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22-09-2022 20:12

Address by the Minister of Education, Sport and Youth, Mr Prodromos Prodromou at the Press and Information Office event on the occasion of the 9th UNECE Ministerial Conference on the Environment for Europe

Κυρίες και κύριοι,

Με ιδιαίτερη χαρά βρίσκομαι μαζί σας σήμερα, σ’ αυτή την ενημερωτική εκδήλωση που διοργανώνεται από το Γραφείο Τύπου και Πληροφορίων, ενόψει της διοργάνωσης της 9ης Υπουργικής Συνόδου για το Περιβάλλον και την Εκπαίδευση της Οικονομικής Επιτροπής για την Ευρώπη των Ηνωμένων Εθνών στις 5-7 Οκτωβρίου 2022. Καθότι η σημερινή εκδήλωση απευθύνεται στους ξένους ανταποκριτές επιτρέψετε μου να συνεχίσω την τοποθέτηση μου στην αγγλική γλώσσα.

Ladies and gentleman,

I am very happy to welcome you to this gathering, organized by the Press and Information Office, in anticipation of the 9th United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) Ministerial Conference for the Environment for Europe, to be held on Cyprus from 5 to 7 of October 2022. The purpose of tonight’s event is to brief you about this extremely important event and give the chance to resolve inquiries, discuss and network, in a relaxed and welcoming ambience.

In two weeks from now, 71 Ministers, several High-Level Officials and over 1000 participants from the public and private sector, the Academia and the Youth sector, coming from 60 Countries, as well as representatives from more than 150 international and regional Organizations and NGOs, will meet in Cyprus to discuss and adopt policies on three main issues: Circular Economy/Sustainable Infrastructure, Sustainable Tourism and Education for Sustainable Development.

The Republic of Cyprus is very proud and honored to be organizing this Conference, the first one of its kind to be held in a Mediterranean country, in cooperation with the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe. It is the largest summit on environmental issues and Education for Sustainable Development in the UNECE Region and it is held every five years. The 8th Ministerial Conference was organized in 2016 by the Government of Georgia in Batumi and attracted around 700 hundred participants. Our ambition is to build upon this legacy and further enhance participation by bringing together people from different parts of the world.

Conference participants will be given the opportunity to share experiences, to interact and commit on shared plans, which can transform our planet. Despite the fact that the Conference’s main focus is the environment at large, I would like to highlight that its uniqueness lies on the fact that Education for Sustainable Development is given a special emphasis. The importance of Education for Sustainable Development is documented in the UNECE Education for Sustainable Development Policy Implementation Framework 2021-2030, which will operate as a guiding framework for transforming our national policies on the subject. Youth will also be at the spotlight of the Conference, since the new implementation framework on the UNECE ESD Strategy 2021-2030, that will be adopted by the Ministers of Education, aims to bring together the past with the future by actively engaging young people.

I would like to point out that the Conference provides a unique opportunity for interdepartmental and inter-ministerial collaboration, which is the key to confront the emerging challenges and risks that we are facing as humanity because of the environmental degradation. This Conference aims to strengthen this collaboration by bringing together Ministers of Education and Ministers of the Environment, as well as Ministers from other fields such as tourism, innovation, infrastructure, foreign affairs etc. The establishment of synergies and alliances between Ministries, Countries and Organizations, plays a pivotal role in making the vision of Sustainable Development Goals a reality.

Dear friends,

The role of Media, your role, is critical for the communication of the message of the Conference which is “to transform our planet we need to transform our plans”. I am confident that together we will manage to spread the message of responsibility and for acting now. From the early beginning of preparations for this conference, the Press and Information Office worked very closely with the National Secretariat of the Conference to organize the Media Center of the Conference at the Filoxenia Center. Please allow me to convey my appreciation to Ms Aliki Stylianou, Director of the Press and Information Office and her team, Ms Anastasia Adamidou and Ms Maria Pattoura, as well as the rest of the staff of the Press and Information Office, which organized this press event. Their passion and commitment, ensure the media coverage success of such a big event. Please allow me to thank also the staff of the Cyprus Broadcasting Corporation, which will cover the Conference.

To conclude, I would like to stress that this conference is based on the efficient collaboration we have had with the UNECE (Secretariat, Committee of Environmental Policy and Steering Committee of Education for Sustainable Development) as well as several entities of the Public Sector in Cyprus. I take this opportunity to thank the Ministry of Agriculture, Rural Development and Environment, the Deputy Ministry of Tourism, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Ministry of Internal Affairs, the Ministry of Transport Communication and Works, the Commissioner of the Citizen, the national secretariat of the Conference and all the volunteers, that are working with us to organize this memorable Conference.

Dear friends,

I would like to thank each one of you and all of you, for your presence here today, by noting that the 9th Ministerial Conference on Circular Economy, Sustainable Tourism and Education for Sustainable Development concerns everyone. Cyprus expects to bring together in this festive event all those concerned with the environment, education and Sustainable Development from all over the world. The challenge is immense and I am sure that you will be the best ambassadors of this great effort.

Thank you!