Spain, February 22, 2013 - During the meeting of the UNEP Board of Directors, UNEP executive director Achim Steiner explained that the presidency revolves on a regional level and that, with the turn of the Western European countries now at an end, a country from the “African region” will now take on the role from Spain, which commenced its presidency on 21 February 2011. The person responsible for handing over the presidency, Spanish Secretary of State for the Environment, Federico Ramos, did so during the annual meeting of the UNEP Board of Directors and the Global Ministerial Environment Forum held in Nairobi (Kenya).
Steiner said he was “very grateful for the support that Spain has given to UNEP” and described the Spanish mandate as a “very successful presidency”. He also stressed the fact that “despite the economic crisis, Spain did not abandon UNEP. It has been a very inspiring country that has beaten records in fields such as renewable energy”.
The annual meeting of the UNEP Board of Directors and the Global Ministerial Environment Forum is the first to be held since the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development (Rio+20) decided to strengthen this body in Rio de Janeiro (Brazil) last June. Every country is now represented for the first time, with hundreds of environment ministers, scientists, civil society representatives and business leaders attending the meeting at the UN complex in the north of Nairobi.