New York

22 September 2014

Secretary-General's video message to Women's Leaders Forum on Climate Change

I am pleased to send greetings to this important forum on the eve of the Climate Summit.

As we forge a new development agenda and work to combat climate change, we must listen to women’s voices and act on their concerns and needs.

Climate change is an issue for all people, everywhere.

But the poor suffer disproportionately; and among poor populations, women, girls and infants are the most vulnerable.

Any climate change agreement or disaster risk reduction strategy must take gender into account.

We can do that best by recognizing women’s leadership.

We see it everywhere – from the small farmer planting trees, to the urban planner designing the low-carbon cities; from the student working to become a solar engineer, to the head of government approving climate-friendly policies. 

You recognize these women because you are these women.

Because you stand as examples, other women and girls can follow your lead.

I salute and encourage you.

Tomorrow, leaders from government, business, finance and civil society will meet at the Climate Summit.

I have asked for bold announcements and transformative actions that will reduce emissions and strengthen climate resilience.

I am hoping for renewed political will for a meaningful, universal climate agreement in 2015.

I expect the voices of women to be heard.

With your leadership and commitment we can secure a sustainable future for all women and girls, men and boys.

Thank you.