STATEMENT ON BEHALF OF THE GROUP OF 77 AND CHINA BY MS. SHEYAM ELGARF, FIRST SECRETARY OF THE PERMANENT MISSION OF EGYPT TO THE UNITED NATIONS, AT THE INTERACTIVE DIALOGUE OF THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY ON HARMONY WITH NATURE IN COMMEMORATION OF INTERNATIONAL MOTHER EARTH DAY (New York, 23 April 2018)
1- I have the honor to deliver the following statement on behalf of the Group of 77 and China. The Group of 77 would like to express its appreciation for convening the Interactive Dialogue of the General Assembly on Harmony with Nature in commemoration of International Mother Earth Day, under the theme "Earth Jurisprudence in the implementation of Sustainable Production and Consumption Patterns in Harmony with Nature".
2- The Group recalls that planet Earth and its ecosystems are our home, and that "Mother Earth" is a common expression in a number of countries and regions, noting that some countries recognize the rights of nature in the context of the promotion of sustainable development, and expressing the conviction that, in order to achieve a just balance among the economic, social and environmental needs of present and future generations, it is necessary to promote harmony with nature.
3- The Group expresses concerns about documented environmental degradation while stressing the need to promote sustainable consumption and production patterns, with the developed countries taking the lead. Enhancing support for developing countries is fundamental, including through adequate cooperation, provision of financial and non-financial resources, strengthen of scientific knowledge, transfer of technology on favorable terms including in preferential and concessional terms, capacity building, strengthen of national statistical capacity, and promoting a rules-based and non-discriminatory multilateral trading system. We will strive to ensure that people everywhere have the relevant information and awareness for sustainable development and lifestyles in harmony with nature.
4- Our present way of life, in particular our unsustainable patters of production and consumption, has severely undermined the functioning of the earth system and its capacity to regenerate. Climate Change is only one of the many imbalances mirroring humankind's disharmony with the natural world.
5- The Group recognizes each country's sovereignty over their natural wealth, while at the same time call for the sustainable use of natural resources, respecting the Earth as a living system to transform human-Earth relationship from one of destruction to one of beneficial mutual support.
6- We reiterate the invitation to Member States and other relevant stakeholders to contribute to the earmarked activities related to Harmony with Nature under the trust fund of the high-level political forum on sustainable development created for this purpose.
7- We reiterate our determination stated in the Preamble of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development to ensure that all human beings can enjoy prosperous and fulfilling lives and that economic, social and technological progress occurs in harmony with nature. Therefore, we renew our commitment to work jointly to transcend towards societies in which humanity lives in harmony with nature and in which wildlife and other living species are protected.
I thank you.