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General Assembly convenes high-level gathering on climate change

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On Monday 29 June, Sam Kutesa, President of the UN General Assembly (UNGA), convened a high-level event on climate change in New York. Now at the half-way point between COP-20 and COP-21, the event aimed to provide impetus and to drive political momentum for an ambitious climate agreement. The event did not form part of the official negotiations, but it attracted Member States as well as the private sector, civil society and other stakeholders, and welcomed numerous key note speakers including Christiana Figueres, UNFCCC Executive Secretary, Ban Ki-moon, Secretary-General of the UN, and Laurent Fabius - the incoming COP-21 president.

It also provided Ban Ki-moon with a platform to identify six key elements of a successful Paris agreement:

  1. Provides a strong signal of commitment to build a low-carbon future
  2. Must be durable
  3. Needs to be flexible
  4. Upholds the principle of equity, supports adaptation needs and demonstrates solidarity
  5. Has clear mechanisms for measuring, monitoring and reporting progress in transparent manner
  6. Has credible climate financing

The event demonstrated the continued momentum as COP-21 fast approaches. A summary from the UNGA President will be distributed to Member States and other stakeholders.