Shoukry Meets Executive Director of United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP)
Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry met Achim Steiner, the executive director of the United Nations Environment Programme, on January 13, at the UN headquarters in Nairobi, Kenya, with the attendance of the delegations of both parties.
Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Badr Abdel Atty said that the UN official stressed the ongoing and close cooperation between Egypt and UNEP over the past decades, expressing hope for further cooperation, in light of Egypt’s regional and international position and its role in Africa, now that Egypt’s economy is recovering with strong potential, which in turn entails environmental dimensions that need to be accounted for. Steiner stressed Egypt’s role in the Arab League, the African Union and the UNEP, especially in the field of new and renewable resources to achieve global goals related to climate change and sustainable development.
The spokesperson added that Shoukry stressed the importance on UNEP in maintaining the environmental balance of the world, assuring that Egypt is committed to cooperation with the programme and all regional and international parties to achieve sustainable development and end poverty, noting the role of UNEP in achieving its goals and its supporting of efforts to combat the challenges facing developing countries in general, and African countries in particular, referring to Egypt’s adoption of African environmental causes in international forums.
The spokesperson added that Shoukry stressed the need to agree on a development agenda for the post-2015 period and of reaching a consensus on a legally binding agreement to curb greenhouse emissions. Ongoing bilateral cooperation in the environmental field and Egypt’s benefiting from the technical and financial support from the UNEP in the fields of energy, its efficient use and its generation from new and renewable sources was also explored, especially In light of Egypt’s extensive experience in this regard. The spokesperson further said the meeting reviewed the importance of studying the potential impact of huge dams on environmental matters.
Atty clarified that the catastrophic environmental situation in Gaza, due to the latest Israeli military operations, was discussed, with special focus on the need to work on preventing the contamination of ground water reserves in Gaza and prevent the water from becoming further saline.
Atty added that at the end of the meeting, Shoukry welcomed the participation of UNEP in the African Ministerial Conference on the Environment scheduled to be held in Egypt next March.