As we have heard this morning, cyclone Idai was one of the worst tropical cyclones ever recorded in the Southern Hemisphere and it has caused death and destruction on a calamitous scale. We therefore commend you, Madame President, for convening this special meeting and for mobilizing such an impressive gallery of representatives of the agencies, funds and programmes of the United Nations system. This is a tangible expression of solidarity with the people of the region as the global community did for the people of the Caribbean when our own region was struck by a similar calamity in the wake of Hurricanes Irma and Maria in 2017. We commend the agencies of the United Nations system for mobilizing quickly to bring much needed relief and assistance to the affected populations.
In parallel with these efforts to bring immediate relief and to help the affected countries build resilience and build back better, there is also a recognition of the link between poverty and vulnerability to the impact of climate change. And that is why building resilience must be tied to overall development and to the eradication of poverty, as provided for in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. People live in unregulated areas in precarious housing because they cannot afford to live in safe neighborhoods, in houses that meet the requirements of the building codes in force.
In the face of this tragedy, as if yet another tragedy were needed, Guyana pledges to continue to play its part in the global effort to combat climate change. We have set aside huge tracts of our national territory and are prepared to set aside even more, where the forest cover is being preserved as a carbon sink to trap carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and thus help slow the progress of global warming.
We stand in solidarity with the Governments and peoples of Mozambique, Malawi and Zimbabwe and we wish to assure them that Guyana's voice will continue to be raised in all of the councils in which the global community gathers to decide on action to combat climate change and mitigate its impacts.
I thank you.