04 September 2016

Opening remarks at press conference at G20 Summit in China

Ban Ki-moon

Good morning, ladies and gentlemen of the media,

I am very pleased to participate in this G20 Summit meeting in Hangzhou and this morning, I would like to share some thoughts of mine, and the United Nations concerns, which may be your concerns, international concerns.

This is my eleventh G20 Summit as Secretary-General of the United Nations. As you may know, this is one of the few last months for me as Secretary-General of the United Nations. My mandate ends 31 December, so this is will be my last G20 Summit meeting.

Ladies and gentlemen, first of all, I would like to begin by congratulating President Xi Jinping and Chinese people and Government for successfully hosting and wonderfully organizing this G20 Summit meeting and I welcome the Summit’s focus on the Sustainable Development Goals – our new framework to advance peace and prosperity for all of us and for a healthy planet.

I continue to urge all countries to align their national policies, socio-economic policies, programmes and investment behind these Sustainable Development Goals.&ampnbsp

This Summit has also witnessed major steps forward on climate change.&ampnbsp

As you have already covered, yesterday, the leaders of China and the United States officially joined the Paris Agreement on climate change by depositing their legal documents with me yesterday.

I was very honoured to receive those legal instruments from the two leaders in person and highly commend the outstanding leadership demonstrated by President Xi Jinping of China and President Barack Obama of the United States.

With China and the United States making this historic step we now have 26 parties to the UNFCCC Convention and 39% of global greenhouse emissions accounted for.

Now we just need another 29 Parties and 16 per cent more of global emissions to bring this Paris Agreement into force. And I really count on your strong support from the media.

I urge all leaders, particularly, including the leaders from G20 countries, to show their leadership by accelerating their domestic ratification processes so we can turn the aspirations of Paris into the transformative climate action the world so urgently needs.

To that end, as it is already known I am convening a High-Level event at the United Nations Headquarters in New York, on the margins of the General Assembly, on 21 September in the morning.

I am happy to hear that the draft communiqué of this G20 Summit is also encouraging the speedy entry into force of this key international agreement and I would like to [urge] G20 members, once again, to lead by example on this defining issue of climate change.

Legal processes must be concluded in parallel with a renewed commitment by all the countries to honour their pledges, particularly the OECD Member States, in terms of financial and technical support, including through the Green Climate Fund to many vulnerable countries, developing countries so that they can adjust to this situation, this climate change. We need to keep this momentum.

Ladies and gentlemen,

Before I arrived in China, I visited Myanmar and Sri Lanka, two countries undergoing historic transformation.

In Myanmar, I was encouraged to participate in the Twenty-first Century Panglong Conference in Myanmar, a critical juncture in the seventy-year history of conflict and division between the Union Government and armed ethnic groups. The success of this peace process is in the vital interest of all the people of Myanmar, regardless of ethnicity, religion, political affiliation or socio-economic status.

In Sri Lanka, I stressed that ongoing efforts in peacebuilding, reconciliation and post-conflict transformation, including transitional justice, provide an opportunity for this country to emerge from this trauma stronger. I underlined the importance of addressing the concerns and the aspirations of Sri Lankan people, particularly those victims and their families, in a credible manner.

Sustainable development requires sustainable peace: for the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development to succeed, for a steady economic growth to be achieved, we need peace and development to work hand in hand. The United Nations will continue to support nations in transition, as they strive to ensure peace, development and human rights.

Ladies and gentlemen,

Here in Hangzhou, I will engage G20 leaders across the breadth of the Summit’s agenda.

I will also emphasize that, to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals, it is crucial that we work together to resolve urgent challenges posed by poverty, inequality and conflicts.

We are witnessing protracted conflicts sadly in Syria, Yemen, South Sudan, Libya, Mali and many other places. Extreme poverty and deepening inequalities challenge our sense of what is just. The number of people displaced by conflict reached the highest number since the end of the Second World War, they have reached 65 million, and is now increasing day by day because of continuing conflicts here and there. These issues should be resolved by international solidarity.

At this time of great turbulence, I commend the inclusive and participatory approach of the G20 Chinese Presidency, which has involved more non-G20 [countries] than ever before in the history of the G20.

The G20 this year is going through a great transformation, moving from a short-term focus on managing global financial challenges to a long-term vision for sustainable development.

In that regard, I thank His Excellency President Xi Jinping and the Chinese Presidency for emphasizing sustainable development efforts as a core element of the G20 agenda.

The G20 Action Plan on the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development is one of the key outcomes of this meeting in Hangzhou.

G20 countries have a key role in promoting stable, inclusive and sustainable economic growth, implementing the sustainable development agenda and supporting the implementation of the Paris Agreement.

I thank you for your attention.

Xie xie, thank you.