GREEN CROSS PHOTO EXHIBIT 2012 – SPEECH BY MAYOR OF GENEVA

Mr Founding President of Green Cross International, Mr President of Green Cross International, Mr General Secretary of the Département de l’intérieur, de la mobilité et de l’environnement, Mr Representative of the General Director of the United Nations Office in Geneva, ladies and gentlemen, dear friends and friends. On behalf of the authorities of the city of Geneva, I am pleased to wish you all a very warm welcome to Geneva on the occasion of the launch of the photo exhibition organized by Green Cross International from today on the Quai Wilson. If I may, I would like to first particularly greet Mr Gorbachev, as it is always a big honor and a sincere emotion to welcome him to Geneva. Indeed, we do not forget that 30 years ago, together with Mr Ronald Reagan, he had confidence in our city to host a decisive meeting for the future of the world. Today, the causes of tension and crisis have obviously changed, but we are fully aware that they are everywhere and it requires a lot of vigilance and responsibility from the world leaders. This vigilance and this responsibility are precisely two fundamental axes on which your organization has focused its action since its creation in 1993. The challenge which has then been taking up – maintain security, reduce poverty and minimize environmental degradation – is not small. It implies willingness and an unwavering determination in order for every one of us to be aware of the critical issues related to the protection of our planet, which is obviously one of the main challenges of our time. To preserve peace between people relies greatly on how resources are distributed and consumed on Earth. And we know that future crises will affect access to resources – whether oil or water – as it is already the case in many parts of the world. The City of Geneva, ladies and gentlemen, has the privilege to host the headquarters of Green Cross International. We would like to greatly congratulate it on its action and offer our support. Its approach fits perfectly with the spirit of Geneva, this tradition that makes our city a place of dialogue, meetings and exchanges, with the aim of developing concrete projects and finding solutions to global issues. That is why we are glad to give the opportunity to Green Cross International to exhibit its strong images during the whole month of September in Geneva. They are evocative of the human footprint and its impact on the environment.They encourage us to ask ourselves about the future of a beautiful but fast changing world that we must preserved at all costs.  Thus our responsibility is committed to the next generations. We will meet this challenge together by fighting both environmental degradation and the growing gap between the privileged people and those who are excluded from prosperity. In other words, by affirming our spirit of solidarity. Thank you, Rémy Pagani