Intervention by Dr Costas Kadis, Minister of Agriculture, Rural Development and Environment, at the “On line Meeting of the Firth Session of the UN Environment Assembly (UNEA-5)”

Contribution of the environmental dimension of sustainable development to building a resilient and inclusive post-pandemic world.

How can the global community best work together to build a stronger political momentum towards achieving this aim?

First of all, I would like to congratulate the Presidency and Bureau of UNEA for organizing this very important plenary meeting, even under these difficult times, and for giving us the opportunity to discuss the contribution of the environmental dimension of sustainable development towards building a resilient and inclusive post-pandemic world.

Even before the COVID -19 pandemic, the Republic of Cyprus has been a supporter of the new economic model launched by the European Union – the Green Deal – which is actually a development strategy that interconnects economic growth with the main environmental challenges. Additionally, the effort towards achieving the SDGs is guiding us towards a sustainable society where environment, development and society go hand-in-hand for a sustainable future.

After the COVID – 19 crisis, we believe that “green recovery” is the only recovery option for a sustainable future. By relaunching the economy with a business-as-usual model in mind, we risk facing global climate crisis, biodiversity loss as well as new health crises. It is our duty to strive towards climate neutrality and healthy ecosystems. To achieve this, countries as well as international organizations and businesses need to channel the necessary investments in supporting policies towards emissions reduction, pollution abatement, biodiversity conservation and sustainable resources management within the framework of circular economy.

At the European Union Level, the Recovery and Resilience Facility is a very important financial tool that will support relevant reforms and investments undertaken by Member States. The aim of this Facility is to mitigate the economic and social impacts of the COVID – 19 pandemic and make European economies and societies more sustainable, resilient and better prepared for the challenges and opportunities of the green and digital transitions.

Investing in green recovery plans and ensuring adequate focus on investments on reforms, especially related to green and digital transitions, will secure a sustainable and more resilient future.