Ban Ki-moon Opens Event on Climate Change

Climate change is a growing cause of displacement in Africa, where some areas have been devastated by drought. Photo: UNHCR/B. Bannon
Climate change is a growing cause of displacement in Africa, where some areas have been devastated by drought. Photo: UNHCR/B. Bannon

Development cannot be sustainable if it does not address the challenge of climate change, United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon told Member States Monday as he opened an event on Climate Change convened in New York by the President of the UN General Assembly, Sam Kutesa.

“Let us always remember that climate change and sustainable development are two sides of the same coin, with two mutually reinforcing agendas,” the UN chief explained to delegations gathered for the event.

Ban Ki-moon also has welcomed the release of Pope Francis’ Papal Encyclical in which the leader of the Catholic Church deplored climate change as one of the principal challenges facing humanity and called for a ‘new dialogue’ about shaping the future of the planet.

[ Read: Papal Encyclical: Climate Change Is a Moral Issue ]

Just months ahead of the next Conference of the Parties (COP) to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), which will take place in Paris, the event has been convened in support to the process that will ultimately result in an agreement intended to succeed to the landmark Kyoto Protocol on reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

Among the participants, Academy Award-winning actor and long-time conservationist Robert Redford, and 15-year-old indigenous climate activist Xiuhtezcatl Roske-Martinez, are expected to join the broad call for action to energize multilateral cooperation on climate change. Raised in the Aztec tradition, Mr. Roske-Martinez is Youth Director of a non-profit organization called Earth Guardians.

Keynote speakers are expected to include, Anote Tong, President of Kiribati, Mogens Lykketoft, Speaker of the Parliament of Denmark and President- elect of the 70th session of the General Assembly, Manuel Pulgar-Vidal, Minister of the Environment of Peru, President of COP20, and Laurent Fabius, Minister of Foreign Affairs of France, President of COP21.

RMN News

Rakesh Raman