Apr 23, 2007

Ogoni: Support for UNPO Earth Day Celebrations

On the occasion of Earth Day 2007, UNPO and MOSOP President Ledum Mitee issues a statement underlining the integral link between environmental rights and the sustainability of local communities.

The Hague, 23 April 2007 - On Saturday 21 April 2007 UNPO marked its annual celebration of Earth Day with a colourful information stand in the centre of The Hague. The event was an opportunity to inform the general public about the many challenges UNPO Members face as the degradation and exploitation of their environments continue.

[More information about Earth Day 2007]

As President of the UNPO General Assembly, as well as President of the Movement for the Survival of the Ogoni People (MOSOP), an organisation at the centre of the campaign to raise awareness of the devastating effects of oil extraction in the Niger Delta, Mr. Ledum Mitee issued the following statement in support of this event:


“On the occasion of Earth Day 2007;

Environmental rights are not a class distinct from our basis human rights. Local environments sustain and form the basis of the practices and traditions that define many of the world’s oldest communities. The destruction of these environments is therefore all too often accompanied by the destruction of entire communities, and with them, a piece of the human and cultural diversity of which we are all rightly proud.

UNPO has a long history of supporting the Ogoni struggle for environmental rights, and it is my great honour therefore to serve as President of the UNPO General Assembly, an organisation to which my predecessor, one-time colleague, and environmental activist, the late Ken Saro Wiwa, also previously served as Vice-President. The Ogoni however are not alone in their environmental struggles, but share their difficulties with numerous other UNPO Members throughout the world. UNPO plays a crucial role in ensuring that no local communities are forgotten and that their voices are heard on the international stage. As part of this process, Earth Day is a vital opportunity to spread an understanding of these difficulties, and to prompt a reflection on costs of the resources we often take for granted.

Ledum Mitee
President of the UNPO General Assembly
President of the Movement for the Survival of the Ogoni People (MOSOP)”