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UNEP and Norway sign cooperation agreement on marine issues

On 14 August, UN Under-Secretary-General and UNEP Executive Director Achim Steiner and Norwegian Minister of Foreign Affairs Børge Brende met in Arendal, Norway to sign a new Programme Cooperation Agreement, through which Norway renewed its contribution to UNEP's Programme of Work for 2014.

The Agreement allocates funds to support the action on emerging environmental issues in follow-up of the resolution taken on marine plastic debris and marine microplastics at the first United Nations Environment Assembly (UNEA) in June, and to a UNEP/Food and Agriculture Organization project to improve fish food security in West Africa.

During the bilateral meeting, the Minister and the Executive Director discussed the opportunities arising from the strengthening and upgrading of UNEP following the first-ever session of UNEA. They also addressed plans taking shape in the lead-up to the UN Secretary-General's Climate Summit in September.

In that context, Mr Steiner and Minister Brende reviewed the progress of the UNEP-hosted Climate Technology Centre and Network and welcomed the new partnership with the leading Norwegian company DNV GL, focused on facilitating the transfer of climate technologies and fostering collaboration among climate technology stakeholders globally.

Mr Steiner also thanked Norway for its many fruit-bearing contributions to UNEP, including the partnerships under UN-REDD (Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation in Developing Countries) programme.

Other topics of discussion with the Norwegian minister of Foreign Affairs, as well as with the Minister of Climate and Environment Tine Sundtoft, included the UNEP Inquiry into the Design of a Sustainable Financial System, which was launched early this year to develop new policy options for guiding the global financial system to invest in the transition to a Green Economy. They agreed that the Inquiry had a potential to trigger the next level of cooperation with the financial and capital markets, and that such projects would help to build the foundation for a successful transition to an inclusive Green Economy.

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