United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres arrived in Katowice, Poland, from Morocco, late on Tuesday evening, 11 December. He was returning for the second time to the Polish city since the opening of the twenty-fourth Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, or COP-24, in early December. (See also Press Release SG/T/3240.)
On Wednesday morning, he held a series of meetings with the President of the COP, Michał Kurtyka, and the ministers facilitating the consultations. He also met with Catherine Mary McKenna, Minister for the Environment and Climate Change of Canada; Arun Kumar Mehta, Joint Secretary for the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change of India; Edson Duarte, Minister for the Environment of Brazil; Derek Hanekom, Minister for Tourism of South Africa; Melissa Price, Minister for the Environment of Australia; Yasmine Fouad Abdelaziz, Minister for Environmental Affairs of Egypt; and Miguel Arias Cañete, Commissioner for Climate Action and Energy of the European Union.
In the afternoon, the Secretary-General spoke to the closing session of the high-level segment of the Talanoa Dialogue. In his remarks, he told those present that the window of opportunity was closing and that we no longer had the luxury of time when it comes to climate change. He said this was the time for consensus and for political compromises to be reached. He also challenged the Parties to the Conference to work together and to raise ambitions on all fronts. (See Press Release SG/SM/19404.)
On Wednesday evening, the Secretary-General left Katowice for Stockholm, Sweden, to attend the closing day of the Intra-Yemeni political consultations. He returned to Katowice late on Thursday evening, 13 December.
On Friday 14 December, the Secretary-General again had a series of bilateral meetings through the day and the evening, including with Zhenhua Xie, the Special Representative for Climate Change Affairs of China; President Andrzej Duda of Poland; representatives of the Alliance of Small Island States (AOSIS) and least developed countries, as well as representatives of countries in Latin America. He also met with non-governmental organizations present at the Conference.
While continuing to monitor the progress made on an agreement at COP-24, the Secretary-General left Katowice, Poland, for Doha, Qatar, on Saturday morning, 15 December.
At the closing session of COP-24, which took place one day behind schedule late on Saturday, Patricia Espinosa, the Executive Secretary of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, read a statement by the Secretary-General. In it, he said that the approval of the Paris Agreement Work Programme during the session was the basis for a transformative process which will require strengthened ambition from the international community. Science has clearly shown that we need enhanced ambition to defeat climate change. He called from more ambition from all Member States ahead of the Climate Summit he will convene in September 2019. (See Press Release SG/SM/19409.)