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UN Secretary-General to the Unity Summit of Latin America and the Caribbean: “Climate Change Remains a Clear and Present Danger”

22 February 2010: At the Unity Summit of Latin America and the Caribbean, which convened in Cancun, Mexico, Alicia Bárcena, Executive Secretary of the UN Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC), delivered a message on behalf of UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon noting that climate change is a “major inter-connected challenge.”

While stating that the Copenhagen Climate Change Conference “marked a significant step forward,” he underlined that climate change “remains a clear and present danger.” He urged parties to the UNFCCC to “remain engaged, to increase the level of ambition and to focus on implementation while negotiations continue.” He also expressed full support for the Government of Mexico, host of the 16th session of the Conference of the Parties to the UNFCCC.

After reading Ban's message, Bárcena presented two documents, prepared especially by ECLAC for the Summit. The first, titled “Opportunities for Convergence and Regional Cooperation,” examines the main characteristics of the post-crisis scenario and identifies the ensuing demand for greater regional cooperation. The report then presents proposals to enhance that cooperation, including on climate change. The second, titled “Climate change: a regional perspective,” jointly prepared by ECLAC and the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), aims to contribute to the ongoing discussion on the economic impact of climate change in light of the results of the Copenhagen Conference. [ECLAC Press Release] [The Message] [Opportunities for Convergence] [Climate Change: A Regional Perspective]