Secretary-General's message on World Wildlife Day: “Go Wild for Wildlife”
New York, 3 March 2014
For millennia, people and cultures have relied on nature’s rich diversity of wild plants and animals for food, clothing, medicine and spiritual sustenance. Wildlife remains integral to our future through its essential role in science, technology and recreation, as well as its place in our continued heritage. That is why the United Nations General Assembly proclaimed 3 March – the anniversary of the adoption of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) – as World Wildlife Day.
Despite its intrinsic value to sustainable development and human well-being, wildlife is under threat. Some of the world’s most charismatic species, as well as lesser-known but ecologically important plants and animals, are in immediate danger of extinction. A major cause is habitat loss. Another is the increase in illicit trafficking.
The environmental, economic and social consequences of wildlife crime are profound. Of particular concern are the implications of illicit trafficking for peace and security in a number of countries where organized crime, insurgency and terrorism are often closely linked.
While the threats to wildlife are great, we can reduce them through our collective efforts. On this inaugural World Wildlife Day, I urge all sectors of society to end illegal wildlife trafficking and commit to trading and using wild plants and animals sustainably and equitably.
Let us work for a future where people and wildlife coexist in harmony. Let’s go wild for wildlife!
Statements on 3 March 2014
- New York, 3 March 2014 - Statement attributable to the Spokesperson for the Secretary-General on Bahrain
- New York, 3 March 2014 - Statement by the Secretary-General on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the establishment of the United Nations Peacekeeping Force in Cyprus (UNFICYP)
- Tarrytown, New, 3 March 2014 - Secretary-General's video message to UNDP Global Management Meeting
- Geneva, 3 March 2014 - Secretary-general's remarks at the opening of the World Wildlife Day Exhibition [As delivered]
- Geneva, 3 March 2014 - Secretary-General's remarks at High-Level Segment of Human Rights Council [scroll down for full English text]