Opening Remarks to the Informal Meeting on the Impact of Hurricane Sandy
New York, 9 November2012
Ladies and Gentlemen,
I have convened this informal meeting of the General Assembly so that we can address issues that have arisen in the wake of Hurricane Sandy.
On behalf of the General Assembly, I would like to extend deepest condolences to the families of those who lost their loved ones as a result of this disaster, which claimed close to two hundred lives and resulted in terrible destruction in the Caribbean and parts of North America particularly in Cuba, Haiti, Jamaica and our host country, the United States.
Before we proceed any further, I would like to ask that we rise for a minute of silence in order to pay our respects to the victims of the storm, as well as for those who perished in the devastating earthquake in Guatemala.
Our thoughts and prayers are with all those who have been affected and we wish them a rapid recovery.
Entire neighborhoods will have to be rebuilt, as will significant parts of the agriculture, energy, and transportation infrastructures in hard-hit areas. These are projected to cost tens of billions of dollars.
As we all know, the catastrophic destruction caused by last week’s storm took its toll on the United Nations Headquarters, as well.
This meeting has been convened to touch upon a number of issues that have arisen in the wake of Hurricane Sandy.
On my part, I strongly believe the Secretary-General and his team deserve our full support as they work hard to overcome the ongoing difficulties.
Extreme weather events caused by global warming are but one manifestation of the reality of climate change. This is a very serious issue that requires us to work much more closely together in order for it to be adequately addressed.
The Secretary-General and I will attend the upcoming Doha Climate Change Conference, and I respectfully urge the Member States to participate in it at the highest possible level.
It is with all this in mind that I would now like to give the floor to the Secretary-General, His Excellency Mr. Ban Ki-moon.
* * *(Please check against delivery)