Mr Director-General, excellences, ladies and gentlemen

It is with great pleasure that I bring to you greetings from the Canton of Geneva for these Earth Dialogues organized under the auspices of Green Cross International.

Tuesday, the 20th of August, 2013 – humanity had already consumed all of its resources for the year. Even more worrying, the day that we exceed our annual quota comes earlier every year. This environmental debt, which we are accumulating year on year, is unsustainable.

Michèle Künzler, Switzerland, Earth DialoguesIn fact, the crazy rush for resources is causing conflicts, widening inequalities and increasing global imbalances. The simple awareness of the magnitude and seriousness of the problem is no longer enough. Many actions need to be taken with determination and courage.

Regardless of the level – local, national or international – it is up to the authorities to combat and prevent these developments. But there is also a private responsibility of every individual.

Each and every one of us can act by adopting by responsible conduct in solidarity. And that is the whole point of the 7th Earth Dialogues.

Today offers us a wonderful opportunity to network all the stakeholders, to pool our ideas and our skills to build a sustainable, peaceful planet.

Excellencies, ladies and gentlemen, I share the wishes expressed by President Gorbachev that we need to revolutionize the way that people see their own lives, the lives of their children, and change the way fundamentally that we see the planet we live on. Therefore, I express the hope that Geneva, the capital of peace of human rights, a centre for the environment, will help to bring about the changes we all await.

I wish you a successful discussion.

Thank you very much.