Dr. Oyun Sanjaasuren, the Minister of Environment and Green Development of Mongolia, has been elected the first president of the United Nations Environment Assembly (UNEA).
Hundreds of environment ministers, decision makers, scientists, civil society representatives and business leaders have gathered at the inaugural meeting of UNEA, a new world body that places environmental issues at the heart of international affairs and provides fresh impetus to tackle growing global challenges.
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Dr. Oyun was elected president on the first day of the meeting at the headquarters of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) in Nairobi, taking over from Sudanese Minister of Environment and Forestry Hassan Abdel-Gadir Hilal, who was President of the Governing Council. She brings a wealth of experience in environmentalism and political consensus-building to this vital role.
She has been a continuously elected Member of Parliament since entering politics in 1998, and has chaired a number of key Standing Committees, pushing crucial legislation in areas such as anti-corruption and the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). From 2005 to 2008 she chaired the Mongolian parliament's sub-committee on the MDGs and poverty reduction.
She founded the Civil Will Green Party in 2000, and is the only female party leader in the country. When Dr. Oyun took up the environment docket in 2012, environment became one of the priority agendas of the Mongolian government, which hosted World Environment Day in 2013. Mongolia joined the Partnership for Action on Green Economy (PAGE) during the event, and has pledged to transition to a green future by promoting renewable energy, sustainable tourism and tackling air pollution, amongst other measures.
Dr. Oyun is also the Vice-Chair of Mongolia's National Committee on Sustainable Development, and her ministry is in charge of formulating Mongolia's post-2015 development goals.