Solutions to interrelated global challenges spur sustainability, says Ban

Solutions to interrelated global challenges spur sustainability, says Ban

Trinidad and Tobago's capital Port of Spain
The interlinked challenges the world faces today can be addressed in a manner that will propel growth, inclusivity and sustainability, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has said.

In his remarks yesterday to the Fifth Summit of the Americas in Port of Spain, the capital of Trinidad and Tobago, Mr. Ban emphasized the need to “safeguard people from hardship, not only the poorest and most vulnerable, but also the emerging middle class.”

Today's interrelated food, energy, climate and economic crises could spiral into social unrest, weakened governments and angry people losing faith in both their leaders and their futures, he stressed.

“If we are smart about it, if we work at their inter-connections, solutions to each can be solutions to all,” the Secretary-General said. “We can get more value for our collective dollar, peso and real.”

Leaders at the Group of 20 (G-20) summit earlier this month in London made strides towards a 'green' new deal, vowing to reach agreement on a new climate change pact at this December's United Nations climate change conference in Copenhagen, Denmark.

The Americas have been ravaged by climate change, with glaciers shrinking in Antarctica and the Andes, deforestation affecting the Brazilian Amazon, and sea level rises threatening the existence of some Caribbean nations, Mr. Ban said.

“Bold, visionary leadership is needed to seal a deal in Copenhagen,” he said. “It must be ambitious, effective and fair. It must offer rich nations a way to cut emissions.”

Equally importantly, poorer countries must receive support to adapt to climate change, he added, calling for the creation of green jobs to promote green growth.

“Ultimately, solidarity and common cause must be our greatest strength,” Mr. Ban said, calling for a new form of multilateralism to serve as the foundation for a new and sustainable prosperity for all people, a vision he laid out on Friday in an address at Princeton University.