UN's Kobler on Sand- and Dust-Storms

SRSG Martin Kobler delivered the following addresss to the Twenty-seventh session of the Governing Council/Global Ministerial Environment Forum, in Nairobi, Kenya:

I feel honoured to be here with you today at this important event.

We came here to Nairobi from many different countries to discuss how we can make a difference.

We care about the environment.

But let me say a few words about who we are.

UNAMI is a political mission.

It is mandated to advise and assist the Government and people of Iraq to advance on political dialogue and national reconciliation. UNAMI has a regional mandate to facilitate dialogue between Iraq and its neighbours. We promote the protection of human rights and judicial and legal reform.

I am also responsible for coordinating the work of the 17 UN agencies present in Iraq.

What is most important for me is that we work for the people of Iraq. We are in Iraq, to make a difference.

But how can we think about progress, prosperity and sustainable development in Iraq, if we ignore the environment?

Environmental protection is highly political- and it has to be on top of our agendas.

If we fail to recognize this, we will fail in our mission, we will fail the people of Iraq- and the entire region.

We all know that Iraq is still struggling with a difficult legacy.

Three terrible wars, decades of sanctions and years of brutal dictatorship have destroyed much of Iraq’s social fabric and economy. Iraq was left environmentally degraded.

However, Iraq is also an immensely rich country.

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