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‘2015 can and must be time for global action,’ Ban declares, briefing UN Assembly on year’s priorities
January 09,2015   By:un.org

Mr. Ban stressed that the results of the new development programme would be inseparable from climate action, reminding States of their pledges at the recently-concluded 20th session of the Conference of the Parties (COP 20) to the landmark UN Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), in Lima, Peru, to present national commitments in the first quarter of 2015.

A slate of upcoming UN conferences this year – on disaster risk reduction in March, on financing for development in July, and on climate change in December, as well as a summit-level meeting in New York this coming September – would seek to tackle the linked challenges of sustainable development.

“At each of these milestones, we will continue to be ambitious to end poverty, reducing inequality and exploit the opportunities that accompanied the climate challenge,” he said.

He made a specific reference to the impact on development of the Ebola outbreak in West Africa, which was a major setback for the hardest hit countries. Affected nations were beginning to see improvements but people and resources were still needed. At the same time, preparations were needed for the next epidemic, “wherever it may occur.”

The Secretary-General also spotlighted the impacts of war in Syria, Ukraine, Central African Republic, northern Mali and elsewhere, pointing out that several other countries were at risk of conflict because of their domestic situations.

“In several countries, electoral processes and constitutional amendments seem designed to prolong incumbencies instead of strengthening democracy,” he said, calling for negotiations between Israelis and Palestinians and urging responses to “brutality and extremism” that were not limited only to military action but which included efforts to address the underlying conditions giving rise to extremism.

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