Kenya: UN environment conference ends in overtime

Kenya: UN environment conference ends in overtime

Discussions extended for 7 hours, as ministers wrestle with issues such as banning lead-based paints

By Magdalene Mukami

NAIROBI, Kenya (AA) - The second session of the United Nations Environmental Assembly (UNEA-2), which kicked off in the Kenyan capital Nairobi on Monday, bringing together more than 170 ministers from 195 nations, has ended.

The assembly, which represents the world’s highest-level decision-making body on the environment, saw a number of resolutions being reached on environmental affairs, though on Friday ministers were forced to extend their negotiations for more than seven hours after environment, finance, and health ministers failed to agree on some issues.

Discussions on Friday revolved around 20 key global issues, including climate change, maritime litter, and whether or not the world should ban the use of lead paints, which have caused millions of deaths around the globe, especially in children.

China was among the countries which did not vote for the elimination of lead paints, as many Chinese products contain the paint which leads to lead poisoning.

As the session wrapped up, so did the term of Achim Steiner, the outgoing head of the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP). Steiner, who has been at the post for 10 years, was succeeded by Erik Solheim at the UNEP helm.

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