Opening Remarks by H.E. Rabab Fatima, Ambassador and Permanent Representative of Bangladesh to the United Nations in New York at the HLPF Side event on “Protecting Public Health from climate related threats”, co-hosted by Bangladesh, Qatar, Morocco, Chile, France, and Kenya, UNEP, and UN Foundation, 07 July 2021, 11:00 pm Dhaka time

I thank you Professor Jafry for giving me the floor.

Excellencies, Colleagues,

Good evening from Dhaka.

I thank you all for joining us today in this high-level event.

The nexus between climate change, human, and planetary health is well-established. Over the years, our activities have given rise to alarming risks to human and planetary health. WHO estimates about 250 thousand additional deaths each year from 2030 due to climate induced health hazards. There are also growing evidence of Climate related mental illness.

The COVID-19 pandemic has put sharp focus on the need for adequate investment in our health infrastructure. We need future health systems that will be resilient enough to tackle any shocks including those arising from adverse impacts of climate change.

We have an expert panel to discuss these issues in length. Let me take this opportunity to share some of my own thoughts and ideas.

First, the alarming rise of global temperature is the root cause of many human diseases. We must, therefore, act urgently to limit the temperature rise to 1.5 degree Celsius and achieve net zero emission by 2050. This should be our top priority in the COP-26 summit.

Second, the COVID-19 pandemic has put to the fore the high risk of zoonotic diseases. We see “one health agenda” as an effective way forward against such risks. My Prime Minister is now Co-chairing the One Health Global Leaders Group on antimicrobial resistance. We wish to see more support in pursuing this important agenda in the days ahead.

Third, Climate change has disproportionate health impacts on the People living in the low-lying coastal countries, SIDS and LDCs.  There should be adequate resources and technology support for them to build stronger health infrastructure to tackle climatic hazards.

As the current President of the Climate Vulnerable Forum, Bangladesh will make every effort to place the climate financing and technology transfer issues high on the upcoming COP-26 Agenda.

Fourth, for achieving a healthy and climate resilient post-COVID recovery, we must place prevention at the heart of our efforts. Prevention has always proven to be far more effective and less expensive than response. We, therefore, support the recent proposal by IPBES for launching a high-level intergovernmental council on pandemic prevention involving both climate and health actors.

The 2021 Global Conference on Health and Climate Change provides us a good opportunity to advance this agenda.

Finally, we must ensure quality UHC for all to make our communities more resilient.

I would rest it here.

I thank you all.