Agenda item 19: International Day of Clean Air for blue skies
Tuesday, 26 November 2019, UNHQ New York
Introduction of the draft
resolution by Amb. CHO Hyun, the Permanent Representative of the Republic of Korea to the United
you, Mr. Chair.
is an honour for me to introduce the draft resolution entitled “International
Day of Clean Air for blue skies” (A/C.2/74/L.34/Rev.1). This resolution marks
the first time that the Second Committee has considered the issue of improving
air quality as a stand-alone issue.
pollution is an unintended consequence of unsustainable development. For
decades, countries have undertaken various actions to mitigate air pollution
and its impacts. However, it remains an unresolved problem that is worsening
around the world.
knowledge and scientific evidence on the nature of air pollution and its impacts
on our health, climate, and ecosystems call for immediate, integrated, and
decisive actions against it. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), 9
out of every 10 people globally breathe air that does not meet the WHO air
quality guidelines. Even more alarming, an estimated 7 million people around
the world face premature death due to indoor and outdoor air pollution every
this backdrop, the UN Environmental Assembly, through its resolution in 2018,
recognized that air pollution is the single greatest environmental risk to
human health and one of the main avoidable causes of death and disease
the gravity of the issue and the transboundary nature of air pollutants, air
pollution has often been regarded as a local and regional issue. This leads to
a lack of discussions on this issue at the United Nations.
the context of the 2030 Agenda, reducing air pollution can contribute to the
achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals and its interrelated targets. To
achieve clean air, coordinated and transformative actions are needed in critical
areas such as energy, sustainable consumption and production, climate change
policies, human settlements, economic growth strategy, and gender equality.
is the reason why the Republic of Korea has brought forward this draft
resolution to this Committee. The International Day of Clean Air for blue skies
will serve as a global platform to (1) raise public awareness on air pollution,
(2) promote actions of Member States, UN entities, and other key stakeholders
against air pollution, and (3) enhance sharing of relevant knowledge and practices.
the adoption of this resolution should be understood as only the beginning
rather than an end point. Indeed, this resolution’s true worth will depend on
what actions we collectively take to address
the issue of air pollution by using this international day as a catalyst. As
such, we strongly urge all Member States, relevant UN entities, and
stakeholders to observe the newly designated International Day of Clean Air for
I would like to take this opportunity to thank all Member States for their
engagement and flexibility throughout the consultation process, as well as
those who have co-sponsored the draft resolution. We would like to ask any
remaining delegations that are interested to co-sponsor this resolution.
delegation also thanks the UN Secretariat for their strong support during this
process. We look forward to further collaboration with the UN Environment
Programme on the upcoming International Day of Clean Air for blue skies on 7