Non-Aligned Movement vital to battle against climate change, Ban says

By United Nations

The Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today called on the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) of more than 100 countries to assist in “urgent global action” to combat the threat posed by climate change.

He said climate change was one of three fields “in which joint action by the United Nations and the Non-Aligned Movement is essential.” The others were building a safer world, and fighting extreme poverty.

In remarks to NAM's 50th anniversary meeting in Bali, delivered by El-Mostafa Benlamlih, United Nations Resident Coordinator in Indonesia, Mr. Ban said that “the threat posed by climate change continues to require urgent global action.”

The Secretary-General told ministers from the member countries of NAM that “governments must implement fully all the agreements made at Cancún, including on climate finance, protecting forests, adaptation, and technology.”

In Cancún last December, at the 16th Conference of the Parties to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), some 190 countries made commitments to formalize mitigation pledges and ensure increased accountability for them, as well as to take concrete action to tackle deforestation, which account for nearly one fifth of global carbon emissions.

“National efforts on the ground must be accelerated to curb emissions and strengthen climate resilience,” he said. “As always, the UN stands ready to support these efforts, including in the vitally important area of energy access, energy efficiency, and clean energy.”

Turning to the challenge of eliminating extreme poverty, the Secretary-General said: “The budget crisis around the world should not be an excuse to abandon commitments. Now is the time to strengthen the global partnership for development.”

Mr. Ban complimented NAM's efforts to try to build a safer world through responding early to emerging crises.

“Preventive action is more prudent and principled than waiting to respond to full-blown conflicts. It saves scarce resources and, more importantly, it saves lives. Conflict prevention is also intrinsically linked to our efforts to lift countries from poverty.”

The Secretary-General, noting that the Bali conference marked the 50th anniversary of the NAM, said:

“Fifty years ago, many countries were still living under colonialism. The military and ideological competition between the two superpowers threatened unprecedented destruction. Sweeping changes were taking place throughout the world. From its beginning, the Non-Aligned Movement understood that there is no alternative to multilateralism.”

He complimented NAM's principles of “respect for human rights, equality of all races and all nations, peaceful settlement of disputes, and international cooperation,” and said “a commitment to these universal values led to some of the Movement's most important achievements, including decolonization and concerted action to resolve many conflicts. While new challenges have emerged, the values at the heart of the Non-Aligned Movement remain relevant today.”

General Assembly President Joseph Deiss, who attended the conference, called on NAM to contribute to advancing the reform process in the UN, according to a statement issued by a spokesperson for the Assembly President.

While in Bali, Mr. Deiss also met with Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, and Marty Natalegawa, the Foreign Minister, to discuss global governance, Security Council reform and Indonesia's chairmanship of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN).

On the margins of the NAM conference, Mr. Deiss also met with representatives of Egypt, Thailand, Mauritius, the Palestinians, Senegal, Slovenia, Fiji, Viet Nam, South Africa, Chile, Gabon and Tanzania.