The very first ‘International Day of Clean Air for Blue Skies’ was celebrated virtually on Monday amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and as Typhoon Haishen made its way through the country.
The official opening was organized by South Korea after Seoul made the initial proposal to the United Nations last Decemberto help stress the importance of improving air quality.
This is the first time an official day proposed by South Korea has been designated by the UN.
The United Nations Environment Programme was invited by the UN General Assembly to facilitate the observance of the first day.
During the event, President Moon Jae-in said via video message that environmental issues must be solved by the current generationfor the health, safety, and sustainable growth of humanity.
South Korea also hopes to promote global cooperation in combating environmental issues.
“As the country that proposed the ‘International Day of Clean Air for Blue Skies’, we will do our best to promote practical cooperation among major countries for clean air and clear skies, starting with next year’s P4G Seoul Summit.”
UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres also spoke via video message and emphasized the need to reduce air pollutionas it is causing the early deaths of around seven million people annually.
“We need dramatic and systemic change, the enforced environmental standards, policies and laws that prevent the emission of air pollutions are needed more than ever…countries need to cooperate to help each other transition to clean technologies.”
He also said that, as the world recovers from the coronavirus, greater attention needs to be paid to air pollution as it increases the risks of illnesses associated with COVID-19.
Hong Yoo, Arirang News.