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UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon meets with civil society as Paris Agreement on climate change enters into force

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The Paris Agreement to address climate change, adopted by world leaders last December at the Climate Conference in Paris (COP21), officially entered into force on 4 November. To commemorate this historic day, United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon invited representatives of civil society organizations to a 45-minute meeting with him at UN Headquarters in New York. This meeting provided civil society groups with the opportunity to share with the Secretary-General how their organizations will contribute to the objectives of the Paris Agreement, as well as their visions and concerns. The Executive Office of the Secretary-General and UN-NGLS co-organized the meeting. 11 civil society representatives spoke during the session, moderated by Dr. David Nabarro, Special Advisor to the Secretary-General on the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and Climate Change. Read More for the event programme and videos.

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The Secretary-General made a statement to press before the meeting, surrounded by civil society representatives.

See the video of the press statement hereThe video of the event may be viewed here.

In his opening remarks at the meeting, the Secretary-General expressed, "I am deeply grateful to all of you and your organizations, representing billions of people. At a time when civil society is under attack in so many parts of the world, you have shown that citizens groups are essential partners for progress. Your vision, courage, persistence and leadership made this day happen. Thank you all so much."

11 civil society representatives spoke during the session, moderated by Dr. David Nabarro, Special Advisor to the Secretary-General on the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and Climate Change. The meeting enabled seven of the civil society speakers to participate from around the world via live videoconference, telephone, and pre-recorded video statements.

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Photos: Susan Alzner

Programme

Welcoming Remarks by Dr. David Nabarro, Special Advisor to the UN Secretary-General on the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and Climate Change

Introductory remarks by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon

Ms. Keya Chatterjee, Executive Director, US Climate Action Network (on behalf of CAN-International)

Via live videoconference: Ms. Andrea Nava, Plant for the Planet - Guatemala

Ms. Angie Fyfe, Executive Director, ICLEI – Local Governments for Sustainability

Via live videoconference: Dr. Emad Adly, General Coordinator, Arab Network for Environment and Development (RAED)

Ms. Naomi Ages, Climate Liability Campaigner, Greenpeace

Via telephone: Ms. Farah Kabir, Country Director, ActionAid – Bangladesh

Mr. John D. Sterman, Senior Advisor, Climate Interactive; Professor at the MIT Sloan School of Management and Director of MIT's System Dynamics Group

Video messages:
-    Ms. Sharan Burrow, General Secretary, International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC)
-    Ms. Alina Saba, Programme Coordinator, National Indigenous Women Forum (NIWF), Nepal
-    Ms. Winnie Byanyima, Executive Director, Oxfam International
-    Ms. Kathy Jetnil-Kijiner, Instructor, College of the Marshall Islands & Co-Director, Jo-Jikum

Closing remarks by the Secretary-General
Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon concluded the event with a long, unscripted, personal sharing which is well worth watching at the video link above.

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Photo: UN Photo / Rick Bajornas

 

 

 

The UN Non-Governmental Liaison Service (UN-NGLS) is an inter-agency programme of the United Nations mandated to develop constructive relations between the UN and civil society organizations.

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