18 October 2011
"True Lights of my City"
Opening remarks by Mr. Kassym-Jomart Tokayev
United Nations Under-Secretary-General
Director-General of the United Nations Office at Geneva
“True Lights of my City” Paintings by Felipe Mercedal
Palais des Nations, Exhibition Gallery, E-building, 3rd floor
Tuesday, 18 October at 6:30 p.m.
Mr. Felipe Mercedal
Ladies and Gentlemen:
It is a pleasure to welcome you all for this exhibition of paintings by the Chilean artist Felipe Mercedal. I would like to especially thank the Permanent Mission of Chile for organizing this special event.
These different perspectives of Valparaíso Bay bring to mind the ever-changing nature of the sea; of our environment. These paintings invoke the beauty of nature; however that beauty is now, unfortunately, at risk. It is now well recognized that the climate is changing in ways that will have serious consequences for our future generations. The effects of global warming, increased levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere and a rising sea level are already beginning to be seen. Scientists believe that climate change is causing more frequent occurrences of extreme weather events such as drought, flooding, hurricanes and forest fires. It is also recognized that some of the most serious effects of climate change are occurring in countries least prepared to counter them.
Dealing decisively with climate change is key to ensuring sustainable development, poverty eradication and for safeguarding economic growth. It is clear that that inaction will be more costly than acting now.
The basis for the global response to this problem is the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change and its Kyoto Protocol, which offer the opportunity to step up international action on climate change. Strong action is essential to the global transition into green economic growth. And, most urgently, to help the world, especially the most vulnerable, adapt to impacts that are now inevitable. The upcoming Climate Change Convention in Durban, South Africa beginning 28 November will aim to further advance this agenda.
Ladies and Gentlemen:
As we admire these reflections of the sea, let us also support the work being done to lessen our impact on the environment – so that its beauty and prosperity can be enjoyed by our future generations.
Thank you, Mr. Ambassador, for providing us the opportunity to enjoy the art of Mr. Mercedal. I am sure, all the staff of UNOG will admire this exhibition which represents so well the contemporary art and culture of Chile.
Thank you very much.