Sweden's National Statement at UNEA 3 in Nairobi, Kenya

National statement by Karolina Skog, Minister for the Environment, at UN Environment Assemby, UNEA 3, in Nairobi, Kenya, December 4, 2017.

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Excellencies, ministers, colleagues, ladies and gentlemen – friends of the environment,

A recent scientific report published in The Lancet revealed that more than 9 million people died in 2015 as a result of diseases caused by pollution. Health aspects of pollution therefore urgently need to be addressed and attended to. UNEA is timely and we welcome the agreements made in the resolution on this matter.

The United Nations Environment Assembly should be the number one Authority for environmental issues. To deliver, we have to step up our mode of work, we have to focus and use the instruments and agreements already in place to deliver towards a pollution free planet. This Assembly should not be about redrafting or renaming, but fulfilling, implementing and where possible enhancing what we together have already agreed upon. The 2030 Agenda, the Paris agreement, the Montreal Protocol and the Minamata convention set out our directions but are only contributing to the future we want if implemented with full strength.

Fighting pollution is key. Stockholm Environment Institute has presented a pyramid model that shows, the environmental dimension as the basis for not only the health perspective, but also for the economic and social dimensions of sustainable development.

Sweden has a long experience working with industry and equally important with NGO:s representing many different interests. By involving civil society we are taking decisions and formulating polices that has a broad support in society.

At the historic UN Ocean Conference, co-hosted by Sweden (and Fijioover 540 voluntary commitments were made on marine pollution alone, including land-based measures to reduce marine pollution and litter, in a source-to-sea approach. We must now implement the commitments made.

Clean seas, clean air and the sustainable management of chemicals and waste are key for sustainable development. The Swedish Government is committed to invest, as voluntary commitments, more than one hundred million US Dollars in 2018 for international and domestic measures related to:
- pollution-free seas and responsible plastic management;
- clean air [nationally through achieving a fossil-free car fleet, and globally through contributing to the Climate and Clean Air Coalition];
- measures to reduce pharmaceutical pollution, [e.g. by investing in advanced wastewater treatment].

The UN Environment Programme and the UN Environment Assembly uniquely span all global climate and environmental issues. The Assembly is a platform enabling the world's environment leaders to act together.

Friends, together we must beat pollution!

Thank you.