UNEA-4 Presidency


Message from Mr Siim Kiisler, the Minister of Environment of Estonia and the President of the fourth session of the United Nations Environment Assembly.

The next UN  Environment Assembly - the world's highest-level decision-making body on the environment – will meet in Nairobi on 11-15 March 2019 under the theme “Innovative solutions for environmental challenges and sustainable consumption and production”.

I have invited all Member States and stakeholders to share their insights and proposals to identify key priority areas, political messages, possible partnerships and strategic innovative solutions to build on this theme. This guidance is essential to develop a political Ministerial Declaration by the Assembly, with concrete commitments and far-reaching impacts. 

My vision for the next Assembly is to develop partnerships towards more sustainable and innovative societies.

This vision can be summarized as three main priorities ( “3 Ps”) which I will promote as the President of the Assembly: partnerships, policy integration, and people.

Partnerships are needed to take action, both globally and locally. I will promote an inclusive multi-sectoral approach to bring together academia, private sector, civil society, inter-governmental organizations and governments. I intend to develop further collaboration within science-policy-business nexus, and pay particular attention to digital solutions. To ensure a solution-oriented approach, I will also call for a global ideas compilation of innovative solutions for environmental challenges and sustainable consumption and production. Through new partnerships forged at the Assembly, these solutions can be scaled up to achieve deeper impacts.

Policy integration is needed to ensure implementation of the environmental dimension of the UN 2030 Agenda and its Sustainable Development Goals. I will work towards strengthening the visibility of the international environmental policy agenda and I am committed to address challenges posed by environmental degradation. Taking stock of the Sixth Global Environmental Outlook, GEO-6, which will be presented at UNEA-4 and will inform us on the state, trends and outlooks of the global environment, I intend to foster evidence-based decision making in international environmental governance. 

Finally, our efforts must of course benefit the people. I will endeavour to ensure an outcome from the Assembly that inspires ordinary citizens to become more aware of the challenges and solutions to the health of our planet, and embark on more sustainable lifestyles. Part of these solutions are linked to citizen science and local innovation. Effective environmental education also has a core role to play, as a fundamental basis to create higher awareness and motivation to protect our environment and health.

As part of the preparations for the next Environment Assembly, the Estonian Government will organize an international high-level conference on global environmental trends, challenges and innovative solutions. I will invite a broad spectrum of participants to attend and use this as a platform to formulate and convey key messages from all stakeholders.

If you have comments or questions please send them to the Special Envoy of the President, Mr Ado Lõhmus  (Ado.Lohmus[a]Envir.ee) and the UN Environment Secretariat (unep-sgb[a]un.org)