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“Forests for Fashion-Fashion for Forests”

21 March 2014
“Forests for Fashion-Fashion for Forests”

Opening remarks by Mr. Michael Møller
United Nations Under-Secretary-General
Acting Director-General, United Nations Office at Geneva
“Forests for Fashion-Fashion for Forests”

Palais des Nations, Salle des pas perdus
Friday, 21 March 2014 at 6 p.m.

Ambassador Winzap
Ambassador Borodavkin
Ambassador Serra
Ambassador Kairamo
Mr. Alkalaj
Mr. Rakhmanin
Mr. Pistoletto
Ladies and Gentlemen:

I would like to welcome you to a very unique event this evening held to mark the International Day of Forests and to celebrate the links between art, nature and fashion. My sincere appreciation to UNECE, FAO and the Governments of Switzerland, the Russian Federation, Italy and Finland for their role in making this event possible.

I think that there is no better way to highlight the importance of forests to all of us than to bring so many living trees to the Palais des Nations.

We are also very pleased to showcase the large art installation by renowned Italian artist Michelangelo Pistoletto, which symbolizes the alliance between nature and humankind. Having these trees and Mr. Pistoletto’s symbol at the centre of the Palais des Nations highlights our own commitment to making this building more sustainable and environmentally-friendly.

This exhibition and the events today are first about raising awareness. Raising awareness of the importance of forests and trees to our economic, social, environmental and cultural well-being. Raising awareness of the need for sustainable production and consumption. And raising awareness of the need to look for new partners to achieve our sustainability goals.

But they are also about taking action on sustainable development. Action at the political level – through the acceleration on meeting the Millennium Development Goal targets and through the post-2015 development agenda process. And action at the personal level – as all of our choices – what we buy, what we wear, what we eat, how we live – also have a concrete impact on the sustainability of the planet.

I look forward to hearing the results of the conference held earlier today, which opened a dialogue on sustainable production and the link between forests and fashion. I am also looking forward to the talk this evening and the dance performance featuring clothing created by young designers using new materials derived from wood. This is a great example of the creativity that we need to achieve for a more sustainable and better future.

I hope you enjoy the talk and the performance!

Thank you very much.