The UN Environment Programme (UNEP), the world's highest-level decision-making body with a universal membership of all 193 nations, is celebrating its 50th anniversary on 3 and 4 March 2022, bringing together governments, businesses, civil society and other stakeholders to address the environmental challenges that threaten the planet.


  1. It will be preceded by the fifth session of the UN Environment assembly taking place -- in person and online -- at the UNEP headquarters in Nairobi from 28 February to 2 March 2022 to agree on policies to address the most pressing environmental challenges.
  2. Founded in 1972 following the landmark UN Conference on the Human Environment, UNEP was conceived to monitor the state of the environment, inform policy making with science and coordinate responses to the world's environmental challenges.
  3. Since its creation, UNEP has worked closely with its 193 member states and other stakeholders to galvanize worldwide commitments and coordinated action to address many of the world's most pressing environmental challenges.
  4. It also played a leading role as the docking station for 15 multilateral environmental agreements.
  5. Chemicals and waste management, marine litter and a green recovery from Covid-19 are some of the issues the UN Environment Assembly will address when it convenes for the resumed part of its fifth session.
  6. On 2 October 1973, Kenya's first President Jomo Kenyatta inaugurated UNEP's headquarters at the Kenyatta International Convention Centre.
  7. In 1975, UNEP moved to a new location on the site of an old coffee farm on the outskirts of Nairobi, where it remains to this day.
  8. The first meeting of the UNEP Governing Council took place in the Palais des Nations, Geneva, in June 1973.
  9. In 2010, the first in a series of landmark science-based assessments by UNEP charts the gap between countries' pledges on greenhouse gas emissions and the reductions required to deliver a global temperature increase of below 2 degrees Celsius by the end of this century.