Climate change to figure in Ban Ki-moon's Chicago meetings – officials

Climate change to figure in Ban Ki-moon's Chicago meetings – officials

Climate change will feature on the agenda of Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon's meetings in Chicago with local leaders, business executives, United Nations partners and high school students, officials said on the eve of his trip to the US city.

Ambassador Bill Luers, President of the UN Association of the United States, said the issue is likely to be discussed when Mr. Ban meets with Chicago Mayor Richard Daley, who has made environmental sustainability a key goal.

The Secretary-General has worked to galvanize international action on global warming, Mr. Luers noted, adding that “Mayor Daley places climate change as his top priority, so they will have a lot to talk about.”

Also while in Chicago, Mr. Ban is scheduled to visit a high school where he will participate in a Model UN. “Unlike the standard situation where the Mayor and the Secretary-General stand together to talk, this will be an active event where they will see kids talking about climate change,” said Ambassador Luers.

Mr. Ban will also meet with officials at the MacArthur Foundation, a philanthropic organization which has been supporting UN activities in the fields of peace and security, development and human rights.

“The MacArthur Foundation mission is to build a just, sustainable and peaceful world, and those three words intersect remarkably with the Secretary-General's statement of priorities,” said its President, Jonathan F. Fanton, in an interview with the UN News Service.

Mr. Fanton said the meetings in Chicago, particularly with participants in the Model UN, would generate understanding all around. “Mr. Ban has a message which will be well-received and I believe he will feel better about our country and the prospects of supporting his work when he talks to these young people.”