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<< Back to: ICLEI e-News | issue 20, April 2009
Speakers at the side event on “Cities – Leaders towards a Green Economy” were (from left to right): Konrad Otto-Zimmermann (keynote), ICLEI Vice President Mayor Stephen Kabuye, UNEP Director DTIE Sylvie Lemmet, UN-HABITAT Gulelat Kebede, Head of Deutsche Bank’s Global Markets in India and Leader of UNEP’s Green Economy Initiative, Pavan Sukhdev.
Ruud Schuthof, Executive & Policy Assistant to ICLEI’s Secretary General, reports from Nairobi. He serves as ICLEI’s liaison to UNEP and acts as facilitating unit for the Local Authorities major group.

ICLEI's strong ties to UNEP continue

April 29, 2009

ICLEI and UNEP implement joint projects under a cooperation agreement. Projects involved are,  among others, Local Action for Biodiversity, Local Government Climate sessions and the Global Alliance for EcoMobility. ICLEI is accredited at UNEP’s Governing Council and is the organizing partner for the Major Group of Local Authorities.

ICLEI Vice President Stephen Kabuye, Mayor of Entebbe (Uganda) joined the local government delegation to the 25th session of the United Nations Environment Programme Governing Council / Global Ministerial Environment Forum (UNEP GC/ GMEF). The events were held from 16 - 20 February 2009 in Nairobi, Kenya. During the UNEP GC/ GMEF the environment ministers from all over the world gathered to discuss various environment topics and UNEP's biennial programme and support budgets for 2010-2011. UNEP’s Green Economy initiative was one of the major themes. ICLEI was actively involved in various sessions during UNEP GC/ GMEF.

Side event: ‘Cities – Leaders towards a Green Economy’

Mayor Kabuye spoke at a side event on “Cities – Leaders towards a Green Economy” jointly organized by ICLEI, UNEP and UN-HABITAT. He focused on how African cities can green their economies by giving examples from Ugandan practice.

In his keynote, ICLEI Secretary General Konrad Otto-Zimmermann offered ICLEI's partnership on the Green Economy Initiative and proposed a focal program geared towards greening local economies in selected cities and urban regions.

Ministerial Roundtable

Otto-Zimmermann also participated in a ministerial roundtable on Greening the Economy and spoke about the economic relevance of cities and urban regions as hubs of the global economy.  

Ministerial Consultations

During the ministerial consultations Ruud Schuthof, Executive  & Policy Assistant to ICLEI’s Secretary General, spoke on behalf of the Local Authorities. He presented cities as substantive contributors to countries’ economies, but also as main contributors to green house gas emissions. He stated that as far as cities contribute to environmental and social problems, they should be part of the solution. He urged the environment ministries to institute effective schemes of vertical collaboration with other spheres of government, especially with urban regions.

The Global Civil Society Forum (GCSF)

The Global Civil Society Forum took place on 14 and 15 February 2009, right before the UNEP GC/ GMEF. ICLEI participated in these sessions, also on behalf of the Local Authorities major group. This forum included among others a dialogue with Mr Achim Steiner, Executive Director of UNEP, and the major groups’ involvement in the work of UNEP.