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UN Secretary-General Calls for Ambition on Climate and Post-2015 Development

Ban Ki-moon23 August 2013: UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has called on governments to show ambition in the "twin processes" of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and discussions toward the post-2015 development agenda.

UN Secretary-General Ban delivered his remarks at a meeting with diplomats in Seoul, Republic of Korea, on accelerating action to achieve the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and defining the post-2015 development agenda, especially in relation to Africa. Ban stressed the need to restrict global temperature increase to less than two degrees Celsius, noting he will host a Climate Summit to take place in New York, US, in September 2014, with leaders from government, business, finance and civil society.

Ban expressed concern over the decline in official development assistance (ODA) to Africa from US$50 billion to US$43 billion in recent years, and welcomed the Government of the Republic of Korea's decision to increase its ODA from 0.14% of gross national income to 0.25% by 2015. He expressed hope that Korea's experience of using aid to foster peace and prosperity would be useful to Africa, noting that heavy investments in education had been instrumental in achieving Korean development.

Ban applauded the achievements of the MDGs as "the most effective anti-poverty campaign in history." He highlighted the successes of the UN's 'Every Woman, Every Child' initiative on maternal and child health, while expressing concern over ongoing hunger, nutritional deficiencies in children and pregnant women, the levels of inequality between and within African countries, and the depletion of natural resources in Africa, including risks to fisheries, livestock, agriculture, tourism and forests. Finally, he stressed the interlinkages among various development and environment issues, and said "sustainable development will not be achievable if we miss any issues." [UN Secretary-General's Statement] [UN Press Release]