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World Environment Day 1999

05 Jun 1999 - Message of United Nations Secretary-General, Kofi A. Annan, on the occasion of World Environment Day.

The theme for this years World Environment Day, Our Earth - Our Future - Just Save it!, is an urgent appeal to each and every one of us to renew our pledge to cherish and respect the planet that sustains us.

Although saving the Earth has become a popular cause, there are clear signals that we are still making excessive demands on the environment. Today is a day to remember that the environment should be valued in itself and not simply as a means to satisfy our needs. It is a day to realize we should not take the environment for granted, for it will not be there tomorrow if we do not make a strong commitment to protect it.

For the most part, we know what the right choices are. In our own interest, we must also have the will to change our ways and walk the path to a sustainable future for all. To achieve this, we must understand that human wealth and economic development ultimately derive from the resources of the Earth, and that there is only one Earth.

We must also acknowledge our interdependency and recognize that in the long run, depletion of water resources, reduction of biodiversity, disruption of ecosystems and climate changes will have potentially disastrous consequences for us all, wherever we live. This means that responsibility, equity and solidarity are as crucial in environmental matters as they are in social and economic ones.

Because all human activities affect the Earth, and the state of the Earth affects us all, every day should be World Environment Day. Until then, the United Nations will take seriously its responsibility towards our planet and to those who will inhabit it after us.


For more information please contact:
Tore J. Brevik,
UNEP Spokesman and Director of the Communications and Public Information Branch,
on tel: (254-2) 623292, Fax: 623692,

UNEP News Release 1999/31

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