Monterey Bay UNA Leaders Meet with Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon

January 23, 2013|Monterey Bay Chapter
On January 18, the Board of Directors of the Monterey Bay Chapter of UNA-USA was privileged to have a private meeting with United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and his wife, Yoo Soon-taek. This took place immediately following the Secretary-General's major address on nuclear disarmament and nonproliferation in Monterey.

monterey-sg-visit-650UN Photo/Rick Bajornas

After warmly welcoming the Secretary-General and his wife, Chapter leader Larry Levine mentioned that despite its small population base, the all-volunteer Monterey Bay Chapter is one of the largest and most active in the United States, and summarized its ongoing activities, including diverse and well-attended community events on world issues and the work of the UN and its agencies, its work in youth education with students from middle school through graduate school age, and its advocacy work on behalf of US policy supportive of the UN. Given the limited time available, Larry then raised one policy question on behalf of the group, this related to climate change. He mentioned the various destructive impacts of climate change already being experienced around the globe, and asked if the Secretary-General thought humanity might have already reached a tipping point, where we need to focus on preparations for the consequences of climate change, even more than prevention. Also, did the Secretary-General sense a real emerging global strategy to deal with either prevention or preparations for impending impacts?

monterey-sg-visit-650-1UN Photo/Rick Bajornas

The Secretary-General commented on the importance of the work of UNA Chapters around the country in building understanding and support for the United Nations, especially in efforts to influence members of Congress, where our voices as constituents have more impact than even his voice as Secretary-General. About climate change, he said that if we have not yet reached the tipping point, we are very close to it, and he noted that he had visited many locations already experiencing the most severe impacts of climate change, to call vivid attention to the issue. He traced the various UN climate change conferences, and expressed frustration that the best that could be achieved at the most recent in Doha was an "agreement to reach an agreement by 2015," saying that is not enough; the world needs to come together to actually implement an action-oriented global agreement on climate change as soon as possible.

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