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President Kenyatta announces creation of a global environment award

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NAIROBI, 3rd March 2022 (PSCU) – President Uhuru Kenyatta has announced the creation of a peace and environment award dubbed “Amani and Mazingira Global Award” as part of the celebrations to mark the 50th anniversary of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP).

President Uhuru Kenyatta unveils a commemorative plaque marking the official opening of two-day events to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) at the United Nations Complex in Gigiri, Nairobi City County. Looking on are (From Left): H.E. Félix Moloua, Prime Minister of Central African Republic, H.E Mokgweetsi Masisi, President of Botswana, H.E Muhammadu Buhari, President of Nigeria and Inger Andersen, Executive Director of the United Nations Environment Programme

The President said the bi-annual award, which will be sponsored by the Government and the people of Kenya, will be given to persons or institutions that champion environmental sustainability and peace.

 President Uhuru Kenyatta together with fellow Head of States and Government:  (From Left): H.E. Félix Moloua, Prime Minister of Central African Republic, H.E Mokgweetsi Masisi, President of Botswana and H.E Muhammadu Buhari, President of Nigeria are taken through the tap of plastics by UNEP Executive Director Inger Andersen during the official opening of two-day events to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) at the United Nations Complex in Gigiri, Nairobi City County.

 

“It will be accompanied by a monetary award of USD 20,000 and the first awardee will be announced on the 1st of June this year, which is our Madaraka or Republic Day,” the President said.

 

The Head of State spoke on Thursday at the UNEP headquarters in Gigiri, Nairobi, when he presided over celebrations to mark the 50 anniversary of the global environment body.

 

Held under the theme “Strengthening UNEP for the implementation of the environmental dimension of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development”, the anniversary celebrations came a day after the conclusion of the fifth session of the United Nations Environment Assembly (UNEA 5).

The President applauded UNEP for boldly championing the global environment conservation agenda since its establishment in 1972.

 

He said for over 50 years UNEP has galvanized collective action to protect the environment by progressively leading the world to understand the centrality of the environment in human existence.

 

“This journey has not been easy.  It has required UNEP to provide technical, diplomatic and political leadership in the development of the core concept of sustainable development; and more importantly, to build ownership of these concepts at the national level,” the President said.

 

The President pointed out that it has required UNEP to define and enforce rules and procedures for protecting the environment such as limiting of emissions of gases or stopping endangered species from becoming extinct.

 

“Through its scientifically driven agenda, UNEP has established a credible platform for countries to come together and act boldly to advance the global environmental agenda,” he said.

 

He commended the leadership of the United Nations and the UNEP family for remaining steadfast and focused on implementing UNEP’s core mandate.

 

President Kenyatta also singled out former Kenya’s Permanent Representative to the UN, the late Amb. Jowi Odera, for playing an instrumental role in ensuring that UNEP finds a home in Nairobi.

 

“Equally worthy of recognition is the first UNEP Executive Director, the late Mr Maurice Strong. Mr Strong played a central leadership role in defining the character of the United Nations Environment Programme and in leading the Earth Summit, which is recognized as one of the most consequential UNEP conferences,” the President said.

 

The President also paid tribute to the late Prof Wangari Maathai for championing homegrown solutions to combat environmental degradation.

 

At the same time, President Kenyatta assured of Kenya’s  commitment to environmental sustainability, saying it is anchored in the country’s economic blue print, the Kenya Vision 2030.

President Uhuru Kenyatta together with fellow Head of States and Government:  (From Left): H.E. Félix Moloua, Prime Minister of Central African Republic, H.E Mokgweetsi Masisi, President of Botswana and H.E Muhammadu Buhari, President of Nigeria are taken through the tap of plastics by UNEP Executive Director Inger Andersen during the official opening of two-day events to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) at the United Nations Complex in Gigiri, Nairobi City County.

The President added that Kenya is proud to be the only UN headquarters in the global South, terming it an honour that the country appreciates and protects.

 

“Today, I am pleased to report that we will provide land for the development of humanitarian and logistics hubs in three locations in Kenya, namely Naivasha, Nairobi and Mombasa.

 

“We have further provided land for the creation of a diplomatic enclave adjacent to the United Nations Office at Nairobi complex,” President Kenyatta said.

 

To enhance efficiency in the administration of diplomatic privileges, the President said his Government has developed an integrated protocol management information system (IPMIS).

 

The system creates an automated one-stop-shop for tax exemptions, staff registration, issuance of diplomatic ID cards, registration and transfer of motor vehicles among other online services.

President Uhuru Kenyatta flanked by H.E. Félix Moloua, Prime Minister of Central African Republic, H.E Mokgweetsi Masisi, President of Botswana and H.E Muhammadu Buhari, President of Nigeria arrives for the official opening of two-day events to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) at the United Nations Complex in Gigiri, Nairobi City County

During the event, President Kenyatta invited the delegates to two key environment meetings – Stockholm +50 and the UN Ocean Conference in Lisbon – which Kenya will co-host later this year with Sweden and Portugal respectively.

 President Uhuru Kenyatta with Inger Andersen, Executive Director of the United Nations Environment Programme, Zainab Hawa, Director General, United Nations Office in Nairobi and Foreign Affairs Cabinet Secretary Amb. Raychelle Omamo when he arrived at the United Nations Complex in Gigiri, Nairobi City County for the official opening of the two-day commemoration of the 50th anniversary of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP).

President Uhuru Kenyatta with H.E. Mokgweetsi Masisi, President of Botswana at the United Nations Complex in Gigiri, Nairobi City County during the official opening of the two-day commemoration of the 50th anniversary of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP).

President Uhuru Kenyatta with H.E. Muhammadu Buhari, President of Nigeria at the United Nations Complex in Gigiri, Nairobi City County during the official opening of the two-day commemoration of the 50th anniversary of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP).

President Uhuru Kenyatta with Zainab Hawa, Director General, United Nations Office in Nairobi when he arrived at the United Nations Complex in Gigiri, Nairobi City County for the official opening of the two-day commemoration of the 50th anniversary of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP).

President Uhuru Kenyatta with H.E. Mokgweetsi Masisi, President of Botswana at the United Nations Complex in Gigiri, Nairobi City County during the official opening of the two-day commemoration of the 50th anniversary of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP).

 President Uhuru Kenyatta with H.E. Félix Moloua, Prime Minister of the Central African Republic at the United Nations Complex in Gigiri, Nairobi City County during the official opening of the two-day commemoration of the 50th anniversary of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP).

President Uhuru Kenyatta together with H.E. Félix Moloua, Prime Minister of the Central African Republic, H.E. Mokgweetsi Masisi, President of Botswana, H.E. Muhammadu Buhari, President of Nigeria, Inger Andersen, Executive Director of the United Nations Environment Programme, Zainab Hawa, Director General, United Nations Office in Nairobi, Foreign Affairs Cabinet Secretary Amb. Raychelle Omamo and Environment Cabinet Secretary Keriako Tobiko at the tap of plastics at the United Nations Office in Nairobi during the official opening of the two-day commemoration of the 50th anniversary of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP).

President Uhuru Kenyatta together with H.E. Félix Moloua, Prime Minister of the Central African Republic, H.E. Mokgweetsi Masisi, President of Botswana, H.E. Muhammadu Buhari, President of Nigeria, Inger Andersen, Executive Director of the United Nations Environment Programme, Zainab Hawa, Director General, United Nations Office in Nairobi, Foreign Affairs Cabinet Secretary Amb. Raychelle Omamo and Environment Cabinet Secretary Keriako Tobiko at the tap of plastics at the United Nations Office in Nairobi during the official opening of the two-day commemoration of the 50th anniversary of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP).

President Uhuru Kenyatta with H.E. Muhammadu Buhari, President of Nigeria, Inger Andersen, Executive Director of the United Nations Environment Programme and Zainab Hawa, Director General, United Nations Office in Nairobi at the United Nations Complex in Gigiri, Nairobi City County for the official opening of the two-day commemoration of the 50th anniversary of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP).

Speaking at the event, Presidents Mokgweetsi Masisi (Botswana) and Muhammadu Buhari (Nigeria) commended Kenya for providing exemplary leadership in environmental conservation and combating climate change.

 

Other speakers included Morocco’s Energy Transition and Sustainable Development minister Leila Benali who is also the incoming President of UNEA 6 and UNEP Executive Director Inger Andersen.

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