Saturday, August 16, 2014

A Letter to Ban Ki Moon on the Environmental Disaster in Gaza

Considering news of the grave enivronmental cirumstances in Gaza, I called upon the UN system to take serious action to address the matter .The following is the text of my letter to the UNSG.

HE Mr.Ban Ki Moon

Secretary General United Nations

HE Achim Steiner UNEP Executive Director. ( cc)

Ministers of Environment (cc) 


Dear Sir,

The ongoing violence and humanitarian crisis and genocide against the people of Gaza has created very grave circumstances for the Palestinian people.  Recalling the mandate of the UN to safeguard peace and security for all humanity and the continued blockade and sanctions against the Gaza strip which has made all humanitarian assistance possible only through certain UN and similar bodies it is necessary to stress that the responsibility of the United Nations in face of this tragedy is immense.

Now as we enter the fifth week of the calamity, in addition to the humanitarian tragedy, we are obtaining news of an imminent environmental catastrophe. The breakdown of basic sanitary services in Gaza, the unavailability of potable water and problems in water sanitization systems, the breakdown of the sewage and purification plants and the scattering and piling of urban waste have all amounted to an environmental crisis in Gaza.  It is deemed necessary that UNEP calls for urgent action of UN bodies and member states to address the state of environmental emergency  in Gaza. The lifting of the inhumane blockade is evidently an imperative to prevent further humanitarian tragedy.

In addition to the readiness of my Government to assist in this regard, I would like to propose the urgent convening of a session the region to address and take urgent measures to address this matter. Tehran is prepared to host and provide support in this regard.

We also propose that UNEP convene a adhoc session on the sidelines of the Climate session to address theissue of emergency environmental relief for Gaza.


Excellency please accept my highest considerations .


Massoumeh Ebtekar

Vice President , Head Department of Environment

Islamic Republic of Iran

UNEP Champion of the Earth

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