UN Hosts Interactive Dialogue on Harmony with Nature
22 April 2013: In commemoration of International Mother Earth Day, the UN General Assembly (UNGA) held an interactive dialogue on Harmony with Nature, called for in UNGA resolution 67/214. The dialogue, held at UN Headquarters in New York, US, on 22 April 2013, featured remarks from UN officials and Member State representatives, and a panel discussion and interactive exchange between participants and delegates.
Vuk Jeremić, UNGA President, remarked on the need for a "balanced, ethical and non-exploitative relationship" between humans and the earth. Remembering a speech given by the late British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher to the UNGA in 1989 on the need to live with, and not dominate over, nature, he called for increased action. Looking toward the UN's sustainable development agenda, Jeremić emphasized the UNGA's work to determine Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and other post-2015 work streams to transition to global sustainability through a "single, fully cohesive sustainable development framework." He promised his full support for collaboration and follow-up actions from the day's discussions.
Ban Ki-moon, UN Secretary General, referenced climate change, ecosystem and biodiversity loss, and threats to oceans and fisheries as threats to the planet and our future survival. He commended Boliva's legal framework seeking to protect Mother Earth, and the "right to nature" embedded in Ecuador's constitution. He also stressed the need to achieve the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) by 2015 and set new goals for improving living conditions beyond that date.
Following statements by Ministers of Bolivia and Ecuador, the day included a panel discussion took place on "different economic approaches to further a more ethical basis for the relationship between humanity and the Earth," as well as an interactive exchange between stakeholders, UN representatives, and Member States on these topics. [Event Program] [PGA Statement] [UNSG Statement] [Harmony with Nature Website] [DPI Meeting Summary] [UN Press Release]