The UN marks the International Day for Preventing the Exploitation of the Environment in War and Armed Conflict.Tirus Wainaina
On 06 November 2017, the UN marked the International Day for Preventing the Exploitation of the Environment in War and Armed Conflict. The day is marked annually since November 2001 when the UN General Assembly declared it.
At the UN Offices in Nairobi (UNON), the Director General, Ms. Sahle-Work Zewde led heads of UN agencies and dignitaries from the diplomatic community in Nairobi to commemorate the day. Her message echoed that of the UN Secretary General, which termed war as a dirty business.
Among those who attended the commemoration include the Ambassadors of Ukraine, Kuwait, Iraq as well as the Representative of European Union in Kenya. They all expressed support for local efforts in conserving the environment and natural resources to sustain livelihoods and eco-systems.
In his message to the world earlier today, the UN Secretary General António Guterres asked global leaders to take steps to reduce the collateral damage of conflicts and protect the natural resources that are so crucial for sustainable development.
The UN attaches great importance to ensuring that action on the environment is part of conflict prevention, peacekeeping and peacebuilding strategies. On 27 May 2016, the United Nations Environment Assembly adopted a resolution which recognized the role of healthy ecosystems and sustainably managed resources in reducing the risk of armed conflict. It also reaffirmed its strong commitment to the full implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals.
The commemoration of the day also marked the commencement of the 2017 UN Climate Conference in Bonn, Germany. Leaders of national governments, cities, states, business, investors, NGOs and civil society will be gathered in Bonn until 18th November. They will seek to speed up climate action to meet the goals of the Paris Climate Change Agreement.