Summit-level dinner on climate change fosters shared commitment – Ban Ki-moon

Summit-level dinner on climate change fosters shared commitment – Ban Ki-moon

Capping a day of unprecedented global attention to the problem of climate change, United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon emerged this evening from a dinner which brought together leaders from across the world stating confidently that they had forged common understandings on the issue.

Capping a day of unprecedented global attention to the problem of climate change, United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon emerged this evening from a dinner which brought together leaders from across the world stating confidently that they had forged common understandings on the issue.

Twenty-five leaders participated in the informal setting, including those from industrialized countries – the “socalled biggest emitters,” he said, referring to the amounts of greenhouse gas emissions blamed for climate change. Also in attendance were countries affected by the problem, including leaders of small island developing countries, landlocked nations and least developed States.

“Everybody agreed that it is now time to act before it is too late and they all agreed that the most appropriate forum? would be the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change.”

With that treaty's Kyoto Protocol, which contains binding targets for emissions reductions, set to expire in 2012, Mr. Ban convened today's high-level meeting at UN Headquarters to jumpstart talks to be held this December in Bali, Indonesia on a successor pact.

Summing up the understandings reached at this evening's dinner, he said participants agreed that “the current international response and pace of negotiations are inadequate; broader and deeper action is necessary; significant reductions in emissions are needed; and industrialized countries need to lead with targets set but all countries can and must contribute to the solution.

“It is everyone's responsibility to support those who are most affected and most vulnerable.”

With these firm commitments, he said, leaders across the international community have demonstrated “their firm commitment to address [the problem] collectively: they all agreed that this is a global issue affecting all human beings and does require global actions.”

Asked about the participation of United States President George W. Bush, who attended the dinner but not the day's meeting, Mr. Ban replied that the US leader said an upcoming meeting he has planned bringing together industrialized countries aimed to be supportive. “He made it quite clear that what he is going to do is to help the United Nations so that the United Nations can work to address this global warming issue.”

The Secretary-General, who has personally raised the issue with the US President in the past, added: “I appreciated his firm commitment and support.”

On whether there was any discussion of a cap on emissions Mr. Ban said there were “some ideas that individual countries should set a target and lead this process,” adding, “that is something which we will have to discuss in a negotiating forum.”