16 October 2006
Secretary-General
SG/SM/10684

Department of Public Information • News and Media Division • New York

SECRETARY-GENERAL ADDRESSES WORLD CONSERVATION UNION, SAYS ENSURING ENVIRONMENTaL

 

SUSTAINABILITY A MAIN PILLAR IN GLOBAL FIGHT AGAINST POVERTY


Message to Fourth Colloquium of IUCN Academy of Environmental Law


Following is the text of remarks by UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan at the fourth colloquium of the International Union for the Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources (IUCN) Academy of Environmental Law in New York on 16 October:


It is a pleasure to send my greetings to all the participants in this colloquium.  The IUCN Academy of Environmental Law has taken important steps in recent years to promote international cooperation among university law faculties.  Those efforts are helping to strengthen the legal and educational foundations of sustainable development, and to build up capacity for compliance with multilateral environmental agreements.


The number of ratifications of major multilateral environmental agreements has been growing, an encouraging sign suggesting that more countries are committed to addressing global environmental issues.  But, the true test remains implementation and enforcement.  Action on climate change is particularly urgent, given its profound implications for virtually every aspect of human well-being, from jobs and health to growth and security.  Until we stop treating climate change as a strictly environmental concern, and instead, recognize the full nature of this threat, our action will fall short.


At the 2005 World Summit, world leaders decided on a number of measures, aimed at protecting our common environment, including a call for a more coherent institutional framework to address environmental challenges.  For my part, I have established the High-Level Panel on United Nations System-Wide Coherence which will shortly present proposals on how to increase the effectiveness of our activities in the areas of development, humanitarian affairs and the environment.


Ensuring environmental sustainability is one of the main pillars of the global fight against poverty, and is essential for achieving the Millennium Development Goals.  Your colloquium is well placed to contribute to that work, and I offer you my best wishes for the success of your deliberations.


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For information media • not an official record