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UN Secretary-General Emphasizes Africa’s Active Participation in Climate Negotiations

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon

2 February 2009: In an address to the Summit of the African Union (AU) taking place in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon underlined that his consistent message to the developed world is not to lose sight of the most vulnerable while addressing the financial crisis, and to maintain their commitment to fight climate change. 

He labelled climate change as “the front burner of global concerns,” and underscored that Africa will be one of the most affected regions. While recognizing that the continent has contributed the least to the phenomenon, he called for “seamless cooperation” to tackle this challenge and for seeking an international treaty at the UNFCCC Conference in December 2009 in Copenhagen. Ban stressed that little time is left to achieve these goals and hoped that recent steps taken by African countries to adopt a coherent climate change approach will enable them to “participate actively in the forthcoming negotiations.” Welcoming the focus of the Summit on infrastructural development, he noted that it provides an “opportunity to go green” and thereby increase protection against climate change. [The Statement] [UN Press Release]