Sábado, 25 Septiembre 2010 21:27

Colombia’s President talks up Latin American leadership on climate change Destacado

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On the 24th September Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos made his first address to the UN General Assembly where he emphasized the importance of Colombian and Latin American involvement on global issues such as climate change. Here is an edited version of his speech: On Colombia’s respect for multilateralism and ambition at the UN…
With reverence and an immense sense of responsibility, I attend for the first time this historic forum, to reiterate my country's commitment, with the fulfillment and success of the UN founding principles. I make explicit today, my country's aspiration to become a member of the Security Council for the period 2011-2012. We are confident that our experience, long and painful, can be very useful to all members of the Organization.
Latin America’s largely successfully navigation of the global economic crisis…
We Latin Americans assumed the management of our economies with responsibility, and as a result we were one of the least affected regions. Today our countries are growing on the basis of economic, social and technological pillars that are stronger than ever, and are on the radar of global investors. We are a sub-continent where the majority of population is young, with immense talents and ability to work, with cities and natural wonders that attract tourists and investors from all around the world, and with a unique environmental wealth.
Turning to climate change…
In these times, when the world demands food, water, biofuels, and natural lungs for the Earth such as the tropical forests, Latin America has millions of hectares ready for cultivation, without affecting ecological balance to become a supplier of all the goods that humanity needs for its own survival. Latin America as a whole must be a decisive region in saving the planet. More than 925 million people living in hunger and malnutrition in the world are an urgent challenge. Latin America can and wants to be part of the solution! Ours is the richest region in biodiversity of the planet, with the most megadiverse country in the world, that is Brazil, and the country that has the highest biodiversity per square kilometer, which is Colombia. Just in the Amazon region, we can find 20 percent of the global supply of freshwater and 50 percent of the planet's biodiversity. Colombia is not a country with high polluting emissions, but we want to assume our responsibility with the planet and its future. We support the international initiative for Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation, which seeks to generate and allocate resources as necessary, to reduce tropical forest loss and associated emissions. We demand a new agreement to replace the Kyoto Protocol, which expires in 2012, to ensure the commitment of all, starting with the big industrial powers, with emissions reduction. With the appropriate economic compensations, we have an enormous capacity to reduce deforestation and for growing new forests, changing not only the history of the region but of the world as a whole.
On Haiti and the humanitarian crisis…
I want to call attention, in particular, to the double tragedy faced by a Caribbean country, which along with its endemic poverty is coping with the effects of a devastating natural disaster. The pledged international aid is yet to arrive in its totality, or at least it is not visible, and Haitians are still fighting and surviving, with dignity and courage, but without the necessary attention we must give to their situation, which cannot wait.
And the grand finale…
Latin American nations are beginning to take on a global leadership role in economic, environmental, security-related and development issues. Today, in this global forum, I express, with absolute conviction, that the time has come for Latin America. With political and economic stability; with agricultural, energy and environmental potentials, I want to send a message to the other nations of our region. The world's eyes are on us. Now, is time for us to open our own eyes, to overcome any persisting difference, and to think big. This is Latin America's decade!
Leído 1340 veces Modificado por última vez el Miércoles, 11 Febrero 2015 17:52
Guy Edwards

Guy Edwards is a Research Fellow at the Center for Environmental Studies, Brown University, where he manages a research project on the politics of climate change in Latin America. Along with co-author, Professor Timmons Roberts, he is currently writing a book on Latin American leadership on climate change for MIT Press. He has also written various academic papers, policy briefs and op-eds for a number of different publications. As co-founder of Intercambio Climático and formerly co-editor of the website, Guy has worked closely with the Latin American Platform on Climate and the Latin American office of the Climate and Development Knowledge Network. He has also worked for the Overseas Development Institute, the consultancy River Path Associates and as the resident manager of the Huaorani Ecolodge in the Ecuadorian Amazon.

Web: twitter.com/guyedwards

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