Mr. Wu Hongbo Under-Secretary-General for Economic and Social Affairs, Secretary-General for the International Conference on Small Island Developing States
Closing Remarks at the Ministerial Segment at 10th session of the United Nations Forum on Forests (UNFF10)
9 April 2013, Turkey
Minister Veysel Eroğlu,
Ladies and Gentlemen,
It was a pleasure to participate and engage in the discussions over the last two days. I have listened carefully to the Ministers and other high level officials, from across the world, on all the important issues that impact forests.
I was also impressed by the high level of participation and engagement of countries in the Ministerial Segment. This, together with the richness of the debates, shows a critical and significant commitment to improve the forest situation worldwide.
The rigorous discussions on critical issues provided guidance on:
- how to save this precious natural resource;
- how to address the obstacles; and
- how to take advantage of the opportunities to sustainably manage forests.
I particularly welcome the approach to analyze issues related to forests – not from a narrow perspective, but comprehensively. Forests are cross-cutting and must be linked to the future development agenda, for the health of our planet, and to improve human well-being.
Your deliberations have demonstrated once again that forests are inextricably linked to our social and economic value, to our bonds with nature and the health of ecosystems. We cannot think of them in isolation.
It is up to us to make these connections and establish the policies, laws and institutions required.
It is up to us to implement sustainable forest management.
I am sure that the policy guidance provided during the Ministerial Segment will enable your designated officials to come to a successful outcome for this historic session of the Forum.
In doing so, let us keep in mind that the United Nations Forum on Forests is the world’s only intergovernmental body tackling forests issues in a balanced and integrated setting.
Let us live up to the expectations of all the people whose livelihoods depend on healthy forests. Let us work in partnership to meet the challenge of fighting climate change and safeguarding the health of our planet.
I take this opportunity, once again, to sincerely thank the Government and the people of Turkey for hosting this session of the Forum in Istanbul, and for their generosity.