Turkish President Erdogan signs Global Zero Waste goodwill declaration in New York

Turkish President Erdogan signs Global Zero Waste goodwill declaration in New York

Signing ceremony, led by first lady Emine Erdogan, takes place at Turkish House as part of Towards a Global Zero Waste Movement event

By Cahit Oktay

NEW YORK (AA) - Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Monday signed a Global Zero Waste goodwill declaration, spearheaded by first lady Emine Erdogan, on the sidelines of the 78th UN General Assembly in New York.

A signing ceremony, led by the president's wife, took place at the Turkish House diplomatic hub as part of the "Path To Global Zero Waste Movement" event.

President Erdogan became the first zero waste volunteer by being the inaugural signatory of the Global Zero Waste Goodwill Declaration, made available for individual participation on its website, in support of the Global Zero Waste Movement led by first lady Emine Erdogan.

The Turkish leader signed the declaration online on Monday at the website zerowastecommitment.com, marking the first time it was made available for global signatures.

President Erdogan said Türkiye will continue its multifaceted efforts to combat the crises of climate change and environmental pollution.

"Türkiye seeks to properly fulfill its duties to future generations," he added.

During her remarks, the first lady said the declaration, representing the initial phase of the Zero Waste movement's global expansion, was opened for signing in collaboration with UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres.

"Let's unite for the sake of our shared home, the world, and amplify our voices. My call garnered an enthusiastic response from numerous prominent environmental advocates, particularly UN officials and leaders' spouses," said the first lady.

"We extend our sincere gratitude to President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, the inaugural volunteer of the Global Zero Waste movement, for his meaningful support for the goal of a sustainable and equitable future," she added.

According to the website, the declaration recognizes the importance of efficient resource use, waste reduction, recycling, and other steps to align with the Paris Agreement and 2030 Sustainable Development goals.

"We pledge to promote the zero waste approach worldwide and share best practices for its wider recognition and application," the website says.

The Zero Waste project, spearheaded in Türkiye by first lady Emine Erdogan, was jointly developed on an international level last year by Erdogan and UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres.

The declaration of goodwill, initially signed by the first lady and the UN chief, has since been endorsed by the spouses of nearly 30 heads of state, including ones from France, South Korea, Paraguay, and Cuba.

*Servet Gunerigok contributed to the story

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