Eöffnungsrede von Herrn Zéphirin Diabré
(UNDP Associate Administrator and Under-Secretary-General)
Members of the diplomatic corps,
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 communitys successes in sustainable development have
been achieved through effective partnerships partnerships with
governments, NGOs, community organizations, and the private sector.
Tonights 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.