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Venezuela Insists on Protecting the Environment and Social Development at the UN

Venezuela’s Vice Minister for North America, Claudia Salerno, speaking from the Permanent Mission of Venezuela to the United Nations, defended her country’s position relating to finding strategies for sustainable development and social and environmental protection.

She noted that government must employ a model other than capitalism in order to overcome the current economic system, which is responsible for dangerous emissions of greenhouse gases and problems such as poverty and exclusion.

Salerno, who is also a Special Presidential Envoy to the UN Climate Change Framework Convention, declared that the countries of the global South, made up of the G-77 plus China and that include 133 of the 193 UN member states, can play an important role in global forums by taking shared positions about progress in harmony with nature.

“Governments alone cannot save the planet.  We need the support of social movements, of organized people who directly suffer the impacts of climate change,” the Vice Minister warned.

A Climate Summit led by UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon will be held next September.  It is expected to lay the foundation for governments to reach a legally binding and ambitious climate agreement in 2015, one that will deal with the problem and be applied equally.

Salerno mentioned that the countries of the South are urging the industrialized North’s commitment and political will on the basis of their responsibility for damage to the environment.

Social Pre-COP

On a related topic, she noted that in September, in Margarita Island which is part of Venezuela in the Caribbean, social movements will meet during the Social Pre-COP forum, where they will engage in negotiations to eventually lead to a climate change agreement.

“So far we have only seen participation by states and economic and private sectors, but the importance of the event in Margarita is for the people who had been previously left out,” Salerno emphasized.

Prior to the Pre-COP, preparatory events will be held in June that will address issues such as good living, sustainable life and the role youth can play.

MPPRE / Press – Venezuelan Embassy in the US / June 3, 2014

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