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A United Nations Environment Organization

A United Nations Environment Organization

The European Union (EU) made a proposal to upgrade the UN Environment Programme (UNEP) to a UN Environment Organization (UNEO). This book chapter by Nils Meyer-Ohlendorf and Markus Knigge places the proposal in the broader political debate, by summarizing the most relevant initiatives in the context of the on-going UN reform process. The chapter discusses the main differences between UNEP and a potential UNEO and presents the arguments for and against the upgrade of UNEP to a UNEO.

The book chapter is available for download on the website of the Center for UN Reform Education


Meyer-Ohlendorf, Nils and Markus Knigge 2007: "A United Nations Environment Organization", in: Lydia Swart and Estelle Perry (eds.): Global Environmental Governance - Perspectives on the Current Debate. New York: Center for UN Reform Education, 124-141.

18 pp.
Table of Contents
  • Introduction
  • Reforming the UN - the Broader Political Context
  • Core features of a UNEO
    Legal Basis: UNEO as a Specialized Agency
  • UNEO: Institutional Design
    Plenary Organ
    Executive Organ
    Decision-making process
  • UNEO: Mandate and Functions
  • UNEO: Funding
  • What are the differences between a UNEO and UNEP? Mandate
    Plenary Organ
    Coordination bodies
  • Would a UNEO perform better than UNEP?
  • Current State of the Debate on a UNEO
European Union, EU, UNEP, UNEO, UN, reform, IEG, international, environmental, governance, upgrade, institution,