UN takes step toward global treaty on plastic trash

By Oleen Ndori

THE United Nations has agreed to start negotiating a treaty on plastic pollution in what has been hailed as a crunch moment for the planet in offsetting the effects of climate change and negative impact of plastic use.

The ongoing United Nations Environment Programme in Nairobi Kenya saw member states agreeing to start negotiating a world-first global treaty on plastic pollution in what has been hailed as a watershed moment for the planet.

President of United Nations Environment Assembly (UNEA) 6 and Minister of Energy Transition and Sustainable Development of Morocco, Leila Benali said the negotiations were a true testament of multilateralism as envisioned by the UN.

“The success of the current assembly is testament to the value of multilateralism. As the world reels from conflict, Covid-19, multiple humanitarian crisis around the world, multilateralism has been tested but it is still alive, we can see that today,” said Benali.

Foreign Affairs and International Trade Minister Ambassador Fredrick Shava, who is also attending the environment assembly, said Zimbabwe has made tremendous strides in programmes aimed at mitigating extreme repercussions of climate change and negative effects of plastic use.

“Zimbabwe in close partnership with UNEP, has successfully implemented a number of programmes and projects aimed at sustainably tapping on the country’s rich and diverse national heritage comprising the people, land and natural resources that include minerals and water.  Key UNEP support has included assistance towards: the ratification of the Minamata Convention on mercury; development of the National Action Plan, the Minamata Initial Assessment and the integrated national solid waste management plan in addition to capacity building towards environmental law enforcement in the country. Faced with vulnerabilities such as incessant droughts, floods and cyclones, Zimbabwe is taking steps to implement and domesticate the Paris Agreement on climate change. The National Climate Policy has been developed while climate change has been mainstreamed into national policies and strategies such as the National Development Strategy 1 (2021-25) has identified environmental protection, climate resilience and natural resources management as key pillars towards achievement of our Vision 2030 and ultimately the Sustainable Development Goals,” he said.

Hosted by the UN Environment Programme, the United Nations Environment Assembly (UNEA) brings together representatives of the 193 Member States of the UN, businesses, civil society and other stakeholders to agree on policies to address the world’s most pressing environmental challenges.