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Offices and Departments

The U.S. Mission to the United Nations in Nairobi

The United States Permanent Mission to the UN Environment Programme (UNEP) and UN Human Settlements Programme (UN-HABITAT) works with the secretariats of these two organizations and with the representatives of other member states in Nairobi to cooperatively advance the U.S. objective of protecting the environment while reducing poverty and promoting sustainable economic growth; as well as helping find sustainable solutions to the phenomenon of rapid urbanization. The Mission carries out this work through participation in the Committees of Permanent Representatives of UNEP and HABITAT, through informal consultation, and by serving as a link between these two Nairobi-based UN programs and the various parts of the U.S. Government that engage with them.  In addition, the Mission also contributes to the U.S. Government’s efforts to improve the overall efficiency and effectiveness of the UN through these two programs.

As the largest single contributor to the UN system, and as a major contributor to UNEP and HABITAT, the United States has a strong interest in ensuring that these institutions function properly and that their activities are consistent with U.S. foreign policy and international development goals.  

The U.S. Mission is housed in the U.S. Embassy in Nairobi, Kenya, on UN Avenue, Gigiri.   The U.S. Permanent Representative is Joseph P. Murphy (PDF 97 KB).  The Deputy U.S. Permanent Representative is Matthew Fliermans.

Overview of the United Nations programs in Nairobi, Kenya

The mandates of the two UN Programs that are headquartered in Nairobi entail issues that are central to the challenges and opportunities of sustainable development and sustainable urbanization:

  • The UN Environment Programme (UNEP) provides leadership and encourages partnership in caring for the environment by inspiring, informing, and enabling nations and peoples to improve their quality of life without compromising that of future generations
  • The UN Human Settlements Programme (UN-Habitat) is the United Nations agency for human settlements and promotes socially and environmentally sustainable towns and cities with the goal of providing adequate shelter for all.

Both programs trace their origins to the 1972 Stockholm Conference on the Human Environment, which helped bring issues of environmental sustainability and sustainable urbanization to a prominent place on the international agenda.

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