Recognized as one of the greatest global leaders in defending sustainable development and protecting the environment, the 8th Secretary-General of the United Nations (UN), Ban Ki-moon, was the main attraction at the opening night of the International Amazon Conference and New Economies. The event is taking place at the Hangar Centro de Convenções & Feiras da Amazônia, in Belém (PA).
By drawing a parallel between the planet’s current climate situation and the goals established by the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), the keynote speaker was incisive in stating that, in recent years, humanity has made great leaps in the field of development, such as reducing in 50% of the infant mortality rate and in 45% of maternal deaths, but there is still a lot of work to be done.
“Our planet is on fire. As the climate crisis is worsening with rising temperatures, sea levels, fires… All of this highlights the interconnection that exists between all beings. No one lives on an island and these events made it clear that we need collaborative solutions to tackle the problems we now face. Such solutions need to be focused on improving sustainability, health and safety for all people everywhere”, said the global leader.
The 8th UN Secretary-General also highlighted that the climate crisis is present in all parts of the world and overcoming it depends on more ambition, action and political will. “If we do not act now, the survival of humanity will be in great danger. At the heart of this issue, there is no other way than to drastically reduce carbon reductions on our planet”, he warned.
The speaker called on everyone present to act to protect the viability of maintaining life and our planet. “We don’t have a plan B because we also don’t have a planet B. There are millions of stars, but so far, humans have not been able to discover another planet; This is the only one where we have oxygen, water and technology”, he pondered. “We must ensure that our Earth is kept sustainable and prosperous.”
During his speech, Ban Ki-moon also took stock of the 10 years he spent leading the United Nations, highlighting actions to combat hunger, poverty and, mainly, the empowerment and development of girls and women. “The fight for gender equality was the priority that guided me. That’s why we created UN Women”, he said.
In closing, the 8th UN Secretary-General encouraged those present to collaborate to build a better planet, even if this means crossing seas, borders, generations. “This will drive sustainability and collective action in an increasingly fragmented world,” he concluded.