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To Ban Ki-moon, Itaipu is aligned with SDGs
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15/08/2016
During the visit of the Secretary General of the United Nations (UN), Ban Ki-moon, on Sunday (7), to Foz do Iguaçu, Itaipu signed a technical cooperation agreement with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) for the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in the 54 cities that make up the Association of Western Paraná Municipalities (Amop). Ban Ki-moon, who attended the opening of the Olympics, included the Iguaçu Falls and the binational plant in his plans during his stay in the country.
 
The agreement was signed by the General Directors of Itaipu, Jorge Samek (Brazil) and James Spalding (Paraguay), and by the UNDP representative in Brazil, Niky Fabiancic. 
 
This was the second time that Ban Ki-Moon visited the dam. The first was in February 2015, as part of an official visit to the Paraguayan government. To Samek, the return of the Secretary to the plant is a recognition to the binational commitments to promote sustainable development in the vicinity of the plant, in Brazil and Paraguay. 
 

 
The secretary said it was an “insightful day”, “breathtaking” day that brought him several lessons. Ban Ki-moon praised Itaipu Binacional’s efforts in the research of new technologies in alternative energy sources and combating climate change, and the search for fulfillment of SDGs covering various topics of sustainability to be complied by UN member countries by 2030.
 
At Itaipu, the Secretary was welcomed by the Minister of Health, Ricardo Barros, who is fulfilling the agenda in Paraná; the Vice-Governor of Paraná, Cida Borghetti; the General Directors of Itaipu, Jorge Samek (Brazil) and James Spalding (Paraguay); Itaipu Coordinating Directors, Pedro Domaniczky (executive) and Nelton Friedrich, and the Executive Financial Officer, Margaret Groff. In visit to PTI, Ban Ki-moon was accompanied by Juan Sotuyo, CEO of PTI Foundation and the rector of Unila, Josué Modesto dos Passos Subrinho. 
 
“I felt very inspired to visit Itaipu Binacional. This is a place where we use the force of water for humanity, for development, peace and harmony”, said the Secretary General, who took a sightseeing tour to the plant. Then, he went to the Itaipu Technological Park, where he planted a tree and met some of the binational projects, such as energy generation from biogas, dam security research, battery development, promotion of gender equality and Cultivando Água Boa (Cultivating Good Water) project, awarded by the UN-Water as the best water management practice.
 

 
“Itaipu has been working in line with the ideals of the UN and planetary documents that have been discussed since Rio 92, culminating in the ODS and the reduction targets of greenhouse gases, agreed in COP21, in Paris. There are several actions being implemented in the Brazilian and Paraguayan side of the plant, which show that building a better world is possible”, said Samek.
 
Iguaçu Falls
 
He also talked about the visit to the Iguaçu National Park, where the Falls are. “The Falls are so powerful and magnificent. I felt very humbled by the great force of nature. I express my sincere wish that these neighboring countries have the responsibility to manage well this heritage of humanity in a sustainable way". 
And he summarized the experience in both places: “I learned a lot about what and how we can do with nature. If our society goes against the wisdom of nature, then we have no hope. But as we use nature (and water) with wisdom, we can do the best for the people and the planet", he concluded.