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Stockholm+50: taking stock of the first international UN conference on the environment

view of Stockholm, Sweden

UNESCO is participating in the commemoration of the 1972 United Nations Conference on the Human Environment in Stockholm and 50 years of global environmental action.

Alongside UN partners, Member States, civil society representatives and other stakeholders, UNESCO will take part in the international meeting “Stockholm+50: a healthy planet for the prosperity of all – our responsibility, our opportunity” on June 2-3 in Stockholm, Sweden.

By recognizing the importance of multilateralism in tackling the Earth’s triple planetary crisis – climate, nature, and pollution – the Stockholm+50 international meeting will to accelerate the implementation of the UN Decade of Action to deliver the Sustainable Development Goals, including the 2030 Agenda, Paris Agreement on climate change, the post-2020 global Biodiversity Framework, and encourage the adoption of green post-COVID-19 recovery plans.

UNESCO is participating in the commemoration of the 1972 United Nations Conference on the Human Environment and 50 years of global environmental action

Since its creation 75 years ago, with its interdisciplinary mandates in the fields of education, natural, social, and human sciences, culture, communication and information, UNESCO has had a pioneering role in shaping responses to social and environmental crises ever since, and even before, the Stockholm conference.

Today, UNESCO designated sites - 1154 World Heritage sites, 727 Biosphere Reserves and 177 Global Geoparks - that cover 6% of the Earth’s landmass are key areas where people learn to live in harmony with other living species, where nature and culture are mutually reinforcing and interlinked, with multiple evidence-based practices, solutions and experiences which are shared for the benefit of all. UNESCO transboundary designated sites are delivering an essential message of peace and reconciliation. 

UNESCO Director-General Audrey Azoulay shared this vision of reconciliation among humans for nature through a consultative process of 37 UN specialized agencies, programmes and funds, and multilateral environmental agreements that are members of the UN Environment Management Group.

The report “The Impact of the Stockholm Conference on the UN System: Reflections of 50 Years of Environmental Action“ synthesizes the information provided by the UN leaders.

Only a profound change in our system of values will allow us to restore our relationship with nature and to move from the dominance of economic values and economic growth towards values that promote collective well-being. UNESCO sites provide a wealth of examples of good practices associated to worldviews where humans do not dominate nature, including in urban areas. These lessons learned in UNESCO Biosphere Reserves, Global Geoparks and World Heritage sites are the experiences, the incubators, the homegrown solutions that we already have at our disposal
UNESCO Director-General
Audrey Azoulay UNESCO Director-General

UNESCO's statement at the Stockholm+50 Leadership Dialogue 3

Ms Shamila Naïr Bedouelle, Assistant Director-General for Natural Sciences, UNESCO, gave a statement on behalf of the Organization