UN chief on climate change

July 26, 2009 12:00 am

, ULAN BATOR, Jul 26 – UN chief Ban Ki-moon began a visit to Mongolia Sunday aimed at highlighting the impact climate change is having on people’s everyday lives, his office said.

Ban planned to spend time later Sunday in a traditional Mongolian herder community whose livelihoods are being hit by water shortages and desertification, his office said.

The secretary general has said he will host a summit at the United Nations on the sidelines of the General Assembly in September to galvanise support for a global deal in December on "a fair, effective and scientifically ambitious new climate framework."

Negotiations to seal a climate change treaty at the meeting in Copenhagen have been dogged by disagreements over targets for cuts in carbon emissions and a fund from rich nations to help developing countries tackle climate change.

The planned treaty, due to take effect from 2013 as the successor to the Kyoto Protocol, will shape planetary action up to the middle of the century.

Ban travelled to Mongolia from China, where he urged Beijing to show greater leadership in world efforts to curb climate change, saying a new global framework deal cannot be reached this year without China.

Ban was also due to meet on Sunday with Mongolian troops participating in international peacekeeping missions, UN officials said.

Mongolia has embraced overseas peacekeeping and security missions as a way to step from the shadow of its much larger neighbours, following centuries of domination by China and Russia.

Mongolia’s defence ministry announced on Thursday it would send at least 150 soldiers to Afghanistan in its biggest contribution to the international coalition fighting Taliban militants there.

The Afghan mission follows Mongolian peacekeeping operations in Iraq, Sierra Leone and other countries.


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