Dr. Zarif, Foreign Minister of the Islamic Republic of Iran
Dr. Najafi, Mayor of Tehran,
Dr. Araghchi, Deputy for Political Affairs, Ministry of Foreign Affairs,
Ladies and gentlemen,
I bid you all a very good morning.
Today, I bring you greetings from the Unites Nations Family in the Islamic Republic of Iran. It gives me an immense pleasure to be a part of this tree planting ceremony.
I wish to take this opportunity to congratulate everyone – especially women present in the audience – a very happy International Women’s Day.
Trees are one of earth’s greatest natural resources.
As you know, trees keep our air supply clean and remove pollution from the atmosphere – improving air quality and human health.
Trees improve water quality, they help prevent erosion, provide food, and make our landscapes look beautiful. Trees create shade and provide us with much needed cooling.
Trees are essential elements in helping reduce the effects of climate change. When properly placed, trees help us save energy. They also provide vital wildlife habitat.
In a sense, tress are living treasures.
But unfortunately, as a result of climate change and other man-made problems we are losing our trees and forests at a rapid rate. And this loss is creating environmental challenges such as shortage of water. Deforestation. Desertification. Air pollution amongst other challenges.
As mentioned earlier, these environmental challenges are all man-made, and for every man-made problem there exist a man-made solution.
We need to recognize the inseparable link between man and nature and to build a sustainable, climate-resilient future for all.
We must invest in our trees and world's forests, and invest and support those who guard and protect these precious resources.
For these reasons, and more, saving trees and forests are integral part of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals which came in to effect 1st of January 2016, as well as in the development plan of the Islamic Republic of Iran.
These global goals will guide the decisions of UN member states like Iran during the next twelve years – until 2030. Many focus on the environment and the need to think and act “green”.
This tree planting ceremony is thus a symbolic event and it portrays the effort and the energy of the Government of the Islamic Republic of Iran in recognizing the need to be green and the need to promote environmental causes.
The timing of this event – in my opinion – could not be more perfect. I am referring to Nowruz being just around the corner.
Celebrating Nowruz means the affirmation of life in harmony with nature, awareness of the inseparable link between constructive labour and natural cycles of renewal and a solicitous and respectful attitude towards natural sources of life.
I would like to thank the organizers and also wish to take this opportunity to wish each and every one of you – on behalf of the United Nations – joy, peace, prosperity, friendship and harmony with nature.