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  • Opening day of UN summit on climate change successful: Moon

    New York , Sept. 25 (PTI) On the opening day of the United Nations summit on climate change, UN General Secretary Ban Ki-moon appeared confident that world leaders have forged common understanding on the issue.

    "This event has sent a powerful political signal to the world, and to the Bali conference, that there is the will and the determination at the highest level, to break with the past and act decisively," Ban said yesterday while emerging from a dinner here.

    Twenty-five leaders participated in the informal setting, including those from industrialized countries -- the "so called biggest emitters," he said, referring to the amount of greenhouse gas emissions blamed for climate change.

    Also in attendance were countries affected by the problem, including leaders of small island developing countries, landlocked nations and least developed States.

    "Everybody agreed that it is now time to act before it is too late and they all agreed that the most appropriate forum would be the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change," he added.

    The December 3-14 conference in Bali, Indonesia, is tasked with setting down a road map for negotiations towards a new planetary deal on global warming after the first phase of the UN's Kyoto Protocol expires at the end of 2012.

    In the wake of Kyoto Protocol, which contains binding targets for emissions reductions, set to expire in 2012, Ban convened high-level meeting at UN Headquarters yesterday to jump start talks to be held this December in Bali, Indonesia on a successor pact.

    Summing up the understandings reached at the dinner, he said, participants agreed that "the current international response and pace of negotiations are inadequate; broader and deeper action is necessary; significant reductions in emissions are needed; and industrialized countries need to lead with targets set but all countries can and must contribute to the solution."

    Leaders across the international community, he said, have demonstrated "their firm commitment to address [the problem] collectively: they all agreed that this is a global issue affecting all human beings and does require global actions."

    Asked about the participation of US President George Bush who attended the dinner but not the day's meeting, Ban replied that the US leader said an upcoming meeting he has planned bringing together industrialized countries aimed to be supportive.

    "He made it quite clear that what he (Bush) is going to do is to help the United Nations so that the United Nations can work to address this global warming issue." He was referring to a high level meeting on climate change that Bush has convened later this week.

    The Secretary-General, who has personally raised the issue with the US President in the past, added: "I appreciated his firm commitment and support."


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