UN Secretary-General Pledges to Mobilize Support to Tackle Challenges Facing Africa

31 January 2010: In his opening address to the 14th Ordinary Summit of the African Union (AU), which has convened in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, from 25 January-2 February 2010, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon pledged to mobilize support to tackle the critical challenges threatening peace and prosperity across Africa, including climate change.

He noted that the financial, energy and food crises, as well as climate change, have “made development more difficult and more urgent.” He praised countries that had become associated with the Copenhagen Accord from the Copenhagen Climate Change Conference in December and urged others to join them, stressing that nowhere are the linkages between sustainable development and climate clearer than in Africa. Noting that African countries are the least responsible for climate change but are projected to bear most of its impacts, he stressed the need to “keep up the momentum towards achieving a binding global climate agreement as soon as possible.” Ban also highlighted the need for developing countries to rapidly scale-up their clean energy programmes and their need for significant support to adapt to the consequences of climate change. He stressed that the Copenhagen Conference mobilized US$30 billion to be devoted over the next three years to adaptation and mitigation efforts in developing countries, and US$100 billion to be allocated per year by 2020 for developing countries' adaptation and scaling-up of clean energy efforts.

The Secretary-General also recalled that a high-level panel on development and climate change will be established soon, to address climate change issues comprehensively in the context of sustainable development. [UN Press Release] [AU Summit Website] [The Statement]