Observers, Statements

Cora van Nieuwenhuizen – UNGA Event 2020

Cora van Nieuwenhuizen – UNGA Event 2020

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Hon. Cora van Nieuwenhuizen

Minister for Infrastructure and Water of the Netherlands

Netherlands
Source: Climate Vulnerable Forum

Hon. Cora van Nieuwenhuizen, Minister for Infrastructure and Water of the Netherlands

Climate Vulnerable Forum Leaders Event

October 7, 2020

YouTube Video of Speech

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, excellencies, ladies and gentlemen,

 

Thank you for the opportunity to speak to you all via this video message.

 

On behalf of the Kingdom of the Netherlands I would like to compliment you for the efforts to organise this very timely online conference.

All around the world people are struggling with an unprecedented disaster. A crisis killing hundreds of thousands of people and jeopardising our global economy.

 

As our doctors and laboratories work day and night to find solutions, to find a medicine, a vaccine – washing our hands with water and soap remains a first line of defence.

 

It is there that the COVID-19 pandemic is highlighting once again the key inequities across the world.

 

The virus itself makes no difference in touching rich or poor, north or south. But it’s negative effects are mostly felt by the poor and vulnerable.

 

Because let’s not forget that COVID-19 is an additional crisis. None of the challenges we faced before, such as climate change and water-related disasters, have gone away.

 

As a low-laying delta with overseas islands in the Caribbean, our Kingdom is no stranger to the issues involved.

 

In the Caribbean we are seeing record breaking hurricane seasons. Rising sea levels are a major threat. And even in our water-rich delta in Europe the last three years draught is our enemy.

 

We cannot wait for long-term measures to take effect. We’re in trouble now, so we must act now.

 

In that respect the COVID-19 pandemic also provides us with an opportunity.

 

In recovering from this worldwide crisis it is of utmost importance that we build back better. That we enhance our ambitions on climate change adaptation and strive for green and inclusive recovery.

 

To help trigger the systemic change needed, the Netherlands will host the first ever global summit of world leaders focused entirely on climate adaptation.

 

It will take place on 25 January 2021.

 

The summit will be a state-of-the-art, climate neutral, virtual conference, streamed worldwide over 24 hours, with anchoring events from capitals around the world.

 

Our goal: think global, act local!

 

I invite you all to participate and share your challenges, your work and your solutions!

 

Because in the end, it all comes down to joining forces. That’s the real vaccine for risks of climate change and growing social-economic differences.

 

Thank you.

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