Ban Ki Moon Urges World Leaders To Ratify COP21 Agreements

Ban ki MoonThe United Nations has asked countries of the world to quickly ratify the historical agreement reached at the last climate change deal in Paris, in December.

The call was made by the UN’s Secretary General, Ban Ki Moon, at the World Economic Forum, in Davos.

It was his first major address at the World Economic Forum and one of his briefest speeches.

He pointed out that natural disasters have undermined the gains made in climate efforts and urged world leaders to join him in the signing of a new Earth Day in April 2016.

Concerned that leaders would make agreements without much commitment, the UN Secretary General reeled out steps to help nations achieve the goals decided at the Paris Summit.

“First, national climate plans must urgently be converted into bankable investment strategies and projects.

“Second, we must generate sufficient financing for developing countries to bypass fossil fuels and meet high energy demands with low carbon sources.

“Third, we need greater attention and resources for climate resilience.

“That is why I launched a new Climate Resilience Initiative in Paris called A2R – to anticipate risks, absorb shocks and adapt development approaches.

“Fourth, we need to rapidly increase climate actions at every level. I will work to help strengthen the action agenda and public-private partnerships.

“Fifth, governments must quickly ratify the Paris Agreement,” he said.

On his plans for a new Earth Day and the need for world leaders to finance energy projects in developing countries, he said, “I am inviting all world leaders to a signing ceremony at United Nations Headquarters on April 22nd.

“Everyone here can take at least one of these steps – and so can billions of other people.

“Let us do our part – and empower them for our common future.”

The UN Chief has also be concerned about an increasing scarcity of water in the world, a precious resource which according to him is crucial to realising the Sustainable Development Goals which aim to eradicate poverty.

While the UN says 90% of all disasters are water related and that by 2050 the world would have just 60% of the water it needs, Mr Ban has invited world leaders to join a panel that will meet regularly between now and 2018 to address the challenges.

COP21: Historic Climate Deal Agreed In Paris

climate After two weeks of negotiations, a deal to attempt to limit the rise in global temperatures to less than 2C has been agreed at the climate change summit in Paris.

The deal, which is the first to commit all countries to cut carbon emissions, is partly legally binding and partly voluntary.

French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius took just minutes to declare the pact adopted to the standing applause and whistles of delegates from more than 190 countries.

This comes after four years of tense U.N. talks often pitting the interests of rich nations against poor, and endangered island states against rising economic powerhouses.

Hailed as the first truly global climate deal, committing both rich and poor nations to reining in rising emissions blamed for warming the planet, it sets out a sweeping long-term goal of eliminating net man-made greenhouse gas output this century.

It also creates a system to encourage nations to step up voluntary domestic efforts to curb emissions, and provides billions more dollars to help poor nations cope with the transition to a greener economy.

Earlier, key blocs, including the G77 group of developing countries, and nations such as China and India said they supported the proposals.

The text agreed accepts that the dangers of climate change are much greater than previously acknowledged and pledges to attempt to curb the emissions.

Earlier, French President Francois Hollande called the proposals unprecedented, while UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon called on negotiators to “finish the job”.

Calling it “ambitious and balanced”, Fabius said the accord would mark a “historic turning point” in efforts to avert the potentially disastrous consequences of an overheated planet.

COP21: Climate Summit Inches Towards Deal

climate changeNegotiators at the UN Climate Change Summit in Paris are frantically trying to reach a global agreement to curb climate change on Saturday; a day later than expected.

“Things are moving in the right direction,” said French Foreign Minister, Laurent Fabius, who is chairing the summit.

But more compromise is needed if an agreement is to be reached, analysts said.

There is a widespread expectation that the deal would be signed on Friday, though the timings are uncertain.

Delegates worked throughout the night on a draft version to iron out the key barriers to an agreement.

Participants at the summit have been working on a draft text, prepared by the French presidency, since Wednesday.

This was seen as a significant moment after discussions that began in 2011 for a new global agreement that would stake out a long-term strategy for dealing with climate change.

Any deal signed in Paris will come into effect in 2020.

Iran: Rouhani To Abide By Nuclear Deal

iranIran President, Hassan Rouhani, has vowed to abide by the terms of the preliminary nuclear agreement it signed with six world powers, if they do same.

Hassan Rouhani said, “The world must know that we do not intend to cheat.”

The Iranian leader warned that Iran would have other options, if world powers “one day decide to follow a different path”.

The framework deal signed on Thursday was to see Iran curb nuclear activities in return for relief from sanctions.

Earlier, Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, warned that the deal posed a grave danger to the region, his own country in particular.

Mr Netanyahu said that any compressive accord due before June 30 had to include a “clear and unambiguous Iranian recognition of Israel’s right to exist”.

“Israel will not accept an agreement which allows a country that vows to annihilate us to develop nuclear weapons,” Mr Netanyahu asserted.

French Foreign Minister, Laurent Fabius, said, “We are not completely at the end of the road and the end of the road should be in June, adding that nothing is signed until everything is signed, but things are going in the right direction.”

US President, Barack Obama, also said that the framework agreement would make the world a safer place, as it would “cut off every pathway that Iran could take to develop a nuclear weapon”.

France Says EU Shirking Duty To Central African Republic

Angry young men complain to French soldiers in patrol in the pro-Christian area of Bangui

France said on Friday the European Union was shirking its responsibilities for international security after an EU plan to send up to 1,000 troops to Central African Republic next week seemed to be about to collapse.

The EU had proposed sending 800 to 1,000 soldiers to the former French colony to join 6,000 African and 2,000 French troops, who have struggled to stop fighting that started a year ago when mostly Muslim Seleka rebels seized power in the majority Christian state.

However, EU sources said on Thursday the plan was in jeopardy because European governments had not provided the soldiers and equipment they promised.

In a blunt joint statement from France’s foreign and defense ministers, Paris “strongly” urged its partners to do more.

“The EU must not shirk its responsibilities with regard to international security,” Laurent Fabius and Jean-Yves Le Drian, the respective ministers, said. “It has to be said … despite contributions announced by some European states, the total falls short.”

Referring to an EU promise announced on February 10, the ministers said: “If additional contributions do not materialize rapidly, it will not be possible to launch this vital operation next week as planned.”

Failure to launch the mission would be an embarrassment for the EU, which has been trying to burnish its credentials as a security organization, and a setback for France, which has called for more solidarity for its efforts in the Central Africa Republic.

France has already been forced to send 400 more troops to help combat the crisis with U.N. chief Ban Ki-moon pleading for more swift, robust international help to stop sectarian violence that could turn into genocide.

The Security Council last week discussed a proposal for a nearly 12,000-strong peacekeeping force with a resolution expected to be drawn up by France later this month

FG Vows Not To Pay Ransom For Kidnapped French Family

How to free the eight French nationals held hostage by suspected members of Boko Haram in northern Nigeria was the main thrust of discussion when President Goodluck Jonathan held a closed door meeting with the French foreign Minister, Laurent Fabius at the Nnamdi Azikiwe airport Abuja on Saturday.

Video posted online shows the family with their kidnappers

The meeting which lasted for about 30 minutes among other issues reviewed the relations between Nigeria and France and the quick intervention in the crisis in Mali which they said could have placed Nigeria at a great risk.

Nigeria’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr Olugbenga Ashiru, assured the French envoy that the federal government is working in tandem with all security agencies to ensure that the kidnapped French nationals are released without harm as he vowed that Nigeria will not pay ransom for their release.

“As part of our own policy, we don’t pay ransom to terrorists but we would do everything possible to ensure that those terrorists are able to release their captives without any harm coming (to) them” he stated.

Also briefing state house correspondents after the meeting, Mr Fabius who spoke in the French language said that it is important that his country is deeply worried about those held hostage and would want the two countries to be careful so that they be released without harm.

“Of course, we raised the subject of hostages,” Fabius said of his meeting with Jonathan. “There are eight French hostages that are in Nigeria…We truly (and) very deeply wish that the French hostages can be freed.”

The seven French nationals, including four children were kidnapped last month in Cameroon near the northeastern border with Nigeria.