“Opportunities for a Transition to a Green Economy in the Wider Black Sea Region” Speech by Achim Steiner

On Wednesday, 24 November 2010, Frosso Mantziou attended as MedWet representative, a speech by Achim Steiner, United Nations Under-Secretary General and Executive Director of UNEP, on the “Opportunities for a Transition to a Green Economy in the Wider Black Sea Region”, in Athens, Greece.

The event had been organised by the Greek Chairmanship-in-Office of the Black Sea Economic Cooperation, in cooperation with UNEP and the Greek Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Spyros Kouvelis, ex MedWet Coordinator, delivered the welcome address in his capacity as Greek Deputy Minister for Foreign Affairs. He took the opportunity to make the announcement that an agreement would be officially adopted two days later (Friday 26 November) in Thessaloniki, Greece, where the 10 Ministers for Foreign Affairs of the Black Sea countries were to meet and sign a mutual Declaration for the adoption of a new eco-friendly model of development, that will deal with climate change and will set new foundations for Green Development in the wider region.

During his speech Achim Steiner underlined the importance of the adoption of a “green economy” even by countries affected by the global economic crisis, since, as he stressed, the current economic model erroneously sees nature and the environment as a bottomless resource. Regarding the Black Sea area that is currently facing serious environmental challenges, he pointed out that a green economy does not constitute a necessity due to environmental circumstances, but also a unique chance for the Black Sea countries to promote regional cooperation that will generate new opportunities for development in the years to come.

During the reception that followed Frosso Mantziou had the opportunity to meet and talk about MedWet’s work with UNEP representatives, environment specialists from greek scientific institutions and of course with the former MedWet coordinator and current Greek Deputy Minister for Foreign Affairs Spyros Kouvelis.