Welcome to the United Nations. It's your world.

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon

Off-the-Cuff

Secretary-General's press conference with Peruvian Environment Minister Manuel Pulgar-Vidal following visit to Project on "Afforestation of Degraded and Vulnerable Areas in Lima"

Lima, Peru, 3 December 2013

Buenos días. Muchas gracias.

I am very happy to be back in Peru. Estoy muy feliz de estar aqui de regreso en el Perú.

This is quite impressive. I am very impressed by the [power of] women.

I saw the power of civil society, civil community leaders, who are now turning a desert into a forest.

This is a barren desert area along the bank of the River Rimac. I really appreciate your ingenuity and strong commitment to turn your barren land into very valuable land, in combating climate change.

I appreciate the Minster of Environment [Manuel Pulgar-Vidal] and the Mayor of Lima [Susana Villaran] and community leaders and UNDP [UN Development Programme] and the Global Environmental Facility for the strong support.

As you have seen in the past, when there is heavy rain, this river, Rimac, might be flooded and cause a lot of damage to your lives.

By planting the tree [species] tara along the banks of this river, you can really help in fighting against the impact of climate change.

This is a very good example of how civil society, community leaders, can really help in fighting climate change.

I am very impressed and grateful to women leaders here. I saw real women 'power,' from their passion and ingenuity - very creative, and it helps women empowerment.

I hope many countries, many communities, in this region, and other countries in this continent and other parts of the world can emulate this good community service.

Peru will play a very important, crucially important, role next year. Minister Vidal is going to be the President of the Conference of Parties on climate change in December next year.

I hope that the Peruvian Government, under the leadership of President [Ollanta] Humala and also Minister Vidal and all people, will make a great conribution to finally adopting a global legal agreement on climate change by 2015.

I will try to send out this message widely around the world. From what I have seen, I am very much impressed. I hope we work together to make this Planet Earth environmentally sustianable for our succeeding generations.

Muchas gracias.