UN engages MPs on climate change, global peace efforts

20Sep 2019
Polycarp Machira
The Guardian
UN engages MPs on climate change, global peace efforts

THE United Nations system in Tanzania yesterday convened members of Parliament to share knowledge and awareness creation on the effects of climate change, ahead of the International Day of Peace tomorrow,.

UNEP Representative in Tanzania, Clara Makenya.

Speaking during the meeting, the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) Representative in Tanzania, Clara Makenya, said that it is important to equip lawmakers with the right knowledge and awareness to enable them advocate, locate resources from the national budget. They must be equally able to establish strong policy direction, debate and enact laws that can protect the environment as well as addressing climate change.

"It is important for MPs to ask tough questions, demand answers and hold government and other related authorities accountable on the set  regulations on environmental standards compliance and enforcement, as well as climate action commitments,'' she said.

Tanzania will join the rest of the world to mark the International Day of peace on September 21,  whose theme is Climate Action for Peace.

Each year the International Day of Peace is observed around the world on 21 September. The UN General Assembly declared this as a day devoted to strengthening the ideals of peace, within and among all nations and peoples.

The United Nations member states adopted the 17 Sustainable Development Goals  in 2015 as they understood that it would not be possible to build a peaceful world if steps were not taken to achieve economic and social development for all people everywhere, and ensure that their rights were protected. 

Ahead of that day, UN Environment, under the overall commitment on knowledge sharing and awareness creation on environmental management systems, partnered with United Nations Information Centres (UNICs) and other key stakeholders to provide a platform for exchange of information and awareness creation.

MPs who participated at the awareness creation event on environmental management systems and links to peace belong to the Parliamentary Committee on Industries, Trade and Environment, led by the deputy chairman, Masoud Ally Khamis.

Makenya said that the workshop was set to provide a high-level overview of how the use of environment management systems (EMS) can reduce climate change impacts on the environment.

"At the end of this workshop, MPs will be in position to understand the nexus on Climate Action and Peace, and the purpose of an environmental management system including requirements and a legislative framework relevant to EMS,'' she elaborated.

The chief guest,Dodoma Regional Commissioner Dr Binilith Mahenge said lawmakers were key stakeholders in environmental issues as they are the ones who ratify international protocols related to environment.

"I believe that you will discuss and come up with key recommendations on how to improve the country's environmental management systems,'' he told the MPs.