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Ban Ki-moon To Join Bali Climate Change Conference

Ban Ki-moon to participate in next month's climate change conference in Bali

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon is heading to the Indonesian island of Bali next month, where world leaders will gather for a major conference on climate change, to try to press for a breakthrough in the international negotiations on devising a comprehensive agreement on reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

Mr. Ban will take part in the Bali conference from 12 to 14 December, United Nations spokesperson Michele Montas told reporters today, saying he wants to maximize the opportunity provided by the summit to make progress on his signature issue.

"He feels we need a breakthrough in Bali as a critical first step," she said. "If we are to meet the challenge of global warming, we need a new and comprehensive agreement that all nations can embrace.

"We do not expect world leaders to walk away from the summit with a new global accord to succeed Kyoto," Ms. Montas added, referring to the internationally agreed Protocol for reducing emissions that is due to expire in 2012. "But the Secretary-General would expect them to agree to an agenda of issues and set a timetable for reaching such an accord."

During his time in Bali Mr. Ban will hold bilateral meetings with key heads of State and government who are also taking part in the conference, as well as with major players in the field of climate change.

The Bali conference is one stop on a three-nation trip by the Secretary-General that will begin with an official visit to Thailand, where he is scheduled to meet Prime Minister Surayud Chulanont and have an audience with King Bhumibol Adulyadej. While in Bangkok the Secretary-General will visit the headquarters of the Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP) and meet UN staff working in the region.

After attending the conference in Bali, Mr. Ban will head to Timor-Leste to visit the UN peacekeeping mission in the tiny nation (UNMIT), address the National Parliament, visit camps for internally displaced persons (IDPs) and hold talks with senior Government officials.

The Secretary-General will then fly to Jakarta, the Indonesian capital, before heading back to UN Headquarters in New York.

Ms. Montas confirmed that on 17 December in Paris Mr. Ban will also be attending the international donors' conference for the Palestinian territories, co-hosted by France, Norway, the European Commission and the Special Representative for the Middle East diplomatic Quartet, former British prime minister Tony Blair.


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