2 FEBRUARY 2007
Ladies and gentlemen,
I should like first of all to thank the President of the French Republic, Mr. Jacques Chirac, for his kind invitation to participate in this important conference.
I should like to pay a well-deserved tribute to you, Mr. President, for this worthy initiative.
It bears witness to the strength and consistence of your personal commitment, and that of France, to a more responsible environmental governance.
For the irresponsible management of our environment today continues to expose humanity to grave danger.
Your excellencies, Ladies and gentlemen,
The Earth belongs to everyone.
It is the responsibility of us all to avoid making future generations live on a planet that has been ruined by human activity.
It is of serious concern that pressure from the industrial society has left a heavy ecological mark on human society which exceeds the regeneration capacities of nature.
Without a radical change, we will all ultimately find ourselves in a situation of generalized precariousness.
We must therefore agree on an overall strategy that will reflect our shared will to ensure that the requirements of economic growth take environmental and social considerations fully into account.
We must take control of our needs and our methods of consumption. This will enable us not only to improve the living conditions of all, particularly the most impoverished, but also to ensure the long-term availability of natural resources.
In this context, we need clear objectives and strong ecological governance at the global level, a concept that continues to elude us.
I am convinced that the United Nations General Assembly is the ideal forum for concerted action by the international community in this vital area.
Indeed, the General Assembly is currently holding informal consultations on this very issue in New York.
I urge Member States to pursue those consultations with even greater determination in order to achieve tangible results.
I hope that the outcome of the Paris Conference will feed into our future deliberations, particularly the ministerial meeting on the environment in Nairobi.
In view of the many challenges posed by environmental degradation, it is now time for action.
We must, without further ado, agree on the definition of an institutional framework that will enable us to take more effective and efficient collective action.
The credibility of our multilateral system and the future of humanity are at stake.