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Updated: January 12, 2010 16:23 IST

Binding agreement on climate change on UN priority list

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U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon during the plenary session at the climate summit in Copenhagen.
AP U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon during the plenary session at the climate summit in Copenhagen.

U.N. chief Ban Ki-moon on Tuesday said getting a binding agreement sealed on climate change was among his top priorities for the year after the Copenhagen conference that marked “an important step forward“.

Listing his seven priorities for 2010 to the General Assembly, Mr. Ban placed at the top of his ‘to do’ list efforts to meet the Millennium Development Goals by 2015, while on the second spot he put the target of reaching a binding agreement on climate change.

“Copenhagen marked an important step forward. But there is tremendous work to do in 2010... Our second strategic priority in 2010 is to negotiate a binding agreement on climate change, as well as to deliver on commitments made to date,” Mr. Ban said.

He said he would work in cooperation with political leaders of the world and asked world nations to set more ambitious target cuts to achieve the goal of limiting global temperature rise by 2 degree Celsius.

He said world leaders must come to Mexico, where a follow up climate summit is to be held this year, with the aim of achieving a solution.

The Copenhagen Climate Change Conference, which was held in December in the Danish capital failed to produce the anticipated legally-binding Copenhagen treaty. Instead, a Copenhagen Accord was produced and states were given the option to be “associated” with the document.

So far, Cuba is the only country that has stated that it does not want to be associated with the accord.

The Secretary-General also called on world nations to take action on mitigation and adaptation even before a climate deal was signed, and for establishment of the Copenhagen fund to begin allocating resources to those in need.

“We must ensure that the important financial commitments undertaken in Copenhagen are delivered upon immediately,” he said.

“A high-level panel on financing the struggle against climate change is going to be established and should contribute to implementing these plans and proposals“.

The final draft of the controversial Accord provides USD 100 billion for long-term funding for developing countries and USD 30 billion for the short term, which will go to the poorest and most vulnerable.

The U.N. Chief also listed six other goals that the U.N. would pursue in 2010 – sustainable development, empowering women, nuclear free world, resolving deadly conflicts around the world, strengthening human rights, rule of law and the U.N. system.

“I have seven strategic priorities for 2010... opportunities to be realised not over decades but within the next 12 months,” Mr. Ban said. “Taken together, they can make the world safer, fairer and more prosperous today and in the future,” he said.

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