UN chief to sound alarm about climate change on upcoming visit to Pacific region

30 August 2011

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon will embark on a four-nation visit to Australia, New Zealand, Solomon Islands and Kiribati at the end of this week during which the issue of climate change will be a key focus.

“My visit has three main goals,” Mr. Ban told Member States of the General Assembly today. “To continue sounding the alarm about climate change; to get a firsthand sense of Pacific concerns, Pacific opportunities, Pacific hopes; and to participate in the Pacific Islands Forum.”

Mr. Ban will be the first UN Secretary-General to attend the summit meeting of the Pacific Islands Forum, which is taking place in Auckland. While in New Zealand, he will meet with leaders of the Forum’s member States, including New Zealand Prime Minister John Key, as well as Foreign Minister Murray McCully.

In Australia, the Secretary-General will meet with Prime Minister Julia Gillard and Foreign Minister Kevin Rudd and brief them on his current UN initiatives in the areas of international security, development, and climate change.

He will also discuss the unfolding developments in the Middle East and North Africa and elsewhere, his spokesperson said.

During his stops in the Solomon Islands and Kiribati, Mr. Ban will meet with Prime Minister Danny Philip and President Anote Tong, respectively, and speak to local communities about climate change and ways to reduce disaster risk.

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