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By NBF News
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United Nations Secretary-General, Mr. Ban Ki-moon, has urged the eight States that have not yet done so to join the Chemical Weapons Convention which aims to eliminate the use, development, production and transfer of these deadly weapons.

In a letter issued jointly with the Director-General of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), Ahmet Üzümcü, Mr. Ban called on the heads of State of Angola, the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK), Egypt, Israel, Myanmar, Somalia, South Sudan and Syria to commit to the legally-binding prohibition against chemical weapons to ensure that such weapons are never used again.

The Convention, whose implementation is overseen by the OPCW, currently has 188 States Parties representing more than 98 per cent of the world's population and chemical industry. On 1 October, the Convention marked its 15th anniversary since entering into force.

The letter states that 'the continuing growth in the membership of the (OPCW) […] is evidence that the prohibition against the development, production, stockpiling and use of chemical weapons constitutes a universal norm.'

The OPCW stated in a news release that the letters 'underscore the importance of achieving the universality of the Convention as a condition necessary to attain a world free from chemical weapons. These States have, therefore, been strongly urged to join the Convention 'without delay.'

Meanwhile, a new United Nations-led partnership aimed at showcasing innovative models for financing climate change adaptation and mitigation activities was unveiled today.

The initiative, which will pair the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) with the World Economic Forum (WEF) in an effort to spotlight successful public-private financing mechanisms, will be formally launched on 6 December as part of the ongoing UN Climate Change Conference in Doha, Qatar.

UNFCCC Executive Secretary Christiana Figueres acknowledged that the time had come for the private sector to deliver 'significant investments' and help guide the international community onto a path towards what she described as 'a climate-secure future.'

'Given the scale of investment needed, the newness of technology solutions and the perception of risk that exists, the current level of investment is far too low,' Ms. Figueres cautioned in a news release, adding that the public sector could 'help to unlock private finance and ensure supportive policy frameworks for climate-friendly investment.'

The partnership - called Momentum for Change: Innovative Financing for Climate-friendly Investment - will seek to inform Member States, investors, business, public finance agencies and the media about practical ways and means to kick-start a global shift to environmentally and economically sustainable growth.