Hon. Orlando Habet, Minister of Sustainable Development, Climate Change, and Disaster Risk Management, lead a delegation to the United Nations Environment Assembly (UNEA 5.2) and United Nations Environment Programme 50th Anniversary (UNEP @50) in Nairobi, Kenya from February 28 to March 4, following an invitation by the UNEA and UNEP Secretariat.
Belize’s participation in the UNEA 5.2 and UNEP @50 provides an opportunity for member states of the Assembly to agree on key resolutions towards a global treaty, such as the Paris Accord, to address the triple planetary crisis of climate change, biodiversity, and pollution and waste.
Of these 17 resolutions, critical for Belize were:
– Resolution on Green Recovery.
– Resolution on Nature Based Solutions for supporting sustainable development.
– Resolution on Science Policy Panel on Chemicals, Waste and Pollution.
– Resolution on Environmental aspects of minerals and metals management; and,
– Resolution to End Plastic Pollution.
In a milestone achievement, heads of state, ministers of environment and other representatives from 175 nations endorsed the landmark agreement to end plastic pollution and address the full lifecycle of plastic from source to sea – the most important accord since the Paris Agreement.
During the proceedings, Minister Habet delivered a national address on behalf of Belize. In his address to the Assembly, the minister highlighted the “need to foster the inclusivity of SIDS and LDCs to have full unimpeded and equal access to benefits of our global agreements”, the “need for system-level change through the entire plastic value chain and a binding agreement on marine litter pollution”. To this end, he highlighted the urgency of the Assembly “to support financing, capacity building, technology transfer, and building appropriate monitoring, reporting, and verification systems”. He reaffirmed that “Belize will continue to be a leader in the Caribbean and Central American sub-regions in tackling the challenges faced by humanity.”
The Belize delegation also participated in a series of side events inclusive of the High Ambition Coalition for Nature and People where member states were informed of Belize’s signature blue bond and endorsement of the 30 X 30 initiative which aims to protect at least 30 percent of the world’s land and ocean by 2030.
On March 4, Minister Habet will deliver a second speech to the Assembly on the theme “Strengthening UNEP for the Implementation of the Environmental Dimensions of the 2030 Agenda”.
Other members of the Belize delegation include Dr. Kenrick Williams, Chief Executive Officer, and Mr. Anthony Mai, Senior Environmental Officer, Department of the Environment.
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