2 November 2010
Mr. Ahmad Rajabi Representative of the Islamic Republic of Iran
before the Second Committee on Sustainable Development-items a, d, e
(2 November 2010- New York)
In the name of God, the compassionate, the MercifulMadam Chair; At the outset, I would like to associate myself with the statement made by the distinguished representative of Yemen on behalf of G-77 and China. Agenda 21 Sustainable development is not an abstract concept. It is a well-defined and elaborated concept in various global agreements. Eradicating poverty, changing unsustainable patterns of production and consumption and protecting and managing the natural resource base of economic and social development are overarching objectives of and essential requirements for sustainable development. The world leaders agreed in Johannesburg in 2002 that ssustainable development in its economic, social and environmental aspects is a key element of the overarching framework for United Nations activities. Sustainable development does not focus solely on environmental issues. The 2012 Conference is an opportunity for the United Nations and member states to address the failure, implementing the Rio and Johannesburg outcomes and considering changes which have occurred since 1992. The Rio+20 should identify ways for the UN system to increase capacity building support for national sustainable development plans and strategies in developing countries. At this moment, there is not a clear and consensual definition of “Green economy” approach. So the conference should avoid a theoretical discussion on green economy. “Green economy” is not substitute for sustainable development. “Green economy” can be equated with a cluster of economic policies, under the sustainable development paradigm, so as to bridge the gap between the economy and the environment. However, this assumption is far from settled. As we prepare for Rio + 20, we should set emphasis on identifying gaps and challenges that have impeded the implementations of those outcomes, and how to address them. The preparation should start at local, national, regional and global levels. Climate Change One major regional impacts of climate change which has emerged as a huge challenge to countries in recent years, is dust and sand storm. Dust and sand storm is one of the most serious and hard-to-beat challenge in the last few years inflicting substantial damage to the socio-economic situation to Iran and many countries of our region, impairing the normal life and health of the people, eroding agricultural lands and polluting water resources throughout the area. The Islamic Republic of Iran, bearing in mind the damages that other countries are suffering, stands ready to enter into bilateral and multilateral/regional arrangements to identify the root causes of the problem and to eradicate it in a collective region-wide manner. Therefore cooperation and coordination among stricken countries is essential for any successful plan of action. In this connection, in framework of regional cooperation to combat this challenge, Government of the Islamic Republic of Iran hosted a regional Ministerial environmental session including Iraq, Turkey, Syrian Arab Republic, Qatar and Islamic Republic of Iran on 29 September 2010, in Tehran, in which they agreed to cooperate to bring dust and sand storms under control over the next five years. The post-Kyoto arrangements have to look at the dust and sand storm closely in order to identify the root causes of the problem and to eradicate. Desertification Drylands, as the home for two billion people are highly susceptible to land degradation and desertification. It is estimated that by 2020, 135 million people will be at risk of being driven from their lands due to continuing desertification. Approximately 70 percent of the 5.2 billion hectares of dry lands utilized for agriculture are degraded and are at risk of desertification. Insufficient financial resources, lack of institutional capacity, lack of access to efficient clean technology are among the major problems that hinder the ability of developing countries to tackle these challenges. Desertification is one of the major challenges that have clear negative effects on agricultural production. Population growth and increased food demand are expected to drive the expansion and intensification of land cultivation in drylands. If no countermeasures are taken, desertification in drylands will threaten future improvements in human well-being and possibly reverse against in some regions. I thank you.