The UN General Assembly President launches Global Campaign Against Plastic Pollution at New York
05 December 2018

5 December 2018




The UN General Assembly President launches Global Campaign Against Plastic Pollution at New York on 3 December 2018

The President of the United Nations General Assembly, Ms. María Fernanda Espinosa, joined on 3 December with the Governments of Antigua and Barbuda, and Norway, to launch a Global Campaign against Plastic Pollution.

Standing alongside Prime Minister Mr. Gaston Browne of Antigua and Barbuda, and Ms. Mari Skåre, the Deputy Representative of Norway to the United Nations, President Espinosa noted:

“80% of all plastic ends up in the ocean: equivalent to 8-12 million tonnes. It is also estimated that by 2050 there will be more plastic than fish in the sea. Microplastics are now confirmed in table salt and in fresh water. Each person on the planet is believed to have plastic in their bodies due to this.”

The global campaign will consist of two elements: an internal initiative to reduce plastic waste at the UN itself, and a global advocacy campaign in conjunction with Member States and UN Agencies to reach the public.

The Office of the President of the General Assembly intends to support global campaigns to #BeatPlasticPollution. This will complement efforts by UN Agencies and civil society groups, such as Global Citizen and National Geographic, amongst others.

The Prime Minister of Antigua and Barbuda, Mr. Gaston Browne, announced the signature element of the campaign, a large concert set for April 27th to coincide with Antigua ‘Sailing Week’. The concert will include regional and internationally renowned musicians and artists and will showcase the impacts of plastics while highlighting efforts to tackle the problem globally.

The Prime Minister noted: “Antigua and Barbuda has been successful in the elimination of single use plastics. During the past two years, we have introduced a ban, which has worked

very well. (…) Antigua and Barbuda is the first country in the Caribbean to do so. We need to protect our oceans and we are calling on all nations to join us in banning the use of single use plastics.”

Norway’s Deputy Permanent Representative at the United Nations, Ms Mari Skåre, affirmed: “We are strong supporters of the initiative and the reason is that we have a problem with plastic pollution. Norway knows this. We know it is a health problem for the oceans and for humans. Fish eat plastic, humans eat fish. The good news is that we have solutions. We can solve this. This is why this global campaign is so important. If you are consumers, use your own bottle. We want to pull our weight in finding good, clean solutions for our common future.”

In addition to the primary concert in Antigua and Barbuda, the global campaign also includes an event in New York City in the spring to recognize individuals and/or civil society groups that are making innovative progress against plastics; a social media and media campaign; and a photo exhibit which will be placed in the UN General Assembly visitors center in the Spring to coincide with World Environment Day.

Watch full statements

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