Energy and green issues the focus for Ban’s visit to Norway, Denmark and Sweden

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon. UN Photo/JC McIlwaine

5 October 2011 – Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon will visit Scandinavia next week, attending meetings on energy, sustainable development, climate change and green economic initiatives, as well as conferring with heads of State and Government in Norway, Denmark and Sweden.

At his first port of call in Oslo, Norway, Mr. Ban, who leaves New York on 9 October, will address the ‘Energy for all: Financing access for the poor’ conference, co-organized by Norway and the International Energy Agency (IEA) together with five invited partners from the so-called South – Brazil, Ethiopia, India, Liberia and South Africa – to explore ways of financing such access. More than 70 countries are expected to participate.

About 1.4 billion people today lack access to electricity, and current trends indicate that this will not change significantly by 2030. It is also estimated that 2.5 billion people will still use traditional biomass for cooking in 2030, with related health effects leading to 1.5 million premature deaths per year, mostly among women and children.

Mr. Ban will also participate in a high-level panel on the theme “Energy and the Road Towards Rio+20,” the 2012 UN Conference on Sustainable Development, taking place in Rio de Janeiro next June, marking the 20th anniversary of the 1992 UN Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED) in the same city, with the aim of renewing the global political commitment for sustainable development.

While in Oslo, he will join King Harald V in the 150th anniversary celebrations of the birth of Fridtjof Nansen, the renowned Norwegian explorer who was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize, served as the League of Nations' first High Commissioner for Refugees, and has given his name to the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) annual Nansen Refugee Award for outstanding work on behalf of refugees.

Mr. Ban will also hold talks with Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg and meet with members of the Norwegian Parliament, as well as visiting the site of the 22 July terrorist bomb attack in Oslo, which along with a gun assault on a nearby holiday island killed more than 75 people.

From Oslo he will travel to Denmark, where he will attend the 3G Global Green Forum, a high-level public-private partnership which brings together leaders from Government, business, finance and civil society to accelerate ‘bottom up’ country- and business-led progress on climate change and other environmental challenges.

Initiated by the Danish Government, the forum aims to create new and expand existing public-private partnerships in areas including energy efficiency, renewable resources, sustainable transport and water.

The 3G Global Green Growth Institute lists its goals as supporting developing and emerging countries in green growth economic development plans at the national or provincial level; promoting public-private cooperation to strengthen resource-efficient investment, innovation and diffusion of best practice in the private sector; and pursuing research to advance the theory and practice of green growth.

While in Copenhagen, Denmark’s capital, Mr. Ban will meet with Queen Margrethe II, Prime Minister Helle Thorning-Schmidt and other senior officials, and visit the site of the new UN City in Copenhagen, which is being built to bring together under one roof the more than 1,000 UN employees in what is the world’s sixth largest UN city.

On his last stop in Sweden, Mr. Ban will visit the grave in Uppsala of the UN’s second Secretary-General, Dag Hammarskjöld. The 50th anniversary of his death in a 1961 plane crash while on a mission to negotiate peace in what is now the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) is currently being commemorated by the Organization.

In Stockholm, Sweden’s capital, he will meet with Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt and other top officials, returning to New York on 12 October.

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