Press Releases

    SG/SM/7818
    ENV/DEV/583
    25 May 2001

    "LET US BE GOOD STEWARDS OF THE EARTH WE INHERITED" SECRETARY-GENERAL URGES IN SALUTE TO
    WORLD ENVIRONMENT DAY


    NEW YORK, 24 May (UN Headquarters) -- Following is the text of Secretary-General Kofi Annan’s message to celebrate World Environment Day, 5 June:

    All of us have to share the Earth's fragile ecosystems and precious resources, and each of us has a role to play in preserving them. If we are to go on living together on this earth, we must all be responsible for it.

    This year, the United Nations and the World Resources Institute are marking World Environment Day by launching the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment. This worldwide scientific enterprise will map the health of our planet, and so fill important gaps in the knowledge we need to preserve it.

    Making the right choices will be hard, but not impossible. Already, we have advanced technologies for avoiding waste and destruction. And we have ideas and skills, which can place our economies on a more sustainable footing. It is time to bring those ideas out of the libraries, and those skills out of the laboratories. It is time to put them into practice.

    One in every two jobs in the world depends directly on the sustainability of ecosystems. And no one is immune from the consequences of climate change, the destruction of biodiversity, or other grave threats to the environment.

    As we embark on a new century, let us resolve to adopt a way of life that can be sustained right through it. Let us be good stewards of the Earth we inherited from our parents. And let us preserve it for our children, and their children after them.

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