On Feb. 19th, Secretary General of the United Nations, Ban Ki-Moon addressed the 27th annual meeting of the UN Economic Programme (UNEP). “You have a responsibility to…help craft the policies and programmes that will benefit all people,” he said. The Secretary proceeded to encourage the assembly to take more potent environmental action in their home governments.
According to the UNEP, the ongoing environmental concerns we have to deal with today can no longer be tackled one at a time in a piece-meal fashion. Ban’s sentiments were echoed by the other experts that spoke after him, informing the member states that our planet’s problems are becoming a systemic issue that is spreading into other areas such as human rights and the global economy.
One of the speakers, an independent UN environmental expert, John Knox informed the assembly that when governments fail to protect the environment they, “fail to protect many human rights, including rights to life, health, property, and development.” A failure to enjoy these rights can cause the destruction of developing economies that do not have the industrial resources (like the U.S. and other first world nations) to delay the inevitable environmental damage.
In order to prevent this, the Secretary and the other speakers present called on the member states to renew their focus on environmental issues. To protect communities from the dangers of climate change is to allow them to begin to participate in the global economy without fearing drought, flooding or the destruction of vital ecosystems.
– Morgan Forde