Secretary-General calls for more concerted global effort to address climate changeListen /
Climate change will remain a priorityconcern for the United Nations because it touches many other issues on the UN agenda.
That's what United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon told a ministerial meeting in Doha, Qatar on Wednesday.
Mr. Ban said climate change is not an environment issue for environment ministers only, but a challenge for all areas of government including finance, energy, transport, foreign relations and more.
The Secretary-General reminded participants that last month United Nations headquarters was forced to close its doors for three days, for the first time in history as a result of Hurricane Sandy.
He welcomed the focus that the government of Qatar is bringing on the issue of desertification, land degradation and food and water security in the dry lands at the conference.
He said it is in these areas, which occupy 40 per cent of the planet's land where the effects of climate change are particularly evident and dramatic.
The people who live there are among the world's poorest and most vulnerable to hunger, the Secretary-General said, adding that they have little resilience to intensifying cycles of extreme drought and flood.
He recalled that famine struck parts of Somalia and ten million people across the Horn of Africa needed emergency relief.
This year, he added 18 million people in the Sahel are struggling through their third drought in less than 10 years.
The Secretary-General said the Sahel crisis also points to the broader threat climate change poses to development, peace and security.
Gerry Adams, United Nations.