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UN Secretary-General to Ibero-American Summit: “We Cannot Afford to Fail in Copenhagen”

29 November 2009: In a message delivered by António Guterres, UN High Commissioner for Refugees, to the Ibero-American Summit in Estoril, Portugal, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon stressed that "our capacity to innovate should be put to use without delay" to address the challenge of climate change.

He stated that, contrary to some news reports, Copenhagen is not destined to be a disappointment, and noted growing momentum. He expressed his confidence that "we are on track to achieve a firm foundation for a legally binding climate treaty as early as possible in 2010." He urged Summit participants to attend the high-level segment of the Copenhagen conference, stressing the need to seal an ambitious and equitable deal. Ban concluded by underscoring the costs of inaction, stating that "the longer we wait, the worse it will be." [The Statement]