Home / Environment / Features Analyses Tools: Save | Print | E-mail | Most Read | Comment
UN chief calls 2009 'year of climate change'
Adjust font size:

UN chief Ban Ki-moon

UN chief Ban Ki-moon 

UN chief Ban Ki-moon on Wednesday called 2009 "the year of climate change" as he reviewed the world body's "mixed" record handling crises in Darfur, Kosovo and Zimbabwe.

Speaking at his last official press conference at UN headquarters this year, the secretary general listed climate change, one of his priorities since he assumed his post two years ago, as a key challenge for the world next year.

"I am pleased with our success in keeping climate UN chief calls 2009 'year of climate change'change high on the global agenda," he said, adding that "2009 will be the year of climate change."

"We have no time to waste. We must reach a global climate change deal before the end of the year (2009) -- one that is balanced, comprehensive and ratifiable by all nations," Ban said.

"Success will require extraordinary leadership," he added, hailing progress made during a weekend conference in Poland where the 192-memberUN Framework Convention on Climate Changeapproved a work program for talks leading up to a treaty to be sealed in Copenhagen next December.

More broadly, he described 2008 as "the year of multiple crises" in which the UN record has been "mixed" and said the coming year "promises to be no less difficult."

On Sudan's Darfur conflict, he deplored the fact that the joint UN-African Union (UNAMID) peacekeeping force still lacks critical assets, including transport and attack helicopters.

Only 60 percent of what is mandated to be a 26,000-strong UNAMID will be deployed by year's end and 85 percent by next March, he noted.

"Meanwhile renewed fighting and political rivalry makes a political solution difficult," the UN boss said.

In Kosovo, where separatists unilaterally declared independence from Belgrade in February, Ban said the United Nations had managed a "potentially explosive situation through quite diplomacy."

On Somalia, he differed with US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice's view that a UN peacekeeping operation was needed in lawless Somalia at this time.

"Conditions are not favorable to consider a UN peacekeeping operation," he said, while insisting that "the danger of anarchy in Somalia is clear and present. So is the need to act."

He recommended greater efforts to bolster the inter-Somali peace process, reinforcing the capacity of the African Union force in Somalia "through funding, equipment and training" and establishing a maritime task force to set the stage for "a possible UN peacekeeping operation."

And he welcomed as "timely" the Security Council's decision Tuesday "to authorize action against pirates on land in Somalia."

On the Middle East, he said 2009 could also mark the "year of peace" as he said a Security Council resolution adopted Tuesday in support of the US-sponsored Israeli-Palestinian peace talks was "important to keep up this momentum."

He expressed hope that the incoming US administration of president-elect Barack Obama "will take the Middle East peace process as a matter of priority."

He also said he looked forward "to working very closely with" Susan Rice, the new US ambassador-designate to the United Nations.

Asked about Israeli Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni's comments last week that Israeli Arabs who had national aspirations should move to a Palestinian state when it is established, Ban first tried to deflect the question.

But when pressed further, he said: "I do not regard it as an official position. It's not desirable if it is."

The UN chief also warned that the humanitarian situation in Zimbabwe was growing "more alarming every day", with the country "on the brink of economic, social and political collapse."

"We need a fair and sustainable political solution... And we need it fast," he added.

In Afghanistan, where the wobbly Kabul government and a NATO-led force are battling a resurgent Taliban rebellion, Ban said "a political 'surge' and a clear change of direction are required."

He also warned that while the food crisis no longer dominates news headlines, "it has not gone away."

(Xinhua News Agency December 19, 2008)

Tools: Save | Print | E-mail | Most Read
Pet Name

China Archives
Related >>
- Climate change may doom 'White Christmas'
- UN chief calls 2009 'year of climate change'
- Poor countries to be given fund for fighting climate change
- Let's play the music of save the planet
- Climate change alters ocean chemistry: study
- UN softens tone on Poznan outcome
Air Quality 
Cities Major Pollutant Air Quality Level
Beijing particulate matter II
Shanghai particulate matter III1
Guangzhou particulate matter III1
Chongqing particulate matter II
Xi'an particulate matter III1
NGO Events Calendar Tips
- Environmental English Training (EET) class
- Hand in hand to protect endangered animals and plants
- Changchun, Mini-marathon Aimed at Protecting Siberian Tiger
- Water Walk by Nature University
- Green Earth Documentary Salon
Sichuan Earthquake

An earthquake measuring 7.8 on the Richter scale jolted Sichuan Province at 2:28 PM on May 12.

Panda Facts
A record 28 panda cubs born via artificial insemination have survived in 2006.
South China Karst
Rich and unique karst landforms located in south China display exceptional natural beauty.
Saving the Tibetan Antelopes
The rare animals survive in the harsh natural environment of the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau.
Laws & Regulations
- Forestry Law of the People's Republic of China
- Meteorology Law of the People's Republic of China
- Fire Control Law of the People's Republic of China
- Law on Protecting Against and Mitigating Earthquake Disasters
- Law of the People's Republic of China on Conserving Energy
State Environmental Protection Administration
Ministry of Water Resources
Ministry of Land and Resources
China Environmental Industry Network
Chengdu Giant Panda Research Base