Uruguayan President focuses on climate change, environment in UN Assembly speech

President of Uruguay José Mujica. UN Photo/Sarah Fretwell

24 September 2013 – In his address to the United Nations General Assembly, the President of Uruguay today urged the international community to strengthen efforts to preserve the planet for future generations.

Speaking to world leaders gathered at the General Debate of the Assembly’s 68th session, President José Mujica said that “the world cries out for global rules that respect the achievements of science.”

He noted that “with talent and teamwork” man can green the deserts, farm the sea and devise methods to use salt water for farming, among other innovations.

“A world with better humanity is possible, but maybe today the first priority is to save lives,” the President said.

In his speech, Mr. Mujica highlighted the power of the financial systems and the economic fallout which has the greatest impact on ordinary people.

He urged a return to simplicity, with lives founded on human relationships, love, friendship, adventure, solidarity and family, instead of ones with people shackled to the economy and the markets.

Yesterday, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon met with Mr. Mujica in a bilateral meeting in which the two officials discussed several issues on the global agenda, according to a UN spokesperson.

In particular, Mr. Ban welcomed Uruguay work in support of UN peace efforts, being one of the highest per-capita contributors to UN peacekeeping operations worldwide.

Mr. Ban also expressed gratitude for the country’s support for UN reform through the “Delivering as One” approach which seeks greater coordination and collaboration within the UN system and other national and international development actors when supporting national development efforts.

Mr. Mujica is one of scores of leaders to speak at the annual General Assembly session at which heads of State and Government and other high-level officials will present their views and comments on issues of individual national and international relevance. This year, the General Debate, which opened today, concludes on 1 October.

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