United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on Wednesday called
for "flexibility" and "political will" in speeding up the ongoing
negotiations aimed at adopting a Bali roadmap for a future climate
"We work for success, we don't work for failure. We must succeed
at this Bali meeting. We must be able to launch negotiations for an
international agreement by 2009 with a clear agenda," the U.N.
chief told an afternoon press briefing following the opening of the
High-Level segment of the Climate Change Conference.
Mr. Ban pointed out that science has made it quite clear that
"climate change is happening" and "the impact is real", but all
that was lacking was political will in addressing such a "defining
challenge of our age". "I would really urge the major economic
powers to exercise flexibility and to demonstrate their
The U.N. Secretary-General acknowledged that the two-year
timeline to conclude negotiations was tight, given the scale and
complexity of the task at hand.
"We really need to expedite our process of negotiation," he
urged, adding that he would "spare no effort" in facilitating the
process. He said that failure to exercise political leadership and
act now would be tantamount to "betraying both our planet and our
On the contentious subject of emission reduction targets, Mr.
Ban said that agreement on specific targets need only take place at
a later stage in the negotiations.
Mr. Ban stressed that due to their "historical responsibilities"
with regard to climate change, industrialized countries must take
the lead in tackling the problem. He said they also had the
necessary technological and financial capacity to do so, and that
this capacity should be made available as an incentive to
In response to a question about the position of the United
States regarding the scope of a future climate agreement, Mr. Ban
said that he had been in regular contact with U.S. government
leaders and had urged them to exercise flexibility as the world's
largest economic power. He said it was encouraging that the United
States supported the ongoing United Nations Framework Convention on
Climate Change (UNFCCC) process.
On Wednesday, 144 ministers and high-level government
representatives along with six heads of state gathered in Bali for
the high-level segment of the U.N. climate conference, which is
expected to launch negotiations on a new global deal on climate
The conference, the 13th Conference of the 192 Parties to the
UNFCCC and the third meeting of the 176 Parties to the Kyoto
Protocol, is being attended by more than 11,000 people, making it
the largest U.N. climate change meeting ever held.
(Xinhua News Agency December 13, 2007)