Her Excellency Annika Strandhäll, Minister for Climate and the Environment, Kingdom of Sweden,
His Excellency Keriako Tobiko, Cabinet Secretary for the Ministry of Environment and Forestry, Republic of Kenya,
Vice-President of the General Assembly,
Excellencies, Distinguished delegates,
I am delighted to join you at this preparatory meeting for “Stockholm+50.
50 years ago, in 1972, we recognized for the first time in history that the environment, poverty and sustainable development were interconnected. We united under the slogan “Only One Earth,” made bold proclamations and recommendations, and ushered in a new era of environmental multilateralism.
What we recognized in 1972 is all the more apparent today.
Our collective well-being, and inclusive and sustainable development, require a healthy planet, and effective multilateral solutions to achieve it.
Today, we stand at the crossroads aiming to re-invigorate collective action. As we begin the journey of recovery — and as we prepare for the Stockholm+50 international meeting — we must transition to new ways of thinking and acting. Especially as we learn from, and recover from, the COVID-19 pandemic.
Now is the time to rebuild trust across groups and build bridges across agendas that are forward-looking and transformative.
We have the opportunity to redefine our relationship with nature and achieve a healthy planet for the prosperity of humankind, including future generations.
But without the concerted effort of all, including young people, the world cannot make peace with nature nor achieve the SDGs.
Results depend on action.
So let’s focus on action and implementation.
This includes financing, partnerships and coalitions to deliver the right to healthy environment for all, enhance the environmental dimension of the 2030 agenda and achieve our climate change goals.
This preparatory meeting is a key opportunity to begin this process of acceleration.
Let’s work to transform ambition into action, and deliver the sustainable future that our planet — and all people — so desperately need.