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Office of the Spokesperson for the Secretary General

HIGHLIGHTS OF THE PRESS ENCOUNTER BY SECRETARY-GENERAL BAN KI-MOON

WEDNESDAY, 27 NOVEMBER 2013

 

 

SECRETARY-GENERAL SPEAKS TO PRESS FOLLOWING MEETING OF SUSTAINABLE ENERGY FOR ALL ADVISORY BOARD

The following are the remarks by Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon at a press encounter that he and World Ban President Jim Yong Kim held following a meeting of the Sustainable Energy for All Advisory Board:

Good morning, ladies and gentlemen.

I am pleased to be joined by Dr. Jim Kim, President of the World Bank today. 

We have just concluded the second meeting of the Sustainable Energy For All Advisory Board.

I thank all the leaders from Government, business community and civil society for their strong commitment for sustainable energy.

I am impressed by the growing momentum in support of Sustainable Energy for All.

Brazil’s “Light for All” programme has reached 15 million people.

Nearly all Brazilians now have access to electricity.

Norway has committed to invest 2 billion Norwegian Kroner in 2014 for global renewable energy and energy efficiency. 

Bank of America announced that its Green Bond, the world’s first of its kind, has raised $500 million for three years, as part of its 10-year $50 billion environmental business commitment.

The OPEC Fund for International Development (OFID) announced a $1 billion fund for energy access.

Now we need others to follow and build on these commitments.

Achieving the goals of Sustainable Energy for All needs massive new and additional investment.

And we need Sustainable Energy for All for sustainable development – for reducing poverty and raising opportunity, for combating climate change and laying the foundations for the future we want.

Our Advisory Board has agreed to take on this challenge and report back at the high-level partners meeting on Sustainable Energy for All that we will convene in June next year.

Together they will work to build momentum and scale up actions in four areas: finance, energy access, energy efficiency and renewable energy.

At the same time, I will continue to engage Member States to make sustainable energy a central concern of the post-2015 development agenda.

Sustainable energy is the golden thread that connects economic growth, social equity, a stable climate and a healthy environment. 

We need to make modern energy services available to all.  But we have to do so sustainably. 

Our current energy systems are not sustainable. 

The global thermostat is rising, threatening development goals and economies small and large. 

It is clear that we need a transformation in how we produce, use and share energy. 

That is why I launched Sustainable Energy for All initiative in 2011.

And that is why so many influential leaders are coming on board.

I thank you for your attention. Dr. Jim Kim will now make his statement; then we will be glad to answer some questions. Thank you.

Q: Mr. Secretary-General, Mr. President, to both, in light of the Iran deal in Geneva, do you foresee, since you’re speaking of energy, an increase in the sale of Iranian oil because of the lifting of transportation and insurance sanctions? And Mr. Secretary-General, do you see a UN resolution necessary to do that?

SG: As a result of the interim agreement between Iran and the P5 +1, I know that both sides will take necessary action. While we expect that the Iranian Government will halt all of these nuclear development programmes, as was agreed in the negotiations, at the same time I understand that key countries of the Security Council will also consider easing some sanctions. In such a case, Iranians will have better and greater access to the energy market. That is what we can easily expect, but for any detailed matters, I am still waiting to see how this will evolve. At this time, it is important that the provisional agreement will [lead] to a comprehensive nuclear resolution deal.

Q: My question is about nuclear power and the definition of sustainable energy. Do you include nuclear power into your definition of sustainable energy, and I would be grateful if you could elaborate briefly.

SG: About this issue, we discussed at length about the way how we can increase the use of renewable energy in the global energy mix. Our target is to double it by 2030. As the number of countries who have been using nuclear energy are either abolishing or cutting their use of nuclear energy, it is important that the international community should redouble our efforts to increase the use of renewable, clean energy. There must be more investment.

At this time, I’m encouraged that many more countries and companies, they are using solar energy and other sources of renewable energy, but I understand that the initial investment on solar energy and other renewable energy sources is a bit high. Therefore, it would be important, through transferring technology and developing further technology, it would be important to cut the cost of the initial investment. This is one area which the Advisory Board is now discussing. As a way of contributing to this, I’m now considering, I have, in fact, established a science advisory board which I am going to launch early next year, so I hope that scientists and technology and renewable energy and the Sustainable Energy [for All] Advisory Board will coordinate so that we can expand the use of renewable energy. Thank you.

U.N. MISSION, UNICEF CONCERNED BY DISAPPEARANCES OF CHILDREN IN KINSHASA

  • The United Nations Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (MONUSCO) and the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) have in recent days received alarming reports of the disappearance and assassination of young men and children in some communes of Kinshasa.
  • This coincides with the start of the operation Likofi “Punch”, undertaken from 15 November 2013 to 15 February 2014 by Congolese authorities to curb urban delinquency.
  • According to the information received, which is currently being verified, at least 20 people, including 12 children, have reportedly been killed.
  • UNICEF and MONUSCO call for immediate steps to be taken by Congolese authorities to put an end to such acts. Both organizations recall that the State must in all circumstances ensure that human rights are protected and that children receive special protection, in line with Congolese laws and international treaties and conventions. 

ON VISIT TO BANGLADESH, SENIOR U.N. OFFICIAL TO ENCOURAGE DIALOGUE AHEAD OF ELECTIONS

  • The Assistant Secretary-General for Political Affairs, Oscar Fernández-Taranco, will be in Bangladesh from 7 to 10 December for a four-day visit to encourage dialogue and conditions conducive for parliamentary elections scheduled for 5 January 2014.
  • He will meet with representatives from the Government, opposition, parliament, civil society and the international community.
  • This visit is a follow-up to his mission to Bangladesh in May this year.

PHILIPPINES: U.N. AGRICULTURE ORGANIZATION URGES ASSISTANCE FOR FARMERS IN WAKE OF TYPHOON HAIYAN

  • The UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) has cautioned that immediate assistance from the international community for farmers in the Philippines is critical to avoid a double tragedy befalling the rural survivors of Typhoon Haiyan.
  • The Department of Agriculture has request that FAO support a cash-for-work scheme, estimated to cost more than $11 million, to help those in rural areas clean and clear agricultural land and de-silt irrigation canals.
  • FAO is also calling for $20 million to help typhoon-affected farmers plant, fertilize, irrigate and maintain their crops to ensure the next harvests in 2014.

HUMANITARIAN COORDINATOR IN YEMEN VISITS SA’ADA

  • The Humanitarian Coordinator in Yemen, Mr. Ismail Ould Cheikh Ahmed, visited Sa’ada city in northern Yemen on Monday, and met with the Governor, Presidential and Parliamentary committees, local leaders and humanitarian partners.
  • The visit came as armed conflict in northern Yemen, particularly in Dammaj and Kitaf, entered its sixth week.
  • Mr. Ould Cheikh Ahmed expressed alarm that humanitarian workers cannot reach thousands of civilians in Dammaj and Kitaf who are in need of urgent assistance. He urged all parties to this conflict to allow humanitarian workers to reach those affected by conflict. 
  • The conflict is also affecting up to 29,000 people living in and around Dammaj, as well as thousands of other people in Kitaf. Already, Sa’ada is facing acute fuel shortages. The situation could trigger a new humanitarian crisis in northern Yemen.

U.N. HEALTH AGENCY ISSUES NEW GUIDANCE FOR TREATING CHILDREN WITH SEVERE ACUTE MALNUTRITION

  • The World Health Organization (WHO) today released new treatment guidelines for the almost 20 million children under five worldwide who have severe acute malnutrition.
  • The updated WHO guidelines recommend that children with severe acute malnutrition who do not have health complications that require hospitalization, receive special, high-energy food and antibiotics to treat infection. This allows them to recover at home with their families.
  • The new guidelines supersede those issued by WHO in 1999, which recommended that all severely malnourished children be hospitalized, given fortified formula milk and appropriate treatment including antibiotics.

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