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MALITI: Use Unep to make Nairobi the world environment hub

Nairobi lays claim to many distinctions. Financial hub of East Africa. Regional aviation hub. Regional diplomatic hub.

But what is County Hall doing to maintain its status? And can Nairobi make a claim of being the global capital of anything?

These questions crossed my mind when I learnt the other day that the authorities in The Hague actively work to distinguish their city as the capital of international justice and peace.

The Hague is a centuries-old city in The Netherlands where the Dutch Prime Minister, Cabinet and Parliament sit.

As we have learnt in the past few years, The Hague is also where the International Criminal Court is based. 

The 67-year old International Court of Justice, which arbitrates disputes between states, is also based there.

The Hague has all this and it is not even the capital city of The Netherlands. Amsterdam is. But the Municipality of The Hague is not content with all this.

To maintain its claim to being the capital of international justice and peace, it has set aside a building for international organisations that work on global justice issues.

The offices are equipped with basics such as internet connections, copying machines and the rent is subsidised.

To handle other issues that these organisations and their staff may have the Municipality has a department of international affairs which actively seeks organisations in The Hague to expand their presence.

As Nairobi is already home to the world’s top environmental agency, the city should be staking its claim as the capital of international environmentalism. After all, it was once known as the Green City in the Sun.

County Hall should be leveraging the presence of the United Nations Environmental Program (Unep) to get more organisations working on environmental issues to make Nairobi home.

tom. [email protected]