The two-faced UN Environment Programme (UNEP)

The United Nations Environment Program (UNEP) is an ever-growing maze.

Its latest and greatest growth project derives from the seeds it had planted during the Rio+20 jamboree held approximately two years ago.

Needless to say, the activists were considerably less than thrilled with the outcomes; however, the UNEP’s word-salad tosser-in-chief, aka Achim Steiner, attempted to mollify the dissatisfied by telling them that they would be pleasantly surprised with one of the outcomes.

As I had noted last year:

The UNEP, parent of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and its highly unsuccessful Kyoto Protocol, as well as a multitude of other acronymic offspring, is about to celebrate 40 years of generating and promulgating increasingly scary stories – and its recently acquired “upgraded” status in the UN maze. [emphasis added -hro]

Long story short (at this point) is that during the process of “translating” from the typically dense and arcane prose of far too many UN documents regarding the UNEP’s “upgraded” status – and the “historic” inaugural gathering of the new, improved “United Nations Environment Assembly of the United Nations Environment Programme” (UNEA) to be held June 23 – 27 at UNEP’s HQ in Nairobi, Kenya – I happened to stumble across two glaringly opposite aspects of Steiner’s ever-growing empire.

First, some excerpts from the security advice (pdf) they provided to UNEA delegates:

For your own safety, kindly read and follow the below listed tips:

Avoid crowded areas such as malls

When walking, keep to the main roads and avoid shortcuts down back alleys and the like. However, where possible, take a taxi rather than walking

Never walk at night in the city center even for a short distance – always take a taxi

Be wary of people loitering outside hotels

Ignore street children and people coming up to you in the streets with hard-luck tales. They may be pickpockets or part of an elaborate scam. The best thing to do is just to walk on and ignore them

Do not carry large sums of money. Avoid carrying credit cards, wearing expensive jewelry, watches or the like when walking in the street

Do not accept food and drinks from strangers; visitors have been known to be drugged and then robbed

Amazing, eh?! You’d think that – at the very least – the UNEP would want to put some effort into cleaning up its own backyard, before inviting the world.

Compare the above red-lettered (by me!) text with the following from the “United Nations Visitors’ Service, Nairobi” Facebook page:

Just a touch of cognitive dissonance, perhaps?!

Just a touch of cognitive dissonance, perhaps?!

Did you notice that, folks?! Just in case you missed it, here’s the text from that Facebook post:

United Nations Visitors’ Service, Nairobi shared a link.

500,000+ children are displaced w/in #SouthSudan – you can help @OCHASouthSudan here:

And if you were to follow that link from the Facebook page, you would find that it goes to:


The United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) has teamed up with United Nations Foundation to collect online donations for the South Sudan Common Humanitarian Fund.

Your donation will help humanitarian NGOs and UN agencies in South Sudan to assist the most vulnerable communities affected by sudden onset emergencies and urgently requiring food, water, shelter and other basic needs. Through this rapid and flexible response mechanism your funding can be truly life-saving.

Kinda makes you wonder, doesn’t it?! How did the plethora of UN agencies determine that the 500,000 children in South Sudan are somehow more deserving of being (at least a purported) target of aid than an unknown number of children who might be found on the streets of Nairobi?

Hypocrisy, thy name is United Nations.


For more advance fanfare on the new, improved, ever-expanding “do as we say, but not as we do” UNEP, see also:

First UN Environment Assembly in Nairobi Heralds New Era in Global Efforts to Address Environmental Sustainability

And … as a bonus … here’s the UNEP’s head honcho, Achim Steiner in action, flogging the new, improved (somewhat modulated and almost “scare-free”) UNEA:

4 thoughts on “The two-faced UN Environment Programme (UNEP)

  1. Have you seen this video, as well?

    Some quotes.. Maurice Strong: “The UN has to be there, but it has to be a strengthened and reinforced UN. And that UN needs to have the support of not just governments, but people have to realise that their future depends on an effective, functioning UN.”

    Ban Ki-moon: “The birth of the Environment Assembly is both necessary and timely… We need wise policies and decisive action, based on sound science. The world counts on the UN Environment Assembly to help us provide a life of dignity for all.”

    So our continued existence on Planet Earth will depend on UNEA, just as our lives from 1972 onwards have presumably depended on UNEP!

    • Oh, Alex … you’ve just ruined my weekend! In the immortal words of Peter Gleick and Poor Phil Jones: “Yuck”!

      Makes one wonder what Strong has been doing in the background for the last few years. He did make a cameo appearance at Rio+20, but in this video, he seems to have been brought out of retirement into the spotlight.

      I’m not quite sure what planet they think we are living on; and I don’t know about you, but it seems to me that if they care so little for the children (not to mention speaking so disparagingly of them) in their own backyard [as per my post above], then it will be “business as usual” for the UNEP/UNEA; i.e. “Do as we say, but not as we do.”

      These self-appointed/annointed champions of hypocrisy and double-speak seem to be further and further removed from reality with every passing day (and/or video)!

      What else can one say, at this point … except … Amazing. Simply Amazing!

      Mind you, they do seem to have dropped the “boom-boom-doom-doom” music! Guess it wasn’t quite as effective as they thought it would be;-)

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