UNEP Definition and Meaning
UNEP, short for United Nations Environment Program by ABBREVIATIONFINDER, is a special UN body founded in 1972 (based in Nairobi), which coordinates environmental activities worldwide and provides impetus for new environmental protection measures. UNEP is intended to stimulate international cooperation and, with the help of all governmental and non-governmental organizations active in the field of environmental protection, to create a comprehensive system for collecting and evaluating knowledge about international environmental problems, as well as advising governments, promoting environmentally compatible technologies, initiating international environmental agreements and training environmental experts. The main focuses of the work include: climate change and pollution of the earth’s atmosphere, pollution and scarcity of drinking water, damage to coastal regions and the oceans, deterioration of the soil and desertification, biological impoverishment from the extermination of plant and animal species, hazardous waste and toxic chemicals. – The main decision-making body has been the UN Environment Assembly since 2013, in which all UN member states are represented. The UN Environment Assembly has met every two years since 2014 and replaces the UNEP Administrative Council, which has been made up of representatives from 58 member states since 1972. The practical work is the responsibility of an Executive Director (1998-2006 K. Töpfer; 2006–16 Achim Steiner, * 1961; 2016–18 Erik Solheim, * 1955) headed secretariat.
Main organs: The main organs of the United Nations are the General Assembly, the Security Council, the Secretariat, the Economic and Social Council, the Trustee Council (activity suspended since 1994) and the International Court of Justice
In the general assembly (General Assembly, General Assembly) all members of the UN meet at least once a year; it elects its President for each meeting. Each country has a delegation of no more than five members, but only one vote. The General Assembly can deliberate on all matters covered by the Charter and negotiate on all issues relating to the competences and functions of other organs of the UN. It can – with reservations – discuss any matter within the competence of the Security Council that concerns international security or the maintenance of peace. Voting on “important issues” (e.g. recommendations for maintaining peace and security, the election of non-permanent members of the Security Council, the admission or exclusion of members, Amendments to the statutes) require a two-thirds majority of those present; on other questions a simple majority is sufficient. Outward-looking resolutions have the character of recommendations; that is, they cannot bind recipients. Their effect therefore depends on a. on the moral force of world public opinion. The situation is different with resolutions that are made in conventions with which international law is further developed or with which questions of international cooperation in various areas are affected. The General Assembly prepares its decisions in part in committees or sub-commissions. on the moral force of world public opinion. The situation is different with resolutions that are made in conventions with which international law is further developed or with which questions of international cooperation in various areas are affected. The General Assembly prepares its decisions in part in committees or sub-commissions. on the moral force of world public opinion. The situation is different with resolutions that are made in conventions with which international law is further developed or with which questions of international cooperation in various areas are affected. The General Assembly prepares its decisions in part in committees or sub-commissions.
The Security Council bears primary responsibility for maintaining world peace and security (Article 24 of the UN Charter). The council has (2015) five permanent members (USA, Russia, Great Britain, France and the People’s Republic of China) and ten non-permanent members who are elected by the General Assembly every two years, taking into account an appropriate geographical distribution. An extension of the body, v. a. for more permanent members has been one of the recognized central reform demands since the early 1990s. In doing so, inter alia also Germany for a permanent seat. The permanent members have the possibility to make use of a veto with which each one of them can block a decision of the council. On the one hand, the Council has competencies and instruments for the peaceful settlement of disputes (investigative, mediation and comparison functions) and, on the other hand, it has powers to take measures in the event of an established breach of peace, an act of aggression or a threat to peace. In these cases, the Security Council (and only it) has mandatory authority to issue orders (e.g. to impose sanctions or military coercive measures), otherwise it only makes recommendations. The permanent international armed forces provided for by the Charter, which can be deployed by the Security Council in cases of peace-breaking, have not yet been made available; therefore the UN can only intervene militarily or send observers to maintain or enforce peace, when individual members volunteer troop units or civil commissions. However, in 1994 the planning system UN Stand-by-Arrangement-System (USAS) was developed to the time for the establishment of Shorten UN peacekeeping forces. As part of the USAS, the member states indicate civil and military resources and capabilities that they want to make available to the UN for peacekeeping or peace enforcement measures.
The Secretariat is the UN’s administrative body. It is under the direction of the Secretary General, the highest administrative official of the UN, who is elected by the General Assembly for five years on the recommendation of the Security Council (re-election is possible once). The general secretary as well as the staff of the secretariat are in accordance with the statutes removed from the influence of their home countries. The Secretary General can bring cases of endangerment of the peace to the Security Council;
The Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) is intended to promote economic and social progress as well as comprehensive peaceful cooperation between states in all areas and to assert human rights. He is responsible to the General Assembly, which also elects its 54 members (18 members are elected annually for three years). The Council can have studies carried out on specific problems, it can also give general recommendations, draft international agreements and convene state conferences.
The Trusteeship Council (Trusteeship Council) was the responsible body for the trusteeship system and the Non-Self (mandated territories), after independence the last Trust Territory (Palau) in 1994 was suspended its activities.
The International Court of Justice (ICJ) in The Hague has 15 judges elected by the General Assembly and the Security Council for a nine-year term. Only states can refer to the Court of Justice. In addition to the IGH, the UN has set up an International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea with its seat in Hamburg (judges were first elected in 1996). Furthermore, the UN can set up special tribunals (war crimes tribunal) to investigate and condemn genocides and crimes against humanity. In 1998 the Statute for an International Criminal Court was adopted, which entered into force on July 1, 2002.
Both the General Assembly and the Security Council and the Economic and Social Council have a wide range of accountable auxiliary and specialized bodies. The specialized organizations have their own legal status.