Yearly Archives: 2007
So 80 heads of state, plus international celebrities like Al Gore and Arnold Schwarzenegger all came to the United Nations today. Great! What did they accomplish? Well, if you are looking for a single document committing UN member states to combat climate change, you are looking in the wrong place. Rather, the significance of today’s meetings needs to be understood in the longer term.
Al Gore may have just burnt his bridges with Hollywood. The former Vice President receieved a nice ovation for urging us to turn our attention away from Anna Nicole Smith, OJ Simpson and Paris Hilton, and instead focus on the important climate change meeting in Bali in December.
French President Nicolas Sarkozy is now speaking. If my translation is correct ( and fair warning: my French is far from flawless) he seems to have affirmed French support for “25 by 25″–that’s a pledge to make 25% of his country’s energy supply come from renewable sources by 2025.
By Olav Kjorven, Assistant Administrator and Director, Bureau of Development Policy, UNDP, and member of the UN Secretary General’s climate team
Today at the United Nations, the world is coming together, at the request of Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, to address a truly global challenge. Climate change is the kind of issue that the UN was created to deal with. Today, we’ll address the climate challenge with words. Of course, it’s going to take much, much more than that to ensure a sustainable future for our kids, their kids, and beyond, but if today’s discussions inject energy, purpose, and will into the global response to climate change, as the Secretary-General and indeed, we all hope they will, then they will have served a valuable purpose.
As promised, UN Dispatch is coming to you live from the UN. The place is buzzing as heads of state and foreign ministers are starting to gather for the High Level Meeting on Climate Change. The head of one state, Governor Schwarzenegger of California, is poised to speak at General Assembly in a few moments.
Today’s meeting was convened by Secretary General Ban Ki moon, who is making climate change a signature issue of his. In that, he and Governor Schwarzenegger have something in common. In June, Ban traveled to the San Francisco area where he met Schwarzenegger for a tour of Silicon Valley businesses that are on the cutting edge of the green technology revolution. (Fun fact: Ban also stopped by the home of a ninety year old woman who hosted him when he participated in a foreign exchange student in 1967).
Check back to UN Dispatch for frequent updates throughout the day.
UN Dispatch will be on scene at the United Nations next Monday to cover the much anticipated High Level Meeting on Climate Change in which foreign ministers and heads of state will converge on First Avenue to discuss climate change issues. UN Dispatch, in partnership with the United Nations Foundation, is hosting a number of bloggers on site. This is the first-ever event designed solely for bloggers, enabling us to report on the United Nations. We are very excited.
The climate change meeting kicks off an action packed week at the United Nations. On Tuesday and Wednesday, the 62nd General Assembly officially opens for business, meaning every head of state is invited to address the UN. This always makes for some interesting moments. Be sure to check our “Live From the UN” mini-site next week for frequent updates.
Iraq: The SG met with Iraqi Prime Minister al-Maliki in Baghdad today as well as Grand Ayatollah Ali Sistani to review the ongoing security crisis. The SG congratulated Fouad Massoum on his election as Iraq’s new President and remarked that a new government “will strengthen the unity of the country, fight effectively against terrorism and ISIS, as well as uproot the seeds of sectarianism and division.”
SG: The SG met with Israeli President Peres in Jerusalem today to encourage dialogue between Israelis and Palestinians. Speaking to the press with President Peres, he again underlined the need to stop violence and begin dialogue that addresses the root causes of the conflict.
SG: The SG briefed the SC today from Ramallah where he reiterated his message from today’s earlier press conference in Tel Aviv with Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu to: “Stop fighting. Start talking. And take on the root causes of the conflict.” The SG will continue travelling this week to Jordan and Saudi Arabia.
SG: The SG arrived in Cairo today where he will meet with the Foreign Minister, President el-Sisi and US Secretary of State Kerry to promote the Egypt-initiated ceasefire in the Middle East. Spokesman Dujarric told reporters today that “the overriding messages that [the SG] brings is, first, that the violence must stop, and needs to stop now.”
Middle East: The SG welcomed the humanitarian pause negotiated by Special Coordinator Serry to allow civilians in Gaza to begin repairs on electrical and water infrastructure. WFP used the five-hour pause to deliver emergency food assistance to Gaza. The SG hopes the pause will lead to peace and a sustainable ceasefire.