5 May 2016 – Recalling that just two weeks ago, 175 countries came to the United Nations to sign the historic Paris Agreement on climate change, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today said it is time to take climate action to the next level. “We need to accelerate the speed, scope and scale of our response, locally and globally,” Mr. Ban told participants of the Climate Action Summit 2016 in Washington D.C, a two-day meeting that started today and aims to strengthen the multi-stakeholder approach to climate implementation. In particular, it is expected to deepen and expand the action coalitions of government, business, finance, philanthropy, civil society and academic leaders launched at the Secretary-General’s Climate Summit 2014 in New York. “I have been looking forward to this event because it is about solutions – innovation and imagination; collaboration and partnerships between the public and private sectors. Today as never before, the stars are aligning in favour of climate action. Everywhere I look, I see signs of hope,” he said. Noting that the current Summit would focus on six, high-value areas of multi-stakeholder partnership: sustainable energy; sustainable land-use; cities; transport; and tools for decision-making, the UN chief underscored that strong partnership would be needed at all levels to tackle those challenges. “No sector of society and no nation can succeed alone. I encourage you to collaborate. Innovate. Invest. Together we can build the world we want,” he said. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon Jim is greeted by Jim Yong Kim, President of the World Bank Group. Former Vice President Al Gore of the United States looks on. UN Photo/Eskinder Debebe ‹› The signing of the Paris Agreement on 22 April received overwhelming support from all regions of the world; never before had so many countries signed an international accord in one day. Adopted in Paris by the 196 Parties to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) at a conference known as COP21 last December, the Agreement’s objective is to limit global temperature rise to well below 2 degrees Celsius, and to strive for 1.5 degrees Celsius. It will enter into force 30 days after at least 55 countries, accounting for 55 per cent of global greenhouse gas emissions, deposit their instruments of ratification. “Two of the world’s largest emitters – China and the United States – have pledged their continued commitment and collaboration,” Mr. Ban stressed, noting that leaders must turn the “promise of Paris” into action and implementation as soon as possible. The UN chief also announced that in September, on the margins of the G20 meeting, he intends to co-convene a meeting in China similar to this one to further solidify coalitions. Also speaking at the event, the President of the World Bank Group, Jim Yong Kim said there is no time waste.
Saudi Arabia holds the United Nations Chair of the Commission for Human Rights because – why???
BAGHDAD — Saudi Arabia drew condemnation from Iran and its allies in the region on Saturday after putting to death a prominent Shiite cleric who had criticized the government’s treatment of its Shiite minority, in a mass execution of 47 men on terrorism-related charges. Saudi officials said the mass execution, one of the largest in the kingdom in decades, was aimed at deterring those committed to violence against the state. But analysts said that the grouping of the cleric, Sheikh Nimr al-Nimr, with hardened militants was a message to dissidents, and that it could exacerbate sectarian tensions across the Middle East. The executions were the first of 2016 and followed a year in which at least 157 people were put to death, the conservative Muslim kingdom’s highest yearly total in two decades….
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