Mr. Wu Hongbo Under-Secretary-General for Economic and Social Affairs, Secretary-General for the International Conference on Small Island Developing States
Luncheon Hosted by the Permanent Representative of Turkey on UNFF10
6 May 2013, New York
Ambassador Halit Çevik,
Ladies and Gentlemen,
It is a pleasure to address this meeting. Let me express, once again, my sincere gratitude to the Government and people of Turkey, for hosting the 10th session of the United Nations Forum on Forests (UNFF10) in Istanbul. The session was a true success, and put forward important conclusions.
The high level participation, and the Forum’s decisions on:
- finance for sustainable forest management,
- forests and economic development,
- implementation of the forest instrument, and
- the intersessional activities in preparation for UNFF11,
all helped to raise significantly the profile of forests at the global level.
I understand that today’s objective is to exchange views on how to advance the key messages of (UNFF10). More specifically, how to advance them in the ongoing Rio+20 follow-up, and the post-2015 UN development agenda processes.
The Forum chose to discuss the interconnections of forests and the post-2015 UN development agenda, and the outcome of Rio+20, at its 10th session. This was timely. The Forum – at its eleventh session in 2015 – will review UN policies and institutions on forests, in order to decide on the future of multilateral policies and institutions on forests, for the period beyond 2015.
The deliberations of the Ministerial Segment, in which I personally participated, and the Forum’s outcome, demonstrated the strong linkages among forests, the Rio+20 outcome and the post-2015 UN development agenda.
The Forum reiterated the vital role and contribution of all types of forests and trees outside forests. They have a key role to play in achieving sustainable development and in addressing the interconnected challenges related to:
- economic and social development,
- poverty eradication,
- environmental sustainability,
- food security and agriculture,
- energy, water,
- mitigation of and adaptation to climate change,
- combating desertification and land degradation,
- conservation of biodiversity, watershed protection and
- disaster risk reduction.
During the Forum’s Ministerial Roundtable, Member States also highlighted the cross-sectoral benefits of forests and other natural resources. A number of suggestions were made on how to integrate forests into the Rio+20 outcome, and the post-2015 UN development agenda. One suggestion includes a cross-cutting Sustainable Development Goal focusing on sustainable agriculture, land, water and forests.
To this end, the Forum encouraged Member States to fully integrate forests into the discussions on follow up to Rio+20 and the post-2015 UN development agenda.
I commend your efforts to advance these very important messages and outcomes of UNFF10.