27 August 2014

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

‘Prepare and Adapt’ to Climate Change, Urges Secretary-General in Message

to World Health Organization Conference, Spotlighting Upcoming Summit

Following is UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s video message to the First World Health Organization (WHO) Conference on Health and Climate Change, in Geneva today:

Dr. Margaret Chan, Director-General of the World Health Organization, Excellencies, distinguished delegates, thank you for joining forces at this important conference.

The relationships between health and climate change are complex and volatile.  Extreme weather threatens lives.  Many dangerous diseases are sensitive to climate conditions.  And air pollution adds greatly to the global burden of death and disease.

We must prepare and adapt.  And — to minimize risk — we need to address the root causes of climate change.

You have a major role to play.  On 23 September, Heads of State and Government, along with leaders from business, finance and civil society, will gather at a Climate Summit at the United Nations in New York.

One focus will be climate, health and jobs.

I appeal to you to make the case for Governments to adopt and promote clean low-carbon energy.  This is the only option for a healthy future and a life of dignity for all. 

I wish you a successful and productive conference.  Thank you.

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For information media • not an official record