General Assembly President urges action on climate change
The world's island States and most vulnerable developing countries are waiting for concrete measures to deal with climate change, General Assembly President Srgjan Kerim said today.
Addressing the Rotary Club of Mulheim, Germany, Mr. Kerim said it was vital that participants at the major summit on climate change taking place in Bali in December develop a new regime for reducing greenhouse gas emissions and other contributors to global warming.
A reduction in emissions is particularly important for island and poor nations, who have for “around 20 years heard enough solemn speeches” on the subject but witnessed few results, he said.
Mr. Kerim stressed the need for the entire United Nations system, including the UN Development Programme (UNDP), the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and the UN Environment Programme (UNEP), to work more closely together in the fight against climate change.
He also said the General Assembly continues to have a valuable role as a forum for the 192 Member States to debate ideas and the best ways to respond, adapt and mitigate the effects of climate change.
Mr. Kerim said the inter-connected nature of the world made the UN more essential than ever, but he added that it must ensure, by way of continuous reform, that it is as effective as possible in dealing with the biggest global questions.
As General Assembly President, he said he hoped it would become more of an interactive forum between States, rather than one in which countries use “pre-fabricated statements” to engage in “ritual monologues.”
Yesterday, Mr. Kerim was in the Belgian capital, Brussels, for meetings with European Parliament President Hans-Gert Poetering and the European Union's High Representative for Common Foreign and Security Policy Javier Solana. The meetings focused on the priority themes of the Assembly this session: climate change, countering terrorism, finance for development, the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and management reform.