Activities of Secretary-General in United Kingdom, 3 November

4 November 2009

Activities of Secretary-General in United Kingdom, 3 November

United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and Madam Ban Soon-taek arrived in London early in the morning on Tuesday, 3 November, from Kabul, Afghanistan, via Dubai, United Arab Emirates.

The Secretary-General immediately headed to 10 Downing Street, where he had a working breakfast meeting with Prime Minister Gordon Brown.

Afterwards, they had a joint press conference and the Secretary-General told reporters that they had discussed, among other things, Afghanistan, climate change, the Millennium Development Goals and Myanmar.

He also held a media round table with editors on foreign affairs and the environment from six British publications.

The Secretary-General said that he had had very good meetings with President Hamid Karzai and Dr. Abdullah Abdullah while he was in Kabul on 2 November.  He said that ensuring good governance, including eradicating corrupt practices, should be the top priority for Karzai’s new Government.  He also said he asked President Karzai to work together with all Afghan political leaders who were presidential candidates, including Dr. Abdullah Abdullah.

On the subject of climate change, the Secretary-General stressed the need for a comprehensive, binding agreement at the Copenhagen Climate Change Conference in December.  If there is political will, he said, he is sure that there is a way to conclude a binding agreement in Copenhagen.

Later in the day, the Secretary-General delivered a keynote address on the role that faiths can play in tackling climate change at a unique gathering of religious leaders at Windsor Castle.  (See Press Release SG/SM/12585.)

He said that the world’s faith communities occupy a unique position in discussions on the fate of our planet and the accelerating impacts of climate change.

He told the leaders that we must reduce greenhouse gas emissions and we must assist the poorest and most vulnerable people to adapt to climate impacts already locked into the atmosphere.  It is a pivotal moment for our world, he added.

Hosted by Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh, representatives of the world religions presented their long-term plans to address climate change ahead of the Copenhagen Climate Change Conference.

After attending a luncheon hosted by Prince Philip, the Secretary-General departed London for Athens, Greece.

For information media. Not an official record.