Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Vatican on Environment

Great perspective from the Vatican, to the UN, on human responsibility for the environment.

Mr. Chairman,

While my delegation congratulates you and your bureau on your appointment, it sincerely hopes that all delegations will work with the greatest flexibility to achieve as much as we can in this policy year.

The debate during this session and the work of the PrepCom and last year’s CSD have all demonstrated the strongly interconnected nature of the four themes chosen for this cycle, and how they may have ample repercussions both on national and international security and on the capacity of the international community to confront seriously the problems of poverty and the achievement of the MDGs.

The interlinkages become even stronger when we consider that, ultimately, the earth is our common heritage and we have a grave and far-reaching responsibility to ourselves and to future generations for the actions we are due to take here. It should be added that the need for joint action at the international level does not lessen the responsibility of individual states.

Mr Chairman, the question of energy is rapidly becoming one of the key questions of the entire international agenda, as all of us struggle to assemble a common, global, long-term energy strategy, capable of satisfying legitimate short- and medium-term energy requirements, ensuring energy security, protecting human health and the environment, and establishing precise commitments to address the question of climate change.

The scientific evidence for global warming and for humanity’s role in the increase of greenhouse gasses becomes ever more unimpeachable, as the IPCC findings are going to suggest; and such activity has a profound relevance, not just for the environment, but in ethical, economic, social and political terms as well. The consequences of climate change are being felt not only in the environment, but in the entire socio-economic system and, as seen in the findings of numerous reports already available, they will impact first and foremost the poorest and weakest who, even if they are among the least responsible for global warming, are the most vulnerable because they have limited resources or live in areas at greater risk. We need only think of the SIDS as one example among many. Many of the most vulnerable societies, already facing energy problems, rely upon agriculture, the very sector most likely to suffer from climatic shifts.