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Towards a Stronger System of International Environmental Governance

Towards a Stronger System of International Environmental Governance

Towards a Stronger System of International Environmental Governance


Launched in 2003, a French Initiative gave new impetus into the debate about upgrading UNEP to a United Nation Environment Organisation (UNEO). In this context Ecologic - in cooperation with IDDRI - organizes a conference in May 2005. It is the conference's objective to discuss and explore the potential benefits of a UNEO. 2004 Nobel Peace Prize Winner Prof. Wangari Maathai as well as Federal Minister of Environment Juergen Trittin will be among the conference's speakers.

Over the last decades, UNEP, as a major player of the existing international environmental regimes, has successfully contributed to global environmental policies. Despite this success, the general consensus is that UNEP performance is not completely satisfying. The perceived shortcomings are particularly related to the following aspects:

  • UNEP lacks authority at international level and within the UN.
  • Partly because of this lack of authority, the work of international institutions concerned with environmental questions is insufficiently co-ordinated.
  • This deficient co-ordination results in a lack of political leadership in the area of global environmental politics.

Against this background, Germany and France are calling for the upgrading of UNEP to a UN environmental organisation (UNEO) with the status of a UN specialised agency, so that the UN environmental agency can operate on the same level as the other large UN organisations (e.g. FAO, WHO). It is assumed that a UNEO would be in a better position than UNEP presently is to co-operate with the World Bank and UNDP at the same footing and realise - among others - the necessary progress in the area of Capacity Building for efficient environmental management in developing countries.

In this context, Ecologic is organising a conference in co-operation with IDDRI which will take place in Berlin in May 2005. The aim of this conference is to discuss and expose the advantages of a UNEO together with representatives of politics, academia and business.

Wide press coverage of the event documents the public interest in the issue.


Stefanie Wurm
Project ID
UNEO, UNEP, WEO, Reform, International Environmental Governance, MEAs, Developing Countries, United Nations