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سازمان ملل متحد در ایران
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8 Mar 2018 - The UN Resident Coordinator's Statement at National Tree Planting Ceremony

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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,


Distinguished Representatives,

Esteemed colleagues,

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.

Happy Nowruz.

Thank you.


6 Jan 2018 - Memories with Tehran Peace Museum

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On Friday, Tehran Peace Museum hosted a farewell party for the UN Resident Coordinator, Mr, Gary Lewis and his wife, Mrs. Elizabeth Lewis to appreciate all they have done for this musuem during the past five years. 

Click here to watch this partnership over the years on Aparat.



18 Dec 2017: “The future is happening now, and we need to wake up and fix what we have broken” – UN Resident Coordinator

“Regional Security in the West Asia: Emerging Challenges and Trends Conference” took place at University of Tehran Faculty of World Studies on 16th December in the presence of Advisor to President Rouhani and Head of Center for Strategic Studies, Dr. Hesamodin Ashna and the UN Resident Coordinator in the Islamic Republic of Iran, Mr. Gary Lewis.

Speaking at the conference, Mr. Lewis focused on human security and emphasized that humanity – as a whole – needs to think about security in a different way and focus on human security as opposed to traditional definition of security which focuses on “men in uniforms marching down streets, saluting with riffles”.

He said: “Mother nature is not happy with us - from the way we are consuming and producing – producing greenhouse gasses, increasing temperatures, pushing desertification and deforestation, biodiversity loss, contamination of water, droughts, floods.  A lot of these things will have an effect on our food supply.  Not just on land where an increase of one degree Celsius in temperature – on average – will produce a 10% decline in crop productivity.”

Mr. Lewis made reference to the situation of the Hamouns and showed pictures from 20 years ago when there was water, the land was green, and a more recent picture where the water is gone, and the area is covered in dust and sand and stated “What I am about to show you will break your heart.  All of the water is gone.  One in three days there is sand and dust storms blowing around.”

20171209UNDP01The situation of the Hamouns and pictures from 20 years ago when there was water, the land was green, and a more recent picture where the water is gone, and the area is covered in dust and sand

He added: “In Sistan va Baluchestan we face a perfect storm and the elements of that storm according to my observation and conversation with Dr. Ashna are:

  • Drought.
  • Smuggeling. 
  • Migration.
  • Drug trafficking.
  • Sand and dust storms.
  • Unemployment. 
  • Destruction of traditional livelihoods.”

The UN Resident Coordinator concluded his remarks by stating: “The future is happening now, and we need to wake up and fix what we have broken.  I wish to conclude by focusing on 6 ways for leaders to respond to the challenges we are facing:

  1. Think in terms of security.
  2. Improve our knowledge of climate change impacts.
  3. Seek transformational technologies.
  4. Improve our ability to deal with massive, complex, non-linear phenomena.
  5. Broaden collaborative international planning.
  6. Think and plan in terms of decades – not years.”

Dr. Ashna also spoke at the event and made reference to the internal and external wars in the region which has resulted in loss of life of many innocent people, but he also spoke about threats including the environmental challenges that humanity is facing in this region.  In this regards Dr. Ashna said: “In addition to other challenges that we are facing in the region, one of its most important environmental and economic trends is the water scarcity crisis.  To date, some governments in the regional have been more successful than the others in overcoming this crisis.”

He added: “However, some countries in the regions also share transboundary water resources, and the use of these resources needs to be according to the international rules and regulations, but some countries are using these resources greedily and only have the interest of their own country in mind.  This method, will not only save any country from overcoming its water crisis, but rather it will lead to water wars among nations.”

Dr. Ashna concluded his remarks by saying: “Overcoming the environmental challenges requires all countries in the region working together.  No one country, can alone, overcome these challenges on their own.  Environmental challenges do not respect borders and thus we need to work together and collectively through collaboration overcome them.”

Other participants at the conference included academia, students and the media.


آذر 96 - "تغییرات آب و هوایی بزرگ‌ترین تهدید بشراست": هماننگ کننده مقیم سازمان ملل متحد در ایران

امروز 26 آذز ماه 1396، روزنامه همشهری مصاحبه ای را با آقای گری لوییس، هماهنگ کننده مقیم سازمان ملل متحد در ایران، به چاپ رساند.

تمرکز این مصاحبه روی توافق پاریس است. در این مصاحبه آقای لوییس می گوید: "در این مورد هچ اشتباهی نمی توانیم کنیم، هیچ خطری بزرگ تر از این بشریت را تهدید نمی کند. تغییر اقلیم خطری برای موجودیت ماست." 

برای خواندن این مصاحبه به زبان فارسی اینجا کلیک کنید. 


17 Dec 2017 - “Climate change is an existential threat” says the UN Resident Coordinator

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On 17 December, Hamshahri Newspaper published an interview with Mr. Gary Lewis, UN Resident Coordinator in the Islamic Republic of Iran.

The focus of the interview was the second anniversary of the Paris Agreement.  In this interview Mr. Lewis states: “Make no mistake about this, there is no greater challenge facing mankind today.  Climate change is an existential threat.”

Click here to read the interview in English.

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