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News: September 2009

PRESIDENT RAHMON TO ATTEND 64TH SESSION OF UN GENERAL ASSEMBLY AND UN CLIMATE SUMMIT

Source: Asia Plus, 19.09.2009

President Emomali Rahmon will depart for New York to attend the 64th session of the United Nations General Assembly and the UN Climate Summit, according to presidential press service.

President Rahmon will deliver a statement at the summit on September 22. During his stay in New York, the Tajik leader is also scheduled to hold a number of bilateral meetings.

Some media report that the 64th session that was opened by the UN General Assembly on September 15 is one of the most historic and crucially important sessions in the history of the United Nations. On nuclear disarmament, Ban said he welcomed the “heightened awareness” of the international community after the issue had lain “dormant” for more than a decade, and said he expected the high-level Security Council meeting on September 24 under the chairmanship of US President Obama to “generate strong political momentum to address nuclear issues.

The United Nations General Assembly opened its 64th session with veteran Libyan diplomat Ali Abdussalam Treki at the helm. "The United Nations must be reformed and must gain international legitimacy, ensuring that its voice is heard and respected and its resolutions applied," Treki told delegates at the opening session, according to China’s Xinhua.

"It is vital to reform the Security Council and to re-reform the General Assembly so that they can comprehensively fulfill their roles," he said. The GA president's speech also touched upon other key issues relating to the 192-member body's work, including counter-terrorism, the Middle East peace process, development, climate change and non-proliferation.

As far as the Climate Summit is concerned, the United Nations has convened a summit on climate change in the hope of opening some way out to the deadlock over the issue of mutual concern. A record number of world leaders, including the US President Barack Obama, are expected to attend the summit.

In the meantime, a senior United Nations adviser has called on world governments to reduce population growth and work together to keep climate change from causing an immense human catastrophe, starkly warning: “We’re on a trajectory that is absolutely unsustainable and profoundly dangerous,” according the UN News Center.

Columbia University Professor Jeffrey Sachs, Special Adviser to Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) said the rich world should pay for much of the necessary mitigating steps. “We’re in the age of this planet where human activity dominates the earth's processes. Humanity has become so large in absolute number and in economic activity that we have overtaken earth processes in vital ways to the point of changing the climate, the hydrologic cycle,” he told the UN Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) in Geneva on September 15.

Current international attempts to respond are off track, he said. “We don't need global negotiations right now as much as we need global brainstorming, global problem solving,” according to Mr. Sachs, who likened the approach to a high-stakes poker game in which negotiators hold their cards close to their chests. “The climate change problem is not a trade negotiation. It is simply the most complex engineering, economic, and social problem humanity has ever faced.”

He called for a massive, coordinated public-private effort with a great deal of input by experts to determine what can be done to allow substantial economic growth to raise living standards for hundreds of millions of poor while coping with environmental problems that already are unsustainable, highlighted by but not limited to climate change.

UN CLIMATE SUMMIT TO LAY ALL CARDS ON TABLE

Source: KAZINFORM, 19.09.2009

The high-level climate change meeting at the United Nations next week will help shape two-years of negotiations on an international treaty by stressing just what is at stake, a high-ranking UN official told Xinhua in a recent exclusive interview; Kazinform refers to Xinhua. Cheick Sidi Diarra, the UN secretary-general's special advisor on Africa and the high representative for the Least Developed Countries, Landlocked Developing Countries and Small Island Developing States (OSAA/OHRLLS), said the Sept. 22 summit will provide the political impetus to attempt at a comprehensive climate deal in Copenhagen in December.

"This is an event which has a very big political impact," he said. "The summit is aimed at mobilizing the political will and getting the attention of decision makers ... to tell them what is at stake, what are the current obstacles and in which ways can they help push forward the process."

More than 90 heads of state are expected to attend the one-day event, convened by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, who told Xinhua on Tuesday that progress in the negotiations had been slow and the summit was his attempt to galvanize world leaders to come to an agreement in December.

At the summit, only a few heads of state will speak at the opening session, including Chinese President Hu Jintao and U.S. President Barak Obama, while the majority of national statements will be delivered via pre-recorded video messages.

After the opening session, national leaders will engage in four small roundtable sessions in the morning and four in the afternoon. Each participant is allowed to bring one adviser.

Despite the high number of those attending, the format of the summit has been criticized by the Group of 77 (G-77) for its lack of inclusiveness -- not all members of the UN will be allowed to speak at the opening session and a limited number of representatives of government were invited to a "working lunch" with members from businesses, civil society and high-ranking United Nations officials; Kazinform cites Xinhua.