UN Secretary-General Plants Tree at Grove of Nations.
(photo credit: KKL-JNF)
Over a hundred heads of state throughout the world have planted a tree in the Grove of Nations in Jerusalem. They have now been joined by the United Nations Secretary General, António Manuel de Oliveira Guterres, who planted a tree on August 28. The tree-planting ceremony was part of his official visit to Israel, during which he met with Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and President Reuven Rivlin.
Upon his arrival at the Grove of Nations, the UN Secretary General was greeted by KKL-JNF World Chairman Danny Atar.
“In Israel, you have true partners to the exalted ideal of helping the world to progress and making it a safer and more pleasant place to live in”, he said to Secretary-General António Guterres.
KKL-JNF created the Grove of the Nations in the spirit of the UN’s Billion Tree Campaign and as part of the Olive Tree Route in the Mediterranean region. The grove symbolizes the aspiration for peace between the countries of the world and solidarity with the state of Israel and the Jewish people.
The grove is situated at the foot of Mount Herzl, Israel’s national commemoration site.
“Planting a tree particularly at this site expresses our deep commitment to future generations and to their quality of life,” Atar noted.
The common feeling in Israel is often that the United Nations is one-sided and prejudiced against Israel. In this context, KKL-JNF World Chairman Danny Atar said to the Secretary-General that the United Nations “is the global peacemaker, and the eyes of many of the world’s citizens are looking towards it.”
“It is in your hands to give hope to millions of people in the world who dream of living in a safe, healthy and greener environment,” he continued. “I am full of appreciation for your friendship and the opinions that you express about Israel, but like many others, I am often concerned by the one-sided and hostile attitudes that often characterize UN institutions. The tree you are planting today will join the trees planted here by Jews 2,000 years ago. I hope that together with this tree that will flourish here, a new spirit will flourish in the UN institutions under your leadership, which will mark the end of Israel hatred and Anti-Semitism.”
Read more, watch video on the tree planting ceremony with the UN Secretary General