Efforts to address environmental challenges across the 22 countries of the Arab region were today enhanced with the signing of a new agreement between the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and the League of Arab States (LAS).
UNEP Deputy Executive Director Ibrahim Thiaw and the Head of Department of Environment, Housing and Water Ressources and Sustainable Development in LAS, Jamaleddine Jaballah, signed the new Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) at the 51st Meeting of the Council of Arab Ministers Responsible for the Environment (CAMRE), held in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
Deputy Executive Director Mr. Thiaw said, “I am proud to be signing the Memorandum Of Understanding of enhanced cooperation between UNEP and the League of Arab States. I am glad that The Council will witness the signing ceremony as we strengthen our partnership and commitment to work together to address the environmental challenges and opportunities of the region.”
The MoU – which builds upon a previous agreement signed in 1986 – provides the basis for enhanced cooperation between UNEP and LAS. It reflects the two organisations’ shared priorities and responds to the outcome of the Rio+20 UN Conference on Sustainable Development in June 2012, which strengthened the role of UNEP as the world’s leading global environmental authority.
UNEP and LAS agreed to reinforce cooperation and coordination in the planning and implementation of global and regional environmental programmes in the region. The renewed cooperation will cover a wide range of activities, programmes and projects in areas such as the green economy, post conflict assessments and recovery, climate change, water resources, biodiversity, sustainable consumption and production, and environmental governance.
The new MoU is developed in accordance with the joint UN-LAS strategic priorities for Economic, Social and Environmental Clusters for the period 2013-2017. It also acknowledges the outcomes and decisions of the relevant specialized Arab Ministerial Councils and their subsidiaries committees/groups that intersects with UNEP mandate and Programme of Work in particular CAMRE and the African Ministerial Conference on the Environment (AMCEN).
A cooperation mechanism between UNEP and LAS has been agreed upon to ensure the efficient implementation of joint activities and initiatives. UNEP has continued its support to LAS through the CAMRE over the years, with emphasis on priority programmes identified at the annual Ministerial Meetings.
The regional MOU signed in 1986 between UNEP and LAS enabled the consolidation of available resources and ensured that regional activities focus on the priorities identified by the Ministerial Councils and within the UNEP global environmental programme.
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