New York

09 December 2021

Secretary-General's message on the Thirtieth Anniversary of the Global Environment Facility

Dear Chief Executive Officer and Chairperson Rodriguez, Excellencies, Colleagues.

I would like to send my wholehearted congratulations to the Global Environment Facility on the occasion of its thirtieth anniversary.

The role of the GEF as a trusted partner of developing countries as they seek to adapt to climate change and shift from fossil fuel-dependent economies to renewable economies and keep 1.5 within reach, all while they battle biodiversity loss, desertification and other environmental and social challenges cannot be understated.

I was pleased to see during the past couple of years GEF support to developing countries hit by the pandemic, by focusing on food security, land use, and cities, in addition to analyzing root causes of infectious diseases and their connection with deforestation and ecosystem fragmentation.

GEF support is particularly vital as countries continue the path to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic amid dismally reduced fiscal space, and thus in dire need of support to prevent a situation where they need to choose between servicing debt and financing key environmental, social, and economic challenges.

The future of multilateralism is at stake. We are all stronger when we work together and prioritize spaces where all countries stand on equal footing. The GEF is one of such spaces.

I sincerely commend the work of the facility, and to developed countries, I urge you to support the GEF as it wraps up its eighth replenishment period.

During times where some club-like initiatives abound, your support is urgently needed to maintain multilateral channels strong.

I thank you.