Kenya: UN environment summit honors plane crash victims

             By Andrew Wasike and Magdalene Mukami</p>  <p>NAIROBI, Kenya (AA) - The closing session of a UN environmental meeting in Kenya’s capital began with a candlelit tribute to the 157 victims of last Sunday’s plane crash in Ethiopia.</p>  <p> Delegates at the UN Environment Assembly in Nairobi on Friday lit 32 candles for the 32 nations represented by the crash victims.</p>  <p>&quot;As the environment assembly comes to a close today, we want to dedicate some time today to honor the people who lost their lives in the Ethiopians Airlines crash,” said Joyce Msuya, acting head of the UN Environment Program. </p>  <p>“We will forever remember their commitment and dedication of those who are no longer with us.&quot; </p>  <p>&quot;Sunday's horrific accident was foremost a tragedy for family and friends of the people whose lives were cut short,” but also “a tragedy for the UN delegations and the environmental community,&quot; she said.<br> <br> So far the assembly has seen some declarations tackling environmental issues, but the UN said the summit might stretch into the early hours Saturday as it waits for decisions to be reached on certain major topics.<br> <br> At the assembly, ministers from more than 170 UN member states pledged to protect the polluted, degraded planet with a blueprint for a more sustainable future, said a UN statement.</p>  <p>But it added that the world needs to speed up moves towards a new model of development in order to respect the vision laid out in the Sustainable Development Goals for 2030.<br> <br> Pointing to mounting evidence that the planet is increasingly polluted, rapidly warming, and dangerously depleted, the ministers also pledged to address environmental challenges through advancing innovative solutions and adopting sustainable consumption and production patterns, said the UN.

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