Thank you Chair.
On behalf of the Administrator of the United Nations Development Programme, allow me to extend greetings to all participants and partners.
The theme of this year’s United Nations Environment Assembly is of critical importance to our efforts to advance the 2030 Agenda, achieve the Sustainable Development Goals, and ensure that we Leave No One Behind.
UNDP fully supports the objectives of this year’s Assembly and its call to work towards a pollution-free planet to help advance multiple SDGs.
As highlighted in the Report of the Executive Director of UN Environment, the impact of pollution and its many drivers is devastating the lives and livelihoods of those groups who are most at risk and least responsible for the unsustainable policies and practices that are degrading our planet.
UNDP welcomes the findings and recommendations of action points from the Report to respond to the urgent needs of our societies and economies and shift towards a pollution-free planet. In UNDP, we are already working with partners to advance the planetary health framework, for example:
• With support from GEF Special Climate Change Fund, UNDP and WHO are implementing “Climate Change Adaptation to Protect Human Health” project to increase adaptive capacity of national health systems to respond to climate-sensitive health risks, enhance early warning and action systems, pilot specific health risk reduction interventions, and document lessons learned in addressing climate associated health risks.
• Through a multi-stakeholder initiative “Sustainable Procurement in the Health Sector”, UNDP helps drive change towards sustainable health systems and inclusive green economies by introducing sustainable procurement and production practices in the health sector. Its vision to lower the environmental and social impact of procurement has contributed to a global health sector and thereby to inclusive sustainable economies.
UNDP remains committed to working with all partners represented here to ensure that the recommendations and resolutions emanating from this year’s Assembly are translated into action on the ground.
In line with the 2030 Agenda’s call to eradicate poverty and ensure environmentally sustainable development pathways, and the recommendations of the Executive Director’s Report, UNDP will continue to engage with and support Member States, civil society and private sector partners to tackle the many drivers of pollution.
This means linking and leveraging our global development portfolios on environment and climate change, poverty, health, gender, and governance.
And it means working closely with UN Environment, the World Health Organization, and all sister UN agencies, funds, and Conventions, as well as our bilateral and multilateral donor and development partners, including the Global Environment Facility and Green Climate Fund.
The environmental and sustainable development challenges we face are complex; but by working together through innovative partnerships we can succeed in our goals for a pollution- and poverty-free planet.