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India Urges for Greater Global Cooperation for Healthier Planet at UNEP Special Session

At the same time, the minister emphasized the importance of paying more attention to "means of implementation" so that emerging countries are not burdened. "Providing funding, technology transfer, and capacity building will ensure that implementation of these agreements is not merely a burden for developing countries, but rather a road to a greener and healthier planet," he said.

Shivam Dwivedi
Bhupender Yadav, Environment Minister
Bhupender Yadav, Environment Minister

According to environment minister Bhupender Yadav, who delivered a national statement at a special session of the UN Environment Programme (UNEP) in Nairobi on Friday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi's global call for the elimination of single-use plastic in 2018 provided momentum for action, culminating in the historic resolution and its adoption to end plastic pollution.

"We believe that this will institutionalize the 'fight plastic pollution' credo around the world," he said. Yadav was referring to a resolution passed by the United Nations Environment Assembly (UNEA) on Wednesday, in which 175 countries, including India, pledged to build an international "legally enforceable pact" by 2024 to stop plastic pollution through a variety of measures.

At the same time, the minister emphasized the importance of paying more attention to "means of implementation" so that emerging countries are not burdened. "Providing funding, technology transfer, and capacity building will ensure that implementation of these agreements is not merely a burden for developing countries, but rather a road to a greener and healthier planet," he said.

The UNEP's special session was called to commemorate the worldwide organization's 50th anniversary. Since its inception in 1972, when the Stockholm Declaration was signed, India has worked with UNEP to address key environmental issues.

"The UNEP's 50th anniversary must serve to strengthen international cooperation and encourage collective action to address the major environmental challenges of our time, such as climate change, biodiversity conservation and enhancement, and pollution and waste management, all while moving toward sustainability," Yadav said.

The minister said, in response to Prime Minister Modi's latest call for establishing LIFE (Lifestyle for Environment) a global endeavour toward sustainability, "We believe that our resource use should be guided by "mindful and purposeful consumption" rather than "mindless and destructive consumption." We feel that UNEP and India should work together to promote the message of LIFE to the rest of the world in order to protect mankind and the environment."

During the UN Environment Assembly's fifth session in Nairobi, India worked constructively to reach agreement on a resolution to drive global action on plastic pollution by establishing an intergovernmental negotiating committee (INC) for a new international legally binding treaty.

"The principle of national circumstances and competence was added in the wording of the resolution on India's request to allow poor nations to maintain their development trajectories while taking efforts to address plastic pollution," the environment ministry said in a statement.

In connection with the first session of the INC, the UNEP will host a meeting for all stakeholders at the end of this year to share knowledge and best practices from across the world. "It will enable open talks and guarantee that they are guided by research over the following two years, reporting on progress. Finally, after the INC's work is completed, UNEP will hold a diplomatic conference to approve the INC's findings and open it for signatures "as per a UNEP release.

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