STATEMENT ON BEHALF OF THE GROUP OF 77 AND CHINA BY MS. SAHAR NASSER, FIRST SECRETARY AT THE MISSION OF THE STATE OF PALESTINE TO THE UN, AT THE INTERACTIVE DIALOGUE OF THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY ON HARMONY WITH NATURE IN COMMEMORATION OF INTERNATIONAL MOTHER EARTH DAY (New York, 22 April 2019)
1. I have the honor to deliver this statement on behalf of the Group of 77 and China.
2. Allow me, at the outset, to express the Group's appreciation to the President of the General Assembly for convening this interactive dialogue on harmony with nature, in commemoration of International Mother Earth Day, under the theme "Mother Earth in the implementation of Education and Climate Change".
3. The Group recognizes 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. We reaffirm that the only way to promote sustainable development and achieve a fair balance between the economic, social and environmental needs of present and future generations is to promote mechanisms that generate a lifestyle in harmony with nature.
4. Climate change is one of the most serious global challenges of our times. The devastating effects of climate change are real and sudden. Extreme natural disasters can affect the environment, the economy and society, and reverse hard-earned developmental gains overnight. The Group stresses that while global efforts are important, the causes of these crises must be addressed and the most important cause are the unsustainable patterns of production and consumption that exhaust our planet's resources and put all forms of life at risk.
5. In this regard, and, while emphasizing the sovereignty of countries and peoples over their natural resources, the Group is aware of the duty to respect, protect, conserve and sustainably manage and use these resources and ensure the conditions for nature and ecosystems to have the capacity to regenerate, for the benefit of present and future generations. The Group also recognizes that the sustainable use of natural resources is an effective way to achieve sustainable economic growth while contributing to the eradication of poverty in all its forms and dimensions and ending environmental degradation.
6. The Group expresses concerns with the documented environmental degradation and the negative impacts on nature resulting from human activity. 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, and promoting a rules-based and non-discriminatory multilateral trading system. We will endeavor to ensure that people everywhere have the relevant information and awareness for sustainable development and about lifestyles in harmony with nature.
7. The Group stresses on the importance of achieving sustainable development in harmony with nature. We need to take action to preserve our planet our home, and with it, all kinds of life, we also need to strengthen our efforts to restore the health and integrity of the Earth's ecosystems. It is crucial to promote, through teaching, education, analysis and communications about how to achieve sustainable development.
8. In closing, we reiterate our common determination stated in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development to protect the planet from degradation, including through sustainable consumption and production, sustainably managing its natural resources and taking urgent action on climate change, so that it can support the needs of the present and future generations with the aim of ensuring that all human beings can enjoy prosperous and fulfilling lives and that economic, social and technological progress occurs in harmony with nature, while safeguarding wildlife and all other living species.
I thank you.