UN chief hails climate deal reached at Cancun

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UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on Saturday hailed the outcome of the just-concluded UN climate change conference as an "important success for a world much in need of it."

The secretary-general made the remarks in a statement issued here by his spokesman late on Saturday following the conclusion of the two-week UN climate change conference in Cancun, Mexico, vowing to "strengthen our efforts in line with the scientific imperatives for action."

"The UN climate change negotiations in Cancun, Mexico, have delivered important success for a world much in need of it," the statement said. "Governments came together in common cause, for the common good, and agreed on a way forward to meet the defining challenge of our time."

"While there is much work yet to do, the success of the UN conference on climate change in Cancun has set the world on the path to a safer, more prosperous, and sustainable world for all," the statement said.

In Cancun, governments reached agreements on a package of measures to build a low-carbon, climate-resilient future together, the statement noted.

Dubbed the "Cancun Agreements," the decisions include formalizing mitigation pledges and ensuring increased accountability for them, as well as taking concrete actions to protect the world's forests.

Delegates meeting at the 16th Conference of the Parties to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) also agreed to ensure no gap between the first and second commitment periods of the Kyoto Protocol, an addition to the Convention that contains legally binding measures to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and whose first commitment period is due to expire in 2012.

An agreement was also reached on establishing a fund for long-term climate financing to support developing countries, and bolstering technological cooperation and enhancing vulnerable populations' ability to adapt to the changing climate.

"The outcomes in Cancun have given us important tools," the statement said. "Now we must use them, and strengthen our efforts in line with the scientific imperatives for action."

"I commend Governments for pursuing the path of compromise, a cornerstone of effective multilateralism," Ban said in the statement. "In so doing, they have proven that the United Nations can deliver results even on the most challenging global issues of the day."

The next Conference of the Parties to the UNFCCC is scheduled to be held in South Africa in 2011.

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