New York

22 April 2016

Secretary-General's remarks to the Informal High-Level Event on Promoting the Early Entry into Force of the Paris Agreement [as delivered]

In Paris last December, countries embraced the spirit  of multilateralism and showed how to work together to meet a common threat.

Today marks the next step in our shared journey to meet the climate challenge.

I warmly congratulate the 15 Parties that have deposited their instruments of ratification with the United Nations today and I am very much grateful. And I really want to make a point of recognizing each [of them] by name - this is what I have been doing for the third time [today]. I was told by our communication expert  [that] when you really have a message to deliver, repeat it all the time! Repeat it, so that when your name is not included in the 15 then you may be motivated or even provoked to work, work even harder. 

Out of my gratitude, I would like to again list the names: Barbados, Belize, Fiji, Grenada, Maldives, Marshall Islands, Mauritius, Nauru, Palau, Palestine, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Samoa, Somalia and Tuvalu.   I am very much grateful for all your very active decisive actions.  Many of you are on the frontlines of climate impacts – and today you are showing that you are also on the frontlines of global leadership.

I also congratulate those countries that have indicated that they intend to join the Paris Agreement this year, within this year.

I encourage all countries to move forward quickly with their own domestic processes to accept and ratify the Paris Agreement.  As you are well aware, we need at least 55 countries and 55 per cent of greenhouse gas emissions. Having 55 per cent of greenhouse gas emissions may be a little bit shorter and easier if United States and China - they ratify or join then it will add to almost 40 per cent. But at least we need 55 countries. That means we need to have a  universality of this, of course 55 is not universality. One hundred and seventy-five countries is quite close to universality. And it is a great commitment of Parties to UNFCCC.  I call on the countries gathered here to use this opportunity to announce your timeline for joining the Agreement as soon as possible. 

It is imperative that the strong political momentum continues to build as the spirit of Paris is still continuing. I will do all that I can this year to ensure  that the Paris Agreement enters into force as soon as possible.

Again, thank you very much Mr. Prime Minister for your initiative of convening this meeting for early ratifiers. This is a great opportunity to impress upon the importance for early action. 

I thank you very much.  Thank you.