UNEA - Second United Nations Environment Assembly:: Information
The second session of the
United Nations Environment Assembly (UNEA-2)
May 23 - 27, 2016 - Nairobi
Preceded by:
Science-Policy Forum, May 19–20, 2016 &
Global Major Groups and Stakeholders Forum, May 21–22, 2016
International Day of Biodiversity Events, May 22, 2016

The second session of the United Nations Environment Assembly (UNEA) of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) will take place in the United Nations Office at Nairobi (UNON) in Gigiri, Nairobi, from 23 to 27 May, 2016. This session will be preceded by the Global Major Groups and Stakeholders Forum, 21 to 22 May, 2016, International Day of Biodiversity Events, 22 May, 2016 and the Science-Policy Forum, 19 to 20 May, 2016.

Visitors to Kenya
1. General Information

The Republic of Kenya is located on the Eastern coast of Africa, on the Equator. It is a land of striking landscapes, ranging from snow-capped Mount Kenya to rich farmlands, barren deserts and tropical beaches. It borders Somalia, Ethiopia and South Sudan to the North, Uganda to the West, Tanzania to the South, and the Indian Ocean to the East. Kenya's capital city is Nairobi. Other major cities are Mombasa, the main port on the Indian Ocean, and Kisumu on Lake Victoria. Kenya is one of the world’s most popular tourism destinations attracting millions of tourists over the past years. The country is endowed with attractive tourist sites, rich culture, striking geographical diversity and landscapes ranging from beautiful beaches, to animal parks and archaeological sites.

2. Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA) in Nairobi

Located in the Embakasi suburb, 15 kilometers from Nairobi's central business district and 25 kilometers from United Nations Office at Nairobi, Gigiri.

Delegates arriving through JKIA in Nairobi may request for assistance from UNEP support staff who will be easily identifiable at the UNEA branded counters;

  • The first before the Immigration desks - for assistance with visa formalities
  • The second counter after customs, in the arrivals lounge - for transportation and accommodation inquiries and support


JKIA telephone number: 
+ 254 (0)20 682 2111
+ 254 (0)20 661 1000
+ 254 (0)20 661 2000

UNEP arrival protocol support:

Mr. Allan Meso:      +254 (0)20 762 4236

Ms. Biljana Kuzmanovic:      +254 (0) 734 550155

Ms. Nathalie Petkovic:      +254 (0) 707 983476

3. Time Zone

Kenya is GMT + 0300 hours.

4. Visas
It is the delegate's own responsibility to obtain a visa for Kenya. The information provided herein acts only as guidance. A valid passport, not expiring for at least six months from date of arrival is required for entry into Kenya. A valid entry visa is also required for most countries and may be obtained in advance from the Kenyan Embassy/High Commission in your country of residence. In the absence of either, the British Embassy will generally represent Kenya in the issuance of visas. For more information, please visit the the Kenyan immigration website.

Please note that visas are not required for citizens of:  Antigua & Barbuda, Bahamas, Botswana, British Virgin Islands, Burundi, Barbados, Cayman Islands, Comoros (Required but can be obtained on arrival), Costa Rica (If you have a valid Permanent Resident Card or Visa to US, Canada, UK or any European country), Dominica (not to be Confused with Dominican Republic), Dominican Republic, Ethiopia, Fiji, Grenada, Ghana, Haiti, Jamaica, Lesotho, Macau, Malaysia, Malawi, Micronesia, Namibia (Tourist Visa Not required, Business Visa required), Nauru, Panama, Philippines, Rwanda, Saint Helena, Saint Kitts & Nevis, Saint Vincent Grenadines, Samoa, Seychelles, Singapore, Swaziland, Tanzania, Trinidad & Tobago, Tuvalu, Uganda, Vanuatu, Zambia and Zimbabwe. Please visit the Kenya embassy website for more information.

Kenya is discontinuing issuance of Visas on arrival and therefore delegates requiring visas are encouraged apply for a visa online from the immigration office website.

If needed, it is still possible to obtain visas upon arrival at Jomo Kenyatta International Airport in Nairobi. The fee is USD 50.

Nationals of the following countries require special advance visa clearance by the Kenyan authorities (as of Jan 2015): Afghanistan, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Cameroon, Democratic People's Republic of Korea (Formerly N. Korea), Eritrea, Iraq, Kosovo, Lebanon, Libya, Mali, Palestine, Senegal, Somalia, Syria, Tadjikistan and Stateless persons. More on this can be found on the Kenya embassy website.

5. Health
A yellow fever vaccination certificate is mandatory for travelers coming from countries where yellow fever may occur. Immunization against yellow fever is recommended for travelers from other countries. The International travel, health and vaccination requirements for travel to Kenya can be obtained from the Centres for Disease Control and Preventions website.

Malaria risk exists throughout the year in Kenya, though there is little risk in Nairobi and the highlands. Therefore, it is advised that you take precautions while travelling out of these areas. Any medical costs incurred during their stay in Kenya shall be borne by the meeting participants; it is therefore strongly recommended that the participants arrange for their own health insurance.

Kenya has temporarily lifted restrictions from previously Ebola stricken countries. However, visitors entering Kenya may still be required to undergo screening upon arrival at Jomo Kenyatta International Airport.

6. Security

United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), United Nations Office at Nairobi (UNON) and the Kenyan Authorities are working closely together to ensure that all precautionary measures are taken for delegate’s safety and security. However, participants are personally responsible for their movements. If you intend to stay in a hotel, you are advised to choose accommodation recommended list of hotels.

For your own safety, kindly read and follow the below listed tips:

  • Avoid crowded areas such as malls
  • When walking, keep to the main roads and avoid shortcuts down back alleys and the like. However, where possible, take a taxi rather than walking
  • Never walk at night in the city center even for a short distance – always take a taxi
  • Be wary of people loitering outside hotels
  • Ignore street children and people coming up to you in the streets with hard-luck tales. They may be pickpockets or part of an elaborate scam. The best thing to do is just to walk on and ignore them
  • Do not carry large sums of money. Avoid carrying credit cards, wearing expensive jewelry, watches or the like when walking in the street
  • Do not accept food and drinks from strangers; visitors have been known to be drugged and then robbed 

7. Weather

May tends to be cool in Nairobi. The average temperature is 22°C but can drop to 13°C, especially at night. It would be advisable to carry a light jacket and an umbrella.Consult the World Weather website for current weather conditions in the area.

8. Electricity

The electrical currents in Kenya are 220-240 Volts, 50 Hertz. Kindly note that Kenya uses the 13A 3 pin wall switch socket outlet.

9. Official Languages

The official languages of the Republic of Kenya are English and Swahili.

10. Money and Banking

Currency and exchange rate
The official currency of the Republic of Kenya is the Kenya Shilling (KES). The current exchange rates are:
1 US Dollar = KES 102.00      EUR = KES 110.00

Foreign currency can be changed at JKIA, banks, foreign currency Exchange Bureaus or hotels. Banks in major centres are open from 09:00 to 16:00hrs Monday to Friday and from 09:00 to 12:00hrs on Saturdays.

The following currency exchange places are available near or at the UN compound in Nairobi.

  • KCB Bank can be found on the ground floor in the UN complex, next to the Delegates Lounge.
  • Standard Chartered Bank is also available in the complex. It is located on the ground floor, opposite KCB Bank.
  • Emerald Garden from the main gate of the United Nations, cross the road,turn right and walk about 200 m. You will find the building to your left.
  • Warwick Center from the main gate of the United Nations, cross the road,turn left and walk about 100 m. The building will be to your right.

ATMs are available country wide with 24 hour access. Within the UNON complex there are two ATMs on the lower concourse; one next to the Kenya Commercial Bank and the other near the UNFCU (United Nations Federal Credit Union).

Major international cards are accepted. Credit card fraud occurs in Kenya as in most other parts of the world. The usual precautions should be taken.

Travellers’ cheques
Travellers’ cheques are accepted at most banks, foreign currency exchange bureaus, hotels and stores in major malls.

Tipping is appreciated; however, most hotels and restaurants do include a service charge.

UNON Complex
1. About the UN Gigiri Compound

The Gigiri compound accommodates almost 3,500 staff members (of the total more than 5,200 UN staff based in Kenya).

The 140 acre UN Gigiri compound is a peaceful place, offering the chance of observing local wildlife such as red duikers, squirrels, marsh mongoose, sykes monkeys and olive baboons. Easily spotted bird species include: crowned cranes, Egyptian geese, crested eagles, green pigeons and hoopoes.

A physical tour of the UNON compound may be arranged through the UNON Visitors Centre.

Consult the UNON Visitors website for more information.

2. Access to the complex
Access to the UN Gigiri Complex is via UN Avenue. Pedestrian access is through the Pavilion north of the main vehicle access.

All participants need to be registered prior to the meeting to be allowed access. Registered participants will be screened and are advised not to bring weapons, ammunition, inflammable items or sharp objects. The participants will be issued with conference photo badges and are advised to wear the badge at all times during their visit to the complex. The main vehicle access gate is located opposite the US Embassy. Only vehicles with an official UN Decal or UNEA Decal will be allowed into the complex and are subject to screening. Vehicle Decals will be issued during registration.

3. Registration
Full registration to UNEA-2 consists of 3 steps:

  1. Submitting your registration online (Ref:3.1)
  2. Once your submission has been cleared, you will receive an automated email confirming that you have been pre-registered for UNEA-2 (Ref:3.2)
  3. On-site registration happens once you arrive to the UN complex and receive your physical delegate badge (Ref:3.3)
3.1 Submission of online registration
A registration page has been designed to accommodate your registration request to the Second Session of the United Nations Environment Assembly (UNEA-2) as well as complementary meetings of UNEA-2:
  • Science Policy Forum (19-20 May 2016)
  • Global Major Groups and Stakeholders Forum (21-22 May 2016)
  • Sustainable Innovation Expo (23-25 May 2016)
  • Side Events, Symposia and Business Dialogue for Environmental Sustainability (23–27 May 2016)
Pre-Registration through the UNEA-2 Registration portal

Uploading of Accreditation/Nomination/Invitation Letter
To facilitate verification of participation requests, all participants are required to upload an accreditation/nomination/invitation letter confirming their capacity to attend UNEA and its parallel meetings.

  • In case one Accreditation/Nomination/Invitation Letter covers several participants, the same letter can be uploaded for every person mentioned in the document.
  • Major Groups and Stakeholder Forum participants: Please note that a maximum of five delegates can be nominated per accredited organization. A list of organizations formally accredited to UNEP is available here. Accredited organizations may attach a nomination letter from their organization to confirm their delegates' names (maximum 5 by organization).
  • Representatives from UN Agencies are required to kindly register using their organization’s email.
  • A Guest, Speaker or Expert is requested to attach his/her invitation letter from the respective event organizer of a Side Event / Sustainable Innovation Expo/ Exhibitor so as to secure the Secretariat’s verification of their participation in the event.

Uploading of photograph
Please upload a standard passport photo so as to speed on-site registration and badge collection.

Confirmation and validation email
Following your submission, UNEP will validate and send you a confirmation of your registration. (Please ensure you submit your personal email address).

3.2 Confirmation and validation email

Following your submission, UNEP will validate and send you a confirmation of your registration. (Please ensure you submit your personal email address). It will be used to relay regular information in regard to the Assembly.

3.3 On-site Registration

Once pre-registered, delegates are able to finalize their registration on-site, have their photo taken and collect their badges at the Visitors’ Center Pavilion on the following days:

  1. Wednesday, 18 May to Friday, 20 May 2016: 08:00 – 17:00hrs
  2. Saturday, 21 May to Thursday, 26 May 2016: 07:00 – 19:00hrs
  3. Friday, 27 May 2016: 07:00 – 14:30hrs

To avoid long queues on the day of the official opening, delegates are strongly encouraged (if possible) to pre-register and collect their badges before the official start of the event on Monday, 23 May 2016.

VIP Badges for Ministers and Heads of Delegations

Ministers and Heads of Delegations will be issued with non-photo badges, provided they are pre-registered. Their badges will be available for collection as of Wednesday, 18 May, 2016 from the registration tent just beyond the main entrance to UNON.

Delegates Based in Nairobi

Delegates based in Nairobi who already have a pass issued by UNON can use this pass during the UNEA. However, all Permanent Representatives/Deputy Permanent Representatives and other focal points are advised to pre-register as a member of their respective delegations should they wish to have their names to appear on the list of participants.

3.4 Presentation of Credentials by Member States

In accordance with rules 16 and 17 of the rules of procedure of the United Nations Environment Assembly, "Each member of the [UNEA] shall be represented by an accredited representative, who may be accompanied by such alternate representatives and advisers as may be required. The credentials of representatives and the names of the alternate representatives and advisers shall be submitted to the Executive Director before the first meeting which the representatives are to attend."

In this regard, please send a copy of your delegation's credentials signed by either the Minister of Foreign Affairs or Head of State/Government, by Friday 20 May 2016, to Ms. Hyun Sung.The original should be submitted to the Secretariat at the registration desk as you register to collect your access badge.

Please note that the UNEA Bureau will examine the credentials prior to the opening of the second session, and submit its report at the opening morning plenary on Monday, 23 May 2016.

4. Vehicles and fire-arms
For vehicles which will need to enter to the complex please email (Inspector Andrew Bakhoya) and (Ms.Janet Okal) 48 hours in advance with the following information:

  • Registration number
  • Vehicle type
  • Driver name and ID number

For fire-arms which will be brought in to the complex, please inform (Inspector Andrew Bakhoya) and (Ms. Janet Okal) at least 48 hours in advance with the following information:

  • Fire-arm type and serial number
  • Body-guard name and ID number

5. Wi-Fi

Free Wi-Fi facility will be available in the UN compound and meeting rooms. Select the Wireless Network connection named ‘VISITORS’’ or ‘DELEGATES’.

6. Canteen Services and Restaurants

There are several caterers within the UN compound contracted to provide food and beverages for breakfast, lunch as well as snacks during coffee breaks for staff and visiting delegates. In addition, there are several restaurants and bars within walking distance from the UN complex (listed in the order of distance from the main UN gate): 

  • Emerald Garden –Thai food
    Directions: From the main gate of the United Nations, cross the road, turn right and walk about 200 m. You will find the building to your left.
    (Online reservation services available)
    Tel: + 254 (0) 710886688 / 710887888
  • In Warwick Centre
    Directions:From the main gate of the United Nations, cross the road, turn left and walks about 100 m. The building will be to your right.
    Four Café Bistro – Mediterranean food
    Tel: + 254 (0) 721445444

    Osteria – Japanese and Italian food
    Tel: + 254 (0) 701570468

    Mediterraneo – Italian food
    Tel: + 254 (20) 7123000

  • Java Coffee House – Sandwiches and salads
    Directions: From the main gate turn left and walk to the end of the road. Turn left on Limuru Road. It is next to the Petrol Station on your left.
    Tel: +254 (0) 721425403
  • Big Square – Burgers
    Directions: From the main gate turn left and walk to the end of the road. The restaurant is at the corner to your right.
    Tel: +254 (0) 707970968 /739464707
  • Village Market-Food court – It is a 3 minutes taxi drive.
  • Lord Errol– French – It is a 5 minutes taxi drive.
    (Online reservation services available)
    Tel: + 254 (20) 7122433, 7121308, 7122302, 7122636

7. Postal/ Courier Service
The Post Office is available in the UNON complex and is open Monday to Friday, 08:00 to 17:00hrs

DHL courier mail service, lower concourse, next to the Post Office

  • Open Monday to Friday, 08:00 to 17:00hrs
  • Tel: +254 (20) 7622580, 7622579

8. Medical Services
The UNON Medical Clinic emergency and first aid assistance, including on-call (24-hour) ambulance services are available. On-site medical assistance is available during all meetings, conferences and events. The UNON clinic also offers general medical assistance, vaccinations and a broad range of medical services.

All participants are required to have medical insurance coverage in the case that further medical attention and hospitalization is required.

Location: Block F, room 117
Tel: +254 (20) 762 2267
Emergency line: +254 (20) 7625999

Open Monday – Thursday: 10:00 to 12:30hrs and 14:00 to 16:00hrs
Friday: 08:30 to 13:30hrs and during meeting hours.
No service is available on weekends. For assistance over the weekends please dial the 24-hour UNON control room: +254 (20) 762 6666.

9. Travel Agencies
For participants interested in arranging a sightseeing tour or safaris during their visit to Kenya, the following agents are available to provide assistance:

  • BCD TRAVEL (on the compound)
    Tel: + 254 (20) 7622492
  • EXPRESS TRAVEL (on the compound)
    Tel: + 254 (20) 7624992


1. Accommodation in Nairobi
Participants are kindly requested to make their own hotel reservation. If you intend to stay in a hotel, you are advised to choose accommodation from the recommended list of hotels.

2. Shuttle and Taxi Services
Many hotels provide courtesy shuttle services to/from airport and in some cases from the hotel to the UN compound. Visitors should pre-advise their hotel of their transportation needs. In the absence of a courtesy bus, visitors may use reputable taxi companies. Recommended taxi companies are listed below:

  • Hilltop   +254 (0)20 272 3270
  • Jaycab Taxis   +254 (0)20 721 0520, or +254 (0)733 750455/ (0)723 239750
  • Jatco   +254 (0)20 444 8162 or +254 (0)733 701494/ (0)722 648383
  • Jimcab   +254 (0)20 712 2565 or +254 (0)737 333222/ (0)722 711001
  • Kenatco   +254 (0)20 250 6790 or +254 (0)705 780011/ (0)705 780016

3. Emergency numbers

  • UNON Security +254 (20) 7626666
  • Kenyan Police +254 999 or +254 (20) 2724201
  • Diplomatic Police +254 (0) 726283030 or +254 (0) 735356506
  • Nairobi Hospital +254 (20) 2845000
  • Aga Khan Hospital +254 (20) 3662000
  • St. John Ambulance Service +254 (20)2210000/2241000