Biodiv Home

Eöffnungsrede von Herrn Zéphirin Diabré (UNDP Associate Administrator and Under-Secretary-General)

Honorable Minister,
Members of the diplomatic corps,
Distinguished guests,
Dear friends;

It gives me great pleasure, on behalf of UNDP, to address you on this important and auspicious occasion, as we celebrate today Earth Day.

It is especially appropriate that this year Earth Day falls in the midst of the 12th Commission on Sustainable Development meeting – we know that many of you are delegates to this important gathering.

Today also marks the formal opening of the photographic exhibition, “Focus on Nature”, made possible by an exciting partnership between the Government of Germany, GEO magazine, the Wildlife Conservation Society, UNDP and the Equator Initiative.

Many of the stunning photographs you see tonight powerfully capture a message that we at UNDP have so clearly learned through our work around the world – it is in the developing countries that people often depend most intimately on their precious biological resources for their very livelihoods – for their food, medicines and income.

Extreme human poverty and great biological wealth co-exist in the tropics -- and it is from the Equatorial Belt that many solutions to achieve sustainability will likely come. One of our most pressing goals at UNDP is to work with local people to ensure that their experiences inform and drive the policies that affect them. And we do so through programmes such as the Equator Initiative and the GEF Small Grants Programme.

At the global level, the conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity are increasingly seen as vital to the achievement of the poverty reduction targets laid out in the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).

This “Focus on Nature” exhibition – through its impressive portrayal of our living planet –reminds us that the achievement of the MDGs will be highly dependent on the success of local struggles to battle poverty and biodiversity loss. Together we must assist communities in this challenge.

As UNDP Administrator Mark Malloch Brown has noted, the MDGs will only be achieved farmer by farmer, family by family and community by community.

At the launch of this exhibit this evening, we are reminded that much of the global community’s successes in sustainable development have been achieved through effective partnerships – partnerships with governments, NGOs, community organizations, and the private sector.

Tonight’s event -- and the photo exhibition itself -- would not have been possible without the dedicated effort and significant contributions of BMZ: the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development, GTZ, and the German Mission to the United Nations.

Indeed, Germany has been a strong leader in the field of sustainable development and is joining UNDP in exploring in depth the critical links between Biodiversity and the MDGs. Speaking on behalf of UNDP, I would like to formally acknowledge them for their commitment and dedication to these vital issues.

It is now my very great pleasure to introduce the Honorable Kerstin Müller, Minister of State in the German Foreign Office.

I thank you.

Zum Seitenanfang