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Fall 2010, Issue#24
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MDGs# 7:
Project director: Bircan ÜNVER,
Main Representative of The Light Millennium to the
Department of Public Information of the United Nations
.
Prepared by: Sirin CENGIZALP, Project Assistant, The Light Millennium.

GOAL 7: ENSURE ENVIRONMENTAL SUSTAINABILITY

"The distribution of resources among the inhabitants of
the planet must become genuinely equitable."


aralsea

Photo credit: Travelpod.com




-For the full statements of the MDGs Debate on September 20, 2010.

"Countries like Nepal make least contribution to climate change yet
we bear disproportionate impact.
And it is the poor and vulnerable people among us who face its severe effects."


Millennium Development Goals – Summit 2010 - United Nations, New York City
20-22 September 2010

Below quotes are selected based on the given speeches by the member states of the United Nations on the “Ensure Environmental Sustainability” within the context of the MDGs Summit-2010.

"Human suffering and material losses continue growing with the unprecedented levels of rainfall experienced during the past month, which keep adding-up victims and damages.”

GUATEMALA
by H.E. Mr. Alvaro Colom Caballeros, President of the Republic of Guatemala, High-level Plenary Meeting of the Sixty-Fifth Session of the General Assembly on the Millennium Development Goals Statement

“Three of the indicators marking setbacks are related with environmental sustainability, at a time in which the climate phenomenon demands more and not less preventive efforts. The frequency and intensity of climate-related disasters are manifestations of this perverse combination of trends of both internal and external origin. Addressing this vulnerability is in addition to the challenge of protecting our mega diversity, one of our greatest assets. For now, we are experiencing its most dramatic effects with an increase in cases of acute malnutrition in children, and a stagnant indicator of chronic under-nutrition.”

General Debate of the Sixty-Fifth Session of the United Nations General Assembly
by H.E. Mr. Gert Rosenthal, Permanent Representative of the Republic of Guatemala to the United Nations

“After building up a cumulative body of scientific evidence that no longer allows room for doubt, we confirmed that the same effects of technical progress have brought with them devastating consequences on our common habitat – the planet – and that the destruction wrought by climate change are palpable and dramatic.

We have been victims of acts of nature with an unusual frequency, which suggest the extreme vulnerability of Guatemala to the effects of climate change, given its location in a tropical isthmus. We had not even begun to recover from the effects of tropical storm Stan from the end of 2005, when we were affected by a grave drought in 2009, and, in the last few months, first, the eruption of the Pacaya Volcano, which caused extended damage to agricultural production, followed by tropical storm Agatha in June, which affected 330,000 persons (including around 100 dead) and caused material damages whose estimated costs reach almost a billion dollars. These estimates in human suffering and material losses continue growing with the unprecedented levels of rainfall experienced during the past month, which keep adding-up victims and damages.”

NEPAL - Accomplishments
by Hon. Bhim Bahadur Rawal, Minister for Home Affairs and the Leader of the Nepalese Delegation at the High-level Plenary Meeting of the 65th Session of the United Nations General Assembly on the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs)

“Some of our successful national programs include, partnership for poverty eradication, community management of schools and forests; education related incentives for girl children from poor, marginalized and disadvantaged communities; adult literacy campaigns; provisions of social security; targeted development programs, immunization and maternal health related programs and progressive realization of the rights of women, including right to reproductive health.

Promotion of alternative and renewable sources of energy; and inclusive and participatory governance are some of the other measures and programs which have proved useful in our national experience."

Where we are now now?
"Countries like Nepal, least developed and landlocked as they are, face severe and additional difficulties. The vicious circle of the mutually reinforcing and exacerbating impacts of food, energy, economic and financial crises together with the adverse and disproportionate impacts of climate change such as melting of glacier in the Himalayas and elsewhere, erratic weather patterns and floods have significantly constrained our efforts towards meeting the MDGs.”

General Assembly
by Hon. Bhim Bahadur Rawal, Minister for Home Affairs of Government of Nepal and the leader of the Nepalese Delegation at the Sixty-Fifth Session of the United Nations General Assembly

Challenge:
“Our fellow South Asian country Pakistan suffered tragic loss of lives and destruction due to unprecedented floods recently. Similarly, fellow LDC Haiti faced devastating earthquakes. These disasters have wiped out hard earned gains and therefore we call for full sympathy and support to them in this hour of need.

The climate change has become a challenge to human existence with multidimensional threat to human lives and all living things, global ecosystem and human civilization. It has a direct impact on our efforts to eradicate poverty and hunger and preserve ecological balance.

Moreover, we face extreme weather events, floods, soil degradation and desertification. Countries like Nepal make least contribution to climate change yet we bear disproportionate impact. And it is the poor and vulnerable people among us who face its severe effects. We cannot wait for action forever. At the national level, we are pursuing afforestation programs, promoting use of alternative sources of energy as well as hydropower generation. The international community should agree on a new, predictable, transparent and substantially enhanced resource mobilization and a fast-track provision to ensure resources for mitigation, adaptation, transfer of technology, Reduced Emissions from Deforestation and Degradation (REDD) Plus, and capacity-building in the least developed countries.”

SWAZILAND
by His Majesty King Mswati III Head of State of the Kingdom of Swaziland to the 65th Session of the United Nations High-level Plenary Meeting on the Millennium Development Goals

“One of the crucial ways towards the eradication of extreme poverty is to stimulate agricultural development. In order to increase food production government is providing agricultural inputs, such as tractors, seeds and fertilizers to our farmers.
We are already seeing some improvement from this program where our rural farmers are able to till the land on time, since they had access to farm inputs.

However, we need more resources to construct dams, boreholes for both irrigation and household use countrywide.
Our aim is to ensure greater productivity with particular regard to growing our staple food on Swazi nation land. The nation is also working towards the diversification of agricultural exports and access to new markets.”

General Debate of the 65th Session of the United Nations General Assembly - New York 25 September 2010
by His Majesty King Mswati III, Head of State of the Kingdom of Swaziland

“As a developing nations the Kingdom of eSwatini is following with keen interest the issues surrounding the effects of climate change. As agriculture based economy the Kingdom is also victim of environmental degradation."

"The distribution of resources among the inhabitants of the planet must become genuinely equitable."

SWITZERLAND
by H.E. Mrs. Micheline Calmy-Rey, Federal Councillor, Swiss Statement - General Assembly 65th Session, High-level Plenary Meeting Integrated and coordinated implementation of and follow-up to the outcomes of the major United Nations conferences and summits in the economic, social and related fields; and Follow-up to the outcome of the Millennium Summit,
New York, 20 September 2010.


“At the start of the new millennium, climate change was not yet to become a core issue in the development debate. Today this all changed. We are all aware that, as well as taking the indispensable mitigating measures; the task of adapting to climate change will be a vital part of our efforts, especially in the developing countries. There is a real risk that the changing climate could trigger enforced migration in numerous countries, spilling over into conflicts over water and arable land. To obviate that situation, the risks in each country must be evaluated, an action plan drawn up to respond to catastrophic situations, and our readiness to intervene in situations of extreme hardship made clear.

In this context, it is vital that greater efforts be made to stabilize the concentration of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, and to achieve the aims of the Framework Convention on Climate Change and of the Kyoto Protocol. Here, the importance of defining credible and achievable objectives for the period after 2012 is absolutely crucial and cannot be overemphasized."

Challenges:
I believe that international cooperation is facing some major changes. The economic success of China, India, Brazil and other emerging countries is forcing us to confront an obvious truth: the limits of what is ecologically sustainable will soon be reached if seven billion people begin to consume CO2, water and other natural resources as much as we in the OECD countries do today.
The distribution of resources among the inhabitants of the planet must become genuinely equitable. The transition to a green economy is more than ever necessary and urgent.”

NIGERIA
Statement On Behalf of: H.E. President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan, GCFR, President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, On the Nigeria and the Millennium Development Goals: Progress Towards 2015 By Professor C.O. Onyebuchi Chukwu, Honourable Minister of Health, At the High Level Plenary Meeting of the 65th Session of the United Nations General Assembly to review the Millennium Development Goals

“Let me acknowledge that our environment is still seriously threatened. Between 2000 and 2010 the area of forest shrank by a 1/3rd from 14.4% to 9.9% of the land area. Safe water and sanitation remains a challenge, contributing to some of the severe perennial outbreaks of epidemic in parts of the country. Towards this end, the present administration remains committed towards redressing the situation and continuing the discussion from the outcomes of COP 15 on Climate Change.”

MONTENEGRO
by H.E. Mr. Igor Luksic, Deputy Prime Minister of Montenegro at the High-level Plenary Meeting of the 65th Session of the United Nations General Assembly

“The most important challenges in Montenegro’s long-term development are those of further reduction of regional economic, social and cultural disparities and social exclusion. Also of strengthening the rule of law and ensuring closer integration of environmental issues in sectoral development policies and strategies.”

As a country of an extraordinary geographical and biodiversity and one of the fastest growing tourist destinations, which is a comparative advantage, Montenegro is facing huge pressures against the environment. Sustainable use of resources is our priority towards achieving the seventh Millennium Development Goal and Montenegro will work hard to accomplish this in the period ahead.”

General Debate of the 65th Session of the United Nations General Assembly
by H.E. Mr. Filip Vujanovic, President of Montenegro - New York 24 September 2010

“In the context of climate change and its adverse effects, we are fully committed to finding common response in accordance with the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change. We have been further committed to this end having in mind effects of natural disasters last year, which caused heavy loss of life and huge material damages and devastation. To mention Haiti earthquake and floods in Pakistan as recent disasters. Therefore, global response and action is required, not only at the humanitarian level, but for reducing the effects of natural disasters and reconstruction and further development of affected regions and countries.

In order to make our own response to the responsible and complex issue of climate change, we have established a Regional Forum in Montenegro, together with neighboring countries and countries from the region, which deals with the challenges and prevention of climate change at national and regional level.”

REPUBLIC OF MOLDOVA
by H.E. Mr. Victor Bodiu, Minister of State, at the High-level Plenary Meeting of the Sixty-Fifth Session of the General Assembly on the Millennium Development Goals

“Our key priorities are: improve health education in schools, ensure wider coverage of the social protection network, expand environmental sustainability programmes, optimize the school and hospital infrastructure and ensure better social inclusion of vulnerable groups, expand multi-sectoral partnership and intensify concrete actions to fight HIV/AIDS and tuberculosis, improve water and sanitation infrastructure.”

General Debate of the Sixty-Fifth Session of the United Nations General Assembly
by H.E. Mr. Alexandru Cujba, Ambassador, Permanent Representative of the Republic of Moldova to the United Nations,
New York 29 September 2010.

“These goals will not be achieved unless we create a healthy and eco friendly environment, while putting in place a sound infrastructure that would protect our wealth and families from natural disasters. During recent years, Moldova has confronted considerable natural calamities – from acute droughts to harsh floods, which deepened in their devastating impact and frequency each year. The harm caused to the population, to the agricultural and food production sectors, as well as to the overall national economy is incommensurable.

We believe that the adoption of a post-Kyoto treaty is actual and vital as never before. We have to address the challenge of climate change with a synergy of national and integrated international responses, and we are looking forward to the positive outcome of the forthcoming conference in Cancun.”

ISRAEL
H.E. Mr. Shimon Peres, President of the State of Israel

“We are also one of the only countries in the world that entered the 21st century with more tress than it had when in entered the 20th century.”

Uzbekistan
aralsea aralsea2
"For forty years the water area of the Aral Sea shrank for more than 7 times,
the volume of water decreased for 13 times, its mineralization increased for ten times,
having made the sea improper place for living organisms."
Photo credits: sevensidedcube.net - http://infranetlab.org/

UZBEKISTAN
by H.E. Mr. Islam Karimov, President of the Republic of Uzbekistan, at the Plenary Session of the UN Millennium Development Goals Summit

“Protecting and preserving environment acquires an enormous significance to achieve the goals set by the Millennium Declaration, especially under the conditions of contemporary anomalous climate changes.

The tragedy of Aral which practically during a lifetime of one generation has turned from once one of the unique and most beautiful seas into a drying and vanishing water reservoir stands as a vivid example and evidence of our irresponsible attitude towards the environmental problems.

For forty years the water area of the Aral Sea shrank for more than 7 times, the volume of water decreased for 13 times, its mineralization increased for ten times, having made the sea improper place for living organisms. As a result, practically all kinds of flora and fauna fully degraded and disappeared.

Because of the ongoing drying up of the Aral Sea and unfolding humanitarian catastrophe around it, today’s most important task is to preserve the natural biological pool of the area adjacent to Aral, reduce the disastrous impacts of the Aral crisis on the environment, and most importantly, on the life of hundreds of thousands and millions of people living there.

It is necessary to take into consideration that the area around the Aral Sea is supplied with water at the expense of the watercourses of the two main rivers – Amudarya and Syrdarya, and any decrease of the watercourse of these rivers means a radical disturbance of the existing fragile environmental balance in the entire vast region.

As many international ecological organizations and respected experts recommend, it would be much more rational to switch to building less dangerous, but more economical small Hydropower Stations to have on these rivers the same energy power generating capacities.

At the moment, provision of the population with the pure drinking water reached 82.5 percent and natural gas – 83.5 percent.”

BHUTAN
by The Honorable Jigmi Y. Thinley, Prime Minister of the Kingdom of Bhutan, at the High Level Plenary Meeting of the United Nations General Assembly on the Millennium Development Goals

“The evidence of the limited ability of nature to tolerate abuse is there for us to suffer in the rising frequency and fury of multiple calamities. I refer not only to natural and manmade disasters such as the one from which millions of innocent Pakistani victims are trying to recover and the one that has destroyed the ecosystem and much of a way of life in the Gulf of Mexico.
Through the pursuit of such as goal (Gross National Happiness), we will find the reason and genius to moderate and harmonize our otherwise, largely material wants with the other equally important human needs and nature’s limitations.”

General Assembly
by H.E. Dasho Daw Penjo, Foreign Secretary, Royal Government of Bhutan at the General Debate of the 65th Session of the United Nations General Assembly

“As most fittingly described, ‘the other defining challenge of our time’, Climate Change requires the collective and coordinated effort of all nations as its devastating effects know no bounds. My country has full faith in the leadership of the UN and believes in the centrality of the UNFCCC in addressing Climate Change. We are confident that the ongoing negotiations will lead to a concrete, comprehensive and equitable agreement at COP 16 in Cancun later this year, as envisaged under the Bali Plan of Action. Success would be essential in Cancun for small and vulnerable countries such as my own, which bears a heavier burden due to Climate Change. We must have the necessary resources for mitigation and adaptation measures.

With the severe threats and damaging effects caused by Climate Change in South Asia as recently occurred in Pakistan, it was no coincidence that the 16th SAARC Summit, which Bhutan was honored to host in April this year, aptly had Climate Change as its theme.”

SERBIA
by H.E. Mr. Boris Tadic, President of the Republic of Serbia

“Integral to our efforts has been ensuring environmental sustainability through innovative financial mechanisms at national and regional levels. A good example of just such an attempt is the Belgrade Initiative for Enhancing Sub-Regional Cooperation in the Field of Climate Change through Research and Systematic Observation, Education, Training, Public Awareness and Capacity-Building.”

REPUBLIC OF BOTSWANA
by His Honor LT. General Mompati S. Merafhe, the Vice president of the Republic of Botswana

“My Government has been able to provide potable water to more than 95% of the population since the year 2000. In addition, more than 80% of our people have access to improved sanitation facilities. Botswana has established a National Climate Change Committee, whose mandate is to oversee national policies on climate change and the implementation of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change activities.”

THE PRINCIPALITY OF LIECHTENSTEIN
by H.E. Dr. Klaus Tschutscher, Prime Minister of The Principality of Liechtenstein

“Liechtenstein is particularly committed to addressing new development challenges in connection with climate change. We have signed the Copenhagen Accord and already set aside the first round of new and additional funds to help developing countries address these challenges.”

"One in every seven persons in Bangladesh would be a ‘climate migrant’ due to excessive green house gas emissions by industrialized countries."

BANGLADESH
Her Excellency Sheikh Hasina, Prime Minister, Government of the People's Republic of Bangladesh

“Estimates indicate that a meter rise in sea level would submerge a quarter of our land mass, displacing 30 million people, and making it difficult to sustain a poverty free post 2015 era. One in every seven persons in Bangladesh would be a ‘climate migrant’ due to excessive green house gas emissions by industrialized countries.”

UNITED ARAB EMIRATES
H.E. Reem Ibrahim AI Hashimi Minister of State of the United Arab Emirates

“In the same time we ensured the sustainability of the environment, mitigation the effects of climate change and reduced emissions. In this regard, the Masdar Initiative for renewable energy, launched in Abu Dhabi in 2007 is considered the first of its kind in the region and a big step towards investing in renewable energy and reducing the levels of carbon dioxide to the lowest possible level.”

REPUBLIC OF INDONESIA
by H.E. Dr. R.M. Marty M. Natalegawa Minister for Foreign Affairs Republic of Indonesia

“On climate, we are also implementing domestic actions to reduce emissions by 26% by 2020 and 41% with international assistance. Intensifying actions to curb deforestation and enhance reforestation as well as promotion of renewable energy are key in this regard.”

REPUBLIC OF AZERBAIJAN
R.E. Mr, Elmar Mammadyarov Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Azerbaijan

“Efforts are required to ensure that the quality of piped water meets international health standards, and regular supply is ensured through utility reforms and public investment in infrastructure.”

MOZAMBIQUE
by H.E. Mr. Oldermiro Baloi, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation of the Republic of Mozambique

“Recognizing the impact of social factors in communities’ health, we favor the implementation of joint measures of various government sectors aimed at increasing access to clean water, basic sanitation, mainly at the rural community level.”

ESTONIA
by Mr. Urmas Paet, Estonian Minister of Foreign Affairs

“We observe with concern the increasing number of natural disasters. Mitigating the impact of climate change, particularly in the agricultural sector, as well as dealing with problems concerning diminishing natural resources urgently requires more financing and new strategies.”

DOMINICA
by Hon. Alvin Bernard, Minister of State Ministry of Foreign Affairs

“Dominica has been dubbed the nature island of the Caribbean" this is due to the prudent environmental policies supported by legislation and well-established practices and traditions of our people. Consequently, we have been able to protect our water catchments, rivers, beaches, forest and marine reserves and enjoy the sustainable use of our natural resources.”

MEXICO
“The adverse effects of climate change confirm that we cannot remain inactive. The economic and human costs of not attending the problem are huge both in economical and human terms, and they negatively impact the wellbeing of present and future generations. Mexico will host the 16th conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP 16) and the 6th Meeting of the Parties to the Kyoto Protocol (MOP 6), from 29 November to 10 December, 2010, in Cancun, Quintana Roo.”

-For the full statements of the MDGs Debate on September 20, 2010.

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