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UN: Tehran conference major step forward in combating dust storms

In an interview with IRNA on the sidelines of the three day conference, he said: Obviously, we need to do a lot more at both national and international levels to combat sand and dust storms.

Solheim stressed the need for regional and international cooperation to combat sand and dust storms, and underlined importance of coordination among Iran, Iraq, Turkey and other states in this regard.

From the point of view of UN, we can provide a platform for nations to cooperate and we can provide them the best technical and scientific advice about the right action to take against sand and dust storms, he noted.

Solheim said that Iran has been one of the main drivers of combating sand and dust storm in the United Nations.

He also pointed to the upcoming meeting of the UN Environment Assembly in Nairobi, Kenya, from 4-6 December 2017 and said that air pollution will also be one of the main agendas.

He urged all world states to pay more attention to the emerging phenomena of air pollution.

Iran has been definitely one of the drivers of this agenda but to be successful, making a broader coalition which includes Saudi Arabia and other states is essential, Solheim noted.

Answering a question regarding the effects of dam construction on dust pollution, he said: The role that UN can play is to bring together the best scientific advice regarding the effect of dam construction on air pollution and to provide a platform for bilateral and multilateral dialogue among all the nations, including Iran, Turkey, Iraq and others to resolve the issue.

Solheim answered another question regarding the US President Donald Trump threatening to withdraw from the Paris climate change agreement and said: There are lots of reasons for optimism despite President Trump decision.

All other nations in the world, including EU member-states, China, Russia, India and Iran can come together and move ahead beyond whatever happens in the Whitehouse, the UN official added.

He referred to the US private sector's capacities and noted: We may try to convince the US major companies like Microsoft, Google, Apple and other companies that we are doing the job for the sake of people.

The First International Conference on Combating Sand and Dust Storms is holding in Tehran on 3-5 July 2017. The international conference was hosted by the Department of Environment and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Islamic Republic of Iran, with the cooperation of the Department of Economic and Social Affairs of the United Nations Secretariat, UN Environment and the UN Development Programme, in collaboration with other relevant UN entities.

Interview by Hamdollah Emadi Heydari

Source: Islamic Republic News Agency � IRNA

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