Kampala, Friday 22nd April 2022 - The United Nations Conference on the Human Environment of 5th -16th June 1972 in Stockholm, Sweden, laid the foundation for a global outlook, and identified common principles to inspire and guide the preservation and enhancement of the human environment. This landmark conference came up with key proclamations duped the Stockholm Declaration and Action Plan for the Human Environment that embodied key principles.
Fifty years after the Stockholm Declaration, the United Nations (UN) General Assembly made a decision through two resolutions to convene an international meeting entitled Stockholm+50 under the theme “a healthy planet for the prosperity of all - our responsibility, our opportunity”, in Stockholm, on the 2nd - 3rd June 2022, during the week of World Environment Day (WED). This is to commemorate 50 years since the convening of the United Nations Conference on the Human Environment. It is designed to help accelerate the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) during the Decade of Action, including a sustainable recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.
Uganda’s High Level Preparatory Meeting.
The Stockholm+50 national consultations started with a high-level preparatory meeting where discussions of the plan and key considerations to consider during the consultations were made.
For the meeting, the Minister of State for Environment Hon. Beatrice Anywar, and the Ambassador of Sweden – Ambassador (Amb). Maria Håkansson were welcomed by the United Nations Resident Coordinator (RC) – Ms. Susan Namondo Ngongi and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), Resident Representative - Ms. Elsie Attafuah and other stake holders on the 31st of March 2022 at UNDP Uganda offices.
They discussed a series of suggestions to look at the national consultations not only as a preparation process but as one that eventually influences how Uganda strategically uses nature, environment, climate actions to promote inclusive sustainable development, strengthen cooperation and accelerate innovative action towards national development, whilst contributing to global commitments.
The meeting also recommended the inclusion of Government and non-state actors specifically the indigenous people, representatives from the local government, private sector, youth, and the Civil Society Organizations (CSOs).
Uganda Launches the Stockholm+50 National Consultations.
The Stockholm+50 national consultations were launched on Friday, 22nd April 2022 at Protea Hotel, Kampala. The key stake holders include the Government of Uganda through the Ministry of Water and Environment in partnership with UNDP and with support from the Government of Sweden. The consultations begun with the active engagement and participation of young people.
With UNDP leading Global consultations in 60 countries - the national consultation process stimulated inclusive whole-of-society and whole-of-Government dialogue on the main themes of Stockholm+50 initiative that include three leadership dialogues which are expected to yield clear and concrete recommendations for action at all levels in Uganda;
- Leadership dialogue 1: Reflecting on the urgent need for actions to achieve a healthy planet and prosperity of all.
- Leadership dialogue 2: Achieving a sustainable and inclusive recovery from the coronavirus pandemic (COVID-19).
- Leadership dialogue 3: Accelerating the implementation of the environmental dimension of sustainable development in the context of the Decade of Action and delivery for sustainable development.
Speaking during the Launch, the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Water and Environment – Mr. Alfred Okot Okidi, urged that the national consultations should be more actionable and inclusive for everybody to participate, highlighting the need for more climate financing, technology transfer and capacity building.
“A healthy environment is a responsibility for all of us, it is a personal responsibility, it is a community responsibility, it is a national responsibility, but also a global responsibility, there is need for everybody to play their part; and the need to ensure that action is taken, he said during the Launch.
Similarly, Edwin Muhumuza from Youth Go Green, Uganda emphasized that the youth have a responsibility to speak up and safeguard the environment for a better future for all.
“If we, the youth, do not have the responsibility to safeguard our environment, how will our future be? If we do not wake up and act, what will the world look like in 50 years. We can't see our natural resources being degraded, our precious gifts being taken away and we keep quiet. We must speak up about these things.” – he said emphasized during the youth Consultations.
What stockholm+50 initiative means for Uganda.
Stockholm+50 represents an opportunity to think and act beyond individual challenges but towards a systemic approach – one that builds on existing initiatives and agreements and takes them one step forward. It offers an opportunity to mark a milestone on how we conceive and deliver on human well-being, capabilities, and freedoms by focusing on the needs of humankind in the 21st century.
Beyond UN Member States, stakeholders include organizations and bodies of the UN system, intergovernmental organizations, international financial institutions, civil society groups, indigenous peoples’ organizations, academic institutions, the scientific community, the youth, the private sector, and philanthropic organizations who will have the opportunity to amplify their voices to influence national debates.
During her speech, Amb. Maria Håkansson highlighted the opportunity the initiative brings to Uganda saying it will serve as a platform to learn from other best practices to build back better and greener from COVID-19.
“This is an opportunity to celebrate 50years of multilateral collaboration on environment, it is an urgent time to start implementing of lots of commitments, to take bold actions, to learn from each other’s best practices, and to look at different practices that are linked, like environment and climate.” She said during the launch.
On her part, the acting Resident Representative, Ms. Sheila Ngatia urged at the time is now for accelerating actions to achieve the 2030 Agenda and beyond and she highlighted that the youth, women, and indigenous population are vital going forward.
“The time is now for accelerating actions to achieve the 2030 Agenda and beyond, complement the important spaces that have been created for discussing and resolving the climate, nature and pollution challenges posed to development and health.” She said.
Stockholm+ 50 initiative is a critical milestone towards renewed multilateralism and strengthened global solidarity. It is a time for bold action and engagement by acknowledging and highlighting the need for international unity, reciprocity, and diversity. This is a time for all actors to find their unique place in a global system, in collaboration with others, to embrace new ideas and commit to a shared responsibility for a better future on a healthy planet with prosperity for all, with a focus on principles of intergenerational responsibility, inclusive participation and interconnections, and implementation opportunities.
NOTES TO EDITORS
About Stockholm+50 initiative.
The International Meeting following the theme: “Stockholm+50: a healthy planet for the prosperity of all – our responsibility, our opportunity” is a critical milestone towards renewed multilateralism and strengthened global solidarity. It is a time for bold action and engagement by acknowledging and highlighting the need for international unity, reciprocity, and diversity. This is a time for all actors to find their unique place in a global system, in collaboration with others, to embrace new ideas and commit to a shared responsibility for a better future on a healthy planet with prosperity for all.
About UNDP Uganda.
UNDP is the leading United Nations organization fighting to end the injustices of poverty, inequality, and climate change. Working with our broad network of experts and partners in 170 countries, we help nations to build integrated, lasting solutions for people and the planet. In Uganda, UNDP supports the Government to achieve sustainable development, create opportunities for empowerment, protect the environment, minimize natural and man-made disasters, build strategic partnerships, and improve the quality of life for all citizens.
For more information, please contact:
Innocent Fred Ejolu – Partnerships, Innovation and Development Solutions Specialist, UNDP Uganda.
Tel No.: +256754492934, +256772147502
Joel Akena – Communications Assistant, UNDP Uganda.
Tel No.: +256788108394, 0752345598