New York

22 April 2016

Secretary-General's remarks at joint press conference with His Excellency Mr. Francois Hollande, President of France

C’est un plaisir de vous avoir ici ensemble en cette journée historique de notre lutte contre les changements climatiques.

Merci de votre leadership et de votre engagement.

I am also particularly happy to see former President of COP21, Laurent Fabius, thank you for your leadership. Thank you.

Today is an historic day.  At least 175 countries are here to sign the Paris Agreement on climate change.  This is by far the largest number of countries ever to sign an international agreement on a single day.

This is a very moving day for me personally.  I am touched to see so much support and political momentum to move the Agreement forward.

I thank all the world leaders who have come here to show their support. 

I also welcome the strong presence of the private sector and civil society, who are crucial to realizing the great promise of the Paris Agreement.

The participation by so many countries today, and the attendance by so many world leaders, leaves no doubt that the world is determined to take climate action.

The next critical step is to ensure that the Agreement enters into force as soon as possible.

If all the countries that have signed today take the next step at the national level and join the Agreement, the world will have met the requirement needed for the Paris Agreement to enter into force.

I encourage all countries to move forward to join the Agreement.  In particular, I call on the countries gathered here today to use this opportunity to announce a timeline for joining the Agreement without delay. 

I would like to congratulate the 15 Parties that have deposited their instruments of ratification today – and I want to make a point of recognizing them by name again: Barbados, Belize, Fiji, Grenada, Maldives, Marshall Islands, Mauritius, Nauru, Palau, Palestine, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Samoa, Somalia and Tuvalu. 

These Parties are on the frontlines of climate impacts and they see the full implementation of the Paris Agreement as critical to their national survival and future.

In two weeks, I will co-host Climate Action 2016 in Washington D.C. This will be another opportunity to move the climate agenda forward.  We will bring together leaders and experts from many fields, including government, business, civil society and academia.

Paris sent a clear message that the world is ready to move in a new direction – a path of low-carbon growth and prosperity. 

The well-being of our common future and our common home depend on it.

Implementation of the Paris Agreement gives us a chance to be on the right side of history and change.

That starts with the historic support we have seen today here at the United Nations. 

Thank you very much. Merci.