The UN Environment Programme (UNEP) and India have signed a Host Country Agreement on the sidelines of the UN Climate Change Conference (COP26) in Glasgow. India was represented by Shri Bhupender Yadav, Minister for Environment, Forest and Climate Change, Government of India, while Ms Inger Andersen, Executive Director, UNEP, signed the Agreement on UNEP’s behalf.
The Host Country Agreement comes as Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced his commitment to climate change by presenting his 5 key agendas at the COP26 key climate summit.
The Agreement had been approved in September 2021 by the Indian Cabinet of Ministers headed by the Prime Minister. It provides UNEP India equal legal stature as other UN agencies in India and will enable UNEP to work even more closely with the Government on key areas of environment in India, in South Asia and at the global level.
“India plays a hugely important role in global action on the triple planetary crisis of climate change, biodiversity loss and pollution and waste,” Ms Andersen said.
“We at UNEP look forward to deepening our partnership with India, towards strengthening the country’s ability to deliver on the environmental dimensions of sustainable development.”
The Host Country Agreement will further enhance science and technical assistance provided by UNEP India to the Government towards mitigation of key environmental issues. It will strengthen the collaborative efforts of UNEP India, an important implementing agency for the Government of India under the Global Environment Facility (GEF).
It will also enable UNEP to better support the Government of India on Conventions and Multilateral Environment Agreements, the environmental dimensions of the 2030 Agenda on Sustainable Development, and other internationally agreed global environmental goals. The Agreement will facilitate UNEP to broaden its collaboration with Ministries and other stakeholders.
“The presence of UNEP would enable a more effective delivery and coordination of UNEP’s programme of work in India,” said Shri Bhupender Yadav.
“A UNEP presence will now be established within the context of the UN country team and the UN Technical Assistance Framework with the Government of India.”
About the United Nations Environment Programme
UNEP is the leading global voice on the environment. It provides leadership and encourages partnership in caring for the environment by inspiring, informing and enabling nations and peoples to improve their quality of life without compromising that of future generations.
UNEP@50: A time to reflect on the past and envision the future
The 1972 United Nations Conference on the Human Environment in Stockholm, Sweden, was the first-ever UN conference with the word “environment” in its title. The creation of the UN Environment Programme was one of the most visible outcomes of this conference of many firsts. UNEP was created quite simply to be the environmental conscience of the UN and the world. Activities taking place through 2022 will look at significant progress made as well as what’s ahead in decades to come.