The Secretary General of the United Nations, Ban Ki-moon today, 20th September 2016, called for the urgent enforcement of the Paris Agreement on Climate Change.

He made the call in his speech to open the 71st United Nations General Assembly Debate in New York at which Solomon Islands is represented by the Prime Minister Hon Manasseh Sogavare and Minister for Foreign Affairs and External Trade, Hon Milner Tozaka.

The Paris Agreement on Climate Change emanated from the United Nations Climate Summit (COP21) held in Paris, France, in 2015. It is the first ever legally-binding global climate deal which sets out a global action plan to put the world on track to avoid dangerous climate change by limiting global warming to well below 2°C. Solomon Islands ratified the agreement in April this year.

The UN Secretary General said with the Paris Agreement on Climate Change, the UN together with its member states are ‘tackling the defining challenge of our time.’

And he added that, “We have no time to lose. I urge you to bring the Paris Agreement into force this year (2016). We need just 26 countries just representing just 15 percent of emissions.

“I ask you to help lead us to a world of low carbon growth, increased resilience and greater opportunity and well-being for our children.”

The UN Secretary General added that with the (UN) Sustainable Development Goals, the UN family of nations has a manifesto for a better future.

He also took the opportunity to express deep concern that, “Gulfs of mistrust divide citizens from their leaders, extremists push of people into camps of us and them, the Earth assails us with rising seas, record heat and extreme storms and that danger defines the days of many.”

Ban Ki-moon said 130 million people need life-saving assistance and tens of millions of this figure are children and young people thus making the next generation already at risk.

He said after ten years in office as the UN Secretary General, he is convinced than ever that the UN family of nations has the power to end war, poverty and persecution, means to prevent conflict and the potential to close the gap between rich and poor and to make rights real in peoples’ lives.

Prime Minister Sogavare will be delivering Solomon Islands National Address at the UNGA debate this Friday 23rd of September at 5pm New York time. New York time is 14 hours behind Solomon Islands.