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HARMONY WITH NATURE MEETING AT UNITED NATIONS
The United Nations General Assembly met today for an interactive dialogue on the subject of Harmony with Nature in order to commemorate International Mother Earth Day.
The United Nations meeting was opened by the Acting President of the General Assembly and Fiji's Ambassador to the United Nations Peter Thomson.
In his opening address, the Acting President said that during the past century, human activities on Earth have resulted in a significant increase of greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere, land degradation, the destruction of ecosystems and the depletion of Earth's biodiversity.
Mr Thomson cited climate change, along with desertification and loss of diversity, as posing an unequivocal challenge for human development.
"We are for the first time acknowledging worldwide" said Ambassador Thomson, "that the sustainability of life on earth is a serious question which will drive fundamental decisions in our societies and the world at large”, Mr Thomson said.
The Acting President's address was followed by an interactive panel of leading world scientists who expounded scientific findings on the impact of human activities on the functioning of the earth system.
The tone of the interactive dialogue was set by the presentation of Dr Owen Gingerich, Professor of Astronomy and the History of Science at Harvard University.
Professor Gingerich told the meeting, that never has more been asked of diplomacy in as far as their work was concerned.
"Science shows we are at a perilous point," he warned, "where our knowledge and our power have newly acquired capability to irredeemably destroy our environment."
Under-Secretary-General Sha Zukang, the Secretary-General of the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development (Rio+20), made the closing remarks for the meeting.
Under-Secretary-General Sha said that the dialogue had provided a critical contribution to the upcoming Rio+20 Conference.
He agreed it was time “to say goodbye to our old model of growth, fueled by inefficient, wasteful, environmentally and socially unsustainable exploitation of resources.”
He called for new awareness about the nature of human existence and our relationship with the Earth.