“Ours is the first generation in a position to globally eradicate the issue of poverty, but we are at the same time the last generation able to take measures to avoid the worst effects of climate change,” pointed out the General Secretary of the United Nations in front of an academic body at KUL (Leuven University) on Thursday. Ban Ki-Moon was also awarded an honorary doctorate from KUL.
Climate change is taking place “much faster than we think,” highlighted the UN leader. “Its consequences are being felt in basic needs in terms of healthcare, food, water, etc…The Paris conference will need to reach a clear agreement on climate which should help steer us towards a low-carbon economy, with more welfare and respect for our planet.”
2015 is a crucial year for the planet according to Ban Ki-Moon. Discussions on sustainable development are planned in Addis Abeba in July and New York in September. “In New York, we will try to consolidate policies which have pulled hundreds of millions of people out of poverty, and to set up efficient institutions to establish a stable society and dignity for all. We still have the technological and financial means to facilitate sustainable development.”
Amongst other conflicts, those in Syria and the Yemen resulted in over 50 million refugees, warned the General Secretary of the UN. “This is unheard of since World War 2.”
Lastly, Ban Ki-Moon insisted on the “active” role played by Belgium within the UN.