New York – 15 June 215

The actor and environmental campaigner Robert Redford and 15-year-old indigenous climate activist Xiuhtezcatl Roske-Martinez will address a critical High Level Event at the United Nations on 29 June to energize multilateral cooperation on climate change.

The meeting, convened by H.E. Mr. Sam Kahamba Kutesa, President of the 69th session of the United Nations General Assembly and attended by the UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, will bring together representatives of 193 Member States, many at the ministerial level, along with leaders from the business and civil society organizations.

The President of the General Assembly’s High Level Event aims to highlight the positive momentum that is building toward reaching a meaningful and universal agreement on climate change in Paris this coming December, as well as a global surge in action to reduce emissions and build climate resilience.

Ministers from key emerging economies, Least Developed Countries and Small Island Developing States will be participating in the event together with the Chairs of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) negotiations who will offer an assessment of the process so far and next steps.

Also attending will be UNFCCC Executive Secretary Christiana Figueres, the Executive Director of the United Nations Environment Programme Achim Steiner, Green Climate Fund Executive Director Héla Cheikhrouhou, and Adnan Amin, Director General of IRENA, the International Renewable Energy Agency.

No negotiations will take place in New York on the climate agreement, but the meeting will provide an opportunity for leaders to signal a greater ambition for climate action.

The Event also takes place during the High Level Political Forum on Sustainable Development (26 June to 8 July), the body that will oversee the implementation of the new Sustainable Development Goals.

Other events taking place at UN Headquarters in New York include:

  • An informal “Arria-formula” meeting of the Security Council on Security and Climate Change on 30 June.
  • On the evening of 30 June , the President of the General Assembly will host a concert under the banner of the UN’s campaign “2015: Time for Global Action” entitled “the Transformative Power of Music”, preceded by a reception and art exhibition entitled “The Transformative Power of Art”.

With the Paris climate conference fast approaching, the 29 June High Level Event will be an important opportunity to spur greater ambition for climate action. In addition to an
agreement that will guide countries toward a low-carbon economy, the Paris conference also aims to mobilize resources for climate action and engage businesses as well as local and regional governments in climate action.

“We need to ensure that everyone is engaged, and stays engaged, for climate action,” said UN General-Assembly President Sam Kutesa. “The High-Level Event offers an opportunity to sustain the momentum started at the Secretary-General’s Climate Summit in New York last September and continuing through the Lima-Paris Action Agenda with the involvement and participation of leaders from government, business and civil society.”

“Robert Redford has long been giving voice to the underdog, to the people who are trying to do the right thing, and for the environment,” said Mr. Kutesa. “His presence at the High-Level Event will help us connect with people all around the world who also want to do the right thing on climate change.”

Redford has been a prominent voice in the environmental movement for more than 40 years. He joined the US nonprofit group Natural Resources Defense Council as a trustee in 1975 and is deeply involved in campaigns to protect air, land and water from pollution.

“Robert Redford refuses to leave the next generation a world beyond fixing – because he knows it’s not too late,” said Rhea Suh, President of the Natural Resources Defense Council. “Global momentum is building to combat the gravest environmental threat of our time.”

Xiuhtezcatl Roske-Martinez, Youth Director of a non profit organization called Earth Guardians, was raised in the Aztec tradition and has been an active campaigner since the age of six. Now 15, he was selected to speak at the Opening Ceremony from among 200 applicants through a process facilitated by the UN Non-Governmental Liaison Service.

Twitter hashtags: #action2015 #LPAA #UNGA

For more information:

For interview requests and further information, please contact Jean-Victor Nkolo, Spokesperson for the President of the General Assembly +1-917-224-9508;; Dan Shepard, UN Department of Public Information +1-212-963-9495;; or Dan Thomas, UN Secretary-General’s Climate Change Support Team +1 917-225-1913;