The United Nations Environment Assembly (UNEA) Accredits Homegrown UAE Not-For-Profit, AZRAQ


Dubai, UAE: AZRAQ, a UAE homegrown volunteer-run not-for-profit entity, is pleased to announce it has been accredited by the United Nations Environment Assembly (UNEA) of UNEP, providing the organization with observer status to the Assembly, the world’s highest-level decision-making body on the environment and its subsidiary bodies. 

Along with the esteemed accreditation, AZRAQ will participate in the work of UNEP’s governing bodies, such as the United Nations Environment Assembly of UNEP and the Committee of Permanent Representatives as well as it being the main entry point into policy dialogues at UNEP for major groups and stakeholders.

As an accredited organization, AZRAQ has the opportunity to:

  • Participate in the regional consultation meeting to be held in the region, in preparation for the assembly
  • Contribute to the preparation of regional civil society statements towards UNEP and the Assembly
  • Receive unedited working documents of the United Nations Environment Assembly at the same time as the Committee of the Permanent Representatives (CPR)
  • Submit to the UN Environment Secretariat written contributions to these unedited working documents for distribution to the governments through the Committee of the Permanent Representatives (CPR)
  • Participate in the public meetings of the Committee of Permanent Representatives (CPR), the Assembly and the Global Major Groups and Stakeholders Forum, an associated meeting of the UN Environment Assembly

Natalie Banks, Founder and Director of AZRAQ said, “AZRAQ is honoured to be accredited by the United Nations Environment Assembly (UNEA) of UNEP. During the Environment Assembly, AZRAQ will have the opportunity to attend the plenary sessions of the Committee of the Whole and the Ministerial Consultations as observers as well as exchange views and interact with governments present, circulate written statements to governments in the form of information documents through the UNEP secretariat, and make oral statements during the discussions at the United Nations Environmental Assembly of UNEP. This marks a pivotal moment for AZRAQ to provide input in regards to the marine conservation agenda as well as representing the UAE in these initiatives.”

The UNEA accreditation is a testament to AZRAQ as a marine conservation organisation, which tirelessly works on the front lines for ocean conservation in the United Arab Emirates through its exceptional groundwork and education for the community. AZRAQ is actively involved in beach and ocean clean-ups and mangrove tree planting days and is leading the fight for cleaner oceans in the UAE and the region.

Find AZRAQ on the list of accredited organizations with observer status to UNEP – For more information on AZRAQ, visit their website 

About AZRAQ:

Founded by Natalie Banks, AZRAQ is a volunteer-run not-for-profit entity in the UAE. AZRAQ focuses on the protection, defence and conservation of marine life, as well as enables partnerships to be formed with government and private entities and individuals for the good of the UAE and its marine environment. Born in 2018, the foundation’s mission is to end the destruction of habitat and slaughter of wildlife in the world’s oceans in order to conserve and protect the marine ecosystem and species. The organization achieves its goals by educating through awareness programs and motivating the community. The word “AZRAQ” gives credence to the nation’s mother tongue, translated from Arabic to English as “blue”, defining the marine environment that the not-for-profit serves to conserve and protect.