While most countries are not happy with the outcome of this month’s summit on climate change in Copenhagen, “really good progress” was made towards a binding agreement “to save the world,” with the United Nations leading the way to possible adoption at next year’s meeting in Mexico, General Assembly President Ali Treki said today.
“There are complaints that some countries have not been dealt with carefully, other countries believe it was not democratic, other groups believe that the matter has been out of the hand of the UN and they would like also that UN would take over this problem again,” he told a year-end news conference in New York about the summit, which set no mid- or long-term limits on global warming greenhouse gas emissions for individual countries.
“But I think we should be realistic that what happened there, it is really something positive,” he said, noting that he had not expected a concrete binding resolution to emerge. “I think that the conclusion of a certain agreement was really good progress and we have to follow that up.
“We all agree that the United Nations should take the lead and we’ll continue to take the lead and we will have certainly the summit of Mexico. We’ll finish what we have started in Copenhagen. But I’m very happy that the majority of countries of the world are aware of the dangers of this problem and they would like to do what they have to do to save the world and to have an agreement, a binding agreement.”
Asked about the years-long debate on expanding the Security Council to represent the world as it is now, not as it was decades ago when the 15-member body was last upgraded, Dr. Treki stressed that everyone is agreed about reform. “We need reform in the United Nations, in the General Assembly especially,” he said, reprising his call for the revitalization of that 192-member body in the interests of real democracy. At present only Council decisions are binding.
He noted the different points of view on reform – “some people want to enlarge the Council with a new member, permanent member, with veto, without veto” – and underscored African complaints that their continent is deprived of representation as a permanent member.
“I see from my contacts that all agree the African situation should be corrected and Africa should be represented,” he said.
Asked whether relations between the UN and the United States had improved under the administration of President Barack Obama, Dr. Treki referred to the new US leader’s pledge at the General Assembly opening in September to cooperate more and more with the UN.
He said he had talks in Washington last week with State Department officials and members of Congress and “they showed me certainly their support for the United Nations.
“We need to have more discussions especially with the members of Congress,” he added, noting that he had invited some of them to come to New York to meet with UN ambassadors. “They assured me that they believe that the… problems facing the world as a whole need a collective action through the United Nations.”