United Nations Ambassador Mary Elizabeth Flores representing Honduras, spoke to the University community about “Climate Change, Humanitarian Aid, and Rehabilitation: The Case of Honduras,” before a virtual audience of 41 Wednesday via Zoom.
The ambassador explained how although Honduras had struggled the nation has still put in massive effort toward slowing climate change.
She called for other countries to do the same for the sake of the future of the planet.
Flores, an advocate and activist for equality who has served the UN for over 12 years, discussed Hurricane Mitch, which caused mass destruction and thousands of Honduran deaths in 1998.
It took over $800 million to rebuild the country and guard against further catastrophe, she said.
“Climate impacts have exasperated the country,” Flores said.
She also talked about the pandemic’s impacts and called for the international community to act in concert.
“It is a moral imperative (for) those who have to share their resources,” the ambassador said. “In climate change we are all in it together. It is a human issue.”
Juli Minoves-Triquell, who introduced the speaker, asked about her experience as a woman ambassador. Flores said that while gender equity among her ranks has increased in recent years, there still is not always space for women to truly share their experiences and opinions.
Bree Douglas, a junior political science major in the audience, asked the ambassador how she knew that this was the career path for her.
Flores said that she did not know initially. She started her career in media and politics prior to her current post. She did know she wanted to make a difference.
Al Clark, professor of humanities, asked Flores about Honduras’ plan for replacing wood burning in Honduras.
The ambassador said Honduras has begun to transition to solar, and other renewable energy sources.
The talk was part of the University’s monthly “Hot Spots” lecture series.