Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen,
It is an honour for me to be invited to speak to this distinguished body as Secretary-General of the UN.
The subject of the climate change is one of the most important problems which preoccupies our planet. My predecessor Ban-Ki Moon has all the credit for the Paris Agreement on climate change and its signature and ratification by most countries.
It has been a long hard road but it has paid off. The Paris Agreement came into force on 5th November 2016. This was a historic moment for the world.
The UN thanks all States and organizations for standing behind us when especially we were giving the press stakeout. Their vision, courage and leadership contributed to the realization of the Paris Agreement. Hundreds of millions of people were mobilized for the cause of the climate change by all the stake holders, but we still have much to do.
We need to transition to a low-emissions and climate –resilient future. It has been a long hard road, as I said previously. My predecessor managed to persuade the US also to follow the U.N.’s initiative.
The issue of climate is too important and too big for only governments to take on. We opened the doors of the United Nations to civil society and to the business sector. They, too, needed a seat at the table. Civil society has kept pressure on governments to act. Whether it’s in the energy sector, the insurance industry, or transportation companies, they all have a role to play.
We have to continue working on climate change.
I would like to hear about your advocacy, activities and other efforts to contribute to the Paris Agreement’s objectives. Please share your concerns and vision for the future. Tell me what you think is most important for the United Nations and the global community to prioritize going forward.
Thank you very much.
Dr. Christos A. Theodoulou
Larnaca, 13th March 2017