31 March 2008
Secretary-General
SG/SM/11485
ENV/DEV/973

Department of Public Information • News and Media Division • New York

SECRETARY-GENERAL, IN VIDEO MESSAGE, SAYS BANGKOK CLIMATE TALKS LAUNCHING

 

NEGOTIATION PROCESS ‘TASKED WITH CHANGING THE COURSE OF HISTORY’


Following is the text of UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s video message to the opening of the Climate Change Talks in Bangkok, 31 March:


Mr. President of COP 13 and CMP 3,

Madam Minister,

Madam Executive Secretary of ESCAP,

Mr. Executive Secretary of UNFCCC,

Distinguishes Delegates,


You have gathered to launch a negotiating process that is tasked with changing the course of history.


With the breakthrough in the Bali road map, nations showed that they are ready to unite on climate change.  Now, you stand at the beginning of an intensive two-year negotiation, which needs to produce a strong agreement by 2009 on global action.


This means you need to work towards an agreed outcome that meets many criteria.  It must measure up to the imperatives of science.  It must set in motion the steps required to reduce emissions.  It must ensure global adaptation to the impacts of climate change.  And it must mobilize the financial and technological solutions needed to make all this possible.


This is a huge responsibility.  I know you represent a diverse range of concerns and I know that time is short.


But the state of our planet requires you to be ambitious -- in what you aim for and, equally, in how hard you work to reach agreement.


As the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change made clear, decisive action in the next decade can still prevent some of the worst predictions from becoming a reality.


The world is waiting for a solution that is long term and economically viable.  A solution based on the principle of common but differentiated responsibilities.  A solution that strikes the delicate balance between globally inclusive action and the need to eradicate poverty.  A solution that advances green economic growth, including in developing countries, and sufficiently funded, large-scale adaptation measures.


I assure you that the United Nations family will gladly and willingly contribute to the negotiating process.  But we need to be guided by the interests of the parties.


The mission before you will call on all your creativity, flexibility and sense of common purpose.  I am grateful to every one of you for your commitment to a successful outcome.


Thank you very much.


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For information media • not an official record