Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today praised a call by the United States for a summit of the countries that have the world’s biggest emissions of greenhouse gases to discuss the growing threat posed by climate change.
Responding to a question about the call from US President George W. Bush for such a gathering, Mr. Ban told journalists at UN Headquarters in New York that he considered the summit request to be “a positive statement” that shows Mr. Bush “has realized the urgency and importance of climate change.
“I hope such an effort by the United States will be mutually reinforcing the international community’s efforts, particularly led by the United Nations,” he said. “I hope all such initiatives, together with the efforts of the international community, will be discussed within the UN framework.”
Meanwhile, Mr. Ban heads tomorrow to Panama City, Panama, for a two-day visit highlighted by his attendance at the opening of the Organization of American States (OAS) General Assembly.
The Secretary-General is scheduled to meet OAS Chairman and Panamanian President Martín Torrijos Espino and other Latin American officials in Panama City, before heading to Madrid for the second leg of his three-country trip.
While in the Spanish capital, Mr. Ban will meet King Juan Carlos, Prime Minister José Luís Rodriguez Zapatero and senior officials, and he will also visit the headquarters of the World Tourism Organization.
The last leg of Mr. Ban’s trip will be in Germany, where he will attend the summit of the Group of Eight (G8) nations at Heiligendamm and hold a series of bilateral meetings during his two-day visit next Thursday and Friday.