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Speech by Patrick Gilabert, UNIDO Representative in Viet Nam, on World Environment Day

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Date: Sunday, June 5, 2011
Event: World Environment Day hosted by the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment, Ho Chi Minh Communist Youth Union and the People's Committee of Bac Kan Province
Venue: Cultural House of Bac Kan Province

Your Excellencies, Prime Minister. Nguyen Tan Dung.
Your Excellency, Mr Pham Khoi Nguyen, Minister of Natural Resources and Environment,
Mr. Phan Van Mai Secretary of Youth Union Central Committee and Representatives of Youth Union members,
Mr. Nguyen Xuan Cuong, Secretary of Party Committee of Bac Kan,
Distinguished representatives from Bac Kan Province, Ministries, Agencies and localities,
Colleagues from the international community, Friends from the media,
Ladies and Gentlemen,

It is an honor to be here today in Bac Kan province, home to Ba Be Lake, one of the 20 largest natural freshwater lakes in the world, to celebrate with you World Environment Day, under the theme of "Forests, Nature at Your Service" on behalf of the United Nations in Viet Nam.

This year, we are also celebrating the International Year of Forests to promote the central role of people in conservation and sustainable management and development of world forests.

Both themes call our attention to the urgent need of safeguarding forests for the well-being of nature and our economies.

Over-exploitation of forests, wildlife, and water resources undermine the stability of ecosystems and their ability to provide clean air, water and food for future generations.

The commitment of both the government and citizenry in forest protection is crucial for sustainable development. We can no longer take forests for granted nor can we allow the pursuit of economic gain to result in their degradation and disappearance.

We also need to be aware that forest products, including timber, wildlife and other biological resources are the object of illicit international trafficking, which has adverse environmental, social and economic impacts.

The UN has called upon member states to combat illicit trafficking of forest products. In Viet Nam we have been working closely with the Government to promote sustainable natural resource use and to build response capacity to climate change effects.

This past year, the UN supported Viet Nam in the process of preparing and developing policies and programmes to prepare Viet Nam for the implementation of REDD+. In this context, a study on a Benefit Distribution System funded by the UN-REDD Programme has provided policy options which will allow for more equitable distribution of benefits, compensate local people in their work to protect forests, and thereby effectively contribute to reducing greenhouse gas emissions from deforestation and forest degradation.

We further commend the national government for promoting greater decentralization to support forest management. Decree 117, issued this past December, allows communities living around Special Use Forests to use and to protect natural resources so as to better integrate customary practices with conservation policy.

We would also like to thank the Viet Nam Central Youth Union, who co-organized the World Environment Day celebration here today, for demonstrating the growing awareness and promotion of concrete initiatives taken by Vietnamese youth in leading environmental action.
However, there is still much to be done to further the cause of environmental conservation in Viet Nam. We need to work together to improve natural resource planning and management for economic development and social benefit to ensure more sustainable exploitation of Viet Nam's ecological wealth. We also need to strengthen effective law enforcement measures to combat the illicit trafficking of forest products as part of comprehensive national measures for protecting national resources.

We have not only the duty, but also the responsibility to act for the well-being of our environment. Together, we can secure a better future for both ourselves and our children and see more prosperous, sustainable growth for all nations and peoples, and especially Viet Nam.

Thank you very much.



The Secretary-General's message on the International Day of the girl child


New York, 11 October 2015 - The newly adopted Sustainable Development Goals rightly include key targets for gender equality and the empowerment of all women and girls. They offer an opportunity for a global commitment to breaking intergenerational transmission of poverty, violence, exclusion and discrimination – and realizing our vision of a life of dignity for all.

Our task now is to get to work on meeting the SDG targets and making good on our promises to give girls all the opportunities they deserve as they mature to adulthood by 2030. That means enabling them to avoid child marriage and unwanted pregnancy, protect against HIV transmission, stay safe from female genital mutilation, and acquire the education and skills they need to realize their potential. It also requires ensuring their sexual health and reproductive rights. Girls everywhere should be able to lead lives free from fear and violence. If we achieve this progress for girls, we will see advances across society.


Joint Message on the Occasion of World Teachers’ Day - Empowering Teachers, Building Sustainable Societies

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The new global education goal, SDG 4 which is at the heart of the Education 2030 Agenda, calls for "inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all". Realising this goal is critical to achieving all our global development targets – for strong societies depend on well-educated citizens and a well-trained workforce. But we can only realize this agenda if we invest in recruiting, supporting, and empowering teachers.


The Secretary-General's message on World Habitat Day


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This year’s observance follows the adoption of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development – an inspiring new framework that will guide our efforts to end poverty and ensure prosperity for all on a healthy planet.  

The new Sustainable Development Goals – which include SDG-11 to “make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable” – represent a broad international consensus that recognizes sustainable urban development as a transformational approach. As part of an integrated agenda, cities and human settlements have an important role to play across the entire spectrum of the 2030 Agenda.


The Secretary-General's message on The International Day of Older Persons


1 October 2015 - On the 25th anniversary of the International Day of Older Persons, we recognize that older persons are an enormous asset to society and make a significant contribution to global development.

On September 25 at United Nations Headquarters in New York, Heads of State and governments committed themselves to building a sustainable world where no one, regardless of their age or gender, is left behind. In implementing the newly adopted 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, we must account for the demographic changes of the next 15 years. These will have a direct bearing on the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals.


Remarks by the Secretary-General at summit for the adoption of the Post-2015 Development Agenda


New York, 25 September 2015

Esteemed co-Chairs of this post-2015 Summit,
Mr. President of the General Assembly,
Distinguished Heads of State and Government,
Distinguished guests,
Ladies and Gentlemen,

We have reached a defining moment in human history.

The people of the world have asked us to shine a light on a future of promise and opportunity.

Member States have responded with the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

The new agenda is a promise by leaders to all people everywhere.

It is a universal, integrated and transformative vision for a better world.

It is an agenda for people, to end poverty in all its forms.

An agenda for the planet, our common home.

An agenda for shared prosperity, peace and partnership.

It conveys the urgency of climate action.

It is rooted in gender equality and respect for the rights of all.

Above all, it pledges to leave no one behind.  


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