Rwanda joins world to celebrate 50 Years of UN Environment Programme - UNEP@50

Remarks by Minister of Environment Dr Jeanne d’Arc Mujawamariya | Special Session of the UN Environment Assembly to Commemorate the Fiftieth Anniversary of the Establishment of UNEP | Nairobi, Kenya

  • Excellencies

It is my pleasure to join you today for this important event as we celebrate 50 years of the UN Environment Programme. It is an honour to represent His Excellency, President Paul Kagame, who sends his congratulations on 50 years of UNEP. 

Rwanda has put the environment at the heart of its development agenda for more than two decades. From nature conservation of protected areas to setting ambitious targets to address the climate crisis and laws and actions to curb plastic pollution. We understand the power of nature and the need to protect it.

Fifty years ago, UNEP was created as the world’s environmental conscience - the anchor institution for the global environment that identifies problems, suggests policies, connects countries, and promotes collective action. The pandemic has reminded us of our interconnectedness and the transboundary nature of environmental issues that requires a global framework such as UNEP to coordinate efforts to achieve tangible results.

One of UNEP’s key achievements has been the reversal of the depletion of the ozone layer through its leadership in the creation of the Montreal Protocol. Rwanda is proud to have expanded that work through the Kigali Amendment and to have played a role at this UNEA in the process toward a new international legally binding agreement on plastic pollution. We look forward to working together to achieve similar success in the years ahead.

Rwanda has a vision for the next 50 years, and we hope that when we celebrate UNEP@100, we will see: 

  • The global environment at the centre of our way of life - no matter where we live 
  • A climate resilient planet 
  • A world with zero plastics in nature

Rwanda is pleased to engage with UNEP, academia, and other UN member states in assessing the implementation of multilateral environmental agreements, learning from successes as well as gaps, and charting a vision for the future. 

We welcome UNEP’s leadership in convening constituencies, connecting ideas, and spearheading meaningful action in global environmental governance. 

To conclude, I would like to once again thank the UNEP leadership and team for your dedication to the protection of our planet. We are grateful for your service, and look forward to continuing our strong collaboration in the years ahead.

Thank you for your kind attention.




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