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UNEP@50 seminar celebrates 50th anniversary of UN Environment Programme

Ministry of the Environment
Publication date 6.6.2022 8.48
Press release
Executive Director of the UN Environment Programme Inger Andersen / Photo: UNEP, Cyril Villemain

The UNEP@50 seminar organised by the Ministry of the Environment on June 6 celebrates the 50th anniversary of the UN Environment Programme (UNEP) and reflects on the steps to be taken in the future. The seminar brings together leading figures in the work for the benefit of the environment to honour the visit of Inger Andersen, Executive Director of UNEP. Director General of the International Union for Conservation of Nature Bruno Oberle will be visiting Finland on the same day.

The UNEP@50 seminar was preceded by the high-level UN meeting Stockholm+50 on 2–3 June 2022 and the World Environment Day on Sunday, 5 June. The seminar continues the series of events to celebrate the 50th anniversary of UNEP and highlights Finland’s prominent role in promoting sustainable development in the international community.

During the past 50 years UNEP has contributed to the creation of numerous international environmental agreements. Among of the greatest achievements are the actions to combat ozone depletion in line with the Montreal Protocol. UNEP has also produced scientific information on the state of the environment, raised awareness of environmental problems and assisted in building the national environmental legislation.

“Finland has been a partner and great friend of the UN Environment Programme since the very beginning. Our aim has always been to strengthen UNEP and the international environmental administration. It is important that Finland has been able to contribute to the establishment of the highest-level UN body on the environment - the United Nations Environment Assembly (UNEA) - and to promoting international cooperation related to biodiversity, chemicals and wastes. We have also stressed the themes of environmental safety and conflict management,” says Minister of the Environment and Climate Change Emma Kari.

Seminar highlights achievements and next steps of UNEP

The guest of honour of the seminar is Executive Director of UNEP Inger Andersen. Andersen has had a distinguished career of more than 30 years in international development economics, environmental sustainability and strategic action. The themes of her work have included agriculture, environmental management, biodiversity conservation and climate change. At the seminar, Andersen will speak about the development and future of UNEP’s activities.

Bruno Oberle, Director General of the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) is also visiting Finland on the same day and will speak at the seminar. He will discuss the assessments of threatened species and habitats and nature-based solutions, which are an important tool for IUCN in the fight against the loss of biodiversity and climate crisis.

Besides these high-level guests, Minister of the Environment and Climate Change Emma Kari and Minister for Foreign Affairs Pekka Haavisto will speak at the seminar. Youth Delegate Alli Pylkkö will introduce the ideas of young people about how the activities of UNEP should be developed. The seminar will end with a high-level panel discussion on UNEP’s role in science policy.


Marjaana Kokkonen
Ministerial Adviser
+358 295 250 025
[email protected]

Marina von Weissenberg
Senior Ministerial Adviser
+358 295 250 321
[email protected]