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Volkan Bozkir (General Assembly President) sends a message to mark the International Day of Desertification and Drought 2021
10 May 2021 -  Our land is so much more than just dirt.
Healthy soil is full of plants, animals and microbes – it is home to more than a quarter of our planet’s biodiversity.
And healthy soil produces healthier, more nutritious and simply more food. It is critical to our very survival.
It even helps to fight climate change.
Currently healthy soils provide the largest store of carbon on Earth.
But today, more than one fifth of the planet’s land is being degraded.
This already negatively impacts the livelihoods of 3.2 billion people and unless we act now, it’s only going to get worse.
At the United Nations we are encouraging Member States to set Land Degradation Neutrality targets.
So far 123 counties have set commitments, but we need all 193 Member States to do so.
Shovel-ready restoration projects that have the potential to create millions of low-skilled jobs are critical to reach these targets.
We also must empower the over 1 billion people who work in the agricultural sector – a third of all workers globally.
Secure land rights are a primary factor to achieve the land degradation neutrality goals, and the associated improvements in food, water, and livelihood security.
I advocated for these solutions to land degradation at a meeting of the General Assembly on May 20th.
Now is the time to turn commitments into reality. Together we can reverse the alarming downward trend in soil health and create jobs and rebuild lives today as well as protect our planet for the future.
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Observance of the International Day of Family Remittances 2021 - Recovery and resilience through digital and financial inclusion.
UNOCT International Expert Group Meeting on the Protection of Urban Centres and Touristic Venues (15-16 June 2021).
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General Assembly: 80th plenary meeting.
Implementation of note S/2017/507: Working methods - Security Council, 9798th meeting.
(3rd meeting) Conference of States Parties to the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities Fourteenth session, COSP14 (15-17 June 2021).
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Daily Press Briefing by the Spokesperson of the Secretary-General and the Spokesperson for the President of the General Assembly.
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(5th meeting) Special Committee of 24 (Decolonization Committee) - Resumed session, 14-25 June 2021.
(4th meeting) Conference of States Parties to the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities Fourteenth session, COSP14 (15-17 June 2021).
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International Seminar on Fostering International Peace and Security - In commemoration of the 30th Anniversary of Korea’s Entry in the United Nations.
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