June 5th, 2009 18:26 EST
UN Chief Ban Talks Climate Change With US And Japan
UN NEWS CENTRE
5 June 2009 " Climate change figured prominently in Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon`s recent talks with senior officials from the United States and Japan, his spokesperson announced today.
Mr. Ban wrapped up a visit to Washington, D.C., today, where he met with US Energy Secretary Steven Chu to discuss international cooperation to deal with climate change, including mitigation efforts in developed countries and greater collaboration with poorer nations.
Yesterday, the Secretary-General held talks with Vice-President Joseph Biden, conferring on Pakistan, including the human rights situation in the South Asian nation; Afghanistan; Sudan; Sri Lanka, Myanmar; the Democratic People`s Republic of Korea (DPRK); and global warming.
The two men also discussed US financial support for the United Nations, a topic on which the Vice-President was supportive, UN spokesperson Farhan Haq told reporters.
While in the US capital, Mr. Ban attended a meeting hosted by Senate Majority Whip Richard Durbin, which drew a bi-partisan group of senators. At the event, he spoke of the need for US leadership on climate change, and topics discussed ranged from the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) to Sudan`s war-torn Darfur region to Iran.
Also yesterday, the Secretary-General discussed both the situation on the Korean peninsula following DPRK`s recent nuclear test, as well as climate change, over the telephone with Japanese Prime Minister Taro Aso.
During their conversation, Mr. Ban re-affirmed his conviction of the need to resume dialogue, including the Six-Party Talks, which involve China, DPRK, Japan, the Republic of Korea, Russia and the US.
He expressed the UN`s readiness to provide any assistance required, Mr. Haq said.
On climate change, the Secretary-General thanked the Japanese leader for his country`s strong commitment to tackling the problem, demonstrated through its domestic actions and its support for reaching an effective, inclusive and global successor pact to the Kyoto Protocol in Copenhagen, Denmark, this December.
The Secretary-General stressed the importance of showing leadership by setting an ambitious mid-term emissions reduction target for his country for 2020, the spokesperson said. He further underlined the importance of this being in line with the targets, which the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has said are necessary to avoid potentially catastrophic consequences from climate change.
Japan has said that it will announce its mid-term emissions reduction targets shortly.
The Secretary-General welcomes Japan`s leading role in setting an ambitious domestic target, as it could well influence the targets set by other countries and generate critically needed positive momentum in the UN climate change talks, the latest round of which is under way in Bonn, Germany, Mr. Haq said.