Ban Ki-moon's speeches


Remarks at the UNFCCC COP17 Chief Executives Board side event

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, Durban (South Africa), 07 December 2011

I am happy to join you today.

This is the place where the United Nations really shows, demonstrates our strong commitment to work [as] one family, one United Nations. Of course we have been doing this all the time but unfortunately there is some misperceptions that the United Nations is somehow fragmented and delivering and acting independently, separately.

But under this CEB system we are really [...] as one team even though this is a once a year opportunity -- but a very good opportunity that we are showing our strong commitment.

I am always encouraged when I see the talent of the United Nations gathered in one place focused on the most important issues of our time. The topics you have discussed today could not be more relevant to our common future, more urgent.

Climate change is here to stay, it [will] never goes away unless we take action now. And emissions continue to rise. Last year, the emissions peaked -- the highest amount of greenhouse gases was emitted. The impacts are increasing. We have seen and I have seen for myself.

Recently, I was in Thailand. I couldn''t express, I couldn''t say properly how to describe the feelings and situations I have seen. I have seen so many places around the world [where you can see] the impact of climate change and I have been really trying to send strong messages from the places where I have seen this. That is why I have been busily travelling around the world. [...]

We all know the reality. And yet all too often, we continue with business as usual. These messages seem to be crossed but people forget the next morning. I am here to tell you that those days are over.

Business as usual must go out of business. This is why we are here today. The UN must be a model for business UN-usual – “UN” with a capital “U.N.” Business Unusual.

And how do we do that? I have four action plans or suggestions for you.

First, we must continue to advance the case for action, drawing strength from both climate science and economics of sustainable, green growth.

UN bodies have done important analytical work to support these arguments and to assist the governments in creating national climate policies.

For example, the Green Economy Initiative has bolstered the case for low-carbon growth and development.

The Global Framework for Climate Services is a new initiative that will enable us to better gauge the pulse of our planet.

Armed with this information, communities can make more informed decisions about how to adapt local agriculture, housing or water supplies for changing climate.

As Achim Steiner eloquently stated during his summing up, all these member states of the UNFCCC should take their own measures. You don''t need to wait until this comprehensive globally binding agreement will be reached. As I said yesterday, unfortunately and sadly, we may have to be very practical about our expectations about a binding agreement. It may take some more years but then do we have to stay as business as usual?

I think all the countries, developed or developing world, they should take domestic measures. We have seen many good examples in many developing countries in Africa. We have received at least 118 cases of national policy targets or renewable energy targets.

Second, we will continue to support Governments as they implement agreements already reached, including the Cancun Agreements.

All the leaders of UN system organizations are committed to providing you -- the Member States -- with tools and know-how for strengthening capacity, accessing finance and technology and supporting energy-efficient, clean and climate-resilient growth.

We have defined priority areas ranging from adaptation to technology transfer.

We are helping countries navigate the complex maze of funding sources and investment criteria. I am just coming from a climate change financing High Level Event together with the Prime Minister Meles of Ethiopia and Prime Minister Stoltenberg of Norway. We discussed how to launch, first, a Green Climate Fund as soon as possible out of Durban as well as how to provide [...] funds, short-term as well as long-term financing to developing countries.

We are also assisting in developing national mitigation and adaptation efforts. In particular, we are supporting the most vulnerable – those countries that are suffering most from a problem that they did least to cause.

We are pushing for effective action where it matters most -- from creating mass markets for solar water heaters to developing and testing drought-resistant crops, from protecting forests to improving disaster risk reduction.

We are showing that solutions are available.

Third, we need to listen and learn from those we serve.

The UN system is committed to listening to you, the Member States.

We need to know your real needs, your concerns on the ground. And we want to learn from your experiences, both in implementing global agreements and in pursuing national plans.

Fourth, as I said earlier in my remarks, in the beginning of my remarks, the UN system must continue to Deliver as One.

Business UN-usual requires nothing less.

Time is short. And these are great expectations from here, from Durban. We must implement all [that] we agreed on in Cancun including the Green Climate Fund. We must have clarity on the Kyoto Protocol.

And this is what we are obliged to carry on as leaders of this time and I am committed and my colleagues and all United Nations staff are ready to assist you and to work with you.

And I really count on your strong support and participation wherever you may be coming from, developed or developing world. This is the common challenges which we must overcome.

Thank you very much for your commitment.

Thank you.