"Timing could not be better" to launch UN environmental body

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Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon. UN Photo/Eskinder Debebe

The timing could not be better for the launch of a "strong" UN body tackling all issues related to the environment.

That's according to the UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon.

He made the remarks in his address to the UN Environment Assembly (UNEA), a new body that places environmental issues at the heart of international affairs.

Change is in the air, Mr Ban told the Assembly, solutions exist and it's time to lead.

"We need to act decisively to change humanity's relationship with our planet. This forum has the power – and the responsibility – to promote a global transformation of attitude and practice. You job will not be easy. There are many vested interests and entrenched attitudes that will stand in your way. You will have to advocate hard with your counterparts in finance, energy, agriculture and trade."

Mr Ban recalled that the year 2015 marks the deadline for the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).

It's also the year when Member States have pledged to sign what he described as a "meaningful" new global climate agreement.

The post-2015 sustainable development agenda, the UN chief said, needs to include a "strong voice for the environment".

Daniel Dickinson, United Nations.

Duration: 1'24"

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