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The Permanent Mission of the Republic of Slovenia to the UN, in cooperation with the FAO Liaison Office in New York, hosted an event to mark the passing of the UN General Assembly resolution declaring 20 May as World Bee Day

New York, 20 December 2017 – The Permanent Mission, together with the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), held a formal event to mark the passing of the UN General Assembly resolution declaring 20 May as World Bee Day.
 
The event was hosted by the Permanent Representative of the Republic of Slovenia to the United Nations in New York, Ambassador Darja Bavdaž Kuret. The keynote speaker was the Slovenian Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Food, Dejan Židan, and the participants were also addressed by a representative of the FAO Liaison Office in New York, Marianna Kovacs, the President of the Slovenian Beekeepers’ Association, Boštjan Noč, and the Vice President of Apimondia, Peter Kozmus.
 
The cultural part of the programme featured a recital by the Slovenian soprano, Irena Preda.
 
The speakers underlined the importance of bees and the need to protect them, and cautioned about the threats endangering bees. World Bee Day is a milestone achievement, which will help raise awareness of the importance and protection of bees and other pollinators.
 
FAO representative Ms Kovacs said that, without bees, there can be no world without hunger, as this would entail the loss of various products such as potatoes, peppers, coffee, pumpkins, carrots, apples, almonds and tomatoes.
 
The event and the accompanying exhibition “World of Bees”, which is on view at UN Headquarters from 11 to 22 December 2017, mark the successful conclusion of the two-year campaign to declare 20 May World Bee Day. The initiative was unanimously approved in July 2017 at the 40th session of the FAO Conference.
 
The Permanent Mission of the Republic of Slovenia to the UN then submitted the draft resolution to the UN General Assembly Second Committee for consideration. Negotiations were initiated, which concluded successfully on 17 November with the unanimous vote in favour of the resolution, which was co-sponsored by 115 countries. The unanimous decision and the high number of co-sponsors were the result of dedicated efforts of Slovenian diplomacy, especially the Permanent Mission of the Republic of Slovenia to the UN in New York. The procedure officially concluded with the unanimous passage of the resolution at the plenary meeting of the UN General Assembly on 20 December 2017.
 
World Bee Day is aimed at raising awareness of the significance of bees and other pollinators and the efforts to protect them.
 
Studies conducted by the UN and the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) show that the populations of bees and other pollinators have been declining visibly, due to a number of factors that are the result of human activity: intensive farming, worldwide pesticide use, as well as pollution and waste. Bees are exposed to new diseases and pests, their habitat is shrinking, and their survival and development are threatened by the effects of climate change.
 
Information collected by the FAO confirms that bees and other pollinators are invaluable in ensuring global food security, as one third of the global food production or every third spoonful of food depends on pollination. In addition, agricultural crops requiring pollination provide jobs and income, particularly for small and family farms in developing countries. Bees also have an important role in maintaining ecological balance and biodiversity.
 
Consequently, the protection of bees and other pollinators is also essential for meeting the sustainable development goals, particularly guaranteeing food security, sustainable farming, protecting terrestrial ecosystems and preventing the loss of biodiversity.