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The 2017 Assembly, consisting of over 4,000 participants, concluded with 13 resolutions, and nearly 2.5 million pledges from governments, civil society, businesses, and individuals to tackle pollution. If all commitments are met, 1.49 billion people will breathe clean air and one third of the world’s coastlines will be clean.

UN Environment has been strengthening its engagement with the private sector at all levels, including through the UN Environment Assembly. Since the last Expo at the 2016 Assembly (23-25 May 2016), UN Environment has organized several activities in Copenhagen, Berlin, Puntarenas (Costa Rica) and Manila that brought together ministers, senior policymakers and leaders in the private sector to advocate for the 2017 Assembly and its theme of pollution. These events have significantly contributed to the dialogue between the private sector, civil society and governments on the challenges and solutions to pollution and to the commitments needed to achieve a clean sustainable planet.

The private sector plays a pivotal role in achieving the 17 Sustainable Development Goals that defined the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. These global partnerships have already spurred a number of solutions to critical environmental issues and UN Environment will continue to expand these partnerships in the years to come.

UN Environment has sought to strengthen its partnerships with the private sector through its new Private Sector Unit, now housed in the Governance Affairs Office. The Unit’s aim is to integrate private sector at all levels by: 

(i) empowering and promoting decentralization within the organization;

(ii) leading UN Environment’s private sector engagement in key UN platforms and other international initiatives;

(iii) adding value and promoting transparency in private sector engagement vis-à-vis the Governing Bodies and other partners; and

(iv) positioning UN Environment as a cutting-edge and open organization in dealing with the business community.