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Secretary-General appoints Special Envoys on Climate Change

Secretary-General appoints Special Envoys on Climate Change
1 May 2007 - New York

United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today announced the appointment of three Special Envoys on Climate Change.

The Special Envoys are: H.E. Mrs. Gro Harlem Brundtland, former Prime Minister of Norway and former Chair of the World Commission of Environment and Development, H.E. Mr. Han Seung-soo, former Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Korea and former President of the 56th session of the UN General Assembly; and H.E. Mr. Ricardo Lagos Escobar, former President of Chile.

The Secretary-General has repeatedly stated that climate change is a major global challenge and he intends to take a leadership role in helping the international community address the problem.

The reports issued by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) earlier this year show clearly that the warming of the earth’s climate system is unequivocal and attributable to human activities. Climate change is already having significant impacts in certain regions—particularly in developing countries—and on most ecosystems. Economic assessments indicate that the cost of inaction will exceed the cost of taking early action, probably by several orders of magnitude. More concerted multilateral action is essential to addressing this pressing problem.

Many initiatives are being launched and commitments undertaken by Member States, groups of States, civil society and the private sector in this respect. Very commendable as they are, these actions can only complement and not substitute for the comprehensive international response that is needed. The United Nations, its Framework Convention on Climate Change and its other competent bodies offer the institutional framework within which a global solution to this global problem can be reached.

At first the Special Envoys will solicit the views of a representative group of Heads of State or Government, including from those countries who are key actors in the climate change negotiations. The work of the Special Envoys will assist the Secretary-General in his consultations with Governments and other key stakeholders on how he might facilitate progress in the multilateral climate change negotiations within the UN.

The Secretary-General looks forward to working with these three highly respected international figures on a matter which is of highest importance to the future of the planet.