Photo: file.
INTERNATIONAL - Ethiopia is endeavoring to promote sustainable and productive forestry for green economic growth, said Ethiopian President Sahle-Work Zewde here on Thursday.

Speaking at the on-going General Debate of the 74th session of the United Nations General Assembly, the Ethiopian president said: "We're working on afforestation with a ten-year Forest Sector Development Program; a master plan to promote sustainable and productive forestry for green economic growth."

This program, she said, includes plans for planting 4 billion seedlings within a year and a half, under the theme: "40 trees Per Head for New Ethiopia," a plan launched by Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed last month.

Ethiopia broke the world record, planting over 350 million trees in a single day, she said. Ethiopia is fully committed to implementing the Sustainable Development Agenda and the Paris Climate Agreement, the Ethiopian president said.

"We are facing unprecedented challenges. Climate change is real, posing a real threat to progress even survival, forcing us to shift resources away from development," she said.

"Threats to global peace and security are multiplying," she said, adding that geo-political and trade tensions; arms races; proliferation of weapons of mass destruction; terrorism and violent extremism; poverty and income inequalities are all global challenges that require global solutions.

"Commitment to multilateralism has never been more urgent," she said. Ethiopia has been resolute in defending global peace and security through its contributions to the United Nations Peacekeeping Operations for seventy years, the Ethiopian president said, saying that "I am proud to say that Ethiopia is now the leading troop contributing country to UN peacekeeping."

XINHUA