– As delivered –

Statement by H.E. Tijjani Muhammad Bande, President of the 74th Session of the United Nations General Assembly

21 May 2020

 

Excellencies,

Ladies and gentlemen,

I thank the Permanent Mission of the People’s Republic of China to the United Nations for convening today’s event. And of course with the full partnership of many other parties.

Being the first International Tea Day I acknowledge the full participation of the Intergovernmental Group on Tea for raising awareness of the role of tea in the pursuit of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

It is of course regrettable that we are hosting this virtually and unable to have the company of each another while having tea. To this end, I convey my solidarity with China and all partners who are contending with the COVID-19 pandemic.

I extend my condolences to those who have lost loved ones at this time and wish those who have are suffering from the effects of the virus a full and fast recovery.

On this International Tea Day we must galvanise multilateral collective action to implement activities in favour of the sustainable production and consumption of tea, and join the co-convenors and participants in raising the awareness of importance of tea in fighting hunger and poverty.

Tijjani Muhammad Bande

President of the UN General Assembly

Excellencies,

Throughout the 74th session of the General Assembly we have prioritized action on key areas including poverty eradication and zero hunger, climate action and inclusion. It is incredible to think that a cup of tea serves as a crux of these most fundamental issues of our time.

The tea industry is a main source of income and export revenues for some of the least developed countries.

Tea production and processing constitute a main source of subsistence and livelihoods for millions of families in developing countries as one of the most vital cash crops.   

On this International Tea Day we must galvanise multilateral collective action to implement activities in favour of the sustainable production and consumption of tea, and join the co-convenors and participants in raising the awareness of importance of tea in fighting hunger and poverty.

As we begin the Decade of Action and Delivery to implement the Sustainable Development Goals, I call on tea-producing countries to integrate the SDGs into their national tea development strategies. Particular emphasis should be placed on climate action, poverty eradication, zero hunger, gender equality, and the sustainable use of terrestrial ecosystems. I look forward to our continued collaboration on these priority areas.

Excellencies,

I trust that tea will continue to hold prominence in our cultures for generations to come. Let us not forget that there is little that cannot be solved in conversation over a cup of tea.

Thank you very much Excellencies.

I thank you.