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Interviews from the Opening Session of GC-24

Mr Roberto Dobles, Minister of Environment and Energy, Costa Rica and President of the Governing Council

What do you want the governing council to achieve especially with regard to globalization?
Times have changed.  New situations have arisen, and the world needs to control these new challenges and of course globalization and UN reforms are fundamental globalization processes that are changing the world and the UN should adopt these new processes and of course we expect this 24th meeting will make a step forward to make the changes that are needed in order to confront the new challenges. 

Globalization is a process that is a reality and we have to confront the reality and of course from an environmental point of view we have to go to make these changes and the global policies and regional polices and national policies to confront this new reality.

 

Mr Rachmat Witoelar, Outgoing President of the Governing Council

In your view what are the major achievements of the GC during your presence?
A major achievement during the tenure of my presence is the consolidation of UNEP and because environment takes a long time to resolve, it is very important that UNEP is interacting with the other agencies and in  this respect I think we have achieved solidarity that we need for the goals of the environment movement.  I think that is the major achievement of my presence.

What do you think this GC should aim to achieve?
Well, I think this new GC should achieve a better understanding amongst all the stakeholders of the environment and since we are now entering a phase where the global warming is on a very high level I think that UNEP should stand at the forefront to mitigate the effects of global warming and also complement all the efforts done by other agencies.

 

Mr Pascal Lamy, Director General of the World Trade Organisation (WTO)

What is your vision on how to further co-operation between UNEP and the WTO?
My own vision of this relationship of WTO and UNEP is very simple. We in WTO care about the environment and UNEP cares about trade.  That’s the vision: Now, how can we do that concretely? How can we transform both visions into reality. 

It’s very simple, just make sure that within the Doha development round, environmentally friendly goods and services have lower tariffs:  Just make sure that agricultural subsidies are reduced;  Just that make sure that fishery subsidies are reduced.   This is very concrete, so we have good vision for Sunday and we also have the concrete steps for Monday and this is what we are proposing in WTO negotiations.

How do you see globalization and environment interact at a more positive level?
Well, I know that there is a debate about globalization and the environment and whether globalization which is this is good or bad for the environment - and    there are arguments on the two sides – on one side we trade can make the point that the better allocation of resources through trade improves the environment because scarce resources are more efficiently used, hence in a more productive way.  On the other side others can make the point that energy prices for instance are not at the right level, which then induces too much transport and energy consumption.  The answer to that is very simple:  We have to harness globalization and make sure that the benefits we take and the drawbacks we control and this has to do with global governance.

Tears of Trees

Jes Ebrahim Izaidin featuring Hana Shazwin / Raja Anwar
Lyrics by Jes Izman Izaidin
Song by Jes Ebrahim Izaidin
Music by Raja Fatullah Anwar Raja Ibrahim

Listen world, it takes a village to grow a child;
But it takes the world to grow a tree.
It is man’s greed and not man’s need to cut more wood;
To cut more trees.

Po-kok…Po-kok…Po-kok…Po-kok…Oh..Po-kok…    X 2

How many chairs do we need?
How many tables do we want?
How many wooden things do we crave for?
Can you feel the wind blowing?
Can you see the leaves falling?
Can you hear the tree crying?
Can you feel the tears flowing?
It is man’s greed and not man’s need to cut more wood;
To cut more trees.

Only fools cut the air, we breathe in,
Only fools cut the trees that feed him.
Only those that have no heart cut trees for a little gain.
Oh, what PAIN……to hear them crying again and again.

Po-kok…Po-kok…Po-kok…Po-kok…Oh..Po-kok…    X 3

How many chairs do we need?
How many tables do we want?
How many wooden things do we crave for?
Can you feel the wind blowing?
Can you see the leaves falling?
Can you hear the tree crying?
Can you feel the tears flowing?
Let’s wake up from this slumber
Do we really need that much timber?

Remember, together we can make a stand,
Hand in hand to save a tree is to save humanity.
Listen world, remember to save a tree…
It is easy as 1-2-TREE…
T for Tree-planting,
R for Recycling and
E and E for Environmental Education…

Let there be no more Tears of the Trees;
Let there only be Cheers of Joy;
For we stand hand-in-hand in one world community,
To save a tree is to save humanity…

Shhhhh….. Don’t Cry….. No More Tears of Trees.

© UNEP