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Secretary-General Ban on Bulgarian Visit: “Our Test is to Green our Economies”

5 May 2011: Delivering a speech at the University of Sofia in Bulgaria, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon called on the world's youth to join forces with the UN to eliminate extreme poverty, protect the environment through the sustainable use of natural resources and help eliminate the threat of nuclear catastrophe.

On the environment, Ban stressed that the days of consumption without consequences have passed. He underscored that "Our test is to green our economies…to reduce emissions and seek clean-energy growth." He called for "connecting the dots among climate, water, energy, food security and other key challenges of the 21st century" to achieve a green economy.

On nuclear safety, the UN Secretary-General recalled his recent visit to the site of the Chernobyl nuclear power plant in Ukraine and underlined the need for the UN International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) to play a larger role on nuclear safety issues. He further urged new cost-benefit analysis of nuclear energy and emphasized the connection between nuclear safety and nuclear security.

During a press conference, he indicated that, in his discussions with Prime Minister Boyko Borisov, he had addressed the challenges of climate change, global governance, and the fight against corruption, among other issues. [UN Press Release] [Press Conference Transcript]