INTERNATIONAL COMMUNITY MUST ABIDE BY WORLD LEADERS’ COMMITMENT ON CLIMATE CHANGE, SAYS SECRETARY-GENERAL IN MESSAGE TO INFORMAL MINISTERIAL MEETING

24 October 2007
SG/SM/11235-ENV/DEV/955

INTERNATIONAL COMMUNITY MUST ABIDE BY WORLD LEADERS’ COMMITMENT ON CLIMATE CHANGE, SAYS SECRETARY-GENERAL IN MESSAGE TO INFORMAL MINISTERIAL MEETING

24 October 2007
Secretary-General
SG/SM/11235 ENV/DEV/955
Department of Public Information • News and Media Division • New York

INTERNATIONAL COMMUNITY MUST ABIDE BY WORLD LEADERS’ COMMITMENT ON CLIMATE

CHANGE, SAYS SECRETARY-GENERAL IN MESSAGE TO INFORMAL MINISTERIAL MEETING

Following is the text of United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s message to the Informal Ministerial Meeting on Climate Change in Bogor, Indonesia, today, 24 October:

This has truly been a year like no other.  The threat of climate change has moved to the centre of the global political arena with more urgency and intensity than any issue in recent memory. 

There is now momentum for stronger global action, and recognition of the United Nations as the forum for reaching agreement.  This momentum has been strongly amplified by the Fourth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, the Nobel Peace Prize-winning body which established beyond doubt that climate change is happening, and that much of it is caused by human activity.  This momentum will reach its apex at the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Bali this December.

On 24 September, I convened a High-Level Event on Climate Change in New York.  For the first time, world leaders -- including 72 Heads of State or Government and 67 senior ministers -- discussed the issue at the highest level.  I heard a clear call from them for a breakthrough in Bali.  I hope that call will resonate in this room over the coming two days.

At the High-Level Event, world leaders expressed the political will to tackle climate change through concerted action, and made a strong call for negotiations to begin on a future comprehensive multilateral framework beyond 2012.  The international community must now live up to this political commitment by its leaders.  The Bali Conference must be the starting point for intense negotiations driven by an agreed agenda.  These negotiations should be comprehensive and inclusive, and should lead to a single multilateral framework that is commensurate with the IPCC’s findings.

The four themes of the plenary sessions for the high-level event -- mitigation, adaptation, technology and financing -- resonated with many speakers.  They concurred on the gravity of the problem, and highlighted the increasing threats posed by the impacts of climate change.  They pointed to mitigation and adaptation as central to a sound response, with financing and technology as key tools.  Many stressed the urgent need for broad dissemination of technology and for innovative financing arrangements, including incentives for avoiding deforestation. 

While these themes may provide the building blocks for a future regime, the true challenge lies in putting them together to create a solid foundation for global action.  It is critical that this Ministerial Meeting lay the cornerstone for success in Bali.

The Bali Conference will provide a unique opportunity to begin a new era.  I will continue to be available to help facilitate agreement among Governments.  I thank you all for your commitment, and wish you a most productive meeting.

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For information media • not an official record
For information media. Not an official record.