Secretariat Antonio Guterres' remarks at the General Assembly were on point, and were nothing shy of shocking in calling out the state the world this year:
"The pandemic has demonstrated our global fragility...this microscopic virus has brought us to our knees. We do not yet know how to eradicate, treat, or even vaccine against COVID-19....it must be an end to the hubris...We are only as strong as the weakest health systems, the least committed nations." With both the dual crises of the pandemic and climate change, "either we get through these crises together, or we fail. Either we stand together, or we fall apart."
Today we face a crisis with no precedents. The pandemic is but one symptom of the biodiversity and climate crises that have been pushed to the sidelines for too long. More than 75% of our land, 66% of our oceans, and 85% of our wetlands have been negatively impacted by human activity. More than one million species are facing extinction, many of them during our lifetime. We have taxed our planet beyond its' willingness to allow a continued debate; it is now clear we can no longer continue with business as usual.
It's time to listen to the science. It's time to be accountable. It's time to act.
-- Alexandra Blitch, President of Forces of Nature