UN Secretary-General Proposes New Multilateralism to Address Climate Change
17 April 2009: UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon spoke at a colloquium at Princeton University, US, on “The Imperative for a New Multilateralism,” in which he proposed focusing on securing global public goods, including global financial and economic stability, a major push against poverty, restoring peace and stability, addressing climate change, advancing global health, countering terrorism, and ensuring disarmament and non-proliferation.
He underlined that this new multilateralism should ensure that we do not address global challenges in isolation. He outlined the forecasted “potentially cataclysmic consequences” of climate change and stated that 2009 could be a “make or break year.” Ban indicated that he had discussed these threats with US President Obama in March, but stressed that the US cannot face these challenges alone. He called on the major economies and emitters to “shoulder the greatest burdens,” but noted that sustainable solutions require concerted action. In conclusion, he expressed the hope that an agreement be reached at the Copenhagen conference in December 2009, underlining that not only must countries adapt to and mitigate the effects of climate change, but business and scientists must stimulate innovation and investment in green technology. [The speech]