Conflict Trends 2020/Special Edition

Statement from the United Nations Under-Secretary-General at the Launch of the “Plant Trees Not Bombs” Campaign

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… This is a wonderful campaign. Planting trees and highlighting this as the alternative to conflict is a very dignified and appropriate way to mark the 75th anniversary of an organisation that is struggling today – not the least bit because of its mandate to uphold peace and security and to further the social justice and human rights and to promote sustainable development.

The planting of trees in this moment could not be more critical: trees are a weapon, a weapon against climate change. Trees capture carbon and convert it into something that is healthy for the planet.

But trees also are a very important reminder: tree s are the oldest living beings on this planet. Most of the trees we see around us came into the world before we existed and many of them will live on after us. So, they remind us of the future, and in so many of our politics and so much of our commercial activity we forget our obligations to the future. We forget that we are not owners of this planet, but its caretakers. The planting of trees connects us to the next generation, it connects us to the generation after that. It represents our commitment to leave behind as much as we inherited. So I hope as part of our marking of the 75th anniversary –
an anniversary where the world needs to recommit to international cooperation, to recommit to working together to uphold peace and security. We will try and amplify this campaign and do our outmost to start with 75 million trees but hopefully reach 750 million.  

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