Introductory remarks delivered by Ambassador Mariangela Zappia, Permanent Representative of Italy to the United Nations, at the High-level Meeting of the “Group of Friends for leading on environmental management in the field” (LEAF) —
Excellencies, dear colleagues, a very good morning or good afternoon depending where you are – in New York, Lebanon, Abyei and elsewhere – and a warm welcome to this meeting which is the first of 2021 of the Group of Friends on Leading on environmental management in the field. LEAF is a very nice acronym and together with my dear friend the PR of Bangladesh, Ambassador Rabab Fatima
I am very happy to see a wide representation of Member States, participating in this meeting, diverse profiles and of course they cover diverse UN environmental footprints.
In my capacity together with Ambassador RababFatima as Co-Chair of the group, I would really like to extend a warm welcome, in particular, to Undersecretary General Atul Khare and thank him for being with us today. We are honoured you have chosen this context, Atul, to hold the formal launch of the second phase of the DOS Environment Strategy for Peace Operations. I am sure your intervention will give us a lot of food for thought and inputs for the discussion, which will take place of course in the second part of this meeting. I really wish to greet all our guests from the Department of Operational Support, too.
I also wish to welcome of course our guests from the field, Major General Tessema, who will join us soon, Force Commander of UNISFA, and of course Major General , Head of Mission and Force Commander of UNIFIL Major General Del Col. We are really thankful you accepted to attend this meeting and we are looking forward to hearing your perspectives and your experiences from the field, which is as I was saying what this group is all about.
A special thanks and a warm welcome to our new members, Lebanon and Qatar. You have recently joined this Group of Friends and we are very happy to have you here . I am sure this Group will be able to count on your precious contribution of ideas and perspectives.
I am pleased now to give the floor to the Co-Chair of the Group Ambassador Rabab Fatima, for her introductory remarks. Please Rabat, the floor is yours.