UN Deputy Secretary-General Calls for “Unprecedented Level” of International Cooperation to Tackle Climate Change

30 October 2008: Speaking at the World Leaders Forum on

International Cooperation for Green Growth taking place on 30 October 2008, in

Seoul, Republic of Korea, UN Deputy Secretary-General Asha-Rose Migiro noted

that many of the current challenges are due to unsustainable development paths,

and highlighted the interlinkages among the food, energy and financial crises,

as well as global warming.

Migiro noted that the effects of what the

Secretary-General calls “the defining issue of our time” are already being felt

and that a “business-as-usual” economic growth scenario is unsustainable. She

called for climate stabilization to be the ultimate global public good and for

international cooperation at an “unprecedented level,” lead by the UN. She

emphasized the importance of reaching a new agreement in Copenhagen in December

2009 and urged developed countries to take the lead in ensuring that this goal

is achieved. She underlined that the UN system is “leading-by-example” in the

fight against climate change, for example through its climate neutral


On the financial crisis, Mirigo stated that it should not be an

excuse “to do less for the cause of global climate stabilization,” and called

for seizing this opportunity to “take stock, refocus and mobilize investments

in clean technologies and natural infrastructure.” She listed examples of green

jobs creation worldwide, illustrating that it is possible to “spur sustainable

growth, combat climate change and trigger an employment boom.” She urged a

focus on green growth and invited Forum participants to join the UN in driving

international cooperation to have a successful climate agreement in 2009. She

underscored the need for: setting the right price for carbon; putting in place

long-term regulation and incentives for green growth; and ensuring adequate

global funding for a sustainable and green future.

To this end, she underlined

the importance for all of us “to play our respective parts” and for the

engagement of all stakeholders. [The Statement]