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UN Secretary-General Calls for Action on Poverty, Climate Change

bankimoon-warsaw17 January 2014: During an informal meeting of the Plenary of the UN General Assembly (UNGA), UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon outlined UN challenges for 2014, noting that the post-2015 development agenda “must fully reflect the importance of institutions, governance and the rule of law as essential ingredients for success.” 

The UNGA briefing was held on 17 January 2014, in New York, US. Ban also spoke on climate change, natural disasters, and other pressing concerns for the coming year.

He called for seizing the momentum that has been created by agreement on a road map to the post-2015 development agenda, the deep engagement of political leaders in the global discussion around this process, and the mobilization of key constituencies. Ban noted that 714 days remain until the deadline for the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), and called for accelerating progress to reach remaining targets. He also highlighted his Youth Envoy's crowd-sourcing campaign on the post-2015 development agenda, as well as the Youth Forum taking place under the UN Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC).

On climate change, Ban said recent natural disasters such as Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines demonstrate the urgent need for action on climate change. He cautioned, "we must not succumb to the myth that [development] is incompatible with robust climate action.” Rather than being in conflict, he said, the goals of eradicating poverty, promoting inclusive growth, and holding global temperature rise below two degrees Celsius are mutually reinforcing.

Finally, he highlighted the World Climate Summit he will host on 23 September 2014, and the next two sessions of the Conference of Parties (COP) to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), which will take place in Lima, Peru, and Paris, France, in 2014 and 2015, respectively. He asked leaders to deliver the needed “bold agreement.” [Briefing by UN Secretary-General] [UN Press Release]