of the UN Committee on Housing, Building, and Planning.

During the Second United Nations Conference on Human Settlements (Habitat II, Istanbul, Turkey, June 1996), the final document - "Habitat Agenda" was adopted. The document outlined in detail the areas and spheres of the UN-Habitat’s activities for the next 20 years as well as defined a strategy to create conditions for improving the business environment based on sustainable development and a system of measures to prevent the deterioration of settlements.

In 2002, the status of the United Nations Centre for Human Settlements was upgraded from the Committee of Permanent Representatives of ECOSOC to the United Nations Human Settlements Program (UN-Habitat). The governing body of the Center, the Commission on Human Settlements, was transformed into the Governing Council (GC) of the UN-Habitat, which became subsidiary bodies to the UN General Assembly, reporting to the UN General Assembly through ECOSOC and composed of 58 member states.

One of the key tasks of UN-Habitat today is an effective implementation by the UN member states of the New Urban Agenda, ratified in 2016 at the UN Conference on Housing and Sustainable Urban Development – Habitat III.

The New Urban Agenda aims to unite the efforts of the states, cities, regional leaders, international organizations and the civil society leaders to achieve the sustainable urbanization over a 20-year period, which in turn will contribute to the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDG Goal 11: Sustainable Cities and Communities). The program provides corresponding recommendations to the states, cities, regional authorities, various public organizations on how to effectively achieve sustainable urban development and urbanization. The catalogue which provides the overview of the UN-Habitat’s services in urban planning, cities and human settlements development can be found at the following link: https://unhabitat.org/2020-catalogue-of-services

UN-Habitat is headed by an Executive Director at the level of Under-Secretary-General. The responsibilities of the UN-Habitat Executive Director include the management of the Secretariat and administrative staff of the Progremme. The Executive Director is elected by the General Assembly for a term of four years. Currently, Deputy Executive Director of UN-Habitat, Mr. Michal Mlynar (Slovakia) serves as Acting Executive Director of UN-Habitat.

At the beginning of 2019, the UN-Habitat supreme governing body was reformed: the General Assembly of the United Nations in its resolution A/RES/73/239 dissolved the Governing Council of the UN-Habitat, replaced it with a UN-Habitat Assembly and created the UN-Habitat’s Executive Board.

The UN-Habitat Assembly sessions are convened every four years. The UN-Habitat Assembly makes decisions and approves resolutions in the process of Human Settlements and Urban Development, as well as provides guidelines for the implementation of the New Urban Agenda and the Sustainable Development Goals.

The Executive Board is composed of 36 member states elected by the UN-Habitat Assembly for four years and meets two-three times a year. The Committee of Permanent Representatives of UN-Habitat (CPR) is a working body of the UN-Habitat and serves as the intersessional subsidiary body.

The major sources of the UN-Habitat’s funds are UN Regular Budget, Earmarked Contributions and Voluntary Contributions.

UN-Habitat is Headquartered in Nairobi, Kenya. UN-Habitat also has three main regional offices, as well as seven liaison offices and 70 country offices. The World Habitat Day is celebrated annually on the first Monday of October.

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